Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma

Summer Memories – Potatoes

DSC_0551

The moments and days of this year’s summer are once again disappearing as quickly as they appear.  Spitting out watermelon seeds as juices drip down your wrist. Children playing Marco Polo and screaming in delight as they dive and jump to avoid being “it.” Ice cream melting on peach cobbler still warm from the oven. A lonely bachelor mockingbird singing through the night for a mate. Picking blackberries in the hot sun. Waving to everyone in the Fourth of July parade.

DSC_0418

Sitting in the shade sipping cold wine on a warm evening. Grandchildren and their cousins playing baseball and squabbling over each call. Slicing strawberries for homemade ice cream. Laughing like a child during the County fair’s bumper car ride, and paging through my old favorite cookbooks for my tried and true recipes to make for visiting loved ones.

DSC_0400

DSC_0408

The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins is a source of many old reliable recipes. It is somewhat out of fashion these days, but it was a big favorite in the mid-80’s. I love how the book is divided by seasonal special occasions, complete with much-appreciated menus (I wish every cookbook offered them), quotes about the joy of eating and food along with delightful tips on entertaining, and historical notes on foods like this beauty:

Next to the apple, the peach is the most widely cultivated fruit tree in the world. When Madame Recamier, a great French beauty of the nineteenth century, was ill and refused all food, a dish of peaches in syrup and cream restored both her appetite and will to live.”

 

I found the following recipe in a menu the perfectly titled, “Summer Memories” and it included:

Creamy Chicken and Jalapeño Nachos
Swordfish Marinated with Lime and Coriander
Stir-Fry of Three Cabbages
Potatoes Fontecchio
Avocado with Rasberry Vinaigrette
Strawberry Hazelnut Torte
White Zinfandel

DSC_0473

Potatoes aren’t often the stars of a meal, and they are difficult to ruin, but when you add fresh mint from the garden and more garlic you thought possible to consume, they are unforgettable.

DSC_0429

summer memories, Trueheartgal, potatoes, mint, garlic, recipe, ROTD, gardening,

Enjoy!

Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma
Potatoes Fontecchio
Print Recipe
As a waitress during college, my nickname was "the Spud Queen," because I ate potatoes during every pre-shift meal. But my husband eats only those he cannot resist, like these. Super easy, they go great with most any grilled fish or meat.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma
Potatoes Fontecchio
Print Recipe
As a waitress during college, my nickname was "the Spud Queen," because I ate potatoes during every pre-shift meal. But my husband eats only those he cannot resist, like these. Super easy, they go great with most any grilled fish or meat.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Scrub the potatoes and prick each one about six times with a fork. Place in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 2 hours. (Now I was sure there was a misprint because the recipe doesn't ask you to rub the potatoes in oil, or wrap them in foil. No - you roast them dry, so they come out a bit crispy.)
  3. Cut potatoes in half.
  4. Toss the warm potatoes with the garlic, oil, mint salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Leave a comment

Between the Lines Trueheartgal

My hubby and me.

My hubby and me.

When I first started this blog in May 2011, I did so with the intention of giving folks interested in our Trueheart Petite Sirah wine an inside look at life on our vineyard. While I love our two acres of award-winning grapes, and am constantly awed at the beautiful and ancient rhythm of growing and making wine, I simply do not know enough to write about it regularly and passionately.

What can I write about regularly? What am I passionate about? Midlife. Aging. I am fascinated by how other women are or have navigated this road. How my mother, aunts and grandmothers did it, how are my friends younger and older, movie stars, my sister, strangers on the street, women on Instagram, and women in magazines doing it? How do I want to do it – especially given that I can still hardly believe I’m on the road?

As I have been committing myself to blogging about midlife, I have been reaching out to other midlife bloggers to build a community of women. I recently discovered an opportunity to be showcased in the “Between the Lines” series featuring women over 50 writing about blogging at midlife, created by and hosted by Katie of Katherine’s Corner. Katie is typical of many women who are blogging at midlife, she is encouraging, helpful, curious, competant and helpful.

I feel so lucky to be aging at this time. Women my age (I am 57) are allowed to be beautiful, strong, sexy, athletic, smart, successful, creative, playful, fashionable, smart-ass, inventive and wildly adventurous. In other words, we are allowed to be full, vibrant human beings, a luxury denied to in large part to my mother, and wholly to my grandmothers. In addition, I have been blessed with good health.

