A deliciously lazy day

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Perfect!  High 78.  Sunny

STEPS:  A measley 3317.  I took a day of rest from my morning hike.

We watched CBS Sunday Morning, as we munched on George’s traditional grits and eggs breakfast.  Yummy as usual.

I slowed it way down today, and spent most of the day reading outside in the sunshine.  I popped some popcorn to accompany the book-reading.  (I did the air-pop kind, hoping it would be fewer calories).

We went over to our friends’ house, me to chat with Irene about Christmas dinner plans,  and George to play chess with Rob.  George is getting better with practice!  As I left their house, I took a photo of their cute dog alongside their beautiful Christmas poinsettia.

I saw on Facebook an article from the Rochester (MN) newspaper showing the first Mayo Clinic staff to get the Covid-19 vaccine.  We hope our daughter who works in their ER will be able to get hers soon.

This photo popped up as a Facebook memory from 2 years ago when we were on our way to do a housesitting assignment in Panama.  Hopefully, we will be back to international travel next year!

While we sat outside enjoying a late afternoon drink, we spotted a pair of beautiful green jays in a tree in our neighbor’s yard.  Normally they stay in the state park across the street, but came here today to snatch some of the acorns that had fallen from the tree.  So gorgeous!

DINNER: Two recipes from my buddy Jacques Pepin:

GREENS WITH QUICK CREAM DRESSING:

This is the same recipe as the sauce I made for the fish a few nights ago, but with less horseradish.  I made it to use up the somewhat spendy Boston lettuce I recently bought.  I didn’t want it to go bad before we had a chance to eat it!

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.5 tsp red wine vinegar
a bit of horseradish (optional)

Jacques points out that this dressing is less fattening than the regular oil and vinegar dressings (due to the oil).  It seems very rich and was delicious on the delicate lettuce leaves.

SMOKED SALMON TIMBALES

I think this is meant to be an appetizer, but we made it our main dish.

2 T minced chives
4 oz goat cheese
4 large slices smoked salmon
8 very thin slices of red onion
8 thin slices apple (I skipped this as I do not like to mix sweet and savory – a quirk of mine)
1 tsp pepper

Garnish —
2 T drained capers
1/3 cup diced, peeled cucumber
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 T olive oil

Toast or baguette slices for serving.

Using four glass ramekin cups, layer the ingredients into each dish as follows:  divide the chives among the bowls, then spoon 1 T of the goat cheese.  Press half a slice of the salmon on top; and add 1 slice of the onion and 1 slice of the apple.  Sprinkle a little black pepper over the apple, then press the other half of the salmon slice on top.  Add another tablespoon of the goat cheese, then a slice of the onion and a slice of the apple.  Finish each timbale with a dash of black pepper..  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the garnish – Mix the capers, cucumber, salt, and oil in a bowl.  At serving time, unmold each timbale onto a plate, and sprinkle the garnish around the timbales.  Serve with toast or baguette slices.

The one pictured in the cookbook turned out beautifully.  Mine tasted delish, but unfortunately didn’t unmold very well, so was not particularly attractive. 

BOOK:  “Without Reservations” by Alice Steinbach.  A lovely book about an American women who abruptly decides to spend a year by herself traveling around Europe.  5 stars out of 5.  Great writing style. 

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