Q&A on THIH, Part 2

Ω July 29th, 2014 Ω Tagged , , , , Ω No Comments

I still haven’t found my camera wire, and the ominous crunching sounds coming from my camera after spending three hours in a whirling sandstorm (more on that later) suggest I may have a problem with my future photography. No matter. Cell phone pictures can be high-quality, can they not?

Like this one.

Like this one.

What? You can’t tell that’s Maddie snoozing underneath my homemade standing desk? Abstract art, dear reader.

It’s time for a another post-move Q&A session. I’d like to say I won’t take the identities of both Q and A this time, but then I wouldn’t be part of the same family that counts a wall of obscure board games (yes, a wall) and a 45-pound chocolate tempering machine among its most prized possessions.

Q: You live in Oregon now, huh?
A: Yup.

Q: Can you maybe … expand … just a little?
A: Only if you stop taking lessons from the William Shatner School of Elocution. To answer your yes-or-no question, we moved from Illinois to Oregon at the end of June amidst a flurry of packing boxes and 95 degree F weather in both locations. To those of you who’ve been reading THIH for a while: yes, Peter and I have lived on the East AND West coasts AND the Midwest, all in the space of less than two years. If you’d asked me five years ago whether I thought we’d ever live in Oregon or Illinois, I would have laughed in your face. Probably derisively. Sometimes we joke about how our next move will be to Alaska or Hawai’i or something. Check back in two years and we’ll be shipwrecked somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Q: Why did you move?
A: For the same reason as last time: Peter’s job.

Q: What are your plans, oh, Jessie, RD?
I am incredibly excited about what the next few years will bring. I plan to continue consulting work, but I’ll also add another descriptor to my name: Jessie, student. That’s right! Over the next few years, I’ll be studying for my MBA. I can’t wait to share my journey with you.

Q: You must be the world’s oldest student.
A: Not by a long shot.

Q: How is Maddies adjusting to the move?
As long as she has her tower of pillows, she’s good.


photo 2

Q: What was the drive from Illinois to Oregon like?
A: As soon as we crossed the border into Utah, we entered a 60-mile stretch of barren highway with no towns or water or anything that might support more than a few cells of life. Though a combination of unlikely circumstances found only in low-rated sitcoms, we ended up 25 miles from the nearest gas station with only 15 miles worth of gas in the car. We slowed to 50 miles per hour and turned off all non-essential systems in the car (and yes, I was tempted to shout “life support systems only!”). Systems such as the air-conditioning.

Did I mention it was 105 degrees F that day?

We coasted into the gas station 25 miles away, dripping with sweat and unsure how we got there. That was what the drive was like.

Q: Yeah, yeah. Whatever. How’s the food in Oregon?
I swear the raspberries are sweeter out here. Have you ever tasted a marionberry? Wait, of course you have. You’re me.

Q: You set up your last place in five days. Did you beat the record this time?
Considering I’m sitting on a pile of old cushions, no. We didn’t have to deal with a hacking cold this time (win!), but we did have a frustrating amount of time standing around an empty house while the moving company gave us vague answers about where our worldly possessions languished (“Yeah, your stuff is probably in Illinois, and it might make it out to Oregon in the next, oh, month. Or so.”) When the moving van arrived last week, we were dismayed to discover many items broken or missing. Also, we have someone else’s trashcans. Anyone out there missing a couple of 10 gallon-ers?

"Can you move the sharp edge of that heavy jar closer to that delicate glass sand art circle? Perfect."

“Can you move the sharp edge of that heavy jar closer to that delicate glass sand art circle? Perfect.”

Q: That’s a bummer.
A: That’s not a question.

Q: Clearly you’re still steamed over your non-record-breaking unpacking, so I’ll move on. What have you been doing in Oregon for fun?
A: I scoured through my cell phone pictures and came up with the following:

photo 4

photo 1

And that pretty much sums it up.

Q: Oh … kay. How about your mini-hiatus? What did you do during those two months?
A: We took an unusual opportunity to travel around the world — literally. But, that’s a story for another post.

Until then,
Your most grateful RD,

sunset OR

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Caribbean Goat Stew {Recipe Redux}

Ω July 22nd, 2014 Ω Tagged , , , , , , , Ω 9 Comments

nutmeg stew

M’dear reader, time is flying faster than Peter’s hand when he added the twentieth destroyed item discovered in the aftermath of our recent move to the damage list. 2.9979×10^8 m/s fast. I promised you a Q&A on THIH, Part 2, and I will deliver. Probably after I find that gosh dagged camera wire under layers of detritus worldly possessions.

In the meantime, I’ll share a recipe with you based on this month Recipe Redux theme: A Spirited Redux.

From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?

Well, gracious me, I’ve got it! Not a summer recipe, to be sure, but one that I’ve been saving for over three years.

(Inadvertently, yes. But that’s neither here nor there. Or over yonder.)


Back in 2011, I developed a recipe based on a stew called kabritu stobá (goat stew) commonly served on Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean we adore for their scuba diving. Never heard of the island? No excuse now.

The 2011-2012 year was a funny one as evidenced by the fact I posted twice during that time. I blame this lapse on everything but myself. One minor consequence was neglecting to post this goat stew recipe. I’ve since made it many times and refined it to delicious perfection.


The base of this recipe is goat, widely consumed on Bonaire but less common in many parts of the U.S. We usually buy goat at Restaurant Depot and have often seen goat offered at farmer’s markets. If you cannot or choose not to eat goat, then beef, tofu or lentils will do nicely. The ultimate flavor comes from the delicious flavors of tomato, lime, white wine and freshly-ground nutmeg. No extra salt or butter needed here!


Bonus: This recipe was featured in Food and Nutrition Magazine, a publication of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Kabritu Stobá (Caribbean Goat Stew)

  Prep Time: 15 minutes

  Cook Time: 3 hours

  Keywords: lime tomato nutmeg goat Caribbean

Ingredients (Four 1-cup servings)

  • 1 pound boneless goat meat, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley (optional)


Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add goat and brown for 5 minutes, turning cubes frequently. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes or until carrots soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, stock, wine, nutmeg, sugar and red pepper flakes.

Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 2 hours, adding more water or stock if necessary to keep the stew moist. Remove lid and add tomatoes and lime juice. Continue simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until stew reaches desired consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

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