The blog world is alive with talk of autumn and recipes that go with it.

My signals of autumn are the thuds, heavy ca-thunks and scrambling across the roof at all hours of the day and night from the frisky fall-bound squirrels flying about prior to hibernation. The other clues are the cooling temps…Yay!

Photo Source.

This may take some time. While I’ve been away WordPress has changed the whole look of a new post. Anyways, I do have a new post coming up on Senf Gerkins which I love. A reader found my posts from2012 and 2013 and wrote about her memories of Senfs.

I don’t can, but I’m going to post some recipes that I found in my various searches for the pickles, just in case anyone is interested.

The Fires Continue

Just a quick, little segue in your day. Sadly, fires still rage. Sorry, but msn is impossible to link to, so copy and paste. Tried to get a photo from their site of the devastation but, no luck. Again, sorry.


Despite evacuations, an elderly couple died. I don’t know how soon it will get better. We’re in the high 90’s and going into the 100’s. Send good thoughts.



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Hi again after a nasty absence. For the next five days we’re looking at temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s. That. Is. Obscene. That’s a jump of almost 30 degrees!!!

After a lovely and wonderful Spring that I could kiss a god’s hand for, we are being lead into our future for the next five to six months…essentially HELL (yes, goal post, e, double hockey stick).

I dread this time of year. As you may know if you’ve been (thank you!) following me for the last years, California houses have NO insulation anywhere in them. So summer (which lasts till November) is utterly miserable.

Continued from June 1, 2016…

Well, time has passed, three weeks to be exact and last week was the start of our version of hell here in So Cal. Yesterday the temps which had ventured into the 100’s, hit 114F and the best one can do is just exist. It was so hot, that I didn’t do anything but lay in bed, on and off, in front of the window air conditioner. I didn’t get any sleep till about 2 am last night and then woke up at 6 am.

“Two Wildfires Near Los Angeles Explode Overnight, Hundreds Evacuated”

I had even postponed my grocery order due to the heat. Anyhow, I scheduled it for today. Little did I know that wildfires would break out in the next suburb and just two more away. I had left the window open last night in hopes of catching some cool air (at 1 am it was still 99F). Unfortunately the breeze shifted, causing the heavy plumes of smoke to settle in this part of the valley. I woke up to wretched, acrid smoke and a brilliant orange sunrise.

I can tell from the blackness of the smoke above us, that some structures may have been hit. I know that several areas were evacuated. Usually when it’s just forest and brush, the smoke is pretty much white to light gray. By contrast, the pall hanging over this area was very dark. The only good I can see is that the smoke cover may cut some of the heavy sunlight and thus perhaps heat. We’ll see. I read the areas burning, haven’t done so in over 35 years, making them major tinderboxes.

The one thing that always strikes me is the brilliant colors of sunrises and sunsets during these kind of smoke covered days. They look like they’ve been photoshopped to the max when they haven’t been touched. Funny how something beautiful can come from tragedy.

B-day Week


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Had the nicest week here, weather-wise! Actually chilly. This is my birthday week so it was a real treat. On Friday, my birthday, I received the nicest present…rain. Lovely slow-falling, rain. It was so nice and grey all day, perfect weather for sleeping in. When you get beaming sun morn to night, you really learn to appreciate “May Gray”. So I gave myself the gift of sleeping as long as I wanted. Delicious!

My childhood friend, S, called to wish me happy B-day around 5 pm. And since I have a million rollover minutes, we talked for a good hour. My brother, Rusty, sent an email. He can be such a disappointment sometimes. But, whatever.

My dinner was a frozen Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Prima Vera. So, so. Kind of watery, fyi. Should have gone with the bag of salad I had in the fridge, but oh well. Had the salad today with grape tomatoes and Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese dressing…mmm.

Found a strange link when looking for an image to put into this post. You can write your name or a friend’s on an assortment of Birthday cakes and send it to them. Not the cake, just the image, like this:

Or this:

This is a good thing since the odds of me baking a cake are zero. Lol!

To anyone else who had a birthday this last week, Happy Birthday to you!