While I feel lucky to be aging now, many aspects remain difficult. As a young person, I could sleep anywhere, anytime and wake up rested. Now, I sleep with a mouth guard and a C-PAP, and I wake up exhausted. My dermatologist tells me, “there are sinkers and saggers – and you are a sinker” (a thin face with hollowed out cheeks, and temples). Doctors start every sentence with the phrase, “as we age.” Arthritis limits my flexibility and my endurance. I had a frozen shoulder for two years, and now that it’s gone (after a painful procedure and tons of physical therapy), the other shoulder hurts. My sex drive – once strong and healthy – is now, well… neither. I can’t see my food unless I wear readers. I have developed acid reflux, so I take a daily pill,  elevate my head when I sleep and watch my diet. No matter how much makeup I wear, the best I can hope for is, “you look so rested.” I cannot remember any names or nouns, I mostly remember verbs – “what’s her name went over to that place, oh, whaddaya call it?” I have yet to find a church I can relate to, develop a spiritual practice, meditate regularly or learn yoga.

My relatives are aging (which is a good thing as my husband would say), and I have already lost friends. My 40th high school reunion is taking place this summer and it seems just impossible that some of my classmates have already died.

I have been reluctant to write about these topics. They are personal and sometimes less than attractive. I am not a former fashion editor, spiritual guru, award-winning author or a gerontologist. I just want to write about what I struggle with, what I’ve found that works, and seek answers for challenges that I, and many other women face.

When I talk with friends, we are all trying to figure this out. We are all doing it differently. We are all a bit shell shocked. It seems we blinked and our youth vanished. We opened our eyes to find ourselves in midlife. Perhaps, in my case, not getting married until I was 42, and not having children made me blind to my own aging. Perhaps I spent years unconsciously denying it, holding on to my youth too long.

I will still write about relationships, share favorite recipes, tell stories about our miniature Bantam chickens, two acres of Petite Sirah grapes, life in Sonoma and the Northern California wine country, being a step-grandparent, aunt, daughter, sister, friend and the deeper questions. But I will be adding occasional posts about midlife. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

 

29 Comments

Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms in Assisted Living

phalaenopsis_orchid_plant

It can be difficult to find a wonderful Mother’s Day gift if your Mom is in Assisted Living. Space is at a premium in Assisted Living rooms, so extra “stuff” is out. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with since my Mom has been living in Assisted Living:

Photo books. I’ve made several photo books using iPhoto. The process is made ridiculously easy, and Mom is able to enjoy wonderful memories at her leisure. I’ve never used Pinhole Press, but they are also supposed to be very good. You can also just go to a gift, art or photo shop and purchase an album,and fill it with your favorite photos and include your memories about what made each moment so special.

A tablet. We bought my Mom an iPad several years ago and she loves it. It is small and compact so it doesn’t take up much space. Social connection is so important, and she stays in in touch with her friends and family. My Mom has always loved technology, but even for people who aren’t tech-lovers, today’s tablets are easy to navigate. The options are endless, making them a great source of communication and entertainment.

A calendar. My brother has been making a homemade calendar for our Mom for several years, and she treasures each one. Most photo stores have websites that make putting a calendar together easy, and Walgreens is one of many good options.

Cards. Of course a Mother’s Day card is essential. If you can pull it off, have your kids or nieces and nephews (in my case since I don’t have kids) make cards by doing drawings,  paintings, or their own personal messages. If that isn’t an option, you can do it yourself. Nothing beats homemade in my book.

Flowers. My Mom has a beautiful room with a long, deep window sill, and she also has a terrific green thumb. I love giving her flowers or plants, and she gets endless enjoyment from them. A phalaenopsis orchid is always one of my favorites to send because their impossibly beautiful blooms last for several months, and in the right conditions, they will rebloom.

Candy. See’s Candy is my Mom’s favorite, and she loves their Nuts & Chews. Of course, if your Mom is diabetic, or on a restricted diet, candy may not be a great idea. You could consider fresh fruit or another gourmet snack from Harry & David. Be sure to order by May 4 to take advantage of their free shipping offer!

Your time. Of course the best gift of all, is spending time with your mother. I am heading home to spend several days with my Mom in Wisconsin, where I grew up and she continues to live. I hope you are able to spend time with your Mom this Mother’s Day.

FullSizeRender

XO

 

Leave a comment