Friday, June 18, 2010

This and That

I wish someone would explain the attraction of peonies to me. I really don't know why I keep this one in the garden except for the fact that it was the only flowering plant in the yard when I moved in. They grow like crazy through the spring, get pretty little buds, then open into huge blossoms right before a heavy rain (Always!). The stems are too weak so the blooms immediately topple over and rot on the ground. I actually do have a support cage around these, but obviously, it was not up to the job

The deck is finished and things around it are generally cleaned up. I washed the kitchen window first thing this morning because I was so tired of looking at water spots and streaked sawdust. And here I am enjoying a shady spot on this beautiful (hot) sunny day. Now it was worth all that effort.
I was joined by a rose breasted grosbeak also enjoying the newly refurbished deck. This morning there was a fawn running in circles in the meadow to the back of us--just running and jumping and having a grand old time. We couldn't see the doe, but she had to have been nearby in the trees. It's been a few years since we have watched deer in the back and we are hoping this a good sign for their return.
My birthday has been sufficiently celebrated. Mike took me out to dinner. I chose the Asian Bistro and ordered crispy duck on a bed of broccoli--a real treat that ended up being two meals. My friend Ginnie took me out for lunch today. I had an appetizer plate: pita, hummus, black olives, and roasted tomatoes with garlic. That was something I will definitely put into my "vegetarian inclined" recipe file because it made taste buds and tummy quite happy.
I didn't have a birthday cake, but it was a birthday after all so I made a blueberry dessert. Blueberries are a healthy food so that counter balances the whipped cream, right? And it was a birthday treat so that automatically nullifies any calories anyway, right??
Blueberry Fool (serves 4)
1 cup blueberries
3 tbsp. sugar (divided)
1 tbsp creme de cassis
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1. Combine the blueberries with 1/3 cup water is a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until berries are tender. Add 2 tbsp of the sugar and the liqueur, stir, then let cool. Pour into a bowl, cover, and chill for at least an hour.
2. Whip the cream with 1 tbsp of sugar and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.
3. Serve as cold as possible. Chilled dessert bowls make this extra refreshing.
Now, after all this talk of food, I am happy to report that after seven weeks on my healthier eating plan, I have lost seven pounds...even with the dessert above and the French toast I made for guests a couple of weeks ago. It's not rapid progress, and as anyone can see above, I still have work to do. But it is in the right direction and I have no sense of suffering like I'm on a real diet, so I am satisfied.


  1. Say, that's a great report. You're doing something right.

    My Japanese daughter-in-law told me, when I visited Japan,that she did not like peonies. I was shocked because they're such pretty flowers and I'd never been around them. Then she said "I don't like them because they won't raise their faces to greet you.

  2. Olga, your deck looks great and so do you. I can't see the Blueberry Fool anywhere on you. By the way, do you know the derivation of the name Fool for this type of cobbler? I've certainly heard it before and wonder if it's one of those things like "it's so easy even a fool could make it". Of course, after reading your directions, I can tell you this fool couldn't even begin to make it happen. Surely does sound good though.

  3. That deck looks sooo inviting. Great job.
    Also great work losing pounds slowly. That is how you keep them off. Rapid weight loss seems to come back just as rapidly.


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