Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Cooking

Pasta alla Norma

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggplants (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon reds pepper flakes
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or parsley
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the rigatoni. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat almost to smoking.  Add the eggplant and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes. 

Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. 

When the water is boiling, stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the rigatoni. Cook, stirring often until rigatoni is tender but firm. 

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the rigatoni, and return it to the pot. Stir in the eggplant sauce, basil, and Pecorino Romano and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add small amounts of the reserved pasta cooking water only if needed to losses the sauce before serving. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July Meditation

He should first show them in deeds rather than words all that is good and holy. 

Saint Benedict of Nursia

July Poetry

The Tiger 

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 
In what distant deeps or skies 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand dare seize the fire? 
And what shoulder and what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? and what dread feet? 
What the hammer? what the chain? 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 
When the stars threw down their spears, 
And watered heaven with their tears, 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 

William Blake, 1794

July Goals

     Daily Bible Reading
     Sayings of the Desert Fathers

     Chair Dancing DVD
     Salad for lunch x3

     Buy batting and backing for baby quilt
     Layer and baste baby quilt

     The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
     A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster
     The Children Return by Martin Walker
     The Beautiful Mystery by Martin Walker (Audio)

     Shrimp Jambalaya
     Fruited Chicken Salad
     Steak, GMP, and GB

     Finish sorting DVDs and Video Cassette tapes
     House cleaners come Tuesday

     Make reservations for September trip to Washington, D.C. 
     Make haircut/nail appointments

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Around OakMeadows

Here is the new baby quilt top.  It is supposed to be baby rattles but it looks more like bow ties. 

I still need to buy the backing and the batting.  I want to do the backing in a navy blue with with polka dots and use the backing to bind the edges. 

We went to see Jurassic World this afternoon. It was the first of the Jurassic movies that I have seen. I found it entertaining. 

I've been on the library wait list for the latest Bruno Chief of Police mystery since it came out and finally my name got to the top and I picked it up today. Perfect reading for the holiday weekend.  I don't understand the women in these stories--Bruno can cook for me any day!! Anyway, I will be in the Perigord for the next several days. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats all eat Fancy Feast and the people will be reading about Bruno Chief of Police in the Perigord all weekend. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Around OakMeadows

Just looking over some of the Yosemite pictures.  It was so beautiful and so peaceful. Next year we are going to Yellowstone. 

I am finally over my month long cold and my energy levels are back to normal. Yea for that!!

I have seen a few butterflies--1 Monarch on the milkweed and 1 Gulf fritillary on the clematis but nothing like what we usually have. Maybe it was the month of rain we had in May. I don't know. 

My baby quilt is coming along. I have the blocks together and tomorrow I plan to put the borders on it.  Then I need to buy the batting and find a fabric for the back. 

I am reading A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster.  So far it is very interesting. The author takes the time and effort to place Muir in the culture of the time and it makes him a much more human person. Joe and I are still reading The Weight Brothers by David McCullough and finding it just fascinating. I'm listening to The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. It is an Armand Garmache murder mystery. So far so good. 

Every morning when I take the birdseed out, I have a pair of cardinals and a pair of woodpeckers waiting for me.  I didn't know woodpeckers liked peanuts so much!  There are also some squirrels waiting for me to bring their morning repast too. Our nightly visitors include raccoons, possums, and deer. 

Our sweet daughter came over this afternoon and we enjoyed a visit and made chocolate chip 
cookies. I wonder how many times we have bakes cookies together? Must be in the hundreds, if not thousands of times. You know when you are in the middle of child rearing, you wonder if you are doing anything right or if everything you do is wrong. But somehow we all got through it and what a wonderful person she is. 

We have had no rain for long enough now that Joe has been able to get everything mowed. It looks so nice now and the crepe myrtles are beginning to bloom too.  We have another set of barn swallow babies in a nest on the front porch and  of course that is a mess but so worth it when we get to see the babies learn to fly. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats are all lap cats and the people are all retired. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Cooking

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Red Onion

2 (5-ounce) bags baby spinach
10 ounces bacon (10 slices), chopped fine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

Place the spinach in a large bowl.  Fry the bacon in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper and cook until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the vinegar, then pour over the spinach and toss to wilt. Portion the salad onto individual plates and garnish with the bacon and eggs. Serve immediately.