Monday, November 18, 2013


I slept in until 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. I started filling in the Blog entry while drinking coffee. I finally posted it just after 8:00. I ran through the normal Sunday morning chores and then I shaved and showered.

My face hurt. Not where I got the fillings, but the whole side of my face. I think that it’s because I had to keep my mouth opened so wide for so long (the fillings were in my back teeth).

I stripped the bed and started the weekend wash. I added the short bathroom curtain to the wash. I noticed last night it was dusty and I couldn’t remember the last time I took it down.

It was raining at 9:00 a.m., but there’s supposed to be a break coming up. I am hoping against hope that I can at least finish the front yard raking and cut the lawn. Sure enough, the sun came out here about 9:45.

I was outside raking by 10:15 a.m. I got all the front gardens and the tree ring cleared. Then I went to get the push mower. Now the last time I used it, it was cutting out. So, I pulled the spark plug. Sure enough, it was covered with carbon. So, I brushed it with a wire brush, sanded the tip and the wire and washed it off with carb cleaner. I filled the gas tank and fired it up. It was still not running “right,” but it was running better.

So, I cut through all the leave piles, but with disappointing results. Instead of mulching the leaves and spreading them around, the leaves were chopped, but left in their piles. Damn! That will be a problem come springtime, as I am sure it will just choke out the grass. I was doing the side lawn when the sun disappeared and the clouds came back. I finished up just before it started to rain again. This time, it poured!

I gave up on the idea of cutting the back lawn. I put the rake back in the shed and shut everything up.

Inside, I started the second load of laundry and made the bed back up. I was hungry, so I made a can of Hormel chili. I added a cup of coffee for dessert and read my book in my lift chair. That book table may be a little wobbly, but a cup of coffee in the middle seems perfectly level, so I was happy.

I took out an eight-ounce tub of regular Philadelphia cream cheese to come to room temp (the more I thought about it, I wished I’d gotten the “with chives” tub). I also got five cups of frozen sweet corn and put that into a colander to thaw. I planned on playing with Thanksgiving appetizers and side dishes today. I like to taste-test things before I make them for the real thing, you see. Everything sounds good, but sometimes when you make it, not so much…

I also thawed out a package of Eckrich smoked sausage (I need a main course for my Sunday supper).

When the clothes in the washer were done, I put them in the dryer, set the stove timer and went back to reading. I know, I know, I should be cleaning the house or the garage, but I was tired and taking a break for a bit.

My weather radio went off, so I checked it. We had a high wind advisory and a tornado watch for our area. Great…

I read until the timer went off and I had to hang up my clothes. I put them in the closet and checked outside. Weird! The wind, which was strong even while I was cutting the front lawn, and the rain had both stopped! Uh, oh… The calm before the storm? I dunno. It was 2:30 p.m.

Not to worry, though. The wind came back with a vengeance by 3:30.

I started on my appetizer: Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Filled Roma Tomatoes. Now you should note: the recipe called for 10 Roma tomatoes, so that’s what I bought. But, two of them had mold on them, so I pitched them. However, there was barely enough cream cheese and only one strip of a pound of bacon left. So, I would suggest this be rewritten as “eight Roma tomatoes.”

Regardless, I cut each one in half, length-wise. Then I scooped out the seeds and “stuff” with a teaspoon. I lightly drizzled olive oil on each and then salted and peppered each one.

I filled the cavity of each one with softened cream cheese. Then I wrapped each in a strip of thin-cut bacon, securing it with a toothpick. I set them on a half-sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Then I sprinkled each one with red pepper flakes. I popped them in a preheated 375 degree oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. 

I went back to my book, dreaming of Africa… Since I was a little kid, I wanted to travel there (and it pisses me off that I never will).

When the timer went off, I took out my appetizer and let them cool. Then I tried one (after removing the toothpick, LOL). Not bad, not bad at all. I would have liked the bacon to be a little crisper, but I think that’s more a matter of timing rather than technique. This one’s a keeper!

Sidebar: I actually tried four of them! A little messy, but damn good!

About 5:00 p.m., a wicked thunderstorm blew through. The thunder and lightning was amazing. Unfortunately, my weather radio kept going off with warnings, to the point I had to give up my living room chair and move to the bed, just so I could shut it up every few minutes. I finished my book and started my Sunday supper.

Knowing I needed the oven for my side dish, I first broiled the smoked sausage, after cutting the two lengths in half. Naturally, the smoke detectors went off (Can this damn house get any noisier?), so I shut the doors to the office and the bedroom for a bit. I pulled the sausages out and let them rest. I’ll reheat a length of sausage in the microwave for dinner.

Then I started making my side dish: Corn Pudding. It’s a specialty of the rural south.

So, as I said, I had thawed out five cups of frozen sweet corn. I sliced up 1/2 cup of green onions and then chopped 1/4 cup of fresh basil for my prep work.

In a large bowl I whisked together two large eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk. To that, I added one cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal, the basil, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. I let that get happy while I dealt with the corn.

I melted a tablespoon of butter in my 12-inch non-stick skillet. Then I sautéed the sweet corn and the green onions for five minutes. I removed the pan from the heat to let it cool a bit. Then I added the corn and green onions to the wet mixture, along with one cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I folded all that together and put it in a casserole dish that I had sprayed with canola oil. I sprinkled another 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese on top and stuck it in a preheated 350 degree F. oven. I set the timer for 45 minutes.

I wandered in to watch the last of the NBC Nightly News.

The timer went off, so I took the corn pudding out. I topped it with a few basil leaves I had reserved.

I got a dinner plate and warmed up a section of the smoked sausage. I was about to plate the pudding when the phone rang. It was my daughter, Melissa…

So, about an hour later, I reheated the sausage and some of the corn pudding. The smoked sausage (with a little Dijon mustard) was excellent, of course. I’m not so sure about the corn pudding. It was a good, savory dish. But, there was no “WOW” factor. Then again, it’s meant to be a side dish. So, I’m on the fence about it…

I still had Channel 4 on and the Sunday Night Football game was on. So, I watched it for a while and then went out to clean up the kitchen. I had just enough dishes to run the dishwasher, so it was mostly washing the large bowl and the big skillet.

Back in the bedroom, it was just after half time. I debated looking around for something to watch, but decided just to go to bed, instead. It was 10:30 p.m.

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