Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creative cooking with Lynn -- Hops and Hot dogs for Breakfast

If you happened upon this blog post by googling "creative cooking" because you were, like um say, looking for something to cook, you can just move along.  I don't mean to push you away, you're welcome to stay and poke around, it's just that I think it's safe to say no one reads my blog for the recipes.

So I was at the San Remo fruit and veg market yesterday getting some, well, fruit and veg, when I notice a basket of this

The sign said "Luppolo".  Not knowing what Luppolo is I asked the guy behind the counter.

"It's luppolo."

"Yeah.  I see that.  What is luppolo?"

"It's luppolo.  You know what they make beer with."

"Sold.  I'll take a bunch of that.  So, what part of it do I eat?  The leaves, the stems?"

"You eat it all!  What are you going to make with it?"

Well, since I didn't know what it was until 1 minute ago, and I don't know which part of it I'm supposed to eat, well, I can't say I know what I will make with it.  "Any ideas?", I ask.

"Oh it's delicious.  You can do lots of things...frittata, risotto, or even just steamed with oil and lemon."

My friend the green grocer left BREAKFAST BOWL off the list.  That's what I made with my luppolo.

So, a breakfast bowl is a creative cooking creation of my very own.  This is what it is, essentially, you take any left over meat or veg from dinner the night before, if you don't have any you clear any meat or veg out of the fridge that is close to needing to be thrown out. 

 Fry this stuff up in a pan, add some onion if you want.  Then toss a few eggs on on top of the mixture in the pan and cook this up.  When this is finished, dump this meat/veg/egg stuff on a bed of any left over carbs (rice, potatoes, whatever) from the night before.  Serve this in a BOWL and eat it for BREAKFAST...thus the name.

This morning, Hops and Hot dogs Breakfast Bowl.

If you so choose, as I did this morning, you can garnish the bowl with some fresh know, to hide the hot dogs.

And that ends today's session of Creative Cooking with Lynn.  Buon appetito.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So, I went to the post office yesterday.  Does it seem to you guys that I spend a lot of time at the post office?  I don't really.  Interesting things just seem to happen when I go there, thus you hear about every visit I make.  Perhaps next time I'm lacking blog fodder I can just go mail a letter or something.

So, as I was saying, I went to the post office yesterday.  Do you remember Colombo and Nucia, the unofficial king and queen of Maberga? Well, they were there, too, waiting.  I noticed that Colombo had both his feet wrapped and he was holding a cane.  Apparently Colombo is having feet problems.  We discussed this for a while.  I won't bore you with the details, mainly because I didn't understand anything they were saying.

After hearing about the feet, there was a slight lull in the conversation.  Being one who is uncomfortable with such silences, I quickly thought of a topic.

"Hey, I wanted to ask you guys...I have a cousin who wants to get married in Maberga.  Would that be possible?"

Damn if that wasn't just the thing to jump start a conversation with these two!  Nucia, who was born in Maberga and lived there until the young and handsome Colombo swept her away to the big city, Taggia, almost cried.  Her face lit up like a light bulb!  Yeah, ok...bad writing.  I've got you guys picturing a weeping light fixture.  My point was she was very excited about the idea.  Her first comment was, "I hope that Colombo's feet are better for the wedding."

Colombo, more stoically and like the man who gets shit done that he is said,  "Well, we can't decide that.  We'll have to ask Don Antonio.  I'll do that for you."

Remember Don Antonio?

Nucia and Colombo weren't sure if Don Antonio would agree...he's got bad feet too.  Remember?

Just in case you readers are thinking that I just made this whole wedding thing up, I didn't, really.  Remember Bumpy and Doug?   While they were visiting last September I suggested that they get hitched in Maberga.  Doug was all over the idea and proposed on the spot.  I won't share the intimate words that he said, but I can tell it was very touching.  We laughed about the idea for a while and then opened another bottle of wine.

Bumpy and Doug...the ball is rolling now.  You HAVE TO do it.

I see your future and it's beautiful.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring thyme

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warm is go out on the mountain with my sketch book and draw all the new stuff growing.  Here's the thyme that grows wild in my favorite spot to sit.***

That WAS one of my favorite things to do in the warm weather until I discovered my new favorite thing.  Now the new favorite is so totally awesome that everything else I do in my day is just filler, a time killer, until I can do my new favorite thing.

And what is this new thing?  Exercise.  I know.  I know. You've watched me go down this road before.  Like that time that I tried to get into running.  Remember that?  Yeah, that lasted about 3 days.  All I got out of that failed attempt was a new pair of running shoes.  The shoes aren't so new any more but I don't care.  I put those puppies on in the morning and head out the door, whistling a happy tune because I GET to go exercise.  

So what's changed?  My exercise routine now has me piling one of my dogs in the car and heading to the sea.  We do an hour long walk/jog/speed walk/stroll/saunter on the bike path until we decide to go off road hitting the beach.  What's there NOT to like, whether you're into exercise or not, about being at the sea on a warm spring day with your dog?! Duh.

The sea is 5 minutes from my house, I have two hyper dogs that need to get off the mountain sometimes, and I need to move more of my body than my hands.  Let's just not wonder why it's taken me 7 years to come up with this plan.  Please?

