Mother’s Day Eve

I picked up a nice looking large outdoor plant pot at Aldi (one of their usual ‘seasonal’ items) – anodized bronze with a fleur-de-lis pattern.  I think they’re fiberglass or resin – durable and lightweight but depending on what I’m putting in them I sometimes add something for ballast, broken bricks, rocks etc.  since they can easily tip over in a good wind.  Also, no sense wasting all that soil if I’m just planting a cluster of herbs.  I had an empty plastic orange juice bottle in the recycling bin…filled it with water, added a few drops of bleach to retard mold and voila, perfect fit.  This container will hold thyme and sage – I’m trying to start the sage from cuttings from last year’s plant that got extremely leggy over the winter and bolted after the first warm days of spring.  Wal Mart had great looking herbs for $2 – picked up basil, thyme, cilantro (thought it was regular parsley, will give it to daughter as I have the cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene and although I can’t taste much of anything, cilantro still tastes like crap to me) oregano and dill, which is in the ground behind the peonies and against the fence, as it gets very funky-tall.  The basil is in a good-sized pot as I plant seeds next to the plant every few weeks as it’s quick to bolt as well.  I still have frozen basil and frozen pesto from last year that I need to use.  Maybe I’ll add some tortellini and pesto to the Mother’s Day menu.

It’s good to go back and read what one’s written before one publishes; spell-check and grammar check is great but there needs to be a WTF-check; I left the o off of pesto in the last paragraph.

This has been a difficult work-week and we’ve been dealing with a lot of hail damage details.

Having said that, I’m lucky to have a job and a house and cars and insurance!

I went on my quarterly field trip to Meijer’s to stock up on the pizza crusts mentioned in a previous post, refried black beans with jalapenos, vegetarian baked beans, Alfresco products (nitrate free yummy sausages), ground lamb and a hundred extra bucks worth of other stuff.  I bought a double-walled cup for my afternoon iced coffee.  I saw the most beautiful picture of a glass of coffee on What Katie Ate whatkatieate.blogspot.com – stunning photography on that blog.  I decided I needed something a little more attractive than the plastic cups I usually drink from.  Ha.  The new cup is plastic. But attractive.  I returned to find the boy-o cooking up his weekend breakfast mash.  That is such a good thing.

We whiled away a couple of hours talking..so nice for me.  I put dinner in the crocker..which reminds me, I’m doing the Fight for Air walk June 9, Arnold C gave me a fantastic donation!!!

Saturday’s I like to have something chugging away in the crockpot filling the house with good smells and leaving me time for other endeavors; summer brings fresh things that entail a lot of prep and dealing with the grill and Mr. Man.  I often think I’d like an electric Foreman Grill.  I think I’ll pick one up at Kroger next week wonder if the senior discount will apply.

I’ve been trying to do most of the grocery shopping on the way home from work – dependent on whether or not I get a walk in during the workday lunchtime.  I think what this really means is that I am grocery shopping every day of the week.  The theory is I’ll have it all done before the weekend but if the bulk of it’s done during the week, this leaves time for more frivolous grocery shopping but at a less frenetic pace.  Or whatever psychological term you want to call what I do.

Tonite’s offering is Tarragon Chicken with Leeks and Peas in the crockpot…such a sweet recipe.  I love adding my frozen whipping cream cubes at the end.

Barb’s Chicken with Tarragon Slow Cooker

Back in the day we all had free-standing freezers; I’m lucky enough to have an immense French-door fridge/freezer combo that we were able to retrofit into our eensy-beensy galley kitchen.  In addition, we have a fridge in the basement that stores beer, all of my flours, back-stock misc. crap and more frozen stuff.  I still shop daily. I wonder what the net cost is of a loaf of reduced day-old bread that’s been languishing in the freezer for 3 months?

Martha, is it a good thing to have 3 frozen hambones?  I’m not a ham fan but the gents sure love it’s salty nitrate-infused goodness.  OK I lie – I love me some pea soup and the ham/pineapple pizza’s good for using up the leftovers.  Also good to add to the Sunday breakfast omelet for the menfolk.

I still haven’t posted last week’s rant…I’ll tidy it up and get it out tomorrow as I need to move forward with this issue.  I thought there was forward movement to reduce the amount of packaging but it only seems to have gotten worse.

Sooo…sliced & blanched 2# of Vidalia onions for tomorrow’s casserole, scrubbed the spuds, prepped the flat-iron steak rub, wondered which beet recipe I’d like to use (if I do the orange salad I’ll need more arugula but at least I have the orange!), wrapped up a couple of goodies for the other Moms in our lives and threw down a couple of brewskies.  See you tomorrow.

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A Good Day for Beans

Today is Thunder over Louisville (or elsewhere, Saturday, April 21st).  This event kicks off the Kentucky Derby festival – the air show is spectacular, couldn’t care less about the fireworks although I appreciate what it takes to put on the biggest pyrotechnics exhibition in the country.  When the weather’s good, which it’s not this year (overcast & cold), the crowds are immense and no matter how you plan it, it will take 3 hours for you to get home to your house less than a mile away.  Louisville has considered  installing a light rail system for decades (along with other forward-thinking municipal projects) but so far no progress.  We did get the new arena built which is pretty impressive, I’ve heard; looks good from the outside.  Although I don’t have a problem navigating the downtown area with its labyrinth of one-way streets and roadways that end abruptly for an expressway ramp or random building, there’s just no way to get out in a reasonable amount of time when there’s a major event.  I speak from experience and now enjoy most of these functions from home – the TV stations do a fabulous job. Apparently this year there are shuttle buses to get one in and out.  Stunning weather the early part of the week – made it a point to walk  on lunch break a couple of times with my partner in crime.  Our facility is close to Cave Hill Cemetary  – we head there where we get a brisk couple of miles in while appreciating the beauty and  spirituality of the grounds;  free therapy with health benefits!

Last Sunday we had veg lasagne with a simple salad of baby greens & spinach and a nice dense artisan bread.  Tomorrow will probably be salmon & vegetables in the clay pot with wild rice and slaw – not quite ready for grill time.  So…good to use up the ham bone (still have 2 more in the freezer – I don’t care much for ham but the menfolk do so I oblige on the holidays) and I love anything on cornbread + cheese.  I usually make a killer pea soup  but this time I wanted squishy great northerns.  Also added some frozen mixed beans – Aldi had some lovely mixed bagged beans – bought a couple of pounds and as I was loading my overly packed bags into the car one of the straps broke and the bag fell to the ground.  Also inside the bag was a jar of pickles that of course, broke; the juice leaked into the beans;  damned if I would throw them away as I’m tighter than bark on a tree.  Soaked them all and ended up with 3 large bags o’beans.  The attached bean recipe was modified for the crocker..used dried beans + frozen beans + hambone, no cumin or tomato paste.  Wow. Fireworks audio choreography leaving me speechless.

Such an interesting melange of music.  Fireworks photo at top was sent to my phone by daughter watching from The Quonset Hut on Phoenix Hill w/family & friends.  Son playing music gig in the Starks Building downtown sent this one…   I took the cemetery shot from my phone while on the aforementioned walk – can’t believe it came out as I didn’t have my glasses on and I totally can’t see squat w/o them.

Vegetable Lasagne

Freezing Pre-soaked Beans

Herbed White Bean and Sausage Stew

Cornbread