Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Oscar brought home some potted bulbs this weekend. The iris bloomed today:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the day. I am thankful to come from an area of the US where oddness is not hidden but celebrated. This team is from Plymouth, maybe five minutes drive from here:

Fred Hills Briefcase Drill Team

Friday, November 22, 2013

New normal?

I have been catching every bug that comes within breathing distance this year. I think I have had two days without fever since my birthday, October 6th. On what are now the good days (when the fever doesn't start until 5 p.m. or after) I can get some work done. On bad days we're talking lots of tv. I am not really complaining. Sure, I would prefer to not have the sore throats/cough/headaches/body aches/etc etc and the fevers, but I am still able to get up and do a few things 99% of the time. It is a fact of life that with my compromised immune system I am a canary in a coal mine where colds and flu are concerned. As long as I get plenty of sleep, I generally tend to improve and I am blessed with a truly kind, generous, funny and sexy husband to take my mind off things :-}
I have an internet friend who is facing something much more horrific, and any positive thoughts sent his way are welcomed. I have a cousin who has had surgery and is having chemo for brain tumors, same goes.
If you are a long time reader you know I do not subscribe to the idea that, to make yourself feel better you should contemplate someone who feels worse yet is cheerful. (It's a common piece of advice given by relatively healthy people to folks dealing with a chronic illness.) But comparisons are obvious.
So I grump a bit about what more I wish I could do (work on the two shawl patterns that have been hanging fire for years, cook every day, write more reviews, start my own fiction writing) but instead of grumping about it, I will be working toward those goals in the shining, mostly clear mornings, after tea and before fever, and even though this crap affects my quality of life, I am appreciative that I still have life without any indication it is in danger from the minor stuff. I am careful. I could develop pneumonia and be headed for the hospital within a 24 hour period if my immune system totally tanks, but I take naps and keep myself eating (mostly) healthily to help my body fight that daily battle.
Now that I've had my grump, I want to see if I can find the wrapping paper left from last year. Some of Oscar's presents have arrived, and he loves to see them wrapped under the tree. We will get the tree(s) up for the first time in a few years next week and I want them ready.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roasty Toasty Cabbage and ?

Os and I both love cabbage. I have seen a few different recipes out there and none seemed quite what I wanted, so I decided to cobble one together for myself.
Allrecipes dot com link to the recipe in case you are a member

1 cabbage (medium or large)
two large or 4 small smoked sausages (about a poundish)
1/4 cup vinaigrette-style salad dressing
Aluminum foil
large baking sheet or pan with lip

preheat oven to 350

Cut cabbage into eight wedges.
cut sausage into 8 pieces
Trim core from wedges.
place one cabbage wedge on large enough aluminum foil piece to wrap it completely later.
lightly drizzle or brush salad dressing on one side of wedge, turn, then do the other side.
I had some mustard/garlic/olive oil dressing left from making it last week, so I used that.
Place sausage on cabbage wedge and wrap package securely.
place packages on baking sheet (I used a big rectangular roaster.)
I was only able to fit four on at a time.
If your wedges are uneven, bake the smallest four wedges separately from the largest four wedges.
The time it takes to bake depends on:
1. the size of your cabbage (that is not a euphemism)
2. the texture you like.

We baked the small wedges for an hour, and they were still a bit chewy. We will bake the largest four wedges for two hours, and next time we have small wedges we will cook them for 90 minutes. We like our cabbage with some caramelization going on.
This has to be one of the least expensive main dishes we've made. We got at least two very generous dinners (we each had two small wedges... pretty sure I can't eat two large wedges)  for less than $5. If we'd added a starch (potato, noodles or maybe a slice of rye bread) a single small wedge would have been enough.
You could also use a larger piece of sausage if you like. Our local grocery smokes their own meat, so we had some very intensely smokey polish sausage and the small piece you see in the photos gave plenty of flavor.

You could:
use bacon (it will cook along with the cabbage)
use butter and no meat (might want to lower the roasting temp)
Use an Asian dressing and add a small piece of chicken breast or some lean pork
I also want to try a sweet and sour version, like Scandanavian-style Christmas cabbage.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hopscotch Happy Sigh

Oscar and I watch Hopscotch about once a year, often in the autumn. We just finished it a few minutes ago. I don't know how many times I've seen it but there are STILL small things I've overlooked before that add another layer of pleasure.

Here's the original trailer: