In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
Just before sundown, the Husband and I discovered another tabungaw growing in the Asian pear tree, mingling among the roses. Tabungaw is the Ilocano name for the bottle gourd. Some people dry the vegetable to turn into a musical instrument, a birdhouse, or other delight. One of my favorite childhood dishes was Mama’s tabungaw and chicken soup. Mmmm. I made my rendition a couple of weeks ago with the first tabungaw that we harvested. The vegetable tastes better when its young, its green skin on the fuzzy side. The skin on the one we found has already thickened. It would still taste good but I’d rather dry it. What shall I make with it? 1950s Tunes This afternoon we had the solid gold oldies station on cable playing in the background. My gosh. There was a guy singing about how his girl loved him so very hard and long that he passed out on her front lawn. Anyone else laughing? The song before that one, which I now remember, was about a guy who tells his girl that he’ll do anyt
(1) Tick. Tick. Tick. I asked the Husband to investigate the ticking sound in the L Studio closet yesterday afternoon. I hadn’t heard it before. “Hush,” he said, reaching for an item from the shelf way up high. (2) He opened a small black case that held a polaroid camera once upon a time. Tick. Tick. Tick. The green wall clock! I wondered where it had gone. The Husband asked, “Did you think a bomb was in there?” (3) Nervous Nelly. She is me. I am her. (4) It’s nearly very soon for my-new-knee adventure to begin. (5) I discovered on Sunday that we don’t have enough decent soup bowls, dessert plates, and other dining ware for a dinner party of six and more. That’s what I get for retiring a lot of Mama’s and my dinnerware to the garden and crafting bins. (6) Dirty gin martinis with eggplant dip and chia and quinoa chips. Orange kobacha soup with petite slices of toasted walnut bread and pastrami bagels. Carbonara bucatini and roasted Brussel sprouts. A trifle of limoncello-soaked almo
Mama and Daddy were great believers in growing fruit trees, which, unfortunately, as a kid I didn’t like the taste of most fruit. They didn’t have much luck with the apple trees or the pear and peach trees bearing fruit. The cherry trees produced but Daddy eventually cut them down because the birds got to the fruit before us. Their persimmon and fig trees yielded tons of fruit that they gave away to friends and neighbors. Today, I’m a big fruit eater. Still a picky one though. I prefer to buy organic fruit directly from the farmers. There’s definitely a difference in taste. These are my top 13 favorite fruits, not in any particular order. papaya mango pineapple avocado cherry strawberry blueberry tomato orange persimmon pear watermelon cantaloupe Sharing with Thursday 13 .
(1) Let’s see, today, for our main meal the Husband and I ate a melange of five left over dishes from the last two days, or three. Or, four. Garbanzo butternut soup, couscous with chimichurri sauce, sauteed onion and squash, ground turkey burgers, and roasted red and green peppers. The flavors blended quite well together, surprisingly and with great relief. We ate our portions all up. No leftovers, hurrah! (2) To go along with our meal I concocted an ooh-la-la drink. Passion fruit juice with a jigger of rum. Ooh la la! (3) The Husband and I toasted to the last day of our 25th year of marriage. Tomorrow: Hello 26th! Clink, clink. (4) Maybe next year we will be dancing with our friends and family to celebrate our 27th anniversary. I also would like us to throw a party for the septuagenarians among us. We shall see. (5) The last two weeks I’ve been working on my entries for the county fair. That’s some of the craft entries in the photo above. (6) Yep, that’s a juicer. Good friend L.
