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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

the novel bakers present...

just in time for cinco de mayo~


my abuela's table is a delightful illustrated journey of mexican cooking~








normally i am not all that chatty, i love books and just like to share visually, but today will be my true confessions... i have been living at the beach and decided rather spur of the moment to try and knock out my novel bakers homework on the same day as my bookclub meeting at the beach. which means i had loads to do in the kitchen in a short time... right off i was handicapping myself, but time was getting dicey and i already had bought the cinco de mayo food so i decided i best get cracking!

it was a GORGEOUS day by the sea, which hasn't been the case lately with fog and high winds, to wake up to a warm sunny day was delightful. after a challenging walk on the beach with the dogs and high tide, including one little midget dog nearly being swept out to sea, i was already wound up. i came home with a military precision, first make the rosewater pavlova for the bookclub, then start simple and make the sangria...




it sounded so innocent...


and then it ALL fell apart...


did i mention it was a warm day? down right hot. its rarely hot on the coast. as i was making the sangria outside trying to get a pic of the mexican merriment i begin to sip... oh my, its so refreshing, tastes just like fruit juice. heavy smile. did i mention the dogs were a pain in the neck this morn in the high tide, i was a bit wound up... hmmm, why not sit here a spell and sip, maybe grab some chips, i could even make guacamole and relax. did i mention its 10 am... have i ever stated i am not a drinker? as in i am an instant drunk. as in i was whipped! yep, i was smashed at 10:15. i had LOADS to do and lets just say i did it poorly from then on...




i dropped the pavlova straight from the oven, it had been gorgeous. nothing a ton of whip cream, fruit and rose petals can't hide!




after the book clubs mess i wanted to quit, but i had committed to cinco de mayo and i had to follow through. but i was soooo relaxed i just wanted a nap...

next up i needed to get the flan in the oven. i make flan all the time, easy peasy. not when you are drunk. i got creative. a little too creative... i had 4 egg yolks left over from the pavlova, i used those instead of whole eggs, the recipe called for 2 tins of specific milk product, i just opened two unrelated products and hoped for the best. you will see NO flan from me this day... it came out a lovely duleche milkshake, even though it was in the oven for close to 2 hours :-)


next i wanted to cook the magnificent piece of halibut i had purchased for a small fortune. i love halibut, its a special treat to buy and i was eager to try the new recipe, but oh my i was so tired... lets not forget the flan, which was never going to be flan, i was still waiting on my single oven before i could make the halibut. oh my what a tangle mess we weave when we start to deceive... as in i should have FOLLOWED THE DAMN RECIPE.

i should mention i hadn't eaten all day either, which is why the sangria was having a party in my body... i needed that fish!




the halibut was one of the HUGEST slabs I have ever cooked, i kid you not, it was over 3" thick, in my stupor it could have been 6" high. by now i am getting quite sloppy in the kitchen, i yanked out the aluminum foil and had a good 15' release itself and go rolling away on the floor. have you ever tried to reroll aluminum foil? i don't even think sober would have had much better results... heck i hate aluminum foil anyway, parchment is so much prettier.

i begin chopping, vowing to make this recipe perfect, i am reading and rereading the instructions only to find i have been flicking back and forth between 2 recipes. i have basterized another recipe. oh no, it is too costly to screw up another course! too late though, there is nothing i can do now. i did mention how TIRED/drunk i was, how i really just wanted to nap/pass out...





and i am still waiting for the damn flan to get out of the oven...

finally i am able to put the fish in the oven, it says 350 for 15' for one half of the recipe i have mangled. for the record i always cook halibut at 450 for 15'. i check in 15', its still raw. i give it 7 more minutes, its still raw. i am raw, i have lost my buzz and am oh so ready to nap off the morning glow... this goes on for 30 more minutes. i am ready to scream now, I MUST TAKE A NAP! i cranked the oven to 450 for 15', finally after close to an hour i had THE MOST PERFECT HALIBUT EVER!




while waiting on my mile high fish i managed a quick little salad...





now i am exhausted and hung over all at the same time and i still have to photograph this *^$! forget cute, just aim and hope something comes out decent. forget all the glam shots and props, i am DONE DONE DONE. so there you have it my true version of cinco de mayo gone bad, but i will say, whatever i did to that halibut was fantastic, worth every darn penny of it and more! next time you feel like trying new recipes, save the sangria for last~




wishing you all a happy cinco de mayo! and yes, i finally did nap the afternoon away, only to redrink the hair of the dog at book club that night, ole!


for a far more sobering day, be sure to visit all the novel bakers today~

Sunday, May 3, 2015

beach diary jan 28th thru may 4th

jan 28th... arrived later then planned, scott and i both sick while home, i wanted to leave germs behind and arrive in time for book club. within 15' of arriving i see a whale in the bay, within in 2 hours we were walking the beach and seeing friends again, good to be back home!

