pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: November 2015

26 November 2015

Moonrise


Death Valley National Park, California
23 November 2015

Today was about feeding people. Luckily for me, this year was just my own little family, minus the son who had been invited to join his roommate's family.

(Thank you, roommate's family.)

Since we found out a year ago that neither the spouse nor the daughter can tolerate any form of dairy, I've had to adapt all my recipes (and no more mac and cheese. Or grilled cheese sandwiches). But mostly, I've been able to figure it out. So I make dairy-free pumpkin pie (which is delicious) and today, I managed dairy-free green bean casserole. I've never particularly cared for the stuff, but the spouse and daughter love it. I have to admit this is actually quite good because it eliminates that nasty canned mushroom soup. And it takes a little longer because you have to do more than open a can.

Dairy-free Green Bean Casserole

2 Tbl. olive oil
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Tbl. flour
1 c. chicken or mushroom broth
1/4-1/3 c. unflavored soy creamer
2 14.5-oz cans cut green beans, drained (you can use fresh or frozen, but blanch them first)
1-1/3 c. fried onions, divided usage
Salt
Ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat olive oil in 2-quart pot. Saute onion, celery and mushrooms until mushrooms give up their juice. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened. Slowly add broth, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until it has a more uniform texture but is still chunky. Add desired amount of creamer (less for a drier casserole, more for a soupier one) and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Mix green beans and 2/3 c. of fried onions in a 1.5 qt. casserole dish. Add soup to dish, and mix thoroughly. Add a small amount of additional creamer if the mixture seems too dry. Bake for 30 min. or until hot. Stir casserole and top with remaining 2/3 c. of fried onions. Return casserole to oven and bake for an additional five minutes.

(Mushroom soup recipe adapted from the 1980 Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Green bean casserole recipe adapted from the French's Green Bean Casserole recipe.)

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

25 November 2015

Death Valley sunrise


Sunrise
Death Valley National Park, California
25 November 2015

Roads were closed because of the October floods. Even roads that were open were nearly impassable in places (glad I rented that 4WD Jeep...). The weather was okay until yesterday when the winds kicked up to almost 60 mph.

(No joke, that. Gusts were knocking me off my feet.)

Despite certain moments of exasperation and disappointment, there were moments of interest, education and sheer beauty. Stories to come.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

24 November 2015

23 November 2015

22 November 2015

21 November 2015

20 November 2015

In the end


En route to the Austin Film Festival
31 October 2015

Yesterday, she was named a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation Merit winner in Cinematic Arts. It's a pretty cool acknowledgement of her work. Today is the first anniversary of her grandfather's death, so if anything good came out of all that pain, it was learning to use art to find a way back home.

It's been a hell of a couple of years (or for me, five years. But that's another story).

It's such a relief to feel that she's in good place to take control of her life.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

16 November 2015

Portal


Dumbarton Oaks
Washington, D.C.
8 November 2015

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. It's hard to find the heart for this right now.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

14 November 2015

What the world should look like


Sixth Street
Austin, Texas
31 October 2015

So here's what happened:

There's a guy in the back, to the left with pink hair. He was drumming. Wildly, happily. I put a couple of dollars in his bucket and he was loudly appreciative.

The sharks, the lobster, the jellyfish (she was awesome), the seahorse (wherever he'd gone) all began to dance in the street to the drummer. Suddenly a group of random people dressed like pandas arrived and joined the seafood buffet in their dance. They laughed and shimmied. The spectators laughed and took pictures. The drummer played on, clearly pleased.

The seafood and the pandas went their separate ways. The spectators dispersed. The drummer played on.

Everyone was happy.

It's really not that hard.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

09 November 2015

Down the garden path


Dumbarton Oaks
Washington, D.C.
8 November 2015
 
After flying all day (with nary a cancelled or delayed flight! Red letter day!), I am home.  And I'm not getting back on a plane until at least February unless I get an engraved invitation for something very, very interesting.
 
