Kristin

Kristin
My buddy Kristin, with whom I'll be shooting some BEER2WHISKEY videos, and me at the awads dinner for this year's Texas Truck Rodeo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Adventures in Home Improvement: Building a Short Wall


I currently have several writing assignments that I am accumulating the research for. "Accumulating research" is code for "I'm woefully under-motivated to begin the actual writing."

In truth, I am putting together the research -- much of it is really being accumulated by other people on my behalf, but, hey, just because I'm delegating doesn't mean I'm not being productive. The old wheels are always turning.

In any event, I have plenty of money-making work built up in my in-box. That, however, is not deterring me from launching into a home-improvement project. I have a couple of semi-major projects I want to accomplish this year. The first is to construct a small 2-ft x 4-ft wall behind my TV and entertainment center. The goal is to hide all the wires and other assorted audio-video flotsam behind my TV from the dining area that borders it. The back of the TV is what people first see when they enter through my back door. I'm not trying to impress anyone, but it's just damn ugly.


This is the mess anyone entering my house first sees.

For the past six months I've been looking for some sort of storage cabinet to place behind the TV to accomplish the same thing, but just haven't found anything I like that's reasonably priced. So, I decided to bite the bullet and build a short wall. It won't take up nearly as much space -- always a concern when you live in a 1,100 sq. ft house. And, I can complete the project for about $50. That, of course, doesn't include the cost of the paint I'll have to buy to paint the wall it will attach to, along with the rest of the main floor that didn't get new paint when I repaired the cracks in the drywall.

In fact, the painting will probably cost more and require more time than constructing the wall. Nothing is ever easy with an older home.

My other project will be to construct a closet in the second bedroom upstairs. It has a linen-like closet, but you can't hang anything in it. I'm going to add a closet that will be roughly 5-ft wide. I will drywall over the linen closet doorway, and then build a doorway in its other side, which will transform it into a linen closet for the upstairs bath.

I can probably do the closet project for $200 to $250.

So you see, I have plenty of job-jar chores to fall back on when I don't feel like really working.

I just hope the people I've asked to help with the research take their time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

If There Is a Lesson in Cyprus, I Don't Need to Learn It




I am pretty far removed from this whole Cyprus mess. I know it's going to eventually affect every corner of the globe, but I have trouble getting all worked up over banking issues when I don't have any real money in a bank -- or anywhere else for that matter.

I have some money the same way total idiots have some sense, but I don't have enough money to make a difference or to fret about. In fact, it would cost this government more to extract my puny savings than it would wind up with. That doesn't mean it wouldn't go ahead and make the snatch anyway because that's what governments do, but it wouldn't really be worth its while.



Many of the pundits I've listened to on the Cyprus savings accounts burglary seem to think anyone with more than $100,000 in a bank here, there or anywhere else should spread it among more than one or two banks. I'm a step ahead of them on this issue. Despite having nothing remotely close to the magic $100,000, my money is spread among a credit union and two banks. At least I think it's two banks; have Wells Fargo and Chase merged while I wasn't paying attention? No? Okay, then it's a credit union and two banks. It's hard to keep up.

My money is spread around as much out of laziness as anything else. I just don't feel like running around and closing accounts. Actually I keep my credit union accounts because if I ever need to borrow money again, it's much easier for those of us with few-to-no assets to borrow from a credit union than a bank.



Although I've sweated my way through the past nine years, there are some advantages to not having any savings. At the top of the list: I don't give a rat's ass what the stock market does. Rise or fall, I am unaffected directly. I remember when it took a dump a few years ago several of my friends were sitting around a table drinking and wringing their hands as thousands -- and in a few cases -- tens of thousands of dollars evaporated from their portfolios. Portfolio? What the hell is that? I opened another bottle of wine and watched a little TV. What, me worry?

I actually have friends who point to the recent stock market gains as evidence that happy days are here again. Dream on. As the Fed continues printing billions of free dollars, all that money must go somewhere. Right now that "somewhere" happens to be the stock market. Eventually the Fed will turn off the spigot and the wall(s) will come tumbling down. When it does, I'll open a bottle of wine and watch a little TV.



Ultimately, I hope to be dead before we really hit the skids akin to Greece and Cyprus. I hope we've got a few relatively sane years left in us. But when you are existing on the slippery edge as we are, it only requires a slight nudge to send you over. Like the grasshopper in the grasshopper and the ants fable, I'm hoping for a best-case scenario.

