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Covert 11 mos ago
Source of plums
I think I recall her mentioning before that the plums grow wild and she forages for them...but maybe I'm mistaken!


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I spent the day indoors, as a big snow-and-freezing-rain storm swept through; it's cozy to look at from a nice warm chair with cat on lap, but must be a nightmare to drive in. (I do tend to view the traffic maps at times like this, to see how bad it is - lots of little "accident" icons, and several extensive road-closures, so yeah, pretty bad.)

If the power holds out, I can catch up on TV; there are back-to-back episodes of "Amazing Race" on tonight. (I see that the guide blurb talks about the race "turning ruthless"; sigh. I liked the show mainly because it was so seldom ruthless - but these newfangled "features" are making it more like the cut-throat game shows. But the locations are so cool, and the challenges - mostly - look like fun...)

Now to heat up some sausage-and-lentil soup, for more cozy-trons. What's up with you all?


I'm about to have soup for dinner (vegetable, from a can: Progresso - how exciting!) and read, read, read through the end of tomorrow. My car is out of commission until Friday, when needed parts come in. Not looking forward to the $800 bill, but what can you do? :-)

At least I don't have to feel guilty about reading all day tomorrow! Should probably do some housework, though. Or maybe go hack some ice, since I didn't touch my walk or driveway today.

Stay safe and warm, Gory (and all others affected by nast winter weather)!


I went to an art opening at my club. Paintings and photos by one of our Artists-in-Residence, and works by four sculptors. Noshed on cheese and crackers, and chatted up a variety of folks. I had a big lunch, so now that I'm home I'll probably just have some fruit or soup for dinner.


But tonight I plan to eat a variation of last night's dinner using the leftovers. Pasta, with topping of tomatoes, basil, carrots, beans, onion, garlic, silver-beet, broccoli (Much of it home grown). Tonight I will add dried corn (last years) & split peas. I have these soaking.
I have lots of plums, so will likely make some sort of dessert with them. Pie or cake. I am also considering making plum sauce, as my stocks are low.

I might go out now and buy some paper straws for a volunteer job I do. They buy plastic straws and I disapprove, so I will donate the paper straws. Also need to buy more glass milkshake containers. They fill bins with disposables. When washable glasses are used, it reduces rubbish by several bin loads in a few hours. I bought some glasses before for them, but they have been disappearing, so time I bought some more, as they won't buy them, and I refuse to fill several bins with rubbish during my shift.

Off to hang washing and then buy those straws.


Once it stopped, I went out to shovel. It was sunny, not exceptionally cold but no wind so that made it ok. It felt good to have some fresh air. I made a pot of chili, then, after watching Jeopardy, I settled in and watch a dvd I got out from the library yesterday, Season One of *I Love Lucy*, from 1952! I loved that show when I was little and it was a real nostalgia trip to watch it again now. Corny as all get-out but sweet.


... in my own bed this time.

Yes, I was forced to leave my house at 2am on Wednesday night because the guys two doors down had an all-night party where they sat in their car port and drank, talked and got stoned all night. And if that wasn't bad enough, they drove in and out of the unit complex like blue-arsed flies with music pumping from their cars! Yes, I wasn't the only person they kept awake.

As I was leaving the police showed up... yay... but a little late. I wasn't interested in what they were going to say to them, I was more interested in finding a place to sleep.

Last night, I went to bed at 10pm, and crashed. Slept right through the night and woke to my alarm. Yay!

Tonight is Friday... who's to say they won't have another all-nighter??? The original guy who lived there was the one who hosted the party. So, he's back to his old tricks again... for the 3rd year in a row. His sister owns the unit and his Mum is a lovely lady, with a heart of gold, but she gets taken for a ride by this son of hers every time... it pains me to see him do this every year to her (I mean, he totalled her 1970's black Statesmen she'd had for over 35 years and she still talked to him).

So, my brain is still trying to catch up with what it's missed out on... and will be doing that again tonight - if those neighbours don't have another all-night stoner-party again and force me to stay somewhere else again.



I made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce this afternoon, so we had that for dinner. The rest of the evening we watched the Olympic opening ceremonies. Now it's play time with Hytch. He sleeps all day and then wants to get active when we're ready to go to bed. After I'm done playing, I'm going to crawl into bed and read awhile.


Who is "Hytch"?


Oh I should have explained. Hytch is our 10 month old black cat.


Oh I should have explained. Hytch is our 10 month old black cat.

I kind of thought that was the case. Mine sleep a lot during the day, but play, too, and are happy to curl up with me at night.


We only play two songs, but hey, people pay to hear us. :)


You're in a band? Cool! What sort of music do you play?


You're in a band? Cool! What sort of music do you play?

We are a coverband. We aren't very good, some of us are starting musicians for the first time in a band, so we play songs that you can sing or dance along with, so everybody has a good time singing and dancing even without it being extremely tight. :) We are together for a short while, so still looking for our sound. I think we are best being a funk band, but our singer wants songs she is comfortable with, so we change a lot. She is really a good singer, but isn't convinced she is yet. This time we played Duffy and Stevie Wonder. I had a really good time, even though I am not a stage animal (we are all still scared even thinking about going on stage :) ). I talked to people in the audience afterward and they had a good time also, so it was a good night.


