For us, October is the month where we traditionally try to do all of the exterior house fix-ups that we should have done all summer. I don’t even try to make excuses any more.
This week, we will attempt to remove the many layers of cracked paint around the front door. Back in the early part of the 20th century this trim was painted green, but several layers of white paint are on top of that. It is very thick and we use a heat gun to soften the paint so it can be scraped off. Also being scraped off are the top part of my knuckles. To add to the beauty of my hands this week are several small burns (from trying to tame that heat gun, of course). Does anyone out there have a romantic notion of finding and buying an old house and then restoring it? Please talk to me first!
While I was doing this, Jack was installing a lockset in the new screen door. By midafternoon I was tired and decided to go for a (hopefully) rejuvenating run instead. Before I could do this, Jack asked me to lean against the screen door while he drilled holes through it from the other side. It didn’t sound very safe, but there was no other way to steady the open door. I stood there for several minutes, pushing against the door, while he was on the other side using the drill. Several panel trucks and pickup trucks went by, some with ladders attached to the top, some with the names of contractors or remodelers on the side doors. I silently willed any of them, just one of them, to stop. “Please help us!” I mouthed at they drove past. No luck. They were too far away to understand my plea.
We have had this house for almost 25 years. I have been working on it steadily for the last 20 of those. I’m tired. I love this place, but I am really, really tired. And it's never finished!
Lunch needed to be quick. We had waffles for breakfast this morning (oat bran/banana), but working outside gave both of us an appetite. I chose a recipe from Cooking Light’s September issue, Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Adobo cream.
These were very good, but I have to take exception to the serving size. I made the recipe as directed (less adobo cream) and it supposedly served 4. I formed 5 patties, Jack had 3 and I ate 2, and this was just enough for us. I can’t imagine having just one patty. And, really, they are so flavorful you will want more than one.
As I mentioned, I did make less adobo cream. I halved those instructions, using 2 tablespoons of the fat-free sour cream, ½ teaspoon adobo sauce, and I added 1 tablespoon of lowfat half & half to make it a softer consistency. Adobo sauce is that incredible thick, dark spicy sauce that comes with canned chipotles (the label will read “chipotles in adobo”). A small can should last me for a year. When I open it, I transfer the contents to a clean glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
The only change I made in the recipe was to use 2 egg whites instead of 1 egg white and 1 whole egg. I also used a lowfat Mexican cheese blend (Sargento’s brand).
With the black-eyed pea cakes I made a tomato-and-sweet onion salad, dressed with a simple mixture of 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of TJ’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, a little salt and some freshly-ground pepper. I also served steamed corn tortillas on the side.
Well. After several tries, I just cannot get this photo to download horizontally!
Please tilt your head to the right...
Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Adobo Cream
- 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1 (15.8-ounce) can no-salt-added black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. Combine sour cream and adobo sauce in a small bowl.
2. Place beans in a medium bowl; partially mash beans with a fork. Stir in breadcrumbs and next 7 ingredients (through egg white). With floured hands, divide pea mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden and thoroughly heated. Remove from pan; top each cake with 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve with sour cream mixture.
And, by the way, happy World Vegetarian Day! :)
I will post our vegetarian dinner tomorrow, if it passes The Test. And if I can still type from another day of scraping paint.