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Monday, July 17, 2017

Reminders

This weekend I finally marked "complete" in my phone reminder to "Add polymeric sand to patio".  I think I put that reminder in my list while Leslie was still alive, if that tells you how long you can ignore a daily reminder.  The first week you're like..."RIGHT!  I have to get that started."  That continues off and on for a few months.  After that you realize you're not doing it, so you turn off the notify thing, but you're still thinking..."I'll get to it," so you don't actually delete it.  After about a year you just don't even actually see the reminder.  I think I stubbed my toe on the polymeric sand in my garage getting out of the minivan and that got me thinking I should complete it this year.  That, and I've been actually using my reminders more consistently as a tool to combat my continuously-decaying short term memory.  (Highly recommend this)

Last year I ALMOST did it.  The job has more to it than just "add sand" though.  I had weeds growing through my patio cracks pretty much...everywhere.  And the sand fills the cracks like grout would.  It's super simple but...

First I needed to kill the weeds.  Roundup.  Fine.  I did that last year.  Then waited a couple days...did it again for the ones that lived.  Then pulled them.  Then stalled out before I could reach the next phase...

Pressure wash patio.  I almost stalled out on that again this year.  It seems the $100 pressure washer I bought 15 years ago is no longer getting up to pressure.  I thought maybe my hose was too long (ba dum bum) and almost stalled out again holding up the project until I got a shorter hose.  But after pressure washing it a few times (my dad loaned me his pressure washer and even took a turn pressure washing it before I got to it) and then pulling any remaining weeds not already dead or dying, I finally got past that stage. 

When the patio was originally installed...seven years ago maybe?...they had me fill the cracks with polymeric sand, and it probably lasted three or four years without any weeds poking through before each subsequent year stared getting worse.  It looked horrible.  Finally had enough.

Anyway..."completed."  Thanks for the reminders.
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I've been having some great successes lately with cooking.  I'll share some of those on the blog at some point.  But this weekend I had a couple "setbacks".

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day (I guess).  I recently bartered for my friend Kate's unused Cuisinart ICE-21.  I've always wanted an ice cream maker.  For Emma's birthday in March I actually made "no churn" ice cream that turned out amazingly well (and was super easy), but I was eager to try "the real thing".

I talked to Emma about it and we decided to start out simply before doing anything crazy.  We decided on vanilla.  Kate gave me a couple pointers (put the inner tub in the freezer for at least 24 hours before starting, chill your ingredients as much as possible before starting, and don't run the machine more than about 15 minutes unless you want to burn out the motor).

I needed a recipe and asked her for one, but she was on the road and just told me to google cuisinart recipes, which I dutifully did.

Except.  Except I didn't pay attention to WHICH cuisinart ice cream maker I was getting the recipe for, and ended up making about twice as much as the ICE-21 can fit.

I followed the recipe.  It said 30-35 minutes in the machine.  I thought about Kate's warning...but it was the Cuisinart recipe...how could that be wrong?

I discovered my error about 35 minutes later when my mixture was still soup.  I reread the recipe book and saw that the filename of the Ibook was ICE-35 recipes.  uhhhhhh...

The bright side is...the mixture isn't wasted.  And I didn't burn out the motor.

So Kate advised me to just split the mixture in half and try again the next day.  (That's today, by the way).  So...my mixture is in the fridge chillin', my tub is in the freezer, freezin', and hopefully tonight I'll be making ice cream.  Happy belated National Ice Cream Day!
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Meanwhile...I decided to make a roasted red pepper for hamburgers.  I thought...roasted red pepper, avocado, and provolone would be a nice burger combination.  So I took the red peppers out to the grill and started them cooking.  Once I got back in the house I changed my mind about the burger, deciding we'd had them too recently, and decided on spaghetti instead.

I remember thinking...maybe I should set a timer for the pepper so I don't forget them.  But I decided I wouldn't.

This morning I woke up and looked out at the patio...it's so bare with all the furniture still off in the grass, and it looks so nice with all the cracks filled with the hardened sand/grout and not a weed in sight.  I glanced at the grill (which I'd rolled back the previous night to roast the red peppers) and froze.  The red peppers!

They were done.  The gas was gone.  They were done and sitting on the grill, black as pitch but perfectly in shape.  I picked one up.  It was paper light.  I squeezed and it cracked, crumbling to powder under the pressure of my fingers.

I should have set the timer.
Delicious..."blackened" roasted red pepper...patio with polymeric sand in the background.

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