Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

I love following little rabbit trails of information. I find such interesting little tidbits about history that way. One such trail led me to this quote today:
I want everyone to be smart. As smart as they can be. A world of ignorant people is too dangerous to live in.
  ~Screenwriter Garson Kanin, from Born Yesterday, 1950

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Seafood Potato Chowder

And now in the not-on-my-diet-and-I-don't-like-clams-anyway menu, I made chowder for Joe's dinner tonight. We also have enough to stick a few jars in the freezer for cool fall evenings. Here's the general instructions for the chowder. I measured nothing, so these are my best guesses.

Saute one chopped onion and a couple of stalks of celery in a little butter until softened.
Add about 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
Add chopped clams. I used about 8 oz we had frozen this summer, but a can or two would work.
Add shredded crab. I had about 6 oz.
Add about 1 cup of canned smoked salmon.

Smoked salmon can be salty, so I added no salt to the pot at this time. I used about a tablespoon of basil, a tablespoon of thyme, and about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Add a couple of large potatoes, cut into chunks. Continue simmering.

Create a roux with 1/4 cup of flour and butter. When the roux is ready, add some of the liquid from the soup and stir it in (so that when you add it to the soup, it doesn't get lumpy). Mix it in to the soup.

Add 1 1/2 cups of warmed whole milk or cream.

When the potatoes are ready, season to taste and enjoy.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

True Heroism

This man is an ordinary person, who in his 20s, used his two week vacation to do something extraordinary. Not to relax, not to recharge, not to serve himself, but to serve others. It's worth the 15 minutes to watch his tale.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

These are actual print ads from previous decades. I wonder how much we will look back on what is commonplace to us now and smack our heads in  shock.

I highlight a few with some mild gender stereotypes. Snort.

Oh, my. I learned to drive on my mom's Subaru. I'm glad I had not seen this ad. Of course, I wouldn't have understood all the innuendo at 15.
That $%*# won't make that mistake twice, apparently.
Not sure if the implication is that the catsup lid is easy to open or easy to figure out which direction to unscrew the lid. Either way....
I want to order that book. It sounds entertaining. Of course, "Do you still beat your wife?" is one of those question either a simple "yes" or a simple "no" will get you into trouble.
Appliances always make every woman happy.  Actually...that looks pretty spiffy...but I don't think I have EVER clasped my hands with glee.
Well. This add just sounds like a collection of bad pick-up lines. I quote: "Have you a perceptive eye, a mind like a calculator, a bend for men who did bikini panties, a passion for Fibber McGee, a cool head for business and an obsession for snakeskin backgammon boards?"
Oh...how did they KNOW about my secret passion for dead snake game boards and jersey nylon dresses!?
No comment needed.
I have NEVER EVER "thrived" on cooking, cleaning and dusting.
Just sayin'.
He will, if you are soft and smell good.
This last one is my favorite. I'm pretty sure she also tasted his food and will need permission to rise.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Some Thoughts on Exes


It's hard to make it to your 40s, or even 30s, without having some sort of an ex. Whether an ex-spouse or an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, those feelings we have when the relationship ends are often painful and all-too-long-lasting.

Here's what I want to say to you, my friends.

Get Over It.


I'm not talking about the fresh break-up. It takes time to heal. I'm talking about the years-later-you-are-still-trash-talking-your-ex-and-thinking-of-ways-to-hurt-him kind of Get Over It.

I am talking to some of my friends, who are carrying around pain and anger, sometimes rightfully so, but who are allowing that hatred to infiltrate their lives. 

It will kill your soul.

I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone will be able to truly forgive their former love for perceived and actual wrongs. What I am saying is that you thinking about Him and how He did you wrong, how He spent all your money, how He treated you badly, how He moved on, and how you still want to run Him over with your car if you see Him, is doing no one any good. He doesn't care that you are ticked off. It isn't ruining His life. It's ruining yours.

I've been there. If I wanted to I could give a list of things my ex did that would curl your hair. But it's not worth my energy.  This weekend I am spending time with a whole bunch of people who last saw me when I was married. They knew my ex. There will be questions. That's fine. I will give them the truth, but abbreviated. Because I have moved on. I have Gotten Over It. And God has healed that pain.

Did it change me and leave scars? Of course. Did your break-up create long-term havoc and distress in your life? Of course it did. I'm not unsympathetic. You may not have wanted the divorce or you may have been the instigator.  Either way, it happened. You aren't responsible for punishing Him. Now is the time to move onward and upward.
Isaiah 43:18-19
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

I wish I could guarantee that the people who need to read this would see it. There are many in my life who are so busy hanging on to their ex that their present and future is being wasted. Some are my friends, some are not.

