Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday Dinner: Hub Style

Jenn McKinlay: Not to be all braggy but I haven't cooked a meal in 161 days. Cooking in our house has long been divided into me cooking Mon-Thurs, takeout on Friday, and Hub cooking Sat and Sun as his musician schedule would allow. 





Hub (aka Chris Hansen Orf - the long haired guitarist on left) playing with Honeygirl & the Boys in Mexico 2/20.

For many years (20+), that schedule worked. Then came the pandemic and Hub no longer had to jet out the door to gigs and rehearsals four-five times per week. His days were long, he was bored bored bored, and suddenly he needed something to do. Enter Chef Dad.


(Yes, in a fit of pandemic boredom, he cut off all his hair. Ah!).

Without any prodding from me, Hub volunteered to take over the cooking. As I am still working ridiculously long days to meet deadlines, craft new plots, promote, etc., I said, "Yes, please!" (I might have wept a little with joy, too) and never looked back.

Here's the interesting thing. I spent my cooking years, catering to the overall family's likes and dislikes. Hooligan 1 loves shepherd's pie, Hooligan 2 is more a roast chicken and quinoa guy, and Hub is meat - all meat - all the time. I crafted the family menu around the communal likes and dislikes, often sacrificing my own desire for the random cauliflower side dish in favor of the universally acceptable corn. 

Hub did not approach the family menu like this at all. He simply decided what he was going to cook and we could eat it or go hungry. Y'all I was so over cooking that he could have served up deep fried rattlesnake and I'd say "Thank you." Amazingly, the Hooligans reacted the same way (Were they bored with my cooking??? LOL!) so we have been eating all kinds of crazy dishes. From shakshuka to shrimp scampi to mediterranean chicken and so on.

So, since it's Sunday dinner time, I'm sharing one of my absolute favorite meals that he's made: Greek Spaghetti (the recipe given to  him by another band wife, Chris Speros)!


Ingredients: 1 lb. Spagetti 1 & 1/4 sticks of butter 1 lb. of ground beef 1 onion, diced Parmesan cheese (I generally use about 1-2 cups of freshly grated but this could be done to taste or omitted) 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (use 1 tsp in meat and other in burnt butter) 2 tbsp sugar 1 Can tomato sauce (about 15 oz) Salt and pepper to taste Garlic powder or salt to taste (optional)
tsp Greek Oregano (optional)
Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning (optional) -This is one of the best all purpose seasonings, I use it almost in everything I cook. It can be found at Safeway and most grocery chains. Sauce Prep: Lightly sauté diced onion in 2 Tbs. of butter then add the ground beef. Season meat with salt and pepper.
When meat is browned, add tomato sauce, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp sugar and any other optional spices chosen from above (I use all) Let this simmer until meat is completely cooked. Taste, then add more seasonings or spices if wanted (remember you will be adding additional cinnamon to butter) Pasta Prep: Boil Spaghetti in water - You want the pasta slightly overcooked (not al dente) While pasta is cooking, melt the butter (butter needs to be burnt so cook until it's turning light brown) When butter is burnt add tsp cinnamon and set aside When Pasta is fully cooked, drain water and put pasta back in the pot Toss the pasta with the burnt butter and cinnamon mixture until pasta is evenly coated Grease baking pan (butter or PAM) and preheat oven to 350 You will then layer the pan - Put half of the pasta/butter mixture, top pasta with half of the meat sauce and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Repeat the layering using the remainder of pasta, sauce and cheese Bake for about 30 minutes
So, how about you, Reds and Readers, how have you managed your boredom during the pandemic?


97 comments:

  1. This sounds yummy, Jenn . . . I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing the recipe . . . .

    I enjoy cooking, so there’s been a lot of that along with the bread-baking and the dessert-making. Fortunately, I’ve found some really good books to read, too! :)

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    1. I still do the baking but in AZ when it's 115, I have to slow my roll.