My track record in best-case-scenario predictions isn't the best, however. I just needed print media to hang in there for another decade or so, and we know how that worked out. So, I don't have a great deal of optimism our wobbly economy will sustain itself for the next 10 years or so I need it to.

The good news: I decided a long time ago that I want to exit this mortal coil, leaving behind a bank balance of exactly $1. So far, I'm right on target.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When It Comes to Getting Comped at a Restaurant, I Have a Couple of Stories




At the weekly meeting of the Peddler Wednesday-Night Irregulars last night, some of us had a conversation with Peddler owner Deborah about the irrational complaints of the occasional customer trying to scam the system: The customer who just keeps complaining about things until his meal or entire check is comped. These are people you can't please no matter what you do; you are better served to just comp their meal and hustle them out the door.



A few of the Irregulars on a field trip to The Duck in Boca Raton, Florida.

The discussion brought to mind a couple of related personal stories.

When I was shooting video for "Discover America," I occasionally worked with a female freelance videographer, who became friends with the production company's core writers and producers. She was fun to work with and was a decent shooter.

When we were on the road, she was the model of propriety when we would dine. Of course, we were on an expense account -- a rather liberal one. As we all do from time to time, she might remark that her steak was a bit overcooked or the steamed veggies rather bland, but that was about it. When back home dining socially with our group and responsible for her portion of the tab, however, she transformed into Mr. Hyde. Her goal was to get something -- or everything -- for nothing.



Her drink was weak, her beer warm, her salad limp, her steak tough as nails, on and on and on. She would create a spectacle at every dinner. I wanted to put a bag over my head and slink out of whatever joint we were in. After a half dozen of these outings, I refused to go out to dinner with the crowd when she was along. There's cheap and then there's CHEAP!

As our Peddler conversation developed, another story popped into my head.



Karen, Amy and me in 1996 (?) at some undisclosed place, ummm, drinking beer, I think.

For two or three years, Karen, Amy and I were like the Three Musketeers. We went out together a lot, and when not out, we gathered at one or another's -- usually Amy's -- home. This was in the early 1990s. Then one by one they got married, and that was the end of that. We are all still close friends, but the days of anything goes, and let the good times roll came to a halt. I was the last man standing.



The three of us at theHoliday Inn poolside bar. 

Any way, one Saturday the three of us had been at the beach in Delray, sneaking beers -- strictly verboten on the beach -- from a cooler, before adjourning across A-1-A to the poolside bar at the Holiday Inn. A few more beers there had our stomachs growling. The girls decided we should head to the Japanese Steak House in Boca. This was a poor-man's Benihana's; although probably priced about the same, it lacked all the chain restaurant's trappings.

It was still a little early for the dinner crowd. The owner/hostess/chef -- a 60-something Asian woman -- seated us at one of those U-shaped tables with a grill in the center. The two upright portions of the U each had two chairs, with four or so chairs located on the bottom of the U. With Karen to my right, I sat at the bottom of one upright with Amy to my left in the first seat on the bottom of the U.

Under a full head of steam, we ordered more bottles of beer and generally made a nuisance of ourselves. Usually in such places, they try to at least somewhat fill out the table before the chef -- in this case the owner/hostess/chef -- begins preparing the meals table side. The owner/hostess/chef gamely attempted to seat one or two couples at our table, but no one wanted to sit with us. Imagine that. Finally giving up, she rolled out the cart of ingredients to prepare the dishes we had ordered.

Part of the allure of this type of joint is the show the chef puts on while preparing the food. Knives are flipped, salt-and-pepper shakers juggled and veggies are tossed in the air. Just before the owner/hostess/chef began at our table, we had been discussing what might happen if a knife got away from one of these chefs, spearing an unsuspecting diner. We laughed and laughed.

As the owner/hostess/chef launched into her routine, she poured oil on the grill top and chatted with us. She then produced a spatula with a six-inch-long handle and an eight-inch-long blade. It looked like something a mason would use to spread mortar; it was huge. She used the blade to spread the oil across the grill surface, clinking and clanking the blade's edge on the grill, exhibiting a degree of showmanship.

