Monday, July 10, 2017

Mom says 'Don't foget to take your vitamins': 7'17

Bruce had a very nasty leg cramp last night.
CC's Rx: Chicken Matza ball soup, 
and plenty of vitamins and mineral supplements.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Visiting with the neighbors at Gios:7'17

Visiting with the neighbours this evening,
  followed by dinner at Gio's Italian Restaurant

Friday, July 7, 2017

Huntington Beach State Park:7"17

South Carolina's Huntington Beach State Park is a beautiful park, and only 8 miles north of our front door. SC's HBSP was one of the main instigators behind out moving to move here. We used to walk the beach at SoCal's HBSP about once a week and thought of it as "OUR BEACH", and we were volunteering two days a week as docent's in Newport Back Bay, so estuaries were important to us. One day we were looking for a new place to vacation and put a ruler down east to west. It started at HBSP West) and landed on HBSP East ... We hadn't known SC's HBSP even existed. (Turns out the same Huntington family owned both lands). Of course, we had to check it out. When we got here, we were astounded at how beautiful and pristine the estuary and the beach is, and how much wildlife it supports. It started us seriously considering South Carolina as a future home.

The three and a half miles of pristine beach is the most popular attraction in HBSP. In the winter you can have it almost to yourself. On Summers days you can expect it to be more crowded.

But there are other draws as well. The jetty at the North end of the park is a popular fishing place.

HBSP's Freshwater Mullet Lagoon is filled with wildlife.

Both Mullet and Mallard Lagoons are home to Alligators which are a protected species in South Carolina; They are very popular with HBSP visitors. Other popular forms of local wildlife include mink and sea turtles.

HPSP is home to dozens of hundreds of bird species) In the freshwater lagoons alone you can see egret, heron, eagles, swallow tail kite, and osprey. It is also on the flight path of dozens of exotic migratory birds like spoonbill, American stork, and ibis. The maritime forest and woodland/water edge have owls, hawks, and dozens of small colourful birds including the painted bunting. Shorebirds abound ( and nest) on the beach and dunes. This place is a bird watcher's paradise.

There are several short hiking trails within HBSP. 
A Board Walk over the salt water marsh leads to Oak Creek.

A shelter on the Oak Creek Board Walk provides another great place for bird watching.

The Sandpiper trail leads through the maritime forest.

A shaded 4-mile bike trail through the front forest of the park connects to a much longer trail that runs the length of the Waccamaw Neck (22 miles).

Atalayas the former winter home of Anna and Archer Huntington. Archer designed the building in the style of a Moorish castle in Spain of the same name. The building is on the National Register of Historic places and can be toured by the public.

A campground supports 133 RV sites, and 6 tent sites,
(Plus primitive camping for up to 100 individuals in non-profit groups.)

The ranger station and gift shop also house the camper registration where CC works.

For more information go to:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom: 7'17

Happy Birthday, Mom.  
We all really miss you.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"I thought sushi would be easy": 7/1/17

Rear Left to right: Tuna Nori Roll,  Salmon Roll, Seaweed Salad, SpicyTuna Roll
Front Left to right, store-bought pickled ginger, lime-sesame cucumber slices

Bruce and I have decided to spend one day a week jointly shopping and cooking a meal we don't normally make at home. Usually, this involves a complicated recipe, or the use of some hard to get ingredients or specialised equipment.

 This week, Bruce suggested we make sushi.

We have all the specialised equipment, and most of the seasoning ingredients, all we needed was a small amount of very fresh sashimi-quality tuna and salmon,  a daikon radish, and some sesame oil ( we'd normally have sesame oil but had run out).

No problem finding the tuna and salmon (South Carolina has wonderful fresh seafood), but we had to go to three grocery stores to find even a small bottle of sesame oil.  When I asked a produce clerk at Lowes Food  (store # 4) if they had any daikon radish, she responded, "Is that a real radish?". Ergo, lots of other fresh veggies in our sushi rolls but no radish.

Then there was the matter of preparing the rolls so that they not only tasted as good as what you get in a restaurant but held together and looked good.  Our rolls came out looking and tasting great, but as Bruce said, "I thought sushi would be a lot easier to make".

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jacob's Lentil Minestrone: 6 '17

We had a wonderful meal at a local Italian restaurant earlier this week.  Bruce liked their Minestrone soup so much that he asked me to try to re-create the dish.  We spent most of Saturday testing out my interpretation.  I  can honestly say, I think that my version came out better than the original.  So here's the recipe for Jacobs' Minestrone:

Jacobs  Lentil Minestrone Soup 
·         (3)  tbsp olive oil
·         (1)  cup minced white or red onion ( about 1 small onion)
·         (1/2)  cup chopped summer squash ( zucchini and/ or yellow  crookneck squash)
·         (1/2)  cup Italian cut fresh or frozen beans (we couldn’t find the flat beans so we used fresh green beans cut to ½ inch
·         (1/4)  cup minced celery
·         (4)  tsp minced garlic ( about 4 cloves)
·         (4 )cups vegetable broth ( we used Swanson's)
·         (1) 15 oz can Great Northern white beans
·         (1) 15 oz can white navy beans
·         (1/2) cup dry  lentils
·         (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes ( we used 3 large fresh Roma tomatoes diced)
·         (1/2) Cup diced or shredded carrots ( we used shredded)
·         (2) tbsp minced parsley
·         ( 1 ½) tsp fresh or dried oregano
·         ( 1 ½) tsp salt
·         (1/2) tsp ground black pepper
·         (1/2 ) tsp basil ( we used about 8  tsp fresh half in cooking half just before serving)
·         (1/2 ) tsp fresh or dried thyme (we used about ¼ tsp dry in cooking and ¼ tsp fresh f just before serving
·         (3 ) cups hot water
·         (4) cups  fresh baby spinach
·         (1/2) cup shell  or small tube pasta
·         Heat three tablespoons oil in large soup pot
·         Saute onions garlic celery zucchini in oil until onions begin to turn translucent
·         Add vegetable broth to pot plus tomatoes, drained beans, lentils, carrots hot water and herbs
·         Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer until lentils are a-dente (approximately.  20 to 30 minutes
·         Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook and additional twenty minutes, or until pasta shells are cooked to taste.)
·         Add remaining herbs just before serving

·         Makes about (8) 1 ½ cup servings

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

RIP, Stinky Inky.

RIP, Stinky Inky.

We will miss you .

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.