Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sewing, Locks, Break-ins, Door Opening, Fresh Air,

Before Covid it took me a year to sew the seam in my pants. I have just sewn them again, about 2 weeks this time. Next thing you know I'll be making my own pants (not really).

In case you didn't read it in my comments to Alex yesterday, it turns out that our Superintendent, and presumably his wife, have to open all the laundry room doors in the mornings and close them at night. Not only does this seem unnecessary in this day and age (electronic locks) but in fact our machines no longer have any coins in them so the idea of locking laundry rooms has become an old fashioned action these days.   It would be perfectly safe to leave them open all night. And no, the noise would not disturb anyone nearby if anyone chose to do laundry at midnight or any other similar time.

Actually, talking to the Super's wife she said there had been break-ins since lockdown. I knew something had happened in the underground garage, but didn't realise they had actually broken in to the main building. Apparently some of the outer doors have been jemmied. Didn't realise as I never use anything but the front door or the garage door to get into the building. Just checked our storage room and our personal locker, everything fine. Not that they would find much of value from us. When we first moved in, about 20 years ago, there were break-ins into our storage room. The woman who's locker was next to ours lost some antique fishing rods (didn't know there were such things) and our bolt was cut. We now have one with a shorter hasp, more difficult to cut. I reported it to the super of the day who said nothing he could do!!!.

Also, people in the building have let strangers in, the super's wife excuses this somewhat because people are hard of hearing. Sorry, if you can't hear what someone is saying clearly, ask them to repeat it until you are quite sure who it is. Don't just assume it's the delivery you were expecting. If you really are deaf as a post, go downstairs and check. Mind you, if you were a thief these days, I wouldn't want to come into a building which, for all they know, might be riddled with Covid-19.

I just spent some time on our balcony, too cold to sit down if you can understand that, I was leaning on the balcony and watching the world go by. Quite a lot of cars surprisingly. People walking their dogs of course and one couple with, I think, a baby buggy went to the tennis court and started running round it. Oh to be able to do things like that, nowadays I couldn't even walk as far as the tennis court in the first place (see pic above), let alone run round it. However, it was delightful to be out in the fresh air although it was a little cool. I do open the sliding door onto the balcony whenever I can but actually being out there made a difference somehow.

This dessert is from an article which gives 35 ways to use ripe bananas which aren't banana bread. This one really appealed although I don't think, these days, I will ever have the energy to make it.

Chocolate-Banana Cream Tartlets

Individual tartlets are ideal for entertaining and this recipe is like an elegant version of a banana
cream pie with a sweet chocolate crust.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup crème fraîche (see notes)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 ripe bananas (about 12 oz. total)
Chocolate curls (see notes)

1. In a food processor or a bowl, whirl or mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until blended. Whirl in butter, or rub in with a pastry cutter or your fingers, until well blended. Add whole egg and whirl or mix just until dough starts to come together in a ball.

2. Scrape dough out onto a well-floured board and knead briefly to bring together. Divide into six equal pieces. With well-floured hands, press a piece of dough evenly over bottom and up sides of each of six 4-inch tartlet pans with removable rims. Place pans on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes (see notes).

3. Place baking sheet with tartlet pans directly into a 350° regular or convection oven (do not thaw). Bake until the crusts feel dry to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove pan rims and gently loosen crusts from pan bottoms with the tip of a sharp knife. Set crusts on rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, in a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, bring about 1 inch water to a boil. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl, remove pan from heat, and set bowl over water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and smooth.

5. In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, whisk 6 tablespoons sugar into milk; bring just to a simmer, stirring often. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into egg yolks. Whisk about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into yolk mixture, then whisk yolk mixture back into milk mixture. Stir constantly until simmering, then cook, stirring often, until very thick, about 1 minute. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Scrape into a bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on surface. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour (see notes).

6. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, whip crème fraîche, cream, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Peel bananas and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

7. Spread a generous 1/4 cup chilled chocolate mixture in the bottom of each tartlet shell. Top with 6 to 8 banana slices (about a third of a banana per tartlet). Spread about 3 tablespoons more chocolate mixture over bananas in each tartlet to cover. Mound about 1/3 cup whipped cream mixture on each tartlet. Garnish with chocolate curls (see notes). Serve immediately or chill, uncovered, up to 4 hours.

