A Bit of Vintage and Some Weekend Fun: Oyster Bake

Oh, Happy Monday! Right? And Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! My favorite MLK quote:

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Over the weekend, Jason and I were invited to an oyster bake.  What a fun and delicious time!  It was actually a little get-together to celebrate the life of Pouncy, the beloved neighborhood cat who recently had to be put down.   The neighborhood is full of cat and dog lovers.  As fate would have it, the owners of Pouncy were traveling during Pouncy’s acute flare which led to him being put down.  Several neighbors had been watching out for Pouncy during the owners’ time away, and they all came together to get Pouncy to the vet and take care of a sad situation.  That was the main reason for the celebration: so many had loved and cared for Pouncy.

I love the way this photo captures the darkness beyond the firelight and people shucking oysters by the light of an iPhone.  They were so good!  Shuck one, pour the contents into your mouth, repeat.  I am not a big oyster fan, generally speaking, but these were amazing.  You could taste the salt water!  And I guess just being outside and taking them right out of the coals.  Just awesome.

I also found some very nice vintage items over the weekend. One is an old tablecloth. Even though it had a couple of stains, I washed it and placed it folded across a tall storage cabinet. The bright flowers are staring at me when I look up from my desk.

I also found four amazing lamps! A couple of them need cleaning and harps, and they all need shades. A couple will probably go into the shop, but a couple will come home with me!

Well, Mars has a new album.
Amelia and Mars cozy up.
Gravel-punctured tire. Really?

I went into the weekend pretty tired but it all ended up being okay. After all the snow and ice finally melted, I went out to run some errands and had a flat tire. What are the chances of running over a piece of gravel that perfectly wedges in the tread and punctures the tire? And, wouldn’t you know? I had just purchased four new Dunlop tires for the Element five weeks ago. I had to drive on a spare for a day while they ordered a new one, and I got a good discount since it was so new. I had originally refused the roadside hazard warranty at 20 dollars a tire!  Maybe I should get it next time?

Enjoy this day!

Lynn

Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins, and Baby It’s Cold Outside!

For those of you who have not heard any of my guitar-playing progress, I have put a link to my YouTube account in my left sidebar.  I don’t really have a lot on there, but I do have a few things.  My only original song there now is a song called Chemical Vessel, a song about prescription drugs.  It is interesting how a song takes shape.  The words “chemical vessel” came to mind first, and then the rest of the song just emerged.

I used to post on YouTube every week, my “weekly progress video.”  Some of you may remember that.  I did that for about a year.  At this point, I have removed a lot of those old videos.  I still have week number one and my one-year progress video posted.  I guess Chemical Vessel was sort of a 2-1/2 year progress video.  I hope to post a three-year progress video posted around February.

I just asked Siri how cold it is outside.  She said, “Brrrrr!  It’s 30 degrees outside!”  It feels so cold!  I know that many of you have colder temperatures where you are, but 30 indeed feels very cold to me!  I like 50s to 70s, please. 😉  I warmed up today on my lunch break by making some gluten-free cornbread muffins.  They went very well with some deviled eggs I made!

Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal plain
1 cup GF all purpose flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
2 eggs
2 TBSP oil
1-1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, beat eggs, oil and milk. Then mix all ingredients together and pour into greased muffin pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes. About 8 large muffins. Yummy served warm with real butter!

I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

I am off to do some shopping this evening.

Enjoy this day!

Songwriting for Healing and More

More old photos…

I sure remember tea parties and homeschooling with this sweet crew!

I remember baking with this little munchkin!

Those photos were taken in the summer of 2008! My, how times flies. Now they are all out working and independent. It is just hard to believe! Their oldest brother is not pictured here. He was already out working at that time.  I continue to take my very emotional but necessary trip down memory lane by way of photo organization.

Currently,…

Music is such a part of my life. I find the more I listen, the more I want to listen. I’ve always loved writing, so songwriting seems a natural part of the healing process, or at least it has been for me. I would love to share another one of my original songs soon. Maybe Jason and I can record it and share it by way of a YouTube video. I think you might like it. I like it a lot, but perhaps it is because I relate to the words and the reasons I wrote it.  Which takes us right back to the topic of songwriting and writing in general to help deal with tough emotions.  No wonder I journaled all those years!

