I have gotten much support for the scratching issue, and some much needed commiseration. Thanks. And for anyone wondering, Anon is indeed my mother, and the biter was indeed me. I was, apparently, quite the little ripper.
I have discovered nirvana. I know a few of you will enjoy this as much as me - I can't wait to try it.
Homestead Mama is thinking of making the grilled scallop & shrimp salad that she made on vacation last year and serving it in these. Heaven, I say. Speaking of food, we are making one or two loaves of the 'No-Knead Bread' each week, some savory with rosemary or other herbs and others plain.
I adore Homestead Mama, and used to do birthdays with a lot of preparation and fanfare. This year, all we could handle was low-key and it was perfect. Sunday night I made H-Mama her belated birthday dinner, the boneless leg of lamb I had bought the week before. (Not that the Vietnamese takeout I served her on the actual day wasn't delicious, but we still had the lamb in the fridge.) I spent five minutes browning the meat and a handful of onions, tossed them into the slow cooker with potatoes, mushrooms, barley, carrots whole garlic cloves and some mushroom consommé. Five hours later, served with our home made bread lightly toasted and scraped with a raw garlic clove for some zip, it was fit for a birthday meal. And to think that we used to eat like that all the time.