Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hard to believe that September is almost half over already. Life has sure been busy. Did a minor eye surgery with a week of recovery, then jumped in to travel prep. Looking forward to visiting cousins in Ireland and Naomi in France this fall, plus a few days in Avignon and in Paris just with Sweetie. Since the last time we flew to Ireland (which was our sole excursion to any part of Europe) seven years have passed. We have to remember all over again what is needed for trans-Atlantic fun and games, plus see if we can pack in a small enough suitcase to go in the overhead bin. I have been having a blast looking in lots of guidebooks to see what we might do and see. Hard to concentrate on current life when the future is so alluring.

Still, the current life is lovely. The garden continues to look beautiful and to reward our efforts with squash and beans and tiny grape tomatoes, plus the pumpkins are starting to be ready to harvest.

Sweetie has been (with a little help from me) remodeling the studio so that the storage area is separate from the studio area. We have a new window, new wall, new door into the storage, new steps up to that door and new coat of paint over the whole front wall. Eventually there will be insulation for the studio area and a connecting door, so that the space can be heated and cooled with a space heater and/or fan. I'll be able to keep my art work and supplies out and ready to use!

We had used the space as a kitchen during our main kitchen remodel, so I still have a few kitchen items to relocate, too. It was also the place where I unpacked the things shipped from my Mom's home after she died, so there are a few items of hers to relocate. I will be glad that it will be more difficult for storage items to be left in the studio. I'm often the culprit, but will be more aware after all of this work.

Best of all, the fall is coming! The air is getting a nip to it in the morning and the light is changing too...sort of softening. Today at the paperback bookstore, Paperbacks Unlimited in Santa used books bookstore ever!...they were giving away ripe figs. I took one home and used it in my lunch sandwich. Figs are a wonderful fall fruit! I love the way the insides look with the rosy seeds. I love the way they taste with savory meat or poultry and a fruity and/or nutty bread. So delicious!

Grilled Pork and Fig Sandwich
makes one sandwich

2 slices cranberry walnut bread or similar rustic whole grain bread
3-4 thin slices cooked pork shoulder
1-2 fresh figs, thinly sliced
mayonnaise to taste
salt and pepper to taste
soft butter or margarine

Heat a sandwich press or skillet. While it is heating, thinly butter each slice of bread on one side. Place buttered sides together. On upward facing plain slice, spread some mayo, add the pork (warm it in a microwave if cold), the slices of fig, and salt and pepper to taste.

When the sandwich press of skillet is hot, pick up the filled slice, place it on the hot surface, then top with the next slice, butter side up. Close the press, or press down with a spatula if using a skillet. Cook until bread is toasted a dark golden brown. If using the skillet, turn sandwich over carefully (let's keep those figs inside the sandwich!) and finish browning the bread. Repeat with more bread and fillings and spreads as needed.

Serve each toasted sandwich whole or cut in half. Eat while still hot.

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