Monday, January 23, 2017

Dinner in the dining room of The Humble Bungalow...

We are fortunate to have a decent sized dining room in The Humble Bungalow.

In the home where I grew up, we had a sardine can sized dining room where guests were squeezed in around a table, and once you were seated you had to stay until the meal was over.


The white fairy lights are plugged in for special occasions
opting for simple white Sophie Conran china 
and
French Bee glasses.

There is plenty of crystal and Royal Albert china tucked away in the buffet.
Those pieces come out for bigger gatherings like Christmas and Thanksgiving.


Fragrant freesias from Thorn and Thistle Flower Merchants,
my favourite spot in town for fresh flowers and plants. 

We gathered together with darling daughter and her husband to watch their honeymoon video.

For starters
a plate of cheese, crackers, fig jam and olives were served.


Beef tenderloin cooked on a bed of mushrooms 
in a black bean Asian fusion sauce. 

Recipe is in Susan Mendelson's cookbook page 135 
(I cannot find her recipe online and for copyright reasons I cannot print the page so I hope you can find a copy of the book in your local bookseller or library)


Served with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.
The garlic mashed potatoes are from The Barefoot Contessa's Paris cookbook 


Mixed fruit and berry crumble which we topped with coconut ice cream.
I used Ina Gartens's basic recipe from her Paris cookbook 
substituting apples for the plums.


Late Evening Tea Time
decaf Yorkshire Blend and a scented candle.

Time to reflect on the day
count my blessings 
then write in my journal.


It was a lovely evening...


Today
Mother and I walked the Esplanade this afternoon 
then we went for a coffee.
Our usual cafe was closed for holidays.

The blue skies and sunny weather were a tonic 
I am feeling a bit unsettled and persnickety.

I seem to have developed 
a headache
after purging our filing cabinet 
which took me several hours...
and 
has left me with a stack of shredding
that I need to attend to in the morning.
(UGH!)

We
also need the dishwasher motor to be replaced
we could opt for the whole new machine but I do not think that very green or eco friendly so we will replace the broken bits and hope for the best.


I plan to wake up with a fresh attitude
brew my cafe creme
sit and reflect on the good things.

Then
put on a crisp white shirt, pearls and my NYDJ boyfriend jeans
and seize the day!

Do you ever have a day where you just feel like someone has hijacked your life?
Don't be shy...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

39 comments:

  1. Your day may have been hijacked but it all seems very elegant. The epitome of my wannabe. My hosting before Xmas was an absolute fail and I don't wear white shirts at weekends as I wear them often for work. Id love to enjoy a white shirt and jeans.

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    1. I never cook in a white shirt even with my apron on as I am a very messy cook!
      White shirts can be so versatile...I bet you look very smart wearing yours at work.

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  2. Yes I do - especially in January - just can't quite "get in gear". I too have a stack of shredding to get through - and wouldn't you know it - my shredder has died! Just replaced my printer and haven't as yet replaced my tv which died a couple of months ago (watching stuff online until baseball season starts) - what is it with electronics these past few months!
    It's a grey day here in Toronto - but mild - I plan to attend my first "Chair Yoga" class this afternoon so that is something to look forward to. Just going to finish off some ironing and then attend to some online work.
    PS - loved the simple elegance of your dining room - and the meal looked lovely - you are a very gracious and accomplished hostess!

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    1. Oh timing is everything isn't it? I shredded the stack of papers and filled up 3 large bags...its done now so I can pat myself on my back for doing a job that I dislike !

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  3. Some days life just hijacks your life. My friend's daughter-in-law suggested a happy jar. Choose a pretty glass jar. Each day, write something that you are happy about/grateful for. Every once in a while, dump them out and read them. Yesterday, I walked in Steveston Park and I saw the eagles and a nest. My dad, who has been gone 4 years, and I walked in that park and watched the eagles so often. I feel out of sorts when Monsieur has football on the television all day Sunday but it's almost over. Unfortunately, we have hockey until baseball
    and new CFL season. I'm not a sports fan. So eagles cancel out football. Walking does seem to do that. Our library does not have Susan Mendelson's cookbook. It's probably a good thing as I am eating too much. I started my journal which is also recording books just so I remember. I think that I shall buy some freesia today.

