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Jan. 28th, 2015

The first flowers of the year! Snowdrops growing in a friend's front yard today.

Jan. 14th, 2015

Here's a picture of Sveinn and me. He's got the greatest smile.


What's Cooking at Turf House?

This is a no-money-left week. Stretching the budget through creative use of what I have on hand!

Sunday: Dinner and Downton Abbey at Mom's house
Monday: Clear-out-the-fridge Curry.Slowly brown onions and garlic with garam masala in olive oil and butter. Add that cup of leftover chickpeas, a half-package of spinach, the end bit of tomato paste, some water, brown rice, and half of the leftover turkey from the freezer. Simmer until it smells SO GOOD.
Tuesday: Omelet made with peppers, sheep's cheese, and home-made gravlax.
Wednesday: The rest of the leftover turkey with hollandaise sauce, served over rice and peas.
Thursday: Fried eggs on Spanish rice.
Friday: Dinner out with the family.
Saturday: Dinner with Sveinn.
It's been a long and angsty road, but I've realized that bbwoof is not going to change his mind, is not going to explain to me what went wrong -- and even if he would do so, he has not ever made the sort of commitment to me that I expect and deserve.

One day last October I accepted this, and absolutely gave up on him.

That same evening an attractive man, someone I'd been lightly flirting with, suddenly started flirting back. A lot. And a week later, at a Halloween party, he and I started being "us".

The more I get to know Sveinn, the more I realize how remarkably suited we are for each other. I love getting to know him!

So it turns out that Halloween is still lucky for me, after all.

Moving On

Is there a way to archive posts so that I do not see them, but they are not deleted and gone forever? Much of this past year is much too painful for me to review.

Productive day

I baked bread today!Also cut out the fabric for my 1490's Venetian gown, pinned and fiddled and fitted the bodice for the underdress, cleaned the kitchen, harvested herbs, and made an Elsa cloak for my goddaughter.

The suggested drinking game  for Halloween this year is to take a drink whenever an Elsa comes to the door. I think that would leave us all plastered by 8 o'clock. :-D

Pulled Pork

I'm cooking Jamie Oliver's 6-hour pork shoulder recipe today. 39 pounds of pork shoulder, for the monthly site dinner held by the Barony of Three Rivers.

It feels like I'm using too much salt. But as it roasts, these pork shoulders look and smell mahhhhhhvelous.


LO Soup

I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday, making soup out of the leftovers and odds and ends of vegetables.

This incarnation of LO Soup is particularly good because I started it early enough in the day that I could take my time to do it right.

I very slowly sauteed the sliced mushrooms, lone leek, shredded carrots, chopped celery, the diced edible half of a sad bell pepper,  wilting spinach leaves, and an onion. Leftover chicken broth from the freezer formed the base of the soup, with the last handful of dried lentils and a matching handful of dried bulgur wheat for protein. Flavored with curry powder,cumin, smoked Spanish paprika, salt, and lots of garlic, then finished with a nice splash of lemon juice to brighten it up.

Mmmmm. I have lunch for several days now, and its gooood.

Recipe: Cracker Crack

Cracker Crack is a variant of matza crack, so called because it is made from matza and is incredibly addictive. Making it from saltines takes it to a whole new level of crackitude.

1 sleeve saltines
2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1.5 cups chocolate chips
sea salt or kosher salt
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the saltines in a single layer on the paper-lined baking sheet.

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together, stirring frequently. When the sugar is melted and the mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly  while boiling for 3 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the crackers. Work quickly as it will start to set up as soon as you take it off the heat. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture relatively evenly, but don't worry about uneven spots. Sprinkle  lightly with sea salt.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips over the hot baked crackers. Let sit a few minutes, then use a rubber spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly. You may then add more toppings if you wish, chopped pecans or bits of candied ginger, etc.. Let sit until thoroughly cool, about 2 hours. Break into pieces, don't worry if they are uneven.

Makes 40 + pieces. They never last long.


Recipe: Tuna Pancakes

Note: Measurements are approximate, as I did not use a recipe myself but simply added what looked good as I went along.

4 cans water packed tuna, drained
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 quarter cup Parmesan cheese 
4 large eggs 
One half onion, minced 
One half red bell pepper, minced 
1 large celery stick, minced
1 quarter cup dried parsley flakes
1 quarter cup lemon juice
Several generous shakes Old Bay seasoning
Vegetable oil for frying

Mise en place: Finely chop the vegetables. Put crackers in a ziplock bag and crush them into fine crumbs. Drain tuna.

Preparation: In large bowl, beat eggs with cracker crumbs, cheese, dried parsley, lemon juice, and Old Bay to form a paste. Add drained tuna and minced vegetables. Mix well.

At this point you may refrigerate the tuna mixture. It is easier to work with a chilled tuna mixture, but you do not have to chill it if you do not have the time to do so.

To fry, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Form thin flat tuna patties out of lumps of tuna mixture about as big as an egg. (A little vegetable oil on your hands keeps the tuna mixture from sticking.) Fry just three or four at a time, do not crowd them in the pan. Fry about 5 minutes on each side, flattening the tuna pancakes with the spatula after you flip them. Drain on paper towels.

Makes 16 tuna pancakes. My family loved them. :-)

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