Monday, September 29, 2014

Magic Mike II

In case you're a Channing Tatum fan I thought I'd let you know that he's filming the sequel to Magic Mike here in Savannah during the month of October.  Filming started today and on the news they said they're still looking for extras.
Didn't see the first Magic Mike and I doubt I'll see this one either, but it's always fun to see what movies are being filmed locally.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Birthday Girl

Today, as I like to say, is the 30th anniversary of a favorite birthday of mine.  In other words I'm not admitting how old I am.  Just let it be said that when I sneeze dust comes out.
I Skyped with our daughter this morning and opened the presents she'd had sent to me.  She got me a Kindle book I'd been wanting A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman
and a wonderful Erica Crossbody purse that is deep enough for my Kindle.

The Agatha Christie Story
Mac always surprises me.  He got me 2 vintage Saturday Evening Post magazines.  One has an Agatha Christie story and the other has a P.G. Wodehouse one.  The Agatha issue is from 1944 and the P.G. Wodehouse issue is from 1933.  Both magazines are in amazing condition and the ads are a hoot.  You can buy a Chrysler car for a bit over $900 and a Hudson for $634.   He also gave me an adorable pig for my garden, my last one has broken to bits, but he's too cute and will live upstairs I think.
Has the P.G. Wodehouse Story
 Miss Kitty, knowing the way to my heart gave me chocolate.
Now, if only I had a refrigerator, life would be perfect..

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And Then It All Went Pear-Shaped

Yesterday we were up bright and early to head to the far side of Savannah for my quarterly meeting with my Retina Specialist.  I had to take the dreaded peripheral vision test, which I hate, but all is well and he says my eyes are doing great.  So in under an hour we were out and headed to the commissary to do our monthly shopping.  The commissary is much cheaper than the local stores, particularly for meat, so we stocked up and before noon we were headed home feeling pretty smug about getting everything done so quickly.
At home Mac carried everything in and I started loading the refrigerator and the pantry.  While shoving things in the refrigerator I noticed the light was out and told Mac, he checked the circuit breaker and said that it had been tripped, so he flicked it back on and looked in the refrigerator and said it was making a funny sound.  As it started running we noticed a bad smell and realized that something was wrong and that's why the circuit breaker had tripped.
The refrigerator is more than 14 years old and I'd been muttering about it being time to replace it, so instead of trying to fix an old one, and considering the smell coming from it it probably would have been a major repair, we decided to bite the bullet and get a new one.  So we ordered one from  the local big box store who was offering the best price (by far), but it can't be delivered until next Wednesday.  So we rushed out, bought some big ice chests, a load of ice and packed everything in.
Today my cousin-in-law suggested storing some of it in my washing machine because water wouldn't be a problem.  That's what we've done, we put things like juice, milk, mayonnaise, things that  need to be cooled, but not frozen, in there.  So far the frozen things are still frozen and we've added more ice.
Here's hoping the weather stays cool.
As for my new refrigerator, it's just what I've been wanting,  a French Door one with the freezer down below.  Hope it gets here early Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Paella

I said I'd give my recipe for paella today, but first a little background.  I was first introduced to paella by my mother-in-law who was Spanish, her family was f rom Macatera a small village near Salamanca, Spain.  She made a very soupy version because that's how my father-in-law liked it.
Then when we started traveling to Spain I became more familiar with the Valenciana version which is drier and I found that I liked it better.
No one is quite sure where the word paella comes from.  One theory is that it is derived from the Latin word patella which means pan and paella is the Valencian word for pan.
Other say it comes form the Arabic word baqiyah which means leftovers and that paella is a poor man's dish made from leftovers.
It's  a bit of a stretch to get from baqiyah to paella, but it was the Arabs that brought rice to Spain so it's possible.
Typically you'll see several different versions of paella in Spain:  Paella Valenciana which is made with rice, chicken, pork and rabbit, no seafood.
Paella Marisco which is made with seafood, prawns, mussels, calamari (squid).
Paella Mixta which is a combination of  the first two.
Arroz Negro which is rice cooked with squid ink----this is Mac's favorite version.

