Keeping busy in Mission

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  It is getting warmer.  High 70

STEPS:  12,624
CLASSES:  Chair yoga.  Water aerobics canceled (maybe tomorrow?)

As I started my walk this morning, 4 adult-size javalinas skittered out of the woods onto the sidewalk right in front of me.  They nonchalantly moseyed down the sidewalk until they got a glimpse of me.  Then, they skedaddled toward a street culvert.  Three went down.  The last one looked at the entrance as if to say “I don’t think I will fit” , then ran across the street, and went down the culvert hole on the other side.  They are so ugly they are cute!

Included in our Retama Village HOA dues is a fee for  lawn maintenance.  The company was here today with a lot of workers trimming bushes.  The bushes and trees grow very fast, and so the workers lop off branches a few times each year.  They did a lot of work today.

We have new neighbors who just moved in next to us.  We went over to introduce ourselves.  We chatted a few minutes about mundane things – the bushes, weather, etc., and then the neighbor veered over to politics.  After complaining that the world has gone to Hell,  he looked at us and asked….”You aren’t a damn Democrat, are you?”  I was stunned and speechless.  This, after only talking for about 5 minutes?  I slithered back into the house. 

I made a little shopping trip to try to find tall planters.  My idea is to flank our front door, on either side, with them.  I want to place ceramic tile or glass on the top, and set a pot with cacti or other plants.  Then,  when we have guests over (post-Covid), I can remove the pots and set snacks and drinks on top to use as sort of a bar top.  Sadly, I could not find anything today.  I will keep looking. This is what I am looking for….

Or this….

Our vegetable man Dago set up his truck for his weekly visit to our community.  I bought onions, jalapeno and anaheim peppers, Valley grapefruit, and local potatoes.  I like to support him as much as I can.

The people with the new Airstream who just moved in came over for a visit.  We sat around the firepit to get acquainted. 

DINNER:  Back to “Man of My Life #2”, Jacques Pepin

HALIBUT ON FRESH POLENTA WITH PEPPER OIL

1 red bell pepper, skin removed and seeded.  Or use the red peppers you buy in a jar.
3/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
4 small halibut steaks
1 T chives

I cheated big time on this recipe.  It calls for poaching the fish.  Instead, I used the red fish fillets that we had smoked on Thanksgiving Day and had frozen.  Also, Jacques made his polenta from scratch.  I just used leftover grits from last Sunday morning’s breakfast.  The best thing about this recipe is the pepper oil….

Put the red pepper pieces in a blender with 1/4 tsp salt and olive oil, and process until smooth.  Transfer to a microwavable bowl.

To serve – Put a dollop of grits/polenta on the center of 4 plates.  Then place the fish filets on top  (fish that you have poached or grilled/smoked like we did and then just warmed up).  Warm up the pepper oil at the last minute in the microwave and then spoon on top of each filet.  Sprinkle on the chives.

I will try to remember this easy pepper oil to use on other foods in the future.

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