This is a blog about everyday life. Food, gardening, photography, and nature. What you won't find are pictures of lots of people.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

A Day In The Life

Come and spend the day with me! 

Arrive at work before dawn and boot up the computer.  Check Blogger and see what my fellow bloggies have been doing. 

Storm Sewer Pipe Profile
Gotta get oriented for work.  If you've ever wondered where the water goes from a road with curb and gutters this might interest you!  If you cut right down the middle of the road and  look from the side you can see the pipes.  That would be the white lines.  The dashed green is the existing road and the red/orange is the future top of the asphalt.  The little white rectangles sticking up are the boxes that open into the gutter to collect the water.

Later I feed Bobbi.  It is a rainy morning and as it turns out no one shows up.  I work all morning and only one person stops by my desk.  Work is a very solitary experience for me.  I like that too.

Lunch!  Remember the pickled radishes?  They are very good with kale.  The red stuff is hot sauce.
I eat and remember I have to run and errand.

Guess where I'm going?

I have to return "Wild Fermentation".  Someone else wants it now or I would keep it awhile longer.

I pick up a couple of books.

I have used the public libraries in every place I have ever lived.  We have a fantastic library system here in the USA.

Back at the office I have a few minutes to look at my new books.  How could I pass up a crock pot cook book with PLASTIC covers.  It just screamed  I'm durable!  Use me!  Winter is coming!  It did not disappoint either.  And the Moosewood book.  I own most of them.  That and the Joy of Cooking are the only cookbooks I use with any regularity.

Oh LOOK!  They dedicated the cookbook to me! I love you Moosewood Restaurant!

Back to work.

Pipe Cross Section
I have to redo the entire system because I didn't get the new manual.  Oh, they put them in the empty cubicles where NO ONE works, but not mine.  Oh well, I'm glad I caught the error before I was done.
The dashed lines from left to right is the existing box in the median.  The solid lines portray the new pipe to be attached.  Into the Manhole it goes!  (Engineering has lots of personifications like breast walls, toes, crowns, etc)

The water changes direction at the Manhole and flows to the curb box inlets downhill until it gets to the ditch that will take it down to the creek.  Pipes Pipes and more PIPES!!

I have a visitor after lunch.  I call him Richard the Lionhearted.  My first and only visitor of the day.  Midafternoon there is an announcement that there is turtle pie in the kitchen!

We are celebrating an old employee's birthday.  Not all of us get this treatment!  I almost forgot to take the picture.  This has to be the most decadent dessert ever.  Chocolate, ice cream, sugar coated nuts, caramel and whipped cream.

I work all afternoon and almost get back to where I was the day before when I discovered the error.  Sigh. 

Home and time to start supper.  Had a request for chili.  Sorry but no pictures of the finished product.  I got distracted.

While the ground turkey thawed I tilled the back garden where some kale will go later.  I had all but abandoned it earlier this summer.

Back to the chili.

I sauteed some peppers and onions then added some chili powder and garlic.  Then I dumped it in with the ground turkey to which I added a dash of Kitchen Bouquet.  Gave it a stir.  Added some hot chili beans and a small can of V8 juice and the usual salt and pepper.  Nothing fancy. Mild.  I will add jalepenos to mine.

Outside!  Time to check the front.  Swing and have a beverage.

Kale is looking good in the jar.

Picked the squash.  Played with Uno and his Birdie the neighbor gave him.

I thought you might enjoy seeing and okra bloom.  It is a member of the hibiscus family (I think).  The okra and squash grow where the dead maple was removed.

Back in to check the chili.  On the way I look up.

Remember the rusty mailbox?  This isn't it but it I have one just like it.   These are old old boxes.

Chili is fine.  I move 2 gallons of wine from primary fermentation to the carboys and fit an airlock.  I'm done for the day except to sit and swing until dark.

Good Night!  It was a good day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On My Mind

Joining  Rhonda at Down To Earth .........

My Fall garden is on my mind

Siberian Kale

Green Onions

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dreamy Chicken

I love to cook.  When I'm left to cook for myself I eat a lot of vegetarian food, but when I feed others they are usually meat eaters.  Meat is easy to cook and make it taste good, but vegetarian food I have found is a bit harder.  You can't just add pork fat and gravy and KNOW it will be yummy.  So one of the challenges for me is to add some of those delicious vegetarian redipes into the diet without anyone knowing.  I found quickly that the meat 'n 'taters type of people turned up their noses in distaste when they heard the words tofu.

