Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chorizo Con Papas Y Huevos

Some time back, I made a similar post to today's. It was about cooking Mexican chorizo with eggs, which is a popular breakfast food where we live. It's a spicy food, as I said before, and traditionally served at breakfast. Well, since the breakfast police are not around, I thought I'd serve a little variation for today's lunch. The basic ingredients:

You have to have your flour tortillas ready, for either tacos or to serve as your scooping implement.

some whisked eggs

a little onion for flavor


your Mexican chorizo (please remove the casing) which you break up and cook thoroughly--we're talking pork products here:


and some nicely cooked diced potatoes

You can stop right after mixing your potatoes and chorizo. I mean that would be perfect for some nice tacos, with maybe a little hot salsa scooped on top.


But we're going for something a little more traditional, a little more filling. So we mix the whole kit and caboodle for just the right touch:
TA DA!

And that is how you make Chorizo with potatoes and eggs. Makes your kitchen smell so good too! It's a one pot/skillet meal. After you fry up your potatoes, drain as much of the oil as possible. The same thing with the chorizo, since it releases oil. Just leave enough to help cook your eggs and keep them from sticking to your pan. It's also a very inexpensive meal!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Purchased Apron

My obsession with aprons continues. I purchased yet another apron from Cheri. I just really like the way she sews. This apron is a favorite because of the vintage style. She made it off a 1930's apron. I love clothing from that time period as well as the 1940's.

I have chosen to use this apron as a covering for Mona:

No need for fancy duds. Mona likes modesty and style as well as anyone. (Sigh) I only wish the apron would fit me. Mona is very petite!
I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of some nibs I ordered for my blown glass calligraphy pen. I have decided I would very much like to take up writing proper letters for my correspondence. For that purpose I have also ordered a rosewood seal such as this this. Used with wax, it will seal any letter with the timeless look of ancient writings. I just need to learn a little calligraphy......or try to write prettier. Later on, I should like to purchase an inkwell. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I always found a reason not to spend on such whimsical desires, the greatest being that this is an unnecessary
expenditure. But I realize I am a frugal person, and have saved much in other ways; therefore, I will this once succumb to this folly.
Other than that, dear journal, I have nothing new to report. We are hoping for more rain. The large clouds in the sky give us such hope!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rain



Rain, glorious rain! After what seemed like decades of drought conditions, we were blessed with a few raindrops--enough to saturate the thirsty soil beneath my plants. As a gardener, that seems my main concern. But it is a respite to the heat raging constantly where we live.

Considering we live in some sort of atmospheric hole, where any weather patterns which bring the much needed droplets seem to circumnavigate around us always, we are certainly most grateful!

It's beautiful, it's delightful, and it's invigorating to hear the raindrops falling on the roof and pounding against the windows. And the wonderful smell of wet earth after it rains is unlike anything! I love the scent! Thank you Father for this most wonderful gift!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Around My Garden

Continuing with a garden theme, in today's post I share just a few shots of the pretty flowers seen around my garden.

This is a Flamboyant Tree also known as Royal Poinciana. It grows fairly huge, but this picture only shows the beautiful blossoms. It's a showy tree, perhaps that's why it's called 'Flamboyant'.


This Bird of Paradise bloom is just so beautiful. Doesn't it look so much like a bird with a floral headdress? (It's also the photo in my banner.)

This is the flamboyant tree again, a closer and clearer shot than the previous one. The flowers are a bright red which almost look orange.


This is my red plumeria. For some reason in the picture it looks hot pink. This plumeria is beautiful, but sadly, not very fragrant. I also have a pink one that is oh so fragrant. Intoxicating perfume!

Here you can also see my Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree next to it. I love the contrast in color and texture! I know, I know....they're too close together. We are just running out of room to plant things. We literally have to squeeze in any new additions we buy! And I can't think of ever not acquiring more plants! Plants just make me.....happy!

This has been a short and brief walk through my garden. I'm certain the garden will be a recurring theme. Please indulge me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Koi!

Exactly one year ago back in April I wrote about how our koi had spawned just before a cool front came in. Up to that point in time, we had always been able to enjoy viewing the fish clearly. Well, right after they spawned, or perhaps because the cool front changed the water chemistry somehow, the pond became green as pea soup. We were no longer able to see the fish! We'd catch glimpses of them when they came up to feed at the surface. It was pretty sad actually to go from sparkling clear water to the green thick algae clouding the water.

My Sweetie tried different things we had learned from years of water gardening to try to clear up the pond, but nothing worked. So for a whole year we had no idea how our fish were doing or even if perhaps any of their spawn had survived.

Well, just last week, after doing a routine cleaning and adding more of the cleaning filters into the filtration system, the water cleared up! Just like that! We could see our beloved fish once again!


Here are the two largest ones. I believe the one on top is a male, where as the huge orange one is definitely a female. You can tell by their shape. Males tend to be more slim and elongated, whereas the females have rounded bellies.

