Archive for July, 2018

A Good Leftovers Brunch

This has been a great week for Pat and me.  The Probus BBQ last Tuesday with 90 people, for which I was the event leader, turned out great.  Wonderful.  Better yet, the annual Vancouver Island Miata club run and BBQ  yesterday, organized by just 2 people, Pat and I, was a success.

They are linked.  The Probus BBQ had a Hawaiian theme.  We booked a guy to cook a pig on a spit in the venue parking lot for 12 hours — massive amounts of great pork for the dinner.  As the staff were clearing up before the entertainment, I went up with an aluminum dish to gather at least 3 lbs of cooked pork left on the buffet table.  There was more left over, but I was the only one who took the initiative to take some home.  Two nights later, I shredded it, added various sauces to make it Pulled Pork.

Yesterday was the Miata run, ending at Kin Beach.  We had a grill for hamburgers and hot dogs, and a pot on the simmer with the pulled pork.

Now there is a point to this blog….

We went to the local market garden the day before to buy lettuce for a salad and large fresh, ripe beefsteak tomatoes which I sliced up to accompany the hamburgers.  We bought fresh Ciabatta buns, and Pat made a great bean salad as well as the customary Caesar.  A great meal following a good run, where I lead the 16 participant cars from the Visitor Centre to the beach where Pat was preparing the meal.

As it turns out, very few chose to add the large, lush, local, ripe tomato slices to their hamburger.

When we cleaned up and came home, we had this bowl of ripe sliced tomatoes left over, plus a few cooked hamburgers and a little bit of pulled pork.

During the night I was thinking about what we could do with the luscious sliced tomatoes.  As it happens, Janine had given us a cook book called Plenty by Otto Lenghi.  All vegetarian dishes.   The book was sitting on the piano bench in our bedroom (I do not remember why).  At 6:30 am (Sunday) I woke up and considered how I was going to prepare a fancy brunch for my Bride when she came home from church, and how could I use the tomatoes.  Picked up the book and went back to bed and found Shakshuka, for which I had all the ingredients, including the ripe tomatoes.

While not a breakfast dish, it does have eggs on top, so close enough for a brunch.   The picture is not perfect because one of the eggs broke, but it was delicious.

My role in life is to surprise Pat when she comes home from church with a special meal.  Today was a good one.

An Interesting Friday Evening

This blog is supposed to be like an on-line diary and a series of deep thoughts from me.

But this is an interesting Friday evening…

This last week has been complicated.  We held our annual Probus club BBQ which I was in charge of.  We had a guy roast a pig on a spit for 12 hours in the parking lot and had a great Hawaiian singer for the entertainment.  Altogether a great evening.  No end of compliments on organizing this evening for me…  but I had a good team.

Now this was last Tuesday.  Tomorrow Pat and I are hosting our Vancouver Island Miata club for a run and a BBQ on the beach.  When I first proposed this I thought we might have 7 cars and maybe a dozen people. Never thought of putting together a team to help.

Summer has arrived and we are now looking at 17 cars or more and we now have to organize a BBQ on the beach for at least 32 people.

This time I should have put together a team but it is only Pat and I.  I had booked a pavilion on the beach but it has only a grill that you cook over firewood.  So we are scrambling.

Fortunately I have Pat…   She has spent the afternoon cutting up lettuce for a Caesar salad and making a big bean salad.

Now at the end of the Hawaiian bbq on Tuesday I had the foresight to go up and grab about 3 lbs of the most delicious roasted pork as a take home.  Today I shredded it and it will be be simmered in a sauce as an option tomorrow.  Costco trip today to get 48 buns and lots of burgers and wieners and pickles etc.

We are prepared to offer a BBQ to 34 people tomorrow with hamburgers, hotdogs, prepared on an open fire with a side of pulled pork on Ciabatta buns with two kind of salads.

But as the Friday evening approached 6 pm… realized that we had not planned for our meal tonight.

Thank goodness for frozen pork shu mai and shrimp and corn from the larder.

A good evening… Tomorrow is another day.


Walking Hand in Hand

I was reading a survey last year that says only 5% of married couples walk hand in hand regularly on a stroll.  Since then I have been observing couples that we know when we are walking.

Pretty much true.

No issue with Pat and I because we walk at different pace.  We did walk hand in hand when we were 19 and dating, but pretty much lost that habit.

Where we live we observe senior couples walk by ever few minutes.  Granted most of them are being dragged by their little doggies.  But when they come by, very few couples hold hands.

This is obviously a false indication of affection.

Proof is whenever you see Trump and Melania come down from Air Force One or on the staircase from the White House, they are hand in hand, but staying as far apart as possible.  Never looking at each other.

As a test every now and then, as Pat and I are walking, I do take her hand.  After a few steps she says “what, do you think I am walking too slow?”

