63: It’s a good day for ironing

(Peering at the sun through the maple)

I’m not going to blog about ironing again.  I just couldn’t think of a better title.  And it really is a good day for doing the ironing.  The air is cold and dry, and it feels good to stand over the warm steam heat of the iron.

(Dried goldenrod against a gray sky.)

I had to stay near the house for today’s walk.  We’re expecting Fed Ex to drop by with our holiday shipment of wine.  Hopefully they will come today.  It’s possible the Fed Ex guy is up there now, leaving a tag on the door to let me know he was here and tried to deliver our package.  I don’t know how it is elsewhere but our Fed Ex guys do not like to knock or ring the doorbell.  They do, however, like to walk up to the door without the package and leave the little note that lets us know they attempted a delivery.  It’s not true, of course.  What they attempted — and succeeded at — was to leave a note letting us know they attempted a delivery.

It’s probably their idea of a joke.

(Catching dreams in the spruce tree.)

Today’s sky is gray with streaks of white and dark steel blue.  It’s the kind of sky you expect to get snow from but we won’t.  The temperature is too warm, for one thing.  It’s 40 degrees.  The snow is still north and west of us, for another.

(Dried sunflowers.)

This was the first time since I began my outdoor commitment that I honestly and truly did not want to step outside.  It is cold in the house (because I keep the heat turned down during the day when I’m likely to be moving about).  I knew if it was cold inside, it would feel doubly cold outside.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  The cold actually feels better outside where one expects it to be.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

Something seemed odd, or off, when I went out for my walk this afternoon.  I couldn’t figure it out at first.  Then I realized it’s the wind.  Or lack thereof.  Breezy Acres is without a breeze today.  I’m so used to even the slightest breeze bringing its own noise or causing the grasses to rustle that the silence felt strange.

Other stuff

I am officially in winter cooking mode.  I can tell by what I’ve been preparing lately.  In the past few days I have made a very spicy jambalaya, cabbage and noodles, and this supremely delicious Black-Eyed Peas in a Spicy Goan Curry.  I altered the black-eyed peas curry by adding some cubed potatoes and squash to make more of a vegetarian main dish, and served it with brown rice.

I started watching one of those early morning television shows that used to be a news program but now gives very brief periods of time to actual news and spends the rest of the time on mindless drivel entertainment “news.”  I don’t know when it became my habit to watch but it’s fairly recent.  I decided today was a good day to break the pattern.  If I want/need news, I can find it online.

I am not the least bit interested in the royals of England and Prince William’s engagement.  I am astounded at the amount of time the so-called news programs (morning and evening) spend covering it.  For the record, I have no interest in the antics of Charlie Sheen, Sarah Palin, or any others of that ilk so I really wish they would stop covering the celebs and calling it news.  Not that I expect they will.  Which is okay.   Because I won’t be watching anymore.

Bonus post: A recipe

(Cauliflower and potato curry.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

A friend asked for this recipe.  I can’t remember where I got it from, but figure I changed enough things to make it pretty much my own.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

  • 2 T. butter or ghee
  • 1 t. mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 large potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 chili (jalapeno, serrano, or any hot chili provided you like things spicy or you can substitute red pepper flakes)
  • 1 piece (1-inch long) ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1 t. each:  garam masala, chili powder
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3/4 cup water and/or reserved juice from the canned tomatoes
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the butter or ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mustard seeds, cover and cook until they pop (about 5-6 seconds).  Add garlic, potato, onion, chili (jalapeno, etc.), ginger, garam masala, chili powder, and turmeric.  Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and continue to cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium and add the cauliflower.  Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.  Add water and/or reserved juice from the tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Heat to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the cauliflower is tender, 10-20 minutes.  Sprinkle the cilantro on top when ready to serve.