Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The end of August always means summer is over, even though it isn't. But there is a different vibe to September, for sure.

However, not a different vibe to my breakfast. I wasn't hungry, but I knew I would be out all morning and part of the afternoon, so I had -- ta da! - a toasted corn tortilla and a spoonful of egg salad, but instead of the commercial pepper relish on it, I put some of my ancient home-made relish on it.

And I've found a new pretty plate and a new place to take a picture. Although this picture was taken early this morning, you can see the sun coming through the trees. It turned into a very hot day; it must have hit 90°.

I didn't get home until after 2 PM and knew I'd have an early dinner, so I should have eaten almost nothing, but I had bought some new salsa at the supermarket and wanted to try it.

Lunch: a toasted corn tortilla and two slices of ham, plus a big spoonful of this "Fiesta Salsa," which has mango, pineapple, red onion, red pepper, and dried cranberries. It was really good! A nice change for one of my typical lunches.

And before I knew it, it was time to think about dinner. I had bought a beautiful flank steak at Stop 'n' Shop, and a bunch of beets, so I cooked the steak on the grill without benefit of marinade, and cooked the beets in the microwave, which takes over 20 minutes. What a mess that made! I should have taken a picture of the inside of the microwave to go with the photo of dinner. But that extra time inspired me to make a cocktail, this one from the Intoxicologist's blog in honor of National Whiskey Sour day last week.

This beautiful concoction (although out of focus since my camera chose to focus on the ferns rather than the drink) is called a Big Fellow Apricot Sour and called for Scotch as its whiskey. The recipe is:
1 1/2 oz. scotch (called for single malt, so I used Glenfiddich)
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup (honey diluted 1:1 with water)
1/2 oz. fresh orange juice
3 dashes of Angostura bitter
1 egg white.

The drink pictured above was made for Morrow since I don't like scotch, and I made the same drink for myself, substituting bourbon for the scotch. It looked beautiful too, but as I carried it outside to take its picture, I bumped my arm on a book on the kitchen counter, and the entire drink went on the floor! I had no more lemon juice or honey syrup, so I got about two sips of mine that didn't spill. It was good!!

Dinner was finally ready, after the beets boiled over ALL over the inside of the microwave. The steak was PERFECT!! Didn't miss the marinade at all -- just sea salt and freshly ground pepper.


Rush to get to SONE rehearsal. Awfully hot to sing!

I always come home full of energy to stay up late, and I often do, but tomorrow I'm heading down to Port Chester to help Andrew give his house a spiffing up, so I need not to stay up all night

But I wanted a treat after a hot rehearsal, so I had a small glass of Ramazzotti Amaro on the rocks (that's a slightly sweet bitters or aperitif wine), and one square of 72% cocoa chocolate.

The bed beckons now!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to my old routine! Food included.

Toasted corn tortilla, a scoop of egg salad, and a dollop of sweet pepper relish.

Cup of decaf (more on that later!)

Beautiful day outside, a little warm actually. For some reason, my tomato plants are withering!

Lunch: a slice of a small Antonio's pepperoni pizza which Morrow had for dinner Saturday night. I couldn't resist, and Chai got the crust, or two thirds of it anyway.

When I started making dinner, I found my cup of coffee from this morning, right where I had been sitting with breakfast. I had drunk maybe half of it.

SO.... I added ice, a splash of Absolut, a splash of Kahlua, and a goodly bit of fat-free half and half to make a "Lite White (Russian)." Glad there wasn't much vodka in it, because it tasted so good that I drank it down pretty fast.

While I was thawing a hamburger for Morrow, I had a small pile of Camembert and three stoned wheat crackers.

And lo and behold, I found another half finished cup of coffee on the kitchen counter!! What to do!! Of course, a little more vodka, Kahlua and so-called cream.

Just as good the second time.

Dinner was a small bit of heaven. A couple of weeks ago, Andrew was trying some new things for his elderly cat which has a touchy stomach and for whom he cooks home-made catfood. The vet had recommended chicken liver. So Andrew tried some, and the cat seemed to LOVE it, but threw up repeatedly. So the rest of the chicken livers went into the freezer until I could get them.

And this weekend Morrow got them for me. All I do is put a little bit of butter in a skillet, drain the livers, and saute them, add salt and pepper, usually a pinch of rosemary or thyme but I forgot them tonight, and about a tablespoon of sherry to deglaze the pan.

And a salad. Mixed lettuces, feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, all of these from my own plant.

I finished the night (am actually still drinking it) with a little bottle of Underberg bitters.

After a week, I still haven't come to any great insight into myself or my food choices, but I can say that this little exercise has kept me from the mindless opening of the fridge to see what I might grab and eat. But then, there never is much in there like that. Maybe the cheese sticks? Or a grape tomato?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another great Wisdom House breakfast. This morning's hot choice was oatmeal, and I wasn't in the mood, so I had a larger bowl of yogurt with some granola, a scoop of wild blueberries (canned, I think), and a few red grapes.

