The temperatures have been cold these past few nights, but my marigolds and dianthus are still alive and kicking! I love the juxtaposition of pumpkins and summer annuals, similar coloring even though normally they inhabit different seasons. The leaves are falling at such a brisk pace, the strong winds over the past few days have laid out carpets of red, brown and yellow everywhere, on roads and front yards. The surrounding mountains are looking a bit naked, but the ground is very colorful. Autumn is definitely making a bold statement right now.
I was visualizing a whole bunch of relaxing images during my 40 minutes in the closed MRI machine. The word irony comes into the picture because we are using the noisy MRI to try to figure out why I can’t get rid of these headaches that have been plaguing me since April. Needless to say that I left the hospital with an even bigger headache than the one I had before entering the hospital. When I asked whose great idea was it, the MRI, the nurse said that the MRI only came into the medical field in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, before that it had had other applications, which ones, she didn’t specify. I haven’t looked into it yet, but I would bet the DOD had something to do with it. I wonder why the medical field can’t modify the noise component, it really is quite unpleasant. I’m nevertheless thankful my oncologist is mindful of my aches and pains and the marvel of modern medicine is available to me, but it is difficult being mindful of all this when you’re in the machine with the obnoxious booming surrounding you for what feels like a long time. Hooray it’s over!
I know there are some who aren’t fans of lamb, our family doesn’t belong to that group, we all love lamb, especially the lollipop-like lamb chop, they’re so fun to eat. Since yesterday was a round tip to Boston, I was pooped, so my husband took care of dinner and viola, seared lamb chops served on a bed of sautéed spinach with apples, sweet onions and lemon. It may look as if it took some time to put together, but it was ready in 30 minutes, lamb chops this dainty take no time to cook and fresh spinach cooks down in minutes as well. This meal was a perfect plan, easy to get together after a long car ride and when it’s rainy outside, it serves as a comfort food as well.
My husband had business in Boston today, I never mind visiting Boston, despite the rain it’s a beautiful vibrant city. He also took me out to lunch at Brasserie Jo, a brasserie, strictly speaking, has Alsatian origins, serves beer on tap and has a long menu with with a variety of seafood choices and the invariable Alsatian choucroute. This brasserie was more casual than what you would find in Paris, but the food was just as good. We both started with their onion soup, it’s been a while since we have enjoyed a good onion soup gratiné, the ratio of croutons, onions and gruyère cheese was textbook, my only criticism was with the broth, it was a little too sweet for my taste, a shot of Pernod would have given just the bite it needed, at least in my opinion. Afterward, we shared escargots en cocotte, I adore snails however they are prepared, but the key in any preparation is the sauce, the sauce here needed parsley and armagnac to cut through the butter’s richness, again just my opinion. I’m picky aren’t I, lol. I had moules/frites as a main course, they were served in a Riesling cream sauce alongside excellent fries, my husband had crepe Newbug for his main course, he really enjoyed it, it had a healthy portion of salmon, spinach and lobster with the classic Newburg sauce, after all this we were happily satisfied.
Driving home this afternoon on the Taconic gave us some spectacular views, but this magnificent rainbow and its subtle brother was a wonderful surprise. My husband took beautiful pictures while I was driving, I was impressed at their clarity when we got home and I got the chance to look them over, he captured the startling vibrancy of the rainbow’s colors. I had never seen a rainbow as bright as this one, what a gift from Mother Nature . In Greek mythology, the rainbow was considered the bridge to the gods on Mount Olympus, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and she used it in her duties as messenger to the gods. I could imagine a beautiful maiden gliding up and down the rainbow, traveling between the heavens and Earth, barely visible due to her speed and the distracting beauty of the rainbow. Greek mythology had such lovely stories to explain the world to the ancient Greeks.
My mother and I have been cooking together for awhile and since I visit with her so often, we have taken the opportunity to experiment with different recipes and it’s been good eating if I do say so myself, lol. I forget what prompted us to search the internet for a recipe for oven roasted sea bass, but I looked and found an excellent recipe on the epicurious website, oven roasted sea bass with ginger and lime. This recipe isn’t just excellent in taste, it’s so easy to prepare with a minimum of ingredients.
We got four sea bass filets, salt and peppered them and laid them out in two oiled Pyrex dishes, the oven was preheated to 400 degrees. Beforehand I had minced a large shallot, grated an inch of fresh ginger, chopped two heaping tablespoons of cilantro, squeezed about two tablespoons of lime juice and poured about two tablespoons of soy sauce into bowl and mixed three teaspoons of olive oil with all of these ingredients. I spooned some of the sauce over each of the filets until there wasn’t any sauce left. My mother had brown rice cooking on the stove top, as soon as the rice had 15 minutes left, we put the Pyrex dishes in the oven and 12 minutes later everything was ready. It was delicious and practically no work, we could have been at a restaurant, this recipe wasn’t something we ordinarily make, which made it more fun.
Cooking with my mother is fun, we take the opportunity to step out of our food comfort zone, we have experimented with Thai curries, red and green, both very tasty and now we have this keeper under our belt. Who knows what’s next, whatever it is, I look forward to making it with my mother.
I had written about planning to prune my mother’s garden next spring. My mother couldn’t wait until next spring, she wanted it done yesterday, when my mother decides something, it needs to be done toute suite. She called the original landscaper, he called her back this time, he had left her hanging last year, he came to see what needed to be done and voila, a tidy and rejuvenated garden.
When I looked over his work, I was glad he came to do the hard pruning, I wouldn’t have had the courage to cut back the hydrangea tree as much as he did. I also would have been too timid pruning the miniature Japanese maple, I think I would have been okay with the box wood though, and probably with the smaller evergreens. It’s one thing to cut away at your own trees and shrubs, quite another when they belong to someone else and you make a mistake. When in doubt, let a professional take care of it, it’s a nice way to keep your hands clean lol.
My husband’s nod to autumn reveals itself with pretty chrysthamums. I had no interest in getting mums this year, mostly because historically, I have planted them year after year, for awhile I had quite a few coming back in the fall, but two years ago they stopped reappearing, I think it was that horrible polar vortex that did them in, so I decided to stop buying plants that wouldn’t come back. However when my husband picked out these two, I kept my mouth shut, they look festive and warm in our front yard and who am I to deny our home warmth and beauty.
I’m fairly certain I would have made prettier images if the sky had been blue, but the grey skies give a distinct mood which I enjoy, the mood suits the season. In my mind, autumn goes well with grey skies, the changing leaves are the focal point of color, so with a grey backdrop, the season reflects the drama going on within Mother Nature. I would argue that drama is at the center of Mother Nature, neither good nor bad, drama reveals itself in the smallest metamorphosis of the tiniest of butterflies, the sprout poking up through the soil and the gradual darkening of a far away cloud. Blandford is very beautiful right now, I’m lucky to bear witness to this beauty.
This week, it seems warmth is on the calendar, hooray for me, but with the surrounding countryside, it feels a little confusing, lol.
My husband and I went to see The Accountant, we were looking forward to it ever since we saw the trailers. We’re both fans of Ben Affleck and the other cast members are such talented actors, Anna Kendrick, John Lithgow, J.K Simmons and Jean Smart, just to give you a taste of the level of acting you will find in this movie.
The story is an exciting suspense filled ride, I was riveted for the entire movie. There wasn’t a single second that felt long or unnecessary, I’m not going to give anything away, but you have to pay attention to every detail. The plot has layers as do the characters, don’t get up in the middle to get popcorn or go to the restroom, you’ll miss something.
I highly recommend seeing this movie, it was great.