Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my hometown...

Garrison Keillor is one of my heroes. I've been a fan of his since I was in high school, when I wondered why my tape recorder wasn't auto-programmable like my VCR. I would pull my chair up to the boombox on my dresser and just sit and listen to his baritone. The Guy Noir segments were my favorite. One day, I hope my blog posts will be as good as his tales from Lake Wobegon, and then I can die happy.

It's been a quiet week here in University Town, out on the edge of the mountains.

This week, I got ready for winter. I took my car in to be winterized. I also "shrunk wrapped" my bedroom windows. And finally, I purchased my first named African violet.

I've been a longtime fan of African violets. I gave them up when I went to college, but started growing them again when I moved north. They do two things: help keep the air humid, and help me from going crazy in the winter. They grow and bloom beautifully when there is nothing but gray and snow outside.

I have three violets. One is dying--a victim, I believe, of the cold draft that came through the window on the early snow days. I bought another to replace it. I used some of the leftover window plastic to build a bubble around the new violet, and it is now in quarantine, on the same shelf with the others. The new violet is a scraggly thing, having been on a low shelf in the back of the store. Even so, it looks sturdy, and so far, it's doing very well. I have high hopes for it--higher hopes than when I got the violet it is replacing. All of my previous violets have been NOID grocery store acquisitions. The new one was, too, but surprisingly, the pot had a tag. It's my first named violet: Anthoflores Berti.

This week, I made a classic Chinese dish: Tomato Egg Rice, or, as the blog Rice Again calls it: Chinese Egg Tomato S**t.  I used Arborio rice, since I had a large container of it left over from a failed risotto recipe. My ingredients:

1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
28-oz can of peeled tomatoes
4 eggs

I cooked the rice in the classic method: putting the rice and one cup of broth in the pan, stirring over heat until it was absorbed. I then added the second cup of broth, stirring until absorbed. Repeat for the third cup of broth. Finally, I added in the tomatoes, straight from the can, juice and all. Continued cooking and stirring. After about 5 minutes, I was afraid that I had put in too much liquid, but after cooling a bit, it was a nice creamy consistency.

I cracked the eggs in a bowl, scrambled them with a fork, and then put them in a hot fry pan, continuing to scramble them into small pieces until done. The dish was served by sprinkling the egg on top of the tomato risotto.

I used to think that I did not like risotto. This dish changed my mind.

Happy Halloween!


kateandmouse said...

Your photos are great! And I'm really glad you started this blog so I know what's going with you in the Great White Cold. :) I suppose I ought to reciprocate with what's going on in my life... :/ Anyways, stay warm!