Tuesday, April 21, 2020


OK. I'm bored with the evening meals...it will get repetitious.

Besides I spent all day digging, planting, re-potting the geraniums that were in the garage all winter, pulling weeds, raking up pine needles, bending, crouching, on my knees, lifting big pots, carrying plants, trimming, pruning, removing rocks....I am bushed, wiped out, tired.

And that was just the beginning of the spring time gardening chores... 

But a good tired. I really enjoy gardening and being outdoors. It's my Zen.

However, I need a change of scenery so I'll take the dog to the big dog park (Frank Ortiz Dog Park) tomorrow - we can hike an hour on the trails through the park in Santa Fe and Benni will be excited even BEFORE we get there.

Maybe I'll also try to get one more tomato plant (looking for a San Marzano) and a gallon of milk...and...

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic - 15

Bacon Cheeseburgers
Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion 
Fried Potatoes

I feel guilty. I don't really miss socializing that much. I am something of a recluse, no maybe that's too strong a word; I busy myself with projects and pass the time in mostly solitary pursuits and enjoy doing so. People tend to be interruptions. Phone calls are interruptions. I just really want to get back to what I was doing.

Some neighbors invited us to dinner. That was probably not a good idea as we are all supposed to be practicing social distancing.

We, Leon and I, explained that as we had both been out in public this past week, we could not guarantee that we had not been infected. (We didn't ask where they might have been.) So it was on us. We declined the invitation - to protect them. They understood.

So I don't have to feel TOO guilty about not socializing. I hope they will be more diligent about observing the proper ritual from now on.

Besides, as Sunday is our Saturday (no it's not some religious thing - Leon works Saturdays, so Saturday is our Friday, if our re-defined weekend makes any sense), I had planned to make bacon cheeseburgers and fries this evening.

I have been bad. What is with me? Buying beef? Yes, is was on sale at Sprouts, but I usually pass right by the beef. Maybe it is pandemic cravings. Burger.

As I had no rolls, I made some this morning.

Then we went for a walk and by noon we were doing a project...skirting the deck.

That's been on my to-do list for two years. And because it was a four-handed project, Leon helped - a lot. It is not completed but the major work is done.
That is a branch of a Juniper tree  
that we left growing when we built the new deck.

I am so lucky to have such a hubby. He is always ready and willing to help with my big projects, like replacing the fence in the back yard a couple of weeks ago.

So we worked through lunch until 5pm.

Then Leon cut up several potatoes - I had to get out the huge frying pan - for french fries. He put some bacon on the grill. I made the patties, sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce and cheese. Leon did the grilling.

Benni was standing by for his little burger and any bites that might fly through the air for him to catch.

Bacon Cheeseburgers, LTO with Fries

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic 14

Back when Venice, Italy canceled Carnival, or actually just before the festivities began I became concerned that we might get sick and started making chicken soup to freeze.

How naive to think that chicken soup would get us through if we actually came down with the virus.

But I didn't stop there. I made ratatouille, ham hock and bean soup, tomato sauce with meatballs and sausage, stuffed peppers, and we got staples at Costco: Italian sausage, pork loins, ground turkey and a couple of whole chickens and packages of chicken parts. Coffee, chicken stock, sliced ham for sandwiches, and a large bag of tortilla chips.

(No, I did not buy toilet paper.)

Tonight I thawed out the stuffed peppers and made some steamed broccoli on the side. A little red wine and a loaf of decent, but not great, bread to sop up the juices.

Watching the news each evening we are thankful that we have food to eat and are not living paycheck to paycheck or in a free food line.

Years of frugality has not only given us a cushion but has taught us what we can do without.

Fortunately Leon is still working, though his regular duty station, Kasha Katuwe/Tent Rocks has been closed since March 13. He is on patrol at other BLM properties, a lonely, boring job in desert wilderness, but it's a job.

There are about 1800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico - one of the states with the lowest prevalence of infections so far.

I had to do some errands in town today. Most people are wearing masks, but not all. I was surprised how busy the shopping centers were. I bought some fresh veggies and some garden plants.

Well, time for dessert: a cup of decaf and a half of an apple turnover, from Sprouts.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic 11-12-13

11 - Leftover Pasta from Easter Dinner

12- Lightly Fried Pacific Cod (Costco frozen cod) (No Photos)

      Leftover Cauliflower (No Photos)

      Bread Pudding

 Tonight - April 17

Beef Stew with Beef Chuck, olive oil, garlic, red wine, onions, celery, rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, peas, bay leaf, s&p.

