Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Moment

Whether it was late February 2020 or sometime during the first half of March of the same year, I'm not sure, but during one of our mornings of listening to the radio in bed, particular stories on Morning Edition began to make it clear to me that something big, deadly and contagious, was headed our way--if it wasn't already with us.

I can remember musing over the possible changes we'd need to make to stay healthy and thinking it was not a great time in our country's history for something so serious to happen. The following Tuesday (March 10), that I was scheduled to volunteer in kindergarten (after that musing) I mentioned to the office assistant, how I was wondering, when they'd put a bottle of hand sanitizer by the volunteer-sign-in area. That was my first encounter with--it's just another flu & there's no need to panic--kind of vibe.

When I got to the classroom, where I volunteer, I mentioned to my teacher that this may be the last time I'd be volunteering, until "this" was over. She said that she wondered if she ought to suggest the same to her other volunteers. She'd been listening to the news, too. 

And then the friend dates were next. I was hoping to continue with outdoor walks, but no way would I try to cajole anyone into something they're not comfortable with, during a pandemic. That's both ridiculous and insulting, in my opinion. A simple lack of respect. 

Now? Now I'm waiting for the jab and glad our world won't constrict any farther than it has. Oh and can I say again, how glad I am to be stuck with N? Because it's true. Love, K

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Chicken and Broccoli

Every single time I'm in the mood to make chicken and broccoli, I can't find the last recipe I used. Which usually means that that last recipe failed to amuse our taste buds. And so, off I go, looking for the elusive, perfectly suited recipe. This time, a recipe for chicken alfredo with broccoli, stood out. Mainly, because they didn't use a can of soup in place of making your own roux. 

But the recipe called for shells and I wanted to serve the dish with rice. No big deal, yet I was concerned I'd lose this recipe too, all because one day I'd look at that sheet of paper and exclaim, "I don't usually make recipes using shells". So here we go, writing it out for myself and hoping it makes enough sense for someone else to find their way.

Prep: Chop half an onion, cut up 2 cups of broccoli to desired size, shred a cup of parmesan cheese, cut up 2 cups of rotisserie/cooked chicken, mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, set out one ounce of cream cheese (if desired), one teaspoon Italian seasoning, measure out and set aside, 1/2 cup half and half with 1&1/2 cups of chicken broth, cook rice.

Oh, and since our historic ice storm, our oven has been out of action. I made this using an electric skillet.

Saute onions, in olive oil, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until translucent, add minced garlic for last 30 seconds. Scoop onions and garlic into a bowl.

Add 3-4 cups of water, bring to boil, add broccoli, cover, cook for 4-7 minutes, according to broccoli preference. Strain--save water for cooking rice, if you wish.

Gently toast 2 Tbsps of flour over medium heat, for one minute, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, stirring constantly with a fork, for two minutes.

Add 1 oz of cream cheese, mash into roux. Gradually stir in a mixture of 1/2 cup of half and half and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, while constantly stirring. When thickened, add broccoli, onions and cooked rice. Add chicken broth if needed. Serve over rice. Enjoy.

And this is where I start wondering what detail I left out. Please let me know. Love, K

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Someone's Hammering on the Roof

N's awesome when it comes to tackling a project. He noticed the blue sky day on the weather forecast, bought needed supplies the day before, and got busy working right after breakfast. I went out to see how things were going and there was neighbor G and C, lending a hand and verbal assistance.

Which leaves me much relieved, knowing there are other eyes watching in case of injuries. Keeps me from heading outside every 15-20 minutes, to make sure N's still okay. And I'm also glad, because it was their tree that made the hole in our roof, and it may open the door to more discussion about the fate of those trees and the arborvitae hedge that's had better years.

And so, many thanks to this blue sky day and to neighbors. Personally, I'm certain that without the sky taunting me, those Venetian blinds would still be dusty--not that the neighbors care. BUT my old nose does. How's your day going? Love, K

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Old Clipped Contadina Stir-fry Recipe

Update: Made this tonight, which reminded me that there's a missing flavor note. I can't remember if I solved this. Let me know if you did/do. Love, K

I clipped this recipe, from a can of Contadina stewed tomatoes, when we lived in Roseburg. It was one of those recipes, that seemed to taste different every time I cooked it. I'd long forgotten it, until I was talking to a cousin about a time they came for a visit. Her husband continued to talk about that meal over the years. Apparently, it hit an old food memory for his taste buds. And so, for me, it was an opportunity to remember it and plan to make it once again.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Lookie Loos

As of today, we've only gone out of the neighborhood once, since the ice storm. Makes sense that our curious eyes aren't helpful to the folks doing all of the clean-up, but it's difficult not heading out to go take a look at all of the destruction. 

One, of our three routes, in and out of the neighborhood, has been closed since the thirteenth. You'd think one of the homeowners or utility workers would've taken some photos to share, but then there's probably the concern it would draw lookie loos. 

All of those tall, mostly deciduous, trees, with thick moss and ivy adding weight and decay to the mix, were/are probably in a deadly tangled mess. And now that sign reads, "Road Work"--good grief, what else happened?

