Wild Fires/Rain and Cooking

Well, I made the Wine Country Chicken Salad following the recipe exactly (almost). I also stopped and bought a container of it at Trader Joe's to compare it with. At first taste, it didn't seem to be that close of a replica, so I let it sit overnight so the flavors could meld. Couldn't find any poppy seeds in the house so left those out. While putting the ingredients away, I noticed I'd used orange flavored dried cranberries not the plain kind. This would explain the lack of a match, but I thought "cranberries and oranges go together". In fact, I have a bag of fresh cranberries waiting to become Cranberry-Orange Bread.

So the salad sat in the fridge overnight. I had some for lunch. I have to say that letting the flavors blend overnight helped. I also picked out the orange-flavored dried cranberries which helped the flavor a great deal. It tasted pretty darn good even if still a little off in the flavor match. I think the next time I make this I'll included poppy seeds, more chopped celery and plain dried cranberries vs. flavored. I'll have to try the current test version a few more times before I finalize the recipe and post it.

I don't have pics of my salad because 1.) they came out less than appetizing looking and 2.) I wound up eating it for two lunches and one dinner. Even though it wasn't a spot on match to TJ's version, it was still awfully good!

It's still raining which means it's dark and gloomy. I keep reminding myself that we need the water to avoid drought. This "storm" has been the slow, gentle kind that allows the water to soak into the soil and not cause further erosion of burned hillsides from the wild fires of previous years. Nature has it's own pace despite what humans would like and it takes more than one season for soil holding root growth to develop and make the hills resilient to floods.
Sierra Madre hills fire.

One fire view from my back porch. The Station Fire.

This is not a cloud. It's a wild fire just beginning.
Still, a spot of sunshine or two wouldn't disappoint me. Here are a few photos from recent local wild fires.

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