Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Wasn't the Only Thing Coming Down the Chimney

Faithful blog followers may remember that I discovered, with the strange early March 2009 snowfall, that there was a problem with water getting in and running down the chimney of the new fireplace in the kitchen area. At that time, Pete LaRoque (my general contractor) said it turned out the counter-flashing had never been installed. So he fixed it.

But then Winston-Salem had a lot of rain in early June 2009, and darned if that chimney wasn't leaking again (there's a picture with the blog entry found with this link). So repairs were done again, I suppose. In this case, Pete said the counter-flashing was installed but had not been sealed.

Then came the remnants of Hurricane Ida around Veteran's Day 2009, and here's what resulted:

I called Pete, who could not fix it in the rain, but he promised to do so the following Saturday. (I was working in Richmond so I wasn't home for his visit to once again repair the leaking roof.)


Ah, but guess what came down the chimney on Christmas Day 2009...Yes, the roof was leaking once again. So now I'm not sure why it continues to be a problem, but we'll certainly need to see about getting it fixed. At this point, I think you all can understand my worry and my concern. There is still discolored sheetrock where it meets the brick of the chimney, and the dousing it got in November made it very, very soaked. I haven't checked out the insulation around it in the attic but will certainly be looking into that as well.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Snow of Winter 2009-2010

Unusual for us to have a winter weather event of any note in December. At best, it's going to be an inconvenient icing or perhaps a small accumulation of sleet. The snow system that dumped two feet of snow on my friends in Charlottesville, VA, managed to fall long and hard and look really pretty in downtown Winston-Salem, but I think officially we only got maybe four inches. Traces of it are still hanging around, mind you, over two weeks later (it's been too darned cold in this town so far this winter).



But hey: it was enough to gather up on a roasting pan placed on the upstairs balcony, and I definitely whipped up some snow cream (or, as some call it who were raised elsewhere: "snow ice cream"). Here's a picture of the adorable Amy Williamson enjoying a bowl of it while cuddled up in my Aunt Lee's afghan on the hearth of the fireplace.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hailstorms and Gutters

OVERDUE FALL UPDATE / September & October 2009

One heckuva hailstorm suddenly blew up on downtown Winston-Salem at the end of September, before I'd had a chance to get the "movie screen" down from the outdoor theatre set-up. It played holy heck with the support poles, bending them back almost 90 degrees. This came into play later in the fall when the remnants of Hurricane Ida blew through, because it took the whole set-up and laid it down on the parking area. (I've got to do something about that, too.)




Here's an update on the update: an ambulance service has taken up tenancy in the building behind the house, and they've put up a bright new security lot where their ambulances park (with the tell-tale "beep-beep-beep" every morning at 7 am as they back into place). Ordinarily, I might be pleased to have the extra light on my vehicles, but there was also the unpleasant discovery with the October movie night that the light spills badly onto the movie screen. That's not so good.




At the end of October, the gutter installation crew finally came back to make some adjustments. There'd been problems with overflow, particularly coming off the valleys where the one-story kitchen addition and the new second story spaces converge. There had also been a seam that was not sealed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

OVERDUE UPDATE / November 26, 2009

Perhaps because I was pretty focused on the kitchen and cooking to be done, I somehow managed not to take pictures of this year's Thanksgiving gathering. The good news is that the last of the four dining room chairs did arrive (I was worried because Boyle's Furniture is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings!) and so it was possible to set up for the anticipated 14 guests. (Two people didn't show up and didn't call, and I guess we didn't need what they'd promised to bring!) Anyway, the 12 who were here made it an amazing evening and a delightful dinner. I think we ended up sitting at the table almost four hours, breaking up the time with a couple of rounds of Taboo! between the good food and the decadent desserts.

Here's a shot of the table, set up and ready for the good crew who shared the evening meal together.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meal No. 42: Pan-Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce

This was probably the first major cooking/meal bust in the new kitchen, although up till now I've been pretty happy with the recipes coming from the source I used. Nonetheless, it ended up being better to scrape this nasty sauce off the salmon and eat it for the great slab of fish it was, without the unnecessary and disappointing adornment.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Green Peppercorn Sauce," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 69.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meal No. 41: Center Cut Pork Loin Chops with Ginger-Soy-Shiitake Cream Sauce

A delicious dinner of cream sauce-covered pork loin chops with Gruyere potatoes and asparagus: what a Sunday night!