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  2. Jen, I love spaghetti dishes, but I’m just a little tired of my baked spaghetti, and it’s quite labor intensive. Your recipe, or your husband’s, sounds like a perfect new spaghetti dish to try. It doesn’t have quite as many steps as mine, and it sounds so delicious. I’ve never put cinnamon in a spaghetti dish, but I’m willing to give it a go. Thanks so much for posting this. It might have to wait until after I fix the salmon patties I promised my husband, but I hope to make your dish next week.

    The pandemic affected my reading for some time, slowed it and my writing reviews down considerably. But, I’m doing so much better now, enjoying my reading and able to focus on reviews more. I’ve been shifting books and weeding them, too. I’m trying to make some room and rearrange furniture to make space for some pieces from my mother-in-law’s house. And, I finally watched a series on TV again. It was Virgin River on Netflix, and I really enjoyed it. There will be a season two, so that’s good news. It has Annette O’Toole and Tim Matheson and one of the ruggedly cute doctors from Grey’s Anatomy and a lovely actress whose name I can’t remember. Husband and I are going to give Yellowstone, with Kevin Costner, a try.

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    1. Kathy, I loved Virgin River, too, and eagerly await the next season.

      But... Tim Matheson, the quintessential boy hero of our lives, is now the crusty old geezer. Sigh.

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    2. I know, Karen. Little Timmy is now old.

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    3. I've heard great things about Virgin River. It's on my list!

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  3. First of all, could I borrow Chef Dad for a while? I'm still doing all the cooking plus my regular work minus eating out or even takeout.

    For boredom, I've been baking bread and doing some gardening. Not very original since that seems to be everyone's go-to coping mechanism. I usually have a brown thumb, but I've only lost a couple of plants, so I'm considering going back to a full-blown garden next year and am adding a small greenhouse to my wish list.

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    1. My gardening has kicked into a higher gear, too! Sorry, I'd loan you Chef Dad but then I'd have to cook. Nope, nope, nope.

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  4. Lucky you! That sounds so good and it gave me a memory flash of my Greek friend Marios in grad school. A big foreboding looking guy (who was actually a teddy bear), he'd realized he couldn't afford to eat out for every meal so he sent for his mother's recipes and taught himself to cook. He even made his own filo dough. I loved being invited to his apartment for dinner (which also always included a lot of bourbon...). Anyway, he must have made this dish!

    I've been gardening less and apparently eating more. Nothing interesting. Reading more, I guess.

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    1. That sounds delicious, Edith! Hub has a recipe for Cheese Pie with filo dough. He's working up to it.

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    2. Tell him bourbon will ease the way, LOL~

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    3. He made his own filo dough? (???) That is impressive!

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  5. I've only had a few individual days were I've been so bored that the energy and desire to do more than sit/lay on the couch and mindlessly watch TV was all I could manage.

    With everything I would normally do or wanted to do between April 4th and the end of the year canceled or "postponed", I have had to be creative in my attempts to stave off more boredom.

    I've been watching a lot of TV. Re-watching TV shows has become a daily part of my life now. I've been rewatching Firefly (of course), Who's The Boss?, Bones, Sports Night and NYPD Blue. I've attempted to rewatch Xena: Warrior Princess (can't do it, the show is gawdawful and I'm reminded why I stopped watching it in the first place), Knight Rider (how did I like this show growing up?) and Miami Vice (eh). There's a lot more stuff for me to watch on DVD so I'll have plenty to keep me busy.

    I throw in a movie on occasion too. I'm thinking of starting a Sunday Morning Cinema series watching the old movies my mother had on DVD. If I do that, I'm probably going to start with the Tracy-Hepburn movie 'Desk Set' which was featured in Margaret Dumas' MURDER ON THE SILVER SCREEN mystery novel recently. And yes, I've been doing a lot of reading too.

    I get the majority of my out of the house errands done on Friday afternoon so shopping, paying bills that I can pay in person and stopping off at the comic shop, record shop or bookstore is usually done on that day.

