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It’s a New Year

Wednesday | 6 January 2021 | La Quinta, California: When I last wrote, we were getting ready to celebrate the ending of 2020 (goodbye!). So happy to see it go, but knew we weren't going to wake up on January 1st and magically be able to visit a friend, or even a restaurant. I haven't seen my Father in a year. Nothing is going to change for a quite a while, but hope abounds! Until the world returns to the new normal, we will continue to stay home, pick-up our grocery order, and visit family and friends - via Zoom. We are blessed to be able to walk, jog, bike, and golf in safety.

For the 20-plus-at-least New Year's Eve in a row, we had Fettuccini Alfredo, closing out the final day of 2020 with the most fat-and-carb-laden dish I can imagine.

Smoked Salmon Canapes with cocktails
Fettuccini Alfredo
Champagne, of course... and a salad, with dinner

And managed to stay awake until 9:30.

We golfed on January 1st. Great way to start the year - again loving being in the sunshine with views of snowy mountains.

We are treated to gorgeous pink skies nearly every evening.

January 2nd was not as much fun as the 1st: The Ducks lost to Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl. 34-17. At least our game-time snacks were good:

Caramelized Shallot Dip with home-made potato chips

This smoked tuna "ceviche"-style appetizer has been in my repertoire for several years, but I have never shared the recipe because it calls for a teeny (3 oz) can of smoked tuna from one particular place in Oregon (that we order via mail). It's basically the same ingredients one would use for guacamole - onion, garlic, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, cumin, lime juice - and tossed with a can of smoked tuna instead of an avocado. It is a loose mess though, so we finally figured it was best to use a Tostitos Scoop chip in place of a regular tortilla chip... but man, oh, man, are the Tostito chips salty!

Since there are still 24 hours in a day, and I seem to spend so much of those hours in the kitchen, I decided to take a stab at sourdough again. Years ago, I always had a starter bubbling-away on the counter, but no longer... so I had to make one. This took nine days, but it would have only taken seven if I had thought to put the whole mess in the oven with the light turned on - sourdough likes a little warmth.

Following the instructions - exactly - I used the recipe on David Leite's (I met him at a writer's conference 100 years ago) Culinaria.

It actually turned out very well. Maybe a little dark, but who wants a soggy crust on a sourdough boule? Dave and I listened to the crust crack for several minutes after the loaf was removed from the oven.

Rosemary Cashews from the Barefoot Contessa - I just made a few.

Thin slices were used for brie on our cocktail appetizer plates last night. (It was a French theme: Sole Meunière, green beans, composed salad.) Such a bummer that I rarely eat bread, but My Driver loves bread - especially sourdough.

Until my next update, when still nothing will have happened, I remain, your optimistic correspondent.

One thought

  1. I prepared you recipe for Fettuccini Alfredo last night. I’ve thrown out all the others I’ve saved. My bride likes yours the best.

    The best to you and DT in the new year…

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