Working Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I’ve been cooking and baking like a madwoman this week.  Remember that pasta salad I had my doubts about?  It was fabulous, so this week I swapped out the pasta for tuna and made Fabulous Tuna Salad which I promptly went face down into.  Plus the usual: stroganoff, brownies, and pumpkin custard, and tonight a weird spaghetti layer thing.  I love fall.  It makes me want to cook.

Oh, and in my lust to cut the first act back, I wrote another scene for it.  Clearly, I must get a grip.

What did you make this week?

73 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, October 3, 2018

  1. I’m basically making an entire crochet coral reef by myself. I’m putting up my installation on Thursday and making basically a bunch of squiggly bits to pin on to things sometime.

  2. Made chili this weekend even though Texas is still hot. And graded all the things as Late Sept/Oct is the midterms. Staying focused is tough right now with all the distractions (and outrages) in the US.

  3. I made a podcast! It’s called The Source Wall, I’m doing it with one of my best friends, and it’s really fun!

    Yesterday I finished the final edits on my first book and it should be going to our ebook crowdfunders…today? Tomorrow? That’s the co-author’s stuff, so I’m not sure.

    Today I am going to run errands, see gf before she goes away, fill out some job applications, and um…relax? Nah, probably start in on the next book. Wait, no, Rainbow Books.

  4. I don’t remember a recipe for Pasta Salad! An all time favorite and with tuna even better. Did a search on past posts but couldn’t find anything.

    1. There wasn’t a recipe, I was just bitching because the pasta salad had hard boiled eggs in it which seemed wrong somehow. I was wrong.

      I thought the recipe was from the Washington Post, but now I have no idea where I found it.
      Dressing: 1.5 cups real mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2T vinegar, 2T prepared mustard. I used about 2/3 of that for the tuna salad.
      Pasta: I used Smart Balance Rotini because it’s high fiber without being whole wheat, but the recipe calls for macaroni. Hey, pasta is pasta. Then I swapped out the pasta for a large can of tuna in the tuna salad.
      Diced Stuff: Red pepper (a whole one for the pasta salad, 3/4 for the tuna because I’d used a quarter on a pizza), a couple of stalks of celery, a small red onion (I used really small Vidalias for the tuna), sweet relish (I just dumped in what was left in the jar), and six hard-boiled eggs.
      So it’s your basic pasta salad, which means you can throw anything in there you want. It’s a good way for me to get some veggies, albeit drowned in tangy mayo.

      1. I discovered frozen diced onions in the frozen section at my grocery store. Also frozen red, green and yellow bell peppers – they’re not exactly diced/cubed but they’re not strips either. They are awesome for cooked recipes that call for onions and peppers. Probably wouldn’t work well in pasta salad though.

        But I used them to make split pea soup in the crock pot last night. So I get soup for dinner.

      2. Sounds awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Right now on blood thinners (:( ) for a blood clot so really getting tired of grilled chicken. This sounds wonderful!!

      3. I read 1.5 cups of mayo as fifteen. For the first, and probably only, time in my life, I was able to raise one eyebrow, just like Mr. Spock! Whoo!

          1. Yes. Or 11 divided by 2. Writing recipes in this arcane way would be a really great way for a sadistic cook to get her jollies.

  5. Last week I was traveling for business, so I, of course, had to start a new project to have something to do on the plane. It was a very early flight out, and I apparently wasn’t fully cognizant of what I was doing, because I tried to start the thing three times without ever getting the first crochet row right. At that point I decided to put it away and work on it after a decent night’s sleep. I figured it out the next day and did two seven row repeats before deciding that it wasn’t going to be a wrap like I hoped, but was the width of a scarf. So, I frogged it again and added two repeats of the pattern. The flight home saw me get a lot of work done on it, but now that I’m home, other projects beckon. Hopefully, I’ll get back to it soon. No pictures as of yet.

