A neighbor captured 8 wild hogs today and a bunch of guests went down to see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t go but have been promised a photo. Just before lunch was served I saw a wild turkey hen crossing along the road out front. First time I’ve seen one of those. Memorial Day was nice, exhausting. The guest just left, Jim’s brother leaves first thing tomorrow morning and we follow in a few hours, bound for home. It’s been a good trip. More when our immediate family (Jim, me and the dog) return to our humble abode tomorrow evening. Cheers! Dee
Posted in Editorial
Jim’s mother and I sat down yesterday and worked out menus for the weekend. Then the guest lists changed for the weekend and for memorial day so they’re being revised. I’m making a chimichurri sauce for steak tonight, corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. Sunday I’m marinating a pork roast in Don’s (my butcher) maple/rosemary marinade/glaze. Then we’ll figure out what we’re missing for Memorial Day and fill in with salads and such.
Yesterday we went to lunch with Jim’s grandmother and uncle, good Mexican food off the main square in their town. Then Jim’s grandmother took us on a tour of area prisons. For such a small county, it seems as if the first County Jail was too crowded so within the last ten years they built another, then yet another that would place some Federal institutions to shame. Then there’s a larger facility operated by the state or feds right next door.
The lesson was a waste of taxpayer dollars. This is a small farming community that is being taken over by the Dallas Metroplex. There is already no industry left, farming is rarely a viable way of life, and eminent domain is going to flood people’s farms and homes in the next few years.
On the wild side, I saw a cardinal on the fence about 20 feet away this morning. This is a sight I’ve seen before but they really are majestic birds so I had to comment. Yesterday I saw a Great Blue heron flying overhead, looked like our cranes “back home.” Then right in front of the car ran a road runner. We watched it in a neighboring field. This was my first sighting of the heron and road runner.
The heat is wilting and it’s not really “hot” yet! We both prefer our dry mountain climate to Texas heat and humidity, but it is good to see family and more are arriving in a couple of hours so I better get a move on. Cheers! Dee
Long day yesterday. We finally got to Jim’s parents’ house at midnight. Jim turned on the bathroom light and saw a bunch of eyes about 20 feet away, yes, made him feel right at home. Ten pair of juvenile bull eyes glowing in the dark. I haven’t had a chance to really see the farm yet. I went out to check on the tomato plants and herbs around nine and it was already hot and humid.
It’s nice to see leaves on the trees and flowers a-bloom. At home we barely have daffodils and tulips. On one side of the street are bare branches and on the sunny side, tiny buds promising Spring one of these days. One thing we do have out here in the country is atmosphere and oxygen, along with humidity that’s coming back to me.
We’re off to lunch with Jim’s grandmother and uncle. It was nice to sleep in until 9:00 local time (8:00 back home) and to know that Zoe (the dog) is in good hands and I don’t have to worry about her for a few days. As Jim’s mother and I cook for family over the weekend, we will have to clean the kitchen floor more often because Zoe won’t be “Hoovering” up the crumbs!
We have the house to ourselves for an hour or so and Jim’s in the shower while I finish dishes and catch up on the blog and emails. It is so quiet here. Tough to know that the home Jim’s folks built by hand over 30 years ago will be torn down and the land flooded for a lake to serve the water needs of the Big City.
Well, all for now. I’m just going to set a spell and see what reading material my mother-in-law left me. Cheers! Dee
Well, it keeps snowing here, but today it was in the mid 70′s, how about that? We’re headed back “home” at least for my husband, first time in nearly 15 months, for a few days.
I look forward to seeing family and cooking with my mother-in-law. Perhaps a few days nearer sea level with an atmosphere and some humidity will help heal my hands (dishpan hands) and hair. Don’t worry, I’m not hoping for too much!
It’s not going to be as much of a vacation as I’d hoped because our daily schedule is filling up (not of our doing) and there will be a lot of family. I think we now need to put a moratorium on new engagements unless we initiate them or approve them. It was very different when we were living a 4-5 hour drive away and could visit every few months!
I’m NOT bringing my laptop. Hopefully I’ll be able to get 20 minutes a day to write or at least check my email, but bringing a laptop in the trunk is different than bringing it on a plane. Too much stress and I really don’t need it. My husband has to bring his work laptop along in case there’s a work emergency but I don’t.
We are lucky to have someone to take care of our dog at home. I gave her a bath today and will brush her out in the morning so her caretaker will get full benefit of this cute, friendly “chick magnet.” I told Jim we should rent her out on weekends!
Happy Memorial Day! Everyone celebrates it differently and we’ll be eating brisket and sides with family. One story that stirs my heart every year is the brother of a friend who commutes from NC to NY every year to play Taps and play in the small town parade. Thank you, Rick! Cheers, Dee
Look it up in the dictionary. It no longer has my friend Helen’s photo by the description, it has mine. Oh, Helen’s well and good (maybe not good) but I’m graduating into her league.
Helen is a terrific writer, colleague and friend of the dog wars. We’ve had our moments but I cherish her friendship and she even stopped by last year for lunch.
I don’t suffer fools gladly. I’m not into pretense, no matter how many dollars are behind that fake smile. I’m a cook, not a chef. Friends need to be interesting, self-sufficient and kind.
When in doubt, I let my dog do the picking. If she likes someone, it’s a good person. If your dog is afraid of someone, there’s something really wrong with this picture. We once had a neighbor we called SK, for Serial Killer. He ran inside whenever we opened our door. We never met him, it was creepy.