    Since I've been back to work for 10 weeks (exactly as long as I was out of work), that also keeps boredom at bay since I'm busy doing work.

    Oh and since my physical a couple of weeks back revealed a 20 pound weight gain, I've obviously been eating entirely too much.

    And then there's music. Writing my Cassette Chronicles series, doing some CD reviews and listening to the many albums in my collection has been a way to keep boredom on the defensive as well.

    It's not sexy or anything but all this stuff combined keeps me occupied and busy so there's only a little boredom that can find itself worming its way into my life. Otherwise, I've just got too much stuff to get done to sit around bored out of my mind.

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    1. Firefly!!! We've also been watching reruns of Magnum P.I. because...Hawaii :)

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    2. Maybe you need to set the next stand-alone in Hawaii, Jenn? Because research is tax deductible.

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  6. Wow Jenn! You sure hit the jackpot! Not only does your husband cook but he has a great attitude. More parent/cooks should follow the rule of only 2 food choice: take it or leave it!

    I am not easily bored and have never had patience with people who whined how bored they were. Since I was almost always home anyway my life hasn't changed much at all. Now I can even get books (curbside pick-up with an appointment only) from the library so all is good!

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    1. Curbside is awesome, although I do feel for my librarian friends doing it here in 115 temperatures...ugh.

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  7. Jenn- Please tell the Hub aka Chef Dad thank you for the recipe. During the self isolation I have fallen off the plant based food wagon (or I may have jumped off. I'm not really sure). Anyway, please ask Chef Dad if he's doing anything with fish. I'll just be standing over here with my plate of greek spaghetti waiting for a response. P.S. Loved the Jungle Reds event via the Poisoned Pen Bookstore. Looking forward to the possible Christmas event.

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    1. Orecchiette with Fennel and Tuna
      adapted from Jacques Pépin

      1/2 lb Orecchiette
      1 medium onion, chopped
      1/2 cup pine nuts
      1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
      1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips
      1/2 cup raisins
      3 cloves of garlic, minced
      1 6oz can of tuna (packed in oil, preferred)
      1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
      1/2 cup grated Parmesan
      Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
      Start cooking orecchiette.

      In a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add pine nuts and cook until they begin to lightly brown and are fragrant.

      Add sliced fennel and stir or flip pan until fennel is on bottom and pine nuts on top. Add a bit of pasta water. Cover, and cook about 3 minutes.

      Uncover and add bell peppers. Cook a few minutes and add the garlic. Continue cooking and add the tuna and raisins.

      Cover, again, and cook until vegetables are tender – just a few more minutes.

      Drain pasta and stir into fennel. Stir in parsley and cheese.

      Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

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    2. Lyda, you could halve this recipe, but I'd keep all the tuna. It reheats well, and it's a stable in our meal rotation. Or you can make the whole thing and freeze some for another day.

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    3. Ann, that sounds delicious!

      In lieu of pine nuts, which have gotten hideously spendy, do you think walnuts would swap in?

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    4. Sunflower seeds work well too, or any nuts. Almonds maybe?

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    5. Ann, thank you for this recipe! I am eager to try it!!!

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    6. Thank you. This is a great change up from what I've been doing. I agree on the pine nuts ($$) and i think I'm going with the almonds. Bon Appetit.

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    7. I've just read the recipe more carefully and seen it has raisins in it -- wow: raisins with tuna and fennel. My mind cannot quite imagine what my mouth will taste with that mix. Totally intriguing!

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    8. He made some killer fish tacos, tuna steaks with wasabi and soy, and salmon with pesto. *chef's kiss*

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    9. If you are fairly adventurous, Amanda, you will like it. But keep in mind that fennel has its own strong flavor, much like anise.

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    10. Ann: The anise-like flavour is maybe offset by the softness of the raisin flavour...? Anyway, sounds interesting! I'll have to look for fennel on my next shopping trip.

