Friday, April 24, 2009

My new kitchen toy

My new Foley Food Mill
When Polly left for Switzerland a few years ago, I moved to a smaller place and got rid of lots of things I thought I could do without. Well, I have missed lots of those things, including my food mill. I admit I don't cook as much as I used to, naturally. But when I do cook, I miss the tools to do it right. A couple of weeks ago I came across an "almost-new" Foley Food Mill at the Goodwill store for $2. (one of my favorite places for finding treasures - my other is garage sales)
Earlier this week I cooked up a pot of potatoes and made mashed potatoes. They were so good. Polly adds cream cheese with the butter. It really makes them rich and delicious.
My e-buddy,Michelle of "Mickle's Pickle" in New  Zealand, wrote on her blog that she had received a potato ricer from her father as a surprise gift and it reminded me of my "find".
By the way, we had a pretty good frost over-night. I woke to the roofs and grass covered with the white frost. I'm glad I didn't plant all the new plants I'm planning. I have to replace most of my plants which were lost this particularly hard winter. I live on th 3rd floor and my balcony doesn't have a cover or roof. I am open to the elements and it froze all of my tender plants. My rose is fine and sending out shoots, my bulbs bloomed and have been beautiful, but most every thing else is a loss.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"This is truly one of the happiest moments of our lives — having Richard home," she [Mrs. Richard Phillips] said. "I've always been proud to call myself an American. Today I am even prouder."

This is the wife of a real American hero, Capt. Phillips. Wish the wife of the president could have been as proud of being an American.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Plug Your Ears and go to a La Cross game

When I downloaded the pictures from yesterday, I found that I had forgotten about the pictures I took at the LumberJax La Cross game that Polly took me to a couple of weeks ago. It was fun. The crowd was very enthusiastic, clean, and decent looking. Many families.
My only problem was the excruciatingly loud noise! There were loudspeakers which were continually blasting songs, shouting announcers, drumming and blasting sounds. It was painful. It was so loud I could feel it in my chest! It was so loud I stuffed Kleenex in my ears. I usually take ear plugs to the movies because they are so loud, these days. I didn't think to take them to this. When did they start playing drumming accompaniment to sports events. I remember a few organ "charges" at the baseball games and the traditional seventh inning stretch singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" - but full on rock and roll and constant drumming? BAD
Even so, it was a loads of fun. If I ever go again, I'll be sure to take my earplugs.
Polly's Canadian friend (they met in Switzerland) has a good friend who is on the Portland LumberJax La Cross Team. He always leaves tickets for her at the box office. As many she wants. Most of the team are Canadian and most of them are barely out of their teens. They are really amazing athletes. It must take tremendous stamina to run those distances. They whack each other with those sticks and while there were no fights when I was there, I understand there are usually a few. Very exciting!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen, Indeed!

To all my friends and family
I wish you all a very joyous Easter. 
From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
The Collect for the Day
Easter Sunday

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

And my favorite Easter Hymn:

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
of triumphant gladness!
God hath brought his Israel
into joy from sadness:
loosed from Pharoah's bitter yoke
Jacob's sons and daughters,
led them with unmoistened foot
through the Red Sea waters.

'Tis the spring of souls today:
Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days' sleep in death
as a sun hath risen;
all the winter of our sins,
long and dark, is flying
from his light, to whom we give
laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts,
comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem,
who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesus' resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death,
nor the tomb's dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal
hold thee as a mortal:
but today amidst the twelve
thou didst stand, bestowing
that thy peace which evermore
passeth human knowing.

Alleluia now we cry
to our King Immortal,
who triumphant burst the bars
of the tomb's dark portal;
alleluia, with the Son
God the Father praising;
alleluia yet again
to the Spirit raising.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Yesterday we received our friends from Montana, Pat and Leland Wolley. They came for lunch. Peggy and Scott were able to come to eat with us, too. 
Pat has had a series of strokes several years ago, but she has recovered enough to lead a fairly normal life. They still travel internationally and have children and grandchildren in various states in the US. They were in town to buy a new van and travel trailer. They plan to drive across the United States. What fun that will be.
Pat was an interior designer. She has decorated houses around the world. She is looking forward to decorating the new travel trailer. I am confident it will be terrific. 
Polly grilled a whole salmon on the BBQ. We served her Swiss potato salad. (recipe to follow) There was lots of fresh vegetables to munch and fresh bread and butter. There was a Côtes de Provence with the salmon. We served an  Oregon Muscat with cheese and fruit. It was so good Polly is going to buy a case while it is still available. We didn't know they grew muscat grapes in the state. they are never in the produce section. We always ate them in California, and they even were available in England, but not in the rest of the US. And they are so so so good.

Potato Salad
  • Roasted red, white waxy, or blue (or a mixture of all) potatoes and red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Crème fraîche
  • Mint cut in chiffanade
  • Coarse or flaked salt
  • Coarse ground black, white, or pink pepper
Amounts depend on your need.
Cut potatoes (or use tiny reds whole) and onions into large bitesize pieces. Roast together with a liberal amount of EVOO, salt and pepper, until nicely browned.
Cut a handfull of garden mint into a chifanade. Stir into a carton of crème fraîche (or a combination of crème fraîche and plain yoghurt to cut calories)
Add dressing to hot potatoes and onions. Allow to cool. Can be served chilled, but tastes best at cool room temperature.
At the time of serving it is nice to sprinkle a bit more cut mint on top.

Polly discovered this form of potato salad when she lived in Switzerland. she used to make it for her boss and it was always a hit at parties. The truth is, I don't care much for potatoes, and I really hate onions, but by avoiding the onions, this is pretty good. After all, what is not to love about crème fraîche?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Poisson d'Avril

On the first day of April, in France it is the custom to pin a picture of a fish to the back of your friend as a joke. 
People buy chocolate fish in sweets shops, la confiserie, to enjoy or to give away.


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