Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pickled Onions

I was planning on a no-meat supper--field peas on rice with greens and a kind of corn cake on the side. But it just wasn't inspiring me till I thought of pickled onions--a perfect taste accompaniment as well as a nice shot of bold color to jazz up the meal.

And they're quick and easy to make. Do a bit ahead so they can spend an hour or so in the fridge. 

Here's how:

1 red onion
1/2 c cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (or honey)

Slice the onion very thinly and shove slices into a glass jar (I used a quart size.) Combine the other ingredients in a small saucepan and heat till salt and sugar are dissolved. Take a taste and adjust the salt/sugar to suit your own taste. Pour heated liquid into jar, making sure onions are covered. Refrigerate at least an hour. Keeps about three weeks. 

I can eat this right out of the jar. Or on cottage cheese or in a cheese sandwich or on a burger or a taco. 

I could probably eat it on vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Many Faces of Josie

I am a reader. This is a book about a robot. It has eight chapters and I am on Chapter Seven. I have a bookmark.


Somedays I am a princess. And a doctor. And a superhero with a cape.

Sometimes I am a storyteller. In this story, Octalia has captured the babies. But she isn't going to hurt them. It is just a game.

I wonder what I will be tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

She Has Outdone Herself!

Around thirty blooms on the tree peony greeted me yesterday.

They will be short-lived, as it's rather warm.

But the honeybees are making the most of this explosion of beauty.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Meditative Housekeeping

With temperatures in the high-seventies and bugs flying around, it was time to put up the screens. Which meant it was time to clean the windows.

On a beautiful day like Monday, it's a job I enjoy. A breeze came in through the open windows carrying the delightful fragrance of new-mown grass.

And then there's the view--all those trees in their feathery spring green against the blue-purple of the farther hills. 

And the cheerful hum of carpenter bees.

And wasps, too, as they vie for nesting spots under our eaves.

What a day for window-washing!


Monday, April 15, 2024

She's Back!


Possibly my favorite flower--at the moment, anyway, the tree peony has outdone herself this year with over 20 blooms.

In past years, late freezes have been hard on her, and I've been thrilled with four or five blooms. But this year, the weather was kind.

I'd never heard of tree peonies till some years ago when an article in Martha Stewart's magazine spotlighted Martha's gorgeous collection of these beauties.

They don't die back, like the more common herbaceous peonies, and they bloom much earlier. 

Such a beauty!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Slo-Mo Light Show

Thursday evening, John and I were sitting on the porch after supper. It had rained most of the day and now, as it cleared, I was hoping to catch a rainbow. The sun was well behind us, not quite set but heavy clouds meant that it just peeked through now and then, spotlighting sections of the view across the river.

Then we noticed a strange ray effect emanating from one sunlit patch. 

Or was it from the cloud above? Was this a mystical experience?

The sunlit patch spread and the rays shifted. Upon reflection (!), we decided that the rays were bouncing off the sunlit areas.

Now the spotlight moved to Barnett Mountain.

I hated the microwave tower when it was erected maybe thirty of forty years ago but as has provided us internet and cell phone coverage, I've made my peace with it. 

It also provided me with the inspiration for a story--Barnett Moutain Jesus--in which a fella on a drinking spree sees the tower at a moment like this and thinks it's Jesus. (I posted that story last year HERE.)

And then that rainbow appeared!

A nice ending for our slow-motion light show.


Thursday, April 11, 2024

James--A Welcome Re-telling of an American Classic


When I was young, my grandmother read Tom Sawyer to me, both of us laughing aloud at Tom's antics. As I grew older, I reread it many times, delighting in the humor. Eventually I read Huck Finn and enjoyed it, though maybe not as much.

By the time I was in college, Huck Finn was touted as a classic of American Fiction, and I read it again, paying attention to the image of the river, the picaresque journey, the vignettes of Southern society, and Huck's redeeming change of heart when he decides he'll help Jim escape, at the risk of going to hell for stealing the Widder's property. Wow, I thought, how radical for the time and place.

Then I re-read Huck a few years ago. What leapt out at me this time was the portrayal of Jim as ignorant, superstitious, and, ultimately, an ill-used plaything for Tom Sawyer's fantasies. It was appalling.

Now, with Perceval Everett's magnificent re-imagining of the novel, Jim, now James, has a voice. And what a voice it is! It has taken away the unpleasant taste left by my last reading of Huck. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.

Let me direct you to the excellent review that hooked me HERE

Wednesday, April 10, 2024