Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Can't believe we have to postpone our brunch and our trip to Albany, but Joe was kind enough to share some version of his pneumonia with me and we're both down for the count. Regardless, we're wishing the blessings of the holiday to all, with lotsa lovin', too! Missing our five GrandLoves, though, and the fun they bring...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sugar To The Rescue

Circa 2012
You're probably thinking, "Ah, they're indulging in the Easter candy currently lurking in the house," but that's not quite the story. You see, Joe contracted pneumonia. Humph. As though he didn't have enough problems. We're pretty sure the bug took hold in the doctor's waiting room, an issue for another day. He's on the mend... again... but it isn't pretty. Back to Sugar...

Thanks, June!

Plans to have Aubs and Gav do a repeat of (link) last year's pre-Easter sleepover were thwarted. We really had a blast preparing JANG'S for the 2012 holiday brunch. Our Aubs came to the rescue, working solo at home to craft a new sign for this year's event. Here she is in a photo messaged by our "pre-teen" (as she likes to call herself at the age of 10) to my iPhone and taken by her other G'ma, whom we thank. 
How precious our budding artist... and so danged sweet... 

My Sugar

Meanwhile, back at the Old Homestead, I colored a few eggs, carelessly placing them on paper towels to dry. I like the resulting tie-dye more than the eggs. Wonder if a repeat is possible, when the kids are here???
New Technique?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

So, Let Us Talk Lettuce - More Pesto

While washing boatloads of romaine and red lettuce, yesterday, I thought to myself, "Why not?" Thus was borne Parsley-Lettuce Pesto. We quickly devoured the first batch of just-parsley and found ourselves wanting more... and more. I doubt that I'll ever indulge in the oily, salty, strong-tasting basil variety again. Why bother, when less seems like so much more?? 

This time 'round, I crammed as many lettuce leaves into the (link) earlier equation and used a combo of toasted pine and walnuts, as well as some roasted garlic. Be sure to crisp washed lettuce in fridge for a few hours, before using. You'll be amazed by the crunch in your end product.
Pesto, Cucumber, Avocado and Spicy Mustard on a Roll
Adorning a veggie-eggwhite omelette
Buon Appetito!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Rickety Old Roebling...

...was restored in 2011.
Still a one-lane bridge, we thought it had lots more character the old way, when it seemed a perilous crossing, albeit a short one :-).
 Boatloads of eagles were soaring where New York meets Pennsylvania, but you'll have to trust me on that one... they were in a distance too far to score a good capture with the lens I had on NIK.
 Needless to say, we truly appreciated the ride. Lunch was delicious at The Heron in Narrowsburg. That little village has become quite the artsy one, in the last few years. Lots of people were roaming about the neat shops or sipping wine, as they enjoyed Delaware River views. We hope to return during warmer months... surely just around the corner, right??

KUDOS to Mayor Bloomberg

                   Read the entire article here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hot Off The Press

Thought this would look pretty with Ev's gray hair. She needs some warm TLC, right about now. Won't you please wrap up some serious lovin' and prayers to send on down to Bronxville? Life has dealt her family too many brutal blows.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"It's a crap shoot...," said Doc.

What a nice surprise
on our portico!

Joe had a successful follow-up with his doc, today. "Why?" we wondered aloud, as he doesn't meet what most consider to be the criteria for a heart attack. In an honest way, our excellent physician cited all the contributing "possibles" and concluded with the mystery of it all. 

The great news? No arteries ever completely shut down. Yes, they narrowed considerably, but blood flow continued. Therefore, any damage done is reversible and should repair itself.

Giving more ginormous thanks.

Look Who's Back In Town!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

LIM - Spring-Green Pesto

Less is clearly more, as judged by the color and taste of this pesto. No need to wait for basil or to use salty, fatty grated parmesan cheese, 'cause...

 Spring has sprung at the farm-stand! Today's fare included gorgeous green parsley and salt-free, low-fat farmer cheese. I washed and stemmed the entire bunch of greens and tossed into the Cuisinart with about a half cup of pine nuts (toast 'em for extra flavor) and a few ounces of the less-is-more cheese. After a hit of lemon juice and pepper, I began to process the ingredients, slowly drizzling in about a quarter cup EVOO. Roasted garlic would be great in this, as well. 
The consistency is perfect for just about anything, such as a topper on tonight's salmon or a whirl with some pasta... that is if we can resist spreading it on crudités and devouring as an appetizer.

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Cusp Of Spring Interrupted

So, Hello Again. It has been a roller-coaster ride of emotional events this past week, all beginning with The Great American Mattress 'n' Bed Exchange, last Wednesday morning. Early on, Joe set up the new platform bed, after which Macy's arrived with what is hopefully a non-toxic mattress. Yes, it's true - formaldehyde left the building, that a.m. 

We plowed through what was a very busy day for each of us. Joe had tasks to accomplish at the lake, before the new tenant arrived. I manned the ranch and a variety of jobs. We hooked up again mid-afternoon, hung a few new canvas prints and admired our boudoir, anxious to hit the proverbial sack at the end of a long day. It wasn't meant to be...

