August 31, 2015

Peluche Visits the Veterinarian

Time to see the vet for a check-up…

Last week, Peluche visited her veterinarian for the first time. Dr. Marty Goldstein, of Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in nearby South Salem, New York, has been caring for my pets for many years. He practices integrative veterinary medicine - this means he combines the best of both conventional and alternative therapies for the cats and dogs under his care. Through this approach, Dr. Marty focuses on the wellness of pets, and the prevention of disease, by teaching and informing pet owners as much as he can about animal health.

Peluche, and two of my cats, Bartok and Princess Peony, all received good reports after their visit with Dr. Marty. Here are some photos…

August 29, 2015

Rescue on the High Seas and a Lobster Reward

Boating is one of my favorite activities…

During my recent stay in Maine, a group of us, including my daughter, grandchildren, and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and his family, went out for a day picnic and ride on my boat in Seal Harbor. It was a beautiful day - the waters were calm and the weather was clear. During the ride, we were taken by surprise when one of the two mechanical belts - the one which controls the water pump - suddenly came off. This caused the boat to overheat, and before we knew it, alarms were sounded and we were forced to turn off the engine. We were stranded at sea, very close to a rocky outcropping called Bunker Ledge. Despite the fact that my beautiful boat draws 18-inches, we were terrified about being tossed upon the rocky ledge, which was jutting out of the sea, and at the time inhabited by a few dozen sleepy Harbor seals, basking in the sunlight.

Fortunately, when out on the waters, boaters are always willing to lend a helping hand, and we were quickly towed back to the harbor, and then back to shore where we were able to make the needed repairs. Later that evening, we all enjoyed a delicious lobster dinner.

Here are some of the photos of our experience…

August 28, 2015

Pickling at Skylands

I always love this time of year when I can start pickling the delicious cucumbers from my gardens.

I remember pickling with my mom, Big Martha - she was a fabulous preserver, following the traditions established by her immigrant mother, Yadviga Ruskowski. Mom made garlic dills and sour dills and soft dills and crispy dills, all in six to eight gallon earthenware glazed crocks. She made bread and butters and piccalilli and cauliflower pickle and relishes.

I try to make a few of a lot of different pickles each year, but since my eating habits don't include so many meats and sausages as formerly, finding a use for so many different pickles is sometimes challenging. But I do find that everyone likes pickles, and providing a dish of homemade delectable pickles with a sandwich or a main course can be a delightful and welcome offering.

Earlier this month, while I was at Skylands, my home in Seal Harbor, Maine, I spent some time pickling. I used several recipes, which I wanted to share with you here. They include:

Emeril’s Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles Open Crock Dill Pickles

Food.Com Polish Dill Pickles Made in A Crock

Cooks.Com Crisp Bread and Butter Pickles

I also used a delicious “Bread and Butter Pickles” recipe from "Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.

Pickling is a wonderful project to do with friends and family - I even got to pickle with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. And, I can’t wait until Jude and Truman are able to make pickles with me too.