The End of the Deep Freeze and a Warm Supper of Cauliflower Rice and Salmon

Today I am going to share a recipe I “stole” from BeautyBeyondBones, a favorite blog by a wonderful young woman following Jesus.  However, while she does it in 20 minutes, it took me closer to 45, but this cooking thing is new for me; maybe in a few years? 🤠  This recipe is my variation on it as we do not care for garlic and I am still learning.  Lots of customizable options according to your tastes, but it IS delicious and easy enough even I could do it.

2021-02-20 Traffic CamFirst, a long, longing goodbye to the wonderful Deep Freeze we have enjoyed in Kentucky.  This is not to be unconcerned about those who have suffered so badly in states further south, completely unprepared for such a stunning chill in the weather (proof of global warming, right? 🙄).  But in our neck of the woods, we seemed to adapt to it pretty well.  The CCP (Communist Chinese Party) virus already had most of us oldsters home-bound, and food delivery services were able to navigate the icy roads for those that needed it.  Main roads were cleared pretty promptly, thanx to a competent city council, mayor and dedicated road crews, and the clouds kept the sun from the melting/refreezing cycle that warmer climes experienced, only coming out a few minutes in these weeks.

1 Foot Deep IceAn elderly neighbor’s garage roof slants toward his drive, so when icy rain/sleet came down on Monday, February 15, it rolled into a mound in front of his garage to make a 12 inch deep mogul that his daughter could not drive over!  Neighbors cleared his drive while I attacked a handicapped neighbor’s drive.  When I checked on their work, they had cleared the drive but said the mound was beyond their scope or energy; we HAD cleared all our own drives so we were all pretty tuckered from our labors and called it a night.

The next morning, though, being the only retiree on our cul de sac, I pulled out my 15 pound wrecking bar and a 10 pound sledge, and went to work.  The 20⁰F (-6⁰C) meant I wore long johns under my jeans, used the hand warmers described before, and had on my Mongolian hat and Canadian coat.  However, after a few minutes of hammering and chipping at the pile of ice, I had to loosen my scarf and open my coat that eventually had to come off completely.  I told a passing neighbor walking his dog, “If I die of a heart attack shoveling ice and snow, grab my phone and text all my contacts that I died happy!” 😇

But it all worked out as I kept a slow pace, took breaks and kept my fingers and toes warm.  The next day, I hit the walks between the neighbors as we still had a couple days of subfreezing temps until Sunday.  Another neighbor built a fort for his children from the ice blocks he had taken off his neighbor’s driveway, with the same orientation and pitch of the garage roof sloping toward the drive.  One of the neighbors “rewarded” me with unbelievably delicious homemade milk chocolate balls! (Gotta get her recipe! 😉)

It will finally “warm up” to  45⁰F (+7⁰C) on Sunday, but still hover below or near freezing at night for a few nights while everything begins melting in the daytime.  Tuesday finally hits the 50s (10-13⁰C) and stays above freezing at night.  So today is probably the last day with diamonds on the trees and skating rinks beneath the 3 inches of snow we got last Wednesday.  The diamond studded trees take a better photographer than me to capture on my phone, but the icicles and sparkling trees look amazing.  A strange phenomenon I have never seen before, the ice on our deck table kind of melted, but somehow stayed together as it dropped through the holes of the metal grate.  I won’t even try to understand the physics of how this happened!  And the last pic is of the gentle white miracle falling on February 16 that made the scenery look so pure.  So now it’s goodbye to the Deep Freeze Winter Wonderland of the last two weeks.

IMG_1733For the delicious and simple Cauliflower Rice and Salmon, as usual, I recommend gathering all your ingredients before beginning:
Two Fillets of Salmon (halibut or other fish, or even chicken or steak!)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 lemon, Rosemary leaves, Ground clove, Salt & Pepper

Cauliflower Rice:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 onion (or less)
Salt and Pepper
Baby bella mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Avocado
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil on which to place the fillets.  Drizzle them with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Top it with the rosemary, a sprinkle of clove, and a slice of lemon.  Bake fish fillets for 20 minutes, until they begin to flake when pricked with a toothpick.  (Obviously, adjust the temperature/bake time for chicken or steak.)