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    11. I would love this. Don't think my hubby would eat it with the raisins. And absolutely not on the bell pepper...

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    12. Debs, let him pick out the raisins. And put in something green instead of the peppers, maybe like scallion tops. Looks pretty

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  8. Wow, Jenn! I would never have thought of cinnamon in spaghetti, but that sounds delicious. I'll have to try it. I may want to cut the recipe in half, though. I'm only cooking for one.

    I'm actually not super bored around here, although I'm largely by myself. I think it has to do with living in really active, engaging fantasy worlds most of the time. Which is to say, I read a lot. Thank you all for that!

    The most interesting (re)discovery I've made during this isolation is my radio voice. I have a theater degree, which came with a round of voice improvement classes. One of my first jobs out of college was at a little country radio station, writing and producing local ads, reading the news, and hosting a live call-in show. It was fun. Then I got a better job, and my announcing career went back in the trunk.

    Shortly after I started with the Dallas Winds, however, my boss asked me to announce our concerts--just introducing the conductor--and then he put me on all our voice mail announcements. Now, as all our concerts have gone to video, he is busily making me The Voice of the Dallas Winds, and I find I like it.

    I like hunkering down with my headset and USB microphone. I don't have a soundproof booth, so I usually do it at night, when the street traffic is quiet and I can turn off the AC and fans for the duration of my recording session. It's fun. It's challenging. And, you know how you never hear your real voice, just your voice as it sounds inside your head? Now I'm hearing my real voice and . . . Damn! Is that really me? Wow. I sound like I know what I'm doing! A fun discovery in an un-fun time.

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    1. What a great job! And fun too.

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    2. How fun, Gigi! What a great discovery to make about yourself.

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    3. (Re)discovering your radio voice sounds fabulous, Gigi. It's my own dream or goal depending on how I want to view it to rediscover my own radio voice once I leave full-time work. During journalism school, when I was on a placement at a private radio station for a stint of work experience, I was told that my (much stronger then) British accent wouldn't ever cut it on air. Like a fool, I took that statement as gospel and focused on writing instead of broadcasting. Even if that might have been true back then (in the previous century), it no longer is. Our public broadcaster, CBC, has many different voices and accents on air these days. And, anyway, with podcasting an option, we can all access the airwaves on our own...Thanks for sharing your experience with voice overs; it's renewed my ambition to pursue this path.

      Also: I think it was you who recommended the Love, Nina book the other day. I passed that along to my mother, who immediately downloaded it and is *loving* it. Thank you for the recommendation.

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    4. Go for it, Amanda! I love the way the BBC has stopped making everyone speak RP and let the natural accents come out to play. My own accent is definitely NOT that of my native Ozark hills, and that's a good thing, but I think your British accent is probably excellent to listen to. How would you classify it, regionally? If you do the podcast, let us know so we can listen!

      And I'm glad your mother is enjoying Love, Nina, but it was Deb who recommended that book. I just told her I'd like to borrow it.

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    5. Oh right, it was Deb: THANK YOU, Deb, for the recommendation :)

      As for my accent, it's more mid-Atlantic than British regional. I actually lived in England for only three years (b/w the ages of 12 and 15), but both my parents had/have British accents like they just arrived yesterday (instead of in the early '50s). That's the accent I learned over the years of moving back and forth between Europe and Canada growing up. When I arrived back in Canada at age 15, my high school friends loved my accent while my younger brother's friends teased him mercilessly for his. I kept mine, while he quickly masked his with a Canadian twang.

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    6. Gigi - how fun. I imagine you are amazing at this new gig. Something new and challenging - always a good thing.

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    7. Amanda, glad your mom is enjoying Love, Nina. I absolutely loved it, and have now acquired a book of Alan Bennett's letters and essays. Also, I've got Nina Stibbe's novel on my TBR list, so I will report on that!

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    8. And I've discovered that the BBC made Love, Nina into a TV series. I'm wondering if it's findable online somehow...

