Wednesday, January 27, 2016

soup weather - even in south Florida

Yeah, yeah - I know it's warm here.  But it is also raining, and to me, rain means soup weather, no matter what the temps.  It's a comfort thing - like ironing.


After I spent an hour browsing through the NY Times cooking app's 1,421 soup recipes, i decided I wasn't in the mood to follow a recipe.  So I grabbed the soup bones in my freezer, got out my pressure cooker, and cleaned out the rather sad looking vegetable drawer.
The bagged spinach was past its sell-by date; the rice was leftover from last night's stir-fry, those cute little peppers were on their way out; the tiny zucchini was dimpled, and there is a lone carrot there somewhere behind the spinach.  That was it!  I grabbed a new onion from the counter, an open bag of lentils, a can each of chickpeas & tomato paste, some garlic, spices, and a hunk of good parmesean cheese to add to the rescued veggies. (I did not use the Chinese eggplant, scallions, broccoli and the baby bok choi I bought yesterday...)


Into the pressure cooker with six cups of water, 


And after 20 minutes in the pressure cooker...done!

Too late for lunch, but I will taste later and adjust the seasonings.  Now it's time to go and iron some fabric.

* Later: tasted it, added some bacon, more spices and salt and simmered it for an hour. Had it for dinner and it was divine.  Whether you're cooking without a recipe or making a quilt without a recipe, you're pretty much assured of getting something at least, interesting - and often, really good!   Best of all, it's never the same twice.

Cheers! R.

Monday, January 25, 2016

weather report

If you saw my Facebook post a couple of weeks ago during a storm that had a funnel cloud hurtling toward West Palm Beach, you saw this photo and can skip this part.  I had never seen a tornado and wasn't planning to, but since we were warned to find an inside room and stay there till the tornado passed, I followed instructions.  Of course, the only inside room here is the guest bathroom, so I settled in with my gin and chips and Phil's transistor radio from the 1950's which still works like a charm. We listened to the reports  while the wind and rain raged outside.

Then all of a sudden it was over.  The sunset was particularly beautiful that night.



Over the past few weeks I have been sewing at the dining room table, which is also where we eat. I have two crappy sewing machines down here and one good one which is great for piecing but I don't really want to quilt on it. NOT that anything is ready to be quilted. Hahahaha. And every meal, I have to smush all the fabric over to one side and clear two little spaces for eating.

I have been doing some "what if?" experiments, which are always learning experiences.  Nothing I can really post because I have two pieces in various stages of -- well, in various stages. Who knows where they will end or what they will be?


Speaking of learning experiences -- I'm going to do some online teaching -- which I have resisted until now.  But this platform will give me the freedom to make an idiot of myself on my own terms :-)) instead of adhering to somebody else's formula. I'm really excited about this - and it should be fun.    More when I have details.   

My cousin Nancy from L.A. was in Boca for a week, staying with my cousin Mimi. Nancy comes every year when I am here so the three of us can be together.  I didn't have much time to spend with her this time around, but when we get together, there is nonstop laughing.  Nancy on the left, Mimi in the center.  We don't look like first cousins but we all have the same sense of humor. It's in the genes.


I finally made a decision on the backsplash tile for my white kitchen.  Hope it will get done before I leave for home.


Today I took my phone when Phil and I went out for a walk.  Did you ever see such an ugly duck?? They are all over the place, hordes of them. Most of them are not quite this ugly, though.
That's all the news for today. Nothing exciting -- just plain old STUFF. Laundry, bills, supermarket -- but in relatively warm weather.  



Sunday, January 24, 2016

A work in progress...



 This blog post has taken forever.  I started it about five days ago, was interrupted, and that was that.  I am finally getting back to it and even if I have to stop mid-sentence, it gets published! 


Cold air, at least for Florida.  It is a brisk but sunny 57 degrees here today, but expected to warm up later this week.  Nonetheless, no complaints from this northerner!

The visitors continued through mid-January, with my dear friend Marlene Cohen from London spending a week with me.  We sewed and generally relaxed -- with nonstop talking, lots of wonderful meals, and some nice walks. 

We visited the Norton Museum in West Palm; I love their collection of American art and always find something new there. I can't remember whether I have noticed this Stuart Davis before, but it made me smile this time around.

There was one particularly warm and beautiful day when Marlene and I went into Palm Beach because she wanted to see the ocean.

There was a troop of young women sunbathing and they were all wearing bikinis that were blue and yellow.  We could only assume they were all members of a sunbathing team.  Can't think what else it would have been.

At any rate, it costs $5/hour to park on the street next to the beach and you can only use a credit card in the machine. We couldn't figure out whether it had taken Marlene's card or not, since it did not give receipts.  We felt a bit uneasy about it, so as soon as we saw a police car, we asked for help, explaining that we couldn't be sure whether we had paid or not.  He asked our parking spot number and then said "oh, I just left you a $60 ticket." 

This was our next stop, as we went in search of the Parking Chief to tell our tale of woe.
It was truly a lovely experience.  Alice, the elegant woman who was a volunteer in the parking department, was as charming as could be.  She provided us with two
bottles of water while we waited for the chief of Parking Police to finish dealing with a person who had to go to court because he had been driving an unregistered vehicle. 

To make the story short, I must give the Palm Beach police kudos for pleasantness, politeness, and a real effort to help. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that we left with the water, a packet of tissues, and a voided ticket.  The next day, we went to a different beach, where the parking was free. Thank you, Ms. Brown.  You are truly a gift who went out of your way for me. 

Here is a photo of Marlene and me at the bus station, the day she left.



I am not mid-sentence but I am signing off, nonetheless.  Otherwise this post will become as long as Beowulf.

sewing and drinking thé à la menthe

Not at the same time, as I am bound to spill whatever I am drinking on what I am stitching. My cousin France got me started on mint te...