Peaches & Blueberries, Oh my!

I am not a grilling expert. In fact, grills and fire kind of freak me out a little. (Explosions!!!) However this picture of my grilled creation got a strong reaction from Facebook friends, so here ya go.

Pretty, right?

**2 peaches cut in half, skin on, pit removed

**Lets say a cup of blueberries

**1 TBSP brown sugar

**a dollop of lemon juice or orange juice if you’ve got it. All good if you don’t.

This is a pretty basic way to grill dessert. You can dump it on ice cream, shortcake, brownies, or let it cool and just eat it straight. I suppose you could add chia seeds and milk to the final product and chill some chia pudding overnight.

I use my small cast iron skillet, peaches face down on the brown sugar, add blueberries. When I start the grill, I sit this on the back rack and just leave it while I deal with whatever the “main course” is. By the time I incinerate chicken kebobs into charcoal nuggets or set a hamburger on fire -true story, the fruit concoction is all juicy and bubbly. I think of it terms of pie filling. When your pie is done, the fruit filling should be bubbling up through the crust vents. Once it cools, you can literally pull the skins of the peaches!

Peaches and blueberries are my favorite summer fruit combo; I also use it for pies. I have not tried any other fruit variations on the grill. However after the jalapeno and strawberry mixture at yoga, I did add a diced up jalapeno to the peaches and blueberries this week. I got a little heat. Not bad.

Try your own variations. Enjoy.

Here’s a picture of a cat. Sookie knows why you really come here.

Our COVID Habits Confession

Confession: I look forward to sorting laundry on Saturday mornings.

I get dressed in something comfortable because I’m not going anywhere. Pandemic, baby!

Make my coffee. Cue up a podcast, and camp out on my bedroom floor sorting piles. My piles? Things that can go in the dryer and things that need to go on the drying rack. The end. Miles usually helps because he is the Helper Cat.

For whatever reason it’s relaxing and I feel like I accomplished something. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when people start expecting me to go places again.

Art Critic

Birdie: “What the fuck is this happy bag of bullshit?”

Not impressed.

She wants nothing to do with it. I made several attempts at getting her to pose with her likeness. Nope. Not in her contract, thank you very much.

I apologized. I really don’t know what I’m doing in terms of drawing or painting techniques. My high school experience did not include the myriad of options that my students have. They get to sign up for art classes for the hell of it. I don’t remember that even being a thing unless you were “the artsy kid.” I was “a band kid,” the end.

So aside from different workshops like the lino cut and some acrylic pour, I’m limited. This just means that OG Adventure Buddy who does have legit art skills, gets text messages that scream, “NOW WHAT DO I DO?”

Birdie’s portrait was just one of those trapped at home project ideas that I got in my head. I also have a vision for Miles. Of course, I had to extensively procrastinate before starting. I knew from observing those who know what they are doing, that they seem to start with filing in the background. Sometime in mid February I pulled the trigger on getting started.

I think it’s done. I had the Bird add her paw prints; she was not thrilled. I’m lucky the bathroom is not painted in white paw prints. Certainly her disdain for my work will be reflected in her extensive critical essays soon to be published in some swanky art forum. ****I forgot to mention that the wreath is catnip. She’s an addict.

My Sexiest Pandemic Sweatpants

Got my second shot. Getting out my sexiest sweatpants, a t shirt without holes, and maybe a clean sports bra. Pretty sure there’s a clean one somewhere. Craftin’ some sweet pick up lines.

Hey,baby, I got my second vaccine.

Did you say 6 feet or 6 inches? I’ll take something in between.

Wanna get with the elite? I’m part of the .3% whose lymph nodes swell after vaccination, sugar.

Let me show you what’s behind the mask. 😉

Got my V-card. Would you like to check it?

My boss literally typed “V-CARD” in every staff email about what we needed for vaccination appointments. She knew what she was doing. Bless her. But seriously….if you can get vaccinated, go for it. So far I have not grown a second head. Day 1 I was tired, had the chills, a back ache and not much of an appetite. I was still pretty functional. Day 2 all the symptoms were better but I woke up with swollen lymph nodes in my vaccination arm. Uncomfortable but not as bad as the Were Cat incident. My sister got “COVID arm.” Google it. She’s also really prone to migraines and the post vaccination headache floored her. What can I say? We’re fucking delicate, unicorn princesses! Many lesser humans have no reactions and just go about their humdrum lives per normal.

All of it is much more survivable than being in a hospital bed on a ventilator. And I probably won’t be touching anyone who responds to my pick up lines any time soon. Or licking random faces etc… Going to keep doing my thing, masking up, washing my hands, and trying not to be a germy time bomb.

My “nurses.”