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    9. Yes, it was produced by Nick Hornby, I think. Let me know if you find it!

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  9. I can't imagine anyone cooking for me on a regular basis. But last night Julie grilled chicken while I made a bid salad, so I'm not feeling underprivileged. However, cooking is, and probably always shall be, my job. Julie does all the grocery shopping these days as I'm not allowed out in public!

    Since the beginning of this staying at home gig, I've been baking, bread only, no desserts. I long for a chocolate cake or a key lime pie or oatmeal raisin cookies. But I know who'd eat them, and like Jay, I suspect I've found my Covid 19. Maybe 20.

    Sergeant Pepper does keep me active tho. He's getting great at walking on a Y lead with Penny Lane, potty training going well but I do have to keep an eye on him. Fortunately, like babies do, he naps a lot, goes happily "to crate" when that is suggested, and he hasn't eaten all the power cords yet, just a few of them.

    Not really, I watch that too, but he has tried.

    Back to cooking, we are the queens of leftovers, so we almost always get two meals at least out of one kitchen effort. And we've ordered takeout a few times. Mostly, I've perfected the bread thing. While artisan bread are great, we wanted something we could slice for toast or sandwiches. This recipe is relatively fail proof.

    2 cups white flour (bread flour or plain old)
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup rye flour. (Can substitute one of the two above for this if you don't have any rye.
    1/1/2 cups buttermilk. I keep the bowdered kind on hand. Or you can sour reg milk, add tsp of vinegar.
    1 tblsp. yeast
    2 tblsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    2 tblsp soft butter Or melted and cooled butter, whatever

    Add a little of the buttermilk to yeast and sugar and stir up, let sit while you gather up the rest of the stuff.

    In mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and give a stir. Add buttermilk, butter, and yeast/sugar mixer.

    With dough hook mixer attachment, knead ten minutes by the clock. I usually add a tablespoon of caraway seeds, because we like them, but not necessary.

    Turn out on generously floured surface and knead by hand a few times, until it feels right, elastic, warm, holds together well.

    Wash and grease mixer bowl. Put dough in and turn once so all surfaces are oiled. Cover with tea towel and let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk.

    Punch down, divide into two equal parts, form loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 loaf pans. Cover again and let rise about another hour, until peeking over the edge of pans.

    Bake at 350-360 for 35 minutes, turn out on racks to cool. Cut off a heel and slather with butter because you deserve it.

    Freeze on loaf for next week.

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    1. Leftovers from a good meal is my favourite kind of cooking, Ann!

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    2. I love me some leftovers! Your bread recipe sounds almost easy enough for me to try it. Hugs to you, Julie, and Sgt. P and the gang. I'm glad Penny Lane and Eliot are patient with the puppy.

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    3. Thank you for this. The only bread I've done is in the bread machine, which has the advantage of not heating up the house, but come winter, I'd love to try this! Also, I love, love, love the names of your babies (Beatles freak, here)!

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    4. I am going to have to try your bread, Ann, when the house cools down a bit. I love my sourdough, but I just haven't had the motivation to deal with the feeding of the starters, etc. I thought I would bake a lot, but have not made one single loaf of bread. This is due partly to the fact that a fabulous artisan bakery is now delivering twice a week to our little local butcher shop, so picking up a loaf of bread along with other necessities has become my Saturday routine. Oh, I did make brownies--once. From a Ghiradelli mix. I had half a brownie, my hubby ate all the rest. Not good for his expanding waistline!!! So I haven't been tempted again.

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    5. We can get good bread. But there is something about making it. Our summers are nice up here on the tundra, so baking isn’t an issue. All last week we had highs in the 70s. But I get Texas heat. Which is why I never go there after April or before October!

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  10. I cook dinner every night, while my husband does all the food shopping and clean-up. It works. Temps in the nineties all week, so more chicken salad and shrimp dishes.