Wild iris are blooming!

great time at book club, made 2 desserts, one arrived with fumes, an entire bottle of kaluha did not go unnoticed :-)  we have a new way of picking out books this year, hope we all enjoy it.

Been pokey in recovering, barely able to walk half the beach, things settled in my chest. Been reading a book a day as I waddle around.

Up the coast saw 5 breaching whales, like a gift.

Thought we were buying our new house... major angst only to learn they divided property and barn not included...

Took weeks but finally back to 2 full walks a day. Katie got bit 3 times, broke my heart. Her demeanor has changed, no longer runs full force wagging her tail. She has lost her innocence :-)

Watched dramatic kayak rescue with helicopter in the channel. big storm due tomorrow, seas are heavy, stupid time to be out, he was lucky they saved him, then his kayak too....

First full on coastal storm. O m g... the winds are scary. I couldn't walk dogs, as in physically unable. The water tower stairs were violently shaking, I tried to pass, the wind buckled me twice, I couldn't go on, dogs were crouched on the ground, I knew I was going to be knocked over. The rain felt like razors on my cheeks... it got worse as the day went on. Called scott to come home, afraid for him to be driving. He arrived in a brief lull, thought I was being dramatic, in 2 hours the full wrath arrived again, furniture flying. Deckboards even flew off! Scott tried to repair things in storm, was knocked over... felt like living in a hurricane and we were the newscasters showing how stupid we were outside... 5" of rain, house shuddered in wind change, like a ship groaning at sea, I was scared windows would shatter, we had no toilet water, sucked away, my neighbor said hers was sloshing like the sea. We survived it, but rather not hang around for more :-(

Rewarded with best weather, like summers inland, hot and crystal clear. Feel so blessed every morn when I walk with friends on the beach and we are the only ones there for miles.

Love love LOVE living here, such the good life in a small community enjoying like things with others. I know these are the best days of my life... that Scott can walk the beach after work, watch the sunset and wake up to do it over and over will always delight me.

Girls day our for pamper and lunch, want to do it monthly, had a great time, the girls are showing me their favorite dining spots.

Again my joy starts daily every morn by the sea, today seals leaping like dolphins.

My car broke at beach... backing up and a huge thump, thought I hit a dog. My reverse gear belt broke, had to be pushed, car can only drive forward :-(  Been homebound for days, I miss my routines!!!

Spent Valentine's three day weekend car shopping. Omg the crowds at beach look like 4th of July! For winter, everyone is at the coast, enjoying this outrageous weather while we schlep in town for days combing car lots :-(  What was supposed to be a new car for me and the dogs has turned into a new commute car for Scott... hit the wall at the dealership and walked away, been 2 long days, didn't have the fight in for the end game...

while we are doing the car thing, others are having the time of her life!


who doesn't love a good love story!

Had a great walk in the morn, big breakfast and tried to secure the deal by emails. While waiting for their response Scott goes out to mow...


Omg, like a shotgun ... from 40' away!



floor to ceiling HUGE window... stuck with plywood window view while it takes 2 weeks for glass to be made...


No car, no window, bad start to the week....

and then things always happen in threes... feb 18th, my dear whisper, gone with the wind...


new car delivered, maiden drive was not joyful to bury whispy at home...

after moping around was good to get back to normal and tidy up the house and sand room. did a little retail therapy when car shopping, time to spruce up here and there~

huge break writing here, we ended up staying 3 months, we came for several weeks :-) loads of good happened as always while living here, but also lots of sorrow in the sea... witnessed to many deaths right out my window. helicopters are becoming all to regular here, 2 different rescues in one day even last weekend, sometimes its almost overwhelming to know how dangerous this place is... heading home to take care of fire prevention at home, but i am always eager to come back, to the sea, the quiet, the beauty and a group of great friends, face it, i truly do live here...