This post took place years ago, when Gregg and I went on a mini-road trip to The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond (Virginia). If you went the straightforward route it would take you about two hours to get there but this was summer, and the freeways were very congested with holidaymakers heading down to the beaches. Even when it's not summer we enjoy traveling the smaller, country roads which take us through rural farmland. It is a beautiful ride but takes us longer to get to our destination, and with a stop for breakfast at Amy’s Cafe we reached the gardens in about three hours.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
THE LEWIS GINTER BOTANICAL GARDEN, A VISIT IN JULY 2009
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
A FRIENDLY LOOK...
Monday, March 29, 2021
MONDAY RECIPE POST - BAKED FLOUNDER WITH PANKO AND PARMESAN
We have not had any flounder in a while and we thought it would make a nice change. I found a simple but tasty recipe at All Recipes here.
Baked Flounder with Panko and Parmesan – serves 4
From preparation to table it took under half an hour. Each serving works out to approximately 331 calories.
4 (4 ounces flounder fillets)
¼ cup butter, melted
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch dried thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Lightly grease a large, shallow baking dish.
Arrange flounder fillets on prepared baking dish and brush with 1 tablespoon butter.
Combine remaining 3 tablespoons butter with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme in a bowl; sprinkle over flounder.
Bake in preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
Carefully transfer fillets to a plate with a spatula.
Friday, March 26, 2021
REVISITING MY ASTROLOGICAL CHICKENS
Continuing a bird theme from yesterday, I wanted to share the chickens I photographed several years ago at the
Ho'omaluhi Botanical Gardens on Oahu, Hawaii
Thursday, March 25, 2021
SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SMILE, THE THREE GRACES
A favorite from my archives. I remember them well, and they gave me great joy taking their photo. They still bring me joy with the memory of them, thanks to this photo. I was sitting on a bench in a park on holiday, and the person next to me was feeding the ducks. They were waiting in line very patiently.
Wishing you all Faith, Hope and Charity.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
ON MONDAY WE TOOK THE NEXT STEP...
and received our second Coronavirus vaccination. We went to the same place as the first. A lady coming out of the building asked us if we were going to get our 2nd vaccination and when we replied yes, she rather excitedly told us that we should not worry about any long delays, she said there are a thousand people in there and I was seen very quickly she said. We thanked her for her kindness in letting us know, and we could also tell she was very happy and relieved to be going home. We were happy for her.
This wonderful lady looked after us. I was surprised as neither of us felt the needle, not even a pin-prick of discomfort.
Just like last time we were in and out of the building within a short space of time. This was the fastest, from the time we showed our ID, including the ten minutes we had to wait to make sure we had no adverse reaction. We were in and out in 20 minutes.
It has been two days now and neither of us have had any ill effects. I am aware of my arm near the injection site, but there is no pain. I slept all day yesterday and remember having very long naps with the first dose. "Good grief, this has been a very short day" I said to hubs, and we both laughed. I had heard that being tired was one of those side effects, but no headaches or chills or fever. Maybe I should touch wood. Also a very dear friend gave us some good advice, from her own experience. Stay hydrated and keep the Tylenol handy. Thank you dear friend! I think you know who you are. We are both smiling in your direction.
We had Pfizer. If you have had any experience with your vaccinations, maybe you can let us know in the comment section? Just like each one of us is different, our experiences may be too.
A lot going on in our world. I am watching the news now. I am greatly saddened by such loss. My heart is full for those who are left behind.
Thanks for stopping by and please take good care of yourselves out there, be safe, be happy and be healthy.
Monday, March 22, 2021
MONDAY RECIPE POST - BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS IN RED WINE SAUCE
Braised Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine Sauce
Calories: 524 per serving
A lot of cooking time so I started early, first preparing all the ingredients in the morning which is a big time and energy saver. (I am at my most productive in the a.m.) The beef was put into the oven at 2.30 p.m. and meal was on the table at six. I most always have hubs in the kitchen, and was happy to get everything ready before we started cooking the meal. Normally he will do most of the meal prep while I read the recipe and pitch in with things like chopping the garlic and herbs at the kitchen table. I have mentioned this before but since retirement he has become an excellent chef and enjoys being more of an adventurous cook than I. Consequently we have a lot of fun in the kitchen.
5-6 beef short ribs
1-1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, chopped (brown, yellow or white)
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups very dry red wine
2 cups beef stock or broth, low sodium
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over high heat.
Add half the ribs and brown thoroughly all over (5 - 7 min in total). They should have a nice carmelized crust on the surface. Do this in one layer and cook in batches if you have to. When each batch is done remove and put on a plate until you need them again
Turn heat down to medium.
Add onion and garlic into the same pot and cook for 2 minutes.
Add carrot and celery, cook for 5 minutes until carrot is softened.
Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add wine, broth, thyme and bay leaves.
Stir until tomato paste is dissolved.
Put beef back into the liquid. They should be submerged but if not add a little water. If there are pieces above the liquid, these will steam when cooking, so not to worry too much about this step. Just so that most of the meat is submerged.
Cover with lid and transfer to oven for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pried apart with forks.
Remove carefully from the oven and keep covered to stay warm until serving.
In the recipe Nagi says to remove the beef and strain all liquid in the pot, pressing juices out of the onion, carrots, etc, but adds that this is optional. We decided to skip this step and keep the vegetables.
You may want to thin or thicken the liquid if necessary - simmer to reduce/thicken, add water to thin, also adjusting seasonings to your own taste.
Place beef on serving plate, spoon sauce over.
Serve and enjoy!We both said we wouldn't change a thing with this meal. It was delicious.
Our beef short ribs didn't have any bones. It is hard to tell if the flavor was affected because we thought this had an amazing taste without.
There was a lot of broth left. I will freeze in 1 cup portions and use for any beef-based soups we make.
We served it with macaroni and cheese and a mixed green salad. I like to add blueberries to my salad, along with a few walnut halves and dried chopped dates. It was a Boston lettuce and we sliced mini sweet peppers and sliced mushrooms. It all went together very nicely. I don't add any dressing to my salads normally. I think it comes from not having any salads in childhood. We always had lots of other vegetables from my Dad's garden, but the only lettuce brought home was fed to our pet rabbits and my Dad, God Bless him, only considered salad as 'rabbit food'. Little did I know how much I would enjoy salads later on in life. Hubs enjoyed one of his favorites, blue cheese dressing.
Have a great week everyone.
Friday, March 19, 2021
RANDOM PHOTO - A PINE CONE
Thursday, March 18, 2021
TO A WATERFOWL - ANOTHER POEM BY...
Whither, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last
steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost
Thy solitary way.
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark the distant flight to do
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seeks thou the splashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise
On the chafed oceanside?
There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,
The desert and illimitable air,
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold thin
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home,
And scream amongst thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
DUCKS AND GEESE
An old post revisited. This is a Egyptian Goose. You can click on any of their names to learn more.
They have a Mallard ancestry.
I shared this one recently, a Bar-headed Goose.