I tend to make Paella Mixta and it is usually a leftover version with me throwing in whatever's laying in the refrigerator.

                                                                Paella

Chicken Thighs    Use as many as you think your family will eat, I flour mine, but you don't need to
                              I brown them in a large frying pan using a teaspoon of olive oil with lots of onion      
                              and garlic.  Cook about 15 minutes adding nonfat chicken stock as they're
                              cooking, pour in a bit at a time to keep things simmering, but don't drown things.  I
                              also add a bout a 1/2 cup white wine, this isn't necessary, but I like it.

Rice                       After about 15 minutes I add the rice, I put in a bit over 1/2 a cup, but put in enough
                               to feed your family.  Then I add approximately 2 cups of water and the saffron.  I
                               know saffron is expensive, but it just isn't paella without it.  Hard to describe how
                               much I use, I grab a very generous pinch  and smashing it between my fingers I add
                               it to the rice, if the rice  doesn't turn yellow enough I add more.  Cover, lower the
                               heat and cook until the rice is done.

Shrimp                   When the rice is nearly done add the shrimp, I use canned shrimp, little ones and
                               they taste delicious, you could use fresh or frozen ones too.

Green Peas             After the shrimp I put in the green peas, I put in about a 1/2 cup

You can add more water or chicken stock as needed depending on how soupy you want it to be.
I always let my sit for a while after it's done and let the rice soak up most of the liquid.

About anything can be added to a paella, sometimes I put in Chorizo, Spanish sausage and for Mac, who likes seafood better than me, I'll throw in some fish or scallops.
You could use any part of the chicken, but thighs stay the juiciest.

It is so tasty, we love it.  Sorry there's no picture, but we ate it before I thought of taking a picture.

                           


Monday, September 22, 2014

The Coastal Georgia 600

One of my poor flower beds, I've managed to clear one corner
and found a Vince still flowering
So pretty today and the humidity is still being reasonable, so  I managed to get out in the garden again and pull around 600 weeds, thus the title today.  I'm absolutely ashamed about how full of weeds my flower beds are, but in my defense,  the heat and humidity were lethal this summer. I can usually keep them, not out, but under control, though not this year.  If the weather will hold for awhile I may be able to beat them back a bit.
Yesterday's paella was delicious, almost licked my bowl.  I'll write about the recipe tomorrow.
Today in honor of the autumnal equinox, which arrives at 10:29 pm eastern standard time (my aren't they precise) I'm cooking a lamb stew in my slow cooker.  It smells so good.
Good bye summer and don't let the door hit you in the back!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Taste of Autumn . . . Finally

It's a picture perfect day here today, low HUMIDITY, with temperatures, wait, never mind the temperature, we have low HUMIDITY today.  Mac has been working feverishly outside, whacked back the overgrown weeds, and plants that have been acting like weeds, yes wisteria and lantana I'm talking about you.
I even got out there today and pulled weeds by the handsful out of my flowerbeds, hope the weather holds 'cause I have a lot more to pull.
Mac made a perch for the owl that April gave him as a present last year, he was in the garden, but now he has a perch next to the garage.
Our cat is laying in a pool of sunshine, she's normally hiding out in the darkest, coolest spot she can find so you know it must feel good.
Sort of a paella today, chicken, shrimp, rice and lots of saffron.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm Waiting

And not very patiently either.  I'm tired of summer, it's boring, I'm so over it.  I want autumn leaves that give a Godly crunch (or so McAllister says) when you walk through them.  The picture on the left is what I want, the picture on the right is what I get, a swimming pool that's being overrun with wild morning glories.  You may think that sounds good, but after 5 months of 85º-95º temperatures and humidity that frequently makes it feel like it's over a 100º I assure you, autumn sounds great and winter sounds even better.