Friday, August 21, 2009

Loving Vegetables

...albeit somewhat reluctantly

Part of my internal goals for this garden were to help me love vegetables more. Homegrown, in season, fresh, heirloom veggies are to store bought, well traveled, out of season, grown-for-easy-shipping-rather-than-flavor veggies as looking at a Monet painting in person rather than seeing a fuzzy picture in a book without your reading glasses.

We successfully ate many spinach salads plucked fresh from the garden and they were great. Ditto for the Mesclun Mix of salad (also great on sandwiches). My Latah tomatoes are of a less flavorful variety than some of my later bearers but they are delicious in salads and on sandwiches and I am contemplating drying them for winter stews. Onions clearly belong in everything and potatoes are nature's most perfect food so neither of those have been a problem. My biggest hangups remain some of the green veggies: cooked spinach is still a crime in my mind (it's a texture thing, plain and simple); zucchini is only good in bread or (as I just learned) cookies; cooked broccoli is limp and slimy and I'd rather just eat it raw with ranch.

Today I am changing all of that. Well, except for the cooked spinach- I stand firm there. Apparently the keys to my loving zucchini and cooked broccoli are 1) barely cooking them; and 2) combining them with stove top stuffing. Last night I lightly sauteed some green onions, diced zucchini, and diced ham in a small saucepan, then cooked the stuffing according to the package directions after I had transfered the goodies to a bowl. I topped it with a chopped tomato that warmed in the stuffing and it was fabulous!! Today for lunch I have a slight variation: ham, zucchini, minced onion, and a small amount of the first (!) broccoli from our garden. Oh, and more tomatoes. The broccoli was barely in the pan for a minute when it turned the perfect shade of bright-go-light-green so I took it out while the onions, zucchini, and ham continued to soften and pop. The results: YUM!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What an excellent weekend!

Things started out slow on Saturday- we slept in a bit and lazed around. Watched part of Goblet of Fire and spent a little time wandering through TriState and being depressed because we're poor. But then that evening we went to Mark's house where he and Sara cooked up some wonderfully authentic pad thai (yummmmm) and introduced us to Killer Bunnies (which Sara won at, but I did fairly well, I think...for a beginner).

Sunday was even better! We went to Boyer Park with a whole bunch of friends. We actually went with Kim (my big sib) and several other 4th years, significant others, and some new first year roommates. Then my other big sib, Joe, and his girlfriend happened to come by the park as well! Also at the park where several of my classmates and friends, a few second years, and a bunch of vet students visiting from Nihon University in Japan. I think I can safely say we all had a lot of fun. We played in the water and got a bit sunburned. Luna learned to swim (it took her a while to master the use of her back legs to swim and not just her front legs. Also took a while for her to figure out how to not breathe with her mouth and choke on the water as she swam. But once she got it worked out she swam all over the place like a little otter). You could always hear her coming towards you in the water because she was "panting" through her nose- a great "Poof-Poof-Poof" as she swam.

Once we got back to Pullman (for those not in the know, Boyer Park is on the Snake River about 25 miles out of P-town) we had a small pot luck dinner of barbequed chicken (with homemade BBQ sauce!), corn bread (made by Whitney), corn on the cob (provided by Ashley), and cookies (also Ashley). We watched the first half of Fellowship of the Ring with cast commentary. Everyone made fun of Orlando Bloom and Sean Astin but I think (hope) everyone had fun. Who doesn't love listening to the comments made by Billy Boyd and Dominic Monahan? There definitely was some good laughter whenever they started talking! But in any case, dinner was FABULOUS.

It was a very good weekend indeed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The weather is defeating me

It is noon and the temperature outside is 93 degrees. It was 90 at 11:00am. Official high expected to be 99.

All this is conspiring against my domesticity. It is too hot to clean. It is too hot to cook. I wanted to bake some breads today- sourdough, zucchini, and an experimental apple bread. But I don't know if the dual air conditioners will hold up for it. I haven't made bagels since coming home- mostly because of the hot, but also because it IS a lot of work. Fun and delicious, but still hot work.

Maybe the weather will break and I can go back to my baking plans.