    This past weekend, I started yet another new quilting project, cutting it out on Friday and getting it mostly sewed Saturday and Sunday. It looks pretty cool, even lacking it’s border. I’m intending this for my nephew’s graduation next May, so I think I’m doing pretty good for that timeline.

    And, I’m current on a weekly crochet-a-long project, at least until today. We’ve finished up six colorful diamonds that will be the centerpiece of a blanket.

      1. I cut up and froze four bags of plums for my family’s beloved plum tart for later in the year. And I made my guests work…we had a tea and chocolate tasting party to taste all the European chocolate bars we accumulated on vacation in Switzerland, so now I know what brands to ask DH to bring back from trips (surprise winner, Divine, an English company. Go figure.)

        1. Until you have a source at the duty-free store, they sell Divine chocolate bars at Target. Of course, export versions often have a lower cocoa butter content, but shipping stable versions of one’s favorite chocolate are much better than none at all.

          1. Yeah, the Maltesers they sell in this country are NOT the Maltesers they sell in Britain. They’re vile.

    1. Wow, I’m so impressed. I made my kids matching dinosaur costumes out of a wonderful dark green fabric with silver and gold stars, complete with long stuffed tails, once–and I thought that was a project! (I will say that the more time I put into making a costume for them, the more often it got reused at other events.The bat wings got turned into witches costumes for Macbeth IIRC.)

  6. This week it’s all about changing summer for winter clothes and being ruthless about it. If it hasn’t been worn lately out it goes in a bag for Goodwill and no going back to retrieve it. Maybe.

    We recently went to the Smokehouse a specialty meat shop in Norwell, MA to try something new a lamb/apricot sausage. Now to find a recipe to use them with.

    The pumpkin custard reminds it time to look in the dairy case for pumpkin coffee creamer. It should be out now.

  7. Sooo where’s that pasta salad recipe, then? 😉

    I had my last therapy session with my psychologist today.
    My. Last. Last. LAST!
    After 5 years, 5 different therapies, 5 psychologists, I’m done shrinking. <3 I'm so thankful for getting the chance to, with the best coaching I could dream of, patch all rags and tatters of myself together and I'm so proud of myself for kicking myself all the way to this very point in time. It was hell at times, but I didn't quit and now I'm here – Shass 2.0.

    And Chunky the Cow finally ended up where she belongs and was very much appreciated. I really think my psychologist liked her. 🙂

  8. Back from a two week vacation, I spent the first two days in jet-lag coma. Then on Sunday I harvested green beans and made julienned green beans with butter and toasted slivered almonds and linguini con vongole. Monday was molasses apple cake with molasses glaze, 6-hour pork roast with roast potatoes and carrots, gazpacho from my garden veggies with sage-garlic croutons. Tuesday was left over roast potatoes fried and served with eggs, lunch was Yakima natives hot-smoked salmon with ciabatta, butter, capers, minced chives, chèvre and anchovy stuffed olives, dinner was oysters on the half-shell with mignonette sauce and more gazpacho.

    The cake had a much deeper and rounder flavor on Tuesday than Monday. I can stop cooking now. I have recovered.

  9. “Oh, and in my lust to cut the first act back, I wrote another scene for it. Clearly, I must get a grip.”


    All I am working on this week is clearing my brain, I guess – I’ve read three books in four days. Oh and I did a phone interview for a new job, that was work (I hate phones).

  10. I’ve been incorporating the author’s revisions into the statistics book. Luckily, I didn’t have to try to understand it again – or not much. He keeps missing his deadlines: he’s enjoying himself in Portugal, apparently – so I had an unexpected day off today, which I used to read my pile of gardening magazines, so I can put them for recycling, apart from the few articles I want to keep.

    Also quit my art class today: it wasn’t getting me anywhere fun, and was distracting me from my photography. Liked the people, though.

    Drove to Betws-y-Coed on Monday, to shop for two pairs of walking shoes/boots, since both had fallen apart, and while the extra ventilation was OK in summer, I don’t fancy wet feet now the weather’s turned. Also bought some walking trousers; so I’m set.

