Posts Tagged ‘great green bean recipes’

Today was my first day at the gym. Managing to put this off since I first received my membership card, in desperation I made a pact with a friend with a membership at the same establishment to go together. If I know someone else is counting on me, I will get my lazy behind in my Spandex and hit the road. You never realize what bad shape you are in until you are faced with such medieval torture devices as the elliptical machine. The first time I stretched and bent these squeaky old knees it put life in perspective. Good news, there is one muscle in my right index finger that is not screaming my name.

For me this has been a busy week. I feel uncharacteristically scattered. Usually I can remain organized in chaos but this week has stripped me of my sash reading “Extreme Multitasker” leaving me unfocused and a bit cranky. Perhaps it’s the weather. It has been odd. Day before yesterday the thermometer was hovering around 90. I know! Today it is in the 70’s and rain is on the horizon. Outside everything is blooming with my allergies following suit and flowering themselves. Aside from looking a bit like a hungover lab rat, I spend my hours sneezing and blowing my nose. Whine, whine, whine. I hear you. I shall stop now. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

My mother recently went down to the DMV to renew her license. Studying vigorously for the written test she passed with flying colors, but when she got to the eye test she stumbled. Unfortunately, her macular degeneration had progressed making reading the chart on the wall impossible for her to do. I explained to her she would not want to be on the road with poor eyesight becoming a danger to herself and others. Nodding her head as I spoke I could see that as much as she understood what I was saying, accepting it wasn’t going to come as easily. I can only imagine watching that last piece of true independence exit out the side door must be sooooo very difficult. Not being able to hop in your car when you need something such a hard thing to accept. For a person as independent as my mother having to lean on other people will be a hard pill to swallow.

I have been told I’m a bit male in my approach to such things. When faced with a problem I tend to immediately go into a solution mode. First I looked at public transit solutions for alternate transportation. Often they fall into categories. There are those provided for low income seniors. Then those for fiscally solvent older citizens. These all start at $40-45 one way. Hmmmm. This is me stroking my chin again. At this point, I turned in the direction of Lyft or Uber. These two would be obvious solutions but for the fact my mother is technologically challenged. I am being polite here. Several years back I attempted to teach her how to use the computer. This took us down such a prickly path, I ended up enrolling her in a class at a local adult school. She attended four classes after which I believe the teacher tendered his resignation. Not true, but mother did not persevere. The blocking point is her intrinsic fear she will “break” the computer if she hits a wrong key. Though she types like a pistol (typing- done on a machine called a typewriter plugged into the wall), she finds keying daunting which holds her back. On some level she would have to learn to manage the APPS necessary to summon drivers for the two above mentioned services in order to use them. Again, hmmmmm.

In the middle of working on the driving situation I have been doing a lot of side work for the food ministry I volunteer for. They are a lovely group of humans who donate their time to help people in our county who cannot afford the food necessary to feed their families. Working with them is good for the soul I find. In the midst of an unsettled world it is lovely to find human beings giving freely of themselves for the sake of those around them with no repayment expected except for the joy of doing so. Like it. Like it a lot. As well as nurturing my soul my “job” for them if you will keeps my computer skills fresh. Although I’m sure technology with regard to the graphic arts has long since left me struggling in the dust, I can still whip up a catchy logo or create a media campaign suitable for publication. This is a good thing. I don’t exercise my artistic self as often as I should these days. It’s not that I don’t have time. Actually thinking about it, I don’t. It’s more that I don’t make the time. When I finally do sit down and put my feet up I find my hands are more likely to want to remain in my lap rather than search for a pencil and a piece of paper. Signs of the passing of time I would suppose.

To add to my busy schedule Murphy is acting up at our house. Things always seem to fall apart in threes around here. You know, like when one famous person passes away, two others often fall quickly behind them. First the battery went out in our car. Not a big deal, they weren’t running out at the store. Then yesterday the refrigerator stopped working. This is a bigger deal. It is a relatively new refrigerator (4 years). I have noticed that a refrigerator never ceases to function before you stock up on groceries, rather lying in wait until you’ve just spent half your check at the local market on food. Hopefully, we’ll break the three’s a charm rule and stop at two this time. I have my fingers and toes crossed. This brings to mind living in Alabama during a particularly hot summer. At the time we kept a dedicated freezeer in the garage to hold overflow items. Before leaving for vacation (naturally) we had loaded it up with fish caught on a recent day on the lake as well as venison given to us over the winter months and a 20 lb. meat package recently purchased at a local butcher. After a glorious two weeks on vacation we returned home to a garage so ripe I’m amazed it hadn’t exploded. Ewwww. No one willing to open the lid on the offending object, we ended up paying a local hauler to remove it as it sat contents and all. For months the garage smelled like a crime scene no matter how many cans of room deodorizer we exhausted on it.