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    1. My walking partner and I had a very interesting conversation on our walk today...we were chatting about time management in retirement.
      I used to dislike watching hockey on the TV but now I knit when the game is on and I actually enjoy the games.
      Football has never really thrilled me either...going out for a walk in a beautiful park sounds like a great idea to "cancel out football!"

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  4. This is so inspiring to me. We will be celebrating my married daughter's birthday next week and it reminds me to set a lovely table and have great food and to make her feel welcome. You must be a fantastic cook! ~Mary

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    1. I love to cook and entertain especially now that I am retired I have more time to try new recipes. Hope you have a fun birthday gathering Mary.

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  5. Quite often I find myself out of sorts after a spate of rainy days. I must thank you for your frequent posts lately though-- they provide a bright spot for me.

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    1. I have been posting more than usual...a reader whose blunt comment was moderated by me, mentioned among other things that I have WAY TOO MUCH TIME on my hands...perhaps there is some truth to that observation.

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    2. We get to spend our time the way we wish! That reader with the blunt comment was most likely jealous of your charm and envious of your lifestyle.

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    3. Way too much time on your hands? You've put in your years of work and are enjoying your retirement and rightly so. If anything, your blog teaches me to slow down and enjoy life.

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  6. I always love reading your posts and the idea of wearing pearls with jeans is stunning. Is the Asian Fusion Black Bean Sauce a typical black bean sauce or does it have a twist to the recipe? I never thought of having it with tenderloin.

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    1. The Asian Fusion sauce is a mixture of black bean sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and balsamic vinegar. It was really very rich and I think it would be delicious with a pork tenderloin or a roast of pork.

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  7. Your dining room is beautiful and the simple table setting is just perfect. I am imagining how lovely your kitchen smelled while dinner was cooking. I have become lazy in my cooking-usually on Sundays (casserole, crock pot, or roast chicken) to save for lunches during the week.
    My wedding bouquet was just white freesias. The fragrance was heavenly.
    I don't think there is any better outfit than jeans & a white shirt. Add a blazer to dress it up, add a chunky sweater (I often wear an Irish patterned one my mother knit for me decades ago)to countrify it. It is a versatile combination. I love your addition of pearls and your signature bangles.

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    1. There is nothing nicer than a Sunday roast chicken or a crock pot dinner...when I was working I used to cook a bigger batch of things on the weekend to help me get through the work week without too much time in the kitchen. It's a real time saver.

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  8. Inclement weather threw a wrench into my plans today. The Senior Center where I take classes closed, and the ground is covered with a thick coating of the white stuff. And it is gloomy. I was faced with a day of indoor activity, and I a blessed-well sick of cleaning.

    So I made a cup of tea and tried to think of something special to do. I am still thinking, but it may involve baking a loaf of raisin bread to be used at breakfast. This might test my resolve to keep on my diet, but the lovely smell of baking bread on this miserable day is very enticing. Love the flowers and your meal looked absolutely wonderful.

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    1. Cleaning is a necessary chore but too much and we can get squirrelly!
      Hope that you found something nice to do for the rest pf your day...I went for a walk with a friend ad we shared a lunch out. Bread baking in the oven is such a heavenly smell...

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  9. I feel like I've had a decade where someone has hijacked my life! Last night as I was going to bed I thought "I must get my groove back". My plan is to start every day with: breathing exercises (1 minute); stretching exercises (10 minutes);strength exercises (10 minutes); and sitting quietly to reflect on what I am grateful for and what kind of person I want to be (4 minutes). I used to do this but things got busy and I fell out of the habit. It works wonders for me.- Bridget

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    1. Wonderful suggestions. Thank you for those.

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    2. Your morning routine sounds like a great way to start each day.

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  10. This made me feel as if we had all been right there with you for dinner!

    Since you asked .... since early November, most days feel as if my life has been hijacked. My husband was laid off (it was no surprise and we're fine), and he took it as a chance to experiment with retirement. We have been gradually negotiating this new togetherness, finding our way. Fortunately, he understands if I tell him that I need some alone time.

