Sunday, September 27, 2020

The real Tomato Tart recipe

 Here is the tomato tart recipe I printed out and put on the counter and followed all the places I followed. I may tell all the places I deviated, but from the sound of the narrative with the recipe, anything goes. It's quite obvious I used real tomatoes, not cherry. And I used two real tomatoes from my sister's garden and two romas from Kreigers!

The recipe is called Tomato Tart. I like this, not behind a paywall. A couple of sisters rummaged in the refrigerator and made supper. My kind of people, my kind of food. Here is their tart:

Here is what I did different. I used Monterrey Jack and swiss cheese. I quite grating the swiss after I emptied the grater the second time. Enough cheese.

They only wanted the edges of the crust brushed with the milk/egg. As I had few of the fresh spices, I pulled them from the spice bottles and beat them into the quarter cup of milk/egg. Then I dribbled the remaining milk/egg on top.

Here is mine, cut. Onions, cheese, tomato and crust! Yum! Reminded me of my old Italian teacher's definition of "pizza pie"! All the leftovers on a crust on washing day. Not the same two weeks in a row. Here is my serving, sliding into a bowl (all my plates are in the dishwasher).

I'll have a slice for supper tonight, and the rest goes in the freezer for another day. It does tic the high fat box, and it was mighty good.

My cooking resembles my knitting. As useful as it is, I seldom read a pattern through to the end before I begin. It's a character flaw. I simply assume I can solve everything. As I told the wind, "Don't blow in my face!". Family story.

It's Sunday. Time for a nap. Here's a great day for all of us.

And, I forgot to add: There is a new picture up, Where the Towels Live. I do like it. Thanks.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Odds and bodkins

 I'm trying new recipes again. This is called Tomato Tart. It could just as easily be called Tomate sur Fromage. Why it needed a pie crust I will never know. Ah, well, one less crostata.

I was listening to a book on tape recently, and heard fruit "galette". Off went the Mp3 and I asked google. It came back with fruit gillette. It did not call me a dummy, as I do not know French. NYT will tell you all about it, especially if you own their paywall. 

It is identical to the crostata recipe I cut and pasted from somewhere, when I had grandchildren here. Emily turned up her nose at making the recipe, so it languished until I had to cook, again. If you look it up, type "fruit" in front, as its last name is identical to men's razors.

My Tomato Tart is a pie crust made into a well, a bed of grated cheese, a layer of caramelized onions, a layer of cherry tomatoes, a quarter cup of milk with a lot of spices and an egg beat in. Baked at 450F, which is serious. 

Caramelizing onions is a horrid, horrid job. I tried the recipe because it called for two cups of grated cheese. What better way to pass the time grating cheese than by caramelizing onions!

Some heavy duty cooling is in progress; I have not cut into my tart yet. It appears to be a layer of molten cheese, topped by hot tomatoes in a layer of custard. That pie crust is a nice brown, holding in the cheese, I suppose. The onions may have sunk; they are not floating in the custard.

I did my serious shopping earlier this week, when I complained about bringing it all in. I did not buy eggs. In fact 9 eggs went to the trash yesterday. They were that old.

Google said to test the validity of an egg, put it into a bowl of water. If it sinks, good. If it stands on one end at the bottom, OK. If it floats, Bad. I wanted to make waffles one day last week. I knew the carton of eggs in the fridge was old, old, old. I tried the test. 

The first egg came straight to the top when I released it. I put it in the garbage and tried number two. Of the next ten eggs, all stood on end. I used one and put nine back in the carton. On trash day I threw them away.

I had no real need for eggs and did not buy a dozen when I shopped. Why can't I buy half a dozen eggs at a time! Then I came across this recipe, had tomatoes, no eggs. So, to the corner store for twelve eggs.

Well, off to test the tart. I'll tell you if it's a keeper. Here's a picture of one I tried recently. Creamy spinach chickpea spaghetti. I remembered to take a picture half way through and it still looked good. It was good, though I think you better like chickpeas.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Big jobs, little jobs

Months ago Kathleen, my counselor, suggested I call Area Agency on Ageing to see if any programs applied to my needs. After a short, useless argument I said I would. Kathleen takes exquisite notes on my family and friends, my likes and dislikes, but has never bothered to write down I have been evaluated two or more times by this AAA. I am "in their books".

My particular need is someone to clean my floors; run the vacuum and sweep the vast expanse of linoleum. I had two girls from the park do it once this summer, but they're back in school. Laura came and did it once. I've vacuumed a couple of times in the year plus I've been here, but my back isn't compatible.