Little Adventures: A Lino-Cut Christmas and a Happy New Year

Back in July…remember July? During a brief moment when businesses attempted a nod at normalcy, I dragged Adventure Buddy to a workshop at 400 West to learn how to lino-cut and make prints with Angela of Midwest Mermaid. Her artwork is amazing and her mermaid logo would make a sweet little tattoo.

The workshop was small and set up for social distancing with tables as pods of the people attending together. Angela provided everyone with tools, a practice block, a choice of two of her preprinted designs, and much tutelage.

I was a bit jealous of the skill level a table over. They were able to carve really smooth outlines whereas my bee looks a little frazzled around the edges. Overall the process of carving the blocks was extremely soothing, and making the prints had an instant gratification quality. Adventure Buddy immediately bought supplies to enjoy the meditative carving. She digs a pile of shavings.

I knew I wanted to play with this more, but held off on purchasing supplies until I had an idea which, of course, had to marinate procrastination style. Instead of tormenting the cats– sadly, I don’t think they’ve donned costumes in ages– I decided to create my Christmas cards with lino-cutting. Once I got going though, it was the work of an evening or two.

Attempt 1: Miles & Sookie. I don’t have a functioning printer to print designs so I had to draw on the blocks. There is a way to print your design and iron transfer it onto the blocks. I enjoyed the problem solving challenge here of considering how the negative space would work and where would the design best be served to have the ink printed. I also figured out that after making an initial print, I could use that as a guide to clean up spots in the carving. For example, Sookie’s nose needed to not be a blob, but unfortunately I appear to have TNR ear tipped Miles.

Attempt 2: Christmas tree with all four cats. Look closely for Birdie’s calico butt. After the ink dried, I went in with Sharpies and colored in some spots like the bulbs and berries in all the designs. Survey says it is time for bifocals. The glasses are in the pile of shavings because I had to take them off to see the little lines.

Attempt 3: Olivia Wigglebothum and holly. My cleanest one. Fortunately I had a photo to work from with this one.

…and then I had an army of cards! A day later, I discovered that Blick Arts had a whole section of supplies and added a magenta ink to my collection. It worked well with metallic Sharpie accents.

As always, Sookie is my toughest critic. I probably should not have shown her the print that smeared and needed lots of Sharpie scribbles. She says it looks nothing like her. I told her it’s just symbolic of her in 2020.

Happy Holidays to all and a Happy New Year!

What my cats got…

After the post about the Hyde and Eek Target Halloween houses, some people wanted to know what my cats got.

They got this monstrosity.

Much like the days of Boxtonia, it has been taking up premium real estate in the living room since August. I bought a slightly pricey and large outdoor Adirondack chair. Retail quarantine therapy. Their prize was the box.

In its latest iteration, it was the last Artober prompt that I successfully completed. It was “Two” because it is over two feet wide and serves two purposes.

The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Read Today

My skillet is about 6 inches across.

One of the cooking blogs I follow posted a recipe for one walnut chocolate chip cookie.

One.

As in, you are in quarantine by yourself and you just need one cookie RIGHT NOW!!!!

This could be a slippery slope.

Her recipe uses butter, but my go-to for cookies is Crisco. Mine was crumbly, but delicious. The butter might have held it together better. I will have to experiment with round two.

Corona Confession

Confession: My Christmas tree is still up.

It’s not that I’m super lazy…well, maybe a little, or that I love Christmas. I don’t. Christmas is super stressful as a season and as a holiday, plus that time of the school year is a mess. Some years I don’t even decorate because SOMEBODY is going to have to put stuff away. Clearly that somebody struggles with this. This year I packed up all the ornaments some time at the end of January.

It’s up because I like the quality of the white lights. They’re soft and twinkly. It’s a very soothing, pleasant light. Honestly, it really doesn’t do any more or less lighting-wise than the lamp that I have to unplug to put up the tree.

My dream is finding some type of sculptural structure that I can string with white lights and call a lamp to negate the , “Why is your Christmas tree still up?” feeling.

If this Christmas tree being up in March really bugs you, by all means come over and put it away for me. I can also point you towards the vacuum and some loose laundry.

Willing them to grow

I’ve been failing at this for a couple of years now. I do not find the seeds I need and get them started early enough to have big enough tomato plants to produce tomatoes in the summer.

Miles is helping.

Specifically these are Granny Smith Tomatoes. The mature tomatoes are bright green like a Granny Smith apple and very firm making them perfect for fried green tomatoes! I learned about them after finding the plants at a greenhouse one spring. After that I have only come across the seeds.

On this very sunny morning, I set my greenhouse out for more direct sunlight. Hopefully Miles willing the plants to grow will help production and I won’t have to rely on immature green tomatoes for my fried fix!

Grow I say!