***By the way, I wasn't drunk when I did that sketch, I like to draw with my left hand.  It makes me pay closer attention.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Sundays are for Sycling in a single sentence

So, it was a beautiful spring day yesterday...

 so David and I decided to go for a bike ride...

 so we went to Arma di Taggia, where we can pick up the bike path that runs from San Remo to Imperia (I think...I've never actually done the whole path...that's a bit too much for me given that, as David figured, I ride my bike once every 3 years)...

where we took the bikes out of the car and David noticed he had a flat...

so we drove around Arma looking for a bike pump, not finding one, which took us to San Remo...

where we didn't find a bike pump but found our friend Matteo walking up the street carrying  a couple bags of lemons...

"Ciao Matteo!  Nice lemons!"...

"Ciao!  What are you guys doing here in these parts?!"...

"We're looking for a bike tire pump but we can't find one."...

"I have a bike tire pump.  Hold my lemons, I'll be right back."...

 so we pumped up and said good byes to Matteo and went here...

on our bikes until....

we rode our bides to a beach side restaurant for some lunch and where we met a nice squirrel...

 and that's the end.

Spring Sunday are for sycling in San Remo and monotontous Mondays are for making mostly magnified maxims.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

So the neighbor who owns the land across the path street from us called me the other night.  Her name is Bruna.  She and her husband were the ones who  beat their heads non-stop against the bureaucratic wall for two years persistently worked with the city to get the water connection to Maberga.  As if that wasn't enough, they now have the privileged responsibility of making sure that this new system is working properly. 

So Bruna called to find out if the work that the plumber did on the tubes and other necessary bits that keep the water flowing was successful.

B:  Do you have water now?
L: YES!!!  Thank you so much. 

There was a little more chitter chatter about the tubes and the water system and then some small talk and then it was time to say goodbye.

B: Ciao Lina
L: Ciao Bruno.

No, that wasn't a typo.  I called her Bruno. BrunO not BrunA. That would be like calling a woman named Danielle's a subtle difference but well, actually, no.  It's a big difference. 

This wasn't the first time I've done this either.  I do it every time I speak with her and only when we are saying goodbye.  Ok, fine. It's not a big deal.  I know that Bruna knows that I know she's a woman and not a man. All the same, every interaction I have with her leaves me feeling like the biggest idiot. 

The worst part is that I have no idea why I make this mistake.  It's not like a know a plethora of BrunOs and so it just rolls off the tongue.  In fact, I only know one Bruno.

My cousin Bumpy and her husband's dog.

I don't really have anything else to add to this little vignette so I'll just end here.


 Ummm, yeah.  I do know that that is a photo of David, who, is NOT a female (I don't think I've ever called him Davidina).  That's a photo of David doing what Italian tradition dictates that men do on March 8th which is, of course, climb a Mimosa tree and give the woman in their life a bouquet.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

care package from home

A girl is never too old for a care package from mom and dad.

Mom knit me a new sweater and it's a beaut!  Soft alpaca yarn in a soft shade of brown lovingly knit into this soft funky Rowan cape-like-thing pattern (I assume you knit it lovingly, mom).  It fits me perfectly and I might never take it off.

And at the bottom of the box, just a couple other things a daughter needs to survive. 

I would guess my dad contributed the cold medicine to combat all my recent illnesses and mom the popcorn to eat while watching march madness basketball.  The tooth brushes, however, are a bit of a mystery.

Thanks, mom and dad.  You guys are the best. 

Sunday, March 04, 2012

So, I spent the night in the emergency room.  Nothings serious, don't worry.  Just a little bout with the stomach flu.  Well, 'little bout' being kind of like, well, imagine a full water balloon that has had about 10-20 holes poked in it. Now squeeze the balloon.  Can you picture the water squirting and spewing out of it everywhere?  It was that kind of stomach flu. I know you all know THAT kind of stomach flu.  So anyway, that flu caused some dehydration and the dehydration caused some hyperventilation and the hyperventilation caused my tongue to go a little thick and that caused my miserable, wimpy screams of fear and pain to sound like 100 cats in heat fighting in our bathroom, which caused David to take me to the emergency room to get some fluids.  Probably a good decision.

That was last Wednesday.  Essentially, I've lost another week to the couch, having only enough brain power and attention span to make a few of these.

More washcloths.

I suppose at this point I could wax on comically about my 7 hour San Remo emergency room experience.  I suppose I could describe in vivid 1940's war era detail the underground, secret tunnel that David and I had to traverse after parking in the wrong lot.  Or about the drunk in the bed behind me screaming about his god, making love, his children, his land and alcohol -- none in very flattering light.   Or about the security guard and 90 year old respiratory patient trying to shut him up.  Or I could, at this point, write a witty essay about how important it is to have nice looking pjs and clean slippers, just in case you are ever whisked off to the ER whilst you are donning said dress. (mental note:  buy new pjs and slippers).  

But instead, because my mental capacity is about tapped, I'm just going to tell you about how freakin' inspirational it was to be surrounded by old ladies in the hospital each covered by a hand crocheted afghan.  Honestly, if I didn't know that I was only there for the stupid stomach flu, I would have thought that I had died and gone to crocheted afghan heaven.  Four of the 6 folks in the room with me were sweetly sleeping (or trying to be as not miserable as possible) under multicolored, well-loved blankets.  (I don't know if the drunk had one, I couldn't see him).

So if you'll excuse me now, I'm going to do a little work on this...just to be ready for next time.