Yield: six 4-inch tartlets

Source: MyRecipes
Author: SUNSET

Author Notes
Crème fraîche adds a tangy edge to the whipped cream, but if it's unavailable, omit it and use 1 1/4 cups whipping cream. The crusts can be made through step 2 up to 1 week ahead; cover airtight and freeze, then uncover to bake. The chocolate mixture (steps 4 and 5) can be made up to 2 days ahead; cover airtight and chill. Use a vegetable peeler to make the thin chocolate curls for garnish, or sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa or chocolate sprinkles.

Have a great day


  1. It is amazing what a difference actually being outside makes isn't it? I am very grateful to have a garden (even if if does require more work than I can do).
    Trotting up and down to open (and shut) the laundry rooms is a big job. Hopefully they will come up with a solution. Is it wrong of me to hope that opportunistic theives do come down with the virus?

    1. Is't it Sue, I felt great just being on the balcony. It is a big job and unnecessary any more as there is no cash. Nope, I am with you on that one.

  2. I went in the yard and cut down the wild grasses yesterday. The plumes look nice over the winter, but I am getting too old to do some of this gardening. Well, not the age so much as the spinal issues, I guess. Then I decided to clean the grout in the fireplace surround. I'll be relaxing today for sure.
    As for bananas, I can only eat them if they are cooked since I am allergic to them. I love banana bread.

    1. Yes, it is a lot of work Denise, especially with spinal issues. Got those so I sympathise. Take it easy.

      Yes, but there are so many things you can do with bananas.

  3. So they go floor to floor opening the laundry room? Waste of time. With the break ins, are they worried someone will break in and do laundry there?

    1. Silly isn't it Alex. I think I will protest to the Realty Company, it is a waste of time.

  4. The bad thing is you can't chase men any more, Jo (they might slow down and let you catch up), the good thing is you have a balcony at least to get some fresh air. Yesterday Miriam and I went for a long walk in beautiful sunshine at RIM Park. Lots of people out, walkers, dog walkers, roller bladers, cyclists, etc. I think we were the only two birders! Doesn't look quite so agreeable today, but we will get out at some point nonetheless. Last night for dinner we had pasta with fire-roasted tomatoes, artichokes, feta cheese and kalmata olives. Damn good! And we always make enough for two meals, so we will have it again tomorrow. Tonight? I am not sure yet!

    1. I don't even want to any more David LOL. It was nice on the balcony, I love our little park, it is so attractive and never very busy. Does sound good - I have an online conference this morning with Alzheimer's so don't know what I will do for supper. Making stuffed peppers but had those last night (from the freezer) so will probably freeze the four I make this aft.

  5. We have a routine these days to sit outside some in the morning, afternoon and evening. Fresh air is good as well as the change of scenery. We do watch the birds that have homes in the cactus in the neighbor's yard. With it warming up soon the pool will be ready to go into. That should break up some of the monotony lol.


    1. It would certainly break the monotony for me Betty. I miss having a pool, we used to have one when we lived in Canada originally. Then of course we had the ocean.

  6. Yeah, that seems odd to lock the laundry rooms. Is there a way to ask to have them stay open, since they don’t bother anyone with the noise? Love that you don’t need coins anymore.

    Oh wow, reading your next paragraph. A break in. Darn. Antique fishing rods. Sounds like an inside job as who would even know they were there? I dunno. The super said there was nothing he could do? WFT?

    Yeah, don’t assume. That’s nuts. And stoooopid.

    Woohoo to fresh air on the balcony. I would be lost without our back deck that connects to the kitchen. I just love it. Cold today too but sunny.

    Chocolate and banana. Yum.

    1. Need to talk to the management I guess. That was years ago Ivy just after we first moved here. Not heard whether anything much has been stolen this time.

      Yup, I sat outside for a while today, it was quite warm, then the clouds decided to come in so, so did I. I miss the deck we had in NC.

  7. It has been nice to get outside. I keep hoping to hear the warmer weather will help us contain the virus spread. We live in the country, so just the regular walkers for the most part.
    Have a friend that is a cop and he says there are more break ins since the lock down.

    1. I was glad to go for a drive yesterday Susan.. The warmer weather won't help otherwise Australia and NZ, who have just come out of summer, wouldn't have had to deal with it.

      Not really surprised. Thieves like to take advantage.