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Links, Recipes, and Musings...What More Could You Want?

Where shall I start?

For two weeks I've kept this recipe on my desk, so how about we begin with that?

Taco Seasoning
1 T chili powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
1/4 t onion powder
1/8 t cayenne
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t cumin
1 t salt
1 t pepper

The next time you want to make Mexican, whether it be taco salad, or regular tacos, mix the spices in a small bowl, cook your meat, and sprinkle it with the above while still in the pan. Add about 3/4 c water, bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes. I don't know about you, but every now and again, I have a hankering for tacos, and since I already have all the listed ingredients, I'm get to go. Try it if you like that sort of thing.

Cue: Photograph of something....
Yesterday morning on my bicycle ride, which by the way I've now ridden 1,670 miles to nowhere, but that's beside the point...anyway, Sue has finally returned to Orlando, after spending a month at their cabin in Montana, making me very happy. While there she showed me these boots, and because we are having a Texas themed party for J&A in December, I said let's see what we can do. And so we did.

As well, I stopped to see Cheryl, and by golly she has the most BEAUTIFUL plumeria in bloom. See for yourself:
More often than not I struggle with what gender to use when showing you things like insects and the like. He, or she? Cheryl assigns her plants as such: pretty ones are shes, and handsome ones are hes. It appears that blogger doesn't approve of my using the term hes, but I can't think how else to describe her system. How about I call the blasted oleandar caterpillar a he? They are back by the dozens at our house!
We are going back to England on September 30 for a week, and while there, I was hoping to see more from my favorite street artist Stik. When I saw online a big new piece he has done, I was pretty darn excited. Except a few days later it looked very different indeed. This link shows just what happened when Stik and friends collaborated. Banksy may be the king of street art, but I dare say Stik is a prince. If you check out the link you'll see what I mean by that.

How about another simple recipe? During a trip to Costco while Matt was home, we picked up a large bag of lovely lemons. Obviously you know that when life gives you lemons, or in this case you pay for them, you make lemonade. And so we did. Following this simple ratio made for some delicious lemonade.
Lemonade
Mix 1 c sugar with 1 c boiling water. 
Stir until dissolved
In pitcher add 1 c lemon juice
Add above simple syrup
3 1/c water
Stir or shake
A little lemon zest never hurt anyone.
Drink with gusto!

Cue: photograph of something...
So much for our dry weather I last reported. Torrential downpour yesterday afternoon.

That said, today is once again lovely and bright. Speaking of gloomy days, this post: Adrift from a long time ago tells one tale of the recession. Some days, when I sit down to write, I think to myself, "why bother, does anyone really care?" Turns out even if no one else cares, I'm pretty thrilled to have a record of life as I know it. 

Following that gloominess, here's a link: If you are in need of a good laugh click! Seriously, this is the best.

Cue: photograph of something...
Karen Howard where are you? Why, in North Carolina silly! Here's a reminder of home. While chatting with Cheryl the other day I told her about Palm Gardens on Judge Road where all our backyard landscape plants were purchased. Anxious to see it for herself, I drove her there this morning, followed by a trip to Howard Fertilizer on Orange Avenue, a first for me. Together we purchased a recommended bag of fertilizer to split. Never once, in all the years I've drive by this place, have I stopped. Well now I have, and while there I learned they have been in business since the early 1940's, a feat not many places around here can boast of. Bill, from Palm Gardens, assures us the fertilizer is the best. I'll let you know, but after more than 60 years as a nurseryman, I'm not inclined to argue with him. 

Guess who has the nerve to move? Angela!!! As you can imagine, I am not one bit happy about this new development. If you know anyone who wants a good neighbor, tell them about this house for sale:
After all the work she put into this house, they are walking away, or make that driving away to what is known around these parts as "pill hill." Back when we were young it was one of the toniest parts of town, mostly occupied with doctors, thus the name. It's only a few miles from here, but there will be no more just walking across the street for an afternoon cup of tea. :(

Back to Sue's house, I took this one from her screened in porch:
As you can see, she is a big collector. For my part, there are so many things to photograph, I hardly know where to start!

Recipe...what else shall I include??? I know, a simple summer meal we had the other night..

Pasta and Tomatoes
If large, slice a bunch of grape tomatoes
Finely dice about three cloves of garlic
Combine the two in a bowl
Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar
Twice as many dashes of olive oil
Salt and black pepper as you like
Big dash of red pepper flakes
Torn basil leaves as you like
Allow to sit at room temp for a few hours, 
I used linguine because I had it, but angel hair, spaghetti, whatever is in the cupboard
Cook as directed saving a cup or so of pasta water
Dump pasta water over tomatoes
When pasta is done, dump in bowl, combine
Sprinkle with more basil, chopped Italian parsley and cheese if you like
Eat with a smile on your face.
Here's where the musings come in:

For some time now I've taken advantage of the terrific offerings at Freshfield Farms up the street. Once called Mom's Meat, and Pop's Produce, a few years ago they gave themselves a makeover, attracting lots of newcomers as a result. Then too, we know the owners who are professing Christians, so much so, there are quotes of Scripture on some of the interior walls. So far, so good. Today, however, when checking out on the meat side of the store, I complimented the cashier on her friendliness and speed of checkout. She thanked me, and when asked how long she'd worked there, she said five years. She went on to tell me that she was now at the top of the pay scale, and had to go home at 2:00 to reduce her hours. There was more: her job is in jeopardy because they don't think she is fast enough. Furthermore, she also claimed that, she, and most of the other employees are on food stamps because they don't make enough money, and can't get enough hours. To tell you the truth, I was horrified by what she had to say. Surprisingly, she did not seem bitter, claiming other companies are operating the same way. I must add, she did not offer this on her own, it was as a result of my questions. Although it is convenient, I'm wondering if I may have to re-think things and go back to Publix. Modern life can be one big fat conundrum, can't it?

Let's close with a pretty photo shall we?
The butterflies were out in full force at Palm Garden today. :) 

I'm heading into the kitchen to try a new recipe for fried chicken. You'll be the first to know what I think.
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