Gotta get a farm and a personal chef

Another video and more thorough article from ABC news here.

Good thing I live in California and don’t have to worry about getting organic oranges, but so much for convenience.  I have two juicers, in fact.  And I don’t drink OJ that much.  But if this is what they do to OJ, what about other juices?  I hate to imagine.

If Whole Foods doesn’t add flavor packs to their OJ, would Trader Joe’s?

No wonder I keep losing weight.  Food just isn’t safe any more.  I deserve something safe that’s semi-convenient…I just can’t cook all the time any more.  sigh.

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Indian Summer

We deserve all the beautiful, warm days we’ve been enjoying the past few weeks.  Rain came early but now it’s gorgeous, the tomatoes are finally ripening…if only it could stay this way through Thanksgiving…

Here are a few I managed to save from the rampaging squirrels!

Autumn heirlooms!

White peach & Cardamom preserves

This is but half of the equation.  The intent is to make a deliciously fragrant ice cream with the preserves, although there’s always the possibly of trying a Bellini with it as well.  Some of the remaining syrup was used to make a fig conserve, also for ice cream.  I added Grand Marnier to the figs for a little twang.  This frenzy was inspired by two lackluster desserts at an expensive (cash only) Mediterranean restaurant in Berkeley.  The dinner was also mediocre, which prompted me to devise a menu just to prove I could do better (for about 1/3 of the price).

This could be used for a crisp, crumble, or galette, but for intensity, I’m thinking a creme fraiche gelato as a base.  Trying to cut back on flour consumption (we’ll see how long that lasts).  On the other hand, a ginger shortbread cookie-peach ice cream sandwich doesn’t sound half bad, or maybe just a shard of pistachio brittle.

The peaches and figs are from my parents’ garden.  Each year we struggle to preserve a harvest that ripens all at once due to the blistering heat where they live.  It’s lovely, and every time I open a jar I think of them in the garden.  One might ask why a terminally ill person would spend an entire day preserving fruit.  Well, the jars of fruit may outlive me.  In the meantime, I get to ponder my parents and loved ones who might enjoy the food later (it never lasts that long but it’s a nice thought).

It’s also good for the appetite.  I’m off to plan a dazzling Mediterranean meal to welcome the Hubby home.  Let’s see if he’ll eat a fried squash blossom 😉

The Epic and the Odd

That's what June 2010 has been.  One never ending drama.  I really hope the next half of this year (which has blown by in a blur) is lighter, slower, more digestible.

On Day 4 of our residency in the new 'hood, a previously well-kept secret location, two people jumped on my car and dented the quarter panel and the hood.  At eleven o'clock at night.  I was getting out of the shower, the Hubby and I were talking, when we heard crunching noises and voices outside the window.  He looked out and saw a guy on the hood and a girl on the roof of my car!  So he yells, "HEY, GET OFF OF THAT CAR!!"  then, "(MOTHER—!)"  He runs down the hall ("Call a cop!") and out the door, watches the couple split.  The guy (white jacket, red stripes) runs across the green between the houses across the street, the girl runs towards the next door neighbors' houses.
There's a police department right on Alameda Point, about half a mile away.  It's a pretty quiet island, so they're in my driveway in minutes.  The hubs tells me to get inside, he'll handle it.  The passenger side fender is incredibly dented with a large chip of paint missing, and the hood has a small dent and several rubber scuff marks.  I am numb. I literally feel nothing, except that my heart is pounding.  I know the hubs is having a psychological break-down, wondering whether we just made a mistake and this neighborhood isn't what it was when we last lived here, 4 years ago.  I think, well it's not too late to change our minds and move back.  We're only out $2500 and gut-busting effort at this point.  I'm feeling terrible for my husband, feel nothing about the car.
I wash pots and pans so I can look out the window and watch, if not hear, what's going on.  There are two other people talking to the policeman besides the Hubby.  Turns out the neighbor across the street saw the guy run past her house, and the neighbor one over said the girl hid behind his car in the driveway.  The police dusted his car for fingerprints as well.  Nice way to meet the neighbors, eh?
He comes in after awhile, says the guy's been caught, he's going for a ride with the cop to ID him.  Later he tells me there were 5 police cars at the arrest scene.  The guy is in handcuffs.  He admits to jumping on the car.  The girl somehow shows up, her three kids in tow.  Hubs says she doesn't look 20 years old.  She denies being on the car.  They both swear they were chased by a dog.  My car was the first thing they saw to get up on.  We neither saw nor heard a dog, and suspect they may have been altered.  But there's no way of knowing, and the police don't think charges can be pressed.
The next morning we view the specter of what seemed like a bad dream in bright summer light.  Unbelievable.  Appears as if someone went to town on my car with a kettenmorgenstern, aka military flail, fitted with an unspiked ball.  Add to that black fingerprint dust everywhere.  I go inside and wouldn't you know, a burgundy Taurus drives by.  It backs up, parks, and a guy walks up towards the Hubby.  It's the "vandal".  A heavy woman resembling Aunt Jemima in torn turquoise sweats gets out of the car and joins the conversation.  The guy apologizes profusely to the Hubby, says he can't believe he "did all that" to the car and didn't mean to do it.  He offers to cut the grass, or do anything around the house as restitution (there are gardeners that maintain the entire neighborhood).  They told Hubby the dog was found, its owners admitted it had gotten out, but we're still skeptical as we neither saw nor heard it.  I'll just have to read the police report.  
Everyone, from friends to insurance adjuster to body shop estimator describes the whole thing as "Odd".  "Odd" cost me more trauma plus a deductible.  I just hope it won't be considered a total loss and it'll be repaired.  Ironically, we just paid it off a week ago.
Two days later, the cleaning service we hired to do the place we moved out of broke a window (and charged me extra for requesting window cleaning and for having an extra worker).  I actually think we wound up paying for that broken window but whatever, at least we're getting our whole deposit back.  (I'll believe it when I see it)
If that's not enough, turns out one of our cats had an abscess.  It ruptured in a projectile of pink liquid, two days after the car incident.  She had to be hospitalized.  I left the clinic, went to check on the housecleaners and discovered the window break and the bait-and-switch (I'll post a rating to Yelp as soon as I get the deposit check!).  Boy, I needed a drink in a major way.
Did I mention Hubby's epic dishwasher/garbage disposal installation while this was all happening (our cabinets are steel and the plumbing is from the 50's so not set up for a dishwasher)?  Or the epic search for a new bed, because the hubby finally feels the pain from our current bed (it isn't that old and wasn't cheap, and I've hated it since day one), which is parked in the guest bedroom?  Did I say I have to do lung-function tests, get a chest x-ray, and see a pulmonologist because I can't breathe?  I need a drink and an inhaler.
It ain't over, but I'm being optimistic.  I see the pulmonologist tomorrow.  I'll have to tell him I walked a moderately hilly 3 miles the other day and didn't get winded more than usual.  But my knees and hips are killing me!
The To Do list is so long, not including unpacking stuff.  I'm very tired.  I just want to sit somewhere and read books for awhile.  I need a vacation…

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