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10 August: Monday

La Quinta, California: After his bike ride this morning, Dave walked three miles with me. He took me on a route I had yet to discover, and will probably never be able to recreate. This country club doesn't allow walking/jogging/biking on the golf course. A bit ridiculous at this time of year, when there are few golfers due to the heat (and due to the fact only 1/3 of the members live here year-round), but safety first!

I've only been hit by a golf ball once. It was in Canada, years ago. Jasper? Banff? A golfer behind us yelled fooorrre. I saw something coming, raised my arms to cover my head/face. The ball hit the cart path and ricocheted directly into my arm pit. Hurt like hell. Bruised quite badly later. Guy saw it happen and never apologized or made any motion of concern. Jerk.

Off topic.

Anyway, My Driver escorted me along an unpaved path (that is used by the grounds crew) to sneak across the course to make a circular route past miles of houses. 400 homes in this country club; seven floor plans. There are some spectacular view to the southern mountains.

We returned to our new home, and enjoyed a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub. Nice!

Lunch was another salad created with leftovers. Cannellini beans. Cod. Roasted potatoes. All served over arugula, with tomato, red onion, olives and another avocado rose. Fancy leftovers. Dressing for the salad was the remaining yoghurt sauce from the cod (Saturday), diluted with olive oil. Don't waste food.

My greatest achievement? Fixing the shower issue. The shower head in the master bath was a disaster. The head is placed very high (as I have previously stated, past owners may have been actual giants), and they had obviously removed the pressure regulator from the shower head because it was nearly painful to shower. This is a major no-no in California. No soap was needed - it was like being pressure-washed. Due to the great pressure and the height of the shower head, water splattered everywhere, drenching the surrounding floor (open shower stall!). The shower mat was completely soaked. I ordered a replacement shower head from amazon.com and installed it in one minute. Now we have a peaceful rain shower (still plenty of pressure) and a dry bathroom floor. Yeah, me.

So I had an entire week of menu's planned, until I saw Jamie Oliver's Instagram video Sunday. He actually takes an entire chicken and places it on the oven rack, letting the juices drip down to a pan below - loaded with tomatoes, garlic and basil. Too much fun to pass-up, so I switched-up the menu and tried Jamie Oliver's Margarita Chicken.

I actually followed Mr. Oliver's recipe, except his chicken looked a little scant, and I had a 5-pounder, so the temp was adjusted to 400° in my oven for the first 30 minutes... and I used a large sheet pan under the chicken to catch all the juices. Safety first.

I've done stoopider stuff, but am happy to have a self-cleaning oven, just the same.

While the chicken was roasting, we finished-off the last of the smoked tuna spread while watching the evening news. There have been well-over 25 earthquakes today only 40-50 miles south of us along the shore of the Salton Sea, so we were anxious to learn the latest news. Even though a few have been over 4.0, we have not felt even one tremor.

I did skimp a bit on his gnocchi recipe as well. How could we ever eat all that gnocchi? I boiled two (medium) peeled Yukon gold potatoes, added a little flour, and kneaded to create the gnocchi. A cube of smoked mozzarella was stuffed inside each piece and the "gnocchi" were baked for about 45 minutes with the chicken.

I'm not going to lie: this was good. It was easy. It did not photograph well. Operator error, no doubt. I wish it were easier to find a three pound chicken. Back in the day, that was all we could find - now chickens are massive - and I only buy the organic/free-range sort.

The oven is self-cleaning as I type. No instructions to the oven came with the house purchase. Nor the dishwasher. Fridge (but one spare fridge water filter was included... no instructions on how to install the filter though). Air conditioner. Pool/spa system. Exterior lighting. Interior lighting. Irrigation system. BBQ grill. Fireplace lighting. Water heater. Heat pumps. Water softener. (The people who bought our Portland house in February received every manual/warranty/receipt for every appliance and system.)

Until my next update, I remain, your "winging it" correspondent.

4 thoughts

  1. Nearly all manuals are available on line. I learned this from our daughter who immediately recycled all manuals upon opening a new item! Her words to me “ why would I want to keep all that papEr Mom?”

  2. Just curious, wouldn’t a chicken on a roasting rack above the tomatoes 🍅 get the same result?
    Anyway looks good and now I’ll start watching Jamie Oliver on Instagram

  3. We got manuals plus receipts for furniture that we got stuck dealing with (a desert thing). Who knew it cost that much to have outdoor furniture powder-coated pale pink to match the Saltillo tile?! Cool enough to keep though. Post-Pandemic Pink Patio Prosecco Party anyone?!

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