Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Gift from Julie, Crab Cakes and Plants

The mail arrived a few days ago and I was surprised to see a package.. from France!  Ohhh!  What could it be?  A delightful card with a very sweet message, 2 lovely bookmarks and this!  A hand embroidered cross stitch from my blog reader and friend, Julie!  Thank you so much, this little cushion is amazing and I adore it!  We've been exchanging Christmas cards for a few years so she had my address.  I love how she made the house red with a blue roof and the sunflowers and autumn trees.  What a treasure!


It was so intriguing seeing the postmark from Colmar, France!


This is the postcard inside, the back is a sweet handwritten note from my friend Julie, wishing us all well, young and old.  What a dear lovely woman!


Also inside were these two French bookmarks.  I love the one with the Eiffel Tower and the cute birdhouse.


Kristi worked for literally hours hand picking crab to make crab cakes for dinner.  It was her first time and she found the perfect recipe online.  I will give you the recipe below.  She also boiled our homegrown potatoes and stopped at a farm stand and picked up fresh picked corn which was SO tender and delicious.  We all told her it was a resounding success and worthy of the finest dining establishment.  :-)


A close up of one of the crab cakes.. omg.. I wish you could taste these, made with fresh caught Dungeness crab off the coast of Washington in the Pacific Ocean.  


Here they are before baking.


See the big lump meat?  Swoon.  I was the lucky one to have the leftovers the yesterday and it was every bit as good as the night before!


My amazing DIL also used our fresh picked zucchini and made this for us.  It was popular and is already gone.  I will need to check the zucchini plants to see if there are anymore on them.


We've been enjoying time with Dayle on the deck, sitting well away from him.  He filled the bird feeders while I was out with him.  He will be moving back into the house tomorrow.  Mocha and I will be sooooo happy to have him back with us.


He also filled one of my pots I made with soil so we could put the aloe and the other succulent in their own "home".


Here is the pot I made.  When I was taking ceramics at Mt. Hood Community College, I decided to take Sumi ink painting from a Chinese master named Wing K. Leong.  I had seen lovely Chinese pottery with beautiful painting on them so I set out to do something similar.  He gave a class at the college so I snapped up the opportunity to learn Sumi ink skills.  I threw the pot on a wheel, let it dry to to "leather" hard, trimmed the base, had it fired once, glazed it with a semi-opaque white glaze, then mixed cobalt powder with water and painted with a Chinese brush - an iris with grasshopper above.  Then the final glaze firing.. it's very exciting to see the pots come out of the kiln.


This little plant is stressed but I hope it bounces back.

 
My orchid had looked like it had died so I put the pot out on the gazebo table in "plant detention" to see if it would rally and look!  A little orchid leaf is emerging!  Dear orchid, you will live to see another bloom.  :-)


These will all come inside for the winter.


Kristi also made us a lemon cheesecake.  I got the recipe from Dayle's older sister Eileen.  She made it for a sister's xmas party many years ago and I fell in love with it, and Travis loves lemon things.  It turned out DEEELISH!


Kristi went shopping today and look what she brought home for Mocha?  LOLOL!!!  As you can see, she was afraid to move.  Then Kristi carried her out to show Dayle through the trailer window and "flew" her through the air for him.  He cracked up.  :-)


A quick story - Hayden was outside blowing off the deck and came in and said there was a big bird out there.  Well.. I thought.. hmm.. a Blue Jay?  So, I went out a bit ago to photograph the pot and heard a thump on the gazebo roof.  Hmm.. a limb?  Then I moved a rocking chair and the sound apparently scared off.. A GREAT BLUE HERON FROM THE ROOF!  That $%%^& bugger was fishing in our pond!!!!  I'm so mad!  I called Dayle to come and watch them while I did this blog post and he put some food in and we still have Keiko, Ashley, Pierre and Tiger, but it looks like that (growl) both our pond goldfish are gone. Kristi saw scales on one of the rocks, too.  I suggested that Dayle put some old window screen over the pond and he has done so.  Sigh.  OK, I'll sign off and below my signature I will add those two recipes for you.

