Monthly Archives: October 2016


I got my new Halloween costume today, a hair cut.
Laundry drying, lamb chop for dinner was so tender, yum, two more in the freezer for Raven times.
Tomorrow is a Halloween pot luck. I made up a batch of ranch dressing with a hint of curry powder, chopped farmers market celery, carrots and cauliflower buds on a platter. What I could get from the garden tomato patch of grape and cherry tomatoes that weren’t split (most are with the rain). Corn chips too.
I also worked on the bass frets, finally getting them all installed, though they still need super glue on a needle. A good day.
Ranch Dip:
1 cup Mayo
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon each:
  fresh Chives chopped (my garden)
  dry Parsley
  dry Dill weed
  Lime juice
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Curry powder, my own not hot
Mix it up in a bowl, let it rest a few hours in the fridge to marry the flavors. Dip it.


Mellow day Sunday. I attached the longer threaded 2″ hitch I bought yesterday to the bumper of my truck. I back and filled a bunch of times until I got it lined up. A line in the dirt helped know when I was back far enough. I straightened out the vardo and moved it over just a little, so now there’s room to get the trash can out easy.
I canned two and a half cups of tomato sauce from the landlords patch. I still have a bunch of tomatoes to take to work after giving some to neighbors. I picked more little ones for the work gang as well. The big ones are splitting with the rain last week but they’re still good food. Research on ketchup has me interested.
A batch of beef stew turned out excellent, for lunch and three buckets for work.
I worked on the bass guitar frets, had some trouble there, the first high frets need work, they’re not bent right in place, but when I pulled them the wood chipped out. I filled them with rosewood sawdust and super glue. left to dry. I labeled each fret with blue tape and the fret number. I’ll need to re sand them and re cut them with the fret saw, insert and glue. The stake tool I made of aluminum is working well to get them shaped correctly to reinstall. Frets are a challenge that take practice. This first fretted instrument has flaws. I hope it plays well.
I also transferred the lines on the neck blank for the uke to the bottom so I can cut a tenon on the band saw. I’m still undecided on the neck connection, to use a Spanish notch or a mortice tenon joint.
I got a call from Cathy yesterday, on her cell phone, the 5S shattered screen I fixed, she gave me at the birthday party. She lost her purse and all. I replaced the display and gave it back to her on the way to Calistoga at Bad Ass Coffee. My iPhone 4 she gave me is enough, I like it. It was fulfilling to be able to repair the phone when she needed it most.
Laundry done, a good day.


No guitar work today, just a lot of cooking. I cooked up the chicken bone soup with a frozen breast, lots of fresh veggies and mushrooms. I looked all over the fridge for the set aside chicken meat from yesterday, even cleaned the fridge of numerous science projects, couldn’t find it. Oh well, maybe I threw it out for science. It’s still great soup, jelly when cold, 4 boxes.
Safeway had a deal on dated hamburger patties, a can of kidney beans, tomato sauce and paste. Chili con carne with a patty set aside for a lunch. The carrots are a little crunchy but tasty stuff, 3 boxes.
Out in the garden for herbs, I spied the tomatillos are ripe, picked 3 to remind me. Later went out and picked a bunch. Boiled and blended with garlic, cilantro, fresh oregano, cumin. A half a tiny onion diced fine after, a lemon juiced and salt. I even added some hot sauce, just enough to give a mild bite. It made two full boxes of salsa verde, that’s a lot. I bought a bag of corn chips for it. It’s raining again, the apples can wait for the apple machine is mounted on the recycle bin particle board cover, wet.
I planted more garlic bulbs in the rain as they want to grow and are the best of the harvest, all in the wash tub safe from the gophers. Another batch of crostinis are done and bagged, tasty batch as I leaned on the seasoning a bit.
A good day.


I had fun today, no guitar work but a good time in the kitchen staying warm with this rain. Safeway had a deal on chicken leg quarters, five of them for $4. Corn tortillas, black beans, canned corn, green onions, some cheese. Enchiladas on the menu. I also scored at the Farmers Market, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, wax beans for a choice chicken soup.
A stop at Salvation Army turned up a good apple machine, peels, cores and spiral cuts. As I have a large bag of granny smith apples from the tree, it’ll be good for chutney and pies. I had to tune the cutter but it works fine.
Chicken in the pot to boil for soup stock with salt and garlic powder. Meanwhile, I have a lot of tomatoes from the landlord’s patch, pealed, seeded and cooked down, two cups of sauce put up.
When the chicken got done I set it aside to cool. I picked the meat off and threw everything else back in the pot to boil for bone stock. I shredded more than half the meat with a fork, saving some for soup, there’s a lot boxed in the fridge. A thought, Alan at work is lactose intolerant, a special is in order. I opened the black beans, dumped the liquor, in the big bowl, corn the same, diced most of the green onions, some in a glass of water to keep growing, free onions. I separated the white from the greens, white in the bowl, greens aside in a small bowl for garnish. I still have some cilantro from last week, still in good shape, picked off the dark leaves and stems saving the fresh stuff. Some in the bowl, some aside for garnish. A can of black olives, sliced, half in the bowl. All the shredded chicken, wow, there’s a lot, it’ll be great.
I made my own enchilada sauce not spicy, oil in the pan, a big glug, fried a small diced onion, two tablespoons flour, two tablespoons paprika, one tablespoon cumin (instead of chili powder), teaspoon garlic powder, browned lightly. Add a can of O tomato sauce and a quarter can water. I used my immersion blender to mix in the onions. As it got hot it thickened up with the flour. I actually added a few drops of cheap hot sauce to put a mild bite to it, just a little. They can add more. A few spoons of this added to the bowl and mixed.
I nuked the tortillas for 40 seconds under a wet paper towel to soften them up. A few spoons of straight sauce in the small glass bread pan for Alan, a tortilla filed with the stuff, seam down, two more. sauce, cilantro, onion and olive garnish. stashed in the oven.
Up to the corner store for a cup of sour cream. A big spoonful in the bowl mixed, the rest in the sauce mixed. Several spoons sauce in the big metal pan spread out. Need more cheese, half a pack of Unexpected Cheddar grated, added to the medium grated cheddar in a bowl, should bring it up a notch. Tortilla, stuff, cheese, seam down, repeat until the pan is full. Covered in the middle with sauce leaving the outer tortilla edge to crisp. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, olives and cheese. Bake 375 for twenty minutes.
I had just enough left for one more, rolled up on a sauced plate, sauce and cheese on top, nuked for two minutes, Wow, perfect. These are really good. For now I covered them in foil to the fridge. I’ll transfer them to plastic cartons for work. We can heat them individually on the paper plates I picked up. It’ll be a fine lunch for the gang.
I keep heating up the soup broth. I strained it off and will remove the fat tomorrow when it cools. It’ll be a great chicken soup with all that gelatin, good for my joints.