I talked to people in the audience afterward and they had a good time also

That's the most important thing, isn't it!


And also a lot of sushi. Some of it looked very elegant, some not so much, but it all tasted fine!
We did a sushi making workshop at the hackerspace. I'm very much not an expert but I do have some experience and some good books. There were 14 of us and we had a blast! We used up two kilograms of dry rice, a kilogram of fish (different kinds), an avocado, a cucumber, a bell pepper and two jars of roe.
We also made miso soup as a starter, even though the Japanese have it after the main course. Sushi takes time to make and it's no good being grumpy and hungry during the process.

The guy who washed the rice was complaining at first, because he felt it was a lousy job to be stuck with. Then, somehow, he got really into it and couldn't stop. We had to tell him 'No really, the water is clear enough now, it's fine. Let's cook the rice now.' :-)

We ended up with a table full of plates full of sushi, and then we ate it all and enjoyed some nice warm rice wine with it. Everyone had a good time and ended up with a pleasantly full belly.


We did a sushi making workshop at the hackerspace.

That sounds wonderful! I had a stab at making sushi myself - I think it was one of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" episodes that encouraged me - but while the results were tasty enough they didn't LOOK very good. Getting all the textures and techniques right must take a bit of practice...


Ah, sushi. Now I want some.

I recall your having discussed sushi making on this forum some time back. I think it may have been your first time making it. You made me want it that time too!


It was smaller than originally planned, because some folks got scared off by the snow, but we had a good time.

I got there early to help decorate, and we had a lot of music, with both a pianist and recorded music. The food was grand, and one of our party led a parade to the dinner table.

Tonight, I'm off to a jazz concert. Our local* radio station is having its annual Black History Month event.

*And I do mean *local*. It's a low power station connected with the University that basically can only be heard in the neighborhood


Still finding uses for plums.


Still finding uses for plums.

Do you have plum trees, or did you just score huge at a local market? Hope you're having fun finding ways to use them all! (It's the opposite of plum season here, of course, but now I'm craving some. Hmmm.)


Covert 11 mos ago
Source of plums
I think I recall her mentioning before that the plums grow wild and she forages for them...but maybe I'm mistaken!


I used to find them growing wild, and I did find another nice group of feral plum trees yesterday that are now on my 'radar'. But I have also now planted a plum tree (along with other fruit trees). It is this one that is supplying me with fruit at present.
My home fruit has kept me in fruit since at least November, starting with currants, then blueberries, then peaches, then apricots and now plums. I am grateful they are not all ripe at once. The currants and blueberries were only enough to put on my breakfast cereal, but the others had enough to bottle, make jam with, as well as eat fresh. After the plums the grapes will be available and the figs are now ripe and will take me through to about April, when my 'crop' of kiwi fruit will be ready. It's the first year the kiwi fruit has produced and the 'crop' is only one piece of fruit, but it's a start.


...but over the last two days it's been well above freezing and we've had torrential rain, which isn't enough to remove all the snow and ice but which has been flooding the icebound roadways and driveways, and generating an impressive amount of fog when the warm (by contrast) rain hits the still-frozen ground. Very atmospheric! I just hope the worst of the flooding-and-slushy-ice go away before the next hard freeze, or else I'll be able to practice Olympic skating just trying to get from my house to my car...

Speaking of Olympics: I loved the opening ceremonies, especially the bit where the kids walked through virtual doorways into their (speculative) adult futures. And the giant white tiger - it's hard to beat a giant white tiger for spectacle!

In local viewing, Raffles and I have been enjoying watching the birds and squirrels on the feeders - they appreciate the help when everything's frozen solid, and even now that it's a bit warmer, I suspect they prefer to grab some seed or suet rather than rummage for wild food among the rain and ice. I love it when the cat starts chattering at them!

Fun with food: I gave in to an urge to try one of those meal-kit things, and got a Blue Apron box. It was quite good, the ingredients fresh and well-packed - to an almost silly degree: one recipe called for breaded fish fillets, and included the fish, a tiny packet of flour, another tiny packet of panko bread crumbs, and one beautifully-packed raw egg. Since the kits presume that people will have some staples on hand - mainly salt, pepper, and some kind of cooking oil - I'd have thought they'd count on flour as well, and perhaps eggs, but it seems not! The meal was good, and included jasmine rice (I had to provide my own water {wry grin}) and a nice red-cabbage slaw (rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce included along with the cabbage and some scallions). And the high point was a sauce for the fish, in which I got to peel and chop two cloves of black garlic and mix them with the provided mayo. I'd never had black garlic before and absolutely loved it - sweet and savory at once, very "umami", and a great complement to the dish. And now I'm craving more black garlic! (Even looked up how to make it - it involves cooking heads of garlic very low-and-slow, for *weeks*. I think I'll buy it instead.)


We are supposed to go to a Memorial Birthday party (a musical one) for the late, great Stompin' Tom Connors today. (He's a Canadian icon.) But, freezing rain is on the way, and we live 60 miles from Toronto. I don't think it's worth the risk on slippery highways today. Damn....'was really looking forward to the gig.


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