Blog Shift and Artichokes

Tags

, , , , ,

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Veggie Dip

It became apparent to me earlier last summer that I was losing interest in the general subject matter on my blog. I no longer had a dog and my life had become smaller and smaller as walking became harder and harder, so I felt I had nothing to write about. Sorry for my prior extended absences.

What has been consuming my life is aging and everything involved in it. In case you missed the post with my age (I finally admitted it), I’m 66 and will be 67 in May. What I’ve been finding is that there’s very little written for those of us who are aging and the “challenges” we will face. No one seems to have any kind of major info….

So I decided to write about the things I run into as I hit them. “Hit them” is the operative phrase here, because pretty often it’s a shock. The other thing I’m going to write about are the interesting recipes I’ve come across that don’t require a lot of physical work or effort to make. You can stop laughing now…I was referring to carrying big pots of water, food etc. across the kitchen to the stove and back.

As you may or may not know/realize, since the emergency surgery and three or four weeks time I spent in the I.C.U. almost 2.5 years ago, my balance has really deteriorated. I’m now “chained” to my walker as it were.  The whole idea of filling my 5 quart Dutch oven up with water to cook one or three artichokes (looovve them to pieces) or anything else, only to have to move the big (5 qt.) pot of water (cold or hot) between the sink and stove is just really unsafe at this point.

A while back, I had a very nice homecare person, named Antonia in to help me for a few hours. Got a lot done but sadly the artichoke (on sale over Thanksgiving) I’d been lusting after all summer only got halfway cooked before she had to leave. I tried leaving the it in the hot water hoping it’d finish cooking but no such luck. They’re tough little buggers.

So, using my 2 cup measure, I drained it (again, no moving big pots of water around the kitchen) and wrapped it in plastic resolving to figure it out in the days that followed. They last quite well when bagged and refrigerated.

(Oh, and did you know the way to check if your artichoke is ready? You take a tongs and grab hold of one of the leaves in the middle. If the leaf releases from the veg easily, voila, done. If not, cook some more. Usually takes about 40 or more minutes and you really can’t overcook them. Well, maybe 2+ hours would….)

So, I googled “can artichokes be microwaved?” and got all kinds of info that will now make my life and hopefully yours easier (and safer). What follows are just a few sites addressing this! Here are just a few:
Ten Minute Microwave Steamed Artichokes
https://thismodernwife.com/2013/04/25/10-minute-microwave-steamed
-artichokes/
(This article is really interesting because it talks about how to eat the stems! Some of the stores in my area actually advertise in very early summer having chokes with long stems because they are very similar to the heart of the artichoke. Who knew?)
How to Microwave Artichokes
http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/microwave-artichokes/
Ways to Cook Artichokes
http://artichokes.org/cooking-artichokes

So getting older may be an evil none of us can avoid, but hopefully you, like me, will realize there are a number of ways around some of the problems. Oh, and for sitting through this long post, here’s my recipe (yes, I finally measured the ingredients vs. eyeballing them!) for a dip that’s fantastic with almost any form of raw veg as well as a great dip for the artichoke leaves and other cooked veggies. I’ve used this recipe for the last 35 years with virtually no alterations. It keeps (in my experience) for over a week in the fridge or until the whey in the sour cream has separated into a watery layer on top (just stir back in or pour off if you’re so inclined).

Dip for Artichokes

1 c. or more of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
1-1.5 t. Lemon Pepper (not an expensive one)
1+/- t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
1+/-t. Bon Appetit

Alternate measurements or to taste:

2 c. of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
2+ t. Lemon Pepper
2+ t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
2+ t. Bon Appetit also by Spice Islands

Sprinkle on the surface of the sour cream in a fairly solid track. First one direction vertically (or horizontally, doesn’t matter) and same with the other in the opposite direction. See photos.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Begin by topping with Lemon Pepper (as above). I used McCormick’s. You use the most of this “spice”. In other words a bit more than what’s seen here. And yes, this is a 16 ounce container of Knudson sour cream.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Lemon Pepper with Bon Appetite over it

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Now with Beau Monde over that.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Mix well and chill to blend for about 1 hour. If you don’t let the spice “crystals” bloom, the dip will be crunchy if used immediately.

Notes:

-Buy a cheap brand of lemon pepper vs. one by Spice Islands or any of the high end pricy ones. Easier to find and they taste better. My opinion. (This note applies to the spice mix Celery Salt also. I’ve tried the higher priced ones and the flavor doesn’t blend into itself well. Each element in the mix fights the other rather than becoming a homogenous flavoring. Again, my opinion.)

-You can always add more spice to the dip if it doesn’t suit you. Just let the spices meld again.

Dip and enjoy!

 

Color Me Happy

5 A.M. Monday 2/20/2017

Can you tell I stayed up all night and watched my DVD of Pretty Woman? (I was referring to my choice of titles for this post) Love that movie for escaping to. Earlier, Nubber’s guys left to go buy parts for the 60+ year old gravity furnace. While she waited, I got Nubbers to help me clear a few things to the trash. She even volunteered that if I called, she’d come over and help me get rid of more stuff since walking with my arms full is no longer an option with my knees. At least she’s brighter than the bulk of “helpers” I get from 24Hr. Homecare. Just don’t want her to “pay herself” by raising my rent!

