28 September 2014

Red Pears

These proved irresistible today.

When my red pears ripen, I'll make this
Williams Sonoma Taste recipe.

I love my Williams Sonoma Taste email subcription. Especially because they recap every weekend and give me a second chance to spot a great recipe

27 September 2014

Outlander,The Starz Series

CA and I have absolutely enjoyed the first half (8 episodes) of this series. Looking forward to April 4, 2015 for the second half of season one.

Having loved Scotland when we visited in 2007, I've decided to embrace my (fantasy) origins. (Although, CA can rightfully claim to be of Scottish ancestry.) We were graciously hosted by Bill of the Crawford Clan, and given a topnotch tour of Glasgow, Sterling, The Trassochs, Loch Lomond, Luss, St. Andrew's, and more. We also spent a full day in Edinburgh.

I want Dougal's Tam O'Shanter [TOS]. Actually, I'd like CA to wear one but that absolutely won't happen. I'll wear it myself.

25 September 2014

Travel Plans

Vieux Village Mougin

France-U.S. Southwest-France-Southwest-France... We've been debating for months. After a summer (and Fall) of health issues and physical therapy, CA and I knew we'd want to travel this Autumn. Then, family issues and events kept piling up. We're still determined to get away.

This month, I went to Charleston and Kiawah, while CA traveled to Colorado. We want to go to Cincinnati very soon.

We finally pieced this puzzle together. In October and November we'll travel to Cincinnati, then Central Illinois. We'll see grandkids in Ohio; address family health issues, visit relatives, travel to my Jacobs grandparents small town to check-out a real estate venture, meet a future sister-in-law, attend a wedding--all in Central Illinois; and have periods of time at home in October. In November, we'll be home lots, visit Colorado and New Mexico, make a couple of grandparents' day appearances, celebrate Thanksgiving, and attend a special wedding.

Now, I can't imagine how we'd have fit in 4-weeks in France. But, we will go in late Winter or mid-May.

24 September 2014


My goal was to stay home all day today. In pajamas. Goal!

This morning: iPad, baked pumpkin bread, pjs.

This afternoon: leftovers, a nap, a shower, clean pjs.

This evening: tacos with CA, 2 episodes of Outlander, pjs.

22 September 2014

Dinner Last Night, Lunch Today...

CA calls this my Safety-Kleen week because I'm getting together two consecutive nights with a total of 4 former S-K co-workers. Tonight four couples met for dinner at BRS's home, and she made this recipe which she calls "Oprah's Potatoes" because the original recipe appeared in a Bob Greene cookbook. BG being Oprah's fitness guru.

This is just about a perfect side dish, or lunch, or anything. I might, from time-to-time, substitute Haricot Verts for the asparagus. Keeps the vivid coloration, but adds variety. I also put the tomatoes in at the same time as the asparagus, as I wanted them to caramelize a bit. Had some cooked almost to a jam consistency in Charleston last week and they were spectacular.

I contributed the Honeydew Melon Salad (I think this is a Williams Sonoma Taste recipe.) to the meal, and LL brought Mason Jar Keylime Pies. A lovely meal and evening.

I've used both mint and cilantro in this salad, at separate times. Not thinking of ever using dill, but would use basil in a pinch.

19 September 2014

Kiawah, Friday

Our last full day. Lazy, relaxing, sleep-in morning.

Time to beach bike. About 8 miles, give or take. Thought we'd go both west and east along the beach, but the winds were a-blowing easterly, so we backtracked to the bike path for 4-1/2 or so miles. Then, cut-in to the beach and let the ocean breezes push us along easterly, with the wind. Loverly.

Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge

Quick showers (The de-sweating, cleaning kind. Not rain.) and we drove Route 17 across Arthur Ravenal, Jr.'s Bridge to Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek Bar and Grill for a late lunch. Shrimp and grits for BZY, while I had a Carolina burger plate (hamburger, chili, American cheese, and onion strings) with Hushpuppies!, and a cup of She Crab soup.



Full-full-full. Ugh!

Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation

We got to Boone Hall Plantation in time for the 4:00pm house tour (loved it!) and the 4:45 cart (trolley) tour of the grounds. Delightful people work at Boone Hall. We felt well-informed and well-cared for. And, the threatening weather held off until we'd found a Starbucks, pumpkin spice beverages, and an outside table. No desire to participate in the 5:30 traffic back-up.

