I think that I avoid writing when there are things about which I do not want to think. Right now, I have several things going on that do not bear scrutiny, by me or anyone else. There are no easy answers, magic bullets, or quick fixes for these situations. Most of them are long-standing, chronic issues that began as crises and linger as dark shadows. Talking about them does not help. Thinking about them is counterproductive. Forgetting about them is impossible. So I think about them, remain helpless to resolve them, and refuse to give them full reign on my life. They surely do put up quite a fight for my attention though.
Attila has been feeding us fish. Two nights ago he served a wondrously tasty bit of salmon fillet on a bed of Basmati rice, with a green salad. I turn my nose up at most fish dishes. Raised in the lap of luxurious poverty near a well-stocked lake, I became accustomed to pan-fried Rainbow Trout. Until recently, Attila despaired of ever finding an acceptable low-sodium way of serving fish that could compare to fresh Rainbow Trout. He has achieved the seemingly impossible with his Baked Salmon.
Oatcakes are a favorite snack food here. I make mine from an old Pictou County (Nova Scotia, Canada) recipe that came over the foam with the Scots. There must be a lot of Scot in me, because oatmeal is necessary to my peace of mind and my physical sense of well being. A few days without oats and I begin to feel bloated and fatigued.
Usually I eat oatmeal with flaxseeds for breakfast; but Oatcakes are my first choice if they lie waiting in the tin, of a morning. "The Teenager" loves them; visiting teenagers devour them in great quantities. Attila, however, finds them bland and uninteresting. Reduced competition for foodstuffs is a good thing.
Rain splatters into the puddles in the driveway. The snow banks are beginning to sag, to look weepy and smudged. Our "salt snakes" are dissolving quickly in the runoff from the roof. I harbor concerns as to the effect of salt on the spring gardens.
"Salt Snakes" are what I call our solution to "ice dams" on the roof. Earlier this winter we found that "ice dams" had formed along the east and south edges of the roof and water was leaking into the window casements. My first thoughts were to find an axe and hack the ice from the roof, clearly a spurious and perilous solution to the problem.
Reason prevailed and an Internet search revealed a variety of suggestions on how to deal with "ice dams". The one I favored had no name in particular, so I christened it the "salt snake". Attila visited the late night grocery to purchase several large bags of rock salt. I visited the depths of my "never wear that" drawer to produce a somewhat worn and ancient pair of pantyhose. The hose were split up the gusset and each leg filled with salt, the end tied into a secure knot. The "salt snakes" were born.
Attila placed each snake on a long, narrow board, climbed them up the ladder, and rolled them into position on the roof. Within twelve hours the leaking had stopped. The "salt snakes" had melted their way down to the surface of the roof, forming a clear channel for the backed up water to drain into the evestrough.
This morning, with the cold winter rain, the "salt snake" above the kitchen window drips and dangles bereft. All that remains overhanging the roof is the empty foot. We are expecting cold weather again by the end of the week; it remains to be seen if the need for our "salt snakes" will reoccur.
|RECIPES :: Cast
By the Easy Chair
Quotable Women: A Collection of Shared Thoughts
" Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life."
Sophia Loren, b. 1934
In the Kitchen
Herbed Salmon Bake
Adapted From Amy Vanderbilt's
Complete Cookbook, page 313.
1 pound salmon fillet
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup salad oil
1 whole lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons parsley,finely chopped
Dip fish in slightly salted water. Dry on paper towel. Remove bones. Place fish in baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over fish, and cover dish. Let marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Turn occasionally. Place covered dish in oven and bake at 450 F for 35 minutes.
02:00 PM EST
Temp: 1` C
Wind: ENE 3 mph
Barometric: 29.35 in
Sunrise 7:36 AM EST
Sunset 5:25 PM EST
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