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Monday, April 16, 2018

Pass me the mustard, I'm about to eat crow, and the post with all the asides.

I have spent the past month-plus, whining about the unfairness of the weather, the long line of (mini) catastrophes that have befallen me, thinking nothing would ever be light or fun (or affordable) again. Forsooth and forsaken, oh, woe is me. This is my new lot in life.  Wah, wah, wah.  Blah, blah, blah.


Then three things happened that grabbed me by my proverbial lapels and shook me until my pea-sized brain rattled.  First, I received a box from the NW coast containing, among other equally glorious things, a hand-knit cable sweater that I have inherited.  (Said inheritance having been bestowed upon me by my friend, the knitter).  Then, my bestie, Sylvie, drove up from Maine to spend the weekend.  THEN, I received a box from a new friend on the NW coast (mighty nice people up/out there, no?)  that contained enough bright yarn and glittery nail polish to finish off the sparklizing of me!  Why, even the weather cooperated - dropping from slightly lower than normal spring temps with sun (whazat?), back to winter!  With ICE!  And SLEET!  (Can you hear the drip, drip, drip of sarcasm there?)  Seriously, even though I was less than thrilled by the weather - it caused the shortening of my much-needed visiting time with Sylvie - I was able to wear my new sweater!  Woot!
Can't wait to see these socks knit up!
One of the most fun things about having company - especially Sylvie - is that I get to try out new recipes.  I have been working through my collection of Moosewood cookbooks and decided to make the Cauliflower Cheese Pie from the original Moosewood cookbook, then had planned the Spiced Pineapple Pilaf (from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven) with a Zatar roasted chicken.  The beauty of the CC pie is that the crust is made from grated potatoes (GF) and I happened to have some spiffy hash brown potatoes that made making the crust a snap.  It was easy and delicious.  Since Sylvie had to leave early Sunday morning, I wasn't sure if I would make the pilaf/chicken dish.  Then the temperatures dropped, I had on my snuggly warm new-to-me cable sweater and thought, what the heck.  In the process of making the rice, I decided to tackle the non-functioning pressure cooking part of my Instant Pot.


**Aside here - let me say this about Instant Pot's customer service.  They are very responsive.  And they do absolutely nothing to help you.  In fact, I would guess that their motto is, "smile and do nothing".  After getting - and I kid you not - the exact same instructions to 'troubleshoot', over four times, it dawned on me that they had no intention whatsoever to honor their warranty.


Through a judicious use of tweezers, I was able to get the pot up to pressure and then promptly over-cooked my rice.  More work needs to be done on my rice-cooking skills.  In any event, the spice mixture was intriguing and delicious and the dish was easy to make.  I had pineapple left over from making my neighbor's birthday cake, so I got to clean out my fridge.  (Insert Happy Dance)  I had defrosted one of my last meat chicken halves and put together a zatar/palm sugar rub and the results were great.
This does not reflect the golden-ness
of this dish, both spicy and sweet!
**Aside #2 - When cooking with me, my sisters ask - gee, do you have any (insert ingredient)?  Then fall all over themselves in laughter, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.  I have at least five pounds of everything.  Ergo, the gallon jar of mustard seeds.  And why?  Just in case I need them in a recipe.  Which usually calls for - at the most - two teaspoons.  Sigh.  However, if you are ever on a deserted island with me, we will have mustard seeds.
Seriously?
The dogs were completely worn out, vying for Sylvie's attention and slept through most of Sunday.  This left me time to begin to tackle Project Guestroom.  I got half the closet done and probably would have been further along, had I not gotten completely sidetracked by a) knitting, b) all the stuff I had forgotten was in the closet.  In any event, it's started and I have vowed to have the guest room in order, chop-chop.  As a matter of fact, I did promise to get the house in order (relatively speaking - I mean, I am only human and only one human) by the end of October or I would bring Sylvie in to whip me into shape.  I/we also got two pieces of Czech fabric folk art framed.  These have been languishing for...at least 30 years.  


**Aside #3 - Every time Sylvie comes to visit, I am filled with an overwhelming desire to purge my junk and read many books.  She should package and sell her skills.  AND she brought me a brandy-new pair of shoes, a small Cuisinart food processor and two bottles of wine and left me with a book list.  No, you cannot have her - she is MINE.


Then the wind picked up to gale-force, the house was pelted with ice for hours and it was Monday.  I needed super powers to get going this morning.
Jump-started




30 comments:

tpals said...

Excellent friends are irreplaceable; guard her well.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

you can always make mustard! i love the moosewood cookbook. sounds like a fun weekend.

Susan said...

I do!

Susan said...

That's what the top half of the contents were used for. And I still have the equivalent of four pints. It is so easy to make your own mustard and I love the results!

Mama Pea said...

Can you tell you are a much-loved person? I mean look at all the wonderful things you received in the mail! Plus, counting dear Sylvia as your true friend. What more could you want?

What I would want/like is a picture of that sweater you received. Oh, and a taste of that pineapple-rice dish, please.

P.S. I have a pint jar full of mustard seeds in my pantry and thought *I* was being excessive . . .

Susan said...