These veggies are such a hit at our house. The tomato sauce is amazing.

Green Beans and Corn with Cherry Tomato Sauce

1 lb. green beans trimmed
1 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 red cherry tomatoes, halved
10 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Trim beans and cook over high heat covered with lightly salted water until tender. Drain. Add corn and heat on low.

In another saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add pepper, sugar, and basil to pan. Add tomatoes and cook and stir until tomatoes begin to wilt but not turn to mush. Add salt and additional pepper if desired and parsley. Pour over vegetables and toss gently to combine.

Serves 4

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For some reason I’m dragging today. Perhaps the weather shifting from shorts appropriate 80’s to overcast 70’s in the blink of an eye has something to do with it. Also, it could be the pending nuptials and all that entails. No answers here.

Actually I’m looking forward to going to Arizona again. This will be my fifth visit to the state. During several marriages the subject of actually living in Arizona has been broached. Each time it was vetoed by me. Not because I don’t enjoy it while I’m there. I do. Well, I do when the heat is at a tolerable level. I’m not a cut out for intense heat. Desert vistas are beautiful to my eyes in a stark and minimalist sort of way, but I prefer more lush surroundings where I make my home. A personal choice, naturally, as many people immensely enjoy living there from the looks of the expansion in the metropolitan areas. Obviously somebody noticed I preferred cooler climates when I was waiting to be born, and set me down in Nova Scotia where I could thrive.

After five visits you’d think I’d have stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Each time a trip there was planned, and each time something got in the way. Perhaps my lack of coordination would have me catapulting over the edge into the great abyss, so the universe is trying to save me from myself. A close friend took a raft trip along the canyon floor. For him, it was the trip of a lifetime and he talks of it often. That would definitely be a vacation I’d like to add to my bucket list. This visit won’t be the one to break the chain either as there will be little opportunity for sightseeing. We’ll be landing on a Friday and departing on a Sunday with a wedding and rehearsal dinner squeezed somewhere in the middle.

Yesterday we ordered a suit for Rick. It’s been quite a while since life necessitated him wearing one and when we took his choices out and looked at them we decided they would be better suited for one of those sepia pictures of the old west you can have taken in Las Vegas than father of the bride material. Also, the good life has added an inch or two here or there, well mostly there, so both sides of the waistband refused to merge no matter how much we coaxed them.

My mother, who rarely misses an opportunity to worry about something, suggested I might need a coat. I assured her unless left in the middle of the desert at midnight I’d probably be able to avoid hypothermia without one. Been awhile since I’ve boarded a plane, at least three years. The last was when my mother and I flew into Toronto and on to Guelph, Ontario for a bit of a family reunion. I’ll have to refresh my memory or update it as to what is and what is not allowed to be packed. I took hair spray on the Canadian flight, confiscated at customs. Apparently people remove the insides of aerosol cans and place less desirable things inside. Who knew?

Rick, coming from Egypt originally, always get nearly strip searched before boarding. He handles this good-naturedly, because he understands it is necessary to keep us safe. However, it usually results in us boarding the plane a bit later. The last time I flew with my mother before she became a U.S. citizen, I thought I was going to have to leave her in Canada. Her green card picture was the same one she’d had taken when we originally came to the U.S. when I was a child. Not one to admit her age, I would assume there was some vanity involved here, but customs agents aren’t known for their good humor and understanding natures. All I saw was my mother being whisked into a side room for questioning. Picturing my mother’s mug shot on a police department wall, I followed after her. Questioning the obviously vicious felon, they finally released her in my charge with instructions to get a new picture taken before her next flight. She showed them, she was sworn in as a U.S. citizen before she would go to Canada again.

