Another long overdue entry...

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As I sit under the warmth of the much appreciated kotatsu (heater table) with my daughter sleeping peacefully in my arms, I can't believe a half year has already passed since living in our home.  For nearly three weeks two months ago, we dealt with uncomfortably cold weather and met with the challenges of staying warm in an older (109 yrs old) home while making an effort to keep the PG&E expenses down.  With all my complaining and grouching, our last two bills came in under $100 dollars!  Even while living in our tiny condo, our electricity bill usually fluctuated around $150.

I've really come to love this house with it's beautifully painted rooms.  Naoki finished the Venetian plaster in the sun room and recently the star room.  He did a wonderful job and they look wonderful and bring a warmer feeling to the house.   

Life has been busy with family and business.  We've been blessed in both areas.  Naoki's mother and sister came for a brief nine day stay. They really enjoyed all the tasty fruit (navel oranges, pummelos, fuji apples, and oro blancos) that are in season from the farmers market in Campbell.  I made a garlicky spinach pasta with fresh Meyer lemons from our yard one night.  It came out very well, though I would have liked it to be spicier...recipe to follow.

In business, I feel very fortunate and again blessed to be working with so many incredible people.  My listing in San Bruno thankfully sold and the seller is buying a lovely place to call home in Sacramento.  Four deals have closed this year so far and with another in escrow, there is much to be appeciative for.  Although the news is always painting a bleak outlook, they are usually behind in reporting how things are looking up.

Back to talking about home...  We have nearly 50 fruit plants/trees in our yard now.  The potatoes are sprouting in the crop circle Naoki made.  The blossoms are radiant on Aislee's white peach / white nectarine tree and on the Georgia Peach tree we adopted from a home in Palo Alto.  I'm looking forward to making fruit pies if the fat squirrels don't get to them first.

The old avocado tree that came with this house bears California Diablo avocados.  They're smoother and creamier than Hass and have a thinner skin.  They take two weeks to ripen once picked from the tree.  Hopefully we'll have more growing as I love avocado sandwiches on toasted bread with Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand) and slices of cold cucumber! So good!!  I could go off on a tangent when it comes to avocados...  Actually it looks like I did.

Ok, on to the pasta recipe -

Boil your preferred pasta al dente (slightly undercooked) as you'll be adding it to another pan to mix in with the garlic lemon sauce.

1. In a large sauce pan drizzle a tablespoon of grapeseed oil (olive oil is fine too) and a pat of butter, heat on medium flame.
2. Add crushed garlic, approximately 5 - 7 cloves
3. Sprinkle a teaspoon (or more depending on your heat preference) of red pepper flakes
4. Add a few pinches of salt to meld flavors, more can be added later to adjust
5. Careful not to burn the garlic, give your mixture a few pushes around your pan.
6. Once garlic is crisp, add spinach and pasta.
7. Mix everything well til spinach is cooked, adding a touch more oil or butter as needed.
8. Finally add thinly sliced lemon wedges of one lemon or juice lemon and add it's zest.

 

Jeanette Lee Hada

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