Tidbits

20160724_094031(1600x1200)I think ten is the sweet spot when baking the King Arthur bun recipe, not too big, not too small.20160724_120430(1600x1200)Just the right size!20160724_174648(1600x1200)Made some tuna salad today, we’ve been giving that bread slicing gadget a workout.  Tuna salad on toast is another good way to use the tomatoes we have coming on strong.  Probably going to boil down some more juice soon.20160724_174830(1600x1200)We are starting to grow fond of leaf lettuce on sammiches, it doesn’t have the same crunch as iceberg but it does lay nice and flat and uniform.20160723_123019(1600x1200)Gabe goes from 90 miles per hour to naptime in about 6 seconds flat.20160721_103040(1600x1200)I have a better photo of the eggs in that nest I first posted about a week ago.  We tried to get a video of the little bird flying from the nest but failed to get anything useful.  I did get a little better look at the bird but just confirmed that it was a wee brown birdie.  It might be a house finch but a tip from a commenter over at Balloon Juice pointed me toward the Chipping Sparrow – the wings of our bird are darker than the belly.20160722_131315(1600x1200)Here’s another cold cuts and cheese sammich with a few sides.DSC_2799 (1600x1200)I’ll wrap with a picture from the archive.  I’m tickled by the balancing act this dragonfly is putting on, and I think the colors are pretty.

This Week In Moving News…

Bixby Cooling off

I’m in charge of watering the yard at the new house, since the seller has moved out of state. Bixby is clearly enjoying it. I keep discovering all kinds of fun things while I’m wandering around the yard. Sweet, golden raspberries, concord grapes, a tomatillo, rhubarb…the list goes on.

The world is rushing at me, mostly with really good stuff, and I’m struggling to keep up. I suspect it will be that way until mid-July. I am also finding myself inundated by kind, unexpected deeds that have buoyed me at a time when it would be so easy to become cynical and disillusioned with the world. The house is almost a done deed, too, so I’m feeling hopeful.

I will try and have some July 4th ideas later in the week. But no promises.

I have one last hurdle and then I’ll feel comfortable saying the house is mine. Just don’t want to jinx it – though packing has started, the moving crew and truck are reserved and closing time is set.  But anyone who has gone through this knows there will be a flurry of paperwork between now and two minutes before close. I guarantee you there will be a celebratory post the moment keys are in my hands.

Until then…..



 

Tidbits

20160402_114125 (1600x1060)We’re just getting around to potting our patio garden.  Bitsy will wait for more foliage to appear so as to have better bedding.  In the meantime she makes do with the plain boards of the plant bench.20160403_150316_HDR (1600x1060)More photo fun, playing with the Nik software plugins for Photoshop.  This is a wild plum tree.20160403_170507 (1600x1060)Sammich prOn!  Mrs J really likes the crinkle cut fries so I bought a giant sized bag of them the other day.  They do crisp up nicely.20160402_113420_HDR (1600x1060)More absurdly vibrant colors!  The saturation slider goes to 11!  Am I having too much photo fun?  This is the view one has when turning into our driveway from the Township road.  The small rise effectively shields us from casual view, our house is behind the pine trees visible at the vanishing point.20160402_195012 (1600x1060)More banana blueberry bread.  This stuff is so good we buy bananas just to let them get over-ripe.  I’ll close this out with another calico kitteh:DSC03246 (1600x1060)

Tidbits

20160312_144026[1] (1600x1060)My bun-fu is improving!  It helped that I went with 12 instead of 16 like the last batch.  I went with a different forming method after watching a few Youtubes to get a better idea of how to proceed.  I rolled the dough flat in a roughly 6″ x 4″ rectangle, and then folded it like I was folding a letter to go into an envelope – top third down, bottom third up and over that.  Pinch the seam and ends and lay them on the tray with a bout a 1/2″ gap between so they rise to touch.DSC_5444 (1600x1060)We grew mint is this pot last year, and left it out all winter.  It lasted a long time before the cold weather burnt everything above dirt level.  We noticed new growth so I gave it a haircut the other day.  Mint is tough, we had mint growing wild in Mrs J’s flower garden and it took several years to eradicate.  Last year she told me to plant that nursery seedling as far away from her dirt as I could.20160315_092451 (1600x1060)Kimchi!  There is a Chinese buffet that we hit whenever we are close during meal time that has kimchi on their line.  I usually get some, I like it a lot.  I’ve made it before and had good luck but I made so much it was really getting sour before I could eat it all.  Mrs J refused to help.  This is one head of Napa cabbage, plus the carrots, daikon radish, and the rest.  I adapted this recipe.20160316_132316 (1600x1060)I left it overnight, covered, in the big bowl on a counter to give the fermentation a start and then put it all in this gallon jar to finish in the fridge in the basement.

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Primary day in Illinois last Tuesday, this is the little township meeting hall where we cast our votes.  One nice thing about living out in the boonies, there is hardly ever a line.

PICT5658 (1600x1060)Random wildlife!  This is a young buck that has dropped one of its antlers.  They are shed every year but it’s rare to find them in the woods – they are quickly gnawed down by little woodland critters.PICT5692 (1600x1060)One more – at first glance I thought that the bird standing behind the deer was a crow but a second look showed it to be a hawk:PICT5692I’m no expert on bird ID but I think this may be a juvenile red shouldered hawk.  I don’t know for sure why it is standing there at the pond but we often see wood ducks right there, either in the water or ashore looking for the corn Mrs J leaves down there.

Grilled Lemon Salmon with Corn Pepper Relish

This is a great recipe and you can cook it on the grill or indoors in the oven.  Add baked potatoes or rice and fresh greens from the garden for a nice summer meal.  Serves 4.

Grilled Lemon Salmon:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 – 6 oz skinless salmon fillets

zip-lock bag

Add ingredients to bag and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.  Grill on a clean, oiled grill or use a well oiled grilling pan, or broil in oven in a heavy skillet or broiler.  Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily.  Serve with relish.

Corn Pepper Relish:

  • 1 cup cooked corn (or canned, drained)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • ½ red pepper chopped
  • ½ yellow pepper chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic

bowl

Combine all ingredients and let marinate while salmon cooks.  You can use the remaining peppers in a salad for your next dinner.



 

Tidbits

DSC_0623 (1600x1060)We had a nice caprese salad with a burger today for lunch – pearl mozzarella with grape tomatoes and shredded basil with olive oil and a balsamic glaze.DSC_5400 (1600x1060)Our habaneros are starting to ripen.  I have a good crop of jalapenos coming along but none have started to turn red, yet.DSC02562 (1600x1060)This is one of Mrs J’s favorites.  She’s a Maine Coon mix, named Clara Bell, and staff estimate her age to be 2-1/2 years.  Those eyes!DSC_0619 (1600x1060)The King Arthur better buns recipe works great for hoagie rolls!DSC_0616 (1600x1060)This roll isn’t from that batch but it is the same recipe.  Sloppy joes are a family fave.DSC02547 (1600x1060)Moar kitteh!  This is Donald, a 3 month old male, one of a litter of 5.  Mrs J tells me that this is “kitten season” at the shelter.  St Francis’ new building has a room set aside just for kittens.  They spend all day playing outside of their cages:DSC02552 (1600x1060)

DSC_0610 (1600x1060)We don’t eat sammiches all the time.  LOL