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Room for rent. May 17, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 6:07 pm

This post is meant to show the room we have available to rent.  This is a nonsmoking household, 420 tolerant in principle, but no smoking of that either. Religious views include atheist, agnostic, UU, and Theist.  This is a furnished basement room with an east facing window, with a large window well and ladder for emergency egress.  The room has a walk in closet with rods on one side, and shelves on the other.  There is a full bathroom down the hall which would primarily be used by the renter.   We have basic cable, and WiFi. The household has three cats, but you can keep your door closed to keep them out if you want. Hot water heat in the house.  There is a temperature control in the room for the renter to set.  No air conditioning, but the basement stays coolish, and we work at nightly cooling, and have a swamp cooler in the living room during the hottest days. (We have 6 inch walls with good insulation).  Sheets and towels could be provided, but renter would be responsible for laundry,  Machines upstairs, outside line if wanted.

Showing outside of window

 

view from hallway door

 

View from doorway of closet

 

View from by bed of baker’s rack (mini kitchen area, but use of full kitchen upstairs is fine.) And Yes, I am going to get all the boxes of legos out of the closet.

 

 

 

You can look at older posts to see the rest of the house, and the members.

Photos showing on street parking. Our house is the yellow house at the end of the street.  The next photo is taken standing under the light pole facing west.  The wide area is a cul-de-sac.  On the other side of the pine trees is a city fire station, and the city police station is on their other side.+

 

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December 2017, Sam Arnold’s Corfu Beef December 30, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 3:46 am

Years ago I found a recipe that sounded interesting in a Safeway weekly advertising supplement from the newspaper.  Sam Arnold was the founder of The Fort restaurant, a food writer and historian, and a spokes person for Safeway. A number of his recipes were printed one a week in the advertising circulars.  I tried this recipe, and everyone liked it.  I tried looking it up online and no one seems to have it, so I am putting it out there to be found.

The recipe from the paper, verbatim, first, then my comments.

Sam Arnold’s Corfu Garlic Beef Casserole

  • 2 1/2 rump roast
  • 1 cup flour for dredging plus 1/4 cup for making paste to seal casserole
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup aged red wine vinegar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 3 heads of garlic separated in cloves and peeled
  • 1 cup beef broth (stock or bouillon)
  • salt to taste

Garnish: 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, 30 small ripe olives 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves(pan sautéed).p

Use a tight lidded casserole or deep iron pot with lid.

Method:  Heat oven to 275 F.  Cut meat into 1-1 1/2″ square cubes, removing all sinew and fat.  Dredge pieces in flour and sprinkle pepper.  Sautee meat in hot olive oil until lightly browned, cooking in small batches, draining each on paper towels.  Drain off any oil, then add vinegar, bring to a boil.  Deglaze pan, scraping off browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Place all in a casserole with a tightly fitting lid. Add herbs, meat stock, garlic and salt, if your beef stock is not already salted.  Mix all well.  Mix flour with water to make a thick paste.  Spread it around the run and inner edge of the casserole lid, as a sealant.  Place lid onto the flour seal, and bake casserole for three hours.  To open, use a blunt ended knife or screwdriver to lift the lid.  Check seasoning for more salt or pepper as the dish should by highly seasoned. Sprinkle with the cilantro, olives and toasted walnut pieces.  Serve with noodles, polenta, or corn meal mush with grated jack cheese.

What I do.  I buy any nice big piece of beef on markdown and freeze it until needed.  I put some flour in a pie dish, add ground pepper, then dredge the meat, and move it to the frying pan.  These days they suggest using “light” olive oil to sautee with.  I add oil to the pan as needed, and add flour to the pie pan also as needed.

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I move the browned beef to my iron pan when done, and I start adding the garlic and herbs as I load the pan.  I buy garlic that is already peeled, because peeling three heads worth of cloves is crazy.

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When all the meat is dredged, I use the left over flour for the paste, and mix it in the pie pan.  I followed the recipe fairly precisely  to check it out, but it really needed more liquids, like another cup split between vinegar and stock.

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Ready for the oven. Except that I prepared one day in advance.  Because the weather has been cold, I could leave it on the garage floor for a day, and get my kitchen cleaned the day before Christmas.  I put it in the oven for four hours because it was so cold from the garage when I baked it.

And now for the part all the guys like, opening the pan with a hammer and screwdriver.  Peter Sartucci demonstrates.

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I usually serve this with egg noodles, and I will admit that I have never bothered with the garnishes.

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When I opened it, I saw that it could have used more liquids for more of a gravy.

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Christmas dinner, Corfu Beef, egg noodles, green beans sautéed with browned almonds, and cranberry orange relish.

