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Yet More Creek

April 23, 2020

I know…

It’s about time for something else, but 1) my days are pretty much walk, flowers, eat, repeat and 2) the news I do consume (which is a lot) is so damn depressing, all I’d do is complain and the future me does not want to read it.

Yes, I want to get some of it down because it’s an historic time — both in each of our lives and in the biggest possible worldly way — and it deserves to be observed, experienced, processed…  I will. I do. It’s exhausting.

So… today, more scenes from the creek.. with a bonus at the end.

I’m a huge fan of this grass that is so dense and lush, but today the yellow flowers really made it pop..

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Snoozing ducks, who are so unfazed by us walkers..

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And here come the flowers…

 

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One of the last remaining poppies.. in a sea of yellow..

 

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These were just stunning…

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Oh my god, these are so pretty.. and with that bridge in the background.. gosh..

 

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My camera (phone) chooses its own focal point… I just go with whatever it decides.. I like this..

 

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And here’s the bonus.. thanks, Vicki!!

Me working hard to get a shot.

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(And now I know my hair’s grey! I honestly did not know that… )

 

Day #40 in the Old North

April 22, 2020

Quiet day. Got dozy in our window seat with warm air wafting through open windows. Yes I did.

It went over 80 degrees today.

And a nice late afternoon walk in the Old North…

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Day #39

April 21, 2020

More adventures in baking. Sorry.

Decided to try those flourless cocoa cookies again, because, as my note on the recipe suggested, this may be the best cookie I’ve ever made (and eaten). I LOVED these cookies.. but I had messed up the recipe because I didn’t have unsweetened cocoa and instead used hot chocolate mix (which has powdered milk in it).

So, I wanted to try the recipe again, this time with the proper ingredients. But ran into a problem right out of the gate. I cracked three eggs into the bowl and got FIVE yolks. What are the chances… TWO sets of twins in three eggs.

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Dilemma: does this constitute three eggs? Or five eggs? The recipe called for three eggs.. what to do, what to do. I used them all, concluding that volume-wise, they came from three eggs.

The batter was S T I C K Y !

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It was a chore forming into cookies.. but managed..

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And.. they look okay, not like the last time I baked them, but okay..

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There was one other potential issue…

They were to be baked for 10-13 minutes. I removed at 10, thinking they fit the description of “done.” When fully cooled, I tried one. Not done. So… I reheated the oven and put them back in (that never works!). Three extra minutes didn’t seem adequate, so continued for ANOTHER two minutes. Hail Mary’ing the whole way.

But….  they worked!

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Crispish on the outside, chewy, deep (dark chocolaty), rich. One at a time is about all a person can handle. Even better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoomsters

April 20, 2020

New thing for our little family and such a sign of the times — tech-wise, society-wise and global pandemic-wise.

Our check in last night (wish it was a regular event, it isn’t, but we do manage about once a week) started as a phone call, which morphed into a Facetime call so Peter could show us something, then I decided to ramp up to Zoom.. mostly because Jim hadn’t sat in on a Zoom call yet and, well, why not? I’ve participated in countless Zoom calls at this point (though, of course, I am counting them), but had never set one up myself… so as Peter was describing a lab experiment, I was setting up the call on another channel, so to speak, then, this happened!

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There is some kind of fluid in that contraption that, as the video progresses, will begin to form waves (he’s taking a wave engineering course of some sort). It was so very, very cool to be able to not only talk, but have Peter show us stuff. It kind of amazed me, too, that we went right into the substance of the experiment within seconds of arriving to the Zoom platform.. like, well, yeah, of course. Didn’t miss a beat.

But soon we moved on to a story that Jim shared. It’s the one where the man walks into Sutter Hospital last week, says he’s there to pick up the covid-19 sample, the staff hands it right over and thinks nothing of this odd little exchange…until they see him riding away on a bike. (TRUE STORY!) (The poor fellow has mental illness issues, but the staff sure doesn’t.)

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That was pretty funny. And when Jim thinks something is funny, and begins laughing, we ALL laugh because it’s just so hilarious to see Jim laugh that hard..

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I love my family.

And now we Zoom.

 

Bakin’ Fools

April 19, 2020

Jim took the first baking shift this morning…

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast:

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He used the bread maker to mix, knead and raise the dough, then put the dough in a muffin pan and baked the rolls in the oven. Worked pretty well.

We each ate four. FOUR. As great as they were, this may explain my day-long stomach ache. They were great going down and that sugar glaze was insane.

I took the second shift…

Tried that no-knead dutch oven bread everybody’s been talking about and it worked pretty well!

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Heavy as all get out. Jim’s theory is that were a person to knead-rise-punch-down-repeat, the bread might come out lighter and airier. Also, maybe half whole wheat and half white flour? I’m eager experiment and try adding ingredients, like olives or cheese… we’ll see.

Nice to have fresh hot bread, in any case.

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Dazzling Ditch

April 18, 2020

I have to conclude that spring is a good time to walk the North Davis ditch. Second weekend in a row I’ve met Janet up there… and I’m liking it a lot.

I did nothing to this picture; it’s that green.

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About to cross over the top of the ditch on that bridge out of North Davis Farms…

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This is the Whitcomb pond (right?) north of the  bridge.. nice to have your own private pond…

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Looking north..

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So… it’d been 11 days since our last shopping trip.. and this time it was my turn. Damn.. it’s tedious shopping for so many days. It took at least an hour in the store, then getting all of it from the car into the house, then another near-hour to get everything scanned (that’s Jim’s deal) and put away (my deal). Good lord.

We’re definitely getting ourselves a lot more organized on this meal planning, shopping and cooking thing. I’d picked a bunch of recipes to try (thanks New York Times cooking section, which I pay for) and shopped accordingly. It’s rather time consuming, but seems a good front end thing to do to make a couple of weeks of cooking a lot easier.

I tried a new pasta tonight…

Caramelized six thinly sliced shallots and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves in olive oil:

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Added anchovies and tomato paste (and more kosher salt and pepper).. another recipe where anchovies are added and which melt into the dish, leaving just an intense flavor that you can’t quite put your finger on, but is significant (we’re not sure we like it):

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Then added al dente pasta, a cup of hot pasta water which will completely cook off, leaving a thick, rich paste that coats the pasta. Then you toss fresh parsley and some finely chopped garlic upon this earthy pasta and voila, dinner!

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Jim’s comment: edible.

He may give up on my cooking pretty soon, but for now I’m still having a good time. I have to admit this one was more enjoyable to make than to consume. Still…

Then I started a new batch of bread! Feeling a lot like a Suzie Homemaker. Will report on that adventure tomorrow.

 

 

 

I Got Nuthin

April 17, 2020

So, gosh.. Day #35..

I finally fell asleep at 5:00am.. got about 3 hours of sleep last night. That was weird.. and left me a bit fuzzy of brain today. Still, got a workout, a yoga session, two zoom meetings in, made some progress on my Inbox Zero project, attended a Distance Cocktail Party and made some great scalloped potatoes to go with the last of the meatloaf. Off to watch season 7 of Veep.. Pretty good day for a walking zombie.

But I have no pictures.

Just for fun…

I ran across this photo attached to a long-ago email (one of thousands I’m trying to cull from my inbox). Saved the picture, of course.. I mean, wouldn’t you?

He was just about to turn 6.

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And I did manage a picture of those scalloped potatoes. Very low cal: half and half, butter, parmesan cheese.. and a pincha freshly grated nutmeg (oh, and 2 russets).

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