Photo from a recent gig of Jason’s. I cheer them on!
Holding my new baby, 2009 Guild guitar.

I am absolutely loving my new (to me) Guild guitar. Oh my goodness, does she ever sound good! She inspires me to practice even more!  I am working on a set list that includes quite a few original songs.  The goal is to play out in public, for money, next year.  Not that it is about the money, but if you don’t book gigs, you don’t really play, and getting paid is usually part of the process.  Even if it is just a hat laid out for tips!

Heavier strings on this new guitar mean deeper calluses! My fingers are sore all over again!

Things I love these days…

A new lamp shade.
Amelia looking at me through the window. She is a plus-size model, a beautiful fluff ball!
Mars being his cheesy red self in front of the camera.
My current little spice rack, waiting for something a bit bigger, maybe older, and with style and character!

Update on the juicer…

 

I am still loving my Breville juicer. I like that it has fewer pieces than my old one. The pulp is contained in the same compartment as where the juice is actually spun out. I like that a lot. One less item to clean. The plastic, while sturdy, seems to me to be the type that might break if I dropped it from a decent height. I am not going to try that! So far I have been washing all pieces on the top rack in the dishwasher and they are doing great. Makes great juice and the pulp is DRY! Here is the link to the original post: http://www.amothersjournal.com/breville-juicer-compact-juice-fountain-700-watt/

Enjoy this day!

Iron-Skillet Oven Pork Chops, Roasted Cauliflower, and Black-Eyed Peas

Dinner this evening!  Yum.  Tonight with the pork chops, I am going to cook them more quickly than I normally do.  In the past I have cooked them long and slow in the iron skillet.  But I am going to try this: How To Cook Tender & Juicy Pork Chops in the Oven.  My pork chops tonight are not bone-in, and I am using fresh sage and diced garlic to brine my pork chops.

img_4295-1
My potted sage in summer.

For my roasted cauliflower I am using a method where fresh cauliflower is chopped into bite-sized pieces, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned, and put into an iron skillet in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes or so. I turn mine about every 15 minutes while cooking. Cook until roasted and golden. In the past I have finished on the stovetop if I needed to, depending on what else was going on in the oven. But this oven method has been great! I like to sprinkle mine with grated Parmesan cheese during the last few minutes of roasting! Yum!

img_8340

While the pork chops were brining, I put my black-eyed peas on. I use canned beans a lot. They are easy and healthy, so there you go. I keep a pantry full of them. First I dice onions and saute them in the iron skillet.

diced onions
diced onions

I put three cans of beans on to boil and then lower to simmer, adding the sauteed onions, and a spoon full of diced jalapenos from a jar. I season with salt to taste. They will be so yummy when everything else is done! Oh, and I add a pat of butter to the pot for taste.

img_8338

img_8337

Of course for the pork chops I am going to follow the instructions on the page I linked to above. They sure turned out looking yummy!!

 

tender, oven pork chops
tender, oven pork chops

Guess what? Dinner was AWESOME. I highly recommend this method for pork chops. I seared mine for about 4 minutes on each side, but I had let my pan cool down a bit (not on purpose). Once I removed the pork chops to a plate, I used some white wine and a bit of butter and let it cook down to get every last trace of pork chop from the skillet. I poured this over the pork chops! This dinner was a win!

Enjoy this day!

img_8233

Potatoes. Yum.

Dear peeps,

How else to title this post?

I know the drill about white potatoes. But boy do I know how I love cooked potatoes sliced thin and browned in an iron skillet in olive oil with some camp seasoning. Yes ma’am.

Some of you might remember this picture from my lost blog. My feet as I walk through the garden. I love this photo.

Jason and I took our guitars to see a friend in the hospital. We played a few songs for him. It was good to make him smile. He is a dear friend of ours who had a stroke, was working to recover, and then almost exactly a year after the stroke he fell and broke his hip and femur. My heart just breaks for those who are sick and suffering. There is so much more that I can and should do for others.

Well I gotta go eat my potatoes. Was just waiting for the chicken to get ready!

Enjoy this day!

Lynn