I decided to keep the ingredients a secret.  Taste and then maybe I would divulge the ingredients.  If that didn't suit they could cook supper themselves!  To do this I name the dishes.  Last night's supper was dubbed Dreamy Chicken.

How can anyone question Dreamy Chicken?  They can't.  The  title in itself promises a creamy smooth sauce with a hint of romance.  No one can resist such temptation.  Whilst the Other One was plugged into the TV I frolicked in the kitchen mixing traditional southern soul food with exotic vegetarian ideas.

First I sliced green tomatoes, okra, and yellow squash and tossed them in corn meal, Tony's, and garlic powder.  When they sweat the corn meal sticks to them and then I added them to a very hot oiled pan and popped them in the oven at 450 degrees F.  Yup, they were all picked right out of my front yard.

While they baked I started the Dream Sauce.  Into the food processor or blender goes sliced garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar, sugar, 2 T Basil (or more) and around 5 oz of silken tofu.  If you want a dash of cream will make it creamier, but I would leave out the vinegar if you do that.  I wanted a semi tart sauce.  This recipe was adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home.  They use juice to sweeten and I didn't have any on hand.

I chopped chicken breasts in chunks and seasoned them up with Tony's and some garlic and onion powder and a bit of olive oil.

Into the pan they go with butter and about a cup of thinly sliced kale.

While that cooks I take the oven fried veggies out.

When the chicken was done I tossed in some pimento that needed to be used and tossed it with the Dreamy Sauce, cheese and pasta.  I wasn't asked what the little green things were.  No one even suspected they were eating tofu.  It is my little secret.  I also have enough tofu left to make some macaroni and cheese.  It freezes very well and is quite popular for lunches with that frozen Meatloaf a la Marilyn!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Fall Garden and Other Musings

Finally, after 3 weeks of non stop painting I found the time to start my fall garden.  I didn't, however, get a picture of the newly painted kitchen and the lovely view from the big picture window into the back yard.  Sorry.  But I'm really sorry this house wasn't available for me to buy a few years ago.  I would have a huge sunny back yard to grow vegetables. 

Living Room
I have lived at my current house for going on 5 years.  My garden started very small as I was still gardening at the previous property.  My back yard doesn't get enough sun to grow summer vegetables.  A couple of tomato plants strategically located will do ok, but the neighbors' trees provide too much shade for much success.  I started planting vegetables with flowers in the front yard and was delighted at the response from people.  They loved watching the evolution of the "edible landscaping".  At first I planted marigolds along the side that faces the sidewalk to provide a place for dogs to, well, uh, you know, say hello, as well as deter unwanted insects from the vegetables.  I have noticed this summer how the regular dog walkers down the street cross to the other side.  Even though my little garden might look wild and wooly at times they know I eat the food from there.

Over the Labor Day Weekend I treated myself with two days away from the office.  I usually can't sit still for very long without something in my hands to do so I spent the day cleaning out the garden bed.  I won't embarrass myself with a before picture, but lets just say we have had an incredible growing season with ample rain.  The volunteer cherry tomatoes were threatening to overrun the neighborhood.

I left a few plants.  Basil, collard greens, peppers, a tomato and the marigolds.  I harvested the spring onions and potatoes and the rest of the beans.

I planted some brussel sprouts and chinese cabbage.  My kohlrabi plants I started were a snack for some pests.  I chose not to spray them with poison. 

They are holding their own after nearly roasting in the 90 degree plus heat.  It is cool now and they are bouncing back.  I also planted some red russian kale, siberian kale, lettuce, spinach, beets and onions. I got it all in the ground before the rains came from the hurricane that pushed up the east coast.  We had 3 solid days of a soaking rain.

Get out of the onions Uno!

I have great plans for these little guys.



The beets I planted are up as well! (not pictured)

I am going to try and transplant some to the back yard and see if I can have fresh greens all winter.  Last winter I was ailing with a frozen shoulder and was miserable.  I couldn't even shovel the walk or take out the garbage.  I came to work and went home and popped pills.  It was the longest, coldest winter of my life!  This year,  I plan on getting outside and tending a winter garden.

We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow I will show you what I did with the space where the dead maple tree used to stand.  I love how a garden can be planned but Mother Nature seems to call the shots!

Happy Birthday David!