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12 August: Wednesday

La Quinta, California: When you wake-up just after 5a, there is a lot of stuff to write about. We are going to bed so early! This needs to stop... except for last night, when Dave needed to get out of bed around 5:30 today to make his 7a tee-time in Palm Desert with his Motorcoach Country Club cohorts. (Our internet has decided to go in/out on/off, so this is something else we are dealing with in our spare time. Ugh. I hate technology sometimes.)

DT did make his tee time, but I could not fall back to sleep, so just decided to start my day at 6 o'clock. Ugh. (Wait, sorry, did I say ugh already?) After drinking my coffee, checking my emails on the interweb, I refocused on what was on the meal-plan for this evening. Aglio-Olio - Dave's favorite: spaghetti pasta, served with lots of garlic, red chili flakes, garlic and Parmesan. Super easy recipe. Takes only the time to boil pasta.

Except it didn't happen. I was in the fridge getting the chicken stock, prepared yesterday, ready for the freezer, when I decided to use the few tablespoons of fat floating on the top of the chilled stock in a roux to create a "gravy" for a different pasta dish tonight. 

Game plan change.

Instead of butter, I heated the fat from the top of the chilled stock, and swirled it with with a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour to make a silky roux. Then, instead of milk or cream, I used a ladle-full of the soup stock to make a rich gravy. Fun.

Penne (one cup!) was boiled and cooled. Left-over chicken was chopped. Garlic, celery, shallot, and red pepper were sauteed in olive oil. Everything was combined in a large bowl, dressed with a bit of basil, a handful of frozen peas, and a handful of shredded mozzarella (sitting for quite a long time in the bottom of a bag of already-shredded cheese) was stirred-in. Transferred to a small baking dish, the "casserole" was topped with my special mix of bread crumbs, olive oil, garlic, and parsley, that always hangs-out in a jar in the freezer. I think I just created tuna casserole without the tuna?

Dinner was ready before 9a.

Lilies in the pond!

I headed out on my walk/jog and noticed pink lilies blooming in a pond/lake on the golf course. So pretty. I could not get closer, due to my advanced age the steep slope, but, trust me: beautiful. If you feel I am dragging a bit tonight, it is because my fitbit reports I have walked 6 miles... and have climbed 78 flights of stairs! Loving this fitbit stair error, but I can honestly say, I have probably climbed 4 steps (not flights) today. That would only be the half-step from the garage to the kitchen door? Same issue the past few days. Guess I need to re-set my pedometer. Dang.

Finger injury report: no infection and no pain. The wound did not re-open when I changed the bandage this morning. The biggest pain is trying to keep the bandage dry (I'm in the kitchen half the dang day). After going through so many (now-precious) disposable gloves, I have started cutting fingers from the gloves and slipping them over my bandaged ring finger. Think finger condom. It works!

My hoarding is complete, and our pantry is now ready - except for printing labels for the bins. These are the same bins we have used in our (similarly-sized) Portland pantry for years. Due to a smaller pantry in the bus, we can't keep very much food on hand. In these pandemic times, I would like to keep more staples - beans, rice, pasta, tinned things, coffee, gin - and now we have storage room in the large pantry in our new house. Though not quite going full Mormon, I have enough food for four people for a month or more, assuming no one wants to eat fresh vegetables or fruit (though we can grow our own, or walk to ten nearby farms, if needed). We have TP, paper towels, laundry soap, hand soap, dish soap, light bulbs, batteries, all sorts of emergency supplies - including solar battery/phone chargers, a camp stove, flash lights, etc.). If all else fails, we have a 45-foot motorhome with 100+ gallons of fresh water, solar panels and a generator with a 110 gallon diesel tank. And wheels. Pandemic or no pandemic - we still live on the San Andrea fault.

Speaking of the San Andrea Fault, we used Museum Gel to attach our things to cabinets and shelves today. The vase and candles in the above photo? Going no where fast.

A few things things (top shelf) need to be re-positioned. Someday soon.

The ceramic guard is holding a saber!

The ceramic "guard" on the altar cabinet is from an old temple in Taiwan. These ceramic/carved temple protectors/decorations have a fascinating history in Taiwan. I wish we had left Taiwan with a few more of these interesting pieces. We pretend the painting above the altar cabinet is of a man with his wife and daughter... but we know it is a painting of a man with his two wives. Maybe difficult to see in the photo, but there is an obvious 20/30 year age difference between the the two women.

I'm the one on the left.

We woke to a haze of pink skies from the Apple Fire, and settled-in for the evening with huge thunderheads over Joshua Tree National Park. Cluster earthquakes over the Salton Sea. Is anyone questioning my food hoarding?

Dave swam again this evening before dinner. He thinks our pool is about three feet shorter than the Yacht Club pool near our campsite at MCC.

Appetizer plates tonight, served on the Limoges elephant plates, included goat cheese (with herbs) on water biscuits, black and green olives, carrot sticks, marcona almonds, radishes, and bread-and-butter pickles. Why not? I'd climbed 78 flights of stairs.

Left-over gazpacho as a soup-and-salad course
Repurposed Leftovers
Leftovers : Dinner

It was pretty dang good... and we have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Until my next update, I remain, your nearly-settled correspondent.

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