My Travel Journal
(and isn't life a glorious journey?)

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West Virginia
I started this blog as a way to write about my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009. However, as my daughter pointed out, travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, my almost nightly trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my overseas trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

April 17, 2014

Way too long since last post...

especially when I had every intention of reporting on what was probably one of the nicest Christmases I've had since my kids grew up and I started spending Christmases with them instead of them with me.  I enjoy all our Christmases, but this one was really special.  Part of it may be that I think the older I get (and I'm sure getting older!), the more I'm relaxing and just enjoying whatever is happening - no worry about this or that detail.  Anyway, it was great.

But today, I'm posting partly to say isn't weather a strange thing?  At least this year.  We have had, overall, one of the coldest winters I can remember - I mean FRIGID!!  And even though we never seemed to accumulate much, it snowed off and on all winter.  But spring finally comes, the trees start budding, one day all the whatever kind of trees are suddenly blooming, it gets too warm a few times, and then on April 15, it snows!  And I have tried over and over to get pictures of the snow and they're never good and neither is this one, but I'm posting it anyway cause, I mean, April 15!!!

This first one is the snow picture and if you think hard you can see little white dots.  It really did snow heavily periodically but never did accumulate since the day before it was in the 70's and then rained all night!  The second one is just to prove that stuff really was blooming. :) 

So that was Monday.  Today, I went to The Wild Ramp, a "local food" market, to get some eggs.  Bought my standard half dozen that always has 5 brown eggs and a real pretty soft green egg.  Then I noticed that they had quail eggs!  They were so cute I could hardly stand it but I wasn't real sure what I would do with them.  I know they're kind of the rage now at upscale restaurants, but my home isn't an upscale restaurant.  However, I decided to get them and check in with Google.  Did that and there were all kinds of ideas, especially Asian-type goodies, one of which was serving a poached quail egg on Soba noodles.  That made me think "Eureka!! - I'll make some spaghetti carbonara!"  I love it and have made it occasionally but using just two ounces of spaghetti and a large egg, it ends up with the egg not cooking and coating as well as it should.  So I'm thinking maybe two, or even three of these little bitties would be just about right.  And... yesterday I had just bought some Oscar Mayer "carving board" smoked ham which is thicker cut than their sandwich ham, thinking I would use it in my egg strata.  Now I will also use it in the spaghetti carbonara.  I realize you're supposed to use pancetta or bacon, but I've used ham before and it's good too.  And when I make the strata, I plan to use one regular egg and one little quail egg because all the comments about them say that they have a higher ratio of yolk to white than a chicken egg and therefore taste a little richer which should make the strata even tastier.

Aren't they just cute?  That's a quarter in the picture (and it just dawned on me, I should have used a chicken egg for comparison).  I realize all of this is probably pretty uninteresting to a lot of people but if you love cooking and are single, maybe you'll find it exciting too.  I will report on how it all goes...

And, if you've made it this far, I just came across this in my drafts which means I never published it, so I will now.  Woo-hoo for Huntington!!

Follow this link and check out #7!

After you've checked that out, you're allowed to look at the other nine and see if any of them would make a nice weekend trip for you. :)


February 17, 2014

WHAT IS IT???


I've posted these pictures here because I found a site on line where you can ask "'what is this" about something you want to know more about.  This is a painting I bought quite a few years ago and have always loved but I would love it even more if I knew what it is portraying.  Those pointy structures with the tall poles coming out of them especially puzzle me.  I've wondered if this is some type of syrup making process . The people in the painting have I think slightly foreign features.  The blue is glare from the glass over the painting.  I would be thrilled to get any information about this painting.  Hopefully I'll get lucky with this site I've found or maybe a reader here will be able to tell me something about it.

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