Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Days of the week

Macarons, Laduree, September 2007.

Four days on the ground in Europe. Some could go with two pairs of smalls, I'll splurge this time and go with four. Ditto for socks. Socks used to be my big purchase, now with the Bush Peso in the toilette, I'll settle for recycling my socks from 2004 and pretending that things are better than they are. I could share with you my ATM transactions from last month and you can watch the dollar weaken yourself, day by day.

This trip is about London, Paris and Brussels. I'm seeing a great lunch in London, a michelin one star dinner in Paris and moules at Place St. Catherine to top things off.

I'll be flickring as I can, so stop by and see what is going on.

Thanks also for all the emails about LJ and SD. My parents still seem to be out of danger, but according to some, the smoke is pretty bad in LJ.


Monday, October 22, 2007

completely and utterly freaked

San Diego Fires.

My prayers are with all residents of No. San Diego County.

Parentals are here, keeping their fingers crossed that the fire does not go further down south.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Please visit Ernest, he is concerned about the change in weather, try and reassure him will you?

Tablecloth weights, believe it or not, we don't have.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life underneath the kiwi vine, October 2007.

TH is in Honolulu all week for work. Yes, really work. I promise you she's is slaving, not surfing, nor slamming back the mai tais. She's interacting with her peers to make science work better for you.

I am using this opportunity to do those things that you just can't do with another human body in the house such as bathroom recaulking, oven cleaning and lingerie clean out. Unlike most people who pine when their partners are gone, I determine the number of chores that can possibly get done without interruption.I have another dear friend who looks at alone time as creative time intermixed with garbage/purge chores that she can do by herself.

They are quite freeing these very important business trips.

Next week, we'll both be traveling, together for the most part. I hope the dog keeps up with the honey do list while we're gone.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


J: Hi NM, do you want to meet for dinner tonight? X is in town and I figured we could all get together.

At this point, I'm thinking no, its Sunday night and I'm not leaving the house...

J: I have your tiles from the Moravian Tile Works.

At this point, I am still not leaving the house.
J: I also have a bag of quince.

Okay, I'm going out, she has me hooked. I love quinces and I love her, but come on Sunday night...
I heart you J for dragging my sorry ass out more, I need it. I owe you one.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Weekend

Frankly, I would be happy just sitting and reading all weekend. I'll be gleaning the garden, making rummage relish, something that requires zucchini and pepper jelly and keeping the dog amused. That seems to take more time than anything.

Happy sunny days all.


Monday, October 08, 2007

I love book reviews in magazines, online journals and on Amazon. The idea that you can search for one book and find several similar books or see what others that bought your selection also bought is sometimes intriguing. Sometimes you can find a gem nestled into some of the duds that others tend to read. In some cases, some of the connections between books seem so tenuous, but sometimes they work.

On my way to Patricia Wells' new book on vegetables, I came across this little beauty by Viana La Place called My Italian Garden. It arrived for me at the library (see, amazon, book reviews, magazine reviews = library holds) and I love it.

Today, I made a green tomato risotto that at first didn't seem like it would work, the timing seemed strange including a brief 16 minute stirring for the arborio rice. As a risotto maker, I realized that this step would take longer and just went with it. After about 30 minutes the rice finally went from crunchy to creamy and the risotto was done.

TH gave it a thumbs up with reservations on when the tomatoes get added and if you could add smoked fish to it. I think she's reliving a dish she had in Leith years ago.

Without further ado, I give you Green Tomato Risotto adapted from La Place's My Italian Garden, 2007.

Serves 4 healthy appetites

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 garlic clove, finely chopped3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leafed parsley1 1/2 lbs green tomatoes , thinly slicedsea salt1 1/2 cups arborio rice5 cups lightly salted water, veggie broth or chicken broth, brought to a simmer1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter1/2 cup almonds (lightly toasted) and finely chopped10 large fresh basil leaves, torn into fragments
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

In a medium, heavy bottomed pan (I used a le creuset), heat the olive oil. Add garlic and saute over medium low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and cook for another 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt to taste and stir well. Cook until tomatoes start to break apart, about 10 minutes.

Add rice and stir for several minutes to coat the grains with the tomato, oil and parsley concoction. Begin adding broth/water by the ladleful, stirring until each ladleful has been absorbed. Add the next ladleful and continue add broth and stir until all the broth is used up. The risotto is done when the arborio rice goes opaque and the mixture become creamy, about 30 minutes.

At this point, remove from heat, add butter and let it rest for a few minutes.

Before serving, stir in almonds and basil. Serve risotto in shallow pasta bowls, add parmesan if you wish.

I had oven dried some sweet cherry tomatoes. We added these to the second servings of the risotto, it was a nice contrast with the tang of the green tomatoes.

Buon Appetito.


Sunday, October 07, 2007


Sorry I have been out of commission. I have lots of great ideas to discuss, but really have been without a spare few moments.

Right now the heavens have let loose. Taking what I said in my last post to heart, I embraced every last moment of dry weather and squeezed it dry yesterday and today. We took down what was left of our allotment yesterday. It was time that TH carved out of her very busy planned to the minute schedule because it had to be done. Sad as it was, we did it. We harvested another handful of carrots, some huge beets, lots of squash, pumpkins that are show quality and more green tomatoes. We are left with chopped up sunflowers, some beets that can be gleaned, some radicchio that sounded good at first, but wasn't the kind we're crazy about. I am hoping the food bank recipient that gets it can put it good use. I couldn't bear to chop down our amazing dahlias. We'll do it on Friday, rain or shine and take the huge fistfuls of tubers to our long season plot and replace dahlias that just didn't seem to want to show off their flossy flowers this year.

Our year round plot is amazing me with its raspberries. We picked and ate yesterday. I'm sure the rain right now is not helping matters, but in tomorrow's promised sun before more clouds, I'll run down and pick what is ripe. I see a small tart in my future. Ditto for our pear supply, why plant fruit trees if you are not going pick your crop? Every day on our walk, we scrump (Sorry Kerri), pears from our neighbors yard mostly to keep ourselves from injury from slipping on mushy fruit that falls to the ground. TH picked six today, some will go on our salad, some in a nice pear tart tatin for tomorrow.

Yesterday the rain held off enough for TH and I to attend the Arboretum Foundation bulb sale and make our contribution the cause. We only brought back three full bags of bulbs. This year I feel to scattered to make a good estimate at where we need bulbs. I'll augment the amazing collection of narcissus and species tulips I bought with alliums from my friends at Choice Bulb Farms at the Farmer's Market.

The rain held off long enough for an impatient basset hound to have a great walk and putter in the maples at the Arboretum to feel that his day was not all about retail for humans.

This morning the rain held off long enough for me to drive from Seattle to Bellingham at 4:30 for the half. It was a strange drive for me to do in the dark. There with very few people on the roads and I realized that until you go north of Marysville, you are infested with lights and signs and development that makes you were old enough to remember more than getting sick on Chuckanut Drive every summer you spend two weeks up in Birch Bay. Skagit Valley when your friend Paula's grandparents farmed and ran an u-pick for raspberries, you know, the Skagit Valley that was about farming and not about Paper Zone, Lowes and Premium Outlets. It was a drive where I listened to songs from my youth spun by a disc jockey with whom I went to high school.

The rain held off until J, F and I were safely enclosed in our booth at Anthony's over looking the last .2 miles of the marathon/half marathon route. We had a great race, with the nastiest hills and wind that I have ever seen, we made a amazing times. I send a grateful thanks to the nice woman I walked/ran with the last three miles for keeping my spirit in check and my motivation up to try and make my PR.

For this I am thankful.