Smoked Salmon Accompaniment


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This is what I serve with smoked salmon looks like. Usually I also have a dish of capers on the side.

Use whatever measurements you like.
1/2 mayo (the real stuff like Hellmans’s/Best Foods)
(Hellman’s is East coast and BF is West, who knows why?)
1/2 sour cream (I like Knudson’s)
About 3- 5 T. (+ or -) chopped fresh dill
About 1/4 – 1/3 c. (+ or -) finely minced red onion
1-5 T. capers (rinsed and drained of course) Amount depends on how many people you’re serving.

Mix everything except the capers together. You can alter proportions to taste as you like. Haven’t tried it with yogurt since I just love it this way.

Let sit in a covered container in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to meld. Serve with the salmon and capers on the side, so people can help themselves.

This is a versatile all around dip but is really good with smoked salmon. You could probably sub shallots for the red onion. It’s just I really like the taste of red onion and how it balances out the richness of the smoked salmon. It’s a very flexible recipe that the person who first introduced me to home smoking ages ago gave to me. Gosh, it must be over 20 years ago!

Entering Trout Season


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Lake Superior Trout

Lake Superior Trout

Why is it that thinking and talking about food can often make you feel better mentally? It’s the strangest thing. Believe it or not, this post stems from putting my grocery delivery order together on Sunday.

As you may or may not know, I use Von’s Delivery vs. going grocery shopping myself. My knees are just so bad that it’s a much better option for me. The food is delivered to my back door, brought in and placed on the counter for me. So very much better! The nice thing is that if you order $150 the delivery fee is only $3.95. Since I order two to three weeks worthat a time that’s easy to reach. Not bad heh? Someone does the shopping and lugging for me, plus every week they offer a free item. One week it was Magnum ice cream bars. Yum! Another week it was a big container of one of their deli soups. Other times boxes of cereal and so on!

Anyhow, I was on the Von’s website and decided to look at what was available in fish. Well, the first thing listed under fish was Chilean Sea Bass fillet at…are you ready?$32.99/pound! A pound! I called Customer Service and asked if it was a mistake. They couldn’t tell and so called the store that serves my area.

Sure enough it was correct! Can you believe it? Two funny things…I had called about a week ago and was told that often when a product isn’t ordered it’s because it doesn’t “move” (aka:  sell fast enough) and then has to be tossed. [But I order it…. :(]

Obviously the store’s fish monger must have wanted a special meal. He could be pretty sure no one would be buying the bass anytime soon. Second funny thing was that the customer service rep had no reference as far as the cost because she doesn’t like fish and doesn’t eat it. Can you imagine not eating fish? I’d die without salmon, trout, tuna, anchovies and so on! I don’t get it that often but not to ever eat it? Can’t even envision that at all.

In fact, on my next Trader Joe’s order, I’m going to get about 10 to 12 little tins of their delicious Smoked Trout.TJ's Smkd Trout

It’s so good and it reminds me of summer days as a kid vacationing up in Door County, Wisconsin where there are all kinds of varieties of smoked fish available and they all taste so good!

Just like in Door County

Just like in Door County…yum!

I often will use a tin of smoked trout from Trader Joe’s (they’re small by the way – see image below) to make a dinner of lettuces, tomatoes, potatoes and whatever other fresh veggies are around. Maybe even a hard-boiled egg. If I have any special olives on hand, those are included. Actually even something as pedestrian as pimento stuffed greenies. Of course I do toss those in a small pot of water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or so, to remove some of the salt. Then drain, rinse, drain and cool.

I’ve even been known to use the oil I drain from the trout tin to make an nice, easy vinaigrette. Sometimes I’ll throw everything together like a big ole’ tossed salad.And other times separate it kind of like a Salad Nicoise as in the image below (though not a real salad Nicoise).

This is often the perfect dinner in the dregs of summer when I refuse to turn the oven on and even the idea of throwing something on the stovetop is completely undesirable. Plus I get some Omega-3’s this way.