And how! I don't even have enough fingers to count my blessings. I will definitely post a photo of the sweater - it is beautiful! I'd start to worry, if I only had a pint jar of mustard seeds...snort. My next post will be all the lovely things!

Tewshooz said...

Show us the sweater and nobody gets hurt (smile). Consider yourself blessed to have a friend like Sylvia....everything else is just noise.

ellen abbott said...

I've read this and the previous post and OK, I'm hooked. I try not to add any more to my reading list as I already spend far too much time on the ones I do have but, yay! you're on the list. and really? a gallon of mustard seeds?

Susan said...

Yes, ma'am!

Susan said...

Thank you! I've added yours to my list as well. Let's not talk about the five pounds of sesame seeds in my freezer. Next to the equally ridiculous zip bag of pumpkin seeds.

wisps of words said...

Yes, you had some very nice happenings. Yes, 'tis true. But! We still get to moan and groan, now and then!!! So there!!!!! >,-)

The ^)(*&#%&(*^^%% weather!

Projected dental work, at some astronomical price!

The ^)(*&#%&(*^^%% weather!

We go have a chat, about the projected horror, tomorrow. What will the weather be like I wonder, for this *Fun* event? I fear to look!

-sigh-

Pout Pout Pout

Perhaps I am dire need of some "Sparkle" in my life???? Yes, I suppose I am. :-))))))))))))))))))

Kristina said...

I have a lot of mustard seeds too, but I used them with canning, making homemade pickling spice, make mustard crusted cod....yum! Sounds like your friends are awesome people, and that you are much loved.

Ed said...

I've never thought to make my own mustard and I love mustard. I should give it a try.

As someone who goes through over 100 pounds of rice a year, one should just get a japanese made rice cooker. They are fail proof and bomb proof. I went through three other ones made in two other countries and this one and all failed within a year. The japanese one has been going for over a decade and even our 5 year old knows how to make perfect rice with it.

Susan said...

I definitely think sparkle would help!

Susan said...

Ooh, I'd love that mustard crusted cod recipe! I am very, very lucky - my friends are completely wonderful.

Susan said...

I would definitely recommend making your own mustard - I've made it with Guinness, cranberry, Dijon, you name it - creamy, grainy... My problem is that I do not go through enough rice a year to justify adding another small appliance. That, and I just don't have the storage space. This device suits me, I just have to learn to finesse the low pressure function. I used to have a wonderful Japanese rice cooker. It was a small one and worked perfectly for years. Then I moved (back in the day when I moved myself in my car = 50 trips) and someone pinched the box that held the cooker. I never was able to find it again.

Theresa said...

Try adding sumac to the zaatar for the next round of chicken! I understand about the mustard seeds completely. Can we compare paprika collections maybe? :-) Pets to The Butter Pat, Lovey and Slimmie

Susan said...

Funny you should mention Guinness as I thought it was the beverage in the last image. Guinness is my crisis, bad day, low mood, any excuse, go to pick me up. You were on your way to work so not a good idea, you were wise to choose coffee but any other time.......

Susan said...

This zaatar is from Penzey's where they add the sumac. I love Penzey's! I also have way more sumac trees than should be allowed in the civilized world. They are evil weeds! If it wasn't for the fact that they provide much-needed bird food, I'd eradicate them from my property. I'll see your Hungarian paprika and raise you a smoky blend... :) Love to you from me and the kids!

Susan said...

Given my GF status, I cannot (sob) partake. However, it did make one hellofa mustard! I miss my black and tans. Though, never for breakfast.

Theresa said...

Recently, I had to toss many of my Paprika's. They just don't keep flavor over the years. Now the Paprika buying excursions are for small amounts. Penzey's makes some great chili blends.....
The very best zaatar I ever got was a gift from my boss at TAMU brought back from Israel for me. I kept trying to find conferences for him to go to in that region after that! ;-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That's beautiful wool! But that huge container of mustard seed -- holy moly!

Michelle said...

The Universe is telling you to move to the PNW. You belong here; you're mighty nice yourself! ;-)

Theresa said...

What she said, and we don't have as much snow......honest.

Kristen said...

I would love to see a pic of your newly framed Czech fabric! :)

Rain said...

Death Wish Coffee lol....that gave me a giggle. Holy mustard seeds!!! Sounds like you had a nice weekend! Our dogs are the same if someone comes over...all vying for attention then passed out from the exhaustion of it all... :) That yarn looks good enough to eat!!! :)

Mama Pea said...

Now you're making me feel really ill prepared. Five pounds of sesame seeds?? I have a pound bag of them in MY freezer. People, do you know just how big a one pound bag of sesame seeds is?? Susan has FIVE POUNDS! Since ordering my pound bag I've often wondered if I was nuts. Dear Susan, do you have anything to add to that? Hmmmmm?? ;o)

Susan said...

It is coming in the next post!

Susan said...

I know! How could I not have that coffee on a Monday morning?

Fiona said...

Seriously you can never have too much mustard.....seeds or otherwise😁
I am glad your feeling better. I think this winter tried us all a bit. I wish I could send you a big bucket of Katie Cream for your coffee.
Is there anything you need from Kentucky?