I was apparently well-behaved so have been invited back and will do so during the New Moon so we can play with the telescope. There is very little light pollution and the view from their Widow's Walk should be exceptional provided the weather cooperates.
In turn they came and spent the night here and it was great to host them at our house. Not the only visitors as it seemed every day there was someone coming or leaving (or both!) and the week ended with a wonderful lasagna and Tiramisu prepared by our friend Darrin to celebrate a milestone in his wife's ongoing quest for professional certifications. All I had to do was uncork a bottle or two or red wine and bake a loaf of bread. Fair exchange that!
Wifey has been busy greeting and caring for guests, cleaning up behind me, and painting the upstairs bedrooms. No slouch that one! She's taken with a new technique that required, of all things, a lambs wool "blotter". The technique certainly appears easy enough though it has its tricks but the effect is quite nice.
Joey's six puppies are growing quickly and now sleeping longer between 'meals' giving the little mother time to get away from her progeny and soak up some sun or find a quiet place to sleep peacefully. The other dogs aren't bothered by the whimpering and 'almost' barks from the corner accommodations and leave them be with but an occasional peek to see what's happening.
There have been rumours of an upcoming cook-off between Chef Elizabeth and your humble writer. Someone opined it would be like having Paula Dean and Chef Ramsey (in his "Hell's Kitchen" persona) in the same room. Probably best to each take a turn on alternating days and let the dishwashers decide, partisan though they may be. Ah, if only the ploy from the movie "Ratatouille" could really work!
A total of 24 bags of "clean" dirt (no roots or rocks) have gone far to fill in the new planting area. I think another dozen (each about the equivalent of two 5 gallon pails) will finish it off nicely. Then it will be time for the plants that will serve to surround a cement foundation in the side yard. Meanwhile, I have a few more hours of chipping old, leftover concrete before sealing it. A cement pad is a great place to make concrete but past users didn't clean so well behind them and I can't see using it for a sitting area without bringing it down to level and smooth as originally intended. Next project: Screened in back porch. Yes, having written that I am now committed to the action. I know someone who will be happy to see that.
Yesterday I made a very good Caesar Salad dressing complete with anchovies (is there any other way?) and the recipe is provided below. The leftover anchovies will go into a tapanade later today. One of the best ways I know to finish off a loaf of homemade bread!
6 Anchovy fillets
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, crushed/mashed
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 egg yolks
2 TBS Lime Juice (yes, I know it's normally lemon...)
2-4 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS finely shaved/grated Paremesan
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
Combine anchovies, garlic and salt to a paste. Add egg yolks, lime juice and whisk to mix.
Drop by drop add olive oil whisking continuously, add vegetable oil in very small stream whisking continuously. The emulsion (a very loose mayonnaise in this case) will become fuller/thicker and appear glossy. Finish with Parmesan and pepper.
Finely chop and then mix together...
1 cup Black olives, pitted
2 cloves Garlic
2 TBS Capers
Add enough olive oil to keep it all together. Quantities can be varied to suit your palate. If you're not sure about the anchovies, start with one or two in your tampenade then taste and adjust. If you STILL have anchovies left over, throw a couple on a Margarita Pizza. Delicious!