And a cup of decaf.

Another great rehearsal!! We are truly on the way to Seattle.

I stopped at Carol's for a cup of tea and a game of Scrabble before coming home.

Home for lunch! Finished my pot of green soup with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

When we left Wisdom House, Marion gave each of us a parting token, a mint in a gold wrapper with a star, because we're all stars! So I had it for dessert.

Martha suggested I make a bunny or two for the recipients of her baby quilts (what does this have to do with food? Nothing!)

Here is the almost finished first in a new edition of bunnies.

Awesome to get back to having a cocktail!! I had another whiskey sour because the last one was so good. And a handful of hard pretzel pieces (what was left in the bottom of the bag) and a quarter cup or so of red pepper hummus.

Dinner was a piece of George Formaned salmon (salt and pepper), and a big salad with the melange of baby lettuces, a whole local tomato, a goodly bit of feta cheese, the end of a bottle of Annie's "Lite" honey mustard dressing and the end of a bottle of red wine -- shiraz?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Welcome Sound of New England to Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield.

We had an 8 AM call for breakfast, and with the current salmonella egg crisis, I wasn't sure if they would serve eggs. But they did, and I hope they were all from local farmers.

I had a small dish of in-house-made yogurt with a tablespoon or so of granola, probably also made in-house. It was good.

And I had probably two scrambled eggs and two pieces of bacon and a cup of decaf.

I took the box of "Dipha-Bits" down to breakfast, hoping to present them to Joe, but he wasn't at breakfast. Not knowing exactly what to do with them, I left them on the buffet table. Some people knew I had made it, but I didn't make any kind of announcement.

After breakfast, I took a ride through some back roads. The morning was bright and sunny, the road empty, and the ride exhilerating. I returned just in time for our first rehearsal, and when I got in, I noticed the Dipha-Bits were gone. I asked someone what happened to them, and they said Joe had them!

When I got into the rehearsal space, Marion acknowledged the Dipha-Bits and everyone clapped. Joe had the box and didn't realize there was really something inside. So I showed him and he took out a few diphthongs and cracked up. Then he read the box cover to the group. All weekend, if we had diphthong issues, he held up the box. It was a great success.

Lunch was amazing. One of their chef's inventions called Asian salmon cake. I got the recipe. It's shredded salmon, nori, onion and garlic and ginger to taste, tamari sauce and a little orange juice. Then brushed with egg and dredged in panko crumbs and frozen until stiff enough to cut into wedges. Sauteed and served with rice (which I didn't have).

Instead I had a big plate of salad and house-made balsamic vinaigrette.

A cup of tea with soy milk and a little honey should have been enough, but they served strawberry shortcake with home-made biscuits and whipped cream. That was too much to resist.

We had at least an hour to kill, so I took Martin Luther out to the Mary Garden and read for a while. The sun was really hot, but all in all, it was very pleasant. The garden is plain but very restful. There were benches all around.
After another three-hour rehearsal, we had some time before dinner, so Carol came over from Torrington with her Scrabble game. Dinner was early -- 5:30 PM -- so we didn't finish the game. It was an awful game and we ditched it.

Dinner was some kind of chicken breast and spinach on noodles. I skipped the noodles and added a big plate of salad. The chicken was good.

I also had a cup of decaf.

When the dessert was brought out, I wanted to scream. If I was only going to have one dessert, this should have been it, not the strawberry shortcake. It was apple strudel with huge pieces of apple and not a lot of crust. And whipped cream. But I resisted and instead had a little dish of olives and a second cup of decaf, this one with a little milk in it.

We had at least an hour after dinner until "Retreat Fun," so I went to my garret and read more Martin Luther and talked on the phone to Morrow. He had gotten home in the afternoon in time to pick up Chai at the kennel. He was going to call for pizza.

I took a glass of wine down to the auditorium.

I stayed for about an hour but was tired and really preferred to read and maybe fall asleep early.

I did read a bit and did fall asleep early.

Poor Martin Luther was a tortured soul if there ever was one!!

A demain!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Morrow. But he's down in Port Chester, and I'll be gone before he gets home.

Left over from last night, the ratatouille! So I finished it for breakfast, along with a cup of yesterday's coffee. I had to add a little milk to make it palatable.

Chai is so used to Morrow giving her a tidbit bite from whatever breakfast roll he is having, so she takes up her position on the doormat and sits patiently watching.

I didn't think she'd want any ratatouille, but we had no sweet rolls of any kind. So I tore off a square of bread and put some strawberry preserves on it.

Because Morrow always gives her a cookie (dog cookie, not people cookie) at lunch time, she takes up the same position on the doormat and stares intently at my food.

If I'm having ham, I pull off the thin rind on the ham and give that to her. That's what I did today. I had a toasted corn tortilla, a Laughing Cow light cheese and two slices of ham, with a healthy dollop of Dietz and Watson whole-grain mustard.

