Sunday, May 08, 2011

Peas and Fava Beans; Yummy

The recipe I'm using for dinner tonight comes from Jamie Oliver who's dressed like a snap pea in this photo. He's talking to some bureaucrat at an elementary school back East. I'm cooking one of Jamie's recipes tonight that is mostly snap peas and fava beans. You don't cook any of it. Fava beans are those big hunky things that look weird. You see them at farmer's markets this time of year.

When my sister Vicky reads this she will wrinkle her nose and say, "ish." She hates peas in any shape and form. But I bet I could get her to eat this.

Jamie cooked this recipe on his TV show last week. The recipe is in his cookbook, "Jamie at Home."

Pretty simple recipe: fava beans, snap peas, pecorino cheese, juice of one lemon, a few leaves of fresh mint, salt, and olive oil. Mash everything up in a food processor (Jamie used a mortar and pestle). Serve on toasted sourdough bread that has been rubbed with a raw garlic clove while the bread is still warm.

Then break apart a ball of fresh mozzarella and place over the green mixture. Pile on a few bits of lettuce, a dash of olive oil and some lemon juice. And dinner is ready.

So far I've made the green mixture. It's resting in the refrigerator until dinner tonight.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Blog Has Moved

This is the only way I could make the photos stick. Hope you will visit the new place. Here's the new link:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday Photos

I haven't felt like writing much lately so I thought I would post a couple of pictures from yesterday. The quilt is only one small corner of a king size quilt that is beautifully appliqued. I couldn't get back far enough to get the whole thing. It is an amazing piece of art at the quilt show in Auburn, CA. The other photo is the wisteria blooming on our front deck. Liberal doses of my compost tea have done wonders for it. Hope you can click on both photos to see more detail.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Planning My Garden

Gardening has been on my mind during all the cold and wet weather we've been having. It's not time to get out there and work the raised beds, but I have enjoyed thinking about it. At the same time I've been watching a Jamie Oliver show on the Cooking Channel: Jamie at Home. My son and daughter-in-law gave me the cookbook of the same name. He begins each show with a stop in his garden to pick up things he wants to cook. Invariably there are lots of herbs in his garden basket. I would love to have lots of fresh herbs to use in my cooking this summer. Many of them make it through our winters; those that can't will be dried. Even though we live on five acres, we have not set aside much room for gardening. The soil here is clay; perfect for growing rice. I have two raised beds where the soil is much better. This year I'm going to plant tomatoes and herbs. Last year I had four tomato plants which really wasn't enough so I'm probably going for six this year. I had better luck last year with the smaller tomatoes like cherry and Roma. Still I'll probably plant at least one big guy. I found a vendor at the farmer's market yesterday who has just about every herb I want in my garden. Herbs can be raised in pots too so they are easy to tuck away on decks or porches. I love the vendor's farm name "Melon Jolly Organic Farm." They are leasing a farm from a family that can no longer farm their land due to health reasons. With that lease came lots and lots of seeds from earlier years. She's been propagating them. Both of them used to work for my CSA, Natural Trading Company. They finally have their own farm. But before I can do anything, I need to weed. The rain and this week's promised heat (80 degrees on Thursday) will probably make them grow even more. Right now our cats can wander through the weeds unseen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"C" Puppies Visit

There 12 pure bred golden labs who are 8 weeks old. Lia, pictured here holding my personal favorite, is the puppy raiser. She was my personal favorite because she was the quietest of them all. The dam is Darlan. She and Lia live in Reno. Each time Lia turns in a litter to Canine Companions for Independence in Santa Rosa, CA, she stops by for an overnight visit. This is Darlan's first really large litter. They are so adorable.

They slept in the hallway in a fenced in area with lots of plastic and other layers to protect the floor. The big dog in one of the photos is Harleen. Once upon a time she was an 8-week-old puppy just like these guys. She wasn't quite sure what to make of them. But whenever she moved around the outside of the pen the puppies followed her. The color of their dog collars signifies birth order. CCI is doing a study to see if that has any bearing on future performance. Harleen was fifth born; her color was hot pink.

By now they are at the CCI vet being weighed, vaccinated and tattooed with a number (in their ear). Tomorrow they travel to their puppy raisers who are as far away as New Jersey and as close as Northern California. In a couple of weeks they will start training with hopes of someday becoming a service dog for a disabled person (but not blind, that organization raises their own dogs).

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Long Last, Bacon Will Be Back In Our Diet

We belong to a wonderful meat club which allows us to buy beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs and even water buffalo from local ranches. What's been missing for nearly a year is bacon. We love bacon. I've bought some at Whole Foods for a while but just didn't feel right about it not be sourced locally.