As she prepared to move on to the next step, she tossed the spatula from one hand to the other: left, right, left, right. On the next toss of her right to her left, she failed to catch the spatula. It came sailing toward us, spinning like the propeller blade of a helicopter. Karen leaned to her right, I to my left as the spatula came whistling between us, taking out my bottle of beer in the process. The beer went crashing to the floor as the spatula bounced off the back of an empty chair behind us.

Laughing her ass off, Amy raised her beer and yelled, "Just put that anywhere!"

Karen and I, also laughing hysterically, straightened up in our seats. Glancing at me Karen said, "This must be in 3-D; that looked like it was coming right at me."

We managed to get through the rest of the dinner without incident.

I tell this story because trying to get the meal comped after this life-flashing-before-our-eyes event, never occurred to us. We certainly could have raised a stink. As it turned out, the only thing that was comped was the beer that went flying. I received a free replacement beer. Now that's customer care!

I must admit, I've often wondered if missing the spatula was intentional.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting My Green On at the Delray Beach St. Paddy's Day Celebration




Circumstances forced me to spend $3.50 on a 40-cent cup of coffee at the Palm Beach airport at 6:00 this morning. I don't like spending $3.50 on a 40-cent cup of coffee at the Palm Beach airport or anywhere else for that matter. It made me cranky right out of the chute.

On the plus side, a young guy who was sitting in the window seat in my row -- I was on the aisle -- thought his girl friend would rather sit in the middle seat in our row than in an aisle seat in first class where she was already situated. Isn't love grand? He asked if I would be willing to trade with her. He believed whoever had the center seat would be more than happy to trade it for my aisle seat when he or she showed up. I know I would. So I swapped seats with the girl friend in first class. Not a bad trade.

I am winging my way back to Greenville from my annual St. Paddy's Day Celebration and Drinking Contest. I've traveled to South Florida for this, the most important of drinking holidays, all but one year since moving up to Greenville, SC. It's a tradition of sorts; at least that's what my buddy Tim, who usually hosts the party, preached to me a couple of weeks ago when I threatened to stay in Greenville. It's such a followed tradition that Tim then missed it this year. But that's another story for another time -- maybe.



Because the traditional party suddenly lost its co-founder, I opted to go to the annual Delray Beach St. Paddy's Day parade that is always held the Saturday before March 17th. Back in my Boca News days, the parade was more of an event. Different businesses would each sponsor a float that its employees would decorate, and the floats were judged. I was part of the Boca News float's decorating crew for two or three years.

Not that we required one, but it gave my group of friends a reason to get together every night for a week, and drink as we decorated. Then the day of the parade, we would bring coolers of beer, board the float and drink our way down Atlantic Avenue, waving to the drunks lining the street.

One year we donned green football jerseys that someone bummed from the city's athletic department, and did a choreographed dance in front of the judging stand to the song the Chicago Bears released after winning the Super Bowl. I don't remember much about it -- a testament to the level of my alcohol consumption at the time -- but at one point in the routine we put our hands on our hips, yelled, "Pelvic thrust!" and pushed our pelvises toward the judges. Classy, no? We didn't win.



At least two of the years our float followed the float of a crap-hole bar called Fitzwilly's. It was a tired little joint that had 20 years of spilled beer in the carpet and that many years of cigarette smoke in the curtains. If you could keep your lunch down as you quaffed drinks, the beer was cheap and the place had a decent music selection on the jukebox. It was always one of the places we would hit after the parade. Fitzwilly's entry in the parade consisted of a white panel van with the bar's name painted on the side, the rear doors thrown open and a couple of bartenders dispensing beers from an ice-cold keg out the back. Every time the parade would grind to a halt for a minute or two, we would all swarm off our float, run up to the van and refill our beers. It was a blast!



The parade deteriorated over the years to the point it was 70,000 drunks lining Atlantic Avenue watching 1,000 drunks go by on flatbed trucks. Every once in a while a pipe and drum corps would march by, but that's it.

Here's a bit of parade history. This thing began about 45 years ago when an Atlantic Avenue bar owner, Maury Powers, was watching Boston's St. Paddy's Day Parade on TV in his joint. A patron came in carrying a pig -- I'm not kidding. Apparently Maury decided at that very minute that Delray Beach should have a parade. Borrowing the pig, he marched up Atlantic Avenue with the pig in tow. The Delray Beach St. Paddy's Day Parade was born. Powers's Lounge was an Atlantic Avenue institution until about 10 years ago. The parade outlasted his bar and old Maury too.