Trust me when I say, your hatred does not hurt your former spouse, but it will kill you inside.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

More Salmon

I am so glad that Joe gets to clean all the fish.  I did offer to learn, but we have come up with a good processing system that involves him fileting and me vacuum sealing and cleaning up. So I have dodged that bullet.
 Here he is just starting on my bigger coho (silver) from today. It was the largest one of the four in the boat (as I have mentioned to Joe about 642 times) and had over 4.5 pounds just in filets.
  I have become totally addicted to salmon fishing. Just the process of casting, reeling in, and being out on the river is so wonderful. When I am out there, I always think that I would be satisfied to just be sitting there...even if we aren't catching anything.
But then the fish hits the hook. And my heart races. And as Joe told me today...I get a crazy grin that doesn't go away until the fish is in the boat and unhooked. Then I can relax a little again. Until the next "fish on".
Isn't it a good sign when the filets hang over the side of my largest ironstone platter?  And this isn't even a huge fish. We weighed the meat we harvested today and we put more than 14 pounds in the freezer.
We also put up 2.5 pounds of eggs. We have a lot to do with them so we can use them for bait. Apparently there is a whole process that we need to put them through before we use it. I guess I will learn about that later.  I think the eggs are actually quite pretty just as they are.
Also this week I started some sauerkraut. It's sitting in a crock on the counter fermenting. We shall see how it comes out. I'm pretty excited about it, having never made it before.  More on that later.  But only if it turns out!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An Art Mystery

...mostly solved. At least to my satisfaction.

Our family has owned a lovely watercolor painting since the 1950s. It has been hanging somewhere in my home since adulthood and I have always loved it.

Here is the mystery. We have always referred to it as a Nome (Alaska) street scene, but have had only vague memories and recollections for verifications, as everyone from the generation that purchased it has passed away.

Multiple internet searches and even a call to the Nome Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago yielded no information on the artist, clearly signed "Z Green".

It was a dead end, until yesterday.

One more random internet wander...and I found this postcard.

Now it may be a coincidence that the two little ones are wearing the same color jackets, but there is no denying the placement of the boardwalk and the telephone poles.
I suppose my next adventure will be to attempt to locate an actual copy of this postcard to attach to the back of the painting.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to Grill Salmon

A few people have asked me recently how we like to grill our fish. It's probably one of my favorite meals, and very easy to prepare.

First, I prefer a charcoal grill. I know, I know, it's not nearly as easy as lighting the propane, but for pure flavor, it's how I really enjoy it.

Create a makeshift aluminum pan from heavy-duty foil. I am far too thrifty to buy one every time, and the skin will stick to the pan bottom, so for pure ease of clean-up, this is the way to go.

Lay the fish, skin side down, in the pan.

Silver salmon spread with homemade spiced peach preserves.

Season (here are a few ideas):
  • spread with butter, sprinkle Johnny's seasoning, drizzle with honey
  • apricot or peach preserves
  • mix mayo, Dijon mustard, capers, salt and pepper, and fresh parmesan
Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan to keep the fish lovely and moist

Grill for approximately 15 minutes. Check for doneness easily with a fork. When fish "flakes" apart...it's ready to enjoy.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Salmon and Squash

When God created the salmon, I'm almost certain he had this one in mind. Tonight we ate the little Silver (Coho) that I caught this weekend. We ate the WHOLE THING. Because, with a little butter, Johnny's seasoning, honey, and the grill, it was amazing.

Joe wants to make sure I give credit where it is due. He tied the line and fileted the fish. But I caught it. So it's mine. And I deserve most of the credit. Right?

And I made acorn squash for the first time. I think it must be the easiest side dish ever.  Not the best picture, but I couldn't resist showing it off.

Acorn Squash:

Cut it in half, scoop the seeds, and bake face down in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes to soften.

Place one half in a small casserole or baking dish and fill the cavity with some butter and brown sugar. The put the other half on (like a lid) and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

And you're done.

Why haven't I made that before? And it was cheap. 59 cents. Nothing is 59 cents anymore!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Zucchini Bread

Here's my recipe for the moistest and most flavorful zucchini bread ever. I have adapted this one a few times, and today's was just about perfect.

Oven @ 350
Grease two 9x5 bread pans (or four small pans for gifts!)

Very fitting.