Saturday, September 26, 2015

Curried Green Tomato Soup/Sauce

Curried green tomatoes over rice.
Now that fall is here, the days are not warm enough to ripen all the green tomatoes that remain on our vines, so I looked for recipes using green tomatoes---something other than fried green tomatoes that we are familiar with---to use our abundant crop of green tomatoes.  I found a recipe for curried green tomatoes that I modified.  We like curry.  This recipe turned out to be reminiscent of Thai food that we also like.

Curried Green Tomatoes

2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups green tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper (I omit the salt.)
Melt butter, add onion and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).

Curry powder added to onions.
Add curry powder and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add green tomatoes to onions and curry.

Add 2 cups of roasted red pepper.
Add roasted red peppers.
Add 2 cloves of minced garlic.
1 can of garbanzo beans
A dash of cumin
Garbanzo beans (chick peas) added.

Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Add 1 can light coconut milk.
Add one can of coconut milk.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth (I like to leave a few large pieces of tomatoes, pepper, and beans. )
The soup blended with a few chunks of pepper and green tomatoes remaining.
You can serve this as a soup with toasted bread.  Or I served it as a sauce over mixed basmati, brown, and wild rice.
Ready to eat.  Served over mixed basmati, brown, wild rice.
 Delicious!  And a different way to use those green tomatoes that are plentiful at the end of summer.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Delicious Blueberry Bread Pudding from Stale Bread

Blueberry Bread Pudding.

Whenever someone posts a good recipe on Facebook, I share it so I then will have it saved in my Facebook Account.This recipe for Blueberry Bread Pudding is one such recipe.  I don't remember who posted it, but I did remember that I had saved it.  Today I had a bit of stale bread that needed to be used---some brioche and part of a whole wheat baguette--- so I made this.

Blueberry Bread Pudding
Yields 8-10 servings

1 loaf of dense white bread, cubed (about 4-5 cups) (I used brioche and whole wheat bread.)
2 cups milk
2 cups cream (I used half and half)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 pint blueberries
1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar*
1 tablespoon butter, to coat the dish

Topping Ingredients
¼ cup raw (turbinado) sugar*
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed pot until it is just about to boil. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, mix together the eggs, vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon in a large bowl. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t scramble. Add the cubed bread to the custard, toss together and put aside.
Heat cream, milk, and sugar. 
Mix eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Add egg mixture to milk mixture slowly so eggs will not scramble.

Add bread cubes.

In another bowl, add a tablespoon of the raw sugar to the blueberries, and mash together so that there is mix of mashed and whole blueberries. Let the blueberries and the sugar sit for a few minutes, allowing juices to collect. Mix the blueberries into the pudding well, and put the whole thing in the refrigerator for at least an hour so that the bread can fully soak up the custard.

Crush part of the blueberries. 
Mix blueberries into the pudding mixture.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large baking dish.** Pour the bread pudding mixture into the dish. Sprinkle the pudding with the cinnamon and sugar. Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until the center is set. Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes. At the very end, put the pudding under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes to crisp up the top of the pudding. Let the pudding sit for at least a half hour before serving. Serve it up with vanilla ice cream, and you’ll be in heaven.

Ready for the oven.

Out of the oven.

With vanilla ice cream ready to eat. 

* If you only have regular white sugar, that’s fine. The raw sugar creates a better crunchy crust, but it is not a big enough difference to deter you from making this recipe!
** The pudding puffed up a great deal while baking, I would recommend using a large baking dish, and putting a baking sheet underneath to catch any wayward pudding or blueberries.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

180 Girls in White Dresses Carrying Red Roses

On Friday night the 89th NC Debutante Ball was held at the Meymandi Hall here in Raleigh.  This year 180 girls from across the state accepted invitations from the Terpsichorean Club of Raleigh, sponsor of the Ball, to make their debut.  The girls had just finished their freshman year in college.  The girl's father is usually her Chief Marshal, and each girl invites a young man to be her Assistant Marshal.  My oldest grandson, Zach, was invited by his friend Claire to be her Assistant Marshal. Hence my interest in this event.
Claire's father is deceased, so her brother David was her Chief Marshal.
Claire and Zach.

During the summer there are parties and luncheons across the state to which the Debs, their families and their escorts are invited.  It is a fun time for the young people.  The culmination of all this socializing is the Deb Ball.   Claire's mother had an extra ticket to the ball and invited me to go.

My "do"  for the Ball.

Claire's mother, brother, a family friend, Claire and Zach.
Many of the girls have a special Deb Stool designed, many by NTH degree in Raleigh.  The girls sit (or lean) on these while they are backstage waiting to be introduced.

Deb stools backstage waiting for the Dehs.

One of the Debs with her stool designed by NTH Degree. (Photo by NTH Degree.)