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



Recipe based on "Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce," from The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, 2006, p. 398-399.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meal No. 40: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

Once again, just before leaving town, I reached for the ease and tastiness of chicken with coronation sauce. It always pleases me but it also comes out just a little different each time.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meal No. 39: Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream

Using a recipe shared with me by my dear friend Cindy Coulson, the Sunday night meal was chicken breasts in sour cream, along with Brussels sprouts au gratin and sweet onion corn bake.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Sweet Onion Corn Bake," by Jeanette Travis of Fort Worth, TX. Published in Taste of Home, April/May 2003, p. 37-38.

Welcome to the Unlicensed Welder's Shop

Mr. Bruce Bailiff, City Inspector
City of Winston-Salem

Mr. Bailiff,

I wonder if I might elicit your help in a problem that has cropped up next door to my property, in the gravel lot of rented parking spaces which I believe is Tax Lot 0096 Lot 143. (It is the property from which some removed graffiti had been visible, about which we communicated last month.)

I am attaching pictures of the problem. The gentlemen who owns the old white and red Chevrolet truck has, for all practical purposes, set up a welding and metal fabricating shop working out of the back of his vehicle. I am attaching some pictures for you to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

While I am limited to the degree to which I can launch a credible complaint merely based on the junkiness of his set-up, what is more to the point is this: he appears to be using a rented parking space in order to set up an outdoor welding and metal-working shop. Might there be City code which limits where such shops may be established or how rented parking lot spaces might be used?

I realize I will need to contact the Winston-Salem Police now in order to complain about the banging on metal and racket of tossing things on and off his truck (as late as 1:30 am on a weeknight or as early as 8 am on Saturday morning). But I thought this situation was due at least a review by the Inspections division in hopes that it might warrant further attention.

Thanks much for looking into it and I'll await further word.

-Raymond Jones





UPDATE: The gentleman has relocated to another pay parking lot on the other side of 4th Street. I can still see him but at least I can't hear him.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Party - Resurrected

OVERDUE UPDATE / October 31, 2009


After a year's hiatus during the renovation and addition project, the Roediger House Annual Halloween Party was able to resume. And it was another great time. Admittedly, there was a deliberate attempt to scale back just a bit...in 2007, the party had nearly 70 people, and it makes me nervous when it includes too many people in my house that I don't even know. Our spirits (ha ha!) weren't even dampened by the night's dreary, dreary rain and cold.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving 2009

If you're going to live in a house with a nice big parking area, why not take full advantage of it when Fall rolls around and Halloween is approaching...and people are ready to carve up some pumpkins?




So on a recent decent day, with a bit of a nip in the air, the pumpkins were gathered and the knives sharpened and the designs determined, and creative mastery of this art form was put to its best test.





And in the end, the true art ended up being found in those who did the cutting, and not what they cut:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meal No. 38: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

In the numbering of the meals since the new kitchen was completed, this seems like a quick reappearance of a dish. But it's actually been almost a month. I just haven't been cooking nearly enough.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meal No. 37: 2 x 2 Soup

Based on my cousin Betsy's recipe, a wonderful concoction of beef and Rotel and red kidney beans and minestrone soup, made cheesy with hunks of Velveeta mixed in. That's the story of two-by-two soup, and it pleases our palates.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"2 x 2 Soup," from various sources.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shining Movie Night

October seemed to beg for a good horror movie, and I finally let myself be talked into having a movie night in the cold, serious chill of mid-October. The selection: Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. People bundled up pretty well, and we managed to make it through what's actually kind of a long film (although there were portions of the evening when people slipped off into the kitchen to hang out). By the time the film wrapped up, AccuWeather was reporting that it was a bone-chilling 43 degrees. Not sure I want to do that again, but it was a really fun time.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wait: There's a Kitchen?

Hmmmm...so, one of the greatest aspects of the addition to the house is the kitchen, and I've not actually posted any pictures of it in its finished condition? Wow. Let me rectify that now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meal No.36: Cumin-Rubbed Pork Loin with Jalapeno-Oyster Sauce

A $10 purchase at Edward McKay's Used Books here in Winston-Salem got me The Bon Appétit Cookbook, and I'm glad I made that investment. It led to a mighty fine meal for my thirty-sixth effort in the new kitchen: cumin-rubbed pork loin with a wild mushroom sauce that included jalapeno and oyster mushrooms. Yummy.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Cumin Pork Roast with Wild Mushroom Sauce," from The Bon Appétit Cookbook, by Barbara Fairchild. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons (2006), p. 299.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meal No. 35: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

Just before hitting the road for five days of work in Virginia, I made the one-bowl meal of chicken with coronation sauce. It's a pretty tasty endeavor.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meal No. 33: Coquilles St. Jacques

For the 33rd meal following completion of the new kitchen addition of the Roediger House, the menu was sort of fancy: Coquilles St. Jacques scallops with sugar snap peas and homemade mashed potatoes. There was also a chocolate fudge pecan pie for dessert.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meal No. 32: A Big Birthday Dinner

While there are no pictures to capture the really fantastic over-the-top meal I made for a crew of five of us, it was a great evening that allowed me to celebrate my birthday just the way I wanted to: making a huge dinner and having folks over to partake of it with me.