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And for dessert, a Citrus Trifle, with key lime flavored cake, sandwiched with orange marmalade, Lemon pudding flavored pastry cream, Mandarin orange slices and raspberries.

On a sad note, just two weeks after my August post with a picture of Rachel holding Diego the cat, Diego was killed trying to cross a road.  We now have a new to us five year old black cat named Ryder.  He has always been an indoor cat, and is slowly becoming confident in our home.  He came from a one person apartment with little interaction with others to our fairly busy establishment.

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I don’t know why even a shy cat thinks the best place is where mom is working.

Happy New Year to every one from Elizabeth, Peter, Pat, Rachel, Greg who lives in Longmont now, and three cats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2015, August 2017, and two sets of Quiche August 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 10:50 pm

Starting Saturday May 16th.  We’ve had odd weather this spring.  We had almost no precipitation in March and most of April, then a rainstorm event in April giving us (at this house) 2.2 inches of rain.  A week later we got another half inch, and this last week we got 4.5 inches in 5 days.  We had a few dry days, and then over .4 inches in a rain/hail storm.  We have more rain forecast or at least possible the next week.

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We had temperatures touching 80 Degrees F in April, and now our temps are hovering in the sixties.  The weeds love it, but the low temps feel too low yet to start putting out veggies in the garden.

Our next door neighbor has been ambitious this spring, and has torn out all the juniper hedge that was along the west side of our driveway. (The roots were all on his side.)  I have planted two dwarf peach trees in the newly opened up space.  I also buried Bowie between the north apple tree and the first peach.  I am looking for a white rose bush to plant above him.  (Bujo, nearby, has a yellow rose.)  I haven’t found one yet, I will need to start looking at fancier nurseries.

 

Last Saturday I went to auditions for Wheel of Fortune in Denver, and did get picked to get on stage for a tryout.  Getting picked was a matter of getting one’s form picked out of a barrel.  Since I made an effort to get dressed nicely, and even put on makeup, I had Peter take a picture of me (a rare event!)  My right eye opening less than my  left eye is the aftermath of the Bell’s Palsy I had three years ago.

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I made three quiches today, by assembly line, and I am going to include the recipe and describe my process just because I want to.

Elizabeth’s Quiches

 Pie crust for 10 inch pie plate.  I use the rolled pie crusts available in the refrigerated case near biscuits in a tube.  Each box contains 2 crusts, good for 2 quiche.  I almost always try to bake 4 quiche at once, especially in the summer, and then freeze the extra for later.  Today I made 3, as I have a request to bake a pumpkin pie this week.  I roll out the crust into a 10 inch pan and bake it according to  the instructions on the box.  Always prick the crust before baking, unless you are lucky enough to have pie weights or a pie chain.

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I got many of the ingredients ready the day before, because I can’t always be sure of a long block of time to deal with cooking when I am also dealing with Rachel.  I almost always make my quiche with meat, sometimes bacon or ham, today some smoked pork chops I scored on clearance.  You could use cut up leftover steak or beef, cooked chicken, turkey after Thanksgiving,  cooked ground meat or no meat at all.   Traditional quiche  is made with Swiss cheese, which I had today and used, but I very often use Monterey Jack just because Greg likes to have it in the fridge for quesadillas, and the local store only stocks it in two pound bags.  If I use it for quiche, then the cheese gets used up more quickly, with less chance of going bad before the end of the bag.  Very pragmatic.  I almost always put in mushrooms, onion, and kale as veggies, but lots of other veggies could be used according to what other households enjoy.  I put my veggies in raw today, but sometimes I get inspired, and saute them first.  I don’t measure, I just put things in the shells.  The mushrooms, ham, and kale got split 3 ways, but I decided I had cut too much onion and put about 1/4 of it back in the fridge for something else.

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Each pie gets 4 eggs, and yes I break each one into the red bowl first, to remove any shell fragments. Then I pour in 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and a grating of fresh nutmeg. I poured each bowl into a larger bowl to get beaten with a whisk before pouring over the completed pie.  I don’t add any salt or pepper to the mixture, the cooked quiche seems fine without it.  Also, my mom is very sensitive these days to pepper and other hot spices.

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I had two containers of cheese, and I used one container split three ways for a base layer of cheese, then meat, onions, mushrooms, kale, and the second  container of cheese for the last layer.  Then I decided I wanted more cheese, so I got the end of a bag of Monteray Jack from the fridge, and added the small handful to each pie that was in the bag.  Then I got distracted by my husband and a guest coming home, and didn’t get photos of the rest of the process.  My bad.  When the dryish ingredients are assembled, whisk the eggs/cream, and slowing pour over the top of the pie.  If you pour too quickly, the filling may run off.  Let the filling take time to soak down, and settle for a few minutes before putting in the oven.  Cook at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Exchange  top and bottom pies if you are cooking multiples, and continue cooking for another 25 to 35 minutes for a total of 50 to 60 minutes.  We are at 5200 feet altitude, I don’t know if other altitudes would change that.

