Friday, February 6, 2015

Progress, Pickles & a Serious Delight

Still snowy on Gracewoods.

Snow off of porch few feet higher than porch!

Alsace's stitching is progressing though not as fast as I would like and since Just Cross Stitch magazine has kindly invited me to participate in their 2015 special Christmas Ornament edition I'm having to take a stitching break to design and stitch the ornament. 

Alsace ticking fabric design

When the typically heavier fare of winter gets us down we make some quick pickles to keep in the fridge and what a blast of the garden greets us when we go to these jars, which is frequently!  So easy to make if you can get some good cucumbers and since Terry had to make a trip to Colville last week, he was able to go to a much larger store than we have near Gracewoods and he brought home the 'treasure' of several beautiful cucumbers and some daikon radish for pickles.

Cucumbers in their pickle brine

So easy to make, just slice the cucumbers and daikon into the thickness you like (a mandolin really helps) then follow this simple recipe.

·       1 cup rice wine vinegar
·       1 cup water
·       3/4 cup sugar
·       1 tablespoon Kosher salt
·       4 cups thinly sliced Japanese or English cucumbers (about 3 Japanese or 1 English)
.        Optional - 1 tablespoon pepper flakes (we use gochugaru flakes we buy through Amazon)
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Add cucumber slices and stir. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or a double layer of heavy duty paper towels, pressing down until towel is saturated with liquid and in direct contact with the cucumbers. Let rest 10 minutes, then transfer cucumbers to a sealable container. Top up with liquid and discard the rest. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

And can you imagine a dog that loves pickles????  Well here he is, Jasper waits patiently to see if his clumsy Mom will drop one he can nab.

Jasper waiting for a pickle

Now for a Serious Delight we came across - which is definitely a higher level than a Passing Fancy - it is a Japanese series we've been streaming that is a real treasure.  Originally a manga that has run for more than 17 years,  Kodoku no Gurume (Solitary Gourmet) is four seasons of a series of half hour episodes that tells the story of Goro-San, a salesman whose job takes him all over Tokyo's precincts which gives him the opportunity to explore the many little restaurants that populate them.

Kodoku no Gurume

Solitary Gourmet

Each episode has its own story with Goro-San having interesting and usually funny encounters with customers for his business and then his search for just the right day's 'food for his tummy'.  If you are interested in sharing  our Serious Delight you can view it online for free at  but WARNING do NOT watch this series if you are hungry it is torture!!!!!