Friday, October 31, 2008

Bah, Halloween

I forgot that it was Halloween until I went out this afternoon to the bank and saw the local high school kids all dressed up at the shopping center.

Frankly, I hate Halloween. It's right up there with New Year's Eve as one of my most disliked holidays. Not that I'm a grinch, just don't like all the hoopla.

I live in a neighborhood where we no longer get kids trick or treating. Kind of nice. I don't need to buy candy. Just keep some quarters by the door on the off chance that someone will come by.

But....I got sucked in to buying candy when one of my daughters told me I could send any leftovers to her. So, here it is......Divide and conquer!

It's almost 7PM and no one's been here yet!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's for dinner?

Back from Atlanta...and not really feeling like cooking. But Pentti does deserve a real dinner tonight. So this is a bowl of some odds and ends of veggies from the fridge:
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 red skinned potatoes
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 red onion
Cut up and tossed with 2 T of garlic olive oil. Roast for 45 min.

I had taken a Halibut steak from the freezer this morning and found an easy recipe for Parmesan Baked Halibut.

Voila! An easy and delicious dinner!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Off to Atlanta....

to see Jessica who has moved into a new apartment and has a new job.

Flew down here Saturday morning and rented a car to get into the downtown area and Jess' new apartment. We had reservations for dinner at the French American Brasserie....otherwise know as FAB. Jessica worked in the office at FAB for a year and we were treated to some pretty fine service. In addition..the food was great.

Here's what they brought out for my birthday.

Just in case you couldn't decide on ONE dessert! (profiteroles with pistachio ice cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce - valhrona chocolate souffle cake, with hazelnut tuile and vanilla ice cream - meyer lemon crepe with pomegranate syrup and tapioca pearls) A bit over the top after the meal we had....but lovely!!

I'll be away until Tuesday night and then home to recuperate. We shopped all day today and will likely do the same tomorrow. Whew!!

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

We celebrated my 60th birthday with Pentti, Sarah and Eric at Blue Hill at Stone Barns on Thursday night.

What an experience. First of all, the grounds are magnificent. I only have one photo and it doesn't do the place justice at all. This is the court yard surrounded by the stone barns. We entered through the passage way you see here.

There are better photos at the link above.

To celebrate fall they have suspended the traditional menu and are offering multi course tasting menus. They just kept bringing out one incredible dish after another. I couldn't tell you what they all were....just that everything was delicious. Oh there was an appetizer with salsify and pancetta and sesame seeds that was incredible. I haven't had salsify since I was a kid.

It was a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Soup

That's 'new soup' not 'new soap'! Although I'm always looking to make a new soap, too!

Fran suggested a new soup recipe that she likes. Kathie Jenkins Wild Rice Soup. She was going to bring me a copy but I found it on the internet by googling the title.

I finally made it yesterday and is it DELICIOUS.
It was hearty, satisfying soup with ingredients like slivered almonds, mushrooms, dill, carrots, celery, 3 kinds of onions and wild rice.
I did make a few changes as noted here:
  • made 1/2 the recipe. it makes a really big batch.
  • used fresh sauteed garlic in with the onions. i don't use garlic salt
  • substituted brown basmati rice for the white rice
  • sauteed the mushrooms in a little butter before adding them to soup

Always looking for a new / unusual soup....I love soup this time of year.

Any suggestions??

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Frost, let the celebrations begin!

The frost on the cars this morning told me it was a good thing we got that garlic planted yesterday.

And.....this would be a great cake for me on Thursday this's from Pink Cake Box in Denville, New Jersey. That would be 18 E. Main Street, Suite 101.
Phone: 973-998-4445.

First celebration is tonight with friends Kathleen and Donna. There'll be martinis for sure and a lot of catching up to do.

I think I'm taking this birthday very far.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall planting

Time to plant the garlic for spring. I've always wanted to try growing garlic because we use so much of it and I also love the garlic scapes that first appear in spring.
So, I bought garlic from Karen and Mike of We Grow Garlic in Wisconsin. It arrived promptly and today we cleaned up the garden to get ready for the planting.

Karen and Mike have over 50 varieties of garlic and many were sold out when I finally got to the site to buy.

I planted Italian Late and Silver White. Both are soft neck varieties.

After planting, Pentti watered them in. BTW...when we cleaned up the tomato plants we collected a few green tomatoes. We haven't had frost here yet. Those Yellow Pear tomatoes were the most prolific I've seen. That variety is a keeper for next year!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crisp and Cool....a beautiful fall day.

I got a late start this morning. Sarah and Eric were here and had to leave at 6AM. I don't usually get up that early! So I crawled back in bed for a couple of hours.

When I finally got my soap batches done for the day it was 3 PM and I just wanted a little cat nap. But I'm trying to be diligent about walking every I dragged my self out to the park.

Getting there is half the battle.
How could I not enjoy a walk through this!

Now if I could just figure out how to work my ipod I'd be all set!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall colors and friends

Big batches of soap went down this weekend so that I could have a couple of days off to spend with friends who are visiting from San Francisco.

Joan and David arrived Sunday night and it is really good to spend time with them again. Haven't seen them in over a year!

Dinner out on Monday and Tuesday Joan and I will have lunch with our librarian cohort from Southampton. The three of us worked together for years and now that we're all retired...we are many miles apart and seldom get together.

This weather is gorgeous and Joan is enjoying our lovely fall colors! A short but sweet visit!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Food and Farming: our best shot?

For weeks, I've been reading and hearing about the greed that continues to cause the failure of our economy. Two articles in Wednesday's paper gave me cause for hope.

Can urban agriculture and local sustainable agriculture start to turn us around in this country??

This article about local agriculture helping an ailing town in Vermont.

And this one about urban farming right in Red Hook, Brooklyn....Sarah and Eric's neighborhood. I've been by this farm many times and had opportunities to sample the produce at local restaurants.

There has been a movement toward local food and renewed interest in farming. But is this what might ultimately save us? In our family, we've made plans to expand our small vegetable garden next season, join an organic CSA and buy a freezer.

I'm not the only one moving toward renewed self reliance when it comes to our food supply.

I see a lot of press about home food preservation, organic farming, local grass fed meat, and farming initiatives like the ones in Vermont. We started out as farmers in this country....maybe that's where we'll end up.

Getting off the soap box now. Here's my contribution to home canning for this year....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

last rose

Just when my garden looks like sh*t at the end of the season....
full of weeds and plants that need to be trimmed.....these arrive:

Mallow. (these reseed and come up where they please)

One more yellow rose:

And can you believe IRIS in October??