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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, 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 major 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.

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April 27, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That

I've been putting in a fair amount of time with my Italy photo album.  I had started on it not too long after I got back and had prints made of LOTS of pictures, but began to realize I was forgetting what a few of the pictures were and so put it aside promising myself to do it right.  So this week I started and have had the pleasure of going back through my Italian posts as I'm going through my album to make a list of what each picture is.  It's been a nice revisit to a truly wonderful experience.  But, I'm telling myself I must never take so many pictures again!  I had ordered a "book" of all my Arno River photos, I had a separate little scrapbook for my Montefioralle visit, and still was having nowhere near enough room in the 300 photo(!) album I had purchased.  Of course, in my own defense, one reason there isn't enough room is because it's a "bi-directional" album which means you can either put three horizontal photos on each page or two verticals (or one horizontal and one vertical), so really you're not getting 300 available slots.  But it is nice not having to turn the album each time you come to a vertical photo.

So, yesterday, after getting yet another small album and putting all my duomo pictures in that one, I moved all the remaining photos in the big book, added as many new ones as I could and still don't have enough room.  And it's almost painful taking out pictures - I love every one of them.  But I will get it done.  I'm thinking I may just have multiple pictures in one pocket ...

I wanted to report on yet another cookbook I bought recently at the library's book sale.  It's "The Pleasures of Cooking for One" by Judith Jones and I find it inspiring.  So far, I've cooked two recipes from it one of which I cooked last night.  It was her "Strata: A Savory Custard".  I've seen strata recipes lots of times but had never got around to trying one.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly (didn't have asparagus), but I stuck to it relatively closely, the outcome was quite tasty, and I think I'll make it again with a few more changes.  So, I'm going to put that one in my recipe collection (here) noting what I did differently last night and what I'll try in the future.  Here's a picture of it fresh from the oven (not very colorful, but it's eggs after all...)

I had to go to the store to get some ham for this recipe and found such a neat thing.  It's a "quarter ham" off the bone and it's already been sliced.  I went ahead and bought it cause I can use it for all kinds of things.  Although as I say in my recipe notes for this dish, next time I'll snitzle up the slices before I put them in the strata.

And one other thing I think I've never posted is pictures of my birthday present from Chris which he had for me when Jamie and I went up to New York.






Chris purchased this at an arts festival and the woman who makes these does them in cast resin.  It looks framed but isn't - so she paints the whole thing and then has to very carefullly paint the "frame" around the picture.  It is about 1-1/8" square.  And I think I'm going to put a different fabric backing in that old frame (I have two of those - they were my mother's) and use foam core behind the fabric so I can put in two tiny brads and hang the pin on it so I can display it which I will really enjoy.




And that reminded me that I could share one of my Italy souvenirs too.  The same type thing although not such careful painting.  I bought this from that huge vendor space in front of I think the Santa Croce cathedral - can't remember for sure.  But I saw the woman painting them and so I know it's really from Italy, not China. :)



And, I think that's all the news from Huntington.  I've got to go chop up some cabbage and slow cook it.  It's still chilly tonight so I'm going to have a big baked potato with cabbage and its broth on top.  That's an idea I came up with when I was doing Weight Watchers and I still love it!


4 comments:

vrmichie said...

I got one of those hams a couple of months ago and just loved it -- both the flavor and the fact that it was sliced and in its final stages I used it chopped up with eggs and asparagus. BUT.... I can't find another one. Quarter hams, yes. Sliced, no. Darn.

Love the little pictures -- a perfect treasure from Chris and your souvenir is charming. And maybe I should do the cabbage tonight also. It's cold and windy and cloudy here today. Brrr.
xoxo Chinch

Mary Lynne said...

And there was heavy frost on the roofs of the building outside my windows! Right now, it's 11:30 and has only made it to 52 or so. But it's a beautiful day...

Christopher said...

Greetings from Vegas! Quite chilly here too (has been in the low 60's since I arrived, with insane winds---up to 50mph. Tomorrow it is supposed to hit 68, then Saturday low 70's for when the gang arrives for Heather's party.)

Nice to check in and see a new post, and more tasty-sounding food... and the little brooch/pin/painting I got for you will look good in the frame--though I'm not crazy about the fabric either (not only the cross-stitch type of fabric, but I don't think white works... I'd go with black, actually, or some other rather dark, complementary color...

Mary Lynne said...

Hmmm...I never thought of black or a dark color. Not sure how that would do with the dark frames and the fairly dark picture. I'll have to hold some colored papers or something behind it...

Don't get blown away in Vegas (tee hee!)

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