Sunday, June 23, 2013

Good-bye Y(MCA)

24th Street Singers

When we first joined, it was the "YMCA." Now it's simply the "Y." (And the Village People? Are they now reduced to the "VP?")

We still love the Y, but we're moving on. Blame it on the yoga. My best guy's yoga-muse, Leah (and here I thought I was the only one who made his eyes sparkle, put a swing in his step, a wiggle in his ears...), well, she has now opened her own studio, and a man must follow his whoever.

Yes, back to the Y. It's a wonderful place, and there are many, many things I will miss about it. Including the neighborhood around Telegraph and 24th Streets. And not just on First Fridays:

The group of parakeets which spend their afternoons chatting each other up. For a while there was a pair of bantam chickens in one of those cages as well, but they too have moved on.

The long row of sturdy sunflowers which someone of great faith plants each spring. (This mass planting is just down the block from a prime illegal, and very active, dump spot.) Almost all of the sunflowers last into the fall with their big, fat, seed heads intact. I'm guessing that there are simply not enough marauding squirrels around. I'd be happy to export a few from around here, if anyone is interested.

To all those lovely people at the Y who have sweated and showered along with us, and those who have picked up after us, and everyone else who has helped make the Y a great place - Thank you very much!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sugar Snap Peas Forever

We had a lot a sugar peas this year. I am not complaining, but over the course of two months or so, we had peas most every night for dinner. Sauteed with sweet red pepper. Mixed with fava beans and drizzled with olive oil. Peas with carrots. Peas with peas.

Like I said, no complaints, but at a certain point, something different had to be done. So I froze some, and then turned another bunch into Pickled Sugar Snap Peas. Good recipe, which comes from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. It doesn't involve canning. In fact, you don't even have to blanch the snap peas.

Everyone who tried them, liked them. A lot. And there were quite a few "everyones." (My best guy didn't try them because he doesn't really like those pickle-y things.)

I really like pickles but, for me, these were a bit too vinegary. Kinda like taking that first sip of a gin and tonic and unexpectedly inhaling all the gin upfront. Only this time, it's not gin, but vinegar. Granted, it's also flavored with peas, hot pepper and garlic, but a little strong, nonetheless.

The brine from the snap pea pickles has been very useful for salad dressings and marinades. Next season, however, I will experiment with a bit more sugar, a little less garlic and perhaps a piece of star anise. Then I will try and coax my best guy to give them peas a chance. After first plying him with a coupla of gin and tonics, of course.

Thank you Ms. Linda, for the great idea and the great way to store up some of those delicious peas. I will be adding your book to my shelf.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Goddess of Light, Ret.

I've been talking about it and talking about it and talking about it.  And now I've gone and done it.

Yup, retirement. We'll see how well it sticks.

And just for fun - after all, isn't retirement supposed to be fun? - there will be a gathering at Sue Johnson Lamps on Saturday, June 8th, as part of the Solano Art Walk.

So if you are out and about next Saturday, please stop by:

Saturday, June 8th, 2013
6 - 8 pm
Sue Johnson Custom Lamps & Shades
1745 Solano Avenue,  Berkeley