The G Man – An Update
Yes, yes, I’m still here. Just incredibly busy; it’s summer at the Sushi Bar which means lots of fresh produce from the garden which needs to be eaten or cooked or preserved – as of today, we’ve had zucchini and summer squash approximately 27 times in the last week. Which is quite a feat, considering we were in Cincinnati last Wednesday and Thursday to visit this guy:
Remember that little guy with the dimples and the big blue eyes? He is now a month away from his 8th birthday – EIGHTH! BIRTHDAY! – and attempting to stab Meema’s out eyes using a set of chopsticks with corn kernels stuck on the tips.
Oh, I kid.
He was just trying to shove them up my nose – Benihana seems to have that affect on 8-year-old boys.*
Anyhoo, we were thrilled to see him; two years ago he moved to Michigan with his Mom, then last year they moved back to Texas. We’ve been down there several times to see him (among other people), but it has been about six months since the last time, so we were anxious to visit while he was in Ohio for summer vacation with his dad.
In the fall he’ll be starting the 3rd grade – THIRD! GRADE! – where he is in the Talented and Gifted program in math and science, and little girls precede him everywhere, throwing rose petals in his path.
Well, they OUGHT to.
Stick around and in a few days I’ll introduce you to yet another heart breaker.
*(Actually, he loves his Meema because she is one of the few people over the age of 10 who can, and willingly does, intelligently discuss the merits of his video game du jour. And she does a mean cannonball into the hotel swimming pool. Not to toot my own horn or anything.)
Asparagus and Garlic Scape Quiche
See? Told you there’d still be recipes. Told you many of them would still be paleo (I’m off dairy for a bit). And, frankly, I haven’t made a quiche with a crust in years – it’s just such a pain in the ass.
At any rate, I’d bought asparagus so we could grill it, wrapped in bacon, for our holiday cookout this week, and then went and forgot all about it. Derp. My fridge also runneth over with garlic scapes from the garden.
(Oh, the garden! We haven’t taken part in a CSA in the last 3 or so years because we get so little from them that Beloved isn’t growing in the now 16 separate vegetable gardens in our back, side and front yards. We barely even go to the farmers market any more – the only reason I bought asparagus is because we’ve already harvested every bit we possibly could of ours.)
We ate this for brunch on the morning of the 4th alongside some fresh watermelon left over from Monday’s cookout and it was really, really good. The asparagus and scapes were roasted with a large shallot, and I threw the bacon in for good measure.
I had the suggested serving size. Beloved ate half of the whole damn thing.
So there you go.
I’ll be back with later this week with current photos of – drumroll – The G Man! You won’t believe how much he’s grown.
Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Scape Quiche
Notes: You can certainly make this in a crust if you like. If you don’t have a problem with dairy, feel free to use half and half in place of the coconut milk. If you don’t like coconut, you can use another non-dairy milk substitute, but I’d probably reduce the amount to 1 cup and add another egg.
1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 thick slices bacon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Toss the asparagus, scapes and shallot in the olive oil and spread on a shallow, narrow-rimmed baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft with a few brown spots.
While the vegetables are roasting, chop the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook over medium-low heat until all the fat is rendered out and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Whisk the eggs and coconut milk together. Spread the roasted vegetables in a deep dish pie plate and sprinkle the bacon evenly over top. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bacon.
Reduce the oven heat to 350 F and bake the quiche for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place the quiche on a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition (per serving): 317 calories, 23.7g total fat, 13.9g saturated fat, 6.5g monounsaturated fat, 1.7g polyunsaturated fat, 132.8mg cholesterol, 249.2mg sodium, 610.6mg potassium, 18.3g carbohydrates, 3.7g fiber, 6.8g sugar, 14.6g net carbohydrates, 11.5g protein.
Four years ago this August, I sent my sweet Scooter across the Rainbow Bridge; it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
It took me a long time to decide I wanted another dog, but last year I started yearning for another, so Beloved bowed to the inevitable and put out feelers on Facebook for another dachshund or dachshund mix.
We were very specific about what we wanted – an adult dog that was house-trained, past the puppy “chewing” stage, and that would at least be tolerant of our new grandson (more on that later this week). Most of the dogs we found that were up for adoption were snatched up before we could do much more than inquire about them, so in July when we found a solid black female dachshund mix for adoption in Birmingham, Alabama I didn’t ask about her because I figured she’d be gone just as quickly as the others.
Lo and behold, nearly a month later, the person who’d located her for us asked, again, if we were interested. I contacted the foster there who, in retrospect, seemed a little too eager to adopt Dottie out. (I discovered later that while the foster was disingenuous, if not quite dishonest, about some of the dog’s less-than-desirable qualities, solid black dogs are notoriously difficult to find homes for, and I’m still not sure why.) We began the paperwork to adopt her, paid the appropriate fees, and found ourselves – quickly, under questionable circumstances that I won’t go into here – driving ten hours to Birmingham to get her.
Maybe not the smartest move in the world, adopting a dog sight unseen, but we were sad about her plight – we’d been told she was a puppy mill mom, which should have been suspicious right off the bat since she was only two years old and not a purebred. (When I finally received her paperwork from the shelter from which she’d been rescued, she was listed as a stray – she was too healthy and too friendly to have been abused, and my theory is she was just the result of some very irresponsible owners who never had her spayed or registered and let her run loose, and she was picked up by the local dog catcher.) We’d also been told she’d been scheduled to be euthanized while at the shelter and rescued by the foster, and that much is true.
