Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I haven't run out of old photos. Yet. This one is, I think, from 1963. The actual photograph is stamped "Dec 63," but that doesn't look like it would December in upstate New York. So, maybe it's from the fall. I would have been three, almost four, years old.

If I remember correctly, my parents rented the upstairs apartment in this building where we lived in 1963.

I have some other photos from this group (same date stamp) with snow in them which makes me think that this roll of film was developed in December of that year. I remember, of course, back in the film days how a single roll of film could sit in a camera for months before it was developed. That's all ancient history, now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The garden in late July

The vegetable garden is progressing. We have lots of little green tomatoes, some zucchini and winter squash are forming, and one row of green beans is forming blossoms. The corn is not very tall (I'm not sure how tall this variety is supposed to get) but I can see tassels starting to form.

A wide view of the four square garden plus the long strip of tomatoes (on the left). We have 32 tomato plants in all, plus 2 volunteers.

The cucumbers have sent out tendrils and I'm training them up the tee-pee like structure you see in the pictures. That's the "cucumber tree." Under it is a crop of coriander (cilantro) that's getting ready to go to seed. We use the coriander leaves (called cilantro in the US) in Asian and Mexican dishes and we also use the seeds in other cooking. Plus, the seeds can be planted again next year (there are always too many to use).

Another angle. You can see the corn sticking up in the back.

Otherwise, the surviving aubergine (eggplant) plants are looking good and the warm weather has given a boost to the scrawny bell peppers. Time will tell if they will produce anything. So that's the state of the garden as we move toward August.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


For lack of a better topic, I'll show you the calzone Ken and I made for Sunday's lunch. We used leftover pizza dough and layered half of it with steamed potatoes, two types of ham, some leftover chopped celery greens, and cheese. Then I folded the dough over the stuffing and crimped it closed. It went into the oven for twenty or thirty minutes.

A hot pocket of goodness.

We each ate half, which was plenty. Between the dough and the potatoes, it made for a very hearty dish. Besides, we had eaten celery and carrot sticks with a ranch-style dressing as an appetizer. Salad came after. Yesterday, we ate yet another smoked chicken and bell pepper pizza for lunch. And there is still enough dough left over for two more pizzas. I put that in the freezer for another time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

When the moon hits your eye

Like a big pizza pie. I'm very bad at taking photos when we have guests. I guess I'm having too much fun to get the camera out. During our pizza party on Saturday I did manage one photo of the first pie out of the oven. It's made with smoked chicken, sauteed bell peppers, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. It's based on a Wolfgang Puck pizza I used to get at Macy's Cellar when we lived in San Francisco.

Green, yellow, and red bell peppers make a colorful pizza.

I made two of those during the afternoon along with one ham, cheese, and mushroom pizza and two pies with chorizo and onions, one with mozzarella and the other with emmental. The oven lock incident happened just as I was getting the second pizza ready, but with J.'s help, we got that under control and it didn't happen again.

I made the dough the day before, but because the weather was so hot it became a sticky, gooey mess. We added a bunch more flour to it and it came back to life and worked great. There was dough left over along with some of the toppings we prepared, so Ken and I made a calzone for Sunday's lunch. We'll probably have another pizza for lunch today.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A fond farewell

So this will be the last of the photos that I took back at the end of June when we visited friends in Varennes-sur-Fouzon. Those friends will be leaving their vacation home soon for a few days in Paris before heading back to the USA.

The sign as you leave Varennes-sur-Fouzon.

They came to spend the afternoon at our place yesterday and we made pizzas for lunch. I got a little panicky when the oven locked up. I had the temperature up high and the pizza stone got very hot. Apparently the oven thought it was in a cleaning cycle and locked itself. We had to trip the circuit breaker to turn it off and let it cool so that it would unlock itself. It did, and we continued along without further incident.

In all, I think we made five pizzas during the course of the day. And while the weather was hot, it didn't rain until later in the evening and we got to be out on the deck the whole time. What fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Playing with the hose

I remember when I was a kid, and the summer weather sweltered, we would hook up the lawn sprinkler and play in the spray to cool off. In what's becoming an annual tradition, Callie had her "play in the spray" yesterday.

Callie snaps at the stream of water as Ken sprays her.

She has always been nuts about water spraying out of the hose, barking and snapping at it. So much so that if we're using the hose (watering the garden or washing the car), Callie has to be locked inside. So when she actually gets to play, she lets loose with wild abandon.

It doesn't matter where the water is, she's gonna get a mouthful.

She has a lot of fun and gets soaked. In the hot weather, it doesn't take long for her to dry. Summer's far from over, so there may be another spray day in the near future.

Crazy canine!

Friday, July 18, 2014


After that cold and rainy week (or more) earlier this month, we're finally in summer mode. It's been hot. The vegetable garden is doing well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have heavy thunderstorms with hail that could destroy the crop. Not to mention what that could do to the grape growers.

A sign that summer is in full swing: the wild chicory is blooming all over.

We're supposed to have a stormy weekend (that is, thunderstorms in the evenings or overnight), then a calmer period with more seasonable temperatures and dry days through next week. That will be nice.