A couple of the Aussie firefighters who marched in the parade. My buddy Bongo and I gave them a few pointers on how to get lucky in Delray. I don't think they needed our help.

Sometime ago the city decided it could no longer afford to sponsor the parade. Hearing this, the firefighters stepped up to the plate and took it over. Now it consists of roughly 50 assorted fire trucks, 20 marching fire companies -- some from as far away as Australia, two or three half-assed floats entered by landscaping companies or local restaurants, a high school band, and a couple of pipe and drum corps. Now the curb dwellers number close to 200,000 drunks. It's a major zoo.

Several years ago, I would go downtown for the parade, but wouldn't see any of it. My friend Colleen worked the outdoor tiki bar at a spot called City Limits. A couple of friends and I would hang out at her bar all afternoon as the parade passed by about 50 feet away. We couldn't see it from that spot, but we could hear it. When the parade was over, some of the pipers would drift into the courtyard and play. It became a tradition. City Limits eventually closed and Colleen got a job as an office manager/bookkeeper for some company. So much for that St. Paddy's Day tradition.



Colleen, the bekilted Bongo and me at Kevro.


Well, Colleen got back into the biz, as they say. She now tends bar at some type of art bar called Kevro just a block or two south of the old City Limits. I'm not sure where the art comes in, but the beer was cold, the food was hot and Colleen was back.

We even made a cameo at the home where our usual party is held every year. Even without the Irish leader of the band to keep things on track, a small group gathered to keep the tradition going.

It'll be nice to just stay at home for a night and catch my breath.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Revisiting the Bartenders' Bartender


No doubt I will tick off a few of my bartender buddies with this blog's headline. I have a lot of bartender friends. Some were friends before they became a bartender and some are friends through their bartending. Their skills range from good to great. But as with any list, I have one bartender buddy who's the yardstick against whom I measure all the rest.

I fancy myself a student of bartenders. Here's how I see it: A good bartender can help a mediocre place turn the corner; while a bad one can bring even a good joint to its knees. I've sat at bars with both. I may not be an expert, but I'm pretty damn close.

Several years ago I worked in the Darth Vader Building -- otherwise known as Northbridge Center -- in West Palm Beach. On the 21st floor of that building was a restaurant called Rockwell's. Our offices were on the 17th floor, so we were practically neighbors. It was only natural that we adjourn to Rockwell's bar after work.


It was there we became acquainted with Eric Whitehead, and joined the ranks of the Thursday-night happy-hour crowd. This was a loose confederation of lawyers, architects, video production people, and assorted wannabes and hangers-on.  

When Rockwell's eventually closed, a healthy number of the Thursday-night crowd followed Eric to a couple of different joints on Clematis Ave in West Palm. He eventually wound up at City Cellar at City Place. We followed him there as well.


Surviving Thursday-night happy-hour members. When Jennie posted this photo, she asked me what the caption should be. I suggested "The five of us."

It was at City Cellar where our Thursday-night crowd was bolstered by a group of healthcare professionals. These were mostly retirement home nurses and marketing people.

During Eric's multi-year stint there, he worked the main bar, the outside bar and the bandstand bar in the City Place courtyard. At the outside bar, he and his bartending partner served a 50-seat bar that was often two or three deep. When sitting at this bar -- usually on the weekends -- we were guaranteed of not only getting superb service, but a show as well.

 I'd glance down the bar and see Eric pushing shots in front of a couple of cute girls. He'd say, "They're on the senator," and point at me. More than once after doing the shot one of the girls would walk up to me and ask if I was really a senator. "Why yes I am," I'd say. "Vote early and vote often."

I was usually at that outside bar with my buddy Jose. Eric would refer to me as "the senator," and to Jose as "my trusted driver Kato." Those nights were always fun.

When Eric assumed the role of bartender in the courtyard he was lord and master of a 5-foot plastic bar on wheels. He would add a rolling cart on each side, forming a "U." He had a beat-up cash register that looked as if it had washed ashore with flotsam from the Titanic. On a typical Friday or Saturday night, he would push more drinks out of that stupid plastic bar than they would at the main restaurant bar; and that bar was serving $15 glasses of wine. It was something to see.