The push is on for me to become a citizen. I know, I know. I’ve been here since grade school. Why I drag my feet I have no solid excuse for. There’s something about leaving the last of my heritage behind that makes me hesitate. In the end I will probably opt for dual citizenship, allowing me to hold on to what Canadian parts I still have in me. So for now I sit on the fence, or border as it may be. This is something I’ll figure out down the road when I’m planning my trip to the Grand Canyon.

These green beans are absolutely excellent and look pretty on the table.

Garlicky Green Beans and Peppers

1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
Pepper and salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
Zest from 1 lemon
1 Large tomato sliced
1/4 cut Feta cheese, crumbled

Place beans and peppers in large deep skillet and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

In same skillet heat oil over high heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook and stir until garlic has lightly browned, about 2 mins. Add green beans to pan. Continue cooking, stirring and mixing, for about 3 mins. Add thyme and lemon zest. Mix well.

Transfer into microwavable casserole dish. Place sliced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with Feta cheese. Place uncovered in microwave and cook on high for 4 mins.

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What an odd day. I woke up to a fine mist decorating the windshield of the car, the skies overcast, and the air heavy. Atypical of Northern California weather this time of year, it’s a bit unnerving. Old timers used to refer to weather patterns of this sort as “earthquake weather”. To add to the odd mix the weather’s serving up, our immediate neighbors are moving out. We are friendly with them casually, not what I’d call friends. However, I am used to waving good morning or catching up on their lives while collecting the mail. Every afternoon like clockwork their cat comes down the hill to drink out of our bird fountain and in the heat of the day he catches a siesta underneath our car. It feels odd, if you will, not to see a light on in their window.

Not to be a nosy neighbor, but our living room window faces out on their driveway, we have watched the proceedings as they unfolded. Early yesterday morning five vehicles pulled up and people poured out. Since then a U-Haul has made numerous trips and all the pickups filled and emptied many times. Reminiscent of those videos of people exiting a car that just keep filing out one after another, loads keep exiting the house. Where on earth all this stuff was stored in a house smaller than ours boggles my mind. Watching the proceedings has served to cement my resolution not to move again any time soon. Another strange occurrence is the new occupants are moving in before the old have moved out. Never tried that before.

To add to the confusion, our new cell phones arrived. Droids, ach. Compared to the technology floating around at the moment they’re like comparing a caveman’s club to a scud missile, but for us they’re a step up. The moment we deactivated the old cellular service if became quickly apparent we had no idea how to either make or receive a phone call on the new units. To be honest, I couldn’t even figure out the voice mail message. When a call did come in the caller was informed I was too stupid to know how to set up a voice mail account so they’d have to call back when I located an active brain cell. Nice, a phone with attitude. First I had to figure out how to get into the phone as it was locked. Having accomplished that, another call came in. Three phones appeared on the screen, one white, one green, and one red. If you went with the logic used at a stoplight one would think pushing on the green phone would achieve the desired effect. Apparently this would be too easy. Repeatedly pushing all three phones, the call finally went to the voice mail guardian who once again reported I was too ignorant to own the device. Trial and error proved you have to move the green phone inside a circle in order to engage a caller. A glimmer of hope.

Next, I went to the contacts. Figuring out how to access adding a new contact I began the laborious task of entering all the numbers from my old phone. Usually the contacts could be moved along in a simple transfer on a sims card. Our old phones, so old the technology probably only exists in a dusty garage somewhere, aren’t compatible with the new not allowing this to occur. Fortunately there’s an X to erase an incorrectly entered letter because you need to have fingertips the size of a pencil eraser to do this with any accuracy. I am here to report it is most amazing these little phones aren’t floating in the toilet at the moment, but I am not one to give up on a good fight.

As of this writing I still have no voice mail message in place, and have no idea what an app is or how to own one, but I will in short order. It puts me in mind of learning the computer. How confusing at first were the floppy discs, yes I said floppy discs, and files floating on a computer screen which stored your information? Just learning to maneuver the mouse was incredibly awkward. Now it seems as familiar as tying my shoes (They still do that don’t they?). In the beginning the instructor might as well have been teaching me Mandarin Chinese. To stop for a moment on tying shoes, I was interested to note while working in my daughter’s day care children aren’t taught this skill anymore. Along with telling time, done digitally these days, velcro has replaced laces eliminating the necessity of tying anything when putting on one’s shoes. I certainly hope they’re never faced with a pair of laced tennis shoes as adults. No matter how many times you try to get laces to stick to one another, as yet I’ve never owned a pair that did. Also, if confronted with a clock on the wall with hands and numerals will they have to ask someone when to go to lunch?

