I remember when I was working and how hectic spring used to be. I sometimes wonder how I managed to have much of a life while I still had a job. Oh wait, maybe I didn't manage all that well!
It seems as though my calendar has been more or less empty for so many months, I don't know what to do when something fills it up. I took a quick glance at an upcoming week. The doc. The dentist. Going with Rick to a retirement planning seminar. A birthday gathering for a dear friend turning 70.
It almost feels normal.
All that, plus being super careful and masking up. I got my booster shot and hope it kicks in fast and stays a long while. This gets so old, doesn't it? But there's also lots of art going on and lots of cooking!
We've had some wonderful dinners. I hit a terrific sale of salmon and stocked the freezer.
My favorite salmon marinade is at the bottom of this post. Served with rice and a cold corn salad (also below), it was pretty darned close to perfect!
Our Sunday breakfast was an egg scramble over a sweet potato hash. That one's easy -- dice one sweet potato very small and cook till browned and close to done, stirring frequently. Near the end of the cooking add chopped onion (I used green onions because that's what I had but I use any kind), a finely diced Roma tomato, the herbs of your choice and, if you choose, some heat (red pepper -- be careful) or hot sauce. I cheated and added pre-made bacon pieces but if I'd had the time I would have first done some bacon and grilled the potatoes in the drippings. Mix up your eggs as you would to scramble and pour over the hash, sprinkle with shredded cheese and mix together till done. Serve with Rick's homemade bread (and sausage links, if you have them!) and you have something to celebrate! (Photo before eggs added.)
I keep waiting for action at Chez Chick. They certainly keep watch regularly outside the house, either on the stoop or on the hook in the garden or on the bricks. Waiting. Waiting!
I've been watching "The Chelsea Detective" (below) on Acorn for the second time (this time with Rick) and a mystery series set in London called "London Kills. "Madame Blanc" is another British mystery but set in the South of France and quite delightful. I wouldn't miss "Call the Midwife" for anything, or "Death in Paradise." If you have Netflix, I can't recommend "Anatomy of a Scandal" high enough. I was riveted! And every time I watch "Finding Your Roots" -- even reruns -- I start back on my family history journey again.
I have a few local critters to share with "Saturday's Critters." In the backyard birdwatching department, I spotted a new one! This beauty, I am told, is a Swainson's Thrush. What a stunner!
And so far I've counted sixteen rabbits, the most ever for this early in the year. This fellow was very handsome!
For the first time in a couple of years, the purple finches have been back at the feeder and I even saw a goldfinch one day as well. Lizzie and I are on alert.
Speaking of the girl, she's still thinking out of the box for #1, so I continually haul her to the basement where she sits in front of the litter box until we both get bored -- unless she's ready, in which case she gets a treat. It's fine when I'm here. When I overnight at Rick's all bets are off. Thank goodness for puppy pads. (And yes, she's fine. She's just stubborn. But sweet.
And colorful, too! I know she doesn't look happy here. She didn't want to pose but I couldn't resist capturing her under the refraction of my prism sticker!
My friend Jerry came to visit from Paris. We talked for hours. He brought the one kind of Bonne Maman (Citron) I cannot find in the U.S. and the pain patches that aren't available here. College friends -- fifty years. Where did that time go?
And yes, we had dinner! Ina's risotto, salmon, roasted tomatoes, sorbet.
I leave you with three easy recipes -- Salmon Marinade, Cool Corn Salad and Jeanie Crostini. Enjoy!
Combine together 1/4 c. packed brown sugar; 1/4 c. soy sauce; 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated; about 1 inch grated of fresh ginger; 1-2 T. olive oil; optional - red pepper. Pour over 1 to 1.5 pound salmon filet and marinate 1-8 hours. Bake with marinade on top at 400, about 20 minutes. Spoon marinade over fish and serve with rice.
Cool Corn Salad
2 c. frozen corn, cooked in microwave; 1 Roma tomato, finely diced or halved grape tomatoes -- you pick the quantity to fit for you; 1 shallot, thinly sliced or finely diced; torn fresh basil leaves; feta cheese, in squares or crumbled; kalamata olives. (I rarely measure -- but you'll know when it's right.) For dressing, I just squeeze a fresh lime or two over it and toss. Serve chilled.
This is my favorite take-away to a gathering.
Thinly slice one store baguette on the diagonal. Don't worry about getting the best artisan bread. Arrange on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with a VERY LIGHT pinch of kosher or sea salt; dried herbs of your choice (I use thyme, basil and oregano); grated parmesan cheese. (You could also use a bit of garlic powder, but be careful! Or, a bit of cayenne (but be careful here, too!)
Bake at 375 -- check at 12 minutes (last time I did it, I did 15 and 16 would have been too much!)
Serve with the dip or spread of your choice. Two easy ones are softened cream cheese with either chopped olives or chili sauce (you might want to add a bit of spice to this one).
|Orange Star Flower|
As Julia would say, "Bon Appetit!"