((hugs)), Teresa :-) 
-------------------------------------

 Maryland Crab Cakes Recipe 

(Little Filler)


Prep Time: 40 minutes 

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Total Time: 55 minutes 

Yield: 6 large crab cakes

Ingredients

1 large egg

1/4 cup (60g) mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

(or 2 teaspoons dried)

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 

(up to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons for a spicier kick)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pound fresh lump crab meat

2/3 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (about 14 crackers)

optional: 2 Tablespoons (30g) melted salted or unsalted butter


Instructions


Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, lemon juice, and salt together in a large bowl. Place the crab meat on top, followed by the cracker crumbs. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, very gently and carefully fold together. You don’t want to break up that crab meat!

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.


Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C). Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet with butter or nonstick spray or line with a silicone baking mat.


Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, portion the crab cake mixture into 6 mounds on the baking sheet. (Don’t flatten!) Use your hands or a spoon to compact each individual mound so there aren’t any lumps sticking out or falling apart. For extra flavor, brush each with melted butter. This is optional but recommended!


Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. Drizzle each with fresh lemon juice and serve warm.

Cover leftover crab cakes tightly and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

-------------------------------

Lemon Cheesecake


Crust: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 1/2 TBS sugar

4 1/2 TBS melted butter


Filling:  2 pkg of 8 oz. cream cheese (ROOM TEMP)

3/4 C sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 eggs


Topping: 1 pint sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

6 TBS sugar


Combine crust ingredients and spread into pie pan or springform cheesecake pan, bottom and sides.


Beat cream cheese until blended, add sugar and beat together, add lemon, combine and then beat in eggs, one at a time, pour into pan and bake 350 deg. F for 30 minutes, remove from oven, pour topping over and return to oven for 5 more minutes.


Cool and keep in fridge until served.


Monday, September 21, 2020

🦀 Crab Feed 🦀

Our crabbers/fishermen arrived home in the late afternoon on Saturday, here they are pulling in with Kristi to greet them, I happened to be outside and snapped this image.  


They drove to Ilwaco, WA after work on Friday and launched the boat and went out and dropped 9 crab pots. They did some fishing too and here is a happy Caleb with two Sea Bass.  It got dark while they were out there and he told me how the water was black and the sky was black and all you could see was the lights from town on the horizon.  Quite a memory for a 11 year old boy.


Caleb out on the Pacific Ocean pulling up the crab pots, they have to be a legal size of 5 3/4 inches across.


They were very successful!  They each caught their limit of 12 each - 36 in total, they had 9 pots down and limited out with the first 3 and had to return 2/3rds of their catch to the sea.  Those lucky crabs!  :-)  These are Dungeness crabs and are DEEEEliscious!


Happy fisher-boy.


You have to be careful reaching for these guys as they'll pinch you with their claws.


I am very VERY proud of my son Travis, he has learned to run the boat and care for it, learned to fish and crab and most importantly, he learned to clean and cook the crabs right when he returns no matter how tired he is.  And he is now teaching his sons all these skills.  Caleb is really getting into it.  They halved and cleaned them and cooked them in the pot you see over there.


When we were members of the Portland Yacht Club we used to attend the annual crab feeds, one of the members was a spice merchant and made this delicious sauce for the crab. I got his recipe and so whipped up a bowl of it while the crab was cooking.


I highly recommend you try this for anything you'd use cocktail sauce for.  YUM!  A bowl of this with shrimp would be ace.  I did a scant 1/4 tsp of the cayenne.


The first tray of cooked crab.. :-D 🦀


I got a mug of ice water, some paper towels, a plate, knife and fork and a bowl for the shells, the bowl of sauce and set to work picking my dinner.  You take a half crab, pull the legs apart and pick the meat out of the body end, then crack the legs and claws and pull out the lump meat.


Kristi joined me when the guys brought in the 2nd heaping platter of crab, she isn't a fan of Dungeness and prefers the King crab so she picked them and shared them with me and the guys.  By this time Travis and Caleb joined us and we had a great time around the table.  Hayden passed as he'd had leftover KFC chicken for dinner.  


