Monday, September 20, 2021

Corn silks

The corn cobs in the two corn fields out back have matured. There aren't many, and most of them are thin, not like good eating corn. I'm sure it's not eating corn, anyway. The French get their corn out of cans. Corn on the cob is not sweet and is grown as feed for pigs and other livestock.

Corn silks on tiny corn cobs.

Every once in a while we'll find sweet corn on the cob in the supermarket. Ken did once this summer and we enjoyed it cooked on the grill. It's one of those things that remind me of summer in the US.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A pile of pretty peppers

And some onions. Saturday was Tex-Mex day at our house. Ken made beef fajitas and guacamole for lunch. I went to the market to find peppers and cilantro while Ken made the marinade for the beef. The supermarket didn't have any cilantro, but I found some at a nearby produce store (their last bag!). I also got some flour tortillas to wrap the meat and vegetables in. ¡Olé!

Colorful bell peppers and onion ready for the sauté pan.

Today Ken's making a more traditional French dish: gratin de chou-fleur (cauliflower in a cheese sauce). We're having fall-like weather this weekend, so a nice warm and cheesy gratin will hit the spot. Fall and winter vegetables are showing up in the markets now. I'm looking forward to all the tasty dishes we'll make in the coming months.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Ten years ago today

I was posting photos of our hedges. More specifically, photos of my progress in trimming them. This was before I stopped trimming the hedges myself and started paying a landscaper to do it. I don't regret that decision.

This is the smallest section of the hedge adjacent to the driveway. We hadn't yet replaced the deck doors then. 18 September 2011.

We're expecting a chilly and wet weekend, if the weather people are to be trusted. Fall is coming in right on schedule. I'm still hopeful that we'll have some more good weather over the next month or so. It could happen. Really.

Yesterday I called the contractor who is supposed to renovate our deck. I talked to his wife again. I told her that we were getting worried since it's been almost a year since we approved the estimate and sent a check. She said not to worry, but they've been falling behind this year. I'm assuming it's because the bad weather has delayed a lot of their work, especially roof work. She assured me that her husband would call and let us know when he thinks they'll be able to start. I'm waiting, but not for long. There's another contractor who's been working in our neighborhood. He's done façade renovation for one of our neighbors and the result looks good. Now he's doing work for the new neighbors inside their house. I'm assuming it's new kitchen tile. We know they planned to re-do their kitchen. We're going to ask him for an estimate for our job.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Steamed pork buns

This isn't the first time I've made Chinese steamed pork buns, but it has been a while since the last time. They're not difficult to make, but you do need two to three hours for the yeast dough to rise, with another thirty minutes of rising after the buns are stuffed. For the stuffing, we used some pulled pork that Ken made in the slow cooker and froze a few weeks ago. He thawed it out and added Asian flavors (like soy, sesame, hot chili sauce, ginger, etc.) while warming it up on the stove.

Eight steamed pork buns for lunch.

The recipe I used makes eight buns. Once the dough had risen, I rolled it into a log and cut it into eight equal pieces. I formed each piece into a ball and then flattened the balls into disks. I put a spoonful of the pork in the middle of each disk and pulled the dough up and around the stuffing, pinching it together at the top to form a good seal. After the buns rested (and rose a little more) under a towel, I put them in the steamer pot for twelve to fifteen minutes.

Egg rolls with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

We ate them with egg rolls (from the supermarket) and stir-fried zucchini (from the garden) with a spicy Asian sauce. The wine was one of our local gamays from across the river. Tasty!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

One year ago today

Looking back at my blog posts for this time last year, I see that we were in a heat wave. The grape harvest was nearly complete, and the daily work got under way even before the sun rose. It's a very different year now. We had more rain this summer than any in recent memory. The grape harvest hasn't even begun yet. And while we just had a week of moderately hot and dry weather, it wasn't harsh and it didn't last long.

Grape harvesters seen from our house at sunrise a year ago, September 16, 2020.

I had a dentist appointment scheduled for yesterday, but on Tuesday the dentist called and asked if he could reschedule. He had some kind of meeting on Wednesday morning and was afraid he wouldn't make it back in time for me. So now my appointment is for next month. It's only a cleaning, so there's no problem.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Lost Found

I don't know how it's possible, but somehow I lost my eyeglasses. I went out for an afternoon walk with Tasha and at some point realized I didn't have my glasses on. This happens every now and then. I go out the door in a hurry and forget to put them on, often because I was wearing my computer glasses just before going out. So, I figured, they're probably home on my desk. But when I got home, I couldn't find them anywhere. Panic set in. Did I drop them in the vineyard?

They're out there.

I went back out, twice, and retraced my steps, but with no luck. I'm planning to have another look this morning when it gets light. In the meantime, I have an old pair (previous prescription) that are working surprisingly well. Maybe I should get one of those eyeglass chains to wear around my neck.

UPDATE: I found them this morning. They were very close to the start of  our walk, in a patch of grass, folded, lenses pointing up. I have no idea how. My working theory is that I batted a biting insect away and batted the glasses off then. I thought that happened later in the walk, but maybe not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Look familiar?

Part of this photo is this week's Image of the Week (in the sidebar to the right). Can you tell I've run out of fresh pictures again? I don't know what wildflower this is, but it's blooming all around right now.

If anyone knows what these are, I'd appreciate a comment.

We had some thunder and lightning over night, but no rain. The storm moved by us to the west and north. Bert sauntered in around 02h30 this morning, about the same time that the storm was moving off. And once again, thankfully, no mouse.