As I knew, this AAA has no program to vacuum my rugs. I can get in and out of bed, shower, toilet and brush my teeth. That covers their authority. We had the usual chat, and then the counselor told me of a new program they knew of that might be of interest. It was a volunteer shopping program; groceries to my door. 

I called the number given me and left a my contact information after an introductory recording. This was several months ago. I did have the satisfaction of telling Kathleen I was once again turned away by AAA, and the volunteer shopping program hadn't called me, either.

She asked me again this week and I reported the same, adding it's been six months; I'm long gone from the voice mail.

Not ten minutes later, I had a call from a nice person whose name I did not write down, so let's call her Jane. First we established I might be interested in whatever they were offering, then I helped her unburden herself of her feeling about the man previously in charge who had dropped so many balls the strings would never untangle.

This shopping program is funded by an agency Jane sort of avoided telling me the name of, but I will get it if this happens. The program funds volunteers who grocery shop and deliver to clients for no additional charge beyond the grocery receipt.

I told her I was not interested in a grocery shopper so much as a deliverer, who would carry the goods up seven steps and put them on my kitchen counter. If necessary, I would be happy to go shopping with them, and pay for the groceries, if that person also returned to my home and carried groceries up the steps.

This was a very novel idea and Jane would have her supervisor discuss it with me.

Which her supervisor did. It is such a novel idea the supervisor must discuss it with the agency that funds them, and get back to me. That hasn't happened yet.

In the meantime, the Christmas Cactus cutting I started rooting in January was overdue to leave its jelly jar home. It's in the new pot, but consigned to the deck rail, at least while overnight temps hold.

The potting soil, when I went to the shed and opened the bag, exploded with tiny little sugar ants, as my mother called them. Bazillions of them, running up my hands and down the bag. I filled another pot with soil to bring back to the deck, and left the bag wide the little devils would look to the wide world in preference to a handy bag of fine potting mix.

I potted up the cactus, shooing away a lot of ants. Alright, I smooshed a few, too. Right now I'm torn between observing for a lack of ants (and I've seen none the last two days), a dip in an incredibly mild solution of detergent in water, or a trip to the hardware store for the final solution. Advice welcome.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunday sunshine

Yesterday, at my desk, by the window, I became conscious of a heat pack on my shoulder and back. I snuggled into it, tipped my head a bit in, just to spread more of the soothing heat around.

Then I thought, "if this is the window, even better the door," and I was off to the door. How right I was! Heat enhanced through the glass panes. I went out. I sat on the bench and felt the heat seeping in from those generally uncomfortable metal slats.

Just lolling about never works for me, sadly. I went back in and looked for a container to hold a job I had in mind.

For the next hour I gathered seeds from the salpiglosis. 

Or hope I did. They don't resemble the seeds Deb sent me. To be safe, I'll buy a packet of seeds, come spring. 

I spent two hours or more on that little deck and hard bench, heating myself in the sunshine. The temperature barely was sixties, but the sun was glorious. 

Eventually I came in for a late lunch, left the sunshine outside for everything out there to enjoy.

I set to weaving after lunch. I had to tie the warp back to the cloth beam, do some idle weave to take up the tie on V's, then weave a bit I can use to cut off the idle weave.

If I've never illustrated this part, here it is. The towel warp is tied to a metal rod that runs the length if the cloth beam. The V's must be teased into proper shape. I weave in a heavy cord (I could fly a kite with it!). It's too soon to begin the towel because it would be difficult to cut it away from the idle weave. I make a border of some more scrap thread. I make the same little border at the other end, when I cut the length of cloth from the warp.

The big V's and all the thread used to straighten them out and then begin is called "loom waste". There actually is a deal of loom waste. All this beginning V business happens half a dozen times over the course of a warp. Then there is all the thread attached to the back beam, up over the warp beam, through the heddles and the reed. Sigh.

Here is the next warp, started yesterday afternoon. It's called slate. I quite like it. I'm off for lunch and then I'll weave. Today's sunshine is not so entrancing as yesterday's.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

On the move, and towels up to it

I slept poorly last night. Like a frozen stick. I don't remember this much cold this early. I put on the furnace. I got out my flannel nightgown. I changed over to the Flying Geese quilt my sister made, with the wool batt. Every time I added a layer of comfort, in September, I thought, "Well, that will tide me over until winter. Now I'll sleep like a bug in a rug!"

Well, Grrr and Hiss and Spit, like we sometimes hear from Elephant's Child, in Australia, where spring is beginning. This morning I stripped that bed to the bone and stuffed the spoils in the washer. When I put it back together, I added the goose!