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A completed quiche.  I tossed some pine nuts on top because I was given a big bag of them, and I don”t want them to go stale.

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I let them sit a while before dinner, and I let them cool before bagging for the freezer.  Pull one out in the morning to defrost for dinner, and if folks want warm quiche, I warm slices in the microwave.

I put this post away unfinished, and never got back to it.  Now it is August 2017.  Look below, the carport tent thing is gone! Yay!  I have a lot of my house plants, bougainvilleas and citrus trees outside on my patio for the summer.

 

 

Rachel at Hippotherapy, twice a month, riding “her” horse, Po Sum.

Our newish cat, Diego, with Rachel.

 

Bowie’s rose, and the surviving peach tree behind it.  There is a tiny peach tree inside a tomato cage that I grew from a seed, if you look carefully.  We had just too much frost/hail this spring to let any peaches set.

 

I made this summer’s quiche a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t take pictures, though I meant to.  I am going to post this right now, before I let it set for another two years!  Elizabeth and family.

 

 

 

 

Finally found draft from November 2014. May 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 5:48 am
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Pat and Elizabeth went to see the Dale Chihuly glass installation at the Denver Botanic Gardens.   I took Pat in Rachel’s extra wheelchair so she wouldn’t get too exhausted.  The glass was fantastic.

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DSCN7829      We went in mid September, which was still warm and gorgeous, in the upper 80’s.  We had one hard freeze warning in early September, so of course I moved the Bougainvilleas inside.  I had meant to leave them in the living room overnight and put them back out, but the boys went to the effort of putting them all the way into their winter places so I left them.  Of course, it didn’t freeze and I could have left them out for 6 more weeks, the way the weather went.  The bougainvilleas bracts were deep colors outside, but within 10 days they had started being much more pale, I suppose the windows filter out some necessary wave length of light.

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My orange bougainvillea. Notice the date palm in front of it.

DSCN7906     My red bougainvillea.

I’m just going to throw this out there, and I’m working on another post for in a few days.  Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

February, 2015 March 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 3:53 am

I had started a post in late November that I never finished, and now I can’t even find it.  I had put this photo in it, showing Bowie the cat anxiously waiting for Greg to finish a pot of macaroni and cheese so Bowie could have his usual spoonful on a plate.

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Well.  Just before Christmas, Greg interviewed for a job,  and got it.  He started two weeks of training on Jan. 2, was confirmed as hired on Jan. 19th… and moved out!  He had the opportunity to rent a room in an apartment with friends if he moved quickly, so he did.  He has a two hour, three bus commute from east Broomfield to the IBM campus on the Longmont Diagonal.  And now we have…

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The loneliness of the boyless cat.

Mom and Dad were kind of in shock too.  Greg is working in a call center providing telephone support for users of Turbo Tax.  He’s called home once, when he needed a ride.

I got this far on the post, and then saved it to finish later, and kind of forgot it.  It is now mid March, and I have to sadly report that Bowie has had to be put down, at age 17 or 18, we think.  My mom has been very sad about this, and the rest of us too.  Thanks for reading.  Elizabeth..

 

 

 

Late fall, 2014 November 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 6:00 pm
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I have been having computer issues these last few months that have made it hard to do much with my computer that involves being on the internet, so that is one reason I haven’t done a blog post lately.  We have been working on the yard this summer, although a lot of our effort seems to be pulling bindweed, which looks good at the moment, but doesn’t translate into improvements for the next year.

I did spend some time this summer finishing the front door.  I had bought and beveled and started painting the three planks last summer.  This summer we took the front door off of its hinges and put it on sawhorses. The door turned out to be so heavy that I wanted to get all its tasks completed before we put it back, so we wouldn’t have to take it off again.  I attached the planks, and painted both sides, the oil paint taking a day each side to dry.  I barricaded the open door each night with plywood held in place with the rolling swamp cooler to keep the outdoor critters out and the indoor critters in.  After we put it back up, I installed clavos (false nailheads) om Tunisian designs, giving us possibly the only Tunisian styled  door in Colorado.

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Towards the end of the summer, the local King Soopers Grocery store put its $5 perennials on sale for $1, and I bought about 40 of them. My handyman, and to some extent Greg and Courtland, cleared out some of the overgrown terraces, and I have put these perennials into them.

