An interesting day. The last 2 days were major flooding in the area, the vardo and I live next to the Russian River. Thursday the road was flooded closed and I couldn’t get home, spent the night at a Motel 6. Arriving home Friday to assess the damage, the driveway flooded, a little water got in under the washing machine in the garage, nothing to worry about, wow, so lucky. I called Healdsburg Safeway from work, they are open even after the kayaking in the parking lot.

I met Raven as usual at Safeway Starbucks this morning. I picked up some cream for a Christmas potluck and coffee of course. I pulled a grass fed NY steak from my freezer earlier, we have all for stew, we head home.

The sun is out, it’s nice, we walk to the river to see what happened. The grape vines have flotsam wrapped around the trunks and the road gravel is washed of sand, just rocks. The usual path down is clogged with a log jam. I try to walk down a little and slip on the slick mud hanging on by a branch of holly. Raven helps me back up, didn’t spill my coffee. The river has receded to half way up the bank and roiling in the middle. Major foliage has been stripped off the banks with flotsam in its place. Powerful changes. On the far side a Blue Heron is strutting slowly along the bank. Raven comments on how slowly surefooted it walks. We both strut up the bank that way, ha. The huge dry arundo canes are gone, with sprouts in there place. Up the row of vines there is large flotsam, a busted chair, an old couch and piles of old wood.

Back home and getting hungry. Raven is researching the legal requirements as I cut up the grass fed meat, the cats are happy with the fat. This stuff will be tender. Chopped the veggies of onion, garlic, red potatoes, carrots, celery, orange cauliflower and Scarborough garden herbs. Seared the meat, pulled it to a bowl, onions cooked to translucent while the meat bits are browning on the bottom, added to the bowl. Both back in to cook with some water to release the bits and make a good broth and cook down a bit to tenderize the meat, drained back the broth to the bowl leaving the meat and onions. Add the garlic and herbs to season it in cooked. Veggies, broth and a large glug of red cheap cooking wine, covered to cook a while. As an experiment I tried toasting the flour in a small frying pan first for flavor and thickening. The flavor was good but it doesn’t thicken as well, needed more white flour.

As it cooked I went out and marked the 2 1/2″ square stock iron for the trailer hitch addition in blue chalk to match the hitch, pinged the middle with the spring punch. Measured the other side, punched and drilled each in the vise. I prepped to drill the fenders but lunch has priority.


Wow, lunch is really good, the meat precooked extra is fall apart perfect, it’s all divine. And warming on a cool day, with oven warmed sourdough rolls to dip in the gravy, yum.

After lunch Raven researched apothecary psychic signs, some good ones. She also cut the abrasive step tape to fit the stairs.


I punched more holes in the the fenders this time, four in each to fit a short hex head lag screw into the wheel well timbers.


Time for me to prepare a cauliflower gratin casserole for the pot luck. A butter white cream bechamel sauce with onions, garlic and garden seasoning, a 7 oz pack of Unexpected cheddar from TJ’s chopped and melted in, a generous dollop of white wine. Parboil the cauliflower florets in salted water until firm but lightly cooked. Half the sauce in an oven pan, add florets, the rest of the sauce, topped with another half pack of cheddar and 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs. Bake 375 for 30 minutes to brown. It went over well at the Christmas party.

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