See its little blue corner sneaking a peek down there by the leg. Tonight I'll be warm or else! Or else I'll turn up the thermostat. Please don't make me do that. I'm already at sixty eight immoral degrees!

I used to tell my sister, who was in charge of the thermostat, AARP says "if you have an old person living with you, the thermostat should approximate their age". Of course, AARP wasn't paying the gas bill. She kept it at sixty four for years. More than we ever had at home, as kids. It crept to sixty six before the end.

I made a trip to the post office this morning to mail some towels, and a letter, and buy stamps because I didn't have enough stamps to mail the letter. Jarrod, at the post office squished and squeezed the envelope. 

I've been mailing that envelope for two stamps, and was curious to have the official verdict. I know it's light enough for one stamp, but possibly not thin enough. And no, it did not pass the slot test.

Jarrod guessed it was cotton fabric. It is cotton lint, stripped from the dryer lint filter, and going to Art, the Beautiful Metaphor, where Boud will make it into paper some day.

I like seeing the towels at work. One helps make dinner, and pictures to substantiate it right up there. I still haven't seen one cleaning up a mess, though there was one in the wash. Don't be shy. Turn yourself in. Send those pictures.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sticking to resolutions

 I thought I'd write, yesterday, about the current voting situation in Ohio. I know we're insignificant, but in my lifetime it was "Bush by a Buckeye", and I wasn't amused.

Of course they're all Republicans down in the state house, south of Route 30. Some less qualified than others. The Secretary of State ruled there could be only one drop box per county for absentee ballots.

The Ohio Democratic Party said LaRose was disenfranchising voters, and sued to overrule his "arbitrary and unconstitutional" ruling. And then they all spilled into the ring, throwing suit on suit. Alternating judges ruled for and against; LaRose said no mater what, one box per county.

I began writing about this freaking stupidity, got a headache and a stomach ache, and went to bed. I'd broke my resolution to let politics alone, unless I had to, you know, just be involved. I've met Frank LaRose, back in my political days. Just another hack, working his way up the ladder to governor. I went to high school with his uncle.

Here's another story from yesterday.

I had a late morning appointment with one of my favorite doctors, the endocrinologist. We've known each other almost twenty years. Before the appointment, there was the usual call from Cleveland Clinic, asking me to confirm I'd be there, telling me the new protocol of being questioned and temperature checked at the door, blablablablabla.

On arrival, my usual door was blocked. I know I've complained of this about the Cleveland Clinic medical center housing my primary. This building also was down to one entrance, and is half again as big. So I set out on the quarter mile trudge around the building, questioned, checked, forced to squirt sanitizer at the new entrance, quarter mile back, then an eighth mile corridor to the doctor. 

I was late.

I asked the doctor the location of the nearest exit, and he told me to use the steps just outside the door, go down that corridor and I would exit by my car. We had a short discussion on defying authority, and then I declared, "No, by god, I'll go down the elevator and use the blocked entrance."

"But it's locked!" said the doctor.

"If it is, it is illegal, and I will call the Fire Marshall!"

"You would, wouldn't you!"

He knows me.

But I chose the entrance across the hall from his door. I hadn't recovered from my earlier walk. I started down, twenty plus steps per flight, from the third floor. Somewhere on the second floor set I heard the clatter of feet way above, starting down. It was lunch time.

When I reached the second floor landing I realized there was no noise behind me, so looked back. There were three of them, creeping along at my pace, silently. 

"You all please pass me now, and thanks for not startling me."

With smiles and "Have a good day," they trouped on by. I carried on, walked the last corridor to the exit door. I stood a minute to get my bearings, and there it was. My car.

No, not Frank LaRose or politicians. My very own Pig and zinnias.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Lunch with Nancy

I've chatted a couple of times with Nancy, since our last card game in, I think I'm remembering correctly, March. There will be no more cards, I'm sure. At least not at the Methodist church. I'm still up for lunch, any time I can find, or join a gang. I've encouraged Nancy to agreeing, and she came up with: lunch at Nancy's. Bring your own.

It was a good success, and we'll do it again. Next time I'll take my own brown bag and cup of coffee. I'm so unused to Subway ingredients that I came home and fell asleep for ninety minutes. I'm really disliking wasting that much of a day for an avoidable reason.

Nancy was still out getting lunch for Bill and herself when I pulled in. Bill is an avid, avid gardener, and I saw him up in the top of his flower garden when I pulled in. Can you tell they have grandchildren?

The "back garden". The sort of garden I might have had, given enough time at the old house. Bill's gardening theory is very close to mine, of plant so many things there is no room for weeds. Bill's, plant so many things the weeds look like another flower.