I woke up thinking about fish soup. The gang at work were talking about it and I have quite a bit of rock fish in my freezer and another bag of large shrimp, an oxymoron that. I pulled them out to thaw as I headed to town for coffee and the farmers market. Once around the market, oh boy, the pineapple guavas are ripe again, a box, carrots, more Steve’s onions, Duncan’s mushrooms. I’m eating a guava as I write this, so good. A small cantaloupe, yellow summer squash, we’re good. To Safeway for a baguette and some cilantro.
I stopped at Sally’s looking around, I found a soft guitar case cheap, nothing else. The case is too short for the bass, oh well.
Home, cooking I love.
I finished thawing the fish in the sink after pealing off a few fillets to re freeze in separate bags for later. Black rock fish from the Trinidad expedition. It’ll be good curried. Onions and mushrooms chopped, carrots cut in tiny sticks, summer squash, and a half patty pan. To the garden I found a good bunch of green beans to add. Olive oil and onions in the big yellow enamel pan, mushrooms, garlic and chicken broth. Two cans coconut milk. Add the veggies and fish, fish sauce for salt. Garam Masala seasoning, plus my own curry powder blend, more cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric. A few pealed tomatoes, rice cooked in the tomato pealing water, two cups water aside, one cup rice mixed to boil, high to low then off. Cilantro leaves removed from the stems, lime juice squeezed but not yet, contained aside to be added at the last minute. Add the cooked shrimp. A small batch for me now, tastes great, but more flavor, I add Garam Masala to the batch. This is really good soup. And a huge batch. It’s not spicy hot yet, to be added individually. Back to the Dollar Store for a few more large containers to hold it.
Next up, a batch of bruschetta, I have lots of garden roma tomatoes, garden basil and Dad’s garlic. Roll the basil and slice it thin, diced garlic. Blanch peal and seed the tomatoes for just meat with less juice diced small. Olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar. I left out the pepper. It’s good.
Time I worked on the ukulele, the finger board needs frets. I bought and modified a flush nipper from Harbor Freight this week. Using the brass fret wire nipped flat with the new tool, fitted to the board and cut to length flush. I hammered in the pieces with a flat maple block. I messed up on the second fret as it fell over as I knocked it in, splitting the wood. Super glued and clamped, moving on. Also the last fret will need a piece made to fit the lost break out when it fell, damn. I completed installing the frets. The sixth fret wasn’t in right, I removed it as I need to have two slots open to drill alignment holes for gluing the fret board to the neck.
A good days work. Tomorrow is another 60 birthday party at Eliot’s with grill and treats, steam trains and fleet week Blue Angels.

Hexenfest 2016


Being that the magickal Dan was away this weekend, I was faced with the challenge to get the Vardo to Hexenfest, an event I signed on to vend at, without his towing expertise.  Luckily, my vending partner-in-crime, Syntha, has been taking some towing lessons for pulling her new Airstream and so after some strategy and community assistance, we were able to arrive at the event near dusk on Friday.

Saturday morning was the first real test of the Vardo’s capacity to embody the original dream — to serve Turkish coffee and drinking chocolate to a bunch of sacred witchy rockin’ people, and boy did we have a run for our money!  Slammed and ran out of drinking chocolate on the first day, Cacoco Midnight Mystic, that stuff is magick. Grateful to have a full commercial kitchen adjacent to make it happen too :}  Syntha set up a vintage clothing and tarot station in the back of the vardo, with shade and chill space, picture forthcoming hopefully (I’m getting better at that, taking pictures). Here’s at least a picture of the basic setup of the serving area:


We had so much fun, meeting new faces, re-membering others.  A group of Harbin beauties came to visit as well, and imbibed of the sacred brews.  There was even a pagan metal concert that evening, with the beautifully

intense Wendy Rule and Pandemonaeon, fulfilling my dream to vend at a mystic witchy metal festival :}  We shall see where the Shot of Love takes us next…shot-of-love-backsidehexenfestpandemonaeon