Bavarian Potato Salad

(at least my version of it)

Since I made this on Sunday, I decided to document the recipe for this old blog.

1 lb. of potatoes
2 spanish onions
1/4 cup of bacon, chopped
1 cucumber

Finely chop the onions. Heat up a smidgeon of oil in a skillet, and over medium heat, sautee the onions together with the chopped bacon just long enough to get the fat on the bacon liquid. (3-4 minutes).IMG_2607

Transfer the onion/bacon mixture to a bowl (while hot) and peel and slice the cucumber into thin slices (use a slicer). Add the cucumber to the onion/bacon mixture and add salt (a good pinch) and vinegar (about 1/8 of a cup). Mix and set aside.

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If your fingers can take it, peel and cube the cooked potatoes while they are still quite warm and add to the other ingredients, tossing often to mix.

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Add more salt, a pinch of sugar and more vinegar to taste. At this point, depending on consistency, you might want to add a bit of water, the salad should not be too dry. I usually add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of water.

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Chop and add fresh herbs (in this case, lovage*, parsley and chives), tossing well. Cover and let sit 1-2 hours.

Have another taste, adjust salt if necessary, stir in a few tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

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*Lovage is an herb that is very aromatic in taste and smell and in my humble opinion, indispensible in many recipes, tomato salad, chicken soup, any salad, really. I love the fact that in the warmer half of the year, I have fresh lovage (amongst other herbs) at my disposal. I miss fresh herbs in the winter.

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Stuffed Eggplant

(There is a print/pdf/email button at the end of the post).

I used two very large eggplants for this recipe, and it was sufficient for three adults.

You will also need:

The eggplants (obviously)
2 large red bell peppers (or the elongated ones, they tend to be more aromatic)
1-2 onions, depending on size (I used two smaller spanish onions)
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded*
2 eggs
grated parmesan cheese

Chop the onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. Sautee the onions in olive oil over low heat until glassy. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, remove the “meat” with the help of a spoon and chop.

When the onions are glassy, add the peppers, tomatoes and chopped eggplant, cover and saute for about 15 minutes or until the bell pepper is no longer hard, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and remove from heat and uncover to cool down.

After seasoning to taste, I wasn’t very impressed with the taste. It appears that the ingredients really unfold their flavor once they’ve been in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350F. When the vegetables have cooled, add the two beaten eggs and 1-2 Tbsps of grated parmesan. Mix well, spoon into the eggplant shells, sprinkle the tops with parmesan and bake for 15 minutes.

After baking, let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

*Dropping the tomatoes into boiling water for about 12 seconds makes it very easy to remove the skin. To seed, cut them in half crosswise and remove the seeds.

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PSA: Birds Flying Into Panes

I feed the birds in the yard all year round, and so there are a lot of blackbirds, chickadees, and tons of sparrows in the yard at any given time.

Sometimes they get confused and fly into a window pane. They can obviously break their necks doing that, but mostly they are just stunned and after taking a short break, recover enough to continue on.

Because of where the bird feeding place is located, the birds are most likely to (and most often did) fly into my dining room window on the north side. I discovered a very simple way to stop them doing that. Just put a couple of PostIts on the outside of the pane, and they realize that there is a pane there and stop flying into it. It’s simple, and it works.

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If you’re having a particularly boring day, you can play “find Karen in the picture”. 😉

Since I’ve put those there, not a single bird has flown into the pane.

Small tip: if a bird does fly into your window pane and is very rattled or stunned, place a towel inside a cardboard box, but the bird in it, and cover it with a towel to darken the box. Place the box in a dark and quiet corner of a room and wait 30-60 minutes. It will give the bird a chance to calm down. Usually after this time, the bird will be ok to be released back into the wild.

This post has been inspired by Maribeth, who sent me some awesome pictures and a really cool story about a cooper’s hawk that crashed into her window this weekend, and was kind enough to spend time on the A/C unit, posing for pictures, before he flew off again. Maybe she’ll post those pictures.

It’s Mushroom Time

That means spending lots of time wandering around in the woods. I did 5 km worth of that yesterday, and netted enough for a decent meal for three persons.

Why do I bother? Because forest mushrooms have a taste way beyond anything of those which are available for purchase in a grocery store.

Even if I don’t find anything, I enjoy being in the woods. I love the smells, the way the sunlight finds its way through the trees, and the feeling of soft, mossy forest floor under my feet.

I went out this morning to do a quick check of another spot in the woods, and on the way home, I encountered these.

I’ve no idea what’s up with these cows. They’re funny.cows

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

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9th/10th grades were some of the best years of my life – because of you.

We even flunked gym together one semester. I have fond memories of those precious hours spent in the bleachers, talking about life, love and all that gets 14-year old’s hearts in a tither, while our classmates were actually participating in gym class.

I got the old yearbooks out and took a stroll down memory lane; I’d completely forgotten that you were in the choir. (I’m sharing these because I know that you no longer have your yearbooks.)

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Remember this Sadie Hawkins dance in the fall of 1978? Read the caption 😉

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They used to call us Rizzo and Frenchie. Not sure who was supposed to be who, but did we have a blast or what?

I’m not sure if I ever shared your 2-paged entry to my yearbook with you, I’ve scanned it into a PDF which you can read here:yearbook (If fyou’re not comfortable with it being online, let me know and I’ll take it down).

And though I haven’t actually SEEN you since 1979 (that’s almost fourty years – egaaads) – you’re simply the best.

Thank you for being you – for your friendship – I love you!

Now go and celebrate your birthday, you twit 😉

A post from 2004 about how we “lost” and “found” each other again can be found here.

Previous WIP

WIP = work in progress, that’s knitter speak just in case you aren’t one.

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Drops “Vintage Charmer” Pattern 169/10. I chose to make it in “old pink”

This is the first time I’ve done a sweater with raglan sleeves. I loved knitting this one because there was almost no sewing anything together at the end. The body is knitted in the round, as are the sleeves, which are then knitted to the body. The only seams that needed closing was a very small gap in each armpit.

I may be taking a closer look at knitting more “raglan”, as I really hate the sewing part of knitting sweaters.

Phone cameras do weird things to colors sometimes, so here is another picture I took outside which much more represents the true color of the garment.

I love this ribbed border design.
I love this ribbed border design.

The original pattern can be found here. I deviated from it only in not knitting the neck facing in garter stich but crocheting the edge instead. (It’s because I hate reading “pick up and knit 32,345 stitches……..).