Friday, February 17, 2017

Chicken Tikka Masala: 2'17

This week we're on a quest for authentic Indian Food.

Tonight's dinner: homemade Chicken Tikka Masala and Brinjal pulao (eggplant and rice)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SpicyGoat Curry: 2'17

On the menu tonight, Spicy Goat Curry served over steamed rice.

Goat Curry
Author: Ashley Thomas


                  2 pounds goat meat
                  2 red onions, chopped
                  1.5 inch knob fresh ginger, minced
                  3 cloves garlic, minced
                  1 bay leaf
                  1 tablespoon ghee
                  4 cloves (whole)
                  2 cardamom pods
                  1 tablespoon coriander powder
                  1 teaspoon cumin powder
                  2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
                  1 teaspoon turmeric powder
                  1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder (less if using cayenne)
                  1 teaspoon paprika
                  1-2 Serrano pepper, minced
                Add later
                 1 (28 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
                 1 teaspoon garam masala, add more to taste
                  ½ - 1 cup water, depending on how thick you'd like the curry


1. In a coffee grinder, finely grind cloves and cardamom.

2. In crock pot, add all ingredients listed except tomatoes, water and garam masala (you will add this at the end).

3. Set to high and cook for 4 hours - stirring the curry every hour or so.

4. After four hours, add tomatoes, garam masala and water. Cook on high for another hour or until the meat is tender.

I used goat stew meat because that's all I could find locally, butthe author, Ashley Thomas , says that  other cuts with bone  ( like leg of goat) will also taste great. 


Loaded Curly Fries for Breakfast: 2 '17

Bruce was Ooooh-ing and Aaah-ing a fast food commercial for loaded curly fries last night.  So guess what he got served for breakfast? 
Be careful what you wish for in this kitchen.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Hanukkah: 12 '16.

With  Christmas Day officially behind us,
 we've switched the decor to a full-on celebration of Hanukkah!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chrismukkah: 12 '16

This year, Christmas eve was also the first evening of Hanukkah,
 and Christmas Day is the first day of Hanukkah.
So from our home to yours,
Have a wonderful Chrismukkah, everyone.

Dec 25th PI Beach walk: 12 '16

It is a nice afternoon for a walk on the Pawleys Island Beach, 
albeit, a bit chilly.

Latkes on the first day of Hanukkah:12 '16

True to his word, Bruce made us traditional potato latkes for breakfast (from scratch, no less)   to celebrate the first morning of Hanukkah.
  Life is good!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Hanukkah: 12:16

For his first gift of the holiday, 
 CC gave Bruce the Hanukkah Bush he has been looking all over for.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

These veggies love the cold: 12 '16

There's ice on the cars this morning, but my winter herbs and veggies don't seem to mind.  We've already trimmed the cilantro and parsleys, and the kale, red mustard, and chard are ready to start harvesting.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Melvyn's has the best burgers ever: 12 '16

After another long day in Charleston,  we were starving for a hearty meal.  CC suggested we try Melvins,  a family run low Country Barbeque House that has been in business since 1939. As hungry as we were, it only took one look at their burgers for us to decide we wanted to treat ourselves to double cheeseburgers. Boy, are we glad we did.  Those were just about the best burgers we have ever eaten..  

Next time, when we are not so famished, we'll try some of their barbeque ribs, pulled  pork, or brisket specialities

Melvyn's Bar b que 
925 Houston Northcott Blvd
( by the Whole Foods parking lot)
Mt Pleasant SC

MS Kat doesn't like cold weather 12'16

Ms Kat doesn't like this cold weather.  She's taken up residence in front of the fireplace.
If she gets any closer to the fireplace, she'll set her tail a light.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Digging myself into a hole: 11 '16

I had parked both of our vehicles at the end of our cul-d-sac while the trees were being removed.  There isn't room to turn around at the end of the street, so in order to retrieve them, I had to back up the street and make a y-turn into a neighbors driveway. Unbeknownst to me, there was a large deep pothole right where I started my turn.  The right front wheel of BJs Vehicle slipped into it leaving the car perched on pavement on three wheels.  The hole was too deep to drive out of.  Thank goodness for AAA. It only took them 30 seconds to pull the car out, but I probably will never stop hearing the end of the woman driver jokes.

Bye, Bye River Birch Tree: 11 '16

Notice anything missing between the photo above and the one below?
It's called a Tree!

The River Birch in our front yard began rocking violently during Hurricane Mathew.  At the peak of the storm, the only thing holding it upright was a single root growing under our neighbors driveway.   The  wind was so strong that the tree's root system was cracking  their driveway trying to uproot, but the pavement held long enough that the tree did not blow over.  Even so,  our HOA decided not to risk having it come down in the next storm, so they hired a contractor to remove it .   Below  photos of the full process.

First Cut

The biggest challenge was that my neighbor was not home and  there were two branches over-hanging my neighbor's driveway that had to come down without damage to his vehicle.

The contractor met the challenge by using two people in the cutting process.  One did the cutting and the other held onto the branch and directed its fall away from the house and vehicle.

 Then  they began removing all the branches on the opposite side  so they had unobstructed access to the branches overhanging the car.  Just in case, they covered my neighbors car with blankets.

A ground crew removed the limbs  and branches that were being dropped from above.

They also finished removing the larger segments of trunk  until it  was completely level with the ground.

