Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pasta and Chickpea Stew

For this week's Weekend Cooking offering, I made Pasta and Chickpea Stew. It is a variation on a recipe in

I soaked a cup of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) overnight. This morning I cooked them in a large pot, adding water whenever it got low. First on high heat, then turned down to medium. They took maybe three hours to soften, but I didn't have to hover over them. I could come in and out of the kitchen to occasionally check. When they were soft, I added a cup of my tomato sauce (recipe here). Then I sautéed two good-sized garlic cloves in olive oil with added rosemary at a very low temperature for about ten minutes, and added it to the beans. In a separate pot, I cooked some macaroni, and stirred it in. I think there was about 2 cups cooked. And that's it. This made a delicious, filling, healthy, excellent supper.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I Learned from TV - November 24 (and part of a poem)

Each time I do a post about What I Learned From TV, I’ll begin with the explanation from the first posting:

Now that my kids are grown, and Tom has retired, I’ve been able to go back to my natural sleep pattern which is to stay up late and get up late. Tom’s natural rhythm is just the opposite. So, he’s the lark and I’m the owl. 

And what this owl does in the late hours is watch television- not in the traditional way but through Hulu, Netflix, TunnelBear, and Acorn TV. Most of the shows are British, though I am a great fan of a few American television shows, and have been watching some from other countries now that we have TunnelBear. Some of these shows Tom will watch in the mornings, but some of them are all mine. So, when I hear a great quote from a show I know he’s not going to watch, I’ll leave him little post-it notes near the computer keyboard. I had a notion this morning to begin a new ‘letter topic’ called What I Learned From TV so I can put up some virtual post-its for you to read and, hopefully, enjoy. Some are funny, some are educational, some are wise.

Several from Lewis

Upon viewing a sign that says - "fresh tomato's"
Lewis: I can hear you tutting even if you're not.
Hathaway: I don't like misplaced apostrophes.

A fellow policeman says to Lewis, Hathaway, and Dr. Hobson - 
Oxford on a summer's evening - is there a lovelier place in the world?
Hobson: Not a one.

Hathaway and an old friend run into one another in a bookstore. She has a book of Housman's poems, and says:
I mislaid my copy. You know how one sometimes has a hankering? I couldn't remember if it was 'happy highways where I walked, or went.'
Hathaway: Went; definitely went.
She says: Silly, I know, but it suddenly seemed the most important thing in the world to me that I knew.

I know that most of us understand exactly what she meant! Here is the part of A Shropshire Lad that they were talking about.

Into my heart an air that kills
  From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
  What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,         
  I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
  And cannot come again.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nine years and a day

I began this blog on November 22, 2006. I cannot believe it has been that long. Nine years before that day my children were 15 and 12, and now they are parents. It boggles my mind. Time is the strangest thing. 

In a lot of ways this blog is a journal of our lives. I refer to it all the time. I check it for recipes, or for when something was planted. And I go back to old posts and read the comments. Sadly, a fair few are from people who have disappeared from my blogging life. Some have died, and others are just gone. I miss them. 

Pretty much since our granddaughter was born, I haven’t been around as often as I would like. The reasons, of course, are very, very wonderful. Hazel, Campbell, and Indy. Gradually, slowly, I am making my way back to writing my letters and visiting your blogs more often. 

Thank you all for staying around during these past years of writing just over 100 posts a year. Thank you for coming by even when I haven’t had the chance to visit you. Thank you for being my friends. Even though we’ve not met, I know you and care about you as I do anyone I know in my offline life. I am grateful beyond any words I can say.

I’ll end this with a picture of last evening’s sunset and one of Lucy waiting for Tom in the car. Both photos taken by him.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today's picture/Sagittarius

Today at 10.25 am EST, the sun entered sagittarius. This poster hangs in Hazel Nina's bedroom.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Quote du jour/Gladys Taber

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted. Busy days with the grandchildren!

If you have never visited Beth Fish Reads, there is a section called Weekend Cooking.

Here is the description:

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

My offering this week is a quote from Gladys Taber. 

What's cooking is always evident, because we have no ventilating fans to whisk odors out.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

German's Sweet Chocolate Cake

Many years ago, Tom’s sister baked us what she called a German sweet chocolate cake. I had never tasted anything like it. When I was in the baking chocolate section of my local co-op the other day, I happened to see a package, and bought it.

I've never heard it referred to as German's, but clearly that's what the package says. I've seen it both ways on the internet. 

Last week I made the cake with Hazel Nina. So much fun! Before we even began she nibbled on the chocolate bar

and loved it!

She stirred the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

And then whisked the eggs. 

After we mixed everything together came the best part!

The cake was excellent! Both Tom and Matthew, Hazel's daddy, thought it was the best chocolate cake they had ever had.

I thought that the traditional coconut pecan frosting might be not be quite the thing for a toddler, so I made a regular confectioners' sugar frosting. 

And now for the recipe.

German's Sweet Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Over very low heat, melt together:
1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's German's Sweet  Chocolate
3/4 cup butter
Let cool a little, and put in mixer. (you can do it with a hand mixer, or just stirring well)
Continue beating, and add:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together:
2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Turn mixer down to low speed and add the dry mixture alternately with 1 cup of buttermilk.

Bake in 9x13 pan which has been greased with cooking spray for 25-30 minutes.

Easy to make and wonderful taste! Highly recommended.

You may visit Weekend Cooking to read more food related postings.