I am always amazed at their beauty!
It turns our there is only one more addition to the herd. He is already a good size, but smaller than the rest. Perhaps in another post we can share more pictures of all of them. I should also mention that this past April something did spawn again. We're just not sure if it was the koi or the fancy tail goldfish which share the pond. The eggs seemed smaller, so I think it was the goldfish. Unfortunately, I don't see any fry, so perhaps this was an unproductive spawn. Sometimes though, they do manage to hide and you don't see them until they're a good size and develop color.
I only wish I could have plants in the koi pond, but that is next to impossible with big koi. They will 'peck' at anything, and dig plants out of their pots, ultimately destroying them. When they were small, I did have plants in there. Plants help keep the water clear. But I do have some in the other pond that has comets.
After visiting the koi store last week, this wonderful clearing our our pond is just so very timely.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Visit To The Pond Store

This will be another quick post. I merely wanted to share some of the pictures we took on our last visit to San Antonio of the ponds at Water Garden Gems. We needed to pick up koi food, so the visit was very timely. It is always a delight to visit this place. The gardens are just beautiful!

I love the way the asparagus fern tumbles over the small waterfall and into the pond.


A bridge over a pond is a lovely feature. I also enjoyed their statuaries and wrought iron flamingos in the pond! And you have to have ducks and geese too!

The plumeria shown here is bare of leaves, but it has a lone beautiful yellow blossom. I've not seen that color of flower in a plumeria before.

I love their floating plant islands!


Every pond should have a water lily. These are beautiful specimens.
Thus ends this small tour. I always wish I could stay longer when we go there!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thinking Forward

Recently, my sweet M-I-L suffered a fall, and fractured a part of her knee. Although my Sweetie and I had already discussed this particular topic long before she became injured, her accident really brought it to the forefront. You see, I had been thinking that perhaps we should begin thinking about preparing for that phase in life when you need assistance to get around. In preparation for that future which would hopefully be very far off I thought it might be a good idea to remodel certain areas of our house in a handicap accessible manner- namely bathrooms and entrances as well as certain parts of the kitchen. I felt that in the event one of us needed those types of facilities, it would be best if they were already in place. It wouldn't be very much fun to find yourself having to deal with the 'need' for them when you didn't have them. Of course, this type of discussion is always deemed as a very good idea, but something we can put off.

Well, with his Mother's accident, it fell upon his shoulders to begin to make her house handicapped user friendly, since she will need to use a wheelchair for a while. His Father was just too overwhelmed with their present situation, and has enough to deal with what with keeping her company and seeing to her needs. Through all this, my Sweetie has learned a lot. In dealing with contractors and building inspectors, every single element has been a good learning experience. It hasn't been a walk in the park, but I think the greatest lesson learned here is to be prepared for the unexpected. In a few months, his Mother will recover fully. We are thankful for that. But should she or my F-I-L ever need to have special care, their home will be ready.

Certainly finances always weigh heavily on anyone's ability to carry out preparations for the unforeseen. Thankfully, a project such as this is not as costly as we had thought. More importantly, it's money well spent.

It brings to mind something else that I learned from my Mother. She made preparations for hers and my Dad's funeral arrangement years before it was even in the horizon that they might become ill. Her greatest worry was being a burden on her two children. So when the time came, everything was already in order. My Sister and I were free to grieve without the stress of making decisions. Only minor arrangements that still had to be made remained and were taken care of. So that is the first thing on my mind, taking care of business so my Sons don't have to.

As to our house, we will be better informed consumers when we do decide to begin the arduous task of implementing our ideas.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quesadillas!

A while back while at a beauty salon, a hairdresser told me of an interesting way to make quesadillas. She was from Mexico City, and I was telling her of an episode in a novela filmed there, where they had a scene in a restaurant, and they were eating some kind of soup, and they would drop slices of banana into the soup! I thought that was so unusual. She mentioned that there they also eat quesadillas with epazote. I'd never heard of that, so when I went home, I googled it, and sure enough, it's a way of using up that pungent herb that easily grows in the garden. Our square foot garden produced so much of it, and I had a hankering for quesadillas....so I made some for a mid-morning snack. Here you can see some of the epazote we harvested in the background. I'm going to see if it dries well so I can use it as a dry herb in cooking.


The melted cheese inside the corn tortilla.
I toasted the corn tortilla on the comal, and the heat seems to 'tame' the pungent flavor of the herb. It actually tastes wonderful! I usually use epazote when I cook beans, and it gives them a really good flavor. It's also supposed to help with the 'gas' problem that beans cause. I enjoyed reading this small post about quesadillas. The old woman cooks her quesadillas over an open fire on the comal. She added squash blossoms as well. It's another layer of flavor which makes them really good! I like her apron too!
I can only imagine all the wonderful foods made with things we can grow in our gardens which we don't know we can use. Perhaps unusual or different, but tasty and nutritious!

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