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  11. What a gift, Jenn! Isn't it just the way? You turn yourself inside out trying to please everyone, and you could have been pleasing yourself the whole time! Kids. LOL

    Gardening has kept me sane, along with some experimental cooking of my own. Lots and lots of reading, including book club books for our last five meetings, all held on Zoom. Who knew that would be our new normal?

    I started out watching (and binge-watching) lots of Netflix, Acorn, BritBox, Roku, and YouTube, but I've "foundered" on a lot of the offerings left. Why are so many movies and TV shows dependent on blood, gore, ickiness, and loud screams/car crashes/explosions? I'm so over it.

    Most recently I decided to start reorganizing the basement, which did not get finished in the Big Build, because we ran out of budget once all the weather delays/cost overruns thanks to Chinese tariffs/crew availability caused us to halt. Consequently, the basement ended up being a storage holding area for boxes unpacked, and furniture that was meant to go in the lower level space, and LOTS of Steve's stuff he didn't have room for elsewhere. It's a hodgepodge, so I started consolidating, and forcing it into some semblance of order. I painted an old table that needed rehab, with plans to paint two more, plus to have ten chairs reupholstered and refreshed. They're very different from the lovely-but-not-my-style cherry Colonial dining set that was Steve's mother's.

    The most fun project I'm excited about is a Little Free Library for the end of our drive. Our neighbor/real estate agent/fellow book lover had one made for us right before the pandemic. We just cleared space for it, getting rid of overgrown brush, thanks to a neighbor's bored teenage daughter. She cleared an impressive amount of vines and weeds in five weeks.

    I've plotted out how to paint each of the three sides of the library, with spring, summer, and fall flowers and wildlife, and have acrylic paints ready to go once I've finished priming the little house. Keep your fingers crossed, okay? I've not done this kind of thing in decades, and have never mixed paints before. I can't wait to get it out so neighbors can start sharing books.

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    1. Karen: My neighbourhood has many Little Free Libraries, each with the owner's character painted on or built into the structures. Such fun to walk past them and browse in them. My fingers are crossed for you with yours!

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    2. I'd love to have your reupholstering skills!

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    3. Gigi, I am going to have these done, not try to do it myself, since the only upholstery I've done in the past was very simple stuff. The dining chairs are tricky, and authentic Art Deco, and I don't want to screw them up. There are two beautiful round-top slipper chairs, covered in the original red damask with twisted silk fringe at the bottom. I want to modernize them with self-fabric skirts, and to top them with cushions high enough that we can use them as end chairs at the table when we have a big group. That's something I COULD do, but it won't end up looking as nice as if someone who does it all the time does the job.

      I've reclaimed all this furniture from stuff that was stored for decades at my husband's old office. I couldn't believe what I was unearthing, gem after gem, covered in dust, chewed by mice, but with good bones.

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    4. Busy, busy! You have to share pics of your Little Free Library as you go. I absolutely love those little structures and the sense of community they provide!

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    5. Karen, your dining chairs sound fabulous!! You will have to share pics whenever you get them redone. And I LOVE the Little Free Library idea. We have a bunch in our neighborhood, but I've had so many things to read that I haven't really taken advantage. I have put some books in, and taken out a huge volume of Christopher Isherwood's diaries (which of course I haven't got to.) But I do wonder who in my neighborhood was reading Isherwood??

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  12. I'm like your husband - I cook what *I* feel like eating and the rest of the family has a choice: eat or starve. I used to stop at the supermarket after work and buy exactly whatever it was that I felt like eating that night. By the time I got home, everyone was so hungry they left me alone in the kitchen with my pots and pans and glass of wine for the 20 minute it took to make dinner. The best thing is my children and husband are great eaters -- that's what makes a great chef.

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    1. Very helpful to keep them hungry! No picky eaters here I'm just more of a caterer than the Hub. LOL.

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  13. And everyone already knows my answer to how to manage boredom. Jigsaw puzzles. We're on #18.Birds of America. And I'm so sad it's almost finished. Like the last little bits of delicious cake, we are rationing and savoring.

