Monday, January 25, 2021

Three Hundred Eighteen Days…and Counting

…continuing with our 'exciting' saga during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The good news is that I’m on a coronavirus vaccine wait list now!  The bad news is that I’m 2,121st in line and the county doesn’t know when they’ll be getting their next shipment of vaccine.  It certainly won’t be 2,000 + doses when it does arrive.  In addition, due to Laurie’s ‘youth’, she isn’t eligible to line up for a shot yet.

Our homebound life continues…

Starting out on a positive note, Laurie recently snapped this photo of a lovely rainbow over Tellico Lake.  Another win so far this winter is the fact that we’ve only had one snowfall to date for a total of 2.5 inches.  Also, warmer weather than usual is predicted for the next week to 10 days!  This is our favorite type of winter, especially after so many years in Chicagoland. 

We have cereal for breakfast a couple of times a week.  Most of the time its cold cereal with Laurie preferring multi-grain Cheerios with dried cranberries or fresh blueberries.  I like to mix my cereal…the same Cheerios and fruit but with Special K’s oat flakes added.

However in this case, Laurie made up a batch of Quaker Oats.  Oatmeal is one of our ‘go to’ comfort foods, especially in the winter.  We add butter, fruit and brown sugar (Splenda is our preference), with half and half milk.  Very filling and satisfying too…

Cindy’s Kitchen White Cheddar Vinaigrette with green onion and buttermilk is Laurie’s new favorite salad dressing.  We found it at Fresh Market in Farragut Tennessee.  Since then I’ve also purchased Cindy’s Creamy Blue Cheese dressing.  Both dressings/dips are pure quality!

Cindy’s Kitchen offers 32 different 11 oz. salad dressings/dips, 16 small batch dips and 48 16 oz. dressings/marinades as well as several other products.  To learn more and to locate a store near you that carries these products, go to

If you regularly read my blog, you are well aware that the pandemic has not inspired us to be creative in the kitchen, be it via baking or creating wonderful new culinary treats for our meals.  Usually we prepare something easy and simple or we add in prepared food items from the grocery store.

However, in this instance Laurie’s Sister Bonnie sent her a pasta recipe that we agreed could be worth the effort.  It is called Cacio E Pepe.  The ingredients are simple enough…tonnarelli or spaghetti noodles, pecorino Romano cheese, pepper, olive oil, butter, salt and reserved pasta water.

The ‘sauce’ as shown above was made with 3 tablespoons of Amish butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and freshly cracked pepper, all heated until the pepper ‘blooms’.  Later, 1 cup of reserved pasta water is whisked into the sauce.  About 3 minutes after this was completed, the cheese was whisked into the sauce a little at a time until the mixture is glossy smooth.  Finally, blend in the noodles with the finished sauce.

This was the finished product…our Cacio E Pepe entrée!  It was very good indeed… If you like pasta and you like Romano cheese, this dish is for you.  The key is to use high quality Pecorino Romano cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, top-notch butter and freshly cracked pepper.

Although this Italian favorite includes limited ingredients, it does require some careful attention to detail.  Timing is important and the temperatures for blending the ingredients is critical.  It took both of us to get it right.  Our only shortfall was that when served it could have been warmer.  Still, there were no leftovers!

Laurie took this photo of a pair of doves using her deck rail mounted watering hole.  Doves hang around our feeder most of the year.  Although they don’t perch to eat from the feeder, they do clean up whatever tasty morsels fall to the ground from other sloppy eaters…

Tennessee is home to both mourning doves (shown here) and collared doves.  Doves eat between 12 – 20% of their body weight every day.  They are part of the pigeon family of birds.  The oldest known mourning dove was 30 years and 4 months old.  With an estimated 350 million mourning doves in the USA, they are the most hunted of all game species.

Laurie took this photo of the sunset against the foothills east of our home across Tellico Lake.  It was a beautiful sight!

We’re always trying for that perfect photo of the Moon.  Some are better than others but here are two of Laurie’s best from recent weeks.

The Moon is 1/4th the diameter of Earth.  Its width is comparable to the width of Australia.  Its total surface area is just slightly less than North and South America combined.  The mass of the Moon is just 1/81 of Earth’s but it is the 5th largest moon in our Solar System.  The Moon’s average distance from Earth is 238,900 miles.  That is equivalent to more than 85 trips from New York City to Los Angeles.

That’s all for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Lovely informative post again, friend David! Wishing you good luck with your immunization schedule ... It's the same here ... Demand versus supply does not add up, does it ... I'm still very much interested in "the other side of the coin" ... sides like Bitchute, Corbett report and Jeremy Elliot still interest me greatly ... Laurie, thank you for the awesome moon pics! ... At the end of the day, we are all looking at the same moon:) Sending love, cat.

  2. The 318 days seems like forever to us and I expect another few months before we are vaccinated. It's good to see the local infection rates coming down but we just got some KN-95 masks and face shields to make our trips to the store even safer. Your pasta dish looks very good.

  3. amazing photo of foothill sunset across Tellico lake taken by Laurie ... great shot.

    Federal government promised to increase the number of people will get shot, from 1 million per day to 1.5 million per day...

    I believe that you and Laurie will be vaccinated soon .... Good luck for you and Laurie .....

    # My wife has got shots twice few weeks ago, because of her job ....

  4. The pasta looks good, but I can't wait until restaurants are open here. They just opened in Chicago, but the governor doesn't want them in open in the suburbs yet, beats me, only God knows.
    Bill gets his first Covid shot tomorrow morning. Surprised me when he heard that! I have no idea when I will though. Our friends in Florida have all gotten their first shots also. Good luck to you and Laurie!

  5. We will also be having a pasta dish this weekend, and also homemade with cauliflower Alfredo sauce. Oatmeal is also a go-to cold weather comfort breakfast here. I add yogurt, a touch of vanilla and dried cranberries. I have also added peanut butter to it while it's cooking and then sliced bananas.