    The agent finally sent the memorandum of sale to my solicitor, so she can get to work. And I’m going round the house tomorrow with my surveyor. Fingers crossed he doesn’t find any gremlins.

    1. My husband always calls it Betsy-the-Co-Ed. Of course, I always refer to Forest Grove, Oregon as Forest Grave/

  11. Oh you know, the usual. putting words on the page and berating myself because it’s never enough. If I was my boss I’d quit. So I’m trying to be easier on myself, but still get the writing done.

    My best client just told me she’s out of money so after I finish the current book I have to find more work. I did some outline writing while I was out in California, but that dried up too. I can’t live on the Dystopian Novel I’m ghostwriting, it doesn’t pay enough. I use it to fill in when I have a break in clients.

    If worse comes to worse, I’ll start looking for work again, but I really hope it doesn’t come to that! The agent a writer friend recommended me to never got back to me, so I guess that fell through. But I refuse to crawl into bed and sleep all day. I can’t make things happen if I’m asleep, can I?

    Oh, I did make zucchini bread and muffins, and pumpkin pie for my daughter in college. She seems to be very happy and I’m glad.

    1. I have faith that something will come through for you! Even though you sound a little nervous, you also are showing a positive attitude and I believe good things are coming your way.

  12. I finally got together with two new musician friends and we had a blast playing some new (to me) music, sort of a mashup of bluegrass/Celtic/folk. Very fun and fast moving and challenging. We’re meeting again twice this week! And (encouraged by the new friends) I’m starting a new music class, which is entirely playing by ear and using pentatonic scales for melody picking (I normally read sheet music or play back-up chords). I think the class is a mix of kids and adults, but I really don’t care if the kids are better at jamming than I am (I’ll have to keep reminding myself of that every time I flub a note)

    I started an easy watercolor painting inspired by fall maple leaves (just for fun).

    And I hiked three times into the fall colors! Two of the three hikes were more challenging than I usually do, I may not have been fast — but I did them and enjoyed it.

  13. I started writing a new Hope Sze novel. I don’t really have any concrete ideas, but it feels good to get some words in before my next 3 shifts.

    My book club is doing Death Flight on Friday, and we had some oranges and lemons, so I made an orange ring cake. The glaze is fresh-squeezed oranges, lemons, and sugar. My daughter liked it so much that she wants to come to the book club so that she can eat the cake.

    We’re also piling up our wood, and lit the fire for the first time last night. Ten degrees Celsius inside=fire up the fire!

  14. I was knitting a pretty tank with lace panels, and decided it was too big. Instead of ripping it out and starting over, I started a second one, exactly the same but smaller. Then, I ended up with two half-finished pullovers – at which point I convinced myself that one was too big and the other too small! I ended up completely unable to decide between the two of them, so instead cast on for a large, deep orange, textured cowl, which is the total opposite knitting-wise of the pretty tank. You can see all of them here: I have finally managed to commit to one of the sizes, which means that the cowl is now in the naughty corner.

    1. I’m about to frog a cardigan I was crocheting because I decided to do it differently. Sometimes the frog is the only answer.

      1. One of the things I like about knitting and crocheting is how easy it is to frog something and re-do it. You can do that over and over until you get it right. I often wish life were like that.

      2. I bought some good white wool, made several sweaters with it, frogged it twice, then gave it all away. If it’s simple enough for me, it’s boring, if it’s interesting, it was too hard. So I draw cats instead.

  15. Seasonal changes always inspire me to cook too. I had Leek and Cannellinni bean soup. Otherwise, I’ve just been doing a website for work…

  16. This week I’m making Adult Decisions. I finally got my insurance sorted and went to the dentist. And yesterday I finally went back to my old dance studio for class. And I’m almost done with the volunteer thing I said I’d do that I’ve been putting off for a month. Go me!

