Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome Back, Conrad & Ann!

And welcome back to my housesitting folks too. I have no doubt that, as much as your critters like me, they are thrilled to have you home! I know Cwim is glad to have me serve her in a more timely manner. Her time.

Yes, the fan is now perfect, human. I'll let you know when I need your services again.
Last night felt like a combination of New Year's Eve and Memory Lane out on the street. Conrad came over from Vieques (finally!) and Ann is here for awhile too. When we heard that Conrad would be playing guitar in front of The Spot it seemed like a perfect set up for a very good time. And so it was.


Walter and Conrad made some great music. I sang a bit. Yeah, it was like that.

Shirley, happy to see Conrad

Chiqutine and Conrad and angels up on high
This morning, happy to finally be back in my own bed, it was pretty obvious that I was home. A horse, strolling through the yard...

The cat and I opened our eyes to this view

From mellow to a fast run out of the yard this chicken, who, in my absence, made a nest in my outside/inside bathroom. First I saw the eggs, then Mama. She went through a shower with me, not flinching. And she doesn't peck my feet when I am enthroned, so I guess she can stay around.

She is pretty. And very, very stoic.
Between last night's fun and being woken early by the cat, because she can, and then re-woken by the horse, it was nice to go in the yard and gather the makings for tea. Tea and quiet. Yes.

Have a shhhhhh Saturday. Do something soothing.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ Chicken! Surprise! *Edited!

The other day I was in Costa del Sol, where I go to buy one thing and end up with things I never planned on buying. All right, I do that whenever I'm in any store here. Because it is there and I know it might very well not be there the next time. That's how things are here and unless I'm writing about it I don't really think about it much, I just do it. As does everyone I know here. Wait, where was I?

There in the frozen food meat area was a chicken. A whole chicken. A whole not frozen chicken. I am not a fool, I am sure at some point this chicken was frozen but right then, right there, it wasn't and suddenly, full bloom, the vision of a whole chicken on the grill gripped me. Plus, it was about half the price of what I usually pay for a whole chicken. Yes, I'm delusional with grill visions but practical is always a good impetus to giving in to sudden desire. So I did.

I'd never heard of Santa Rita's 120 merlot wine before but hey, the price was good and the label was interesting ('Honoring 120 Patriots Who Helped Lead Chile to Independence'). My theory on buying unknown wine is that I can always cook with it if I can't drink it. But it was drinkable. Later I looked it up and I promise you I will never, ever describe a wine this way, but here's what I got for my gamble. 

"Vivid red color, brilliant, with violet hints, of medium intensity. Ripe red fruits combine with fine herbs in a young and fruity aroma. To the palate it is a medium lightly bodied wine showing fruity and pasty, round, soft and ripe tannins.Vivid red color, brilliant, with violet hints, of medium intensity. Ripe red fruits combine with fine herbs in a young and fruity aroma. To the palate it is a medium lightly bodied wine showing fruity and pasty, round, soft and ripe tannins."

Are you sure you got the part about ripe red fruity pasty round soft fruits? Sheesh. Maybe I can write wine labels for a new career.


I split open the chicken and stuffed it full of minced onion and garlic, under the skin of the breasts and legs and throughout the cavity. I used the foil to pull it all together, leaving the ends open for the fat to drain out, and put it on the grill for about  an hour. As you can see, I couldn't wait to tear off one of the legs immediately. Uh, just to be sure it was done. It was.

There could be all sorts of things to stuff it with but that was what I had and that was what I used. Get creative!

After the dark meat was gone, there was plenty left the next day to make chicken salad. But I also happened to have a can of black beans and being bored with regular chicken salad, I thought they'd open the flavor door a little wider.

You can see the knife I had to cut the meat from the bones but the messy truth is, I usually just use my hands for that step. Yes, it's messy, but it's also more fun. And I like to play with my food.

This is before I thought about putting in the black beans.
Mayo, of course. All the onions and garlic, of course. Some salt and pepper. Yawn.

Who knew black beans could bring excitement to my life? I need to get out more.

Some capers! Woohoo!
And there endeth that. Because I was in Genesis and found some just brought in avocados and tomatoes, neither of which were ready for eating. But oh, wouldn't they be good in that chicken salad? Yes they would! I figure by later today they will be perfect, by using the brown bag method. The brown bag that I left on the table outside that disintegrated in the rain this morning. That brown bag.

The brown bag has done its work. Only a few more hours and yum!

So this is my world, where it takes three days to complete a chicken salad. I could have made 1000 year eggs in the same time, or kim chee or something amazingly elaborate that I'll never make. But this salad is going to be amazing. It's the little things.

*Here is the finished mixup. It was worth the wait.

Have a (insert unprintable word for general consumption) YEAH Friday! Do something farfetchedly feastible. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making Rainbows

We've been having very occasional showers here lately and every bit of each one is welcome, resulting in plants looking happier. With the sun still doing a summer like beat down, moisture in the ground can almost be heard being sucked away. Except for the moisture of sweat. That seems to be a constant. Maybe I need more clay in my skin.

Another thing rain brings is rainbows but I've been missing them lately. Even though the places I've  been housesitting have awesome views, the rainbows remain out of sight, around a corner, hiding in some part of the sky unavailable to my searching eyes. It's not like I am searching real hard, like some stormchasers rushing to the Batmobile like vehicles they use at the first word of an approaching weather system, with a 360 periscope view of the land and water scapes. I am not.

Ok, that's not entirely true, sometimes I chase rainbows, but the rainbow window closes fast these days, so the lazy way is my way right now. Instead, I found a rainbow in the yard here, one I've shown before but different. 

Only days ago I was looking at this rainbow eucalyptus and it was in a boringly brown state. But with just a bit of rain, the bark has started to lift and separate, revealing layers of color previously hidden. I'm sure I could extrapolate a whole lot of deep meaning from that, but I'll leave that to you, dear reader.

This tree is close to a fence, with some power lines running through its branches. I wish it was in the middle of a parklike yard with lush grass so I could spread out a cloth and supine, gaze up that trunk of color;  but substituting that for the pleasure of it up close, while upright, is fine. For now.

Tossing in a little throwback Thursday, I found this from a few years back. I found some other photos from other years on this date, but one was a pornographic pepper I'd grown or political bits and they just weren't working for me, . This did.

An October 23rd night at Dinghy Dock (which will be re-opening real soon!)
Have a try for truth Thursday. Do something towering.