On the menu: crab cakes with lime chili ailoi, spicy rub grilled beef tenderloin, twice-baked stuffed baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and maple whole wheat loaf bread. For dessert, two options: lemon velvet tart or black bottom pecan cheesecake pie.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Friday, September 11, 2009

Meal No. 30: Creamy Basil Chicken

Another meal that was made in the early months of the new kitchen, and for which there is no photographic record, is Creamy Basil Chicken. I had high hopes I could approximate the delicious version of this that I used to enjoy at the now-closed Rathskellar restaurant on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. It was good, but perhaps not quite that good.



"Creamy Basil Chicken," from Lesley's Recipe Archive.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meal No. 29: Teriyaki Steak Skewers

Thanks to a good recipe shared with me by my brother-in-law Tom, the Sunday night meal here at the end of August was grilled teriyaki steak skewers, and they are so very good.


This preceded Movie Night No. 7: The Matrix. What a fantastic movie!

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Meal No. 28: Dinner with the Jens

My normal excellent calendar note-taking falls short for making this entry. Dear Roediger House friends Jen and Jen were here for dinner but I have no idea what I fixed them, since I'm composing this blog post in January 2016 with my 2009 calendar open in front of me.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meal No. 27: Asian Pork Tenderloin

It's quite a shame I haven't developed the habit of photographing meals each night, because this one was quite a feast: Asian pork tenderloin, with southern style green beans, company mashed potatoes, and even buttermilk biscuits. Quite a lot of food with only three of us around the table, but I don't think we minded. I can do without the Chinese Five-Spice addition to the BBQ sauce, which I'll make a point of fixing when and if I make this again.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]



"Asian Pork Tenderloin," from Cuisine at Home, Issue 60 [recipe clipping].

"Southern Style Green Beans," by April Moon. The Flying Biscuit Cafe Cookbook. Atlanta: Longstreet (1998), p. 47.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meal No. 26: Seared Salmon with Tarragon Mushroom Sauce

With just three of us around the table on this Thursday evening, I tried out seared salmon topped with a creamy tarragon and mushroom sauce, along with steamed spinach and basmati rice.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meal No. 25: Standing Rib Roast

For a small boys' night dinner gathering on this fine summer Sunday, I made a standing rib roast and served it up as a remarkably early dinner.

[Editor's Note: There is a pretty good stretch of Roediger House meals in the early days of the new kitchen for which there are no pictures and no blog entries. I still wanted them to be recorded, as long as the blog serves that purpose so well, so I made some efforts both in 2011 and in early 2016 to at least post what those meals were on the proper dates.]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Meal No. 24: Beef Stroganoff

There has been way too much traveling this month (a few days in Wyoming in the middle of a lot of time in Virginia), and that's put a hurting on my meals in the Roediger House kitchen. Tonight I got back into the mode and made beef stroganoff for the first time. It was pretty good but I thought the sauce was just too thin. I'll give it another go sometime and see if I can't get it closer to fine.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday Night Bath Fever

The time finally came to inaugurate the grand new soaking tub in the Master Bathroom. It was a casual day yesterday, trying to catch up after having been out of town all week and knowing that I'm leaving again (on a jetplane) early Monday morning. The time just seemed right, and the occasion begged for all the pomp and circumstance of setting it up as the right mood.

I'll also admit: it was freakin' hot. So a nice relaxing soak for a while, but then a cooling cleansing shower followed. Not sure how much I'll take advantage of this great tub, but it's nice to have it, no doubt.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meal No. 23: Margherita Grilled Pork Tenderloin

My college roommate from the University of North Carolina, Jimmy Randolph, made his roughly-annual pilgrimage to the Roediger House. For dinner, I made a grilled pork tenderloin recipe that's got some heat and some great flavor. We enjoyed ourselves and talked up a storm.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meal No. 22: Burgers on the Grill

It's summer, and it's easy to turn to the simple burgers that I put together for grilling on a lovely summer evening. It was a later dinner, which shows the benefit of some wisdom when the heat of summer is on the scene.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meal No. 21: Not So Cajun Chicken

The meal made at mid-day today was subsequently delivered to friends working at 6th & Vine: a repeat of the first meal ever made in the new kitchen, inspired by a dish found at Crowley's in Raleigh. Not So Cajun Chicken is always a winner to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meal No. 20: Coronation Chicken

Bradley Phillis and Trevor LaFauci came over this afternoon for a challenging round of Trivial Pursuit. The mid-day/mid-afternoon meal was coronation chicken.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meal No. 19: Beef Tenderloin Stir-Fry

A night breaking out the wok in order to create beef, mushroom, and onion stir-fry before settling down with a DVD movie for the evening.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meal No. 18: Burgers and a Movie

For the last night of the Oklahoma crew this week, I had to go with grilling burgers as a prelude to Movie Night No. 6 for this season: Heathers.

