From the Experimental Kitchen

About halfway through the bachelor run and one thing I can say for sure, the fishing is better. I caught half a dozen fish in about an hour of fishing this morning including one bass that probably went 4 pounds. That’s the best fishing in more than a month. The interesting thing was that I caught that bass on a tiny spec jig while it was resting on the lake bottom. I was trolling with two rods and hooked a fish on one. When that happens I turn the electric motor off and reel in the fish. The other lure just drops to the bottom. Since I was fishing in about 8’ of water, it would be on the bottom a couple seconds after I turn off the motor. I started reeling in the other rod and it was quite heavy but that’s normal since the bottom is grassy and it’s routine to hook up in the grass when the lure sinks. Then it started actually moving in a new direction and I realized I had a fish on which turned out to be quite a nice bass. Ironically, my fishing neighbor went out after I got back in and an hour later was cleaning a really nice speckled perch which he had caught while bass fishing with a plastic worm. Neither of us had ever heard of catching a spec on a plastic worm. So I got a nice bass on a spec lure and he got a nice spec on a bass lure.

I talked to Nancy from St Thomas and she’s having a great time, meeting new quilting buddies from all over the country. There’s a quilt shop on St. Thomas, wouldn’t you know, and she bought some material from there. I’m guessing this is not the last McCall’s quilting cruise for her. My turn comes the first week in March, Spring Break. Tom and I make an annual trek to South Florida to fish for snook in the Loxahatchee River. Last year Simon went with us but he’s got bigger fish to fry this year. It’s usually a camping trip but this year we’re splurging and doing the cabins at the park instead of roughing it in a tent.

George came home yesterday, a week plus a day from when he went in for an out patient procedure. The doctor had to put all new leads on the pacemaker instead of just changing one as planned. He’s feeling 1000% better and now just has to be sure that the wound heals properly. He’s not supposed to do “anything” for two months and not lift his arms above his head. That’s the toughest part for George who is attracted to things like cutting and hauling firewood.

I mentioned roasting spinach in a previous post so today I decided to step it up a notch and try roasting a large Swiss Chard leaf. If you are familiar with Chard the leaves are much larger than spinach leaves and they have a thick stalk. Both the leaves and the stalks are edible. I stripped the leaf from the stalk, sprinkled both with olive oil and salt, and loaded them into the toaster oven to cook at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. The leaf came out with the texture of a potato chip and was much better than how I did a few months back with kale although, in fairness to kale, I didn’t experiment around to home in on the correct temp and time. Also I plan to revisit spinach using the same cooking parameters as seems right for the Swiss Chard. The stalk didn’t turn out crispy so I put it back for another 5 minutes with the same result, tough and stringy. I tried another leaf and reduced the temp to 275. The leaf retained the green color but not so good if you like crisp. Picked another leaf and cooked at 275 for 10 minutes. That seemed to do it – the leaf became crisp and mostly retained the green color. All in all, I think it’s way too much effort for so little return.

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