Thursday, December 31, 2020
Monday, December 28, 2020
I had some kielbasa and some cabbage, and I was planning supper. Meanwhile, I've been going through some magazines one more time before recycling, in case I there's anything I want to save.
I had an issue of Yankee from the fall, and there was a recipe for roasted onion, winter squash and sausage - it looked good.What timing! Their version called for a large red onion, I used two small yellow. They used Italian sausage, I had Polish. My apple was not firm or tart - I don't know what it was, but it was an apple. And I happened to have some already-cut thick slices of butternut squash left from the Christmas Day lasagna, when I cut up a whole squash but didn't need it all. I used dried herbs and didn't heat them in the oil. In short, I did it my way, and cooked some cabbage on the stove to go along with it. Did you notice there are actually cranberries in the recipe? I didn't mess with that amount. I was afraid to, since I've never heard of roasting cranberries and didn't want to overdo it. But it was good! I'd gladly make it again. But it did take almost twice as long to cook as they said it would - isn't that often the way?
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Christmas has been so quiet for us, but it's still always wonderful. We didn't go to Joanne's, no lively visit with the Italian cousins. No rum cake that she always makes, that her mother made before her. I thought about that and decided to make it for work.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
- Christina Rossetti
The snow globe look will soon be gone.
*That's actually tonight, because I'm up later than I should be.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020
While I was working on dinner, snow began to fall and it continued for several hours, coming down gently. It was beautiful! And Christmas-y. I stepped outside a few times to get photos - always of the same view, but that's my view!
And while I worked and while it snowed, the radio just happened to be playing Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. How perfect! It may warm up and possibly rain on Christmas, so I'm happy to see this now, at least.
I made a simple and very delicious crockpot salmon for the third time. I am always nervous about fish, not wanting to over-cook it and I have baked salmon successfully, but still don't feel confident about it. If you've got two hours to spare, this is just right. Basically, you line the slow cooker with parchment, lay lemon slices along the bottom and place the fish on it. Generously salt and pepper it, add some dill weed, then pour a cup and a half of veg stock and the juice of half a lemon over it, with some more lemon slices, if you want. Cook on low for two hours. Lovely! We had salad, roasted cauliflower and twice-baked sweet potatoes with it. I don't need to make dessert because my brother's been getting goodies from his people. We sampled a few cookies and some chocolate truffles. But not too many.
And in case you're wondering, the Polish lady has given us the gingerbread, and it's in the freezer.
Drop down dew from above, you heavens,
and let the clouds rain down the Just One;
let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
I would love to have a Christmas tree in every room, but can't figure out how yet - too much clutter, I guess. Still, in the kitchen I put a small, rustic tree on a catch-all shelving unit. The little tree has lights, and is really cheery there, so I always make room for it.
Next to the cat dishes.
It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.
It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, -
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.
It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil
On stump and stack and stem, -
The summer's empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.
It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, -
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.
- The Snow, by Emily Dickinson
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
A few days ago I was somewhere online, not sure where but it may have been Instagram, and somebody had made scones. She said she used more butter than called for - maybe double? - and she always does that. My thought was how unnecessary.
Meanwhile, yesterday I baked some scones from my little scone recipe book. Gingerbread scones - sounds delightful! I baked them for the minimum amount of time called for; they came out dry. I mean, baking them for less time wouldn't have improved them much, the recipe really needs - more butter.
I've made scones many times, and have noticed some are softer than others - fat content, I guess - but never made any which seemed too dry. It's funny that it happened right after I made that judgment. I guess her scones really needed more butter, and she knew it. And I have to work on not being so critical. :)
Monday, December 14, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
It's sixty degrees out; for Wednesday some are predicting a big snowstorm. But it's not a certainty.
At five thirty this morning I got up to make a trip to the bathroom and noticed my brother's light on; when he heard me moving about he said, "There's no water." He was online, trying to find a number to call. The water company is rather elusive, it seems. On their website there's only the regular customer service number, which wasn't allowing him to leave a message - it doesn't seem to work! I dug out a recent bill but that was the same number. He called the police station and found out a big water main had burst and half the town was without water, so he went out to buy some. When we got up again later the flow had at least returned but was dirty, and I still don't trust it. Have received two emails from them since, both of which had an emergency phone number on it - so, why isn't that number on the bills, or their website?? I wrote it down.
And I do remember last Christmas, when we didn't have water for a while. Doesn't exactly impart a feeling of confidence.
I used to make a point of bringing my camera with me - now, I hardly think of it. Consequently, I have to rely on my powers of description. Yesterday, Deb and I went to a lovely shop which has been in our town most of my life but recently moved to a different location, after being in someone's home for over fifty years - now run by her granddaughter and granddaughter-in-law. Isn't that nice? It was quite gloomy out, foggy and rainy, but they had a brazier going with seats near it for shoppers who might be waiting for their companions, fir trees ranged along the way, some with lights, and one with moving branches, as I spotted a bird making itself cozy in there.
I've been struggling to put up the tree, with a certain purrson wanting to help me. She still wants to climb it, and she's not the little kitten she was last year, so any thought of getting a tree with lights that work would just end in ruination and despair, since she has bent some of these downward where I can't figure any way to bend them back. We'd managed to find one string of lights last Christmas, when only one-third of the tree didn't light, but by the end of the season none of them did. However, this fall a stop at a tag sale found me a very long light strand for a couple of dollars - it's more than enough to light the tree! So the wooden snowflakes are up with the orange slices, and it's beginning to look like something.
Monday, December 7, 2020
It was supposed to rain Saturday, then they said it would snow, and it did. And it's still white, because it's cold, too.
I'm getting back to making bread again. I always stop in summer. Then there's the tasty supermarket bakery "artisan" bread in the reduced section for half price. I like it, so as long as it was available I didn't need to make my own. But I was missing it. We had to withdraw some older bread machine cookbooks at work, and I took them home, adapting recipes for regular oven use. So far: an oatmeal bread Saturday, and today an oat/wheat bread, substituting a cinnamon-orange simple syrup for the honey it called for. Very fragrant! I love to try new recipes.
I tried drying orange slices. Four hours at 200, and they still weren't entirely dry.
Friday, December 4, 2020
I thought it would be nice to exercise my brain and do some memory work. This hymn was sung at Mass Sunday, it was the first Sunday of Advent, it's an Advent hymn, so.
The words are in a book I've had for a number of years; I focus on a couple of lines every day, and at this point I've (almost) learned the first section.
Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying,
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past!
The Bridegroom comes, awake,
Your lamps with gladness take, alleluja!
And for his marriage feast prepare
For ye must go to meet him there.
Okay. Today I thought of it, didn't have the book with me and couldn't remember something, so I googled the lyrics. I happened on a Catholic site, and - guess what? Well, this song was written in another language. So, there are translations. So, I landed on a different translation. Oh, brother!
A fine kettle of fish. Here I am, trying to do something worthwhile, and - this. I'm Catholic, I suppose I should know the Catholic version, the one which is sung in church. Except, I'm not sure which it was because last Sunday was before I started memorizing it. And the hymn books are gone, along with every else that's put away because of COVID. So.
Then there's the fact that I have become attached to these words I've learned. Oh, for Pete's sake.