Last August, I was trying to keep tabs on what I was eating so I dedicated a notebook for my food log. That lasted a week or so before the notebook became a place to note recipes I liked in books and on food sites and blogs. I actually wrote the recipes, the ingredient list precisely, the instructions in my own words. And, what do you know: I really made the dishes. Here are 13 dishes that I’ll definitely make again, modifying as I go. “Quick-Fridge Pickles” from The Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman “Pan-fried Pork Chops” from Amusing Foodie “Homemade Tomato Sauce” from Cook with Me by Alex Guarnaschelli “Easy Freeze Salsa” from Dogwoods and Dandelions “Seriously Fudgy Homemade Brownies” from Sally’s Baking Addiction “Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff” from Gimme Some Oven “Cheesy Tomato Mozzarella Caprese Dip” from The Cookie Rookie “Easy Paleo Lemon Curd” from Real Foods with Jessica “English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar”, a James Oliver recipe at Food Network “Jasha Maroo
Yesterday, I went grocery shopping and was rather surprised how prices have soared since the last time I visited the store. It couldn’t be more than 10 days. Did I really see $12-something for aluminum foil? Ouch. I’m participating in Thursday 13 . Check it out. My 13 things today are the foods I like to keep on hand to create mish-mash dishes quickly. garlic—fresh, dried, powder, and spring onions fresh or frozen tomatoes miso gochujang, a Korean chili paste rice pasta beans, especially garbanzos and black beans eggs kippers linguisa frozen green peas cheeses, particularly sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack
Bibingka is a special treat Filipino mamas, aunties, and daughters make for parties and Christmas time, but I had no idea it existed until I was 16 or 17. Mama made suman, a baked dessert made of sweet rice kernels, fresh coconut milk, butter, and oodles of brown sugar. I can feel my teeth melt remembering the taste of Mama's oh so yummily drooling sweet suman. I've made suman a couple of times. Like chunks of cement. As for bibingka, I've winged making it a few times. Four years ago, I wrote about pumpkin bibingka . Yesterday, I made Kahlua-laced bibingka. Mama's bibingka recipe was in her head. She modified and adapted her recipe each time she made the cake. No coconut milk, use regular milk, for instance. And when Mama made bibingka, she didn't make one pan. Uh-uh. More like three or four long glass baking pans and 1 square glass pan. We'd eat the square pan of bibingka and freeze the rest. Me, I bake one pan. Perhaps one day I'll bake and freeze bibin
"Summertime and the livin' is easy. . ." So it was, at least, yesterday. We watched a Mama turkey and her two babies amble through a hole in a fence. Not ours, though I wouldn't have minded. A deer stood still in the middle of the country lane we traveled. We sipped a sappy margarita that I concocted out of tequila, triple sec, lemonade, and guava juice. It tasted like cough syrup but we drank it anyway. Next time, I'll leave out the triple sec and lemonade and maybe I'll come up with a guava margarita. We sat outside in the late eve, the Husband, Missy Molly, and I. What pleasure! The Husband plucked a ripe apricot off the tree for us to share. Deep in flavor, the kind that makes your tummy sparkle and you sigh into a smile. Figs! Charlie, short for Charlotte, has borne fruit, at least six of them! That's a first for the "Little Miss Figgy" dwarf tree that friends gave us in 2018. Bean vines are twirling their way up and a
1. Next month the U.S. Post Office will be selling forever stamps that celebrate Hip Hop. According to the USPS website, the sheet of stamps features rapping, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. I don't know what floors me more -- Hip Hop commemorative stamps or that the first kids into hip hop are now in their 40s and 50s? 2. Our local library has been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This month, the librarians decided that we, patrons, can check out books online for pick up. The pick-up process today was easy-peasy, even though I forgot to bring my library card. Nine new books to entertain me. Yippieeee! 3. A few weeks ago, the Husband painted this headboard, full of delight and whimsy, perfect for the Banana Room, once known as the Shady Room. The banana plants look to be coming back, and the bamboo, gardenia, and wongo-wongo plants seem to relish their move there. I also replanted a camelia shrub by the headboard. Does that all s
1. Who remembers the days of the manual typewriters? Clack, clack, clack. And, if you were a proficient typist, clack clack clackity clickclack clickity. . . ! 2. Anyone else glad he or she took typing in high school? Friends tell me we learned on electric typewriters. I remember the manual typewriters in journalism class. Yup, I felt like a real reporter when I composed my stories on a typewriter. 3. During the days of electric typewriters, a few of my friends typed 100+ words per minute and more with hardly any mistakes. I dilly-dallied around half that speed with several mistakes. (I hated typing documents that required carbon copies.) 4. The fastest I could type was in the high 70s. I remember coming out of a job interview all psyched about that high score. I thought that I ought to insure my hands. They were, after all, necessary for my livelihood. hahahaha. 5. The other day the husband and I talked with friends over the phone for a couple of hours. That's al
1. What words convey the sounds of walnut shells ricochetting? 2. Crack. Obviously. 3. Zing. A shell flies into the air. 4. Zingg. A shell soars far. 5. Ping. A shell ricochets on something. 6. Thump. A shell hits something. 7. Tinkkk. A shell vibrates on a surface. 8. Crack. Thump. The shell hit a chair. 9. Crack. Zing. Ping. Tinkkk. The shell ricocheted off the glass tabletop onto the floor. 10. Crack. Ping. Zingg. Thump. Tinkkk. The shell bounced off a chair and hit the wall. 11. Too bad we didn't have goggles. Across the table, the Husband shielded his eyes while he read on his iPad. 12. Could anyone intentionally hit someone with a walnut shell? 13. "A blue ribbon walnut cracker," said the Husband. Check out Thursday 13 for more lists of 13.