Just saying.
 
It rained a good deal Saturday, but yesterday was autumnally gorgeous. I took the son to Dumbarton Oaks (and The Old Stone House the day before), and we wandered through the gardens as the daylight failed.
 
And I fed him, often. And bought the blessed suit. As well as new dress socks, a new belt and a new tie.
 
No sooner had I gotten in the door this afternoon, though, than it was time for me to drive the daughter to her evening class.
 
So it goes.
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6, with some random Hipstamatic combo.

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

06 November 2015

The cryptic airport codes

Last night, American cancelled my 6:45am flight out of Orange County and rebooked me on the 7:30 flight. This meant I'd have a tight connection in Dallas, which made me uneasy.

So I presented myself at the OC airport this morning, did the necessary and got to my gate.

It didn't escape anyone's notice that there was no plane at the gate.

At 7:30, we were told our flight was delayed an hour (as of this writing, it still hasn't left, 3 hours after scheduled deparure). So much for my Dallas connection.

I went to the desk and after running through all the possible permutations thru Dallas (Dulles, BWI, all full), I was rebooked on a flight out of LAX that will get me to my destination 4 hours late but will hopefully get me there.

American did the right thing and gave me a voucher for a cab to LAX.

So I'm now sitting in LAX hoping my flight leaves in 2 hours.

Sent from my iPhone

SNA LAX DCA?

05 November 2015

Last time


Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt
Hirshhorn Museum
Washington, D.C.
6 May 2014

I would tend to think that getting on a plane tomorrow is probably not sane since I only got off one Sunday, but the son, who is giddy with the prospect of being fed for free, probably would beg to differ.

(And suit shopping. In the shopping mall. JOY.)

Anyway, it's not like it's the first time I've hopped off a plane only to head off to another destination.

Tomorrow night, I will be safely ensconced in my favorite Canadian chain of very nice hotels in preparation for the weekend's adventures (according to the son: food. Hello, Wisey's and lobster rolls and food trucks), while the spouse, daughter and cat get to relax at home. We are all still reeling from last week's travels. Soon I will be reeling from this week's travels.

No, wait. I already am.

Update: So, completely epic. I am out to dinner with the spouse and the daughter and I get a call: American Airlines cancelling my flight! However, they had also rebooked me on the later flight (I get to sleep an extra hour), and I'll still get into D.C. at the same time.

Honestly.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000. Here's the thing: I do believe. But some portion of my brain just continues to doubt. Someday, I'd like the certainty of knowing. Just think. You could put all that to rest!

For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

02 November 2015

Austin

 
Young Filmmakers Program
Austin, Texas
1 November 2015
 
The daughter's film was second to last on the program. She grabbed my hand as it started, and we sat there, huddled together, in a theater where only two other people--her father and D.--had any idea who she is.
 
Through that 9 minutes that we both know so well, we listened to the audience. It's weird to hear people actually get drawn into a story, and the theater fell silent as the film progressed. In the final minute, with the final reveal, we clasped hands more tightly, and there it was: gasps and exclamations as people understood the end.
 
So freaking awesome.
 
Several audience members spoke with her and with me afterwards, and told us how much they'd enjoyed the movie. And yes, people cried.
 
(When someone told me that she'd cried, I almost said, "Oh, I'm so glad!" which would have been totally inappropriate, but I was so glad. I am so glad that story made the connection with people at such an emotional level. Because there is nothing in there to tug at anyone, no Steven Spielberg banner proclaiming "CRY NOW." It's just a very simple but heartfelt story.)
 
I am so glad that D. was there to see the movie on the big screen, and I am so grateful that the Austin Film Festival thought it worthy of sharing.
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
 
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com.

01 November 2015

Stuck on a plane

 
The airplane seat back that I stared at for hours
1 November 2015
 
We are home now.
 
But not without a fight!!