Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Monday, June 30, 2008


What a month.  I suspect Phoenix will set some kind of record for # of day’s in June over 110F, which was even more delightful on Friday when ash from the Ethan fire (no relation to our dog) was falling on the house…  Roy suggested that we go to the neighbor’s and start their fire pit, just to see what hell was really like.  But hot or not, we have had a great display of flowers on our night blooming cereus cactus.

I have been busy in the kitchen (as a side note: its way cooler slaving over a hot stove in the air-conditioned house than doing anything outside on the grill).  I made Apricot Jam, which didn’t seem very hard… just cook chopped apricots, sugar (2:1 ratio) along with a bit of lemon juice until its jam.  I didn’t make much, so it’s just in the fridge for PB&J sandwiches.  As a follow-up, I made peach sauce (which is really good on Roy’s waffles). You make this just like apricot jam, but with peaches and you don’t quite cook as long.  I bought a bunch of peaches at the farmers market so have more in the freezer… maybe I will try some peach jam later.  But I think that this week is the last week we will see peaches a the farmers market (and the apricots are long gone..  but still getting good tomatoes).     I also made souffl├ęs for the first time… Its not that hard, but don’t expect it to be a week night staple – way to many dirty dishes. Let me know if you want the recipe.  

My adventure has been swimming class. The name of the class is the Mile Club (at the Awatukee Y).I figured this meant the goal of the class was to get you to be able to swim a mile.  What they really intend is that you swim a mile every class, which includes a bunch of drills where you only do one part of a swim stroke (like breath).  I really never realized that there was so much to think about when swimming, its almost as bad as golf.   Some of the people can actually swim more than one lap without resting (not me..yet), so  the swim coach said she would start teaching us flip turns.. and bring a video camera.  Let’s hope she doesn’t post them on youtube.

The biggest highlight was celebrating our 25th Anniversary (which sounds much better than a Silver Anniversary, implying that you should have grandchildren and drive a Buick).   We celebrated by going to Tucson and staying at the Westward Look (same place we stayed for our honeymoon), and having dinner at Janos.  Here’s to another 25!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Muesli -- Revisited

I have a hard time repeating things.  I could never be a restaurant chef or a potter that made dinner ware, where there is some expectation of getting the same thing the next time you order it.  I continue to adjust, often based on what I have in the house (especially with $4 gas), or reduce the amount of dirty dishes generated, or maybe to adjust the quantity.  As to my pots, I like to think the clay is jointly expressing itself with me (not that I haven’t really mastered the basics!)

Some examples… starting with Muesli.  The recipe I posted makes enough for 3, but there are only 2 of us (the dog gets kibble every morning and loves it… some things don’t change).    So I cut down the oatmeal by a third, from 1 ½ cups to 1 cup.  The milk should be cut from 2 cups to 1 1/3 cups but that would necessitate a bit of math, not to mention another measuring cup.  So I just put in a cup of milk, or just enough to cover the dry ingredients (including some nuts and dry fruit, and usually honey to sweeten).   In the morning, I add enough plain yogurt to get to just the right consistency.   I now never make it like the recipe I posted last year.  

Another example:  Fish tacos. Using the blender seemed like too much trouble.  So I just mixed the flour and spices in a large bowl with a whisk, and then whisk in the beer. You can just put the fish in this bowl, so one less dirty dish.

Last example:  Muffins.  I made our normal Apple-Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins.  But instead of apples and cranberries, I used zucchini and raisins.  I only had 1 egg, so I used a bit more oil, 1/3 cup instead of ¼ cup.  I was stringy on sugar..  only used 2/3 cup instead of ¾ cup.   Well, they came out great (so I promised Roy I would right it down).

So where is this going?  At some point, you will see a new recipe for “low cholesterol zucchini muffins”.  But generally, I will try to post a comment when I have made a fairly repeatable changes.  So… don’t forget to take a look at the comments.  And if you make something, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on how to make it better!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What Fun

Due to the nature of ceramics – the amount of equipment needed, weight of the materials, and utilitarian roots, it is very often done in group settings… much more so than other fine arts such as painting. My Mom claims that in the art groups she belongs to, the potters are the best at organizing things, since they used to working in group structures, and seem to enjoy it. So, as wonderful as it is to have my own kiln, etc, I do miss working in groups (like I did before I had my own stuff) and the creative power that comes from a bunch of fun people. This is an easy thing to fix: I invited a bunch of friends over on Monday’s in May, and we made masks. What fun!

The masks all came out quite wonderful, check the photo site to see each one. Everyone has promised to give their pieces names (however, I didn’t seem to have the right combination of wine and writing utensils to actually get them all… so if you don’t have a name, send me one!).

And I will do it again – for me as much as for everyone – after the hot days of summer are behind us.