Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wins and Losses

FOOD: The product on the right is white balsamic vinegar. It is a winner. I found it yesterday at Whole Paycheck and used it in a cold rice and salmon salad that I've always used rice wine vinegar for. It was an excellent substitute, far more delicate and flavorful than RWV. I tossed in lots of fresh parsley and sliced cherry tomatoes, dash of salt, lots of ground pepper, some chopped cucumber--along with a splash of EVOO (unflavored). On the side, we had sourdough with the garlic olive oil (above) for dipping. A cheap and super quick, but excellent meal (canned salmon from the pantry--but I'm thinking I'll have to remake this with some that is freshly grilled). And all the rice left over from the evening before? Gone, thanks to an old, old recipe from college that just never fails (and is cheap--by definition--as are all "college days recipes." I think we put tuna fish in it back then). Anyway, buy yourself some white balsamic vinegar. It's really tasty.

MOVIES: MP1 had holiday movie duty and she picked some great ones that we are slowly making our way through. We watched "Charlie Wilson's War" on Christmas Day and we loved it--in part because TH and I knew of and regularly saw JKH in the papers (and at gala museum openings) when we lived in Houston. But the film is great even if you can't cough up all those nostalgic references to 1980's wealthy wives and US/Afghan war and politics. Christmas Eve we watched "The Visitor" (5 stars, at least). Last night we saw "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation." If you haven't seen it, you should. So many great threads woven together--Jewish tradition, Brazilian politics, student activism, soccer fanaticism (the film is set in 1970--during the World Cup), families--fictive and otherwise. Very touching and complicated and all that. It is a great film to watch with people of all ages and persuasions. Has anyone else seen it?

CITRUS TREES: Under the losses (or near losses), my poor little lime tree. I can't STOP the grapefruit and oranges that grow 30 feet away. I could wage a war with the fruit those trees deliver every year. My two-year-old lime tree/sapling? The frost got it this year. I was sick a few days ago when we were supposed to be paying attention to these things and just couch-potatoed my way through the freezing weather. I think the tree (and the sole lime) are probably salvageable, but it's a set back for sure. I feel like I should just go buy another damned tree, plant it somewhere ELSE and have another go at subsistence lime gardening. This spot just seems cursed.

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