Dinner was delicious - sautéed fish in ginger, garlic and scallions. And then it began... a round of chest pains. What he'd neglected to tell me was that while at the lake house, he experienced pressure that forced him off a ladder... that was at 2:00 p.m.

By 8:30 p.m., I'd called 911 and the love of my life was being tended to in our driveway by FD rescue workers, as we anxiously watched for the ambulance to arrive. Brian was about a 45-minute drive away and headed to the hospital, but not before he called Christian, who met us there sometime in the middle of the night. Joe was stabilized and brought to a cardiac facility, where we waited out his scary procedure, during which he was the recipient of four stents. Thank G-d he did well; we were home by Saturday evening... but he'd suffered a major event that lasted a long time.

All are amazed by the fact that Joe just doesn't "look like" a candidate for this. He is a super stud with endless energy; very physical and in great shape; doesn't smoke or drink; has excellent blood pressure and decent cholesterol levels; is not an ounce overweight. It's nothing for him to shovel our house, plus two or three others, after a storm. He hauled countless, heavy boxes during multiple projects here and at the lake. He skied the challenging Hunter, just last week. All good and quite typical. But the gene pool remains, with its inclusion of heart issues. Although there are no restrictions in getting back to his "normal", we'll need to pay serious attention to warning symptoms, forever.

Life sure can change on a dime, but we Spring forward, recognizing that nothing is a given... and ever so grateful for having come through this intact and able to enjoy the fruits of our laborious winter... together.

Giving Ginormous Thanks

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Continuing The Musical Roll... Ask Me How Much I ♥ Billy Joel

Have you seen the (link) video  and heard the story of Billy Joel and college freshman, Michael Pollack? No? Well, you must. Our Long Island B.J. is brilliantly outstanding in so many more ways than one, as he shares his (link) knowledge and his stage.

 I crave a concert! Can you hear me, Billy?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And Deserved Musical Elitist

AP Photo
So nice to hear of yet further recognition for our brilliant Bob Dylan, whose music remains forever young.

Musical Interlude - The Tenors

Sunday, March 10, 2013


YIPPEE! On this first day of DST, we should see sunlight till seven p.m. I'll take it. It's time for our world to change color. Agreed? But not before we wash away some of that saturated white stuff. Who better to do it than Gavin, with his brute strength?! We didn't ask, mind you... he just grabbed his Sis and a couple shovels. Together, they tackled the deck, yesterday at the lake. Then, he single-handedly shoveled a path for Aubs, so she'd not have to plow through deep stuff, as they checked out the ice fisherman in the waning days of that somewhat crazy sport.

"How many fish did you catch?" queried Gav.
"Three!" was the booming response.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I spray-painted some snow branches. They accent the yellow coffee-filter flowers, whipped up a few days ago. Still, a finishing touch seemed necessary - centers. Pompoms are so fun to make. 

Oh, I forgot to clarify:
Daylight Savings Time = Transition Time

clr Me LiKe ThE sUn

Saturday, March 9, 2013

JB - Baby, Baby, Baby

So, Justin Bieber is making the news in an unfavorable way. I've just gotta say something here. I feel for him. Yes, it's true. His problems can be summarized in a word. Ask any mother of sons. 
It's a brutal age for boys under normal circumstances. (Whatever "normal" is. Has anyone figured that out?) Can't imagine what it must be like in the public eye. Once again, the paparazzi rises to the negative occasion. What better to feast on than a late start at the O2?
The kid went from being a safe-for-girls-of-all-ages-to-love child star to this current sexual being. What do all the mommas do with their little girls now? Consider Michelle's pre-teen and beyond love for him... jeesh, even a pretend JB did it for her, at her fabulous Sweet Sixteen bash. Then, please ponder Chloe's one-digit adoration, as explained in a phone conversation by my Hunter, a while back:
A lifetime lived by the tender age of nineteen... 'tis not a healthy situation. Let's root for his survival, as he meanders his way through the trial-and-error years. Shall we? A downfall would be tragic. He's just a trying-to-be-a-man child. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Necessity Is The Mother Of...

Ah, yes, we've all heard it repeatedly: Necessity is the mother of invention. Soooo, when left with some rough areas in the rather vast, newly-stripped-of-half-paneling-and-painted upstairs hallway, the old wheels began a-turnin'. What to do? 
Personalized wallpaper border. Self-stick. Decided to use an absolute favorite photo from our last Cape trip... just can't get enough of those fabulous sunsets. A Google search led me to many frustrating websites, but patience ultimately revealed (link) AtomPrints. 
Herein lies the highest of recommendations:

 An actual courteous human being returns phone calls 
Bomb-proof packaging precedes prompt shipping 
Clear instructions... Fair pricing 
Gorgeous work

Thing is, when we are sick of bold and want to switch to a softer look of pale yellow flowers (??), it shall be easy as pie and quickly doable/affordable. Thanks, Atom.

