I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kohlrabi and Other Recent Culinary Disasters

Hi guys! I hope you had a lovely late summer weekend like I did! Isn't it grand, just ekeing out these last lazy flipflop summer days?
But the calendar says Autumn, and as the days of BBQs and picnics fade to fall's chill, my thoughts do turn to cooking and roasting and canning.
Lest you think I run this lovely gourmet healthy kitchen here at the beach, today I am going to share with you a few recent trials---and errors...

The first fail we will perhaps blame on Lori, of Humble Quilts, who on her other blog, Get to Goal here, a blog about fitness and healthy living, she showed her market box-of-the-week a few weeks ago and one of the veggies was kohlrabi.

It's very pretty isn't it? In an odd kind of way?

Here is the recipe she---and I---tried: Roasted Kohlrabi

I added some cauliflower to be sure we
had enough for dinner
four KRs don't make so much

I was pretty excited. I told my kids, "How often do we get a new veggie to try?" and we LOVE our veggies. But well, um. Yawn City. Yawn-a-rama.  Verging on eeew. Tasteless and greasy, though not awful.

The kohlrabi was really hard to prep [peel and cut] especially with one hand swathed in a large uncomfortable Ace bandage. It's expensive. It doesn't make a lot of veggie once it's trimmed and peeled and cut. It's so pale I can't imagine it has many vitamins?

So the results, while not ghastly, were just---huh. Or ''eh''. I do admit I forgot to add the HALF CUP! of parm at the end. Perhaps it's like my dad would say when the rest of us would gobble baked artichokes:
"Anything is edible if you put enough garlic and butter and cheese on it.''

So cross off kohlrabi, I think.
However as fails goes the following night's fail was a LOT bigger.
Every fall I make pickled vegetables. Football folks just love the pickles with sliders and beer.

So I gathered a beautiful assortment at the farmers market on Wednesday.


Laboriously trimmed, peeled, sliced---left-handed and I am not at all ambidextrous! I used a new flavoring packet called Mrs. Somebody's pickling mix. It called for my own vinegar, and I had purchased a special pickling vinegar just for this project. My jar wasn't big enough and I had to add cider vinegar which I love on salad but smells awful boiled for brine.
But that wasn't the issue.
The packet called for adding, ''To Taste", 1/4 to 1 1/4 cups of sugar.
I don't use much sugar, only for baking when it is needed for a yeast rise, or for guests who like it in their tea. I keep the sugar in a little jam jar with a red gingham lid. Now here's the problem. I don't use much salt either and what I do use is either ground sea salt or Morton's Lite Salt. But again, sometimes one needs regular salt, like if it snows and you're out of Ice Melt. Well, it seems at some point, long ago, I decided to put the salt into a jam jar too. (Is this why I get funny icky faces when guests sip their tea?)...

Yes, my friends, I added 1/4 Cup of salt to the pickle brine, instead of 1/4 cup of sugar.
Aren' they gorgeous!? The cider vinegar added a pretty pink color to the brine. But, alas---the SALT.

My dear son, who loves my pickles, actually volunteered to taste! On the premise that pickles are salty anyway. Only his tongue tip touched a slice of squash. Bleeeech!

I threw them out. I'll try again next week and I'll go back to my mom's recipe, no more little kit-things for me.
The good news is, one evening a few friends came by to try out the wines that my friend L and I found at the new Wine Warehouse (a misnomer, quite $$$ we found out). The white wine was crisp and delightful, I must add.

I threw together quickly one of my rustic tarts. Pillsbury pre-rolled flat pastry shell. [A+],

Brushed with a bit of olive oil and Dijon coarse mustard added a log of crumbled goat cheese, some feta.

 and layered on top a selection of farmers market onions:

tiny red, sweet white and green scallions.



Feta and herbs on the top, fold in the edges pretty:

I brushed a bit more olive oil on the top and crust's fluted edge, baked about 25 minutes.

Oh wow! Yummy! Especially on a cool evening when sunset on the deck comes much earlier than it did in June....

As for the fails---''nothing ventured'' is my motto. I love experimenting, even if the results only look good (but are, oh well, inedible, lol.). How about you? Any epic kitchen fails recently? Or tried-and-true is your game plan?



gone to  the beach....


the two exotic beach photos were taken today by a friend
who kindly has shared them w/ us.
all other photos, including sunset are by me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Now We Are Six"

Months old, that is. Mo the Pug Puppy is six---just like Pooh:

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new

When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more

When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I'm as clever as clever;

So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

Hi, everyone! Yes, Mo deserves a post all of his own, he is now such a huge part of life here at the Beach.
Mo turned six months old the other day. When Mo was two [months] ---and ''nearly new''---he flew all alone across the country on his journey to becoming my new ''little boy''. It is hard to imagine that that tiny pearly trembling baby who emerged from his airline crate,

look at those eyes!
And hopeful wagging tail, going a mile a minute!

...has blossomed into the big wild boisterous BOY he is now.
first night at new home,
2 month old

Now, just four months later the baby who weighed 7 pounds now weighs 17~ Down from 19 pounds---he already had to diet because like all pugs he just eats and eats and eats.

If he doesn't get enough kibble, he'll happily consume rolls of toilet paper, or a defenseless sofa. He made this mess in the 2 minutes it took me to answer an email the other day.

I swept up the debris, and in the next minute while I sent off the email---he got up on the bathroom shelf and did it again! Then my kids wonder why I am so tired when they come home.


But Mo is not all naughtiness. He knows Sit and Stay and Come. His name. His toys' names. He knows to sit when folks stop us during walks, when they just have to pause and Oooh and Aaah over Mo's adorableness. (Look at that perfect little double twisty donut tail! Mo is soooo proud of how pretty he is!)

He knows din-din, of course, and that his crate is called his crib. Every night when we get ready for bed, he puts himself to bed in his ''crib''. He loves his crate, to my amazement, it must be cozy and safe feeling.




And look at these EARS!

These are not pug ears, pug ears are supposed to be ''button'' or ''rosebud''. Mo's ears are huge, like they belong on a Lab. His ears make me laugh.


Here is Mo learning a trick! High five, Mo!



Pugs love doing tricks: he can do high five, sit up and beg, dance on his hind legs, and choose which hand the treat is in. And his favorite is Fetch, he does this even without a treat.

Mo helps me sew! The foot pedal wire is very yummy.


The computer wires are delicious too. We have many blackouts due to unplugged wires.
Here's Mo making a break for freedom! His first visit to the beach!


Even though it's a no-no. So far we haven't snuck past the dunes.

Mo with his beloved dolly, Gator.

Mo in the deck, sunning...


Mo the Meercat-Pug, alertly defending his home from the evil meercat-pug who lives in the window reflection!


Mo is big and awkward and funny---and we love him so much!

Pets are so wonderful, aren't they?



gone to the beach.