A Food Story in Three Parts

Part 1 – Background In order to prevent any random vegans who happen by from flipping out when they see that I eat egg whites, I must clarify my diet. I like to call it Vegan Plus Egg Whites Minus Fats & Oils. It’s the Ornish Cardiac Reversal Plan.

Part 2 – Vegetables I Have Peeled With a Julienne Peeler (I got a Julienne Peeler this week and it’s turning out to be something of an obsession.) carrots, zucchini, red cabbage, radishes, scallions, green peppers, potatoes

Part 3 – Things I have Made With Julienned Vegetables Rainbow Noodle Salad, egg whites with green peppers, Potato Strings with Tofu, Air Fryer egg rolls

This doesn’t look like a lot of food but believe me, I’ve made these meals many times this week. I get stuck on things. I made the Air Fryer Egg rolls for the first time this morning and although they look unappealingly dry, they were delightfully light and crunchy. This one is a keeper.

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Marmalade

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Gby4evr! The last password I created for work. Although my work was very satisfying and I  am thankful for the experiences and opportunities I’ve had there, it gave me great pleasure type this into the corporate login page  several times a day for my last three weeks of employment.

Dudes! I have got the citrus marmalade thing down pat now. Here’s my production so far:

  • Grapefruit Vermouth verdict: overcooked, bitter, very firm. Has the consistency of a gum drop.
  • Lemon Lime verdict: exquisitely tart, loose set – possibly undercooked.
  • Lemon Orange verdict: perfect!

[Sidebar: I am very happily retired and do not miss work at all except for one little habit that I find very hard to break: I can’t stop communicating in bullets. I realize that I’ve used bullets aplenty here before but now it’s my only outlet to use them at all. Thanks for understanding! Just be glad I’m not that attached to PowerPoint presentations.]

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MINIMALISM I was always a minimalist when it came to PowerPoint design. Just a few clues on the slide and the information delivered in the voice over. Try to imagine my lilting voice here convincing you that you too should be making your grocery lists using bullet points.

 

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I’m really enjoying the wonder of this transition time. Remember when I was complaining that I can’t keep track of the days of the week and I needed an Alzheimer’s clock to help me? Well, please cancel that complaint – now EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY. And when I said I was looking to add some structure and commitment to my life , such as church attendance or a regular go out to dinner night? Not yet, please. Every day is Saturday and THEY’RE ALL GOOF OFF SATURDAYS. I’m waiting for the boredom hammer to fall on me like everyone cautions that it will unless I develop some new activity to replace working but it hasn’t happened. That might be in the future but for now I revel in the goofing off.

I’m not entirely without ambition, though. I’m throwing myself into the domestic pleasures that I haven’t had time for as an employed person. No set plan, really and certainly not anything that actually needs doing (like cleaning). I’m just an unemployed butterfly flitting from making marmalade to producing homemade bread, which if truth be told is not yet a success. Except for the Irish soda bread which doesn’t count because it has no yeast in it. Yeast is my nemesis.

Recently, I got the idea to crochet dishcloths. Don’t laugh! #1. I’ve never made one before and #2. do you know that they now have yarn called “scrubby” that is specifically made for this application AND some of it is sparkly!

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So be warned, anyone who comes to visit me. Everyone gets a door prize of an 8 oz. jar of artisan marmalade and a hand crafted dishcloth (also recommended for facial exfoliation).  ←seriously. Maybe I can learn to weave some little baskets for a nice presentation?

Bloodied, But Unbowed

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HELLO SUNSHINE.   Undaunted, she set about in search of her mandoline.

I could tell you about my loaf of bread that was both underbaked and a doorstop at the same time. Or maybe about the Grapefruit Vermouth Marmalade that you could use as weed killer. I might even have time to regale you about the reception of a one-pan chicken and rice dinner that was Not. Good.  Undaunted by the less than stellar results of my return to the kitchen,  today I attempted to make lime marmalade by using a mandoline to slice the whole limes and I could tell you all about that, too. But right now I’m looking for the bandaids.