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    1. I've been doing a lot of puzzles, too, Hallie. I love them, but I am nowhere near #18.

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    2. Is this your last puzzle? I have one I can send you. King George made jigsaws impossible. Oy.

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  14. Yay for Chef Dad; way to make a silver lining out of a musician's cloud during COVID-19. Such hard times for performing artists...I'll be trying his baked spaghetti recipe. Thanks. And a huge thanks to all the Reds for the live event at The Poisoned Pen yesterday. Such fun!

    As for boredom, none here due to continuing to work from home, and having more time for gardening, collaging and general puttering around the house. Reading features, too, but I get (or give) more time for that at the cottage than in the city.

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    1. Thanks for catching us at the Pen yesterday. Hank did an amazing job managing all of us!

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  15. Sorry, Jenn, but if I see any recipe that long I go “ uh no thanks”. Five ingredients and twenty minutes is what I want these days. I’m so bored with cooking. John will cook but he uses every pan and bowl. I need Mrs Bridges

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    1. Also: one and a half sticks of butter!

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    2. Remember Jenn has two ravenous sons and one husband. Boys can eat a stick of butter and a loaf of bread while looking in the fridge for something to eat

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    3. Karen in Ohio--I was thinking the same thing!
      How many eople are we feeding here to justify that amount of butter?!

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  16. That sounds incredibly yummy! Amazing! One of my secret pasta dishes is to chop up whatever vegetable there is, say broccoli. Which works perfectly. Make the pasta, and when it is one minute from being done, just dump the chopped vegetables into the boiling pasta water.

    Meanwhile, put a couple tablespoons of olive oil, tiny chunks of chopped up garlic, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and enough breadcrumbs to make it right and put put that in the microwave. Heat until the oil is hot.

    Now the pasta and broccoli are done, after only a minute or so dump that into a colander. Then dump the drained hot pasta and broccoli back into the pan. Add the hot garlic pepper infused olive oil and stir to combine. Top with Parmesan cheese.

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    1. Sounds delish, Hank!!! Thank you. I'll give to the Hub :)

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    2. Dumping! My kind of cooking!

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    3. That's my kind of recipe, Hank!!

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    4. Yes, it really works! Easy to adjust the measurements. And you can add vegetables as you wish, or top with leftover grilled chicken. Or shrimp. xxx (and sometimes we do it without the breadcrumbs.

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  17. Sorry for the lack of exact measurements :-) but you’ll know when it is right.

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  18. We have a reasonable division of labor to come around here. There are just the two of us, but we collaborate on breakfast. Jonathan makes lunch, and I make dinner. Seems to work!

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  19. Jenn, Hooligan likes quinoa??? Wow. I have been cooking more during the pandemic. However, not during the heat wave, though. I have been reading more during the pandemic. I cooked and made vegan mac and cheese with quinoa pasta and soy cheese (smoked provolone cheese). The pasta was perfect. I followed the instructions on the box. Only modification was that I left out the cheese packet that came with the pasta box. Instead I used the vegan cheese.

    Diana

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    1. Yes, he's a weirdo. We haven't gone vegetarian yet but Hub has cut down his meat consumption tremendously.

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    2. Jenn, unfortunately wheat does not like me. Nor does dairy. If the meat is organic and grown locally, then I would eat it. I love hamburgers, especially homemade.

      Diana

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  20. Cinnamon, I think, is often found in Greek dishes with meat. I'll be passing this one on to my nephew. We are always on the look-out for new recipes--even better when he's doing the cooking.

    I work part-time at our local library. Right now we are closed with curbside pick-ups only. With the shelves tidy, labels redone, no patrons coming in--life at the library can be pretty boring (I don't actually like to read at the library--I like my reading time uninterrupted). At least this time around, patrons can access the greater CLEVNET library system and order more than what we have on our own shelves. Home--always something to do.

