You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

People collect a lot of shells- and one never knows quite what to do with them.  This is a quick project for just that, assuming your shells have some bowl-like characteristics.

This idea came to me as I was kneeling in a store in Oakland, California called “The Bone Shoppe.”  I found small abalone shells and was so taken that I bought 7 of them!  Later, hiking in Yosemite, I found a stick I liked.  Somehow the two got together.

The construction is simple.  Go to your local hardware store and buy a mortar like liquid nails- clear if possible.  You want something that is thick so that it can hold your shells while it dries. Just figure out where you want your shells on your stick- apply glue liberally, and set aside for the curing time.  8 hours tends to do it.

Wa-la.   You now have a small rack to put scrap-booking embellishments like grommets and brads, or push-pins, or earrings or… or anything!  Good luck!


Ah, Trifle.   The word came to me in a dinner conversation with friends one night.  One of them had studied in England and came away with handfuls of stories to share with the rest of us.  One such story was Trifle.  At first, I assumed I’d heard wrong.  Wasn’t it truffle?  No.   Not at all.

Being an American-born child, I had never heard of this Brittish treat, and upon learning of its gooey layers and rich ingredients that I had never enjoyed individually, let alone mixed, I decided it would be best to leave it be.  But that decicion was not to last.  Soon, the curiosity overhwelmed me and I was forced to try my hand at this new, exciting dish.  Here is the tale of our adventures with Trifle:

Melinda had been making Chili.  It was good.  We thought Trifle would follow it up nicely.   Our ingredients were simple: Devil’s Chocolate cake mix, Chocolate fudge pudding, Peanut Butter Puffs Cereal, Raspberry Jam, and Whipped Cream.  I’m told that in real Trifle you use Jello instead of jam.  Thank goodness we weren’t aiming for cultural accuracy on this one.

Step One:  Mix, make, and bake your cake.  Cut it into the shape of the bottom of your bowl.  Put in bottom.

Step Two: Spread a layer of raspberry jam down.  Our fearless leader Brian had a suave technique, but I can’t say I learned it well.  I just mocked him instead.

Step Three:  More cake.

Step Four: Make pudding.  Pour half of it on top of the cake layer.

Step Five:  We were told that you need a crunchy texture atop the pudding- so we chose peanut butter puffs.  We smashed them with mortar and pestle before layering.  True devotion.

Step Six: We crumbled up the remaining cake and put down a layer.

Step Seven:  More jam!


Step Nine:  More peanut butter crunchiness.

Step Ten: WHIPPED CREAM TIME!  Good luck with this one, it takes a true expert to get the 2 inch height on your top.

Step Eleven:  Decorate with sprinkles or candy or… or more peanut butter puffs!

Try not to laugh as you eat this thing.  It’s really awful, but so much fun that you won’t be able to stop.  It was even good the next day!  And the next!   … that’s how long it takes to eat a whole bowl of this.

Try telling your friends about it and have a cook-off.  The ingredients are so cheap that they should be able to rumage them up and bring their own flavorful creations to your door for a Trifle party!  By the way- I am not responsibile for any fatalities this post may have caused.