Monday, August 17, 2009

Onward! Upward! Ever Forward!
T minus 17 hours and counting.

All packed and ready to go. Tomorrow - just need to get some $ exchanged and to pick out something to knit on the airplane needles. I think I'm going to go read a bit to calm down the brain some and hopefully to forget a bit the miserable heat.

From what I can see - the heatwave's broken over there; should be like here a couple weeks ago. We'll see. (A girl can hope).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

T minus TWO days and counting.
If you get the chance, why not pay a visit to Althouse to wish her and her brand new husband well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

T minus four days and counting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This reminds me:

I haven't talked to Raphaella in a while. Really need to do that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm looking for alum powder to use as a mordant for a couple dye projects I want to try out. Unfortunately, this is turning out to be harder to find than I thought it would be (have tried four grocery stores, including Whole Foods and the local natural foods store so far). Aside from the co-op and maybe a hardware store, where else might I have luck trying?
Just saw something I'd not seen in a while around here - someone exiting via the shipping dock.
Pavel's still healing up from having a wisdom tooth pulled, so, when I've been cooking, have been making more soft stuff. (Is kind of a challenge to make soft appealing, especially during the Summer).

Yesterday, though we wanted soup, there was no way we were going to manage gazpacho - just too spicy. Checked the larder, consulted a few cookbooks, and ended up with something pretty darn good if I do say so myself:

Cucumber Soup

2 large American Cucumbers
1 medium-sized onion
1 large clove garlic

2 T olive oil
3 t chicken bouillon powder
2 c water

2 T flour

Crushed black pepper, thyme, dried parsley to taste

2 c lowfat yogurt (preferably w/out gelatin or pectin)
1 1/2 - 2 c non fat buttermilk

fresh parsley as a garnish.

1.) Peel and chop cucumbers, onion, garlic.

2.) Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until just soft (no further; don't want them to brown).

3.) Add cucumbers, 1 1/2 c water and 2 T of chicken bouillon. Bring to boil; cook until cucumbers are very soft.

4.) Make a white sauce of remaining water and 2T of flour. Add a bit of hot liquid from saucepan. Dump this mix back into pan and stir. Reduce heat; simmer until nicely thickened. Allow to cool a bit.

5.) Take cooled mixture and blend until liquid. Pour back into saucepan, add remaining tsp of bouillion, parsley, pepper and thyme to taste. Blend in yogurt.

6.) Chill until very cold. If you have room in your freezer, this works best.

7.) When ready to serve, blend in 1 1/2 - 2 c buttermilk (depending on how thick you want soup) and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Makes about 6 cups.


Was surprised to see that the majority of recipes called for cooking the cucumber. Actually does a world of good, as, whenever I've tried to make something like this in the past, it's ended up awfully watery.

Tonight, am trying to decide between an ersatz (ersatz because I don't have any leeks) vichyssoise or a borscht. (We'll see.)
Nominally Decent Citizenship 101

Okay: if you park your bagnole* so as to 1/2 block my driveway, then proceed to a$$ crank bad rap out the windows while the three or four kids in the back seat are screaming away - all at 9:00 am on a weekday, chances are that:

a.) I'm not going to be happy with you
b.) It's not because I'm a racist.

So just cut out the chest-puffing and either shell out the five bucks for parking or find another place in a non-residential area. Granted, it won't be right at the front door of the hospital, but it's still not so far away as to be a hardship.


* French for hoopty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I don't deny being a klutz. Honestly, am surprised I've managed to survive this long.
Remember that scene between Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich in "A Touch of Evil," where they see one another for the first time in years?

"You're a mess, honey. (7:55)"

Last night while making dinner, managed to cut my finger pretty badly on a tin, then drop said tin on my big toe. Am really lucky I didn't break anything.

Tossing and turning in bed, as I was was pretty uncomfortable, wrenched my neck.

Kind of feel like Orson Welles's character (or Ampersand) looks right now. (Cuss.)
Cooking For Ampersand.

Don't let the scrawny, bedraggled look fool you; she's hell on wheels. Since coming back from the vet, she's regained some of her weight and all of her attitude.

Girl Cat

Have found that the shaved spots are great for giving raspberries. She really hates that.

Though medicine time is awful, it's not nearly as bad as it was at first. This compound is kind of messy but much harder to spit back than pills.

Anchovy Surprise

What ever pills need to be taken at that particular time (Usually - morning, 1 vetmedin, 1/2 benazapril, 1/2 lazik; evening, 1 vetmedin, 1/2 lazik, sometimes 1/4 children's aspirin.)

1/8 t. olive oil (am thinking of getting some cod liver oil to mix things up a bit)

1 dot (scant 1/16 t.) as low salt as possible anchovy paste

1.) grind pills with mortar and pestle, transfer powder to saucer
2.) stir in olive oil until a paste is made
3.) mix in anchovy paste; form into a small ball.

To serve: wrap cat in towel, put her on back between knees, turn head up and gently coax jaws open. Toss a bit of paste into maw and cover with hand. When this is swallowed, try to get another bit of paste in. Repeat until medicine is finished.
Cat may try to drool medicine (mine does, she's very stubborn), so expect to catch it to put back into play.

(Yes, this is the flower of my recipe development to date.)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Canaries in the Coal Mine.

When they give up, we're all gone.


It's amazing how much more I'm starting to resemble my paternal Grandmother as I get older. (This isn't a bad thing.)
The Frenchie was here for nearly a month, and for nearly a month, we were almost constantly on the go. Only just started to take a look at the pictures from our rambles.

City Hall

Lunch with the Mayor in Keene, NH. Reminds me a bit of the town hall on my Alp - small, functional, not taking up a lot of space or taxpayer money.

Little Liver Pills

My mom used to always talk about "little liver pills." Thought they were a purgative; guess not. Brattleboro, VT.

The View from Florida

The view from The Other Florida.

View from the Bridge of Flowers

View from the Bridge of Flowers.

Shelburne Falls at Night

Nightfall, Shelburne Falls.

Lots more photo documentation here. More narrative as I make my way through the pictures.
Surfaces to catch breath, then will be off again. Am looking forward to the week of quiet.