I sort of lost touch with Eric when he went to work for a big Florida sports bar chain called Duffy's. He went corporate -- never saw that coming -- and wound up moving around to several of their stores.


I was excited a month or so ago when my friend Jennie -- part of the old Thursday-night happy-hour crowd -- e-mailed that she found Eric bartending at a joint on Clematis Ave. Called Bobbi Sue BBQ, it's a smallish place ideally suited to Eric's talents.

I arrived in South Florida on Thursday afternoon, and as is often the case when I visit, we called a meeting of the Thursday-night happy-hour bunch. This time we held the services at Bobbi Sue BBQ.

It was a blast surprising Eric and seeing him again. I was happy to see that he hasn't changed a bit.

As always, it was another night to remember.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Whole Lot of Nothing


It's been a quiet week since returning from New Mexico. I have been in somewhat of a recovery mode. Well, not really, but it sounds like a good reason not to have posted a blog in several days.

I have actually had a lot of work this week and just haven't felt much like writing for the hell of it. I had two bigger stories on deadline for the same client and another client that dropped one in my lap last minute that needed written ASAP!

As a matter of fact, I don't have anything to write about today, but here I am filling space.

I decided a long time ago not to blog about things overly political. If it weren't for that decision, I'd have plenty to say. But my topics must be vanilla, so I'm stumped.

I will use this opportunity, however, to revisit a topic I wrote about a month or so ago: my eBay/PayPal shopping debacle. Here's what's happened since I tried to purchase a used camera and couldn't get PayPal funded for the transaction: nada. If you remember, I tried to fund it, but eBay wouldn't let me. In any event, the transaction wasn't consummated, as they say.

What's taken place since? Ummm, nothing. I haven't heard another word. I also haven't looked at my eBay profile to see if the seller steamrolled me. I gave him plenty of opportunities to make the sale work. He was unresponsive. So, while there could have been some repercussions, there weren't any that I'm aware of. I'm fine with that.

So, here I am at Smoke on the Water; eating some dynamite BBQ, drinking some over-hoppy Southern Tier IPA waiting for some of the Wednesday-Night Irregulars to join me.

Life is good in the South!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Hit, A Miss and A Surprise: My Movies This Week

I watched three movies over the course of Sunday and Monday. Two were Red Box rentals at my sister's, and one was the movie de jour on the Delta flight between Albuquerque and Atlanta.

One was every bit as good as I expected, one was a serious dog and the third was a pleasant surprise.


Let's get the dog out of the way first. I sort of blame myself. I didn't do much research when I rented "The Paperboy." For crying out loud, it was a $1.20 Red Box rental. How much research does one need to do not to feel gypped at $1.20? More than I did, apparently.

The red flag that should have been my first warning is that Matthew McConaughey is the lead. Perhaps the most overrated actor of his generation, I don't think old Matt has ever starred in a movie that's made money. I don't dislike him, but he doesn't bring much to the party.


For some reason, I had it in my mind this turkey had been nominated for an Oscar. After suffering through about 45 min of it, I turned to my sister and said, "I see why it was nominated; it's just a piece of celluloid artsy-fartsy crap. That is if your idea of artsy fartsy is Nicole Kidman peeing on a guy. Now that is art! All I can figure is that Nicole got out of bed one morning and decided 2012 was the year to torpedo her career.

I can't tell you how it ends or even how the first hour ends. We turned off the DVD player at minute 46 and turned on a rerun of "Raymond."

Enough said.  


It should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was another Red Box rental. I know, it's not very macho to like vampires -- particularly the namby-pamby ones in Twilight.



But I do. I like the story, I like the actors -- especially Ashley Greene, who plays Alice -- and I like the Twilight mythology.

I only read the first book, but I've now seen all the movies. It was a fitting wrap to the series.


The movie I watched on my flight home was "Hitchcock." Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. It grossed a whopping $288,000 in its opening week, going on to gross $6 million in its first four months. Thank God they didn't have to pay to film any car chases or explosions.

As a kid, I remember Hitchcock's TV show, as well as the TV promos for "The Birds." I was too young to see "The Birds" or "Psycho" at the theater. I've since seen "Psycho" a dozen times and still like it a lot

"Hitchcock" covers Hitchcock's life for the period when he was making "Psycho." I found it fascinating. I didn't know any of the background or challenges he faced in making that film, or how close he came to losing nearly everything. It also didn't hurt that Scarlet Johansson plays Janet Leigh, and Jessica Biel plays Vera Miles.