By 6:15pm we were once again in the car driving--in a down-pour--back to Kiawah. We loved twice today flying across the sailing ship that is the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.

18 September 2014

And, in Other Places...

My Fun Kids in Cincinnati, enjoying S'mores.

And, more Fun Kids in Fort Collins getting into their school day Thursday.

Kiawah, Thursday

Oh... We're running out of days.

The sun is brightly shining, contrary to weather predictions. We've decided to stay local today. Leftover beautiful burger from King Street Grill for breakfast, then a late morning beach ride sets the leisurely pace. Then, we shower and hang out, leaving around 1:30pm for a short drive to Stono Farm Market and a late lunch at the Tomato Shed Cafe.

Super-casual kitchen table ambience with great, honest farm-style cooking. "Who's Your Farmer?"

BZY chooses a crabcake with three sides--strawberry pickled beets, Geechie Boy Grits, tomato pie. While I go with the vegetable plate; choosing the beets, the grits, the tomato pie, and a puréed sweet potato with goodies, including pecans. We both have homemade lemon chess pie--excellent crust and very sweet lemoni-ness. I love me some lemons.

After lunch we drove to the Charleston Tea Plantation, caught the last trolley tour of the day (3:30pm), and totally enjoyed Charlestonian and former history teacher John Kennedy's narration. Which is delightfully interspersed with recorded commentary by Bill Hall, founder and still owner (co-owner with the Bigelow Tea people) of America's only tea garden.

We'd planned to visit the Angel Tree, but the skies opened up with another unusual deluge of summer rain. Rain's been ubiquitous here in the Low Country of late. Our charming little tea shrubs need only 52" of water per year. Preferably, one-per-week. So far, we've mostly managed to run between the raindrops and schedule around the frequent cloudbursts. The exception being our initial beach bike ride which was VERY wet.

I'm cool with a very quiet late afternoon and at-home evening featuring our first T.V. viewing of the week (Anthony Bourdain), and snacking on what's here--cheeses, almonds, peaches, chocolate.


17 September 2014

Kiawah-Charleston, Wednesday

Breakfast in Charleston this morning. Not too early, but we headed out into a surprisingly perfect, sunshining morning. We'd expected rain and an inside day at Charleston Museum and historic home tours.
Un-uh. We'll be outside on the streets and basking in the sunlight (and humidity).

Saffron Bakery-Cafe-Market

We've chosen Saffron Bakery and Cafe for our mid-morning breakfast in Charleston; both opting for the Mediterranean Omelette: roasted red peppers, spinach, green onion, feta and chopped fresh herbs. I opt for the accompanying grits, while BZY has one of the bakery breads on offer. Lovely.

We park just off East Bay and walk immediately to the Waterfront Park and spend our alotted 20 minutes in a swing overlooking the harbor and the Arthur Ravenel Bridge to Mount Pleasant

Arthur Ravenel Bridge to Mount Pleasant.

We continue along the waterfront, eventually walking Broad Street--Gallery Row--where we find small hidden courtyards, local gallery owners and artists eager to engage, and plenty of gorgeous architecture, vegetation, and historical significance.

Moss-covered bricks top this vine-covered wall.

After ice cream, we meander back to the car and off in search of Geechie Boy Grits. We've been give a lead to a market on Main Street near the Maybank Highway intersection. Ambrose Family Stono Farm Market it is!, where we happily find the wonderful grits we enjoyed at Husk on Monday evening.

Gheechie Boy Grits
Cook grits with half water-half chicken stock
Thin with cream
Stir in a bit of butter

If that wasn't enough, we rested a bit and had dinner at Chez Fish on Johns Island, close to home. Very good. Loved the location and the decor makes you smile. Some of the very best sweetgrass baskets being woven near the entrance.

My Fried Goat Cheese-Heirloom Tomato Salad.

BZY chose the seafood platter--flounder, scallops, and shrimp--and a she-crab soup opener. Finally! She's been obsessed to indulge. Excellent. I paired a fried goat cheese, heirloom tomato salad with the larger serving of she-crab soup, as my dinner. Excellent. Topped that with a chocolate-praline mousse.

BZY's entree.

The fat lady sang.