Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Persimmons Wordless Wednesday

Almost wordless: just a warning. Wait til persimmons are fully ripe, very squishy, the insides like a soft jelly. If not fully ripe the astringent taste is a dreadful experience; when ripe they are very sweet. We cut them in half, add a touch of lemon juice and whip cream and eat them with a spoon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bargain books, 2 memoirs, a detective novel and a book related to Downton Abbey

I bought three of these books at our local Goodwill book store. It is a small store that just sells books, dvds, and music.
My husband and I have read the whole detective mystery series about John Rebus by Ian Rankin except for this most recent one, "Saints of the Shadow Bible." "A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle" by Liza Campbell, is a memoir. Her father was heir to Cawdor Castle where she was born and a review says "wild sorry tale with an offhand wit."
My third Goodwill purchase is "Blue Nights" by Joan Didion, another memoir. I have read other memoirs by her, and she writes about the death of her beloved daughter in this one.
These hardcovers cost $3.49 each and the money goes to a good cause.
My fourth wonderful book is "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey", which is nonfiction about the 5th Countess of Carnarvon written by the 8th and current Countess. The Carnarvon family estate is Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed. The real life Lady Almina and the fictional Lady Cora Crawley have much in common, including opening their estate to wounded soldiers in World War I, and I love this book. If you like Downton Abbey or history I recommend this book.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apples on our George Foreman Grill

Recently I posted to y'all how I was thinking about getting a George Foreman grill. Well, we were given one, and it is fabulous.
The photo above shows apple slices prepared to be grilled. There is brown sugar, cinnamon and olive oil on them. I think they are Winesap apples.
A must have feature of this George Foreman grill is that the heating plates easily remove for cleaning, in soapy water or in the dishwasher. One night we cooked two pork chops and sliced apples at the same time.
The above photo shows the cooked sliced apples. Yummy. At the bottom of the photo is the separate grease catching plastic container that came with the grill; that makes anything cooked on the grill more healthy as the excess fat drains away. The grill makes nice black lines on the food cooked on it. The lines are not so evident on the apples but zucchini, hamburgers and pork chops had them.
The apples take about 10 minutes to cook, and that is true of everything we've done, from 5 to 12 minutes. Eggplant slices are fabulous cooked on it.
Do you have favorite foods to cook on this type of electric grill?


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Happy List part two

On July 8, 2013 I posted some things that make me happy, as part one.
ANGEL
This angel is one of my favorite treasures, which my sister bought for me at a rummage sale years ago, probably in a church. Angel is made from an old hymnal and survived being mailed from Wisconsin to me in California. Her dress is made from the folded hymnal pages.
 

WHIMSY
I buy things that make me smile and put them in my garden. Here is my Dancing Seagull from Goodwill.
  

FRIENDS
Yes, friends. They are the flowers in our garden of life. Thanks Sparkles for this suggestion.

QUOTES
I collect quotes, poems and Scripture and can find one to fit any occasion perfectly. Often I find quotes when reading blogs, and add them to my collection. I also collect words that make me smile and that are new to me. A British blog friend says she "took a bimble" and I like that word, it means a stroll, often with no particular purpose, but in a friendly manner. Another British word I learned from Sparkles is "naff", which means unstylish or lacking in taste, or as a verb "to goof off".

BREEZE
A gentle breeze, and sometimes a brisk one, is always appreciated by me, especially on a warm or hot day. Sometimes heaven gets my attention with the touch of a breeze on my face and I even wrote a poem about that.
I walk along the ocean several times a week and there is always the kiss of a breeze on even the hottest day.     

WALKING
I walk along the ocean two or three times a week. Walking is good for my body and my soul. There is a "little free library" three blocks from our home and sometimes I stop on my walk and donate a book or two. Do you have a little free library? They are handmade little boxes on posts, people put them in their front yards near the sidewalk, they hold about 20 books and you can take or donate a book. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy week, roses, peppers, skunk

Some recent photos I took.
Pink and white roses, peppers our neighbor grew, and a young skunk drinking water in a blurred photo taken through the sliding glass doors. All photos from this week at our house.
Some happy events from my week: yesterday our oldest son treated me to lunch downtown. I had spicy chicken mole (no, not the animal mole, LOL, it is pronounced mo lay and is a chocolate and spices Mexican sauce), fancy polenta cooked in a pie type crust with whole kernels of corn in it and a lightly dressed mixed lettuce salad with pepitas in it. I watched two of my friends sing and dance in our local Follies, songs from the 1930s and 40s and a patriotic tribute appreciated all the more since it was on Sept. 11.  Publishers sent me a copy of The Gem magazine which arrived at my house, with my poem "She Walked Alone" in it, and a check. The July 20, 2014 issue.
The weather is great too, from 70 to 85, so I am counting my blessings. And when God sends rain I will count that as another huge blessing.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Garden Poem and a Book

Oh God above
send us showers,
send us sunlight.
We plant promising seeds
encased in their hard shells,
and they reach up to you.



The above is a garden prayer poem I wrote today.
Do you gardeners have blogger Jan Johnson's new book titled "Heaven is a Garden"?
Her blog is Serenity in the Garden
This book is a treasure to hold and to read.
One small section is Create a Dew Garden. What a creative idea. Jan writes about "a dewdrop garden of roses." That is just one of a wide array of ideas she shares.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shishkebob, and Foreman Grills Question

A meal that is part of any warm weather we have, spring, summer and fall, shishkebob. There are several spellings for this meal, including shish kebab. My computer keyboard doesn't allow for the Turkish typing of sis, which is pronounced shish.
We use metal skewers (shish), some of them are from Turkey and are the best kind which means that the blades are a little flattened and not round, so the meat doesn't slip and turn as you turn the skewers.
I learned to savor this meal the year I was in college in Istanbul, Turkey, where it is a popular dish.
Small pieces of lamb, steak, pork, chicken or shrimp, about 1 or 2 inches across, add lots of veggies and voila.
We like onions, green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Notice that the meat is on a separate skewer. This is important since the meat takes longer to cook. If you put meat and veggies on the same skewer you can end up with raw meat and charred vegetables.
You may marinate the meat in olive oil and lemon juice or a marinade of your choice, or just baste with the marinade while cooking the shishkebob.
My husband volunteers to be in charge of prep and cooking.
Thank you dear hubby.
George Foreman Grills
I have read that the George Foreman grills are handy for cooking vegetables, like green beans. Have you tried this? I don't have one of those grills and am thinking of buying one for the convenience of cooking vegetables indoors on the grill. If you have a George Foreman or similar grill, how do you use it?