1. Aren't those avocados gorgeous? Handsome? Ooh-la-la? 2. The middle one in the front was picked about two weeks ago. It didn't seem right to take a photo without it. They are from the same tree, after all. 3. This morning, the Husband and I went out to the avocado tree expecting to pick the last one of the season. The tree graced us with four HUGE fruits. Thank you, tree. 4. "They're as big as the ones that grow in Hawaii," said the Husband. Not really, but we can dream. 5. We saw another avocado hanging way up in the tree. Perhaps that's the last one of the season. 6. A couple days ago, our county public health officer called for a shelter-in-place until April 7. We're required to stay home unless we work for stores, companies, services, and government agencies that are necessary to stay open for the community. We can leave our houses to shop for food, see doctors, pick up prescriptions, and do other essential things. We can also go out
I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time. Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake. He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away? Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly excit
A whispering of leaves. . . Plop! Sometimes, after the sound of trembling leaves, goes a ping! against a ladder, a bench, a table, or the shed, followed by a thud. Rustle . . . ping! . . . plop! I wonder how many times Molly the Cat has had a near miss with a fallen lemon or apple or avocado or apricot or Asian pear. The Husband says that Missy Girl knows precisely where to lay herself down in the backyard. He's right, Missus Lady. Purrrrrrrrrrrr. This has been a good year for Mama's fruit trees because of the winter and spring rains. All the trees have been continually aborting themselves of immature seeds and fruits so that the fittest may live to full development. Plop! The lemon tree is a different story. We can't reach the top branches, thus when the fruit ripens, plop! The two apricot trees had branches heavily laden with fruit that they snapped. Giving baskets and box lids full of apricots to several friends didn't make a dent to the t
Don't these daisies look like space aliens of some kind? That's what came to my mind when I saw them at the farmer's market last year. So, of course I had to buy a pot. For two bucks, I couldn't go wrong. ARUGULA PESTO Arugula is my new favorite vegetable right now. I like its kick. So far, though, I make a pesto out of the bitter greens. As with any dish, there are different kinds of arugula pesto recipe out there. Here's the one I made up yesterday: I grinded and blended a batch of arugula, a handful of parsley, 8 big garlic cloves, olive oil, a bit of water, Parmesan cheese, and salt and white pepper to taste. I loved how green the concoction looked. A perfect Spring dish. Maybe next time I'll think about taking a photo. Also next time I'll add a lot more shredded Parmesan. (I only had 1/4 cup in the fridge.) A Glorious First Day of Spring, One and All! I'm linking up to two fun memes today: ABC Wednesday and Say Cheese! Come check out
All of a sudden I was hearing cowbells. No moooo. None at all. It had to be one of the chimes on the other side of the backyard. I looked over to see what may be swaying in the wind. Ha! The Husband stood outside the patio door, clanging on the triangle. "Come and get it," he called. "Coffee and pancakes." Whooo-hooo! We've had some tasty breakfasts the last several mornings because, one, we finally went to the grocery store and, two, we were without peanut butter, our breakfast staple. The other day I made strawberry brie biscuits, which looked more like scones. Biscuits or scones, they were delicious. You can't go wrong with brie or strawberries. We happened to have frozen organic strawberries from last summer. Very flavorful, they were. My concoction began with a mixture of 2 cups of flour and about 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a couple of dashes of baking soda. (I added the latter because I ran out of the former.) To that, I cut in
"I'll have a tuna BLT," said Good Friend D. "What?" responded the waitress. "Tuna BLT," said he again while some of us checked the menu again. It turned out D merged the tuna melt and the BLT together in his head, at which the waitress relaxed, then said they don't substitute. Oh well. D ended asking for the BLT. The Husband and I were so enamored with the idea of a tuna BLT, I concocted sandwiches for us a week later. Ingredients • 2 slices of barely toasted sourdough bread • Mustard • 3 strips of bacon (which I cooked in the toaster oven) • 2 tomato slices • 2 or 3 lettuce leaves (we had red lettuce in the fridge) • Tuna filling: one can of tuna mixed with minced celery, onion, garlic, orange bell pepper, pickle, pumpkin seeds, mayonnaise, and creamed horseradish. Assembly I layered the sandwich as such: A slice of bread, tuna filling, lettuce, tuna filling, tomato, bacon, and the other slice of bread spread with mustard. T
Not a pumpkin, but a tomato! Last Sunday we went to a tomato tasting party hosted by good friends Missus and Mister H, who planted a variety of tomatoes. I can't recall if Missus H said they put in 70 types or 70 plants. Many of the different varieties looked huge and heavy. A couple I picked up had to be close to 12 to 16 or more ounces. One of my favorites was a big red organic tomato called Boxcar Willie, which was named after Grand Ole Opry Singer. The Husband described its taste best—"It was sweet, and had a rich flavor." Another favorite of mine was Barnes Mountain Yellow, a very plump heirloom yellow tomato which ancestors were grown on Barnes Mountain in Kentucky. Its flavor reminded me slightly of smoked salmon. I also liked Lemon Boy, a true yellow of a tomato, which was your average size of a tomato. I don't remember the flavor, which tells me that I was probably more enamored with its name. There was an heirloom tomato called Abe Lincol