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    1. Oh dear a lay off is rather like a forced vacation or as you say a trial retirement...
      good to hear that things are fine despite this event.
      Personal alone time is very important...we each need to cultivate hobbies or friends that we enjoy away from our partner. It does not mean that we are avoiding them or cutting them out I just think it is a healthy way to keep stimulated and then when we do get back together we have things that we can share with each other.

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  11. Yes, many.......sometimes several in a row.

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    1. What strategies do you use when this happens Janet?

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  12. Looks like a 5 star bistro to me! The scent of freesia is one of my favorites and I had a virtual whiff. Thanks for sharing your lovely home.

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    1. Freesias scent is lovely almost tropical...thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow!

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  13. Some of my friends and I have remarked that we didn't think life would be this hard at this age. Nothing major thank heavens but sometimes it is just a steady drip, drip, drip of many minor things as much as I try to be mindful and in the moment with joy.

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    1. Seeking beauty everyday and being grateful is incredibly empowering...
      if we dwell on the negative it drags us down and living a mindful life where we embrace the moments of joy is what it is all about.

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  14. Oh hostess, you are a magnificent cook, I'm sure your family tell you so!

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  15. Your dinner looked delicious. Here in Australia I am confined to the indoors
    due to the heat, so much to do in the garden but just too hot. I agree with seeking beauty
    everyday and being grateful for a wonderful family and good health.

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  16. I often have days like that Leslie without any apparent reason! However you sound as though you've had a lovely few days with some of your favourite people. Your meal looks and sounds wonderful ....I imagine it was delicious. I love fruit crumble and like the idea of serving coconut icecream with it rather than vanilla or vanilla sauce.
    Watching your daughters honeymoon video together must have been a lovely occasion....
    Hope your having a good week and that your life feels "back on track". :)
    Rosie

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  17. I feel that almost every day lately was hijacked-I take a deep breath and carry on,thinking of simple pleasures
    Your dining room looks amazing,as well as the menu (I have white fairy lights for special evenings during the winter,too),I can't wait for freesias (yellow for me) to arrive to my flower shop,with their divine smell.
    Jeans (or dark trousers) and white shirt is the most elegant combination for me-but not at home
    Have a nice week!
    Dottoressa
    P. S. I like your shoes. I wear also black or navy except during the summer

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  18. Our son lives in an original Craftsman bungalow in an historic section of LA. He also has a large, and central dining room as do almost all of their neighbors. It seems to be common in original Craftsman homes. Is there an architectural or historical explanation for this? I've always been curious about this. Your dinner looks fabulous and I could eat that whole crumble right now!

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  19. Wow! Does that looks delicious. What a wonderful meal and in such an enchanting room - I love the fairy lights.

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  20. Thank you so much for posting, this is lovely ;-)

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  21. Duchesse- Food plays a big role in our family gatherings but I do not consider myself a great cook, perhaps I underestimate my ability in the kitchen, I just know that I enjoy cooking.

    Rosie- Things are back to "normal" here in The Humble Bungalow...the repair people will be working on the dishwasher later in the week and I have a new knitting project for our granddaughter which will keep me focused!

    Dottoressa- Breathing properly is so important...Yoga helps reminds me that I need to focus on my breath! Shallow breathing is not efficient and it can make us light headed!

    KSL- I think the bungalows were designed to reflect values; cultivating an honest, humble and simple lifestyle..
    One that focused on family friends, community.
    Taking food for example, mealtimes can strengthen our bonds and in turn it nurtures our relationships...just my thoughts I am sure you could read more on it by the California expert, Dr. Robert Winter aka Bungalow Bob!

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  22. Such a cozy looking dining room! Your meal sounds fabulous and your home looks just so homey and warm. We do the same and repair, repair, repair pour appliances. I know one day they will finally give up the ghost permanently, but until then we keep throwing money into them. I love your classic look of jeans, white shirt and pearls. Just perfect in my book.

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  23. Lovely setting and dinner sounded wonderful! My favourite kind of meal for entertaining. Enjoying your posts this dreary time of year. Thanks for recipe ideas.

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