And of course I had the paper to peruse.

Late afternoon and time to leave for SONE retreat at Wisdom House in Litchfield. I took the Kawasaki with a large backpack on my back. It was a BEAUTIFUL afternoon and evening.

But before getting there, I met Joanne Casey, Maryellen Kindelan and Gail Nidoh, along with our coach for the weekend Joe Connolly, at the Village Restaurant on the Litchfield Green. We had only about an hour to eat and get to our 7 PM rehearsal.

I started with a Long Trail unfiltered India Pale Ale. The brewery is in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. Very nice brew! I didn't think I liked I.P.A.'s, because I thought they were indeed pale, but they aren't at all, as the last two I've had will testify. (That's Gail on the left, and Joanne on the right, and my ale in a Sam Adams glass.)

They all had soup while I had the house salad, with Russian dressing (below).

For my main course, I had a delicious salmon fillet cooked with a horseradish-parmesan crust. The vegetables were cooked perfectly too.

Onward to Wisdom House, a three-hour rehearsal and fairly early to bed. Joe said we sang very well for a Friday night.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I think I was still full of brownies and ice cream this morning because NOTHING I had in the fridge looked at all good for breakfast.

My cup of decaf.

The day started out sunny and warm, then turned cloudy by mid-morning, but by mid afternoon, the weather had turned perfect!!! So good to see the sun again.

Lunch after spending a bunch of time on the computer this morning and then sewing a bit:

A mug of my green soup. I tried it cold, but I like it better heated a little. Just enough to take the chill off. A toasted corn tortilla and a couple of slices of ham and a spoonful of egg salad. And a big glass of iced coffee with a dash of low-fat chocolate milk in it. The chocolate didn't taste. I probably didn't use enough of it.

Remember that old Sesame Street song, "Everybody Eats," which shows animals and people all eating. Well, we all ate together today.

Chai had a large milk bone.
Snickers and Weezel had some kind of catfood. And I can't seem to get the photos to behave at all in today's post!!!

This is Weezel, eating on a pile of magazines on the kitchen counter!

Late afternoon, I attempted to go to The Fabric Bug in Thomaston, but she had closed. Carol and I thought she was open late on Thursdays.

Morrow is down at Andrew's for a few days, so Carol came over for dinner and a couple of Scrabble games. 
During our first game, we had drinks and a snack. 

In honor of national Whiskey Sour Day (which was yesterday, but I didn't know about it until last night), I had a whiskey sour and a cheese stick.

After Game #1, which I won by a very narrow margin, we both made dinner. Ratatouille, in which the only non-local ingredients were the onion from Texas, the capers and the olive oil; a George Forman grilled fillet of chicken breast, and a beautiful ear of local corn.

And I had a glass of shiraz.
And we played another game while we ate.

And I had a second glass of shiraz.

But these are SMALL glasses. Really. Like 4 ounces! It's a juice glass.

And I did not take a picture of the bite of leftover ratatouille I just ate because it's no-man's-land in the food day -- 1:30 am.

I'll be away for the next two days, but the camera will go with me, and I'll catch up on Sunday night.

I do drink, don't I???

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weigh-in at W.W. so I never eat ANYTHING before going. Took my breakfast to Carol's and played a game of Scrabble. BEAUTIFUL fresh local tomato, two cheese sticks, and a cup of decaf in my trusty travel mug.

I played HAWK for 28 points.

Overcast and cool day.

Large cup of my vegetable soup (that I made yesterday), a couple of Breton multi-grain crackers and two slices of ham. And the front section of USA Today.

I only ate one Alpha-Bit today -- a "P" -- because it fell on the floor. And I wanted to record that I have finally finished all I'm going to do of this project!!

Instead of tea today, I had a Telma mushroom soup cube. I can't buy them up here. Stop 'n' Shop down in Port Chester has them in the Jewish food section. I really love them, so when I'm down there, I buy a whole box. They come three to a package, and a box has a dozen packages.

Behind the cup are parts of a quilt block.

We went to the Cambridge Brew Pub in Granby for dinner, our new favorite place to meet Tom and Nikki because it's half-way between New Hartford and Suffield. We were celebrating Morrow's upcoming birthday because he and I will both be away on his actual birthday.

I had a glass of Pinot Grigio to start, and a small side salad.

I had mussels which had been steamed in beer.

Then I had a salmon burger with aioli sauce, and a few of Morrow's sweet potato fries on the side.

And a second glass of Pinot Grigio.

Then we got BAD! Morrow, Nikki and I shared a brownie and ice cream dessert. It was awesome.

And (not separately pictured because it was now too dark to get a picture) ANOTHER glass of Pinot Grigio with dessert.

I made decaf when I got home but fell asleep before I had any.


If I learn anything from doing this for a month, I'll see how much I drink! Damn!