Saturday, September 6, 2014


My trusty sangria pitcher carried on my back all the way from Sevilla, Spain. Note to self: select lighter souvenirs next time
The perfect sangria recipe? From Cooks Illustrated: One bottle of full-bodied red wine, the cheaper the better (I chose two buck chuck merlot though in our heavily taxed state it is 3 buck), 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c triple sec, 1 thinly sliced orange, 1 thinly sliced lemon (half macerated, half left intact). Let sit at least 2 hours ( I chose 24 hours, figured it would be better). Serve over ice and with a fruit garnish. Serves 4. So I doubled it as there would be 5 of us wanting seconds. Should have tripled it though we had wine spritzers as back-ups (rose (with accent) and lime seltzer served with limes)

Yesterday was the hottest, most humid day of our summer. The weather station predicted 100% chance of storms by 5 pm so I didn't bother to clean up my patio to make it user friendly for 5 people. I had enough to clean up as it was mainly disassembling Steve's food stores for the end of days (when things go on sale, he will buy cases of the same item stacking things up in our dining room) and removing toddler playground equipment from our living room. But as the moms trickled in, it was still sunny and people wanted to enjoy the last days of summer despite the heat. As we sipped (read:guzzled) the sangria, black clouds appeared to the West (along with the alpha female hummingbird chirping angrily at the invasion of her patio). Almost 2 hours before sunset, all of the solar lights suddenly came on, the storm was upon us: high winds, torrential rains, flickering lights. We got off lightly as thousands are without power now..lots of destruction.

The heat and humidity are now gone. I can take my sweet time before venturing out to exercise, such luxury.

This is what I made: crab cakes with sri racha sauce; fresh corn-quinoa salad, and steamed cheddar cauliflower garnished with butter and paprika. Someone brought a tasty mandarin orange-spinach salad. Others brought stuffed grape leaves, vegetable crudites with various sauces, hummus and pita, big stuffed olives, and cherry pie. We did not go hungry.

I sort of made up the crab cake recipe. Did not use the Maryland standard Old Bay seasoning, whatever that is because I didn't have it. Did dice up red peppers and my own grown chives to throw in along with what appears to be standard, dijon mustard, mayonnaise and bread crumbs (most recipes use crackers..I almost used matzoh meal) and a beaten egg.I was going to make fried green tomatoes to serve with the crab cakes, standard out east but my gardening moms claimed to have none for me. One less pan to wash.

Yeah I can cook. I would say that most chemists can but I have a huge (though skinny) exception living in my house. Occasionally he will try to cook a meal for me for let's say, Mother's Day but needs lots of help. He does make the coffee as he says I ALWAYS make a mess. And his coffee making service came in handy last night. Years ago, he worked in the same section as I did, which is how we met. We were divided into two groups: tropical disease chemists and cancer chemists. He was one of the former, me the latter. Every Friday, the tropical disease people had a tea in which they rotated bringing in homemade goodies. Store bought goodies were frowned upon. Chemists should be able to bake right? We design and make drugs, harder than making crab cakes theoretically. Also, despite us having the same boss and being in the same section, the cancer chemists were NOT invited for a while (until later when someone bitched, me, and it was discovered I could bake) . Steve decided to make cookies. I was not going to help because I was still mad about being shunned. I did taste his handiwork..very chemical tasting. Did he by chance, put in too much baking powder? No, we only had half of can so not enough. How does one confuse teaspoons with cups?

Last night was fun. It had been a while since we've all been together and lots of stories were told. Since I've seen all the moms separately, I knew the stories. And since I really haven't done much in the past month and do not work, there is a sad assumption that I have no stories, slight note of self pity here. But I am over that.

Naomi has been bugging Steve about taking her to a baseball game all summer. Today is the day. Could I possible take them and drive around Detroit for a few hours so he doesn't have to pay to park? Uh..NO. Once I've run, I plan to read. I noticed there is a section on Lake Garda in the paper today. Maybe we will go there instead of showing Steve Lake Maggiore? Below: Isola Bella in the middle of Lago Maggiore

Where was I 50 years ago today? At the Beatles' concert in Olympic Stadium..the biggest thrill in my little life up to then.


Elephant's Child said...

And, with the life you lead, I don't know how you found time to work. And wonder that about myself too (and I am MUCH less active than you are).

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

How many bulbs have you planted in the last year? Thousands and thousands. Yep things like that take a bunch of time.


Blog Archive