  17. It’s vacay here. So I’ve been cooking a lot. I forget to take pics. I think I have the chopped onion pics only! Will post on on Working Wednesday Pics # for the laugh.

  18. Also on vacation! Read the 4th Murderbot book the day it came out, practically without moving. With fudge by my side and a good view of Lake Michigan. Can’t think of a better way to spend time off.

  19. Built an 8×15 shed and tried a new recipe for chicken enchiladas with cream cheese (yum). Also wrote a fiction scene for the first time in, er, I think 2 years. I am an overachiever this week!

  20. I have been trying to imagine the places that are important to my protagonist and how he travels among them, and I realized that model railroad layouts do that all the time. Modelers who are into verisimilitude look at the overall map of a railroad, select which places they like best, enlarge those, then relegate the remainder to twists of track and painting on the backdrop. I think this will help me organize my thoughts.

    Also, there was a piece in today’s Guardian that I enjoyed. Hilary Mantel wrote about historical fiction. But I am on an iPad now and can’t find the link.

  21. Not certain if I made anything this week, except for a frozen pizza. An Oprah pizza with one third cauliflower base. Pretty good.
    I did sign off on the galley copy for The Legend of Crying Girl Creek. So yeah, that felt good.

    1. I also had one of those pizza this past week. Tasty. Probably not as good for me as I think it should be since I had half the pizza which was 2.5 servings…

  22. I made for cat quilt blocks and have sent them to the organizer. They will be put into a quilt that will be auctioned off at ALA annual conference for a scholarship fund.

    I am working on making a quilted portfolio carrier so I can port bigger hand quilting pieces around.

    I should be working on the PowerPoint slide deck for a presentation on giving next week. Here’s hoping I get that done tomorrow. 😖🙄

  23. I didn’t do it alone, it was a husband and me co-project. ; ) But it’s pretty awesome to look at, especially now that I’m over being sore from toting lumber around.

  24. I made Andy’s banana bread with my daughter 🙂

    It was a lot sweeter than my usual recipe (even without the chocolate chips as we didn’t have any), so Niamh thinks it’s the best ever.

  25. I made last minute plane reservations and plans to fly out to Baltimore on Saturday. My friend Bethany, who many of you know from here (or the Bettyverse) is losing her battle with cancer, and has gone downhill very fast. She is at Sibley hospital in ICU. We’re praying she will make it long enough to get home to hospice care with her husband Jarrod and her beloved cat Toby, but it doesn’t look likely. For the moment, I’m just praying she makes it to her 34th birthday on Monday. (Our mutual friend Karen is driving up to meet me from NJ, so we’ll at least be there together.)

    I am not a good “drop everything and go” kind of traveler, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. All prayers and good vibes happily accepted for comfort and more time for her, and strength for the rest of us.

    1. So sorry to hear. I hope you and your friend will make things easier for her. Sending peace and strength your way.

    2. I am so sorry. When she said here that she was not accepted for the NIH study I was really concerned that it was because her cancer was too advanced. Hoping for peace and serenity for all.

    3. Oh, no. She’s the best. Please give her all my love. This is so wrong; we need Bethany in the world.

      1. I will. I know you’re not on Facebook much, but she is still reading messages on her page, if you want to leave her one there. She adores you.

        And yes, she is one of the good ones. This is just breaking my heart. 2018 can bite me.

        1. Can you post a link to her page here so we can all go? I ask because I don’t know her last name to search for her.

    4. Oh no! So sorry to hear this. 🙁 Keeping all fingers and toes crossed she will make it home to her husband and cat. Sending strenght and loads of hugs your and Bethany’s way!

    5. So very sorry to hear this. All kinds of healing, comforting thoughts and prayers to her. I have been so impressed and inspired by her determination to beat the cancer. It is a terrible, uncaring disease.

    6. I’m praying for her and her family as well as safe travels for you and Karen. I truly hope she is able to make it home to see Toby! If not, I hope Jarrod can bring Toby to her in the hospital. There should be options for people to see their fur babies.


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