Thursday, June 30, 2022

Summer Supper

When the weather is warm and good tomatoes are available, my thoughts turn to gazpacho. This a quick and easy recipe that can be made in the morning and sit chilling in the refrigerator till evening--the soup in one container and the chopped veggie toppings in another.

GAZPACHO 2-4 servings

2 thick slices onion
2 lb. tomatoes
3-4 big cloves garlic 
2 TB olive oil
2 TB wine vinegar (I used white balsamic)
1 tsp sweet paprika
some hot pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Whir up in food processor or blender. Put in refrigerator till very cold. (Make in morning for the evening meal.)


Chop cucumber, tomato, green pepper, and parsley or basil and toss together with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Put in a bowl and in the refrigerator.

To serve, put soup in bowl, add garnish.  This recipe made a meal for me and John. It could serve four as a cup of soup before a meal.

If you don't want to make the focaccia, garlicky croutons are a nice addition. Maybe a little sour cream too.

The focaccia, unlike the soup, needs to be hot from the oven to be at its best. But it too is really easy. 

Prep time-75 minutes (this is mostly dough rising). Cook time-20 minutes


1 1/3 c. warm water

2 tsp sugar or honey

1 pkg active dry yeast

3 1/2 c all purpose flour

1/4 c olive oil (plus more for topping)

2 tsp coarse sea salt (plus more for topping)

2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Put the warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir. Let sit 5-10 minutes till foamy.

Gradually stir in the flour, olive oil, and salt till dough pulls from side of bowl. If too sticky, add a little more flour. Knead very briefly right there in the bowl and shape it into a ball. Transfer to another bowl that has been greased with olive oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place 45-60 minutes till it has nearly doubled in size.

Put parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet. Put a dollop of olive oil in the center and turn the dough onto it. Use your hands to push and pat the dough into a large rectangle around 1/2 inch thick. Cover and let rise again for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Use your fingers to make deep dents all over the surface of the dough rectangle. Drizzle olive oil over the surface and sprinkle evenly with rosemary and sea salt.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden. 

Best hot but still tasty the next day. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Josie is Back!

Guess where I have been! At the beach!!! There were big waves and I was brave. It was a really fun time and now I am back and going to camp. Camp is where my pre-school was and it is fun too.

Meema picked me up after camp yesterday and of course we had to go get an ice cream cone.

Do you see something different? I got a haircut. I like it because it is cooler and easy to brush.

Meema says it makes me look sassy. And also a lot like my mama.

After ice cream we went to the grocery store. But I was in a hurry to get to The Room and see what those babies were up too. While I was at the beach, Meema sent some pictures of the babies Running Wild. Margo took off her clothes and got outside and into a potted plant. Meema said I would have to have a talk with them.

And I did but first Meema had to get them down from where they were climbing on the curtain rod over the windows. Margo had taken her clothes off again and Did Not want her dress on. So I put her in her overalls.

Maybe next time I will take them with me to the beach where I can keep an eye on them.  



Monday, June 27, 2022

The Kittehs Would Like a Word


Cory, why is this thing in my window? 

Well, Angeline, I'd say it's yet another blatant example of how our sovereign rights are being trampled, diminished, and disregarded.  

This creature, for example: I've finally convinced her of the futility of pouncing at me, but she will not stay on her own bed and even usurps one of my particularly favorite spots.

And then there's the personal grooming she feels compelled to do--Bast knows she needs it, running around outside and coming back with mud and worse all over her nether bits. Oh, The Woman wipes her off with a towel, but she's still disgusting.

Be thankful all you have to deal with is a relatively clean doll.

I'm outta here.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


John had a phone call the other day that went on for a bit. Then he came into the living room, shaking his head and told me that he had to go down and put the rats in the freezer.

What? I said, as I so often say due to my increasing deafness.

He repeated, RATS. IN THE FREEZER.

Further questioning revealed that the call was from our son Justin to say that our Gran House tenants had asked him to intercept a delivery of frozen rats for their pet snakes. And to, you guessed it, put the rats in the freezer.

But Justin wasn't home when the delivery call came. So, he called John. Who went and put the rats in the freezer.

Now that's what I call a full-service landlord!


Friday, June 24, 2022

New Camera!

New to me anyway. Through the intervention of my friend Cory and the generosity of my nephew Coop and great nephew Jack, I am the proud possessor of a Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80.

It belonged to Jack but ever since he got a phone with camera, it has sat idle. So, he gave it to me.

Now I've got to learn its ways . . .




Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hot Weather Cooking

Hot days and nothing sounds better to me than a salad.  This one is spinach, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and red onions, topped with a couple of crab cakes sauteed in butter and the whole drizzled with homemade ranch-ish dressing and a squirt of Sriracha. With some leftover focaccia on the side.

The crab cakes are from the grocery store freezer. They're tasty but are mainly bread. Very few crabs were involved. I keep them around for a quick meal. 

The salad dressing evolved from my trying to clean out the blender after making mayo. After I've removed the easily get-at-able mayo to a jar,  I chop up three of four cloves of garlic and add some herbs--fresh oregano, parsley, and basil in the summer--dried dill in the winter. Add to the blender jar where a fair amount of mayo is lurking. Dump in a bit of yoghurt and whir it all up--makes a delicious dressing that doubles as a vampire repellant. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Ahhh . . .

John's efforts in cleaning up the goldfish pool and area have been rewarded and now we can indulge in a favorite evening meditative activity--watching the goldfish.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Summer Solstice--Turning

Here we are at the turning of the sun and I realize ( too late) that yesterday's sunrise shot would have been perfect for today. 

So, since I can't show the turning of the sun, here's (groan) another turning--I showed it a while back but now it has a finish on it that really brings out the patterns in the wood--which was a piece of oak firewood.

This is definitely one of my favorites.


Monday, June 20, 2022

A Delicious Day

Really! After the heat of last week, Saturday night was so cool I almost got up for a blanket. But I had Jenny and a cat next to me as well as a pillow over my feet, so I didn't.

Sunday continued gloriously cool--low seventies. I felt inspired to do some Father's Day cooking and ended up with a feast--Grilled Chicken with a marinade/glaze of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), regular soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, and white wine in which ginger root has been soaking. Potato salad, green beans vinaigrette, devilled eggs (mayo, stone ground mustard, tandoori seasoning, and India relish,) heirloom tomato wedges, and fresh peach galette.  It was good. 

And there's enough left over for an encore performance tonight!  

What a fine day!


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Here and There

Paddlers on the river

Amaryllis gone to seed

A gaggle of geraniums

Josie tending to thirsty plants. . .

And a welcome afternoon rain that dropped the temperature considerably.


Friday, June 17, 2022

Summer in the South

Josie took control of my phone yesterday and was snapping pictures everywhere. I deleted many after she left but this one above, I realized, epitomizes a rural southern summer--iced tea and a tick jar--if you have indoor/outdoor dogs. (The Jenny pictures are Josie's too.)

A tick jar filled with half dish detergent and half water (put the water in first) is an excellent way to dispose of these nasty little hitchhikers. Far less wasteful than flushing, not as germ-spreading as crushing, and once in, the ticks can't crawl out. They drown quickly. It's a simple solution to an on-going problem. If the jar becomes too yucky looking, flush the dead contents and begin again. 

Ahh, gracious Southern living.