Archive for June, 2006

Our Grandbaby

June 22, 2006

Spent a few days babysitting our grandbaby, Vandy, while the kids headed to points north. Vandy doesn't know it, but she is the arch enemy of Busydingbat. Vandy tends to spend a little time expending a great deal of energy

Vandy playing frisbee

then she winds up winded and tired

Vandy a bit winded

and then sleeps through World Cup soccer. You have to love a dog's life!

Vandy sleeping through World Cup soccer


Grilling Fool

June 14, 2006

New Grill

Inaugerated the new all stainless steel grill today. A couple of Filet Mignons seemed appropriate and they grilled to perfection. First time I ever got the sear marks on the meat. No stopping me now!

Creamed Spinach – Not Out of your Grocer’s Freezer

June 13, 2006

Pretty much wiped out the spinach in the garden today. Made the following recipe and it turned out pretty good. This recipe came from The brandy and shallots gave it a nice taste and we used half and half in place of the cream.


2 pounds cleaned and picked through spinach, dried well several pinches freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 minced garlic clove
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup cream
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon flour mixed with
1 tablespoon butter salt and pepper

Heat the butter in large sauté pan over high heat. Add the shallot, nutmeg, garlic and cook until glassy. Add the brandy and cook until nearly evaporated. Add the flour/butter mixture and cook briefly. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Reserve to a mixing bowl.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, wilt the spinach. Reserve to a chopping board and mince the spinach very well by hand.

Combine the two mixtures and heat well over low flame or in a double boiler. Season and serve.

Mothman’s Land

June 12, 2006

We went to Point Pleasant, WV this weekend. Point Pleasant is at the confluence of the Kanawaha and Ohio Rivers and was the site of the first battle of the American Revolution, six months before the 'shot heard around the world.' Point Pleasant is also the home of Mothman. The statue shown here is an exact rendition of the beast.

Mothman Statue

The Mothman statue was across the street from our hotel, the Lowe Hotel. They say the hotel is haunted. I woke up a couple of times during the night and looked for ghost(s), but remain disappointed. The hotel was an old, old building that was renovated in the early 1990's. The room keys were old skeleton keys that had to be used to get in and out of the room. It was an interesting place with a strange conglomeration of old, and old-looking furnishings. The proprietor was an interesting older fellow who generally liked talking about the area.

Lowe Hotel

Lowe Hotel hallway

We were in Point Pleasant for the annual meeting of the WV Association of Professional Soil Scientists. Before the meeting we looked for a geocache in the place where Mothman was supposedly first sited. The cache location was in an old cement skeleton of a building. It was all grown in with trees and bushes and was definitely spooky. The cache included a moth swatter and a can of moth spray in case we had to spray our way out. Thankfully we did not need the spray.


Mothman Returns Geocache

A Cat’s Challenge

June 8, 2006

A Cat Challenge

After arriving home from a long weekend on the road and at a family reunion Busydingbat was a bit perturbed at being left behind – again. She decided that there would be no surfing on the laptop so she made herself 'comfortable' on the case. She looked like she meant business so we let her have her way. Danged cat!

Clever Italians

June 1, 2006

OK, so we have been posting a bunch of recipes lately. We have been eating good. We like to try new recipes frequently and when we have a good one we call it a 'keeper.' Had a bunch of keepers lately. This one made a big batch of salad that served well as dinner. We decided that we might add a little lemon juice to the oil and vinegar next time.


Italian Market Pasta Salad
4  ounces packaged bow tie pasta
6  cups mesclun or other spring greens
1  cup grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2  cup crumbled Gorgonzola, blue, or feta cheese (2 ounces)
3  tablespoons olive oil
3  tablespoons white wine vinegar
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4  cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold
water, and drain again.

2. In a large salad bowl, combine cooked pasta, mesclun or other spring
greens, tomatoes, and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar,
tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 

3. Divide salad evenly among four dinner plates. Sprinkle with pine
nuts. Makes 4 main-dish servings.