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

Friday, March 13, 2020

Something for the Weekend ~ Books and Thai Noodles

Good evening, friends, another Friday the Thirteenth, and we are nearly halfway through March. I'm a bit stumped as to what to write about this evening. Surely no one wants to read more about the corona virus  panic. Yet this is  in its way a journal, and I feel it's maybe wrong to be cheerful---or worse , faux-cheerful---and just sharing fun at such a time.

Shall I be funny and tell you the only shortages yesterday at my store were a dearth of cauliflower and medium sized bottles of olive oil? [?]; or share  ("I so love an honest blog!") my fears for my family and friends: will we be terribly sick, will we run out of food, will school be closed, who will care for Mo, and what about darling Bitty Baby, who is so tiny and vulnerable? On FB quilters joked that they had enough fabric to be quarantined for years; I do too, but  quarantine is not a snow day, how can they relax and plan to  happily sew?

In contrast to the news, the weather today was lovely, last night's storm brief and passing fast.

Almost 60* here and this morning Mo and I saw tiny 1/4" leaves on some shrubs as we walked tot he beach lane. Unheard of for March, usually a snowy frigid month.

We sat out in the sun for awhile.

I did some mending and again began embroidering October words on my Year in the Country blocks. When I set this project aside in mid-October I felt my embroidery skills had improved immensely as I worked on the previous months. Primitive of course but today, back to clumsy square one, ugh. Stem stitch has never been a big winner for  me.


Tonight dinner is leftovers; I feel we must use and almost ration every speck of food, but earlier in the week I made this noodle stir fry. It was delicious, one of the only Thai kit sauces I've ever found that closely replicates restaurant cuisine.

I began with tiny cauliflower florets, sweet red pepper matchsticks, green onions/ scallions, garlic, all sauteed very quickly in sesame oil. I added  whole wheat spaghetti noodles from my friend who said she made far too much of the pasta for their Italian meatballs [veal with fresh basil, usual meatball accouterments, stuffed with fresh mozzarella, simmered in my recipe marinara sauce.]. The noodles were plain though, well purposed for the Thai stirfry.

Whole wheat pasta has come a long way in recent years from the grey gloppiness of its origins ten years ago. Covered, heated with the veg, two minutes; added this sauce. Separately had sliced steak or chicken to add in if wanted. Very fast and so good. Tofu would be good too.


And last, if we must stay home and not be made crazy by TV reporting, good books to read are a must. Kindles will be extra valued as they circumvent the dreaded library trip; I haven't been to the library since I got my first Kindle in 2009.

A few months ago, fellow blogger/ quilter Julierose mentioned Martha Grimes' Richard Jury Scotland Yard mysteries to me. The book she was reading was probably the least appealing of the entire series, but I persevered. [animal abuse and horse racing, ugh, ugh]

The series was written between 1981 and 2019, but the anachronistic aspect of the earlier books really doesn't seem to matter much [no cell phones, no Google] because of the oddly ''mannered'' faux British characters and  settings and creaky story lines. It's as if a murder has taken place in the middle of a vintage Georgette Heyer Regency romance. (Grimes is American.) Women wear capes, not coats, little girls --and women---wear frocks, not jeans; young men in their 30s wear ''bespoke suits'' and quote Emily Dickenson. All very far-fetched, a little silly, but the two main male characters, detective Richard Jury and his friend Melrose Plant, Lord Arbry are so appealing and interesting, I found myself reading the books, sadly at random, just to read about the two men and their lives.

There is always a beautiful and rich young, but not too young woman for the two men to fall in love with; there are always cute Oliver Twist style urchin little kids; butlers, groundsmen, rich cranky old ladies, cooks and upstairs maids!

Now I'm rereading in chronological order, not hard going because I never did get the plot of the murders themselves during my first read. And as I printed out the titles list I found out there are two books, smack dab in the middle of the story line, that are not on Kindle. These books have pivotal characters who recur throughout the rest of the series, so all that backstory is lost. I had to buy paperback copies,

only to discover that books, real paper in ones hands books, are now printed so densely and in such small type that I can barely read them even wearing my real reading glasses from the optometrist. Hard going. The luxury of Kindle is undervalued, I realise now.


Mo seems to be well, but is miffed he is on a diet. Beach body time is soon, I tell him. No snackies during walkies. Next week his groomer will give him a bath and a manicure for his birthday.  I'm sure he'd prefer cake. Or steak!

Stay well, keep in touch, dear friends.



gone to the beach....