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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Such a Day

Such a day…TJC in the house, day 3; couple of departmental hiccups – my OCD is closer to the surface than I’d like.  All of the great accomplishments just get tossed to the side of my mind when faced with these minor issues that of course, I’m already rectifying.  The team outdid themselves today.

According to the panel of family, Easter dinner was good…I can’t vouch much for the flavors since my taste buds were fried after last year’s ‘adventure’ as I like to call it.

Might as well write of this now as it’s part of the journey of this blog.  A year ago in the fall I accidentally felt a lump under my jaw; I say accidentally as I don’t normally poke around my body I search of lumps (except for random checks of the girls).  Since I work in Radiology I sought some free advice and was steered towards an ENT who recommended biopsy, CT to seal the deal and the resultant minor surgery to remove the little fella.  We always read/hear about the complications of any kind of surgery no matter how minor but don’t give them much credence as they are rare.   I awoke to feel my airway closing and was quickly shuttled back to the surgical suite.  Again I awoke but this time to feel a trach in my neck.  I had experienced a bleeding event that compromised my airway.  Story short, spent a few days in the ICU experiencing all the things the patients in my hospital do i.e. no having means of communication (asked for a white board, was given a few sheets of paper and the remnants of a pencil); no drink or food and no idea what the next minute would bring.  The staff was great but they knew I was in the biz so I was sort of left to my own devices.  I was getting IV fluids so had to TT a lot – experienced a lot of anxiety  about pressing the call button.  Also, the whole time, I was freezing.  Day two after the deal I had to text my team as I had planned on returning to work straight away.  Briefly mentioned my situation and immediately was blasted with much electronic angst, concern and e-visitors.  Laughing was a challenge.  I will say that I never needed anything for pain. Some surgeries are like that. On the third day (get the irony?) my doc came in and popped out the trach, told me what kind of cancer I had, how it would be treated, and released me.  My husband drove me home on a bright, shiny snowy day.  I looked like shit on a stick…face swollen, green/yellow, Frankenstein stitches down my neck and a hole in the middle of it and hair that needed a cut two weeks prior and had been washed with that waterless stuff (along with the rest of me). As soon as I got home I got my squirrely hair washed and figured out a bathing system.  When all was said and done the most/best/important thing besides being alive was regaining the ability to bathe.  No shower till the trach hole closed which took a bit of time since I talk too much.  You’re supposed to put your finger over the opening when you speak which I didn’t do often enough. My voice gets croaky by the end of the day as I think they first tried to insert a breathing tube and scritched up my vocal cords.  I received thirty-three radiation treatments at a wonderful facility where I was lucky enough to know the staff.  I drove there before work each day, in and out in a half hour unless I had to see the doc.  I resumed the practice of yoga each morning as after the first week of treatment I felt my neck begin to tighten up; I also found a great product, Bio Oil, to massage into my scars.  It also seemed to keep my skin from looking burned.  I still use it every day as everything continues to tighten up overnight.  I have to be diligent with my dental care as I won’t heal properly in the radiated area of my jaw.  I return to the ENT every three months for what I hope will continue to be good news.

I have taste ‘memory’ and an acute sense of smell; texture has become more important.  Some foods are more and some now less palatable.  What is truly miraculous is that my very favorite things (dark chocolate, my favorite beer – Keystone Light and chili spices) still taste great!

My taste buds and I have come to a meeting of the minds.

It’s so ironic that at this juncture I finally have all the food prep gadgets and cookware, wonderful herbs and spices, and decades of collected recipes all beautifully catalogued and ready to share; every day I snare another one to try and so appreciate all the food blog pioneers and those who have posted their faves and above-all, the reviewers.

I’ve always been just a web crawler but now I would like to share the fruits of my labor, as it were.  I credit those from whom I’ve copied snippets or more in my BLOGROLL.

I’ve been sharing the recipes with family and co-workers since I began this project and they are well received for their ease-of-use, ingredient combinations or novelty.

Photos will appear at a later date – not of the prep steps but of random minutia that defines me.

I work in a 6 x 10 galley kitchen retrofitted with wonderful SS appliances and a non-granite Formica countertop befitting the space.

Whew.

If you happen to still be reading this I applaud your endurance.

Here’s the Easter dinner rundown – my next step will be to catalog the recipes as I do in my personal folder – still have much to learn about wordpress.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Green Beans & Cranberries

Broccoli Salad with Toasted Pecans

Maple Ham in the crockpot

Garlic Smashed Potatoes in the crockpot

Pineapple Trifle