Up yonder – roasted zucchini soup with toasted pepitas and a chicken thigh with smoked paprika gravy. The soup is a godsend when your giant Costco bag of zucchini gets overlooked for a few days, and the whole three pounds needs to be eaten, pronto. Just roast it under the broiler until it’s got a nice char, and whir it with a little bit of water, a can of green chiles, garlic, cumin, and salt in your Vitamix. Done and done. Here we have homemade tamarind soda, not a root beer float. I’m a big tamarind lover! Nothing tastes quite like it.
Our garden, complete with lovely butterfly on Thursday. I was out there soaking up the beauty and thinking what a great year it’s gonna be out here.
Then the snow started falling Friday afternoon and didn’t stop until nearly a foot fell at our house. We went out a few times to shake the heavy snow off flattened bushes and trees, which gutted me, truth be told. It’s all melted now, and does look a bit worse for wear, but most of it is better than I expected. Grandma’s rose still has tons of blooms and even more buds! There are quite a few other broken bits that I don’t think will recover, sadly.
This being me, it should come as no surprise that there is much to be happy about here. Redemption! Drought conditions and red flag wind stoked too close for comfort wildfires within minutes of our house earlier in the week. They’ll be put on the back burner for a bit, as the ground is positively saturated. So, yeah, gratitude runs the day!
Tuesday evening, before the wind literally turned much of the city upside down, we went out to dinner. It had been ages and in the works for days, and by the time it arrived was very much needed. Greg, so early in the week, had already had a rough time at the virtual office. Nothing he couldn’t handle, but still distressing and annoying.
We went to Mood for tapas, which was quite lovely, really living up to its name, soft glow and sparkle. Our server was simply the best, keeping it light and knowing the right moment for everything. We enjoyed adult beverages and great flavors and relished the fact that a whole host of other people were doing the cooking and clean-up. Hell yes!
After dinner, we strolled in the crisp of it and admired murals, cheerful downtown neon, and sweet twinkle lights. We stopped into our favorite chocolate shop to grab some Firework bark for a dear to us treat: add pop rocks and smoky chile powder to chocolate, and oooh la la! It lives up to its name, yes ma’am. Like a Depeche Mode song, we just can’t get enough.
Though it didn’t feel quite normal, it was as close as we’d been in a while, and oh how grateful I am for those moments.
Our neighborhood Thursday morning, after hurricane force winds (100 miles per hour) blasted for the better part of Wednesday. We lost power for nearly five hours, sadly, even with the benefit of solar panels. After a bit of research, we learned this protects line workers. It would be mighty dangerous thinking there isn’t power on the line, when our house is sending it back into the grid.
As stressful as it was to be without heat or power, hear the wind howling, see every manner of debris flying so VERY high, and witness the aftermath, our city was largely spared. Unlike the horror of the tornadoes in Kentucky, I have not heard of any injuries or deaths associated with the storm. And, by golly, it is like every tree that fell did their best to do as little harm as possible. Walking around, we were amazed at how few of them actually landed on houses or cars. There are still thousands without power here, but it really could have been so much worse. Hope life is good where you are!
I love HOT coffee. To get quite literal, I’m talking 150 degrees hot, because, of course I measured! On a French press day, I pour it into our old school Corning Ware pot and let it big bubble boil before adding the wonder that is milk. Mostly lotsa, lotsa homemade almond, cow a distant second, I know – snob. But I’ve probably burned a coffee connoisseur bridge or two by boiling it in a pot on the stove. Eeek! Now that we have an espresso machine, that milk’s gotta be creamy-steamy steamed. I like what I like! I sit at my usual spot at the table, sip slowly, and revel in every single sip. I really do.