I like snow--watching it fall, hoping a few inches will stick (if there's nowhere necessary to go), making the first footprints ... and the quiet, BUT I do not like freezing rain. Not one teensy tiny itsy bitsy iota. You can have the freezing rain, if you wish, but send the light dustings of snow my way. Love, K

Thursday, February 18, 2021

. . . And We're Back . . . Mostly

 After reading the weather reports and listening to the local forecasters, we had a hunch that things might get dicey here in "Tree City USA". I took a trip to get the week's groceries earlier in the week than the covid usual, hoping that would be the only wishful insurance we'd need.

We were streaming our current series on the television, Friday night, when we started to hear the booms of transformers blowing and our lights flickered, went off, returned, more booms, more flickering and finally darkness. The television was silent, but the transformers and trees were not.

That night in bed, we continued to hear (and feel) the booms, crashes and thuds, with what sounded like smaller explosions. I was wide awake with worry, not just for the house, but because N needs electricity to use his needed sleep machine. After talking to neighbor G, a day later, they were doing much the same in their house that night.

The next day, we discovered one of neighbor G's Ash tree tops, poking through the sheetrock, inside our garage. Smallish hole, no car damage, so far not bad. N began cleanup and inspection of our street, with Junior across the way. They cleared branches from other neighbors' yards and drives, over the next couple of days.

By Wednesday, we were getting a bit more weary of living in the winterized trailer, while needing to use the plumbing in the house--difficult to complain, when we have a warm place to stay and cook with our two elderly dogs. By noon, we had a crew of 3 PGE trucks at the top of our road. 

After a couple of hours work, they started to drive down our road. And that's when people began to stream out of their front doors--we'd all been hearing many stories of the PGE thinking a neighborhood was with power again and leaving. But no, they were headed to the bottom of the road to finish the job. A short while later, N came into the trailer to exclaim the lights were back on! Such excitement!

Our one year old induction oven, seems to have been damaged due to the power surge, so we still have things to deal with. Yet having a normal morning--right now, this year--that's priceless. Hoping the same for everyone still cold and dark. Hang in there, power's on the way.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Hot Browns for the Win

I don't know if it's true, but it feels like I've been thumbing through the cookbook collection more often in this past pandemic year. I happened across this recipe last week. And with some leftover rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator, the timing was right. 
I only used 4 slices of bread, and a little less bacon, and it was delightful. Makes me wonder if the amazing BLTs, I used to get from a small cafe years ago, had some worcestershire sauce and parmesan in the mayo. 
If the recipe is too difficult to see, I might scan instead of using this photo. Let me know. Love, K


Another Laundry Miracle

 My blue sock had been missing for a couple of weeks--nearly to the point of giving up and sending that single to the bin. Until yesterday ...  I'm just glad I was there to witness the event--otherwise who would ever believe it. 

I was following N down the hall, telling him something unimportant (because pandemic), when something slipped from his pant leg to the floor. And there it was--my blue sock. If that's not a laundry miracle, then I've lost my marbles. {and no, I've only lost a few} Love, K

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Going Public

 There we were, walking into Costco, both in our blue jeans and me in my favorite red shoes, blue jacket--AND enjoying a good hair day. (Woo woo) Going out to add to the larder, has become one of our few public activities these days of the pandemic. Our one time a week or so, when we might check the clothing for breakfast or yesterday's dinner, and head out of the 'hood.

After we returned to the house and before we started putting things away, I may have gone to the bathroom. That's when I saw the swathe of smeared mud across the the front of my jacket. Silly me, had forgotten I had picked up our Izzy dog, during our dog walk the day before. 

There's a skateboarder who, for a reason only Izzy knows, sends her into Kujo mode. And for everyone's sake, I pick her up, with her face turned in the opposite direction. My blue jacket, is all neat and tidy again, but for the next week or two, it'll amuse me each time I put it on. That's what I'm here for--the amusement ... okay ... AND the good hair days. Love, K

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Weathering the Weather

 I find weather and the effect weather can have on people's actions and moods, to be fascinating. Maybe it's a Northwest thing, due to the number of cloudy and rainy days we enjoy. Or maybe it happens in any climate, that offers enough noticeable change, to its residents. 

The latest experience, to remind me of this, was when we visited Costco last week. The forecast called for rain and we may have encountered showers on our way in, but once the cashier checked us out and we headed for the exit door, it began to pour. Since we usually check the weather before heading out, we had our raincoats on, as well as other shoppers. Yet still, once people got to the exit, they stopped with their loaded carts and stared out into the falling rain.

And this is why, when we were driving out of the parking lot yesterday, that we began to giggle and then guffaw, because instead of rain, the clouds had parted and that sun had space to shine. When we navigated our car past the entrance, the shoppers exiting the store, stopped in their tracks--as if they had been blinded by that sunlight. And so, I guess all it takes to stop a Northwesterner, is for Mother Nature to put on a show. <shrugs> Makes sense in a strange human way.

Love, K