Getting ready to go

We are getting things ready to head up to Tahoe Friday. The damn AC in the truck has stopped working just like I said it would. It wasn’t the freon. Well, now there’s nothing we can do till next week so we might as well not get too pissed off. But I think they are trying to pull a fast one on us and now that we have the warranty they have to fix it. Still a PITA to have to drop it off and so on. But on a positive note it won’t be hot in Tahoe and we certainly are not going to need AC. As a matter of fact the mornings are going to be quite cool with a low of 28.

I have most of the food organized and a menu plan done. I’m going to hit the store tomorrow for just a few things. Overall, very simple. There’s no wood or charcoal fires allowed so no Hibachi cooking or Dutch Oven. Also, no fires at night.

I’ve got a big bag of books from the used bookstore so that should fill up my days. Plus we plan on some hiking. Nothing too strenuous just some walking. We plan to not go even into South Lake because of the fire issue. (The fire is not threatening south lake but I want to stay clear anyway.

I need to get labs Friday so we will leave after that. Because we are trailering I suspect it’ll take a little longer than normal and we have to go slower too. As long as everything goes okay with the truck we should hit the campground by 1pm or so. September is lovely in Tahoe and it should be beautiful with nice days and cool nights. Barclay has a birthday next week so we might do a lunch out.

Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Simple Sunday

We are still in heavy smoke and the air quality is very unhealthy. We did walk this morning but with masks. I’m guessing tomorrow will be just as bad but maybe some wind will come in, let’s hope.

I made the ice cream cake yesterday . It was delicious and such a clever idea to use ice cream sandwiches.

I also made a huge batch of chile rellenos with hatch chiles that are coming in from New Mexico. It’s labor intensive as you do need to flame broil the chiles, then put in a plastic bag, then peel off burnt skin, then ,make egg whites, then mix egg whites with the yolks that have been whipped, then dip the stuffed chiles in the batter and then fry. By that time you are exhausted. And I still have another bag of chiles ready to do….

I think there’s 3 left from this batch.

We decided to do Costco today since I want to swim tomorrow. It’s probably going to be busy but that’s just the way it is there. That way we won’t need to go back till September maybe before our Tahoe trip. It’s always the coffee which decides it.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Since Costco is trumping( geez I don’t like that term) that, I’ll need to do that tomorrow after swimming. I actually started it the other day by doing the stove hood and cleaning all the stainless steel but I’ll still do a go around.

The book I ordered from Amazon showed up finally. ( late by a few days). It’s okay. It has some good ideas but most of the apartments or houses are pretty glitzy and not too rustic. I’ll go thru it again and take some notes. I would have like to see more small spaces like our house which is more make do with what you’ve got rather than remodel and gut and then remodel with fancy stuff. Still her concept is valid and overall the book has beautiful pictures.

This coming week is pretty mellow. Not much on the docket, appt wise. So nice to not have to do something every week. I’ll try and swim 2x and then of course do my daily walk. I plan on getting more Hatch chiles if I see them at the store so that would mean another batch of rellenos. We’ll enjoy them in the winter if they last that long.

We’re getting tons of peppers in the garden, some tomatoes but not a lot, and we replanted some squash plants. I’m hoping to get some zucchini by September. Otherwise, the garden wasn’t a great producer this year but we do have nice herbs going ( basil, chives, thyme, oregano,mint, etc. Plus there’s some chard to pick which I’m going to do this morning.

Project: cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

Susan Branch is one of my favorite niche cookbook writers. She lives on the glorious Martha’s Vineyard island where she moved too in the 1970’s. It’s a bit over the top since she and her husband live in a ginormous house and she has way way too much clutter. But her books are FUN to read thru. I will leave them for now.

The Zuni Cafe is really a classic by Judy Rodgers. She died of some rare cancer in, think the early 2000’s. Zuni cafe was started by a gay man and became iconic in SF. He later died of Aids but not before it was sold and the Judy Rodgers came in as chef. It is a great cookbook but doesn’ t make the cut. If any of my readers want it, just let me know I’ll send it media mail to you.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I think ina garten is one of my favorite chefs. Most all of her recipes are things I would make.

I like looking at her books for inspiration not just in food but how to serve food and often she adds a directory of where to get items.

The Paris one is really nice as she has a list of where to go in Paris for certain things. Not that I’m going to Paris but I still like reading about it. I got most of the these at the pet bookstore for a $1.00 so an inexpensive form of entertainment.