Hibiscus! How I love them. My one fling with them made for a lovely autumn show, but we didn't tend its pot well enough in the winter.

I don't know this flower. There are many vines filling trellis's along the walk. It is an overwhelming display. I enjoyed chatting, catching up, surrounded by so many flowers. We'll do it again.

I've so little other news. The grass green length is off the loom and ready to make into towels, starting tomorrow.

Up next, charcoal or black. I may flip a coin.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

And an afternoon lost to tiramisu

What did I do this week? I really don't know. Not much weaving, I think, though I am down to four bobbins to finish. A morning or afternoon's work. Perhaps tomorrow I'll finish. I really like this color. Grass Green. Or maybe Green Grass. Good color.

I discovered movies on Netflix (while I wait for the next season of The Crown!). Over the last two days I watched The Help. It was decent for the time, but no more. I'll start looking for films I didn't see, which is most of them.

I did make another watch order, and it came in. This time I bought a Koretrak. It's reviews were first rate. We'll see. It is all about my electronic ignorance. Says plug it into my USB. I know what that means, but I have no USB like it.

Furthermore, I've never seen a port like this needs. I did some serious internet searching and decided I need a mini USB port. But where to get one? And it came to me. The phone store. They'll see me tomorrow.

Laura came Friday, to go to lunch with Cathy and me, "like old times." She came in with a large mouth mason jar of flowers. She told her client she was going to Peninsula to go to lunch with gramma, and the woman was so charmed she took Laura through the garden to pick a bouquet.

Lovely, isn't it. The three of us went to a bar/restaurant, and for dessert I had tiramisu, well soaked in rum. All I did in the afternoon was lift the flowers from the mason jar and move them to a vase.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


 Early this year I bent my glasses frame, and lived with it all through lock down.I finally got to the optometrist, who did a hurried job. "Oh, I see what's wrong" she announced in the hall way, took the glasses, came out and put them on. "Straight now!" she announced.

Straighter, but not straight. It's a long way to the optometrist, and I put up with it. I'd begun watching The Crown, on my old seventeen inch TV. The show posts interesting notes about the history at the end of some shows. I could read them with one eye or the other, but not both. I never could read the entire post script.

Not the same, but why not. The moon through the window. The moon in the sky; it's reflection in the window.

I had a doctor appointment in the same building last week, and took advantage to address the glasses issue again.

I told the technician I could read clearly with one eye or the other but not both. "Sounds like you need a new prescription!" said she. I didn't think so, as there was a new script just a year ago. She was in and out of the back room half a dozen or more times, but they are corrected. I can see from both eyes. I can read my seventeen inch television from ten feet away!

Laura dropped in one evening, to help me with a technical problem. (The problem was I did not scroll down far enough to read the rest of the instructions!)

"You really rock those jeans, Gramma," she said. The reason, they are old and barely blue any more. That sent me straight to the computer the next morning to buy two pair of Gloria Vanderbilt, corduroy jeans, one black, one grey. I threw in a three pack of long sleeve T's for good measure. Gramma's don't rock clothes, just wear them.

I do need a trip to the thrift store for a nice men's suit jacket. I feel a new selfie coming on.

Speaking of The Crown, I've not only fallen for it, I've watched two seasons without realizing. Oh, the desperate internet search to learn where I landed. At the end of Season 2, it seems, and Season 3 premiers in bloody November.

Who watches it? Who thinks Charles' ears are atrociously large?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Cold, wet Labor Day

 Yesterday's rain fell close to twenty four complete hours. Sixty thousand were without power, roads flooded, the highway closed. I suppose a lot of cook outs were cook ins. Good job the youngsters down the street used their Labor Day fireworks on Sunday

I did something new to the crostata yesterday. I seldom can bring myself to break an egg to use the white and never the yolk. So, I don't glaze the crostata and sprinkle sugar. On a whim yeterday, I lightly buttered the crust, then sprinkled a half teaspoon or so of sugar, before baking. It was the best looking and tasting yet. Yum lunch.

There were packages to mail today, and when I set out I was stunned the see how much water had come down:

That is more than enough to water tomorrow. I was also surprised to see the colchicum has three blossoms. The bulb is dividing exponentially!

I kept my camera handy in the event the heron was at the lake. He was not, but I did take a nice, fall picture for the header,

Monday, September 7, 2020

Bread and Butter for Breakfast and Where the Towels Live

 This entire recitation is way after breakfast! My life was as usual this morning, except I could hear pouring rain. Loud, beating rain. Well, I wouldn't be watering the plants this morning. Crash, flash, and the light was gone. The overhead light. 

