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Our Week: 26 December 2019

Indio, California: I am recovering from my cold, but the cough still lingers. So annoying! (Mostly, it is annoying My Sweet Driver.)

We started the first night of Hanukkah with latkes. We lit our tacky electric menorah so every passer-by could see… but the weather is absolutely awful and no one is cruising around in a golf cart this week.

Since latkes were also our dinner (with a celery and date salad), I topped the fried potato pancakes with sour cream, capers and dill. I forgot the chopped red onion.

On Monday, I made a stream-lined version of the Barefoot Contessa’s Spinach Pie. I made a half-sized recipe and used one sheet of puff pastry, rolling-up the filling.

This wasn’t much different than the mushroom Wellington I made over Thanksgiving week… and the filling isn’t much different than Ina’s Spinach Gratin (a big favorite in our house/RV).

Even though this was only a half-recipe, with a salad, we could only finish half of the puffed delight. (It made a great breakfast the next day!)

Hanukkah is also rugelach time! I baked cinnamon-sugar pastries and also a chocolate version (for Leo).

Leo is definitely my grandson – he loves chocolate. The darker, the better.

On the 25th, we celebrated the 73rd birthday of My Favorite Singer, Jimmy Buffett. As we do every year, we had Margaritas (Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville), and Cheeseburgers (because we are in paradise… no matter it is 48 degrees and raining).

No “French-fried potatoes” for us this year. Parmesan tots. Why not? We had to split the burger. We are so old.

A few weeks ago we stopped by the Palm Desert Whole Foods (aka the ONLY Whole Foods is the Coachella Valley) and found a SMOKED rotisserie chicken. I don’t know if the Whole Foods in your ‘hood has a smoker, but if it does, I encourage you to pick up a smoked chicken. Very delicious. I shredded the meat, then made stock from the bones (and all the veggie scraps I store in a container in the freezer). Tonight I used half the chicken, the stock, a few carrots and white beans in a very delicious soup.

This should help my cough.

We have been spending the winter in this desert for years and years now. Every year we get a nice dusting of snow on the surrounding mountains. This week, with two big storms coming through (we’ve had nearly one inch of rain over the past 24 hours), the snow has closed I-5 north of Los Angeles and covered all of the mountains surrounding the Coachella Valley with feet of snow!

In all the years we have seen snow at Joshua Tree National Park, this must win as the most/lowest snow we have seen.

Thank you, Mother Nature… but could you please, turn-up the heat… just a bit, please?

Wishing you all the best.

Until my next update from Los Angeles, I remain, your cold (but well-fed) correspondent.

We are now in full-on Rose Bowl mode now. Baking and prepping for a party Lisa and Lenny are hosting for our friends/college roommates the night before the football game.