Another constantly fluxing media would be music. There were 8-tracks, which were huge. It was like inserting a loaf of bread in the 8-track player which took up half the dashboard. If you carried more than five in the car you had to travel alone, as there was no place for a passenger to sit. Cassettes followed, much smaller and easier to manage. With each innovation new devices were necessary to use them ensuring just as you crested the learning curve, another upgrade would swoop in to recreate the bog in your brain. CD’s came along once we’d gotten a grip on the cassettes. Naturally, a CD player, CD case, and of course the CD’s themselves were necessary to get into the swing of things. Many times over the years my garage sales have been kept afloat with leftover pieces of each bit of technology as it became outdated.

So I continue to strive to keep up with each technological jump. I fear I am trailing far behind, but like Hansel and Gretel I am leaving a trail of used devices to mark my way.

These are some of my favorite green beans. My bins are stocked with fresh vegetables and this is a great way to put them to work.

BLT (Bacon, Lemon and Tomato) Green Beans

l lb. green beans, trimmed
Garlic salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 button mushrooms, sliced thin
4 slices crisp bacon, crumbled

Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place all sauce ingredients in small saucepan over med. heat. Whisk and cook until butter is melted.

Place beans in top of steamer over 2″ water. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Steam green beans until fork tender, about 10 mins. Drain.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet over med.-low heat. Add garlic, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Saute about 6-8 mins. until tomatoes are wilted and mushrooms cooked.

Add tomato/mushroom mixture to green beans and toss with sauce. Top with crumbled bacon.

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Photo by Susie Nelson

Photo by Susie Nelson

Going to a restaurant where the food, ambiance, staff and location are over the top creates a memorable experience. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of eating at some excellent restaurants. When you find one satisfying most of the above mentioned criteria it is a gift.  There are always those free thinkers among the restaurant set who color totally outside the lines. Recently I read in China they have a _42237888_ap_toilet_416creditrestaurant themed entirely around toilets. I have to admit this might put me off my food. I do not want my chocolate mousse served in a porcelain bowl. Just do not. It is my understanding dishes are titled in keeping with the potty theme making the experience, if possible, even more revolting. People are literally flocking to fill the seats (lid’s down, naturally), so obviously its number 1 on some foodie’s lists. I wonder if you can order “to go”?

Themed restaurants can be fun.  Back in the early 80’s my family and I used to frequent a Bay Area restaurant, Bobby McGee’s, where the servers not only dressed in character, but adopted the persona of the character they were playing while waiting on your table. Mostly college kids, hired for their acting skills or comedic talents, it made dining there a bit more fun, and having your entrée delivered by Elvis or Zorro the Gay Blade provided a much-needed distraction from their run of the mill family style food. However, if you were looking for a romantic or quiet meal out, this was not the place for you. Well, not totally accurate, I did see Prince Charming propose to an unsuspecting Cinderella during dessert there once.

In the late 70’s there was a restaurant in Orange County called Baxter’s Street. Over and above their excellent menu, the price of a meal in the Louisiana style motiff entitled you to enjoy a dinner show which I would have paid to see if there hadn’t been a plate of mouth-watering scampi thrown in.

Around the same time I attended a luau at a Polynesian restaurant in Southern California.  Roasted pig and poi were presented in a get to know your neighbor, family style seating arrangement. Served el fresco, a huge stage replete with a smoking volcano dominated the outside eating area. Colorful drinks accessorized with umbrellas and tropical fruits littered the tables and nubile young men and women swayed in grass skirts moving to Hawaiian music.  If you could still get to your feet after a well-loaded Zombie or Mai Tai, underground dancing in five different caves each featuring a different type of music was the place to be.

