Saturday, November 30, 2019

Links And Links And Bread Baking And Mushy Peas And Climate Change And, And, And...

I'm pretty sure that Miss Magnolia June lined the tub toys up like this the other day. I hadn't noticed it but when I went into the bathroom this morning the little ducks and whale and octopi were shining in the sliver of sun from beneath the curtain and caught my eye and pleased me.

I slept so long this morning that I'm embarrassed. I think the holiday has really taken it out of me. When I woke up, I was having a terrible dream about driving in an old VW in the dark and it had no lights and I was lost and I had kids with me and when I saw police officers I pulled over and said, "Thank god you're here."
Which is something I've never said in a dream before to police. Trust me.
I was just figuring out that it must be a dream because I was trying to use my phone and when I'm dreaming and trying to use my phone I never can. Oh, how I wish this was a dream, I thought. There was also an issue with how I was going to support my children.
I dream that a lot- that I have no idea how I'm going to feed and house my babies.
It's stressful, that dream. To say the least.

So it took me quite awhile to truly wake up this morning. Mr. Moon had gotten up a long time before me to go hunting and I had two texts already. One from him with a picture of the woods in the early morning and one from Jessie telling me that they were going to go to St. Augustine for two nights. A little mini-vacation. St. Augustine is a beautiful place to go. There are plenty of touristy things to do and see and it's a charming town on it's own. There's a fort and the oldest house and Ripley's Believe or Not museum and also, the beach. There are excellent restaurants and giant old trees and the Alligator Farm and the Lightner Museum. Something for everyone in the family. And tomorrow night, Jessie's fairy godparents will be playing at the Creekside Dinery there which is child-friendly and an outdoor venue and I'm sure they're going to have a wonderful time.
I've spent a lot of time in St. Augustine because Lon and Lis used to live there before they moved to Gatorbone. Some of my favorite and best memories are from those times. There is a sort of magic to the old town and I've always been extremely susceptible to its charms.
It never hurt that being friends with Lon and Lis was like holding an enchanted golden key to the city and I doubt I've ever felt more welcomed into a community than to the beautiful one there. For years I'd take Jessie and Lily over for the annual Gamble Rogers music festival when they were just little girls and I'd volunteer in the hospitality tent (which of course Lis ran, even as she performed in many various bands) and do what I do best which is to cook and serve and stay out of the way but I made a lot of friends doing that and the last year that I think we went, Lily was already grown up and Jessie was in high school and I took her and some friends of hers and they had the best time ever, listening and jamming with musicians because by then they were all playing music themselves.
So yes. I have the most fabulous associations with St. Augustine.

I finished the greens-thinning today and now have enough of those and some still-growing, late-crop arugula to make a beautiful salad which I will do tomorrow night. Last night's soup and sourdough will be our supper tonight. Karen and David did eat with us and although I think they liked the soup, it was the bread (right out of the oven) that everyone loved.
I've been using the simplest recipe to make my bread and it always seems to come out very nicely. I usually mix up the dough the night before I want to bake it but yesterday I actually made it up in the morning and coddled it a bit on the warm setting of a heating pad with a towel over it to hasten the whole process and it worked fine. This afternoon I decided to search for other recipes to expand my repertoire, as it were, and I've about decided that the recipe I've been using is good enough for me. Especially after reading through all of THIS recipe with instructions. For god's sake! If I want bread on Wednesday I have to start preparing it on Sunday! There is information there about "scalding" flour and all kinds of different steps to follow for what I would hope is the very best bread in the world, sourdough or not.
One commenter said: "THIS is one of the longest most ridiculous most complicated recipes I've ever heard."
I could no more follow all of those steps than I could walk into a room, take the New York Bar Exam and pass it tomorrow.
Nope. Not for me. Thank you very much. I want to love baking bread, not turn it into a science experiment requiring various thermometers, exotic equipment, and three damn days.

Besides working in the garden I went to Publix today. For some reason I decided it was something I really needed to do. That was relatively painless and while I was there, looking for a bottle of HP sauce (thank-you, Mr. P- I have developed a fondness for it) in the international foods section, I happened upon these:

I've heard of "mushy peas" many times before but have never, ever had the desire to eat any. They may be the most delicious things in the world but with that name, they're never going to be big in the States. I was quite pleased, though, to see that Publix carries them now. I mean, you never  know- I may want to try some and if I do, well, they're as close as my nearest Publix. 

And finally this.