The way I eat crab is I crack and pick until I have a little pile and put some sauce on and eat it then repeat.  Kristi picked all the rest of the crabs out on the deck table yesterday and plans to make crab cakes for dinner.  YAY! We're going to boil some of our garden potatoes and some corn on the cob too.  


Kristi did some harvesting from our garden.


They went over to take a car back to their house and picked up two sunflower heads and she picked out the seeds to roast.  This variety had black seeds.


Here is the 2nd one.


Here they are all picked and the chaff cleaned off.  She will roast these for Travis to eat.


Ozzie making himself at home.  Keeping Dayle's chair warm.  :-)


On the town group on facebook someone posted this photo of her road which is where we lived before we bought this house.  I commented on the post that I wondered who lived in our old house and it was the woman who posted this shot.  I've wondered who lived there and now I know.  Neat.  


I asked if they still had the stained glass window in the front door that I made and they do!  I asked if she'd share a photo of it with me as I did not have a picture.  So here it is!  I made the window and a friend of ours made the door for us.  The barn Dayle designed and built is out the window.  I had a pottery studio in the loft of it and so loved throwing pottery on my kick wheel and glazing and firing the bowls, plates, mugs and pots for plants.


Well.. that was a lot.  :-)  My eye cleared but is still kind of quirky but I hope it will settle down.  Dayle has a few more days of solitary confinement and can then move back into the house.  When he's back in the kids will move back to their own home.  We so appreciate them helping us out during this time and I'm so glad we could offer them shelter when their home was threatened by fires.  Family is everything.  
((hugs)), Teresa :-)  


Friday, September 18, 2020

Thunder, Lightning, Rain and Blue Skies

I had a surgeon slicing into my right eye 3 hours ago.  But here I am, doing a late afternoon (5:45) blog post.. because.. it's what I do.  I have a new lens in there.. and it's still very fuzzy, but hopefully it will clear up!

Early this morning, I was awoken at 3:30 am by flashing of lightning and thunder, then the rain started falling on the 2 skylights above our bed.  And look!  The rain washed the smoke from the sky and it's blue once more!  Hallelujah!


I am so happy.. I don't know if the smoke will come back as the fires are still burning.. 


Just look at that blue!


Kristi and Travis went over to their house to check on things and take some items back there and look at the tomato harvest she brought back here!


She picked up eggs yesterday and there were two tiny ones that we think were laid by "Boots" her Bantam hen.


Hayden with his "lap dog" Ozzie.


I'm the chief fish feeder now that Dayle is in solitary confinement.  He had his last and most radioactive treatment yesterday.  Poor baby.  He will have to stay away from us for 7 more days.  But the good part is that now he can eat real food.  He's subsisted on oatmeal for a week or so.  SO.. Kristi drove me to my eye surgery today and on our way home we picked him up a bucket of KFC chicken and he's happy.  He also reports that he is feeling well and not having any pain or discomfort from the radiation treatments.



Travis and Caleb (11) headed out this afternoon to go crabbing and salmon fishing at Ilwaco, Washington.  I will show you their catch on Monday.  His best pal Ernie also went with them.


Does anyone know what kind of spider this is?  It was on the boat.  Creepy, huh?  I insisted Hayden not kill it but take it up the hill and let it go.  It was BIG!


Our 2nd successful sunflower.


I am sorry to announce that our wonderful Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died.  The current president wasted no time to say he will replace her on the Supreme Court.  Her dying wish was for the next president to replace her.  But her loss is a blow to women's rights and to all liberal thinking people in our country.  We'll see how this plays out.  


I will leave you with this beautiful image of sea glass in front of a sunset over the ocean and a wonderful poem I found on Facebook.


I want to age like sea glass.
Smoothed by tides,
but not broken.
I want my hard edges to soften.
I want to ride the waves
and go with the flow.
I want to catch a wave
and let it carry me
to where I belong.
I want to be picked up
and held gently by
those who delight in my
well earned patina and
appreciate the changes I went
through to achieve that beauty.
I want to enjoy the journey
and always remember that if
you give the ocean something
breakable it will turn it into
something beautiful.
I want to age like sea glass...

By Gail Sovie
---------------------------

Thank you for visiting and caring and being my friend.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)