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15 August: Saturday

La Quinta, California: Another nearly-normal day. Still plenty of tasks to finish. My pantry is complete! Labels went on the storage bins today. I completed the new television cable DVR box set-up (fun times) in the media room. It didn't take as long as I had planned. The longest part is waiting for the cable company to do a firmware upgrade when the box is first activated. Now the media room (the "other" family room) has every cable station available, plus Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and anything else we have signed-up for. (Sad thing? When I am in this room, I am not watching TV. I am listening to books on Audible while stitching.)

Lunch today was a chopped salad. Romaine. Radicchio. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Pepperoncini. Olives. Red onion. Feta. Garbanzo beans. Probably other stuff I can't recall, dressed in a vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

We were supposed to suffer from 119-degree temperatures today, but due to cloud cover, only reached 109°, and the humidity was a very unusual over-50%. We received flash-flood warning on our phones, which we expected, with all the thunderheads surrounding the Coachella Valley:

No rain yet. Interestingly enough, August and September are the rainiest months in this valley.

We stopped working earlier than usual today: 4:30! Dave was watching the US Amateur golf championship from Bandon Dunes in Oregon. We have played this course. It is HARD! Kudos to the (very) young men playing today... even though we noticed they were wearing polo shirts, and not the rain jackets we had to don when we played the famed course.

Appetizer tonight: brie & biscuits, walnuts, grapes

I recently received an email from Oceania Cruises. Of course, they want us to sign-up for a cruise in 2034 (or whenever humans will be able to cruise again). But, until then, they are teasing us with recipes from their non-resident chef, Jacques Pepin, and their archives.

I have always admired Jacques Pepin (age 84) and own many of his cookbooks, but during the pandemic, I have found a new fondness for this amazing man - only because he is cooking luncheon every day for his wife (of over 50 years) during lockdown, and vlogging the recipes on social media. His Instragram videos are inspiring!

The recipe from the cruise line email was for Baked Halibut with Sour Cream and Dill. The dish was introduced to an Oceania chef, from a local, while in Alaska. Simple ingredients. Easy preparation. I had cod fillets in the freezer (from Costco). Whatever. Any nice, thick, white fish will do for this preparation. (Since I was making a less-than-half recipe for my two cod fillets, I used 3 green onions, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream, and a heaping tablespoon of minced fresh dill.) 

I baked the fish for 13 minutes at 425°, then let it rest, uncovered, for another five minutes. It was perfectly cooked.

Served with roasted baby Yukon potatoes (with garlic cloves), and steamed green beans

Until my next update, I remain, your "still not on a cruise" correspondent.