LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER: Another gorgeous day. Sunny, high 80
CLASSES: Chair yoga and 2 water aerobics
On my morning walk, I spotted an opposum just sitting along the road. I think he must have been sick or rapid, as usually they scurry away in the bushes when they see a human.
We are trying to grow jasmine and other vines along our back fence to add some privacy, once the spec house sells. One plant that is doing fairly well is a passion fruit vine. We have just one flower, but it is beautiful! What a treat to see this!
I had never eaten passion fruit before our housesitting assignment in South Africa last year. In fact, the Facebook memory popped up today. A year ago, I had taken a photo of the contrast between extreme poverty and obscene excessive wealth that we observed a lot in Johannesburg.
The house where we had our assignment had huge passion fruit vines. Each day we ate 3 or 4 fruits that were perfectly ripe. What a treat! Maybe our little vine will produce some fruit some time.
I taught another Spanish class in the afternoon. The students are putting phrases together to form sentences. We are practicing ordering in a restaurant. They are doing well.
Another treat — We got a package in the mail from my aunt and uncle in Alberta, Canada. She made us some home-made fruit cake. We can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Aunt Martha!!!
I went over to a neighbor’s house to look at some necklaces she is custom-making me to wear on Christmas. They are beautiful. I am anxious to see the finished product. This is a real treat to myself!
After sunset, we drove to an open field that faces the southwest to look for the Christmas star, where Jupiter and Saturn align. It was a bit cloudy, but the clouds separated enough for us to see it. What a treat!
DINNER: Another Jacques Pepin recipe. This one, however, disappointed a bit….
EGG AND TOMATO GRATIN
6 large eggs
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions sliced
4 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
14-oz can tomatoes
2/3 cup grated Swiss (Gruyere or Emmentaler) or mozzarella
Boil the eggs. Let cool, peel, and slice into wedges. Arrange them in a gratin dish or baking dish.
Heat the oven to 400. Heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic. Then, add the thyme, pepper, salt and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes as they cook. Bring to a boil and boil gently 5 minutes.
Pour the onion and tomato mixture over the eggs in the gratin dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake 10 minutes. Then, turn on the broiler and broil another 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
I don’t know if the tomato was off or whether it was the taste of the thyme, but something was a little “funky”. A bit disappointing.
Side was steamed asparagus. For some reason, asparagus is ridiculously inexpensive right now – less than a dollar for a big bunch – so we are buying and eating a lot!