A nice, lazy Sunday

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Sunny and hot.  High 85

STEPS:  7,677
CLASSES:  None.  A day of rest

I try to get 10,000+ steps in daily.  I get the first 6,000 – 8,000 on my morning walk, depending on which route I take.  Then, I can easily get to 10K by walking to and from the clubhouse and around the neighborhood.  Today, I skipped the long hike, so only got these steps from neighborhood walks.  A lot of people here have golf carts.  I don’t want one because I’m afraid I would hop onto it instead of getting my steps in.

We had our Sunday morning ritual:  Eggs and grits while watching CBS Sunday Morning.  They did an interview with Jose Feliciano in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his song “Feliz Navidad”.  I will discuss this at Spanish class tomorrow.  I LOVE that song!

George and I went scrounging in our neighborhood compost heap.  We rescued some aloe plants someone had tossed, and planted them around the palm trees that flank our driveway.

We also picked up a lot of wood left from construction sites that we will use in our new fire pit.  George spent the day sawing the wood into smaller pieces.  He stored them next to our ugly electricity box that continues to lean, even after several pleas to the City of Mission to come out and level it.

I enjoyed a lazy afternoon reading a good book and munching on popcorn.

DINNER:  Two Jacques Pepin’s recipes!

RIGATONI AND MUSSELS WITH SAFFRON

I thought this would be tasty and different, and it was!

4 pounds mussels, well scrubbed
1/2 dry white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup minced scallions
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 oz rigatoni

Bring the mussels and wine to a boil over high heat.  Boil, covered, for 5 minutes until the mussels have opened.  Toss them around in the pan.  Drain in a colander set over a bowl.  Carefully pour it into another bowl, taking care to leave the sediment behind.    You should have about 2 cups mussel/wine liquid.  If not, add water.  Remove the mussels from the shells, reserving a few shells for decorations.  Set them aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, scallions, and celery, and saute for about 1 minute.  Stir in the mussel liquid and cook gently for 1 minute.  Crumble in the saffron, stir in the mussels, add the salt and pepper, and set aside.

When ready to cook the pasta, bring about 2 quarts salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain in a colander, then add to the mussel mixture.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute.

Serve in soup plates or bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan and chives if desired.  Serves 4

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I had some cauliflower left over from a previous Jacques recipe, so found this other recipe in his  book for tonight’s side dish….

CAULIFLOWER WITH SCALLIONS AND SESAME OIL

1 firm white cauliflower head
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T peanut oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1/3 cup finely minced scallions

Divide the cauliflower into 12-14 florets.  Bring about 1/2 inch water to a boil and add the florets.  Cover and cook over high heat about 8 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender, but still firm.  There should be almost no water remaining in the pan.

Transfer the florets to a serving bowl and immediately add the remaining ingredients.  Toss gently to coat the cauliflower and serve.  Serves 4

This was super easy and a great way to use up cauliflower.

After dinner, we drove around our neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights.  Our neighbor has a cute fake palm tree lit up….

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