Musing with Max

Musing with Max

August 27, 2012

Late Summer flowers in the house

When we first saw this house it was in late April and the home inspection was sometime in May. While walking around the outside and looking at the landscape I noticed a tree at the front which being that time of year was all spindly bare branches. I asked our realtor if she knew what it was, and being a realtor who really only cares about the sale, she said "dead". We moved in on June 1st and slowly the tree started to fill up with leaves and tiny flower buds which much to my surprise and joy looked like a pegee hydrangea and what a pegee hydrangea it is. Truth is it is actually two and it fills up with flowers like nothing I've ever seen and then cascades all the way down to the floor.
It's like a giant umbrella of flowers. They start out a soft delicate white and then the tips get a little greenish, then they mature into green and pink
and some off white
with huge flower heads covering every inch of it.
At the end of that Summer a man stopped by said he was a wholesale florist and offered me $300.00 for the flowers. I said no, the joy of looking at this most stunning of displays was priceless. Every year Frank brings out a ladder and cuts, cuts, cuts. Sometimes he hangs out of the bedroom window to get at the real big guys at the top. There have been times when he's gone to the neighbor's with arms full of flowers; no wonder the ladies on the block all think he's the bomb. Once they reach the later stage they dry perfectly and we have flowers in the house throughout the winter months. So to Jane's flowers in the house party we go

with my most precious of flowers. And we'll add some herbs to the mix cause this hot humid icky Summer is just making everything grow like mad

It's pesto time!

...and Max could care less since he's too busy doing his favorite thing

August 19, 2012

A Dog Life

It's not easy being a dog...

First of all you have to learn how to hold it.  You can only go outside and for some reason you have to wait until they are ready to take you because you are not trusted to go out alone and sometimes they can take forever to get ready which is something I don't understand. Why do they have to get ready? Why can't they just go out like I do without putting all that stuff on so I'm forced to patiently wait since I'm at their mercy

so I do. And speaking of putting all that stuff on; why on earth do they insist on putting stuff on me?

This is not comfortable, and frankly, completely unnecessary. And besides I don't even like football, not my game. I prefer the toss and run and catch game

which I try to play every chance I get but it requires dropping subtle hints

that they don't always get right away. And let me tell you this can be very tiring when you have no opposable thumbs. Then there's the furniture issue. What's the big deal? They're always on them and I weigh less. Persistence and patience does pay off though

eventually they give in to everything. Well, not really. Let's talk my favorite subject: Food.

Will somebody please explain to me why I get this

when they get all kinds of yummy smelling varieties of things. Am I not a member of this household, an integral part of this family...important enough? Yes, sometimes they call me over to the work area and give me a little something as if they were doing me a big favor or something but I've got a plan. I'll just innocently hang around the work area

and when they're not looking


What??? What do you mean where's the cheese?

Heh, heh, every dog has his day.

August 12, 2012

Blooming August

By the time August rolls around I'm somewhat gardened out, meaning I don't really want to do anything in it and just lay about. Sort of like this.

Thankfully by this time the garden sort of takes care of itself and the late bloomers put on their show.

Morning glories

Crepe Myrtles

Pegee Hydrangea


...nap time.

August 5, 2012


Well it seems as though I've bested that pesky groundhog

Now the problem (and a nice problem to have) is what to make with them before they rot. I know, I'll start with a lovely Summer Spanish soup, Salmorejo. Marina sent me the recipe and you can find it here

 and I'll make sure to add a nice Spanish vinegar so it can be as authentic as possible

Hmmm, what should we have with this yummy soup? Any ideas Maxy?

What was that?

stay in the Iberian peninsula you say? Good idea! Let's go to Portugal. I am lucky to live very close to Newark, NJ which has a large Portuguese population and hence a bunch of fabulous Portuguese markets where I can get traditional ingredients such as Piri-Piri peppers. I'm sure they can be found online.

Frango Piri-Piri (Piri-Piri Chicken)
4 servings

1 medium sized chicken, washed
salt, to taste
1 cup Molho de Piri-Piri (recipe follows)
Pinch of ground Piri-Piri chiles (can substitute piquin or Thai)
Pinch of oregano (fresh or dried)
for serving:
1/4 cup Molho Piri-Piri
1 lemon, sliced

Place the chicken on a cutting board and split it lengthwise at the breastbone so that it will lie flat. Flatten it as much as possible with a mallet. Place in a shallow pan sprinkle with salt and pour the Mohlo over it. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken and sprinkle it with some of the ground Piri-Piri and oregano. Grill until done. Alternately bake in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes and then broil for 10 to 15 additional minutes.

Mohlo de Piri-Piri
makes 1 1/4 cups

1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbpn ground dried Piri-Piris (can substitute piquin or Thai)
1/2 tbpn Paprika
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Combine the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Store in the refrigerator. Will keep forever.

Dinner is served.

Marina's Salmorejo

Frango Piri-Piri served the traditional way with a salad of lettuce (OK Spinach cause that's what I had) tomatoes and red onion and french fries

5 tomatoes down, loads more to go. Yay!