We both fell in love with her the minute we saw her, and although she growled at me initially, the feeling was mutual as far as Beloved was concerned and she’s been his abject slave ever since, albeit an occasionally recalcitrant one, at least in the beginning.
We’d been told she was energetic, but that is something of an understatement – This. Dog. Never. Stops. And she was definitely NOT past the puppy chewing phase, as my kitchen cupboards and dinette set will attest to; she is, in fact, what’s known as an “aggressive chewer” – there are chew toys, antlers and the sad remains of squeaky toys all over the house (but she’s no longer eating the furniture). She’s the first dog I’ve ever kenneled, because she’s the first dog I ever had to kennel; in truth, it turned out to be a wise decision, because she’s so curious and exuberant, if left to her own devices she will get into all SORTS of trouble (one day I’ll have to post the photos of the living room after she yarn-bombed it with $60 worth of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky).
Dottie also loves to run – boy, does she love to run – and is an accomplished escape artist; our yard simply cannot contain her (although that is getting better). She also has a talent, as I mentioned earlier, for getting into trouble; in the first three months we had her, she was attacked by ground wasps – she ran through their nest in the back yard – and grazed by a car (see the “escape artist” comment above), fracturing her tailbone. In the beginning, we questioned our sanity, bringing what we now affectionately refer to as “The Hell Hound” into our home.
But if Beloved and I share any two qualities, it’s our stubbornness and sense of responsibility – we’d adopted her and we were going to keep her and make it work, by golly. We began by enrolling her in two obedience courses at the local Pet Smart (where she frequently had her trainer in stitches) and she did well. We have worked tirelessly with her and she’s come such a long way in the last year – she’s still energetic and exuberant, but she’s no longer destructive and when she does escape the yard, we rarely have to hunt her down; she’s close by and comes when we call (and, boy howdy, wasn’t THAT an accomplishment). In fact, these days we can take her into the front yard without her leash and she stays on our property, even if there are children out – she loves, loves, loves to play and be petted.
At any rate, that’s the story of how we rescued Dottie. We love her to pieces, and although Beloved will deny that – it’s some kind of guy thing, I guess – she adores him beyond all measure. And she’s pretty fond of me, too.
I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more about her in the future.
Is There Anybody Out There…?
*tap tap tap* Is this thing on?
Well, hello there. It’s only been just over 2 1/2 years – whaddya want?
I kind of knew I was going to take a hiatus from blogging, I just never thought it would be so long. And, if you managed to wander over here, you’ll notice some changes.
No ads, for one. (I might bring them back, but for now, nah.) A very simple template, for another. (The old one was broken and causing the site problems.) I’ll probably update it to something fancier sometime in the future, but right now I’ve got too much on my plate to worry about it. My tagline has also reverted to the original “A Little of This, A Little of That” because while, yes, I will still post recipes, and many of them will be paleo (many will also be “vintage” but I’ll talk about that in a later post), this is now a personal blog again and I’ll talk a lot about other things.
Oh, yeah…LOTS to talk about.
The Ninja Turtle Scarf
I was gone again all last week – sorry about that. I’ve just been incredibly busy at work, and will continue to be so until Thanksgiving has passed. Not a bad thing, for sure, since it keeps me out of trouble. I’ve also been busy at home, and may even have a recipe for you this week.
Since finishing the cat and steak cakes, I’ve been able to pick up my crochet hooks again – I have, in fact, bought a set of Clover hooks, aluminum with padded handles, and I just could not be more pleased with them. They slide through yarn like a knife through warm butter and are light and easy on my poor old, arthritic hands. I also have signed up for a yarn subscription service, but more about that later.
At any rate, I’m now in “Christmas present” mode – literally everyone is going to be getting handmade gifts this year. I’ve found the cutest patterns for pot holders and tea towel toppers and coasters and bookmarks, all which can be made quickly. I’m making more stuffed toys and am learning how to make hats, because I need one to go with all the winter scarfs I’m churning out.
Like this one, for The G Man:
Yes, it’s a scarf made out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle heads.
The interesting thing about this scarf, besides the fact that it’s at least twice as long as The G Man is tall (oops), was the process of making it. You see, I started it back at the beginning of summer and had to put it aside because we had G so much, especially over the latter half of the season. Then I go caught up making other things (to say nothing of the constant weekend canning and preserving), that the few little heads I’d made stayed in their bag with the skeins of yarn, until I finally picked it up again a few days ago.
I was astounded, once I’d begun to work on it again, at how much I’ve improved over just a few months. My stitches are so much neater and tighter then they were when I first began this scarf that I had to use my largest hook just to keep the gauge the same. It gives me hope that when I finally do begin to make actual clothes – I have some lovely patterns for stuff that is going to look wonderful on Darling Daughter and Jolly, plus a couple of cardigans earmarked for my own personal use – that I’m actually going to make something that’s, well, wearable.
You can find the free pattern for the scarf here. I used I Love This Yarn solids in red, navy, orange, grape and jelly bean, joined with burnt pumpkin, and a size J/6.0 mm/4 hook.
Yesterday, Oldest Son asked for a Jayne hat. Guess I’ll be learning to knit…