March 1 ~ the new first day of summer in Central VA?

haiku for today:

windows down, picnics!

sunburns, bubble-blowing, shorts!

ecstasy or fear?

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Tzatziki sauce from Cavalier Diner is divine!

We stopped by today to buy some, and there was a huge bouquet of daffodils on the counter.

The delicate fragrance wafting past our noses certainly enhanced our experience.

Eggs Florentine, daffodils, tzatziki sauce, 73 degree weather, quality time with my husband —

all on the first of March!

Unexpected joys these were — and enjoyed they were, too!

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pot roast!

haiku for the day:

aroma uplift

garlic, onions, beef, spices

daffodils outdoors

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It’s February.

It should be perfect weather for a pot roast.

Luckily for us, pot roast sounds delicious anytime!

How do you prepare potroast?

I started with a large deep pot, a little olive oil, burner set at medium-high.

  • seared all the sides and edges of the roast
  • added slices of garlic and halved onions to the pot and browned them, too
  • added potatoes (peeled and quartered), browned them, too
  • added carrots
  • bay leaves, parsley, paprika, black pepper, and a bit of mixed steak seasonings
  • flour sprinkled over all
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 hours of simmering

yumminess!

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But the weather was decidedly not wintry!

It was actually warm enough, sunny enough that we sat outdoors at the picnic table for a bit after walking and working in the yard!

I’m not accustomed to picking flowers, sniffing daffodils and preparing pot roast all on the same day.

Not a bad experience, just a different experience.

Seasonal favorites all mumbo-jumbo…

Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and…

haiku for the day:

goldfinches feasting 

nyger seed fireworks shower

cardinals below

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delectable seeds for the birds,

delectable dessert for us!

My dad and I enjoyed a phenomenal dessert today at Aroma’s Moroccan Cafe in Charlottesville, VA.

We didn’t want baklava (too sweet for us, although their special baklava with pistachios sounds like I may have to try it on another day.

We opted for yogurt — creamy, rich, fabulous yogurt — a generous dollop served in a shallow, oval bowl.

On top of the yogurt = a splash of rose water (I think), a light drizzling of honey, a generous array of dried apricots (moist dry apricots = oxymoronic but I hope you’ll know what I mean = sliced in thin strips), cranberries, almonds, more.

Fantastico!

easy homemade apple juice

today’s haiku:

delicate pale pink

apple blossom fragrant sips

peals of delight, nice

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Please visit and enjoy this post about making apple juice.

Last night I made apple sauce.

I scrubbed 15 apples

cut them in half [*I found the peeling and chunking went much faster this way]

peeled them (some of them I peeled ‘liberally’ leaving a bit of apple flesh, others I peeled to intentionally not take much of the inner apple flesh)

In one large pot I put quickly cut, sloppily cut chunks of apple flesh (chunks were probably 3/4 inch to 1 inch in size)

Into a large saucepan I put the peels and cores, seeds and all

Once all of the apples were done, I poured approx. one and a half cups of water over the apple chunks (large pot), added some cinnamon and brown sugar (maybe a 1/8 cup, not much! apples are sweet enough!), and a few pinches of lemon zest. This large pot I then brought to a boil and simmered for 25 minutes, then mashed with a potato masher. I like my applesauce not too chunky, so I also used my Cuisinart SmartStick (love that thing!) to smooth the sauce out some more.  Done!  Let them cool, taste tested a bit, then put the rest in the refrigerator to save for Thanksgiving dinner.

In a separate pan I boiled 4+ cups of water, and dissolved a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar, and another pinch of lemon zest into it and poured this mixture of boiling water over the peels and cores in the saucepan.  Then I mashed the mess up a bit, covered the pan and let this sit overnight. This morning, I mashed the stuff up a bit more, then pressed the mush against a fine colander/strainer and into a pitcher.  The pitcher went into the frig. The leftover ‘mush’ went into the compost bin.

After working outdoors several hours, raking and mulching wave upon wave of leaves (see photos below), as I sit here typing this post, I’m enjoying sips of my easy-to-make delicious, not-too-sweet apple juice!

Next, because it’s too nice a day not to take advantage of, I’m going to make myself wash a few windows (not a chore I manage often enough).

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Carrot soup!

haiku for the day:

blustery gusts groove

wind and tempers — transitive

clouds and moods dispersed

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I enjoy combining recipes, ‘doctoring’ for adventure.  Do you?

Carrot soup:

a bit of olive oil used to saute garlic, onion, ginger, finely chopped celery, black pepper, parsley, 1 large grated potato, 7+ grated carrots

I added a bit of water as the oil was absorbed; the water softened the nice brownings from the bottom of the pan and this added nice flavor to the stock.Cooked a few minutes.

one vegetable boullion cube added, then more water, then some milk and ground almonds

Using a handheld blender I pureed it.

The result was tasty, especially on a blustery day.

*next time I’ll try adding a parsnip, too…

Do you have a recipe for carrot soup?  What should I try adding next time?

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