Because we are not really having winter here anymore, my roses just bloom and bloom.
One may think this is a good thing but it's not. The natural order of things has been disrupted in the most obvious ways. The Japanese Magnolias are already blooming and they should wait until at least February or March. The camellias are starting to open up and that is as should be but to have those and roses blooming at the same time in winter is simply not right.
Still, I could not pass up the opportunity to stop on my way out of the garden to pick a few of the roses, pinching their stems between my fingernails, and bringing them in to put into a vase.
I suppose I'll get around to pruning them before spring at some point.
Meanwhile, I am hoping for a good freeze to knock things back to where they should be, despite the fact that I'll have to do something about my porch plants. It's just all too weird.


Well, may we all have sweet dreams tonight, none of which involve the police or worries about how we are going to feed our children.

Much love...Ms. Moon


  1. I'm so pleased you can make bread and cook and make people happy. I did make some decent mac and cheese for supper, but would never set out to learn all over again the art of bread making. Especially since the Kitchen Aide has left home.

    1. The recipe I've been using requires almost no kneading at all. It feels like cheating but it makes good bread.

  2. You must try mushy peas
    They are a Northern England speciality and are delicious with brown sauce on them. Trust me l am a Northerner Maggi x

    1. Totally agree Maggi. Also delish with a splash of vinegar and teaspoon of sugar.

    2. Well, I might try them just for the hell of it. Who knows? They might be just what I've been looking for all my life.

  3. my day did not go well yesterday but I'm glad your did. and mushy peas, umm, I don't think so.

    1. The name is not one that would attract new customers here, is it?
      I'm so sorry your day didn't go well. Some days aren't worth getting out of bed.

  4. It's interesting that the cans say mushy peas are an Irish favorite. I never knew they were a thing in Ireland too, though of course I see them all over the place here in England. I agree the name is not the best, but they really are excellent, especially with fish & chips. (And if they have mint in them, all the better!)

    I love St. Augustine. I can never spend much time there when I'm visiting my family in Jax, but maybe one of these days.

    1. I'm a Brummie so mushy peas with fish and chips is absolute bliss (especially eaten out of an old newspaper)!

    2. St. Augustine is just damn charming, isn't it, Steve? But it's grown so much and there's so much traffic now that many of my friends have moved out. So you recommend the mushy peas too? Hmmmm...

  5. Mushy peas are awful, don't do it.

  6. Mushy peas make me gag. Irish mushy peas. Maybe these here have a secret ingredient that makes them better. I hope so.

    I love the way you got your ducks all in a row now thanks to your granddaughter. I have a foggy memory of someone explaining to me where that phrase comes from. Very foggy.

    1. Two for no! Now I'm really starting to get curious.
      Ducks do tend to walk in a row, don't they?

  7. It's so weird that in your dreams you can't use your phone - me too. I keep desperately trying to phone for help and can NEVER punch in the number correctly! Oh that and trying to have a shower and I always get prevented from doing so (the shrink in my head thinks I'm trying to wash away my past - makes sense to me - trying to wash away my bloody awful former marriage). Weird huh!

    1. I read recently that the parts of our brain that deal with written language don't "wake" during sleep. Could that be the problem with us trying to use our phones? Maybe the same part of the brain processes numerals.
      I should research this because it is a common thing. Now the shower thing- that is one I've never had. Perhaps your shrink is correct. That makes sense to me as well.

  8. Hmmm, maybe you might decide to leave those mushy peas on the shelves in Publix once you take a look inside. If they're like the mushy peas here they're coloured a bright green as if someone's tipped a pot of paint over them. I do hate dreams where you can't use the phone, can't read, keep getting the wrong bus etc. And I entirely agree with you about global warming. Around here people are starting to do things all over the place to cut down their carbon footprint. It's weird how everyone's doing it all at once. You know, thinking twice about taking flights, or using refillable containers, or biodegradable bags. The latest was to do with music. 2 separate people who didn't know each other told me about it in one morning.

    1. The peas are dyed? Hmmm...
      Well, I'll check the labels next time I'm shopping to see what all they have in them. I sure have gotten a reaction from mentioning them here.
      Did you see what I said in my comment to Treader about our brains and reading? I wonder if that explains these dreams. It's SO frustrating and often frightening.
      Very interesting about the musicians. We ALL need to work together, don't we?

  9. The bread you've been making looks spectacular. I wish I could just climb through the screen and share some with you with a little butter.


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