Suzette At Rest

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SUZETTE AT REST Announcement: I have retired from work. Whatever shall I do to fill my time? #retired #retiredlife #notworking #outofoffice #atliberty #free

     It happened. As I sit here beginning this blog post, I see by the clock that I’ve been retired for 24 hours and 2 minutes.  I believe it’s going well so far.
     The first thing I did this morning while the coffee was brewing was pick up a screwdriver and go outside to the front lawn to look for weeds to uproot. I have never intentionally done this before in my life. If I had happened to be passing by a particularly annoying  weed, I might have stooped to yank it out. Might even have  gone to get a screwdriver if I was sufficiently annoyed by its refusal to surrender to me. But this morning, I just casually thought it would be a good use of my time while I waited for the coffee.
     Apparently, my body automatically reset itself to retirement mode and I was acting from pure instinct. In the same way that newborn babies instinctively turn their mouths in the direction of the nipple, newly minted retirees must have the instinct to fret about their lawns. I have no other explanation.
     But I’m glad it happened, even though its not what the youngs would call hip. Or cool.  Or whatever the term is now. To me, it is a signal that I’m going to have an easy adjustment to a life of leisure.
     On the other hand, I find myself in an EXTREMELY ANNOYED state, which is entirely consistent with my pre-retirement attitude.  See that picture and caption up there? I posted them on Facebook and Instagram and no one even mentioned the hat. I’ve been saving that hat for more than a year for exactly this occasion. I admit that I got it for the impact I imagined when my coworkers saw the, so probably not meaningful to people who didn’t live and die by email. But still, you would think that it would generate a few remarks, wouldn’t you? But no.
      Also, it’s gone unnoticed that the bolded title of the posting is a reference to the John Updike book Rabbit At Rest. Harry Angstrom and I are both retired to Florida and are unable to “stop nibbling corn chips, macadamia nuts and other junk food.” That’s a joke. And it’s not true, she said while eyeing the pile of pistachio shells next to the keyboard. I just thought the phase would evoke the memory of the very famous Pultizer-prize winning novel.
     But it doesn’t bode well, does it, for me to be utterly and completely irritated by the fact that total strangers (for the most part)  who cannot read my body language or see my facial expressions would not immediately get the admittedly obscure references that are so clear to me in my head. It might be a sign that the road to retirement contentment is going to be rocky.
     But I forge ahead. Now that I’m no longer a High Powered Executive Business Woman, I feel like it would be appropriate for me to be doing something kitchen-y. One of my Ponderosa lemons is ready to be plucked, but I’m a little afraid of it. Not sure I can face even a thin slice of it’s reported “extreme tartness” floating on top of a cup of tea or perhaps a tankard of gin, so I do have a plan to make Lemon Marmalade out of it.

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The small one in my hand is a red grapefruit. The big ones on the plant are Ponderosa Lemons.

    Wrinkle in the plan: I have never made marmalade before. So rather than taking a chance on ruining my lovely giant lemon which took about 8 months to mature, I’m going to make some sacrificial Grapefruit Vermouth Marmalade as a practice run. I just saw the recipe on the webs this week so it seems predestined, especially since I had the ingredients on hand. Those of you who know me in real life know that I am married to Mr. Sweet Rob Roy and we positively swim in sweet vermouth around here so all I needed to buy was 4 grapefruit. And some sugar.

 

     There we have it. I’m retired.

Angels and Devils

Okay – here’s my idea: I’m going to have an open house/buffet party but with a theme: all of the food will be either something Angel or something Devil.

What a great idea, Suzette! Too bad you can only think of Angel/Devil’s Food cake and Angels/Devils On Horseback.

de What other foods are named Angles or Devils? If I can’t come up with anything else, it’s going to be a pretty short party. And frankly, I’m only interested in the idea of walking around with a doily-covered tray and stopping in front of people to inquire Devil On Horseback?  I can’t really announce that I’m going to have a Devil party – I fear that would be misunderstood even in NJ let alone here in Florida where people talk about Jesus non-ironically – so I’m using the Angel foods to soften the first impression.

I guess I could have a Pu Pu Party and replicate that delightful Chinese restaurant appetizer – I haven’t seen that around here yet. In fact, I can barely find Chinese food. Thai yes, Sushi yes, but not much actual Chinese. What was on a Pu Pu Platter anyway? Spare ribs, little egg rolls, maybe some Crab Rangoon? Maybe I can just cobble together things that I like – chicken wings, pizza rolls and so on.

Okay, this is going off the rails. Let’s get back to Angels and Devlis. I suppose I could bolster up the offerings by allowing this with “cloud” in the name or anything diablo-style. Really, aside from the party name and the Angels on Horseback, I’m at a loss.

Please help! Are there any shrimp things named Angel or Devil?

Ideas:

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