Our weather has turned and it’s much cooler today with a high around 91. I can live with that.

Barclay went to his PC yesterday and he gave him a shot of some sort of anti inflammatory( not cortisone) and I guess it seems to have helped. He also got an xray but it only showed some arthritis, so that’s not the issue. It’s still the sciatica. Hopefully it will improve all week. It’s hard to be in pain.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

Next on the chopping block.

This is a signed Alice Waters book. It really is a lovely cookbook with linocut images. Quite beautiful. But I’ve never made a recipe from this book or unfortunately never went to Chez Panisse. Probably the time to have gone would have been the 1970’s right when we moved here. Probably it could have been one of those Berkeley trips we made to visit our friend Jim. Also, when we had our bookstore later in the 1980’s we would drive down to Berkeley to go to

Bookpeople and buy literally $1000’s of inventory. It was a huge warehouse and fun too. But never ventured into town where Chez Panisse was.

So, I might look one more time if there is a recipe to make but I doubt it.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I bought a Vitamix a few years ago on sale at Costco. We use it mostly for smoothies and blending soups.

My daughter bought me this vitamix cookbook shortly thereafter but I’ve never used it.

The smoothies look good but I usually just throw in what I have laying around. No recipe.

Here’s two that I picked out that show why I wouldn’t cook these.

I mean it looks healthy but just not my style.

I do make zucchini burgers in the summer but I just use a box grater to grate the zucchini and then add my ingredients.

So another book to go in the pet bookstore bag.

Project: Cooking through my cookbooks or else.

So the project is: I have lots of cookbooks although that is probably relative. If I can find at least one recipe that is a keeper to make, I will keep the cookbook.

This is a signed Annie Somerville cookbook. I couldn’t find one recipe I wanted to make:( If anyone out there wants to pay postage, they can have the book.

So we’ve been to Greens at Fort Mason twice and really it is spectacular. If you are near San Francisco or are visiting you must add this to your to do list. Reservations are probably expected. We had reservations both times.

Now her other one Fields of Greens there are lots to try.

These all look delicious but I just don’t cook like this with these kinds ingredients.

Anyway, this one is on the way out. Didn’t make it.

Simple Sunday

We’re busy getting the Rubicon set up for camping at Donner State park this week. I have most of what I need in there at this point.

I still need to prep some food as I plan on using the Lodge this time to make stuffed peppers with a tomato sauce. I might do a mac and cheese in the Lodge the 2nd night but still undecided. I like to use the small hibachi for BBQing so I might do that instead. We went thru all the stuff from the tent trailer and whittled it down to what we want in the new trailer. We have the white corelle dishes, bowls, and a serving platter, 2 pots, and 2 fry pans. I’m not sure I need 2 fry pans so when we’re up there I’ll see what we’re using.

This is a very quick trip and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to really tell what we need or don’t need. We’re hoping to find some place with hook ups in the next month so we can try out the things that run with power and the sewer hookup.

The kittens are growing and are now annoying tweens running around the barn. We are pretty sure we are not going to bring them in the house. The main reason is my daughter( who is really the one taking care of them) is actually allergic to cats so she has to wear a mask out in the barn. They are really cute though. MamaKat is quite friendly and we’re planning on her spay next week after we’re back from camping. Hopefully, we can get her in the cat carrier.

We had a nice BBQ of burgers, chicken and a veggie burger for my daughter’s birthday with a fruit tart for dessert. It was all yummy. I bought the Dr. Praeger burgers this time and I think they are way better the the processed Beyond meat stuff.

This week Flylady’s zones are the entry way and the kitchen. Our entryways are fine and maybe just need a spruce up but i’m not sure I’ll get to the kitchen zone till later in the week. It seemed like I just did it as the same thing happened last month when the week had 2 zones.

It’s supposed to be quite hot tomorrow with temperatures hitting 100. It’s way too early for such hot weather but I guess global warming is to be blamed. We are watering a lot so our water bill is going to go up.

I’m working on an idea for a series of posts about cooking. What I want to do is pick one or two recipes from every cookbook I own. If it passes the test of tastes good, ease of making, etc, I’ll keep the cookbook, if not, I’ll donate it back to the pet bookstore. I just feel I have way too many cookbooks that I’ve never made a recipe from. I like to look at them but not cook from them so that’s the challenge.