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    1. So true, Flora. There is always a chore waiting.

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  21. As you all know by now, I moved to a new home across town. My sister and niece packed up boxes while I kept working. Well, actually my niece did most of the work while my sister "supervised". I came home one day to find the top of my dresser completely devoid of everything but the lamp, and my dresser drawer of jewelry was empty. I've opened every box now, not emptied but opened every box and I can't find of my jewelry. I've found bits and pieces of the items from the top of my dresser but not my mom's and great aunt's rings, my cross, or the whole drawer of jewelry. It's seems pity but it's my stuff. I always make to pack them and pictures when fire warnings start which what we are in right now. Okay done venting.

    I'm a great cook but I'm not doing much cooking, cooking for one is boring. If I could find my baking pans I might make some brownies for the office but I can't find them either. Okay back to the boxes.

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    1. That's heartbreaking, Deana - I have my fingers crossed that your jewelry will show up. It may yet...

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    2. Oh, no! I hope it all turns up.

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  22. Jenn, that sounds delicious, I wish I ate beef but it doesn't agree with me. However I think the invasion will be here for Labor Day weekend so I will make it to feed the hordes. So thank you so much. Yea for Hub! I wish I knew why we, women, try to please, all the limes and dislikes of our families. I must admit I have turned to feeding, (Sorry). This has manifested itself as reading about food, researching where I can get food without venturing into a supermarket, twenty four weeks clean! full disclosure- two friends shop for me in our locals. However in addition to our veggie CSA, I now have our local farm stand, Big Tree Grocery for all the items served at their award winning Portland restaurants, currently closed, and a fish delivery service. Other friends have helped me hunt and gather too. So many blessings.

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    1. Oh, that is nice - to have your own crew of foragers. Well done!

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  23. I'm doing my usual reading and TV watching to stave off boredom. I sample the baked goods my granddaughter brings home from culinary school. I gave up on cooking daily meals years ago because no one's schedules jived. I'd cook and no one would show up to eat. Now I cook occasionally when I feel like it or want to try out a recipe. Otherwise Frank may cook something or it is every man for himself. Works for me!
    Jenn, the Greek spaghetti sounds good! It reminds me a bit of Cincinnati chili with the seasonings. Which is one strange dish to be called chili. Apologies to the Ohioans.

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  24. Jenn, kudos to Hub! You are living my fantasy, which is to have someone cook me dinner while I'm writing, as late afternoon early evening is my very best "brain time", and I always have to quit in order to cook. But my hubby does not even grill, and has certainly not been inspired to take up cooking during the pandemic.

    Not bored here, there is always too much to do. I was doing a lot of stuff in the garden in the spring and earlier in the summer, but now everything is scorched and it's just hold on until temps start to drop.

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    1. That’s my brain time, too! This new trend has been very helpful!

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  25. I love this! Always looking for new recipes and if it's spaghetti, we're gonna love it. Mostly though I love reading your stories about Hubs and The Hooligans; y'all are ADORABLE!

    Boredom is a thing. And not a good one.

    I'm finding myself churning out collages. They tell stories that others may not pick up on, but are fullfilling in that regard for me.

    Keep writing girl!! Love ya!

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  26. It has been a little difficult being 24-7 with hubby, but we are both learning patience. I wish he would cook, but now that more restaurants offer takeout and outdoor dining, dinner is getting a little easier and more varied. I spend too much time figuring out curbside grocery shopping lists because there is no way I’m walking into a grocery store right now. I also read and occasionally do a little watercolor painting. This week I’m trying to find a way to exercise indoors because the air quality is horrible with all the wildfires surrounding us.

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    1. Those wildfires are horrifying -- praying for rain (and no more lightning)

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  27. Air quality is better in the early morning. I have been able to run comfortably outside. It looks and smells terrible but the air isn't too bad Unfortunately, it does not rain in the Bay Area until late November or December. I am currently hearing thunder nearby. I am near oLd Gatos, Almaden area,

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