I opened the bedroom curtain to dress. In the bathroom for a mug of water, I put my finger in the cup, not to overflow. Oh, the comedy, and no one there to enjoy it. Especially the automated power companies' automated outage reporting, to rescue myself and my neighbors.

Proceeding nevertheless, I acquired the cat for company as I passed the kitchen closet. His reaction to a midnight squall. In "his room" I replaced the kibble, used the finger dip to decide water would last, and for the first time ever pushed on the emergency light in the litter box closet. High noon!

Now it was my turn. My half hour with a cup of hot coffee, warm toast with butter and jam, and the current book. I dropped the bread in the toaster and...

After "breakfast" I went back to bed. Probably about ten o'clock. The cat came from under the bed this time and curled safely against my leg. At noon the overhead light lighted up, and so did I. Time for a new start, damn the thunder and rain.

Off to the kitchen, I opened the freezer door. No idea why. And there were the box of creme sticks, my reward for randomly opening the freezer. I took out another one for lunch, and the ingredients for crosatta--a bag of frozen blueberries in crosatta dressing and a frozen crust.

I ate lunch while the blueberries and crust thawed a bit, and then came to see if my computer still computes. Thunderstorms and flooding for the next several hours. Which explains:

Lunch is over, the crosatta is done. I wish you all a warmer and dryer Labor Day holiday. Be well. Take a deep breath and smell this crosatta.

And to tickle your heart, have a look at Where the Towels Live. My best, oldest friend has given off living in the south and moved back to summer sunshine and winter snow in northeastern Ohio.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Changing time

 The other morning, heading down the steps to an appointment, there in the big sedum pot, a little purple colchicum blossom had worked its way through the mat of fleshy vines and begun to open.

I carefully cleaned out all the other growth, even some weeds, to admire the little fellow.  This bulb has followed me since childhood. My dad presented me with some every fall, from his treasured collection. I wonder where all they may be planted now.

I realized I should see it before it's gone. I was right; it's full open. I'll bank up the soil to protect the bulb this winter, which is forecast to be harsh. Like they all aren't, one way or another. Next spring I'll plant the pot in perennials. My great bulb experiment failed.

Pig and zinnias were a success. Pig's nose has been in the bouquet for the last week. I want bigger zinnias next year. I noted same on my May, 2021 calendar. The beginning of a happy new summer and our country beginning to be better.

I've begun the next warp, grass green. And while today is trash day, it also is the day I expected delivery of a new box of warp. Things like this make an old woman anxious. Big box! What if Jim and his big UPS truck had to defer to big trash trucks, or worse yet, the box is balanced on his shoulder and.....

But the box was safely deposited on my very own Percy, under the supervision of you know who. All in a day's work. I wheeled it to the studio.

Tomorrow's job is reorganize the thread shelf and unload the colors.

I looked down and realized I'm not just a number, I have a name. It's been a little interesting fooling with positioning pictures, but not enough to do it again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Where the towels live

 Three cheers for Margaret Butterworth. She sent me a wonderful idea, and it has become a new page, Where the towels live.

The concept sent me from chuckling to laughing out loud, when she sent me to the Instagram page she knows of. A young tradie made safe and stylish sunglasses for tradies. He promotes them through his Instagram account, Safestyle Eyewear. Send a picture wearing them on the job, be entered for a weekly prize.

I've woven my towel probably since 1988. I know everywhere I've flung them into the fray, how much baby food wiped from little mouths, mud from dog paws, on and on and much better, much worse. 

If I can find it in the drawer, I'll post the towel a granddaughter used for a cutting board.  I wonder if my sister will take a picture of Tom's head mopping towel hanging from his back pocket. 

And of course, towels mostly hang quietly in the kitchen, on the oven rack, in the fridge handle, on a towel rack, waiting to be put into action. I wonder if towels talk to each other at night.

Send a picture of your towel, in action or at rest. I'll post it on the blog page, in the order received. I'll post and link to your blog, and tell the city and state. If you want the towel to remain anonymous, so be it. I'll still recognize it.

 This towel came with us from the old house, so it was made between 1988 and 2002. Granddaughter used the towel for a cutting board, and sliced through an inch or so of threads. As it was one of two towels we brought from the old house, she scrabbled for a scrap of cloth and "mended" it. Towel lives on.

No prizes, just chuckles. I won't take this to Instagram yet. That format still intimidates me, and takes too much time. I would be better off weaving.

I do hope you will like the new page and send pictures of your towels for me to post. Thank you Margaret.