Saturday, June 29, 2013

No Pictures - Just Surprise

As the landscape wizzed by, I missed a few photo of things that were to me very impressive.  The Continental Divide at 7000 feet had a sign that I wish I'd snapped.  A couple of wild horses off in the hills.  An email to my husband from his boss's boss, saying that they want us in Perth, Australia yesterday, but will settle for the middle of July - right after Comic Con in San Diego, but canceling the trip to Hawaii.  Who knew they were serious?  But as of last night, the tickets are purchased and John will pick up our passports when he flies home to make the rest of the arrangements.  It's only for a month, but I'm going to have to find a way to rent a sewing machine and a juicer.  And unseal a few of my vacuum packed sweaters.  Wow!

California Thinks It's Hot (At 100 Degrees), But Then It's Never BeenTo Tulsa

These sort of scruffy pine trees mean that we finally made it to California and can rest for a bit. I've done all trip pictures and posts with my phone - which is a little limiting, but terrifically convenient. Driving on I-80 into California has you crossing Donner Pass. So glad it's Summer!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Is Wyoming A Native Word For The Middle Of Nowhere, But Still Somehow Amazing?

And on another subject, am I the only person left who feels compelled to count the cars on a train and feels cheated when there are less than 100?

Nebraska - Sweet, Sweet State

John and I are driving across Nebraska on our way to California. Because rather than trying and failing to spend another Summer in the Oklahoma heat, I am heading for the coast. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Potato Salad

John brought this recipe by Tiffani Faison home with him from Chicago - torn out of a magazine. Very delicious.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Strange Recipe For Potato Salad - I'll Let You Know How It Turns Out

John was gone all last week - in Chicago for business.  Playing golf and eating in unique restaurants.  He came back with a recipe he wanted me to try.  It's for Potato Salad, which I was already planning on making for Sunday.  (If you don't believe me, just check in the door of the refrigerator where the hard-boiled eggs are waiting.)  I was going to wait until tomorrow to start, but the first step was so different that I couldn't wait.  You "candy" (cook in a sugar syrup - this one uses vinegar and sugar - and then leave the seeds to soak in the liquid after you have thickened it) 1/2 cup of Mustard Seeds.  The rest is a fairly straightforward Mayonnaise-based Red Potato Salad, just adding the sugary seed at the end.  It also calls for some honey, which I will test on a spoonful before I commit the entire batch.  But the recipe doesn't include eggs.  Maybe I'll Devil them.  Maybe those Deviled Eggs will be the only thing worth eating when I'm done.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Made A Couple Of Cute Cards

This one was for the local DAR (Daughter's Of The American Revolution) to send along with a gift basket for all the pregnant wives of Tulsa servicemen who are deployed.  I made almost 30 of them. Got pretty bored after 3 of them. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oklahoma Has Great Weather For Edible Plants! (Remind Me That I SaidThis The Next Time I Complain About How Hot It Gets.)

Cutest eggplant ever!
Have already eaten this yellow tomato, but I would have passed it by as unripe, since I didn't remember planting anything yellow.  What jogged my memory was getting my tomato cages (or whatever they're called) in colors that matched the color the heirloom style tomatoes are going to be.  They didn't have any purple ones, so those blue cages support the Purple Cherokee ones.

Here's something I hadn't thought about before my garden - when you grow your own food, you aren't getting your vegetables all trimmed, like in the grocery store. Lots more extra leaves and bits - so I am making a vegetable broth to freeze for soup later.  I've made plenty of broth in my life, usually chicken, (the secret is to bake the chicken first so it's all brown - and then never cover the boiling broth, supposedly it will sour it), but I've never done a strictly vegetable one.  I almost added some of my Nasturtiums, just for pretty, but it just felt wrong to boil them up.  And I had already put in a ton of beet greens, so I didn't need any more color.  But my point, and I do have one is that the house smells great, but I have no idea if it's an indication of Vegetable Broth Success!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More Garden Success Results In Odd Sandwiches

Look at the Purple Onion I grew!
And this is one of the smaller basil plants - from a tiny seed.  Magic, huh?
I hope these tomatoes are ripe for my picnic this Sunday.
I got tired of trying to find Fennel Bulbs for my Green Lentil Salad, so I grew my own from seeds. Maybe I should have picked it earlier, but it's so pretty that I don't care.
Decided to fry that onion up and then had to figure out what I wanted to eat with it.  Did you grow up on odd sandwich combinations?  We had Chopped Black Olives and Peanut Butter.  Green Chili and Butter.  And there was Mayonnaise and Onion, or Mayonnaise and Egg.  So I decided that maybe Browned Sliced Onion would be good with a Fried Egg as long as there was Mayonnaise in it.  I was either very hungry or lucky, because it tasted great.  Did I mention that John is in Chicago on business this week, so I am cooking for one?  I got quite spoilt having him around for so long.  Good Times!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Carrots Have Gotten Very Friendly

 This year I planted carrots and learned about the importance of "thinning". If you don't, you get snuggling carrots. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Special Scone Pan - Father's Day Breakfast

I made Scones for John for breakfast this morning.  A few years ago, he bought me this special Scone pan that makes it so easy.  In the old days I would knead the dough and roll it out in a circle, then cut that circle into 6 wedges.  So the surface with be smoother, but they would be a little less tender, having been handled just a bit more.  The same difference as a rolled biscuit versus a dropped biscuit.  My mother usually made a dropped biscuit.  If she was going to knead something it was going to be bread.  My father said he preferred a dropped biscuit, with its crunchier surface.          
Since it's just the two of us, I only use half of the wedges - a reheated scone is never first choice.  
I need to start thinking up something to do with the millions of tomatoes my little garden patch is producing.  Planning on packing a picnic for some friends next weekend, and  my show-off self is leaning toward an all tomato menu.  With Basil.

Friday, June 14, 2013

German Chocolate Cake - Upside-Down Style

This was made using a cake mix and the recipe on the side of the box. (I hardly know who I am anymore!). Since I didn't have the evaporated milk necessary for a last minute work treat request, I tried this version instead. German Chocolate Cake, made upside-down style. You put the coconut and pecans (pronounce as you wish) in the bottom of the pan with brown sugar and butter - just like a Pineapple-down cake.  Then you pour the cake batter over it and drop spoonfuls of a mixture of cream cheese and powdered sugar over it.  This works its way to the bottom and mixes with the coconut and pecans.  Your taste buds will be totally fooled!  

May In Oklahoma

This May in Oklahoma was so awful that current plans are to never spend the month of May here again.  I had already decided that I should stay in Southern California for at least one of the Summer months, so I was keeping an eye on June to see if I should just go for May and stay through the end of July.  But June is proving to be lovely, and I need to tend to my garden.  (I have a co-op plan with Melinda to water her garden plot in June in return for her watering my the month I chose to leave town.)  So July is this year's winner.
But don't feel sorry for me - John didn't travel at all and we were 15 miles away from the nearest tornado.  I grew some of the most amazing vegetables and flowers ever.  I joined the Daughter's of the American Republic (Simone (last name withheld to protect the innocent) was my 9 great's grandfather who fought on the side of the Colonists), made lots of cards for the pregnant wives of servicemen, sewed (one item of which was a copy of the white skirt Sanda has that is just perfect for the hot Summer), and cooked up a storm.  But it felt so disrespectful to do anything frivolous - and my blog is nothing but frivolous.