Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Squash pie in the microwave

I used to have an uncle who would greet us with the phrase, "How you 'n ya squash pie?"  I always think of that when I hear "squash pie."
I picked 4 little squash off my vines today
and decided to make a quick little squash pie in the microwave.  Of course I varied the recipe:  it called for fresh ricotta and mine was a few days out of date.  The whole thing was improvisation, really.  The original recipe called for zucchini, garlic, shallots, olive oil, and pecorino, none of which I used!

So here was my recipe, roughly

Microwave on high for 2 minutes (I used a Corning Ware cereal bowl which holds about 2 cups)
2 small squash, thinly sliced
1 smaller-than-ping-pong-ball-sized onion, thinly sliced
in a couple of TB water
small pat of butter, stir and microwave on high another minute or so until tender; set aside

In another bowl, beat
1 egg
 2 heaping TB of ricotta cheese
1 TB parmesan
salt (& pepper unless you have to refill your pepper mill, in which case you can add it after cooking)
Stir till well blended, then mix with squash mixture.  Microwave about 1 1/2 -- 2 minutes on 50% power or until custard is set. 
I added some cracker crumbs and butter to the top and microwaved a little longer, but I think I put too many cracker crumbs on it.  It might have been better without that.  I probably didn't need to heap the spoonfuls of ricotta either, but I was trying to use more since it was going out of date.

It served my husband and me.  He gave me some really bad vibes when I said I had made a squash pie, but after he had eaten it, he said it was good.  He added that he had to eat through a lot of bread to get to the squash, but I think he was referring to the custard rather than the crumbs.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Darling son appearing on Pickin' Porch Show

Darling son left with the band Victoria Lee and New Ground this morning, headed to Bristol, TN.  They will be taping a show for the Pickin' Porch Show with Tim White.
Sounds like a good adventure to me.
As they passed Pilot Mountain this morning, DS snapped a picture and emailed it.  (Wish I were there!)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summertime sights

Lots of things in nature to see in summertime--

the garden peas
(Caleb's pic)
the Japanese beetles
another snake doctor, a blue darner?
a critter I can't identify
a zebra swallowtail
(Caleb's pic)
a bouquet of purple coneflowers in a vase my younger brother gave me when we were teens
Hope you're enjoying the summertime sights.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weldon and Historic Halifax

Caleb and I passed through Weldon and Historic Halifax yesterday.  We took a little time to look at the Weldon Rapids on the Roanoke River and at the museum and some of the old buildings in Historic Halifax.  I would love to go back when I could spend a little more time.  Here are some pics.



Do you like visiting historic sites?

Monday, June 15, 2015


I caught a few shots of a great crested flycatcher in the crepe myrtle yesterday.  I guess there are ones about, but I rarely see them.  Maybe the adjective "great" describes the flycatcher rather than the crest; the bird is a large flycatcher.
They perform a noble service.

I will have to learn to listen for its call to know if it's around.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June skies

I saw a couple of interesting optical phenomena in the daytime skies this week.  The first one, a very familiar one, was a rainbow Wednesday evening.  I always love to see a rainbow.  If there is a late afternoon shower followed immediately by sunshine, I usually look to the east to see if there is a rainbow.  My crepe myrtle has grown so much, I had to walk up my drive to view the sky.  I had a great view from my neighbor's house.

The second phenomenon I saw was something more unusual to me.  I had gone outside Friday morning to water the potted plant on the sidewalk when I heard a jetliner go overhead.  As I looked up to see if I could spot the jet, I noticed iridescence in the clouds.  They would have been too close to the sun for me to see except that the roof was shielding the sun from view.  I dashed inside and got my camera.  I believe this it the meteorological phenomenon called a solar corona.

I love the sights in the June skies.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Snake doctors

A comment left on my blog by my friend Jack piqued my curiosity.  Jack said that as a youngster he called dragonflies "snake doctors." Where did that nomenclature come from? Is this the nexus of entomology and etymology?  Perhaps it is more accurately the nexus of etymology and folklore.  According to Wikipedia, dragonflies are called "snake doctors" in the South because of the "folk belief that dragonflies follow snakes around and stitch them back together if they are injured."  I'm guessing this belief was a carry over from the old country:  the Welsh name for dragonfly meant "adder's servant."  I couldn't guess why dragonflies are seen as doctors for snakes rather than for critters that don't have such a sinister connotation, but the stitching part is easy for me to see.  I can imagine lots of people in the olden days watched someone quickly moving a large darning needle through a wool sock.  I'm sure watching a dragonfly's dips and swoops called to mind that same motion.  And the long body of the dragonfly must have been reminiscent of the shape of the needle as well.  Or perhaps watching a doctor make sutures had a similar effect.
So here are some pictures I took today and yesterday of more "snake doctors."
The first is a metal hook, a piece of art, a luxury I allowed myself.  I think I bought it on clearance from the Winterthur catalog.  They came in a pair, and I gave one to my mom.  It holds a basket by the kitchen door to keep my gardening gloves and pruners handy.

Next is a common green darner that can be quite camouflaged in some cases.  It would hardly stay still long enough to have its picture made.

Perched on a dead elderberry snag and on the fence is a female widow skimmer.

Using that same perch and another snag is the male widow skimmer.

It's interesting, I suppose, what insects remind us of.  I've always thought dragonflies looked a bit like helicopters.  I've seen lots more helicopters than darning needles.  Depending on who is using them though, I suppose they both can "fly."  But I hope I never see a dragonfly stitching up a snake.