 

A Week at Greyhouse Journal

Tags

, , ,

As you age, touch typing after a long hospital/nursing-home stay is tough. Like now, I tried to type a paragraph and wound up erasing it far more easily. Anyways, it’s (good grief, having to forefinger-type AND  look at the keys sucks big-time) going to be a post that spans several days…sorry.

Friday and Saturday were long miserable gray, rainy days. I’m watching The Crown on Netflix. It’s a series!!! Award winning even! Who knew? I’m really enjoying it.

The furnace in this rental house croaked on Wednesday. Today (2/18/17) it was finally sunny in the afternoon…how nice! Warmth…but short lived. Of course the cheap-ass landlord and property manager have not called a furnace repair company yet.  Nubs, the property manager went out after dinner tonight and bought a huge portable heater (I’m sure she figured this would alleviate the need to replace the 65+ year old gravity furnace.)

One very large problem, it was really big and powerful. Where the heck would it fit and not start something nearby on fire or melt something? So I have no heat again for the night and it’s supposed to be about 50F or less tonight in this rental with no insulation.

She said she’ll go tomorrow, return the huge heater and get me a tiny one like my own.  Again she seems to think this will be a lasting solution. Good grief. She probably thinks since it’s “almost spring”, no problem.

And Eric wonders why I call him vs. her when there’s a problem with this rental. Only catch is that I’m going to be freezing for more nights to come and it’s the weekend so I can’t even call the city and ask what the “rules” for a livable dwelling are. Again, good grief!

2/19/17 It’s Sunday morning and still no solution. Nubbers said she’ll be getting a smaller heater for the bedroom this A.M. but no luck for Nubbers finding a furnace company yet!!!

I haven’t gotten any sleep for five nights because it’s been so cold (if you live in the Northeast, you can stop laughing now). In 2 days the night temps will fall into the low 40’s! So for this 600 square foot ice box of a rental I pay $2100+/month!

It’s now Sunday afternoon and no heater plus no news of a furnace repair company.

Well, she just saved herself by showing up at 12:20 P.M. with a (not too) big electric heater which I had her put in the kitchen, yay! Lightweight too. She even took the info on the furnace survice I found, shock of shocks!

It’s now President’s Day and @ 9 AM Nubbers was here ’cause “her guys” were due to arrive and fix the furnace. Supposedly they know how, we’ll see. As always they wanted to use my vacuum to clean out the furnace box.

Help & Theft

I originally was reluctant to hire any kind of help until I met a worker from the company “24Hr. Homecare” located in Encino (818-385-0227…DO NOT CALL THEM), CA. Huntington Hospital called them when I was released from 4 weeks of intensive care after emergency surgery took 5″ of necrotic colon out of me. It had become twisted.

Long story, short…I had no one to take me home. So someone there knew of this service. I got a great person, Brittany who is not remotely representative of the slimebags they employ.

I have been finding things missing in my house such as DVDs and so on. Objects easily stashed in a tote or purse. Tonight I checked on the French knife set I bought for my niece’s wedding that I had stored in the silverware drawer (still in it’s original box!) and found it gone!

So the takeaway is DO NOT EVER HIRE THIS COMPANY to help you…NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!

Getting old SUCKS.

Nursing Home…

Tags

, ,

too funny…   Heaven only knows what was.

sitting here and listening to re-runs of Fraisier and totally enjoying the Seattle rain,

Now I forgot what I was writing about …:(

it wasn’t worth remembering, I guess, as my mom would say. Miss her dearly.

Probably the radical amount of rain we (LA) have had.

But it’s like this every 5 yrs. or so…it’s just that no one remembers and of course the NEWS is in heaven since there’s something to report about…aka drought.

The spacing on WordPress is nuts!

What the F is up w/this????

OK.

Issued by the National Weather Service
FLASH FLOOD WATCH FROM 7AM PST FRI UNTIL 11AM PST SAT …FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOS ANGELES/OXNARD HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR LOS ANGELES, VENTURA, AND SOUTHERN SANTA BARBARA COUNTIES * FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING * PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN WITH RAINFALL RATES AT TIMES AROUND 1 INCH PER HOUR. OVERALL 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE COAST AND VALLEYS WHILE 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN THE FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAINS. HEAVIEST ALONG THE SOUTH FACING SLOPES FROM THE SANTA YNEZ RANGE EAST THROUGH THE SAN GABRIELS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… FLASH FLOODING AND DEBRIS FLOWS WILL BE A PARTICULAR THREAT IN AND BELOW THE RECENTLY BURNED AREAS. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING.

 

we have a flash flood alert & I can barely type after 4 wks.+ in host & nurs. home

How are you doing?

Squirrels

Tags

,

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!

falling-leaves
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.