Friday, April 20, 2018

Sleepy Time with Banana Tea

Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep.  When I lay down in bed and close my eyes, I wait for sleep to come.  The longer I wait, the more alert I become.  I finally get up and make myself a cup of Sleepy Time Tea.

The other week, I picked up a pamphlet at the doctor's office and there was this interesting but funky recipe for Banana Tea.  Here is how to make it:

While waiting for 2 cups of water to come to a boil, snip the ends off a banana but leaving the skin.  When the water is boiling, add the banana (skin and all), let it come to a boil and let it simmer for ten minutes.

Remove from heat and remove the banana (save it for the compost).  Let the tea cool to your liking.

Drink and enjoy it.
Good night.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rootabaga Stories

I wish there were more story tellers but let us go to the Rootabaga County and find out about a few stories by Carl Sandburg.  The Rootabaga County is filled with trains, farms, and corn fields according to Wikipedia.  It sounds like the country side of Chicago, the Mid West.  In the Village of Liver and Onions, the Potato Face Blind Man tells the stories.  Take a listen.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Quick Shrimp Saute

On the way home from Mayport the other day, we stopped by the fish market to buy a few pounds of sweet fresh shrimp.  As soon as we got home, I cooked the shrimp in water mixed with apple cider. It didn't take long for the shrimp to turn pink.  I let them cool underrunning water rp stop the boiling and then peeled them, wrapped them up, and put them into the fridge for tomorrow's Quick Shrimp Saute.

Needed for the Quick Shrimp Saute

about a pound of shrimp (in my case, the shrimp is already peeled and cooked)
a small bunch of green onions (scallions) chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1 tsp dried basil leaves (or fresh, if available in the garden)

Also, mix together 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 scant tbs all-purpose white flour.  Set aside.

Directions:  In margarine or canola oil, saute onions  and garlic for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and lastly add the yogurt and flour mix.  Heat, but do not boil.

Serve over Jasmine rice and enjoy.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Preserving Pineapples

The other week, we went to the local market and almost stumbled over boxes and boxes of pineapples.  Good looking juicy pineapples were everywhere and at a price that we couldn't resist.  We ended up with three (3) fresh  pineapples for two people.

We got home and wondered what to do with the pineapples.  We can't possibly eat all three.

I ended up making a light syrup from 1 cup of sugar and 3 cups of water (adjust) with two slices of lemon, a cinnamon stick, and a few sprigs of mint from my herb garden. I heated this solution until the sugar melted.

I made bite size chunks from one peeled and cored pineapple and put the chunks into clean Mason jars and poured the water/sugar solution over the chunks leaving a scant empty space at the top of the jars for expansion.

Time for the bath.

I covered the bottom of my large stockpot with a cloth and put the two jars of pineapples on the cloth to keep them from rattling; filled the pot with water to a few inches above the jars; set it on the stove; and let it come to a boil, 

When it was boiling, I turned the heat down and let it simmer for 15 minutes, turned off the heat and let the jars cool in the pot.  I had a few chunks that didn't make it to the jars with the syrup that I tasted and they were pretty god.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Orange Blossom

I was sitting out in the garden just minding my own business and enjoying the sunshine when all of a sudden the wind would stir ever so gently and bring with it a waft of this unmistakenly pungent aroma from the orange blossoms.  It would pass as quickly as it had come.

The aroma is so fleeting and sweet but it lingers in the orchard.  It is impossible to describe this wonderful smell--pungent may not do it justice.

The blossoms will soon be gone and hopefully the winged pollinators has spread the pollen around to aid in the fruit production.

We still have a long time to go before the trees will bear fruit usually in time for Thanksgiving.

The blooms don't last very long so the aroma may as well be enjoyed.  For me, it is an acquired taste.

O is for Tuesday for the April 2018 Blogging A to Z Challenge.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

The North Pole -- the True North

This is such an inspiring and compelling adventure story about Sean Swarner who had cancer and fought it valiantly with sheer grit and determination. With part of one of his lungs missing, he makes a trek to the North Pole and I recently saw this grueling event on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).  He has also done other remarkable quests but this one was to find his True North.

Before his journey, he undertook a strenuous training regimen not fit for the weak at heart or with  other ailments.

For example, he pulled a string of massive tires to simulate the sled he would pull to the North Pole.  He even pulled a Jeep Wrangler and it is a heavy vehicle but Oh! so fun to drive.  I have a stick shift Wrangler and it has been in the garage for more than a year now.

I have endometrial (uterus) cancer that has spread and I am undergoing chemo therapy at this time.  Previous chemo treatments damaged my nerve endings in my legs and feet.

I hope eventually to find my True North but I must confess that I wobble and fall a lot.  I would be very happy if I could walk with my Rollator up the 400-yard long street that I live on without crossing another street.

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Hope you play this inspirational trailer.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mayport Boat Ramp

Mayport is a small fishing village in NE Florida.  There is nothing quaint about it:  it doesn't have any boutiques selling cute tank tops and sea shell.  It's a place where fishermen live and work.

In Mayport, there is a much liked and much used boat ramp.  It is used by small craft fishing boat and for families who like to go fishing in St. John's River.  The parking lot overflows on weekends.  It is a popular place.

The St. John's River is tidal.  The tide goes out and comes back at a clip of 6 to 8 knots.  It is fast and furious. 

Heaven, or the Seatow, help you if your motor on your boat cannot handle the tide.  There is no going with the flow unless it's on purpose.

There are two pilot boats tied up at their own pier within sight of the ramp.  A pilot always has to be on board a ship to guide it into Jacksonville or guide it back out to sea again.

There is one spot on the River that makes a sharp turn.  This same spot is also extremely narrow and a pilot is surely needed.

When we want to get away after working on the Back Forty, we go and pick up a pizza and a soft drink and take them to the boat ramp in Mayport. 

While we are feasting on our pizza, we are overlooking the River watching for shrimpers to come in with their load while others are heading out.

We watch for the dolphins that usually go out with the tide and return with it.  We watch the pelicans take flight or preen themselves on the sandy shore.  We are mindful of the seagulls looking for scraps that we might throw out.  We don't and they leave us alone.

It is time to go home when the loon starts watching us and even laughing, I'm sure, before he takes a dive under the boat ramp.

Are we there yet?
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