There is one couple in our extended group of friends, our age, that do walk hand in hand when we, for instance, are heading to a restaurant or a parking lot after a hike, that do walk hand in hand.  You can tell that this is natural for them because they lean in towards each other as they stroll.  Unlike Donald and Melania.

As I am studying this phenomenon, I am thinking that the 5 % is about right.  But for the couples that read this blog, do you feel guilty about not holding hands???



Best TV Series

Last winter we switched our internet and TV to Telus.  It came with 1000 channels of TV.

Spent the winter and early spring getting rid of the channels we did not want.  Turns out we really do not like much on live TV.  I know there are drama series and adventures, but we have evolved.  Fortunately there are Blue Jay games, but that has not been the winning option this season. The kind of programs I record are old Maydays and Salvage Dawgs.

When we sit in the evening we watch Netflex but with this new package we also get Crave.

One of my favorite series of books are the Michael Connelly stories of Harry Bosch.  When we realized they were making a TV series on his stories I was interested but we had to subscribe to Crave TV. Did not want pay that fee only to get this one program  (we are a retired couple on a fixed income).

In any event we now get Crave for free for a period and over the last month or so watched all 4 seasons of Bosch.  Up to now the best series.

When I am watching TV in the morning before we do things, I go to You Tube and watch historical items.  In the random search I came across this series of self produced documentaries about a young Shipwright rebuilding a 110 year old yacht.  Started to watch it and gahhh, I love it.  He has at least 30 shows and I happened to hit episode 18.

This young shipwright bought a decrepit but famous wooden yacht named Tally Ho in Oregon, and had it moved to a lot in the Puget Sound, and he is slowly rebuilding it.

Now obviously there is an interest because of my lifetime hobby, but this is so much more.  A young guy working mostly by himself but getting more and more help as his You Tube series catches on.

When I watch an episode, Pat wants to watch as well and agrees that this is the best of reality programs.  Granted not for everyone…

This program is so good, that for the first time since I first watched This Old House in 1987, I am actually sending money to help subsidize his project.  Granted if you look into it, the series is so popular, he is probably getting lots of funding.

If you are bored with regular TV, go on You Tube and look up Tally Ho featuring Leo and grab an episode.  I will grant you that you have to love ship designs to understand all the details, but it is a great series.


A Great Day in Paradise

All is forgiven.  For those that have been following my diatribes, I have been bitching about the horrible weather we had in June.  After a marvelous May, June turned cold and wet.  Bring on the global warming.

July and it is finally turning into the summers that we have enjoyed for the last 10 years.  Actually a lovely day.

Pat and I took another couple on the test drive of the Miata run I will lead next week where we will host a BBQ on the beach.  Drove up to Mount Washington and down and then on small roads through the countryside to end up at Kin Beach.  Weather could not have been better.

Home tonight and we made Mediterranean bbq chicken wraps for dinner.  Sitting in the backyard we toasted each other and confirmed we made the perfect decision on where to retire.  A typical view from our table.

An Evening Watching Golf Swings

We live on a golf course backing onto a long par 3 hole.  Opposite our back yard is the white tee box.  About 160 yards from the whites to the green.  Not long and one of the easiest holes on the course.

Great part is that we live across the fairway from the tee box and where we are positioned, never get a golf ball in the yard and seldom hear the conversations.

Over the years we have sat on our patio in the afternoon or in the evening watching thousands of guys (and occasional gals, as the Red tee box is further to our left) hit off.  Now you might think it is only because we are bored, but we look up and just judge the practice and the real swing.

Pat, who does not play golf, has become an expert on a good swing.  Loose hips and a full follow through.  She can nail a bad swing every time.

But as all golfers would know, you do a couple of practice swings where the body flows through, and then step up the 2 inches to the real ball and you end up stabbing at it.  Not even close to the free swing.

Pat knows that very well.  As soon as she sees a poor hit she declares that it is going wrong.  I try to tell her that there is an intimidation from the little round orb that changes your swing.

It is July 1 and we went off to watch the parade downtown.  It is a small community, and aside from one pipe band and a group of all the fire trucks from Oyster Bay to Fanny Bay, it was basically a parade of kids on decorated bikes and clowns.  A certain highlight was one guy walking his goats.  The highlights were all the attendants throwing off candies to all the little kids.  I suspect it was a success.  I took the bride off for brunch at a restaurant , where we had Eggs Benedict which is one of the few brunches I do not prepare for Pat on a Sunday.

The weather finally became warm enough for us to sit outside on the patio this evening for BBQd rib steaks.

As we sat there dining, listening to soft music and sipping wine, we watched the rare golfers go by.

Pat would observe and critique the swing.  She was always right.  If the swing was the same as the practice, they would stand there and admire.  If the swing was not what they hoped, they would hang their head and drag their club back to the cart.

Who says retirement is boring….