Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coffee or Tea

For us, it is coffee in the morning.  Fresh ground.  The exact amount!  Into the clean glass container.  The french press, purchased in Copenhagen many years ago!  On goes the water at a rolling boil.  Five minutes, no more, no less, timer turned on, then down with the plunger!

Aaaaah that first sip!

Our  own barista, Miss L  have been supplying us with many  extra bags of coffee and lovely cans of tea!

We have also been the fortunate recipients of some VERY  special coffee roasted by a family friend.  Who also brews beer by the way!  Well, perhaps not at the same time;-)

He, Ryan Mc.  has adopted the quote, "coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love" or was it "hot as hell, black as night, and strong as love", with a bit of "as pure as an angel" thrown in there somewhere?  A spin on a Turkish Proverb?  Heck, I like it either way.


in the afternoon,  after the mid day walk with the "beautiful one" or if we get a visit from the Mother of the barista, a cup of tea, te', or the' (depending on how you choose to spell it) "sits" just right!  Earl Grey, Himlagott or Chai?  Those are some of my favorites.

Such shear pleasure!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Afternoon

A warm morning walk.  Hey, what happened.. worked up a sweat not even trying!

The mornings here have been cool and sometimes frosty lately.  Not this morning.  When we left for our morning walk with the "beautiful one" around 8am it was already plus 50 degrees F.

A Swedish memory.

Time for puttering after that.  The never ending vacuuming done, chicken placed in a balsamic, rosemary, garlic, honey and soy marinade to soak up the flavors.  David playing with his camera.

Letters written to friends, while it was raining.  Good use of a grey hour.

The surrounding mountains are turning a velvety green.

After the rain this afternoon we got in to the car for a short outing in the country side.  David checking for possible cycle paths, a little time for a camera shot or two and a short walk down a country lane for Ralle.

The down South gang had 1/2 planned a week end visit.  The Golden Gate Dog Show is on at the Cow Palace.  But drowning in too much work, the bacon earner had no chance of escape.  Boohoo!

Now the plumped up chicken parts are roasting in the oven.  The Balsamic marinade is reducing into a crimson glaze, to be brushed on the chicken before serving, sprinkled with sesame seeds and parsley.

This is a favorite dish at Casa Palos.  Suitable as a snack, dinner or lunch.  Fabulous warm or cold........ maybe something for the Super Bowl Party in San Jose next week end?  We will see.

Met some kids from a party at the lodge.

Maria and Ray dropped by from a drive they had taken in the foothills south of Hollister.  We took the dogs for a late afternoon walk and later had some chicken.

Happy weekend all!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


that life giving liquid!  Rain!  Filling creeks and rivers,

making birds happy in the sky or on the ponds

getting rid of the dust

turning paths into silvery ribbons

walkways into mirrors

the hills green,

the wells full and the water pumps busy!

It makes one look for a place to hide to stay dry.

Love this "swedish" weather!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Memories and Giggles

It is funny, the stuff we lug around!

My "Big Sister" had a little convenience store many years ago.  When she closed it she took home some  of the items she could use in her home or in her kitchen, then she generously shared some of the stuff with me when I came to Uppsala to visit.  Among them this can of mustard powder.  I gladly stuffed it in my suitcase taking it to California, later back to Sweden and then back to California once more.  Why this item one might wonder, since there were so many other things that were sold, given away or dumped.  No, don't ask?  It was just one of the things I somehow wanted transported.

This Christmas as we were preparing the Christmas ham, the swedish way naturally, we mix egg and mustard, spread it on the ham, coat it with bread crumbs and roast it in the oven giving the ham a tasty crunchy coat.  Mustard also is important for the swedish potato sausage, but let that be another story....... my "sauce chef" asked; "how old is this stuff?"  Well, this tin can was way past its prime,  best used before June in 1992!  Yea Yea Yea it has now been replaced by a NEW can, but I guarantee it is NOT going to taste the same.  To think that  I have been going through Maria's cupboard and spices, while we stayed at her house for four months and I had nothing to do.  Tossing and dumping things she inherited both from her Mother in Law and me.  Some of my stuff I think came from the San Jose to Mariposa move.  Laughing about how silly it is to KEEP all that OLD stuff.

Then this!  At Christmas time we needed something to wrap around the foot of our Christmas tree and I took this out.  Another item I have been hanging on to.  Forever!  The moment I unfolded it memories just overwhelmed me.  It is, or was, a drapery that we had in our home when I was very young and lived on Svarbäcksgatan 103 in Uppsala.  The first place I really remember.  It hung in a doorway that separated the hallway from the living room. In those days I played with dolls together with my big sister and sometimes our Mother would let us invite some friends and have "doll parties".  Mother making swedish pancakes using our miniature pancake pans.  We sure had some fun!  I also remember how I could sit on the floor in front of this printed cloth and imagine myself living in that castle or riding a horse down that road as well as playing in the snow on that mountain.  Endlessly!  Simple pleasures.

Sweet memories from a long time ago.  No wonder I never gave that old drapery away!  Thinking I will wrap it around the base of the Christmas tree again next year, revisiting my childhood.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday Afternoon in Hollister

Had some idle time on our hands last Sunday and as I needed to pick up a couple of items at the grocery store, things I needed to give my planned Glorified Ramen Soup some extra pazazz, we loaded the Ralle Bear in the car.  Decided to take a stroll down the main street in this little Hollister Town, checking it out from a vantage point different from being IN the car.

As every town must have its special citizen,  it did not take us long to come across this man who happily was creating his own music, sitting in the sun with his headphones on, entertaining every one passing by with his sound.

We strolled on under the beautiful old street lights....

Watched some brave young men practice their skate boarding tricks.  No knee pads,

no helmets.  Just sheer guts!

Hollister is "famous" for two things.  It is the Earth Quake Capitol of California and it is where the old classic film "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando in the lead roll, was filmed.  So it goes without saying THAT is THE attraction.  The hang out, the bar, the "watering hole" still exists selling gallons of beer to the motorcycle riders passing through or visiting this little town.

Each year there is a big weekend with the "invasion" of the motorcycle riders during the 4th of July. Sanctioned by the city council or not.  It has been an on again, off again kind of love affair.

As an added attraction this Sunday afternoon with sirens blaring and red and blue lights flashing, the police got some "evil doer" off the city street!

San Benito County as depicted on a mural is home of miles and miles of walnut orchards. Miles and miles of strawberries, asparagus and loads of lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli is also grown here giving the region the nick name of "The California Salad Bowl" just as it was depicted in the film East of Eden.

 On our way to Gilroy formerly the Garlic Capitol of the World, some Very Western images of a ranch just north of town.

With its wind powered water pump.  Who said they were not progressive in those olden days?

Neat place!

A working body shop along Highway 25 with it's quintessential American product the CAR adorning the wall... a Chevy Bel Air convertible.

Fun and exiting Sunday afternoon! How was yours?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Few Days of Walking with Ralle

Familiar hills cloaked in silk.

A place well travelled.

Lives well spent.

Scars of time.

A blade of grass.

Shapes reach out to us.

It will be cold tonight.

A touch of Sweden.

Old age.

We are never really alone.

Going home.

Enjoying life together.