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Here is Pat’s western terrace, with 19 dianthus plants, light and dark pink, a few yarrow, two delphiniums, and some chives and snapdragons taken from the summer’s potted plants.  Next summer I want to spend much less effort on potted plants, and just put annuals into the ground, where they might do better.

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I put more dianthus in the lower terrace of the living room patio terraces.  (Hey!  Thirtyone dianthus at a buck apiece.  It’s a theme.  Some of the extra greenery in both this terrace and the previous is grape hyacinth foliage.  I’ve been transplanting them from random spots in the yard and “salvaging” them from the field near our house.  I’ve also planted bulbs for them each fall, even last year when we could afford almost nothing.  I planted a bag of 60 this year, and also a bag of 50 white grape hyacinths I ordered online.   For whatever reason, last year was a very bad year, work wise, for Peter. This year is much better, and Peter still has about 10 projects to complete before the end of the year, with work already lining up for 2015.  I felt secure enough to buy several large bags of daffodils and tulips, and I hope to have a nice showing next spring.

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This is where I planted bulbs.  I also transplanted several isolated daylilies to be next to a group of daylilies that a friend salvaged for us when a commercial planting was ripped out.  I’m hoping they will make a nice display together.

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Technically, part of what appears to be the eastern edge of our lot, actually belongs to the city, but we are responsible for maintaining it.  If we can ever afford a fence, this edge will be outside it.  I have started planting some native-ish plants there.  This year I put in two purchased cinquefoil bushes.  I put in two sagebrush plants that Peter and I collected in southwest Colorado, and I went out this spring and Ahem “salvaged” nine or so small yucca plants from a commercial building site.  I collected some milkweed seeds this fall, and have planted them in the berm.  I’m hoping they will start some milkweed patches for Monarch butterfly support.  I also collected a cup or so of chive seeds and threw them around the berm.  I figure even chives are better than bindweed.   I guess that is most of the yard improvements for the year, I’ll report on the people in a separate listing.  Thanks for reading, Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

    
 

Eulogy for hawklings. July 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sartuccihouse @ 1:50 am
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     In late April or early May, we started seeing a pair of hawks in an old nest in a cottonwood tree in the cemetary across the street.  The nest was in a good line of view from our kitchen window, and the hawks spent time on power poles at the edges of our property, and often flew above our house.  Sometimes we would stand at our kitchen window, and one of them would swoop down in front of the window just 15 feet away or so for just an instant on their way to the nest.  I identified them as Swainson’s hawks from my bird books.  I tried taking this photo with my digital camera, but was unhappy with the results, so I got out my 38 year old SLR, and my telephoto lens to take pictures of the nest.

 

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      Once again WordPress has struck, and I can no longer edit the photos to get to the same size to match all my previous posts. Sigh.  So, here was the original nest, with hawk, in early spring before the leaves were really out.  We, mostly my mom and I, watched the hawks for the last two months, while they sat on the nest, and then as the eggs hatched and their activity changed.  We live in a county where they close hiking trails so as to not disturb nesting hawks, but this pair nested stoicly while the cemetary prepared for Memorial Day with power mowers, and gas leaf trimmers and blowers.  Then they took turns bringing food back to the nest and feeding.  We were looking forward to watching the babies grow up and start to stand up in the nest and  be seen.  We had a big wind storm this last week, and Mom and I started saying to each other that the nest just didn’t look right.  It was much harder to see the nest when the tree was fully leafed out.  I went over to the cemetary today to look at the tree.  There is much of the nest on the ground, and three dead hawklings.  The adults have been seen around the last few days, and have been calling out, and I guess this was why.  They were good parents,  I hope they find or build another, better nest next year, and have better luck.  I will finish the roll of film in my camera with something, and maybe post some pictures of the parents later.

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     Watching the hawks was one of my favorite things to do this summer.  Otherwise, it’s been a moderate summer, temperature wise, With just a few days in the 90s in June.  We are in a run of 90s now, but lower 90s with 80s mixed in, not one of those upper 90s runs with 100s mixed in.  We are not doing any siginificant projects or plantings in the yard so far this year, just a little something here and there.  Our Iris plantings finally did a beautiful showing, with over 140 stems of blooms, compared to 19 stalks last year.

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     You can see the hawk’s nest in the very top left corner of this photo.  Our Iris were mostly contributed to us by members of our church so the colors have been our surprises.  You can see that our little lilac plants that I planted from off shoots of the old plants at the edges of our yard are growing past knee high, but none of them bloomed this year.

     Birthdays have come and gone, and yup, we’re all older now.  Rachel is in day camp for 3 days a week this summer.  She has two more years of school and camp, and then she will qualify for adult services.  There is about a 10 year waiting list for adult services, but she has been on the waiting list since she was 14.

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update.  Thanks for reading.  Elizabeth