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News Around the Island

Monday | 1 March 2021 | La Quinta, California: Time for a little catch-up, and I have made a decision to post more often. About what, I am not sure. We don't do a heck of a lot. When the lock-down began, there were near-daily posts about what's for dinner, so maybe I will write more often about meal planning and prep? The CSA boxes have been absolutely loaded with amazing produce. This week, I will be cooking this:

The living basil (three varities in one pot) were planted in the herb garden. They didn't look very happy, but have improved over the past several days. The beets have been pressure-cooked, peeled, sliced, and frozen for future salads. Kale will be in a pot of soup Thursday, bok choy is a stir fry tonight, poblano chiles will be chile rellanos tomorrow. (I've NEVER made chile rellanos before, so this will be fun. Or not.) White Rose potatoes were tossed in duck fat, rosemary, and garlic. The pot of microgreens are very happy in the kitchen window and are now nearly 2 inches tall. I see a salad in our future, maybe with the beets and goat cheese? The yellow citrus are Sweet Limes - a cross between Mexican limes and sweet lemons. I've used two - one to marinate cod and the other to marinate chicken thighs. The orange citrus are tangelos, the blueberries were huge, but not as massive as the strawberries. Lucious, local, organic, sweet, and red throughout. No plans yet for the butternut squash (upper photo). Don't forget the cauliflower. It was ripped into small florets, tossed in olive oil and garlic, then roasted. I added penne, a little bit of shredded mozzarela, fresh sage, and a splash of cream. Topped with house-made bread crumbs:

In Italian, this dish is called Cavolfiore al Forno, which certainly sounds better than Cauliflower mac & cheese. It was decent, but even though I only cooked one cup of penne, it made enough for dinner last night - and lunch today. This dish was prepped Sunday afternoon, because I knew we wouldn't be home from golfing until nearly dark (5:30-ish), and I would be too tired to cook.

One more thing was offered in the CSA box this week: dessert. Customers could add-on a selection of sweets baked by Exquisite Desserts in Palm Desert. I decided on two individual mini lemon-coconut cakes. They sounded different, and something I would probably not bake myself. However, when the CSA box was delivered to our door, we found instead a loaf of vegan chocolate-chip banana bread. Bummer. I put in the freezer, as the kids are coming for a visit soon. (Leo will eat anything chocolate.) Imagine our surprise, when the next morning, a delivery was made to our door with two miniature lemon coconut cakes! Through the door (COVID!) the delivery man explained how sorry he was that we had been given the wrong dessert the day before. How he knew is a mystery, as I did not complain to anyone but DT. Maybe someone complained they had received lemon-coconut cakes instead of vegan banana bread? We didn't care, as the cakes were simply dreamy and I hope they are offered again. And again.

3rd hole - #1 handicap hole at Mountain View Country Club

We have been golfing several days a week. The weather has been perfect (high 70s to low 80s) and the course is in perfect condition. Due to the pandemic, we are not paired with another couple, so we can golf mask-free. To avoid contamination, the rakes have been removed from every sand trap... not that I ever get in a sand trap... so duffers don't have to rake their footprints from the traps! Groundskeepers rake the traps with their tractors several times a day. Pins are no longer removed for putting (this rule was changed by the PGA a few years ago anyway), and there is now a little shallow cup to catch your perfect putts. Will try to remember to snap a photo next time I am putting... and I am putting a lot.

Usually three times.

With all the lakes on our golf course, the bird life is amazing this time of year. Though we have seen hawks eating a few coots, the other birds seem to be thriving. There is such a variety, I put a bird identifican book in the golf cart. We saw Cinnamon Teals this week. Beautiful. So many ducks, but not one duckling spotted as yet. Many herons (grey, white, green) and several white pelicans. I've also spotted a few woodpeckers.

Dave had an appointment to have a new chain put on his bicycle. It was a pandemic-safe drop-off-outside-the-shop-occasion. He will retreive his repaired bike via the same method in a few days. Since I hadn't left the 'hood since 5 February (to get the Moderna jab), I went along for the ride. Seriously, sadly lacking for excitment around here. I even took a handbag, and never left the car. It was thrilling!

Can you handle one more bit of exciting news?

Lucile lost her first tooth. She facetimed with us and showed us the tooth, now in a little plastic container. The tooth fairy bought it from her for $2.

Until my next update, I remain, your chatty correspondent.

4 thoughts

  1. Your CSA boxes look so wonderful. Fun way to try new things! Will look forward to more frequent postings. Have missed seeing them. Seeing what someone else is cooking is fun!

  2. So glad you’ll be back more often 🙂 I look forward to your stories even about “What’s for Dinner” :)!!

  3. I’m eager to see how you prepare Chili Rellanos. It’s one of my favorites when at a Mexican restaurant but have never attempted it myself.

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