I’ve an open mind to anyone, any thing (that’s within my boundaries and the law) but find myself having less time for people who are not interesting, self-sufficient or kind. Like people who only find fault with others or claw their way up the ladder by decimating their colleagues.
If that makes me a curmudgeon, so be it. Helen, will you let me into the club? You know my number. Dee
Yes, you, who told me that glossy ibis do not exist in Utah. I found out about them from photographs at a Utah State Park. This morning I counted 29, about fifty feet from my living room. I couldn’t get a good photo because of no telephoto lens, no sun to show their gorgeous iridescence, and it’s snowing like mad.
They’ve moved a few hundred feet further away now but are still finding yummy-ness in the muddy ground they’re sharing with a solitary Sandhill crane.
Nature folks and birders here confirm their existence. Come see for yourself! Cheers, Dee
Our favorite Sunday brunch place has been forbidden by a local court to serve this tasty meal. It’s a long story but involves commercial leases and zoning et al. These intrepid restaurant mavens started five years ago with a pizza that is still remarkable. The dough is crisp and tasty and the toppings are both classic and new. Maxwell’s has many other great dishes and is a great place to hang out and perhaps see a local concert or festival.
Loco Lizard is also one of our favorite restaurants, where I first tasted tacos al pastor. My husband usually gets fajitas but I’ve been working my way around the menu to try new things and am rewarded for this effort by new tastes and textures. Their staff is very good.
At Reyes Adobe we had a wonderful meal outdoors last Fall, and as of this weekend they’re open for lunch on weekends. Most places close down for at least 4-6 weeks after the winter. The meal we had yesterday was fantastic. The carne asada had marinated overnight (the recipe is secret, we tried to no avail). It was served with grilled scallions, Mexican and white rice and accoutrements. Churros, for dessert, gave a cinnamon punch to a lovely spring lunch in town.
Today we wanted to see a movie, Robin Hood. So we went to Red Rock for lunch. I usually get the home-smoked salmon but tried the beer cracker with gorgonzola, sage and roasted garlic instead. It was good and so was the movie. I’d see Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in anything.
All in all, it was a good weekend and hope yours was as well. Cheers, Dee
I have looked for two things for two different dishes I’d like to try in the near future, with no success. A few moments ago I had to order them on Amazon. We have so many more options in our supermarket and specialty stores than we did in the past, but still must go elsewhere when their cupboards are bare.
In the past I’ve written about mincemeat. I have one jar now but will look in the next few months for the first mincemeat to come in and grab another. Specialty foods, and people around here are from all cultures and want their Brit stuff (Lyles Golden Syrup, Major Grey’s chutney) and many other cultures. Plus there’s a whole wheat-free thing going on. America has survived on grain for centuries and now we’re not only wheat-o-phobes, we’re also lactose-intolerant.
I’d like to make a reasonable resemblance of Rick Bayless’ tacos al pastor, that requires achiote paste and to get the ingredients to go into it would require at least one flight to get ingredients we don’t have here.
Yes, I’ve looked up how to make my own ketjap manis but making caramel in the crappy pots we have here in a rental is a recipe for disaster. And if I need a tablespoon or two, why try to pare down a big batch when smaller versions may not work? The dish is chicken and scallions on skewers on the grill. This Yakitori sounds yummy.
So, the Amazon order is in and a mix-up is due in the kitchen. New dishes, new trials. They will be tackled with relish! Cheers, Dee
Orange juice, herbal tea. Two slices local applewood-smoked bacon (or local maple sausages), two eggs over medium and one slice of toast with some kind of jam that will not stain his shirt (today it was a strawberry-rhubarb fruit spread).
Even when we spent time overseas I tried to keep things somewhat standard because he was at work and had to keep on even though our initial schedule was disorienting.
This meal takes a bit of time but has become routine, ok and omelet now and then, or cereal with fruit but I love getting one morning off a week. That’s why the loss of our favorite Sunday brunch place is so disheartening as we know the folks and now must come ’round more often in the evening to show our support.
See the prior post. Cheers! Dee
A new neighbor just asked if we could have breakfast this weekend at my favorite breakfast place. I didn’t have the heart to tell her why we couldn’t do so.
We moved here over a year ago. I cook a hot breakfast for my husband every morning. I cook dinner every night, except for perhaps one night a week and we eat lunch/brunch out every weekend to give us both some time off. So we started going there for Sunday brunch and did so nearly every week.
The chef made me poached eggs even though they weren’t on the menu and it was a nice way to wind down the weekend. Why can’t we have breakfast/brunch there? Because a judge told them so. They can’t serve bacon. Their landlord, where they have a 25-year lease, sued them once they brought in a place that serves breakfast, and lunch, and dinner.
These are tough times and people are desperate. The landlord owns an entire strip of shops that are vacant, brand new and vacant. We didn’t have a ghost town but do now.
I am a foodie, proud to be so, and a consumer of breakfast goods. For this landlord to specify what protein, vegetable or beverage the restaurants it leases to is an insult to the people who live here and those who vacation here. I think I know who makes the best poached eggs and opt for that choice. Who are you to say this is Italian, this is what Denny’s would do, this is a sports bar or whatever fits into the box?
We live here, we dine here. We shop here. Do you really think we’re going to go to one restaurant to get bacon and another to get pancetta? Perhaps we could do take-out from both and make up our own meal. Wishing for better zoning and commercial leases I still bid you well today and tomorrow. Dee