A week of furlough – done.

Working at home 4 weeks went by fast………………a week of furlough, not so much.  Obviously the key was to keep busy – no surprise there, ha!

What better way to start your Monday, than with beignets – love these French donuts.  Eric, not quite as big of fan since they were common-place when he was growing up.  Naturally it starts with a recipe – no box mix in the Darden house!  You would think he would have the recipe memorized – not so much.   A number of years ago, my mother-in-law presented us with this blank recipe book.


It has been well used and definitely makes it easier to find recipes, such as beignets. Ha!  This was before the internet and the well-used phrase ‘google it’.  I know, I know – the dinosaur age.  I initially used rubber cement to place the recipe print-outs I typed into the book, but it has all dried up.  I definitely need to make this a project in the coming days.  Regardless, here you go.


Oopsie – apparently I missed an ingredient when I was typing up the info.  Definitely need the egg for the recipe.  For everything I typed, I tried to add a ‘story’ at the end of the page.

Cannot forget one of the most important key ingredients – powdered sugar.


After a general ‘dusting’…………….


…………..those little pillows of goodness end up on my plate.  🙂37488384-725B-44AD-B5E5-719BF3A43BF4

We both had our own projects that we planned for the first furlough week.  Eric is doing some painting.


While I finally dusted off my sewing machine.  Luckily I found the correct manual booklet (I was more shocked that anyone!) for the machine I have and had to reread the correct way to thread the machine – its harder that it looks.  Many have a slight difference you have to figure out.  My first project was sewing these linen kitchen towels from linen we purchased in the Paris fabric market – oh, about 3+ years ago.


There are a few other projects in the pipeline that may show up in this blog – if they get done.

As you might imagine, cooking has figured big in the Darden household since Eric is no longer going into work.  I’m soooooooo lucky to have married a man that enjoys cooking as a hobby – just saying.

He’s been talking about the ‘Hotto Potto’ restaurant over in east Orlando, but that’s not really an option at the moment with the ‘shelter at home’ situation we’re in.  But that doesn’t stop Eric.  What’s the next best thing?  Having our own hot pot meal – but of course! Ha!  Eric did his research and we made a trip to Orlando to one of the biggest Asian markets we’ve frequented in the past.

A first step was the liquid to cook your meats.  Doesn’t look like much when you take it out of the packaging.  Those red things in the photo…………….peppers, lots and lots of peppers.


But those blocks turn into this:


Before cooking, there’s a bit of other prep that needs to happen with the ‘things’ you’re going to put into the hot pot.  I was able to get a ‘work in progress’ shot with Eric prepping the meat.


PLEASE be sure to look at the meat platter in the bottom right of the photo above. Apparently I forgot to take a finished photo and yes, I heard about it.  Isn’t it a beaut!  Great job Hon!  The next few photos are the fresh items we get to choose from.  One platter has seafood options (shrimp and mahi-mahi sliced thinly).  Another has two types of noodles and the bowl has various mushrooms.


Second tray had the fresh veggies – baby bok choy, chayote squash and daikon radish.  That bowl off to the side was quail eggs.


So, the quail eggs.  They’re cute, they’re tasty, they are a b.e.a.r. to peel once they are soft-cooked.  I believe we each had one, and the rest were left for a breakfast meal.


Next step – cooking!    Two things you need to know.  First, we did the cooking outside in our garage with a 2-burner camp stove purchased on one of Eric’s hunting trips that (surprisingly) has been one of his better purchases.   Second, I don’t have to do any of the cooking.  🙂


The bok choy you see simmering in the pot above – boy (!) it really soaked up the pepper in the hot pot.  First bite the pepper taste caught everyone off guard.

While waiting for the items to cook, we wanted a snack.  I’ve been having a hankering for these, ever since I heard there was a shortage (after the run on toilet paper?).  I guess everybody cleared out all of the items in the frozen food cases and also bought these.  Really?   Eric prepped them prior to the hot pot cooking and a little sea salt, siracha sauce, sesame seeds and chili pepper flakes and we were set.


We ended our first week with some ‘fusion’ tacos.  Huh?  I’ve got to admit, when Eric pulled into this place, I had doubts – plenty of doubts.


I believe one of its former lives it was a gas station.  I eventually asked him ‘How would you describe this food?”  That’s when I heard ‘fusion tacos’.  After a quick google search:

  • Korean tacos that originated in Los Angeles.
  • Are a Korean-Mexican dish popular in a number of urban areas, often as street food.
  • Consists of Korean-style fillings (bulgogi and Kimchi) placed on top of traditional Mexican corn tortillas.

I don’t care what you call them, they are mighty tasty!  In the top box you have a carnitas taco and Asian pork belly taco.  The bottom item is a Korean hot dog – can’t see the dog since there was so much topping!  I loved the Korean hot dog.


Done – first week of being furloughed.  Now, if I just knew how many weeks it was going to last………………………


























2 thoughts on “A week of furlough – done.

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