Lately, I’ve been reading a Psalm while I’m at it. Aside from a few Catechism classes as a wee one, I have never had any sort of bible study. If you are a religious Christian, this might be the moment to avert your eyes. <<PAUSE TO WAIT>> Thus far, I am finding them to be mostly angry rants against the Lord and wishing misery upon others, when I was looking for a bit more eloquence, hope, and aspiration. Let’s just say it answers a lot of other questions about Christianity for me. We’ll see how long I stick with it. <<PAUSE OVER>>
And now for TEA! For reasons I cannot explain, it is pretty much a polar opposite situation. I do not enjoy it at coffee temperature. At all. TOO HOT!! So I wait, generally for enough time to have nearly forgotten about it. Then it is lukewarm perfect and I GULP it down in a truly separate but equal heart aflutter fashion. Odd funny, and another very unsurprisingly me, Colleen Sohn, thing to do. Oh, the multitude on the list. Like anyone cares or needs to know, but alas, here we are!
And finally, the photos. The last bunches of mint and tomatoes. So pretty. Praise be to the beauty of fall. I do not remember the last time it didn’t snow or freeze in such a terrible manner that the majority of leaves immediately fell, so very green and sad, denying us the beauty we are now experiencing. The trees are alive with color, dear reader, and I could not be happier about it!
The amazing salad -Vietnamese Pork with quick pickled radish, jicama, and carrot, and with a bevy of other chopped goodness – the last of Farmer Greg’s cayenne & curly endive, then jalapeno, cucumber, cilantro, mint (from above!), purple and green cabbage, lettuce. Good grief, the chopping! It was super-yummy, but if there’s going to be a next time, I will need a little help. I was at it for an hour, chop, chop, chopping, and pickling. We downed them in less than ten. Not the best ratio, in my humble opinion.
Home grown tiny canteloupe…flip fantasia With a sincere nod to US3’s FAB song!
Good Tuesday to you, dear reader! What eye candy here today, and what luck to find it all in front of my lens.
From the top: the garden is going like gangbusters, with super delicious ripening tomatoes, of a variety we cannot remember, drat. The kohlrabi hollering go big or go home!
After struggling a bit with the middle age S P R E A D, Greg and I joined Weight Watchers. It’s been a few weeks, and though the pounds aren’t exactly flying off (damn slowing metabolism!), we are losing weight and feeling truly great. It is actually FUN, and we are enjoying the challenge. I am spiralizing like a mad woman: zucchini, carrots, butternut squash!
We visited Bev + Lyle’s graves weekend before last for the very first time. Her colorful personality called for a rainbow of roses. We’ve had more death in the family, and I’ve felt a little heavy about it, truth be told. I pore over pictures and replay Super-8 style memories while pondering the gossamer connections of blood kin and my chosen family, each binding me to the wider world. Like planting small seeds of comfort that will one day bear beautiful fruit.
In a super cookbook from the library, Living Within the Wild, I found the recipe for Breakfast Ramen. Theirs uses actual ramen, which is NOT worth my points on WW, so of course I zoodled! It also calls for nori rather than green chile, but come on, green chile was made for this dish! I will definitely be making it again.
This past weekend was the Balloon Festival, and we awoke early Saturday to wade through giant puddles and trudge the mud of two evening’s blessed rains: all to watch the launch from our favorite perch on high. The mist veiled hills a bonus gift for our labors. Every year we expect a crowd in our viewing spot, and every year we are gratefully spared, reveling in our own good luck AND company to watch each wonder of gravity rise and rise and rise.
It is prickly pear season, at last, at last. I cannot believe my good luck at finding the local patches of beautiful fruit, waiting to be turned into wonderful juice. The spiny jabs worth it in the end.
More glory in the garden as the harvest gets to go, go, going. We experimented with cantaloupe! While it is among the best we’ve ever tasted, it is not nearly worth the water or labor for the three adorable fruits produced. The ground cherries, peppers, beans, zucchini, and tomatoes are quite a different story. The blue tepary and scarlet runners an excellent introduction to beans for drying, so we will plant much more next year, taking out the strawberry plants that do so very little. How life presents a body with ample opportunities to learn!