Friday, June 2, 2017


I have been experimenting with stir-frying small amounts of vegetables to use in lieu of pan gravy over chops and chicken. The cuisine has improved, and meal prep time is less.

Sauteed carmelized onion cut in quarter inch by two inch strings is a convenient prep to keep on hand for toppings, omelets, sandwiches, and sauces. The long, slow frying necessary to make the most of an onion is easy to justify when several days' dinners are ahead.

Upgrading onion and pepper pays off. Shallots are so large now that handling one as above is realistic. The string-like slices are three sixteenths of an inch by about an inch and a half, by eye.

Ordinary green pepper is blah compared to the many variants that are now on the market. I substitute one of medium heat and dice it smaller than the bell pepper. A careful saute' leaves it ready to mix with fried shallot and fried mushroom slices. Season with freshly ground black pepper and the sauce  from a de-glazed pan -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ready To Go

A nineteenth-century housekeeping practice still makes sense. After herself washed and then dried the glasses, silver and good china in two dishpans set on oilcloth on the dining table itself, it was customary simply to set the table for breakfast and leave it overnight, ready for a head start the next day. Dry glasses with a lint-free linen towel.

I wash dishes in the kitchen, but it eases the burden of morning fog to have most of the morning organized when I stumble downstairs -30- More after the jump.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Simple Step

One quick procedure protects the household from waterborne pathogens and eliminates maintenance. Simply wipe down the sink, faucet handles, and drainboards while cleaning up after a meal.

I use flimsy cotton washcloths in lieu of dishtowels because they're better wipers. I have not had to scrub the sink in the thirty-six years since it was installed -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Tidiness is critical in this urban area. One piece of litter on the parking strip can quickly metastasize into a rich collection of dog waste, cigarette butts, and noisy neighbors. Spring and fall are critical times to mow. Diligent attention, sometimes three times a week, produces a dense, resilient turf that can be ignored over summer's dormant period.

This old block was paved with smooth asphalt around 1900. The gutters are lined with high-fired bricks. Grooming the gutter as carefully as the grass protects the dignity of the fine old properties that remain on the block -30- More after the jump.