Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That was no heart attack

Wow. It has been a long time since I've posted. I've kept up with everyone but I've been very lax about doing any actual work beyond a comment or two. Guess I should get to stepping.

First, I highly recommend to everyone within earshot that you try Maggie's Perfect Pumpkin Soup. She commented on my last post about adding a can of coconut milk at the end, which, oddly enough, I had already done. :-) I did it, however, out of necessity as I got a bit heavy-handed with the chilli powder and was looking for a way to smooth out the heat. It worked--slightly--but I must admit to liking the soup better before the coconut, even with the heat. It's a very filling, tasty blend and I actually ate it for breakfast several mornings running because I was still feeling punk and it most definitely cleared up whatever was lurking in my system. So go forth, visit Maggie, and make the soup. And also check out her beautiful picture of polenta. Well worth the trip.

Memorial Day was last weekend so I busted out Clemenza and got to grilling. I found some amazing all-natural charcoal by Stubb's, made from hardwood and vegetable binders, and I am a complete convert. Kingsford, you are dead to me. This stuff burns clean, smells clean, and leaves a taste like nobody's business. We had burgers and dogs (of course), nachos, and I had a very successful first attempt at grilling fish--a very nice piece of Arctic char. It's a cross of taste between salmon and trout and I was rather pleased with it. I loaded it on a hamburger bun today and slathered it with Dijon mustard. Yes, this removes some of the fishiness but, as I am very averse to salmon unless it is slathered with something, I felt this was the way to go.

We finished up with s'mores. Full of yum.

Have I mentioned my garden recently? Crusading One, tell your boyfried it is possible to grow stuff from the ground up. Really push that rock & roll aspect, too. :-) My garden is officially exploding now. Take a look:

A bucket of peppermint hanging from the apple tree.

This is the big garden, which includes the tomatoes, basil, peppers, fennel, dill, radishes, and some mesclun. You can see Clemenza in the back there.

This is right off the patio door and includes scallions, lavender, radishes, and a ton of mesclun. I'm not sure what is in the small pot in the front middle as I've forgotten what seeds I've sown. I think peppers but I did it on a whim so we shall see.

Early tomatoes. I'm really excited about these.

I've had a lot of luck with the mesclun as it seems to sprout like mad; what the final result will be is anybody's guess but I'm hoping to have a steady crop throughout the season. The fennel is also growing well on its own--I sowed the seeds directly into the soil instead of using peatlets--but my pepper plants have not thrived as they have in past years. My biggest problem is the slight running amok of fruit flies, which I think were already setting up shop in the bag of soil I picked up as it's only a problem with several pots and I remember those coming from a specific bag. Ants, too, have taken over. I really hate ants. I hate fruit flies, and flying ants, and pretty much anything that crawls from the earth and has more legs than I want to count. But I accept that I have to share with them. I don't like it, but I accept it. :-)


Bridget said...

Wow, your garden is really taking off! We're having luck (so far) with some heirloom tomatoes from seeds Tim kept from last year - I can't wait to see if the blossoms actually turn into tomatoes ...

My rosemary is pretty happy, as is my oregano and parsley. The other stuff is doing OK, but taking its good old time.

Lisa said...

My rosemary tanked, as did my potted Spanish lavender, however, they did well directly planted into the ground so I'm guessing they just didn't like being house-bound. My sage has flowered beautifully and I'm thinking of giving that a permanent home in the ground later in the season. It comes back year after year and it might like to really spread out.

april said...

the fish looks soooooo tasty...i mean the s'more's a given, but i do love grilled fish on occasion.

The Caked Crusader said...

whenever I watch US tv someone always seems to mentino smores and I had no clue what they were - until now!

Lisa said...

Cake, s'mores rock and they're the easiest thing in the world. I usually just sandwich the chocolate bar and marshmallow between the graham crackers, wrap each in a piece of foil, and throw on the grill at the end of the meal for about a minute or two, just to get he chocolate all melty. My very favorite chocolate to use is a Cadbury fruit & nut; actually, any of the Cadburys are good, much better than Hershey's I think. Worth trying. :)