Bread Pudding with Hazelnut liqueur sauce.

So there is some town gossip I could share but I've had rotator cuff pain flare up for over a month and it has been keeping me awake for hours each night. Last night was difficult so today I'm just wiped out and cranky.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic 9 & 10

9 Last evening just leftover pasta from Easter dinner.

10 Tonight:
Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs (Chicken Fried Chicken)
Sweet Potatoes
Red Potatoes
Chicken Gravy

Most of the time I enjoy cooking. Tonight everything just seemed like  a chore and I wasn't enjoying it at all. Almost - I say almost - burnt everything, but luckily I caught it all before disaster ensued.

I really miss going out to dinner once every week or two.

We had to go to town today for a vet appointment - routine rabies shots, heartworm test, rattlesnake vaccine, nail clipping, etc. The vet tech met us in the parking lot, took Benni inside and then delivered him back when all was done. Poor old pup. His daddies had to wait out in the car.

We had our face masks and wore them whenever out of the car. Like when I filled up the tank. Gas hasn't been this cheap since...years ago. But unfortunately there's no where to go.

Then we went through Arby's Drive through for 2 fish sandwiches and ate them in Lowes parking lot. Not exactly "dinner out" but it will do in a pandemic.

Leon had to purchase some supplies for maintenance at the Monument and I bought some tomato plants.

Exciting day. Then I really didn't feel like making dinner.

The vet asked what we feed Benni. Well, besides 3 different dog foods mixed together, he gets a serving of people food every evening after we're done eating.
Benni's Portion

Monday, April 13, 2020

What We Woke Up To This Morning

Unexpected, but not devastating like the tornadoes ripping through the south. This is New Mexico "spring".  It was in the 70s just the other day!

Those irises I posted a few days ago

I thought we were done with this stuff
I think the geranium will survive

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Explosive Easter Tradition - Florence Italy!

I'm not sure what to make of this...never heard of this Easter tradition, but it seems a bit bizarre. The history of Catholicism has many twists and turns.

Dinner for a Pandemic 8

Salad: lettuce, tomato, red onion, olives, Bosch pear chunks, strawberries, blood orange pieces. Balsamic vinaigrette.
Baked Penne Pasta with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Meat Ragu
Meatballs, Italian Hot Sausage, Roast Pork pieces
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Wine, Selzer

I do like to cook. Unfortunately we are not able to have guests, and I admit, that is part of the fun - feeding people good basic food.

I was either going to buy some lasagna noodles (forgot to put it on my list) or make homemade lasagna noodles with the pasta machine. I did neither. Looked in the cupboard and chose the penne pasta for this lasagna imposter - maybe the original Mac and Cheese.

I love pasta. I mean, I really love pasta.

And this was a holiday meal. Mom would usually make lasagna or manicotti for Easter. So this was also in memory of my mom.

We are also very fortunate to have food and drink and companionship and a house and a well behaved dog and a garden almost ready for planting.

We may not say a formal "grace" (latin: gratus, thankful) we do in our own simple way.

We decided to save our Easter Ham for sandwiches.
(Lost Photo of a Package of sliced deli ham)

And here are some lilacs for a visual desert.

Buona Pasqua

Good morning. Wish you could share a piece of this Easter Bread for breakfast. I am no longer very religious, but making special holiday foods reminds me of those who are no longer with us and is a connection to family and history.

Buona Pasqua alla famiglia e a tutti i nostri amici.

 The desert is blooming.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic 7

Stir Fried Veggies (Onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, bok choy)
Chicken (leftover store roasted chicken)
Leftover brown rice
Soy Sauce

Simple, healthy, lots of veggies.
Other than that, I made a bread for breakfast and a pot of sauce (ragu) for tomorrow's dinner. And wait till you see our Easter Ham.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dinner for a Pandemic 6

Grilled Ahi Tuna
Steamed Broccoli
Brown Rice with Onion, Garlic and Fennel 

Sautéed the onion, garlic and sliced fennel in olive oil added the rice and simmered with 1 cup chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups water. Brown rice never seems to cook here (altitude? mineral water?) but tonight it actually cooked. Put the broccoli on top of the rice in the last 5-10 minutes to let it steam. But the fennel didn't have much flavor...that was a wasted splurge.

Leon grilled the tuna that I got on sale at Sprouts yesterday.

Opened our last bottle of ALDI wine that we stocked up on last September when we were in California. A mild, sweet California moscato. Not bad for $2.49.

Spring is early - or at least some of the flowers seem early this year. The lilacs are in bloom as are some of the iris, which are my favorites.


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