There was another dance on Saturday night, and a brunch on Sunday.  These young folks must be worn out, but I'm sure they had a wonderful weekend.  Now it's back to Carolina for Zach and Claire with many happy memories of summer parties and Deb Weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tidying My Tee Shirts and Tank Tops

Marie Kondo's Book.
You may remember last January I spent several days decluttering my kitchen drawers and shelves.  Well,  I am in the mood to declutter or organize our master bedroom. And I am going to start with my clothes.

I've read excerpts from the book,The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, and I have viewed her video of How to Fold Shirts.   I am starting by organizing my tee shirts.

I laid all my tee shirts on the bed and decided which ones I truly wanted to keep.  I am recycling the others.

My keepers  I have folded following the method described in this video. *
How to fold a shirt according to the Kondo method.

Most of my tee shirts have come from festivals, athletic events, or concerts.
A memento from the 1993 Inauguration of Bill Clinton.

This shirt from the 1993 Inauguration of Clinton I have removed and put in my memento collection for one of my grandchildren.  I only wore it a few times.

One of my very favorite shirts and one of the oldest is the Tommy shirt that Patrick brought me back in 1994 when he attended The Who's Tommy on Broadway at the St. James Theater in New York.  Funny, but my most recent tee shirt is one Patrick brought back from The Who Concert here in Raleigh back in the spring or early summer.
My favorite Tommy shirt.
My newest tee shirt.

I'm not particularly a fan of The Who, but I do like these tee shirts.
1999 US Open in Pinehurst.

The US Open shirt I got when the Open was held in Pinehurst in 1999.

The Tall Ships shirt I bought when the Tall Ships were in Halifax in 2000.
One of my favorite.

One of my favorite shirts is the GRANDPAT shirt I ordered myself.
My tee shirts neatly arranged. 

Here are my tee shirts all lined up nicely in the armoire so that I can remove one shirt without moving any of the others.

I'm not OCD enough to follow all of Kondo's suggestions,but I guess I am OCD enough to follow her method of folding and storing my tee shirts and tank tops. 


Monday, September 7, 2015

Our Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes sliced and ready to eat.

We are fond of Cherokee Purple tomatoes at our house, so this year for the first time I planted four of these in our raised bed that we built last fall.  Cherokee purple is an heirloom cultivar that has a purplish red color while greenish near the stem when it is ready for eating.  Apparently this tomato is a century-old heirloom that originated with the Cherokee people.
Plants are taller than I am.

These plants grew so that they are taller than I am (I'm 5'7").  Supposedly they could grow up to 9 feet tall.  During the first of the summer some animal was eating all the tomatoes while they were still green, but during the last few weeks the green ones have remained on the vine untouched.  However, they are very slow to mature.
Tall tomato plants.
Green tomatoes on the vine.

Picked green tomatoes.  The small one had ripened on the vine.

Placed green tomatoes in bag with a ripe banana.
In order to speed up their ripening, I picked some of the larger green ones and placed them in a brown paper bag with a ripening banana. A ripe banana produces large amounts of ethylene gas. This ethylene gas causes the green tomatoes to ripen. 

This is the way producers get tomatoes to the stores.  Farmers pick the tomatoes while they are still green. Then these tomatoes are exposed to ethylene gas in the distribution facilities closer to the supermarkets! This is why vine ripened tomatoes taste much better! 

The banana produced ethylene that caused the tomatoes to ripen.

Several are ready for eating.  (I put some small tomatoes of another variety in the bag as well and they ripened.)

After about a week some of the green tomatoes have ripened, and eventually the others will too.  I will leave some of the green tomatoes on the vine to see if they will ripen on the vine before our first frost.   

I think we will have tomato (or where I come from 'mater) sandwiches for lunch.  Always with Duke's mayonaisse.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Girls Night Out, Port Hood, Cape Breton, NS

The "girls" at Girls Night Out.  (L to R: Kate, Iris, Christene Catherine, Patti, Linda, Wendy) me sitting.
The highlight of my recent trip to Cape Breton was the night out with a bunch of my friends.  We went over to Port Hood and had dinner at the The Clove Hitch Bar and Bistro.

It was my first trip over to the beaches in that part of Cape Breton.  It was a lovely evening, and we were able to dine alfresco.  As you can tell from this video, it was a lively group.

Okay maybe you can't see the video.  I can't get it turned in landscape mode.  I must have taken it in portrait mode (my bad).

Catherine (mother of Wendy) in the beautiful dress she bought in California recently.

Wendy (daughter of Catherine).

Iris (daughter of Christene and mother of Kate).

Kate (daughter of Iris).
There were two others, Christene and Patti, and I didn't get individual photos of them.  Patti is in the group photo but Christene is turned away in the group photo.
I had fried haddock over rice.  Twas good. 
I shared this chocolate brownie with one of the girls.
Christene gave me an early birthday card.  My birthday was on the 23rd after we were back home from Nova Scotia.
The birthday card from Christene.
I've never tried to make a phone call with the TV remote, but I have tried to change the channel on the TV with the telephone.  : )  I think that qualifies to make me really old. 

I miss these folks terribly.  We have so much fun together.