Next week the contractor  will be back with a stump grinder to remove the trunk and whatever roots can be reached from the surface.

While I fully understood why it had to be removed,  I still  felt very sad watching the tree come down.  It almost felt like losing a member of the family.  We've nourished it, and watched it grow from a young sapling (See above photo from Fall of 2007)  into the mature  beauty it had become before the storm.   It will be missed.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday is Adopt a Black Cat Day

Stinky Inky heard that Black Friday is adopt a Black Cat Day.

When we opened the front door this morning to let Ms. Kat out, Stinky stepped inside, and has made himself at home.  I guess he has decided, we should adopt him. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving: 11 '16

Our homemade Thanksgiving Dinner to be grateful for: Roast Cornish Game Hen with Garlic stuffing, roasted carrots in butter and maple syrup, roasted Brussels sprouts with  Parmesan crust, home made ginger beer (non-alcoholic) and  Spiced pumpkin pudding ( not-shown)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

BJ and his service Kat: 11'16

Bruce came through his surgery with flying colors, but remaining inactive until he heals is  trying his patience.  Ms. Kat has volunteered  for service cat duty with the responsibilities of keeping Bruce company and comforting him through the boredom of  post op recovery.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Post Hurricaine Mathew Cleanup: 11 ' 16

Remember,  the photos in my Oct. 9 2016 post which showed the trees and branches broken by  Hurricane Mathew being piled along side the curbs in our community?   Shortly after that photo was taken, our  Community Home Owners Association  contracted with a firm to come in and cart off the debris.  The contractor was supposed to cart it off to a location , shred it, then return the shreds to the plantation for use as a ground cover.  Instead they pushed all the debris along Tanglewood  Dr.into a mountainous firetrap right next to the 18th fairway's green.  And there it still sits.  What can I say... It's the South.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Bern, Dinner at Persimmons: 11 '16

To celebrate out last evening in town we decided to have dinner at Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant, which specializes in farm to table cuisine.

Everything on their menu sounded wonderful, but eventually we settled on the special of the evening which was lamb medallions,with riced potatoes and sauteed collards on a bed of red pepper gravy.

Oh my!  Everything was delicious.  Even the collards were to die for!  We really happy we chose this as our last adventure on this trip.

New Bern to Cliffs of Nuese SP: 11 '16

The site of Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, with impressive 90' cliffs overlooking the Neuse River, has been a landmark for centuries.

Five hiking trails explore the riverside habitats and their mature forests and lead to some quiet fishing spots along the waterway. 

We took the 350 yard trail which led to an overlook of the Neuse River 

and a close up view of the cliffs . ( They are hard to see through the trees from this angle)

Then the trail angled down hill to the edge of the Neuse River where there were

some beautiful reflections of the trees in the water.

Unfortunately, even with bug spray, we were being swarmed by mosquitoes, so we turned around and attempted to go downriver on the Spanish Moss Trail,

only to encounter the same swarms of insects
as the trail dropped closer to the river the river. 

A favorite facility for the local communities is an 11-acre swimming lake with a bathhouse, grass-covered lawn, sandy beach and diving platform with rental boats available. Expansive picnic grounds are nearby. Interestingly we did not encounter too many insects on the trail that circled the lake

A visitor center offers kid friendly exhibits that explore the natural and cultural history of the region, complementing regular interpretive programs.

The park has group campsites and a 35-site family campground,, but we wouldn't recommend staying there unless (a) you are willing to bathe in bug repellent, or (b) the weather is too cold for mosquitoes.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Stanly House and Dixons House Tours: 11'16

A docent led tour of two private homes of the colonial era were included in the Tyron Palace Tour Package

The Stanly House and the Dixon House were both built and owned by private business men during the colonial era.  Each have a fascinating history and have been meticulously maintained with authentic furniture and details specific to their time in history.

 For more information about these historical homes see:


New Bern's North Carolina History Center 11 '16

Entrance to the  North Carolina History Center is included in the cost of the Tyron Palace Admission.  The Center has a wide variety of exhibits and some very high tech interactive historical activities designed to appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests. Our favorite was the Pespsi Family Center.

At the Pepsi Family Center, a virtual time machine transported us to a river village in North Carolina’s Central Coastal Region in the year 1835. Here, hands-on activities invited us to step back in time and sail a ship, distill turpentine and produce naval stores, piece an electronic quilt, and/or help the shopkeeper find merchandise for customers in the dry goods store.

New Bern was an important coastal river port into the 19th century. The time machine allowed us to visit the New Bern wharf and join the crew of the Snapdragon as she set sail on a trade voyage. Every crewmember has a unique role and must work together to help the ship reach its destination safely. Bruce manned the helm, while CC trimmed the sails and killed rats.

 At home in the Kitchen,  we helped the cook as she sought ingredients for her ice cream recipes, then watch as the ice cream was prepared as it would have been in 1835.  CC joined a quilting bee in the parlor, and designed patterns from squares that were then pieced together to create a beautiful quilt.

Finally, we stepped into a Main Stree shop and helped a local merchant who was  looking for some extra hands. In his Dry Goods Store, we help the shopkeeper  find items to fill his customers’ shopping lists.

New Bern, Lunch on the Neuse River: 11 '16

We took a break from the New Bern history tour, for a pleasant picnic lunch in Union Point Park on the Neuse River.