Sunday, November 28, 2021

Tsking and tut-tutting and curmudgeonly moments. The War and Peace version.

Thanksgiving Day was overcast but a typical fall day.  I met up with my friend, Rosie, and we took a mesmerizing stroll through a wetland reserve in Bennington.  I got to try out my new app that identifies plants - watercress!  (none of which is shown...)

It was magical (except for the litter strewn about the grounds - insert tut-tut and tsk-tsk).   Fresh from the forest primeval, we tottered to mom's for a wonderful dinner.

Then, "black" Friday. 

Turned into "white" Saturday.

No pussy-footing about this winter.  BAM!  From zero to 8 inches overnight.  There was a lot of tut-tutting and tsk-tsking, as I had to locate boots, gloves and winter coat.  I did have the presence of mind to haul out the snow shovel.  Having apparently morphed into a frugal old lady, I did toy with the idea that I would shovel out my driveway by hand.  That was until I viewed the Hoover Dam of snow piled up at the end of the drive by the town's snow plow.  I am now, officially, a frugal, old, kvetching, curmudgeonly old lady.

The snow plow guy was called and I did a half-hearted job shoveling pathways until I realized that I had to reach the driveway in order to pay the plow guy.  There were many breaks.  There was more than one thought about apartment living in the south.

Job done(ish).  We hunkered in for the night.  This morning, sticking my nose out from underneath my self-made weighted blanket (fleece sheets+fleece blanket+down blanket+down comforter) I immediately got frostbite.  After shivering into robe and slippers and re-covering dogs, I found that the furnace (just serviced this past Tuesday) was not on.  Nor would it turn on.  A call to the furnace guy got me their new emergency set up consisting of some unfortunate guy who asked me a hundred questions - most of which were beside the point.  When he requested my email address, I snapped.  "No way, sonny!  You have no business with my email address!  I will not have you sending me spam and promotions that I do not want or need!"  There was a pause.  "Okay, ma'am (curmudgeon).  It is not mandatory.  A technician will contact you shortly."  I harumphed and went to get wool socks.

An hour later, with no call from the technician, I was working myself up for another telephone tirade when the dog alarm went off.  It was pitch black and the fleece curtains were drawn.  I shuffled to the window and could make out a small, white sedan in the driveway.  WTH?!   Gripping my robe against the cold, I opened the door and saw a dark figure trudging up the path, holding what looked like a pan.  The figure said "Shelly?"  I said, NO.  I am NOT Shelly and who the heck are you?  What he had actually said was, "Chilly?"  It was the son of the local fuel/furnace guy who had serviced the furnace earlier.  Sheesh.  An old lady with bed-head hair and eyeglasses askew, surrounded by yapping dogs.  I can only imagine.

Wonder what I will morph into next - Pippi Longstocking's grandmother?

Peanut takes the Oreo sleeping position.

P.S.  I was in such a snit that I forgot to add that he did - finally - fix the furnace.  In an effort to make nice after my crusty beginning, I gave him a cup of coffee.  I always forget that my coffee is S.T.R.O.N.G.  I swear his hair was standing on end when he left.  Probably thought I was trying to poison him.  

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Fun with food and bunny burnout.


Gratuitous Lovey pic.

It must be getting on winter, as I find myself back in the kitchen again.  There has been a long dry spell (if you don't count the wine/whine) on the epicurean front.  And let's not forget the creative dry spell.  I've had a heart to heart with the BGPs and we have decided that I need to buckle down and post more often than once a month.

I recently discovered Molly's Magic Potatoes (aka Peruvian blue fingerlings) at my favorite farm store.  There has been no looking back.  I've had them boiled with butter, mashed with garlic, roasted with O/O and I am not close to being tired of them.  I even made a shepherd's pie with a blue potato top for dinner with my neighbor.  Unfortunately, he was scandalized, being a good soul but with absolutely no gustatory imagination.  

Aren't they gorgeous!?

Then, in the wee hours of the morning - a dangerous time for someone with access to the internet - I purchased a seasonal (as in Autumn/Winter) baking pan.

Not bad, if you don't mind pocking
on your pumpkins...

So far, I've baked a GF sweet cornbread loaf, two pumpkin spice loaves and the GF banana bread you see here.  My only issue with this pan is that the top (bottom) of the loaf rises and you have to trim if off, if you don't want your lovely loaf listing to port.

Not pictured (it looked like a hot mess and, if I wanted to show you a hot mess, I would have included a selfie) is a new favorite salad - Arugula, wild rice and sweet potato.  As per usual, I didn't have 50% of the ingredients called for in the recipe, but I made it my own and it was delish!

I have officially reached the end of this year's bunny production.  While I certainly appreciate the fact that they are popular with the parents/grandparents of my acquaintance, they are very tedious to knit and assemble.  Not to mention, hard on my hands.
The next-to-last lot

Besides, the holiday season approacheth and I need to get cracking!  I also need to relearn how to build a fire in the fireplace.  I have been looking forward to cozy wood fires all summer (call me crazy) and had laid out the perfect (I thought) ingredients for my first one a week ago, when the temperatures took a plunge.  What I had forgotten is that one side of my glass doors had shattered a year ago.  I did everything I used to do and managed to generate enough smoke to set off the smoke detector and drive the dogs under their blankets.  The house smelled like a campsite for days.  The chimney is clean, the flue was open.  Any suggestions from you campfire gals and guys out there?

Falling temps have also lit a fire under my BGPs to get things outside battened down and plugged in.  The deck is cleared off, bird feeders at the ready, rain barrels emptied, Llama/sheep water bucket cleaned and plugged in.  I'm not sure if I am going to get the garden finished - we have had rain or snow almost every other day.  Plus, I'm a little gun-shy after finding another well-embedded tick, the fifth one in a month!  It does make me want to never set foot outside.

I'm harvesting the last of my Swiss chard and arugula - there is still kale until the deer discover it.

I've gotten some of the major things crossed off my list - snow guards on all the vents on the roof, fuel tank enclosure replaced (although that is not quite done and deserves a post of its own), hay in the barn.  I need to do some work in the chicken coop and set up the winter feeder for the llama/sheep.  I have lots of projects inside to keep me occupied this winter (both fun and not-so-much); there is a stack of books with my name on them; a full freezer; bionic hips.  What more can I ask for?