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Showing posts with the label nature

Fun in the Kitchen and Other Things

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 exciting …

Ramblings

The Husband and I encountered danger yesterday—strawberry sauce. Oh my gosh!

I modified a recipe that called for 2 cups of diced strawberries. The recipe probably meant a dry measuring cup, but I overfilled a two-cup liquid measuring cup. The strawberries went into a small saucepan with juice from a medium-sized lemon, a half a cap full of limoncello (in place of vanilla), and about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of superfine sugar. The sugar is a guess because  I poured directly from the box, stopping only when it looked like it would be too much. I brought the concoction to a boil, stirring occasionally, then simmered it for 15 minutes.

We ate the strawberry sauce over a slice of toasted sourdough bread and a healthy sprinkling of ground almonds. Mmmmmmm.

Once upon a time, I would've eaten all of the sauce in one sitting and then promptly fall asleep in a drunken daze. The Husband said the sauce caused his eyelids and the bags under his eyes to sweat. When he was a kid, sweet tart cand…

Snip. Glub. Click. Chirp.

Snip, snip, snip.

The past two mornings I've been trimming the daisy bushes in the front yard. A lot of daisies to be deadheaded. I chose to wait for the California poppies to go to seed before starting the task, so I reasoned.

Snip, snip, snip.


Glub, glub, glub.

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been Molly the Cat's and my companion these past mornings. She, the hummingbird, loves drinking the flowers of the Hot Lips Littleleaf Sage by the driveway. Cool name, Hot Lips. Remember Major Hot Lips Houlihan?


Click, click, click.

"Want to see a hummingbird's nest?" I asked, as I plucked the camera out of the bowl in the hallway.

The Husband got up from the breakfast table and followed me out the door. I discovered the nest minutes before in the tree in the front yard. That's an upside to deadheading daisies.


I think the hummingbird was used to my presence because she didn't seem to mind that I was standing nearby.

Click, click, click.

The nest is tiny an…

Keepers

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 the other par…

Storybookness

The header illustrates, in my mind, what my world was like when I was a small kid. We lived several miles out of town, one of four houses behind a country store, nearly surrounded by fields and orchards which I explored. I've become aware that our front and back yards may be reflecting my long-ago playground.

Here are two views of the lower half of what was the former lawn. It's been over two years since we pulled out the lawn. We don't miss it at all. The daisy bushes have exploded all over the yard. Pow! Pow! Pow! I like the volunteer wild grass that has grown in a pathway. In May, or April, I'll pull it out. Soon, poppies will start showing their orange selves.


And, here's part of the backyard that looks like it belongs in a storybook. So I thought when I saw the photo. This spot gets nice shade in the afternoon. If we set a little round table there, we can sit and eat snacks or play at being an artist. Of maybe, instead, we can put a sofa there so we can tak…

Carpe Diem

Hey ya, Hi ya! How ya?

It has been awhile, two weeks awhile more or less. I like to think that in a parallel universe, the Husband and I were away on holiday, because in my reality I was simply being out of sorts. The first week I was feeling bummed as I was doing another round of sorting through Mama's stuff. Along the way I caught a virus and nursing that into a short run distracted me. The Husband and Molly the Cat were wonderful caretakers to this grump of a patient.

So, here I am, raring to go, again.

We've had rain for nearly all of this past week.  Hurrah! All the different birds in the backyard enjoyed the rain, too. Chirp, chirp.


Molly the Cat wants you to know she is raring to go, too. For her, it is outdoors. A (cute) black cat has invaded her territory.

Where am I hanging out this time? At Jesh's All Seasons, Angie's Mosaic Monday, and Jeana's Say Cheese! I hope you check out their memes, possibly join in. Thank you, Ladies!

All Seasons
Mosaic Monday
S…

Every So Often — Snow on Them There Mountains!

"It's snowing!"

"Did you see the snow on the mountains?"

Everyone we talked to yesterday, both friends and strangers, bubbled ebulliently about the snow on the mountain ridges around us. "I don't have to go to the Sierras now," said a guy in the Target parking lot.


Not that it was a lot of snow. Simply a decent dusting on the forward peaks that lasted all day and a thick enough coating on the back peaks to be saying "Hello! Snow here!" today.

The temperatures have been in the 30s and 40s, which probably sound like the tropics to some of you. I don't recall the last time our tap water is as cold as water in a mountain lake. It tastes refreshing.


It has probably been 10 years, more or less, since we've seen snow in our area. Last time, the Husband and I drove up to the end of a long country road to wander in the snow and throw a snowball at each other. Not this time. We were afraid of flooding Eliza if we went through a deep puddl…

A Handsome Dude

"Slow down," shouted me, leaning out the passenger door window. "Elk!"

The Husband obliged. Click, click.

"There are buffalo, too," I exclaimed. The Husband took me for my word. His cataracts don't let him see the details in the far distance. The animals were probably a city block or so away. Of course, we weren't in a city, but on the back road behind Mt. Hamilton, in San Jose, on the way to Patterson, a Central Valley town next to Interstate 5. 

That was last month on one of my birthday adventures in Sedgwick, the rental car. Today I enlarged and sharpened and did Photoshop voodoo on the digital shots until I got good enough photos.

The buffalo were cattle. So much for my eyes.

The other creature certainly was a gorgeous young elk buck. He looked as if he was posing for me. A tourist with her dagnabbit camera. Click, click.

The dude was a tule elk, which supposedly is found only in the grassy and marshy areas of California. I read that the elk…

The Bee's Knees

Hey, ya. Hi, ya. How ya? Imagine a Lilo smile (Lilo, as in Lilo and Stitch, a 2002 Disney movie).  That is how I'm feeling. Also a bit foggy brained and weary boned from all the week-long fun of turning 65! years old. That, dear blogging friends, is why I have been quiet in my corner of the world.

For my birthday gift, the Husband and I rented a car to travel beyond 25-year-old Eliza Does-alot's comfort radius, as well as drive after sunset, if need be. Eliza's headlights do not compete with today's head beams, which blind me into a panic. The Husband doesn't even try driving at night, thank goodness. We drove the rental, a silver 2019 (oh my!) Nissan Sentra we called Sedgwick, on narrow mountain roads, unpaved back roads, smooth freeways, and bumpy highways. And, I was able to drive home at night, without using my high beams. I felt like a younger self.

Spontaneity. Go with the flow. I discovered that I can still do both. Hurrah!


We spent my birthday day with go…