I finally put the word out on Twitter. Within a matter of hours I was connected with The Foragers who supply bacon as well as a 1/4, 1/2 or whole hog and lots of other meats. I just ordered 3 packages from Tyler who is the Chief Forager. Great title. I can't pick it up until March 12 in Sacramento. That gives me time to decide how I'm going to use it.

Twitter has helped so much in our quest to eat sustainable, organic, local and ethical (SOLE) foods. The web site for our meat club is

The web site for The Foragers is

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 11, 2011

Collaboration With Kerry

Kerry doodles, draws and sketches all the time. He has notebooks filled with them. I casually mentioned a year or so ago that it would be nice to turn one of his drawings into an art quilt. Well this week we've made great strides on this project.

We picked out two of his drawings and enlarged them. The one on the left is the first one I'm going to try. It's 24 inches by 36 inches. The other one is 36 inches square. I'm going to use a lot of the techniques I learned from the various Rose Hughes classes I've taken.

Next we will choose a color palette and fabrics. I'm thinking some silk and some cotton. Stay tuned for more.

Go to to learn more about her techniques.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knee Replacement

I just had my first shower in 15 days; washed my hair too, so have to stay out of bed until my hair dries. What better time to blog about the last two weeks.

I'm not going to provide any gory details. I think the photo tells it all. My right leg is in the Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine. I spend six hours a day having this machine slowly move my knee joint. When I got home I was at 60 degrees; now I'm at 98. I can feel myself getting stronger every day thanks to the pain meds. Without them it would be really hard to get my exercises done. I'm on morphine twice a day and two Tylenol with codeine every four hours.

My time in the hospital is sort of a blur. I got excellent care, but the food sucked in so many ways. I give Kaiser credit for trying to serve a healthy meal. The method, however, was a bit out of date. They served powdered cream for my coffee and margarine. The fruit was all canned and the meat looked gray. There were no sweets of any kind on the tray. My sister missed the pudding. For the most part I ate yogurt brought to me by Kerry and my sister Vicky.

I've had excellent home health care with my nurse, Rachel, and physical therapist, Rob. A week from today I transition to an outpatient PT clinic in Lincoln. I'm still on Coumadin to make sure I don't get any blood clots. Only have another 9 days of that. You can't eat green vegetables or blueberries because they are high in vitamin K. Blueberries are not in season but spinach is. I get to watch Kerry and Vicky eat spinach salads. I love spinach.

My days are pretty much the same: six hours on the CPM machine (two 3-hour periods), exercises, icing my knee and walking around the house. I nap when I'm on the machine. Haven't had too much of an appetite, which is just fine with me.

The big thing about the knee replacement is doing everything everyone tells you to do. That way you get good results. I have balked at some of these things but I keep in mind the things I want to be able to do and that gets me back at it.

Yes, it is the most painful thing I've ever done but it's going to be worth it. I will have my left knee done after the quilt show next October. Any questions.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Ingredients For Tonight's Dinner

This is Dark Days Challenge meal number six. The pork chops are thick enough to stuff so that's what I'm going to do. The stuffing will be the Argentine lamb chorizo sausage in the background mixed with dried cherries. The chorizo has quite a bit of spice so I'm hoping the cherries will balance that. Then we will have sauteed chard. Pretty simple dinner.

Pork chops are from Bob at Coffee Pot Ranch, chorizo is from Dan at Flying Mule Farm, chard is from the farmer's market and the cherries were a gift in my Christmas stocking.

I always brine my pork chops to increase their moistness. It's pretty simple. Because these chops are so thick, I'll probably brine them for a couple of hours.

This is my last DDC meal for a while. Surgery on Monday is going to cut into my cooking for a while. I'll be back when I'm able to get around the kitchen. For the next few weeks the kitchen belongs to Kerry and my sister Vicky.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Quilt For A Raffle

My quilting bee is making a quilt for the local hospice so it can be auctioned off and hopefully raise some money for this wonderful organization. Each member of the bee makes eight teacups; we will have 56 in all. To me they look more like coffee cups. It's a great way to use up some of your stash. Here are my eight. Had to get them done before surgery. Click on the photo to enlarge.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 01, 2011

DDC Meal Five

I'm trying to get in as many DDC meals as possible before my knee replacement. Probably will not spend much time in the kitchen after surgery on Jan. 10th.

This is a lamb shank from nearby Flying Mule Farm cooked in the crock pot in a sauce of white wine (local), pomegranate molasses (not local unless you live in Lebanon), salt and pepper and onions and garlic (the last two from our CSA box). Flying Mule Farm uses only mules for farming.

The yam is from the farmer's market and the butter on it is from Golden Glen Creamery. I visit Golden Glen whenever we visit Kerry's family in Burlington, WA. I buy lots of butter and cheese. It counts as local; I didn't make a special trip there to buy it. I was in the neighborhood. I checked this out with the Queen of DDC, Laura at Urbanhennery.
Posted by Picasa