Before 'n' After

Any mother of sons, upon reflecting on life's favorite moments, will surely mention those times when her boys presented her with flowers. Even dandelions. :-) Or maybe special rocks from a garden, albeit the neighbor's. Ah, treasures all. And thus, this old ink sketch, circa 1923 by one Ehrman Zui, shall forever bring smiles to my face.

It has hung here at the Old Homestead since we purchased it at auction, about ten or so years ago. Yesterday, I gave it a bit of a facelift, in keeping with all the other updates we've done around the mansion. Do those paint colors look familiar?

And speaking of updates, there was another, yesterday...

I'm always humored, upon changing the great-room carpeting, to find Christian's note, artistically created during our the Great Kitchen Renovation of 1987.

Approval all around, as our current youngster tests his new bed.

Ah, why don't ya just me... this ol' house harbors so much lovin'.
I stand firmly by my decision!

And Morning Has Broken

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"What can you craft from this?" asked my neighbor.

Crafters think alike. Period. So, when Auntie Peaches recently clarified her age to faithful readers, I was amused by the image she thought herself to possibly be correcting. Ahem. 33 was a very good year. Blink. 66 and still, "What CAN I craft from this?" remains the question. 
An old (pun intended) case in point:

Sneak Preview - Lyla's
When the boys were quite young, a neighbor handed over a rather short length of white rope, challenging us to create something. I took one look at that hunk-a-nothing and suggested that B and C shape, glue and decorate a spiral Frosty. It turned out adorable and was immediately re-gifted. :-) Enter technique...

Auntie recently made some wild 'n' wacky hearts for Valentine's Day, simply using Elmer's glue, red yarn and good ol' free-stylin'. I had a fleeting thought and a senior moment, upon observing them. WHAT had I previously done, using a similar method? Back to the future... y'all know I've been busy as a rabbit, crocheting five Easter baskets for our GrandLoves. Hmmm, not quite what I was trying to grasp. And then it happened...
Carefully wrapped and tucked away in Mom's closet was my basket creation... vintage grass and all. YES! Memories are made of this. Elmer's-drenched crochet cotton was randomly shaped over a balloon. When all was firm and dry, POP went the armature, leaving behind this pretty web to then decorate and gift to Mom. It's held up well, I'd say, and incredibly, it's right in vogue with the popular colors of this Spring.

For Mom. Thank you for treasuring my little gifts. Not everyone appreciates crafty lovin'.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snagged - Hook, Line 'n' Sinker

How cute is Isis Crawley?
Everyone... EVERYone... is chatting up "Downton Abbey". My cousin was a step away from mourning the conclusion of Season 3. Thing is, I kept meaning to watch, but some catching up was necessary.... something I just never got around to. But that has changed. I bit the bullet and purchased Season 1 for $10.00 on iTunes. What a bargain for a new addiction. :-) I'm hooked. Thing is...

My pals can now be envious of all those episodes to anticipate... sequentially and at my leisure. Two at a time? An afternoon's worth? Hey, we're having a blizzard, tomorrow. I can't help but think of Paul...

Christian's undergrad friend/roommate turned us on to "Seinfeld", a few moons ago, commenting at the time, "I'm jealous, 'cause now you have all those shows to watch for the first time."

Bring it on!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ben Affleck's "Argo"

Though the film is back in the theaters, it had already become available On Demand. We watched during yesterday's lazy afternoon and have now gained understanding as to "Why?" it won the coveted gold for best film on Oscar Sunday.

Tense, dramatic and real, the story of Tony Mendez and his incredible scheme to rescue six American hostages can really knock one's priorities around a bit. 

Fabulous casting and nail-biting suspense... it's a "Ten".

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kitchen Stories Part II - Sunday Sauce

Clearly superior from (link) Mom's pot!

Après Ski

Spin says, "What would you like to munch?"

Gavin responds, "Just get G'ma in a weak moment for a super ice cream sundae!"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fish Sauté with Garlic, Ginger and Scallions

Photo update... with halibut
A few moons ago, the Canton Restaurant was a Monti landmark. The lovely waitress, Ann, loved to see us walk in. She knew I'd order the fresh fish-of-the-day, pan sautéed, but minus the head. I didn't want to look at eyes! After serving us, she'd head to an empty table to enjoy the "delicacy". 
Ooh-kay, moving along...

It does not get simpler or more delicious than this method of cooking fish. This past week, we had swordfish steaks... but anything goes:

Sliver or chop lots of fresh garlic and ginger to sauté a bit in a small amount of the oil of your choice. Add fish and scallions, being quick to turn fish, time depending on its thickness. When cooked, sprinkle fish with fresh lemon and pepper, plate and garnish with scallions...

Quickly add cooked pasta, rice, quinoa, barley... whatever you like... to pan and give it a stir for an amazing side. Veggies can accompany the dish or be added in the second phase. Don't forget that saved pasta water (post below), if your sauce needs extra liquid.

Buon Appetito!