From Stacey's blog

From Stacey’s blog

In researching smoked fish for this post, I came upon a number of interesting sites. First is Stacey’s post on her take of April Bloomfield’s recipe in “A Girl and Her Pig”. She has a good recipe modeled after April’s but using TJ’s Smoked Trout.

I called several well known delis in LA. “Fish? No, we don’t carry any fish.” In the Midwest no self-respecting deli would ever say that! You could always get some form of un-canned smoked fish, especially in spring, trout season. Heck, one of the first things I bought (after a gas grill) when I moved out at the start of the divorce was a smoker. Love smoked salmon. Used to get a slab of salmon (skinned both sides – important) from Costco and smoke it. Ooohhh, to die for. And I had the best “dip” to accompany it. Sadly my insane knees now limit me and I haven’t smoked anything in several years.  😦

Smkd trout3Another site yielded a number of ways to get your hands on some smoked fish if you don’t live on the East Coast or near a Great Lake. (Apparently being 30 minutes from the Pacific ocean doesn’t count for anything so I was happy to get this list.) Even if I only ordered once every two years from one of them it’d be worth it:

Smoked Fish: How to Get It

If properly packaged and handled, smoked fish will last 5 to 7 days, depending on the fish.

Abe’s & Son, Philadelphia, PA, 215-742-3800 ($50 minimum)

Barney Greengrass, New York, NY, 212-724-4707

Browne Trading Company, Portland, ME, 800-944-7848; www.brownetrading.com 

Murray’s Sturgeon, New York, NY, 212-724-2650

Russ & Daughters, New York, NY, 800-787-7229

Zabar’s, New York, NY 212-496-1234 (inside New York), 800-697-6301(outside New York), www.zabars.com

Why is everything on the East coast? We have fish here! Heck, we’ve got a whole ocean sitting next to us!

P.S. Just FYI: not affiliated with anyone in any way.

P.P.S. Recipe for “dip” for salmon coming next.


Bad Blogger


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Photo Source. Can't recall. Sorry.

Photo Source. Can’t recall. Sorry.

Well, I must apologize for my lengthly sabbatical absence from this blog. Sorry. See that puppers up there?  Kind of how I feel.

Going through some angst about aging. Suddenly my skin looks like an old woman’s when I look at my arms. Plus I’m waiting for the landlord for this property to jack up the rent another 10%. Cringe. LA is just becoming obscene to live in.

Oh, and add to that we’ve had a very early and brief spring sadly, with little in the way of rain.  😦  Today it hit 94F (34.5C) and will repeat the same tomorrow. 😦 Yeah, I’ve just been kind of bummed lately. Again, sorry. I’ll try to be better. If you’ve checked in periodically, thank you! From the very bottom of my heart!

The Profound Impact of Words


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You don’t even need that many of them. I found the following while surfing the net. The power of these words is astounding don’t you think? I’ve written about this before. Remember this?

Be sure to view this. It was penned by a man who lost his wife in the Bataclan club attack:

Words have such power when used with thought that it still amazes me.

Happy Gobbler Day!


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Well, Thanksgiving came and went. My brother on the East coast emailed me. What is it with people and not calling to say hello? It’s so much more enjoyable and rewarding to hear a loved one’s voice.

My little 2.75# turkey breast in the crockpot did not turn out so well. I think I’m crockpot challenged. I do much better with a plain old heavy duty Dutch Oven. So, so much better!!!

It’s probably because that was the pot my mom and aunt always used so I must have absorbed the “how to” from them. Never was around anyone who used a crockpot so am not quite so gifted.

I’m thinking of tossing it out, I mean, really, why keep it? Plus when I read crockpot recipe, it almost automatically is converted to Dutch Oven measurements in my brain…no idea why. Actually I just may keep the cooker to use in the summer to avoid heating the house up. Of course, who knows if my luck will be any better? On a happier note I found an image of a tree in its full fall regalia and looking gorgeous!

Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

We’ve had the loveliest streak of fall weather and it’s been heavenly! Trees are actually changing color (well, the ones that are deciduous). Hope your holiday was happy!

Are you ready for the next one that’s upon us in 23 days. I really wish the fall holidays were spaced out a bit more so we could all enjoy them to the fullest!