While it’s baking, make the cauliflower rice.  Caralyn used her food processor, but I prefer the Royal Cutter from Prestige Cookware for more control.  Break the cauliflower into florets and use a coarse cone so the “rice” will not be too fine.  There may be a couple larger pieces of cauliflower – that’s okay!  (I save the cauliflower greens for a side dish, but some people find them too bitter.)  Grind the onion in the same way or dice it smaller if you prefer.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the cauliflower and onion, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Cook for about three to four minutes.  Do not overcook or the cauliflower rice will become too soft.  Then add the mushrooms and green beans and cook for another 3 minutes.  Finally, add the soy sauce and sesame oil and spinach, and stir it until it wilts, about 2 minutes.

Slice the avocado and place on top of the rice mixture on the plate.  Add the fish and eat like you’re at a five star restaurant in NYC!  Thanx, Caralyn, for a great meal!

 

The Frozen Chosen

Year of the Ox

I have several blogs in the works on our political situation here in the US, as well as some on theology and one about why Father would appoint a godless Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Hitler or some presidents to lead nations, but those can wait a week or two.

Frozen in Kentucky, we are getting our share of the polar vortex that “proves” global warming. 🙄  The bottom line, like William Goldman said early in his illustrious career, “Nobody knows anything.” 

So Tuesday evening, February 9, we went to bed with moderate winter temperatures and woke to a frozen wonderland, pictured below.  With temps staying below freezing now for four days and no sign of getting above it before Thursday, February 18 (and just barely, then!), the ice is still on our sidewalks, although salt trucks have pretty much cleared the main roads.  A few of us have worked up the nerve to clear our walks, but most are still under the glacier that has gripped the central US this week.

Before heading out on Wednesday for our 1-2 mile walk, Anita found our “hand-warmers” and I wish I could load the video associated to the third pic.  It’s really ‘cool’ how the white sodium acetate reacts in the aqueous solution when you click the metal disk which allows the supersaturated NaCH3COO to crystallize in the water.  You can see the chemical reaction at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m25n9179ym4.  (Just for the record, I do not have any affiliate links from which I get remuneration.  Any referrals I provide in my blogs are just because I like the products.)

2021-02-13 SpeedJust to give you an idea of how cold it was and how frozen it felt, hardly anyone was moving about on Wednesday as schools and everything shut down in Lexington.  I know we’re wimps compared to friends in Canada and Norway, but no one knows how to drive 25mph here unless the weather forces them to do so.

So out we went, with warm hands and hearts into the wasteland of arctic air that had seeped into Kentucky.  We used our hiking sticks to keep our feet steady, but even then, Anita felt too unsure of her footing, so I returned her to home and wandered Copperfield alone.  But not for long!   Even with hand-warmers, taking my glove off every few minutes to take a picture made me decide to head home pretty quickly as well.

Baby, it’s cold outside!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MFJ7ie_yGU.  (Red Skelton’s section is hilarious!! 😂)

I always wondered why someone thought Valentine’s Day ❤️ should come in the coldest month of the year!

The Copperfield Clubhouse Pool was cool, as were the trees and bushes around it!

Cars were pretty much unmoved.  Some were creative about preventing the ice from locking down their wipers, except for Charles who had no intentions of driving, but was called on a mission of mercy to a friend in the hospital.

Smaller trees seemed to do better than big birches around the neighborhood.  The birches were not as bowed as they were in 2003, but still arched under the weight.  Basketball, being the local primary religion in Lexington, one of the “idols” had to stand unattended since it was too slick for the supplicants to participate in “worshiping at the altar.” 😇

Back at home after perambulating the neighborhood, our friend across the street was as surprised as Anita and me that the USPS actually could drive around for mail delivery today!  I guess their slogan, “Neither rain nor sleet, . . . etc” really works!  Well, we’ll scrape some ice off the sidewalk and garage and go have a hot cup of Chili Chocolate from Peoria, Illinois!  Thanx, Sean and Mikki!

Final note, for Valentines Day/Chinese New Year, we ordered out at the Palomar Malone’s for some steak and lobster mac & cheese!  That was after checking the web for traffic cams to make sure the drive was navigable.  And here’s an icy panorama to finish off.  Happy Year of the OX! San Nin Faai Lok! https://www.oprahmag.com/life/a35394134/year-of-the-ox-prediction/