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Hanukkah Begins & Jimmy Buffett is 70

Indio, California:  When I last wrote, we were recovering from a terrible (though much needed) rain storm and several days of cabin fever. Happily the weather has improved - sunny during the day, with temperatures in the high 60's, and cold at night. No wind.

One good thing about a big December rain storm in the Coachella Valley is the snow it leaves on the surrounding mountain tops. Not only does this improve our view (I just love the snow and palm tree combo), the snow provides even more much-needed water as it melts.

Looking west - don't forget, this is a RV park!

Hanukkah began on Christmas Eve this year. I roasted a chicken (with Jacobsen Garlic Sea Salt), fried-up a few latkes and we enjoyed a lovely evening - lighting our menorah and then watching the kids light their menorah from Hawaii via Facetime on my iPhone.

Before and After


I also was able to get two quarts of chicken stock from this bird

The kids are having a marvelous time in Hawaii and are enjoying perfect weather. Leo and Lucy are spending a lot of time in the pool and are eating a lot of sushi.

Lisa sent me this photo (right) of Lucy from Hawaii. I didn't fully understand why she sent the photo until Lisa explained: every time Lucy sees this sign (which seem to be all over their resort), she points and exclaims, "Oh oh, poo poo!" After taking a closer look, it is easy understand Lucy's observation. Why there is a white blob under the rear end of the person slipping? The mind of a two year old! I will never be able to see a CAUTION WET FLOOR sign again without chuckling.

Mele Kalikimaka from Kauai

It was beautiful and sunny at the Motorcoach Country Club on Christmas - and very quiet.

The view from our motorhome

We only had one visitor - a Green Heron.

He hung-around all afternoon, catching his own food from the lake. Sushi must be "the thing" this holiday.

December 25th is Jimmy Buffett's birthday and this year My Favorite Singer turned 70. A milestone. Since Sunday is pizza night at our house, I really went all-out and made a Cheeseburger Pizza. (We were already in Paradise.)

I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes,
a big Kosher pickle and a cold draft beer...

I tried to incorporate all the ingredients from the song into the pizza, but the "lettuce and tomato" part had to be used in the accompanying salad. Heinz 57 is so high-fructose-laden, I couldn't convince myself to purchase an entire bottle to only splash a little over the pizza - so no. The French fry part will have to be covered by Saturday night's latkes. I used beer instead of water in the crust and placed dill pickle slices over the pizza after it came out of the oven. Done and done.

This pizza was not the best thing to ever come out of my kitchen - but we ate most of the pie. It was the thought that went into the pizza to celebrate Jimmy's 70th. Happy Birthday, Mr. Buffett!

After all that meat, we are going veggie all week. I tried a new recipe from The New York Times, Gjelina's Roasted Yams. (We had lunch at Gjelina in 2011.)

The comment section below the recipe on the New York Times website contained so much controversy about whether yams or sweet potatoes should be used, and the expense of the Espelette pepper... goodness. I bought sweet potatoes and used Aleppo (ground Turkish chili pepper) because I had ground Aleppo in the motorhome. The recipe was so easy, nutritious and super delicious - toss potato wedges in honey, ground chilies and olive oil, roast them in a hot oven, and drizzle the wedges with a sauce made with lime juice and Greek yoghurt. Garnish with additional dried chilies and slivered green onion.

I served it over a bed of arugula as a one-course salad/entree. We both loved this dish. The sauce has dairy (Greek yoghurt), but could be made vegan by simply using a soy yoghurt.

Print recipe here. Try this... but look through the comments first.

Until my next update, I remain, your over-indulged correspondent.

RV PARK:  The Motorcoach Country Club