In the 90’s I received an invitation to a “Great Gatsby Party”. The venue was a party boat launching out of a San Francisco marina. Besides a great band, and a menu featuring cracked crab and crusty San Francisco sourdough bread, as well as oyster shots and calamari for the more adventurous partygoers, a night cruise on the beautiful San Francisco Bay was included.  Had our hosts ordered the weather right along with the appetizers, they couldn’t have made a more perfect choice. Overhead a harvest moon cast a golden glow across unusually calm waters. Alcatraz stood in the center of the Bay. Beyond the shadowed structures inhabited now only by ghosts and memories, the impressive spans of the Golden Gate Bridge. Truly a postcard of an evening. A cool breeze replaced the usual body numbing wind often present in October on the water, allowing guests to linger on deck rather than seek shelter inside.  I was Myrtle that night, in my splashy red dress and matching glitzy headband. Champagne flowed from the mouth of a an ice sculpture fish, the focal point of the main table, and a cigarette glowed at the end of my elaborate pearlized holder.  It was the 30’s, after all, over indulgence and decadence took precedence over good sense and moderation.

Another time I joined several friends in unraveling a murder mystery over a fabulous four-course dinner in San Francisco.  This was really fun. Each course, all delicious, paired with the perfect wine. All the while, the diners interacted with the actors on the stage in a corny, but entertaining search when_photofor the killer in our midst. It was the upstairs maid.  I knew it all the time.

Beach Blanket Babylon is another fun thing to see when visiting the city by the bay.  Outrageous headpieces being the main attraction at this show, from a huge ritz cracker perched atop a man singing “Putting on the Ritz” to a fully lit landscape of the city balanced precariously atop the head of another outrageous performer.

joustingFor my birthday when living in Southern California I was treated to dinner and jousting at Medieval Times. Knights and wenches drank ale, gnawed on turkey legs, and mounted armored steeds to do battle in the arena.  It was actually quite fun, and certainly not the average dinner out with the kids.

There was a restaurant I often went to when my children were small, long gone now, with a Polynesian theme. They had the single best shrimp puffs I’ve ever eaten. The interior fascinated me.  Aside from the palm trees, occasional bursts of tropical rain in the artificial rain forest, and boats scattered here and there it was a sea of fish, if you will.  Beautiful fish tanks were everywhere, filled with vibrantly colored saltwater fish and swaying greenery.  Treasure chests opened and closed and diminutive divers released bubbles of air from the bottom of the tank. The bar was one long tank. While sipping a Blue Hawaii or Tequila Sunrise, fish floated by beneath your hands sometimes stopping to suck at the surface for air bubbles.  As little as they were, my children still remember going there in much detail.1499666683_521cf28dcf_z

If left to my own devices, I would have made our restaurant a monastery. The menu would have been fun, monk fish, for example,  comes to mind, or Soul Dore.  Servers in cowl hooded gowns, waists cinched with rope. Another good idea that never made it out of the can (so to speak).  Ah well.

These green beans were really yummy.  I bought huge grapes at the store and they just begged to be thrown in so I did and the result was delicious.

2Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Grapes

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
garlic salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg. thick sliced mushrooms (1/2 lb.)
4 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Noir)
1/8 cup soy sauce
10 large green seedless grapes halved
1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper

Place trimmed beans in large deep skillet. Cover with water sprinkled with garlic salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and continue to cook 15-20 mins. until beans are fork tender. Drain.

In separate skillet, melt butter. Add mushrooms, green onions, pepper, wine, and 1/8 cup soy sauce to pan. Bring to boil over med.-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 8 mins., stirring frequently. Add grapes. Increase heat to med-low. Cook another 8 mins. until grapes are lightly browned and tender. Pour mixture over drained green beans. Add 1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serves 4

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Photos by Susie Nelson

Photos by Susie Nelson

Over the weekend I drove the two hours to my daughter’s house to help set the stage for a milestone birthday party planned Saturday night for my mother’s birthday.  I’m not at liberty to divulge which milestone birthday as my mum has lied about her age for so many years not even those of us in her inner circle are certain we’re privy to her actual date of birth. About ten years ago she actually passed me by and I suddenly found myself five years older than my own mother. Needless to say, this became somewhat awkward at social gatherings.