The burgers are a pretty simple recipe that I got a while back, and they always come out very good and very tasty. The actual name, believe it or not, is "Juicy Burgers on the Grill."

Done.

It's not really summer to me until these burgers show up on the front porch for a good evening outside with friends.

And it was a sign of great progress with the 2009 Roediger Theatre movie season: another good movie and a happily receptive audience for it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meal No. 17: The Roediger House Dinner

When it is a special gathering, my most favorite meal to fix for a crowd is the one that showed up at the Roediger House tonight for my visiting Oklahoma friends. It was garlic and rosemary roasted beef tenderloin with a spicy horseradish sauce; layered green bean casserole; feta-stuffed bell peppers; company mashed potatoes; yeast rolls; and, for dessert, chocolate Kahlua cake.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New North Fence

OVERDUE SUMMER UPDATE / July 2009

The blog has been much neglected, so before the Christmas holiday is over, I'm getting some more pictures up. When Pete LaRoque, the general contractor, determined that significant grading was needed around the addition, it became necessary to erect a retaining wall between my property and the gravel parking lot to my north. This begged for a fence to match the one I'd already put up on the south side of the property, and in early July, this was installed by Fence Builders of Winston-Salem.




By early July, the grass in the rear courtyard was really beginning to take hold and grow, and it was a nice change from the exposed raw red clay that had been the standard look for so many months.


Also, in early summer, the first flowers to warm the new addition were presented by good friends who visited from Oklahoma:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meal No. 16: The Brunch Meal

Because I am actually blogging this quite some time after the fact, I am going on partial memory of what all I served for Meal No. 16: The Brunch Meal. The picture here was taken at the end of that meal, when only one plate remained on the table and all the rest of the attendees were easing into their respective food comas.


My typical menu for this meal includes zucchini bread and Bundt coffee cake; make-ahead scrambled eggs; spring frittata quiche; creamy cheese grits; and a big bowl of fruit.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meal No. 15: 2x2 Soup

A crew of good friends from Oklahoma arrived this evening for a week of hanging out at the Roediger House, and a pretty helpful and accommodating meal to have on hand when arrival times are uncertain is my cousin Betsy's 2 x 2 soup. That was the evening's fare.



"2 x 2 Soup," from various sources.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meal No. 14: Bama Chicken

In special celebration of Jen Martin's birthday, it was another quick return to the favorite dish called Bama Chicken.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meal No. 13: Seared Salmon

A Porch Rail Update

I have this fear that your 4th of July weekend might be terribly incomplete without a word or two about the porch railings, which (last you knew) were reinstalled but not yet painted or stained. Since they are pressure-treated lumber, the idea was to let the new railings sit out and cure a bit. While I was away last week, Roberto was sent over to give them a good solid-color staining, and they do look good. Unfortunately, the post top piece cracked and the boards used to construct the post no longer neatly aligned, so the result was a tad unsightly. Never fear, though: Pete sent Roberto back with caulking instructions and he cleaned it up pretty well. Here are the shots to help you see this.




Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paper Route

Back in the early days when I'd first bought the house, this is what the dining room looked like. It had a dark green wallpaper with tiny colored designs in it, and a less-than-pleasing fruity border up around the top. There were also fancy valance treatments that, while pretty dusty, actually looked like someone had spent some money on them. It took me a while to pull the trigger on this, but it finally seemed best to let it go. So last week, my painter Gary Hudson had a couple of his crew come over and pull that paper down. The room had always seemed pretty dark to me, and I'm ready for it to take on a warmer and attractive feel. It helped to replace the ceiling fan with a more appropriate chandelier.

If the picture to the right here is the BEFORE, then these next two are the DURING and AFTER.



If you read through the post "A Series of Unfortunate Events," you may recall that our dear plumbers failed to glue the drain on the old upstairs tub, and this led to a water disaster in the dining room below it. There seems to be no obvious lasting damage to the floors, but all that water coming down did manage to strip the varnish off the wainscoting along that wall in the dining room. This week, one of Pete's crew put fresh clearcoat along that wall, and it gave off a shiny sheen once he was finished.