Friday, August 1, 2014

tacos, topiaries, and Tiffany

We had tacos for dinner. Actually we had nachos. But that doesn't work for alliteration.

We had shredded chicken, avocado, garlic cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, homemade salsa, more shredded cheese, lime juice, sour cream…

They were loaded nachos.

We took a walk after dinner.

Earlier, I was with Nancy in Kalamazoo. There is a topiary display throughout the city. It just went up today. We noticed a couple of them and walked around looking for more. I have pictures… they'll get posted later. They're not just ordinary topiaries. I'll leave you in suspense.

The real reason I went to see Nancy was to go to the K.I.A. (Kalamazoo Institute of Art, which by the way when googled comes up with Kia, the car. I was just telling Bill and was saying that art institutes have to be easier to find and that you don't need the periods. The example I then gave was Chicago Institute of Art. Or CIA. Sure, google that one…!)

I digress. We went to the K.I.A. to see the Tiffany exhibit. Louis Comfort Tiffany. There was a painting, lots of lamps, vases, and jewelry. It was impressive. I mentioned it in Wednesday's post. Unfortunately they did not allow photography. The lamps were incredible.

Those are the things I'm thankful for today.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Artisan bread

My aunt gave me a recipe for No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread.

I finally made it.

It is so easy! And unbelievable good.

I also found the same recipe on this blog and the writer discusses that this recipe is no-fuss. No matter what you do, you can't ruin it. I'm glad I read that. Sometimes that kind of advice helps me. Especially with dough and yeast. Those two things can be intimidating.

I made the dough yesterday, let it rise overnight, baked it today and we used it for BLT's for dinner.

Next time I'm going to use my smaller cast iron dutch oven. I'm hoping that will give it more height. Not that it really matters. It really is amazingly delicious bread.

Is it too obvious to give thanks for the bread?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

captive audience

You're all so kind. Patiently waiting for my next blog. Not harassing me, asking when I'll write again. I've said before, you can tell when I'm busy… I've been busy.

Monday morning, Bill and I went to St. Joe to spend time with our friends Jenny and John. It's there house where we stay when we go there. They spend most of the year in Qatar. We don't get to see them too often, so we took a few days to spend with them. Well, I did. Bill worked.

We went to the outlet in Michigan City, Indiana. We played the License Pl8te game, because there's an app for that. Check it out, it's great if you love playing that game!

Today, I went to the library to pick up a book, "Clara and Mr. Tiffany; a novel". It's by Susan Vreeland. Kim was telling me about it on our way to Cincinnati. Her book club read it and are going to see the Tiffany exhibit that is currently at the Kalamazoo Museum. I happen to be going to the museum for this exhibit on Friday with Nancy. I had no idea there was a book. But now I do, and I've checked it out from the library.

They just keep making the library easier and smarter to use. Of course that means one has to be smart to use the library. I'm going to have to read more.

I went in and found my book. It was on hold and fortunately I knew where to go. It was when I had to checkout that the trouble started. They don't do it anymore. The librarians. You do it. At a computer. All by yourself.

You need your library card and your password. The password is initially the last four numbers of your phone number. That's all fine and dandy like cotton candy unless you obsess over changing every password because "they" tell you to. Which is what I did.

The very nice librarian came over to help me. I'm very thankful for her kindness and patience. She had to change my password in order for me to check out but that came to an abrupt halt when we discovered I actually needed to renew my card! Huh, they still do that?

They do. And they did.

Back to business. I then went over and checked myself out. It's pretty fancy stuff. There's a specific spot where you have to set all of your books. Not one at a time mind you, all of them, all together. After you scan your library card, all of the books that you just set on that magical spot show up on the computer screen. How does it know?

It doesn't matter because now I know how to check out a book and knowing is half the battle.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Broccoli with our dinner

I haven't written about dinner or new dishes we've tried lately.

Lately, we haven't tried new dishes. I haven't written about dinners we've had.

We've eaten dinner, but lately haven't tried anything new.

It's clear as mud now, right?

I told you we had hot dogs Wednesday night. It turns out it was National Hot Dog Day!

Thursday night I had our Quota summer celebration.

Last night we had B.L.T.'s and corn on the cob. You know that is my favorite combo/summertime dish.

Tonight we had brats and… I made cornmeal broccoli cakes.

It was like a pancake, with cornmeal and flour. It had eggs and baking powder in it. It had a little bit of milk. And, it had cooked broccoli. Except Bill grilled it. So it was grilled broccoli. But it was still cooked. Just on the grill.

I'll stop now.

We had these broccoli cakes. The recipe said it makes 4 servings. Apparently a serving was eight cakes. I made them into pretty good size cakes. Seriously, it made almost two dozen cakes.

I know, my math is incorrect.

They were really good. They were different, but tasty.

Oh, we topped them with goat cheese and crumbled bacon, of course! I also chopped up fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, and thyme) and sprinkled those on top for flavor.

I hope we liked them because we'll be eating them for the next few days.

Friday, July 25, 2014

We're walking...

I have a decent sense of direction. (I'm being modest, I actually have a really great sense of direction.) I can find my car immediately in the mall parking lot. If it's less than three turns, I can find my way to anyone's house once I've been there (more than three and I can still figure it out, the only house that ever stumped me was Bill's house where he grew up in Kentwood, I know when we're close, but that's it). I don't get turned around in a museum even one as big as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC or one that's round like the Guggenheim.

All this to say while we were in Cincinnati, I knew where we were and where everything was. If I didn't know all I had to do was look at a map and I could get us there. I've been there once before; eight years ago when we moved here I drove there to meet up with Shannon and Greg who were there for a Youth Worker's Conference. I walked around with them for an afternoon.

When I went there last week, I knew exactly where we were and where I had been eight years ago.

Last week, anytime we went anywhere, I was in charge of getting us there. I didn't have my umbrella (have you ever taken a walking tour?) so I held up my hand and said, "Follow me, we're walking…" and I would lead the way.

Today, I went for a walk with our friend D.d. who I haven't seen for a year. She is entering her third trimester. She and her husband live about two miles away from us.

We started walking and talking. After awhile, I checked my clock. We had been walking for an hour! Since she and I were close to our house, I offered her some water and a break. Then I walked her back to the halfway-ish point.

I am thankful for all the walking I've been able to do recently.