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i love this quote.

August 28th, 2013

This one fits today.

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

— Anon

Tuesday Recipe Club: Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Lasagna, Feta-Parsley Green Beans and Irish Champ

August 27th, 2013


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Doesn’t that look good? I’ll have to go pick some strawberries for dinner. (We planted some everbearings and get three crops a season from them. Who knew berries grew this way?)

Hello, dumplings. What’s up? My husband and daughter are finally back from London, and I owe them some delicious home cooking. They ate out at plenty of delicious restaurants in London, but nothing says lovin’ like something I have forgotten about and burned, just in time for dinner. On the menu:

* Irish Champ, a la Jamie Oliver (edited later to say: will make this tomorrow; ran out of time)

* Leftover Zucchini Lasagna, which is just my regular lasagna recipe, with planks of zucchini subbed for the pasta. Have I never run my lasagna recipe here? Hmm. Well, here’s Carmela Soprano’s recipe. And here’s my recipe for Manicotti. (Edited to say: No one likes the zucchini lasagna but me, apparently. Wacky Boy had a waffle with real maple syrup; Steve and Wacky Girl and I had Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwiches on homemade bread. Fake (vegetarian!) bacon bits = vegetarian BLT. And fresh tomatoes from garden! Rock on.)

* Green Bean Salad (from Food & Family)
500 g green beans topped, tailed and halved
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
50g feta cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the prepared green beans. Cook until al dente, tender enough to bite through but still crisp. Drain and cool under cold tap for a few seconds. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving add crumbled feta cheese and finely chopped parsley. (Edited to say: Awesome recipe, thanks, Kit!) (Also, my daughter made a huge green salad, with diced celery and green onions, grated carrots and red-leaf lettuce. Really perfect.)

* Zucchini Bread! (I use my Dear Late Granny’s Banana Bread recipe and sub zucchini.)

(We have baseball bat-sized squash in the garden, am attempting to use some of it up.) (Edited to say: Pawned off one of the zucchinis on my friend. She promptly wielded it like a bat and started laughing. I’m all, I know, right? I made three (3) loaves of zucchini bread. Found some white chocolate chips, Wacky Girl said, Add ’em! so I did. Oh. Yum. So good. ps if anyone uses the Zucchini Bread recipe from Dear Late Granny’s cookbook, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon is good, 3 is kind of a lot; add 3 cups of zucchini, not 2. That’s all! ta-ta for now.)

xo and happy Tuesday, also, bon appetit!


ahhhhhh… Herbal Iced Tea and a summer day

August 22nd, 2013

Private dock

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

This is one of my favorite photos of the Tualatin River — can’t wait to get out and canoe some more.

Trying to kick coffee/black tea. New delight:

Herbal Iced Tea

4 bags Passion Fruit herbal tea
2 bags ginger tea
A couple splashes lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks

Put in a big jar, cover with cold water, leave out for sun tea.



The Queen’s moat garden

August 20th, 2013

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

steve sent me roses!

August 19th, 2013

Windsor Castle

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

pic of the day

August 17th, 2013

Hole in the wall

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Tuesday Book Review: “Now Open the Box” “Jenny and the Cat Club” and “Junket is Nice”

August 13th, 2013

I only knew Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt (American author, 19011979) from “Pat the Bunny” (first published in 1940) and y’know, I didn’t even know that title from when I was a kid. I discovered it later, once my friends (and then later Steve and I) started having kids. “Junket Is Nice” was her first book (it came out in 1932). She also wrote “Now Open the Box,” “Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather,” “Brave Mr. Buckingham” and “Tiny Animal Stories.” Altogether she wrote close to 50 books, including some titles for adults.

But “Pat the Bunny” is her best known work, and that is just fine by me.

I received a copy of “Now Open the Box” for review, but I picked it up from my P.O. box, and you know… there just happened to be the cutest little girl there, waiting for her mama. So next thing you know, I’m out a book, and she’s happy. So there’s your review.

“Junket is Nice” was recently re-released as part of The New York Review Children’s Collection (“Now Open the Box” is also part of the collection), and I’ve managed to hang on to my review copy, so far. I’ve reviewed some of the Review’s titles here before, and I just cannot say enough about them. The books look good, are well-bound, and are great individually or as a set. What I really appreciate is that they’re not precious. Don’t get me wrong — they are adorable and precious in the best sense of the words, but they are meant to be teethed on by those babies. That, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about. And these books are chewable.

“Junket is Nice” is a goofy-fun book that reminds me somewhat of Wanda Gag’s classic, “Millions of Cats.” The kids will like the rhythm of the book, and the funny images (a walrus with an apple on his back, a one-year-old lion blowing out the candle on his birthday cake, etc.).

I’m hoping to add a copy of “Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories About Jenny Linsky” to my collection. (This is not Jennie from Paul Gallico’s “The Abandoned,” by the by; this one is by Esther Averill.) It looks good, too.

Chicken and Dumplings, a la Granny, and… her cookbook is for sale!

August 2nd, 2013

Cookbook is ready!!! You’ll find it on CreateSpace, on Amazon, and on Kindle… soon.

From my Dear Late Granny’s upcoming COOKBOOK! which, yes, is FINALLY DONE after just eight years or something. will be available thru Amazon and Kindle in the next couple of weeks, so watch for it… I’ll post a link when it’s ready for purchase. In the meantime, here’s a recipe.



Chicken & Dumplings (from Margie & Nancy)

This is a variation on my Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings recipe. She would not use shortening; she would use lard or bacon grease. She also would not add lemon, thyme or a bay leaf; she would add lots of black pepper and call it a day. If the Pioneer Woman (Bree) was making this, she would say forget the lemons and add a little apple cider. She would also suggest adding cornmeal to the flour mixture. Keep experimenting until you get it exactly how you like it at your house.

1 (3-pound) whole chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 slices lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

In a heavy pot with a lid, place the chicken, onion, lemon, salt, pepper, water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Let chicken cool slightly, then take out of pot and remove meat from bones. Discard bones and skin and skim excess fat off the broth. Discard onion, lemon and bay leaf. Return chicken pieces to the pot. Simmer over low heat while making the dumplings.

To make dumplings: In a medium mixing bowl, cut shortening into the flour and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water (more if needed) to form a soft dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface until very thin. Cut into 1-inch strips. Tear off 1-inch pieces from these strips and drop into simmering broth and chicken meat. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on. Serve immediately.


August 2nd, 2013

Moonrise at sunset

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.” — Spanish proverb