Truly I am blessed.  At her stage of life often people have stopped participating in the world around them and, to put it somewhat clumsily, seem to be waiting to die.  Mother is firing all pistons. She’s still enjoying a Manhattan on the rocks at cocktail hour, driving like Mario Andretti, and is fully present in every way in our lives.  I will always be thankful for this.  I mentioned an inspirational speaker I’d listened to recently several blogs ago.  During his talk he said “life is not meant to be a safe journey to death. It is meant to be lived.” Certainly this has been a truism with respect to my mother.

It was a fun get together.  It is not often enough all of us find ourselves under one roof. All grandchildren on my side of the family, some with boyfriends in tow were present.  I experienced the X-Box hands on for the first time. I lost at table tennis, volleyball, and boxing, the latter of which I was told by my grandson required absolutely no skill whatsoever, which, it appears, accurately describes my skill level.  A humiliating defeat, particularly, when your opponents don’t reach the tip of your nose.  Good exercise though.  I’m thinking seriously of putting one on my list to Santa.

The choice of dessert was the birthday girl’s favorite, cheesecake.  Two were ordered, one with glazed fruit and a plain one to used as the base for the special candle I purchased.  Yellow plastic, the candle looked like a closed lotus blossom when removed from the box. According to the instructions, a small stick included was to be used to light the wick tucked on thecandle inside of the opening at the top of the unit.  Once lit, a sparkling fireworks type display would occur, followed by the petals opening with lit candles on the tips of each one.  All this was to happen while “Happy Birthday” played in the background.  Very cool.

Not reading directions it seems is a family trait. My son, the designated lighter of the flame, opted to use a standard long lighter such as you would light a fire in the fireplace, rather than the stick provided by the manufacturer. Still, the fireworks went off on cue and the blossom opened with lit candles, greeted by the appropriate “ooh’s and aah’s” from the viewing audience. “Happy Birthday” began to play soon afterwards. Yea! Not in the general overview, however, nor pictured on either side of the box, the lower petals suddenly burst into flame.

Someone attempted to grab the blooming fire with an oven mitt. Not a bad idea really, were it not for the fact fabric is also flammable. Now, there were two fires burning cheerily in the kitchen. All we needed  were marshmallows, graham crackers and some chocolate pieces to enjoy s’mores all around. I grabbed the metal salad tongs. Using them as transport while dripping plastic, I relocated the burning molten glob to the sink. All the while, Happy Birthday was still jauntily playing. I doused the fire copiously with water along with the simmering oven mitt still smoldering.  Remarkably, the music lingered on.  Instructions said to stop the music, snip the small wire at the top of the bloom.  I am here to report this to be inaccurate.  Next, I dropped the bloody thing in a bowl of water.  Muffled but steady, the music continued, now accompanied by tiny bubbles floating to the surface.  Really?  In the end, my granddaughter’s boyfriend removed the small music box from the unit and crushed it beneath his boot, never to sing again. Truly the day the music died. Scraping excess plastic off the top, we ate cake and toasted with champagne. Looking back I wish I’d gotten a picture of the blaze for posterity but I was too busy trying to keep from burning the house down. Too funny.

On a totally unrelated subject, not to be overly optimistic, as I don’t like to begin celebrating until the candles are actually lit (keeping on theme) and the fat lady is banging out her rendition of Happy Days Are Here to Stay, I believe we have at last found a new home.  If all things go well we will be moving within the next thirty days.  I am so relieved.  Two years of living out of boxes, is about a year and three hundred and sixty four days too long.  The other day I found myself wishing I had a pig serving dish I saw in a catalog.  Showing it to my other half, I hinted if he was looking for something to put on my birthday list this would be a nice addition.  Looking at it, he said we already had such an item. I had totally forgotten. Most likely it is packed in one of the boxes marked “hall closet”.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen all these things I have no idea what I have and what I need.  Should be exciting to unpack.

Sooooo, my thoughts for today.  These are my daughter’s green beans. They’re the best.

Heather’s Creamy Garlic Green Beans

2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
1/2 cube butter, sliced in 1″ slices
8 cubes garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 quart whipping cream

Place green beans in deep skillet. Cover with salted water. Bring to boil over med.-high heat. Cook until crisp tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet over med. heat. Add garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 3 mins. Return beans to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1 quart of heavy cream over beans.


Bring to rolling boil. Cover and cook until beans are fork tender.


Remove cover and continue cooking until sauce is reduced by 1/2. Adjust seasoning as necessary.


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