Anthony Hopkins is a pretty good Hitchcock. Helen Mirren plays his wife.

The movie is based on Stephen Rebello's book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  It's now on my must-read list.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

On the Road to Recovery From a 21st Birthday Bash!

Normally I wouldn't be back in New Mexico this quickly after Christmas. I usually make the trip at least one other time during the year, but I typically put a little more distance between my holiday visit and any subsequent trip.


Hard to believe as cute as Taylor is that she is related to me.
 What motivated this jaunt so soon after my December visit was the 21st birthday of one of my grand nieces who also happens to be my God daughter. Never one to miss a good party, I was compelled to fly out.

When I told the Peddler Wednesday Night Irregulars where and why I was going this week, one of them said that she thought that my Godfather duties were over when my niece turned 21. My response was that at 21, she had finally reached a point where my expertise could finally be utilized. This is my wheelhouse for crying out loud.


The party was at O'Neil's, the same joint as the 75th/50th/41st birthday party in December. The same bartenders, Mike and Rocky, were behind the bar. Once again we made the trip to and fro in a limo. We even got the same driver. No telling what sort of combat pay she required upon discovering it was us again. We managed to consume three bottles of champagne on the way.


The guest list was a mix of family and friends of the birthday girl. It's been a while since I partied with so many twenty-somethings. It's tougher than I remembered.


We ate, drank and danced for hours. It was a blast. There were a couple of walking wounded by the end of the night.  

I don't remember what my tab wound up being, and I haven't mustered the courage to look at the receipt yet. Ignorance really is bliss.

Yesterday a bunch of us made tentative plans to head to the Mine Shaft Bar in Madrid today. Madrid is a small artsy-fartsy community north of Albuquerque. I love it, but haven't been in several years. Planning such a side trip is the easy part; getting the same degree of enthusiasm is much more difficult after a wild night. I was certainly with the minority in getting up this morning still wanting to go. Damn shorthitters.


My sister and I share God parent duties.
I exchanged texts with last night's guest of honor. She said she was up early and feeling just fine. I'm so proud.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Shoo-Fly Pie Tutorial: I Love My New Mexico Visits



A thing of beauty: One of the Shoo-Fly Pies waiting for me at my sister's before I seriously attacked it.
 I am currently relaxing at my sister's in New Mexico. I'm here for a milestone birthday, but more about that in a future blog.

One of my favorite things about making the 1,600 or so mile trip is that my sister is convinced that she needs to bake things for my visits that my mother used to bake for me. I am not going to make an argument to the contrary.

My annual Christmas trips are rewarded with Swedish Rye Bread and an assortment of homemade cookies. Off-Holiday visits usually inspire her to make Shoo-Fly Pie.


A couple of dapper Pennsylvania Dutch lads no doubt celebrating Shoo-Fly-Pie Day.
 A concoction of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shoo-Fly Pie is a molasses-based confection that comes in two varieties. Basic Shoo-Fly Pie is a dark molasses cake baked in a pie crust. Wet-bottom Shoo-Fly Pie has a soft molasses layer between the crust and the cake-like layer.

I am a fan of both types. I kike the wet-bottom variety heated with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top as a dessert. It's the ideal finish to a dinner of fried chicken and steamed dried corn.

Historically, though, my family makes the cake version and we eat it as a coffee cake for breakfast. There's no better reason to get up in the morning.

In my never-ending quest to spread civilization, here is my family's recipe:

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 C. hot water
1 C. dark molasses (Brer Rabbit green label is best.)
1 Egg
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. baking powder
¾ C. margarine
1 Tsp. cinnamon
½ Tsp. ginger
½ Tsp. nutmeg
½ Tsp. salt
2 Nine-inch pie crusts

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and margarine until crumbly.
  3. Set aside ½ cup of this mixture.
  4. Into the remainder mix the other ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie crusts.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and then spread the ½ cup of crumbles evenly over the two pies.
  7. Bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
We are going to keep the fact I have this recipe between us. As long as my sister believes Shoo-Fly Pie is beyond my modest culinary talents, the longer she'll bake it for my visits. Let's not screw up a good thing.