Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This Week From The CSA

This week's CSA bag includes:

  • lettuce
  • green beans
  • a fresh-cut herb - if we're lucky enough for this to be basil, I'll be making B's Basil Balsamic Mashed Potatoes with that and the Yukon Gold's below - they're just so good, you have to try them!
  • summer squash - probably eat these shredded with a little cheese or nut cheese again or maybe grilled in our new grill wok
  • cucumber - mmm...sliced with some tomatoes and beans, a little rice vinegar...refreshing
  • Yukon Gold and/or Red Chieftan potatoes - whatever doesn't get mashed, I'd like to roast in the grill wok with some rosemary
  • leeks - might try a raw Cream of Leek soup - looks pretty good
  • blueberries - always good raw for breakfast

We haven't used much from the last bag, except we ate the fruit fresh right away. I'm hoping to make some Scrumptious Green Beans tonight from my Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Recipe Book maybe with last week and this weeks green beans. We'll definitely do a big salad each tonight, too to finish off the lettuce from last week. Seems we're always playing catch up with the food from the week before. It's too hot to cook much, so as much as I can do raw, we'll do raw. Hoping to clean the kitchen, make some food and take the dog to the dog park tonight before going to a social outing at the local roadhouse pub. Ambitious schedule, but I feel pretty energetic after a morning taiji session and a 16 ounce double shot latte.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Free Weekends!

Wow, what a weekend. Friday night after work, A and I loaded up the car with camp chairs, air mattresses, life preservers and all manner of thing we weren't sure we needed and didn't end up using and drove up to Mason Lake in Washington to spend the weekend with friends. We BBQ'd, we picnicked, we swam, I snorkeled for lost treasures (and found only fish that seemed to follow me through the water), we went tubin', A rode on our friends jet ski (which is like a small open speed boat and accelerates faster than a Ferrari!) and Chibo got to learn some social skills with two boxers, a golden retriever and a border collie. Needless to see, he was out sized by all and more than a little freaked out, but I think he had a good time nonetheless. We certainly did.

After all the water sports on Saturday, we found ourselves with a few aching muscles, but luckily no sunburn and decided to head home a little early, but taking the long way around on the coastal highway. It wasn't as scenic as we'd have liked, but we enjoyed the country air and some cherries from a fruit stand just the same. The Astoria bridge isn't as bad coming over from the Washington side, but was still a thrill and we stopped by the beach in Seaside to let Chibo run around a little more before heading home. A and I played "catch" with Chibo - I called him to me then sent him to A, A praised him for coming over and sent him back to me. Since Chibo won't catch a ball, we just send him back and forth to wear him out. It works pretty well.

By the time we got home, all three of us were ready to crawl into bed and sleep off the weekend. Not exactly the most restful of weekends, but definitely a celebration of having weekends off from work! The friends who hosted us this weekend already invited us to join them for camping next weekend, too, so it looks to be an eventful summer.

When I was speaking to my pregnant friend, R, she was telling me that despite being pregnant, she's been able to do most of the things she had put on her list of summer goals, like camping in a fire lookout and other outdoor activities. Not having had weekends off for so long, I haven't really thought of a list of summer activities I'd like to do, but since this December marks the end of my 1001 days, I guess I should re-evaluate my outdoorsy or seasonal goals from that list:
  • 23. Teach a QiGong class
  • 27. Go outrigger paddling again
  • 28. Go for an overnight backpacking trip
  • 29. Go backpacking for more than one night
  • 49. Plant an herb garden (or at least 4 kinds in pots) - 1 down, 3 to go - I've got a mint in a pot out front.
  • 50. Plant a vegetable garden - well, this isn't going to happen, but maybe I can get a squash plant into the ground or a tomato plant in a pot for the house?
  • 51. Plant Tiger Lily's bulbs - Yeah, I'd like to plant some flowers, but I think I missed my window - aren't these supposed to be planted in spring? Or maybe it's really fall?
  • 59. Hike 2x per week for 2 months - Not sure I like hiking all that much, but we could do a few short local hikes and I'm sure A would love that!
  • 72. Renew SCUBA certification and go diving! Everybody at the lake this weekend was interested in taking a class, so we could probably at least do that part.
  • 80. Go to the zoo - We did this last week when we attended a zoo concert, but I'd like to go again.
  • 81. Have a day of gracious living - tell people about the concept. Will have think about this one.
  • 95. Take the train to Seattle - we have a coupon!
  • 97. Have a cocktail party - make a new drink for friends! I can't wait to do this one!
  • 100. Go to Olympic National Forest - wow, we could have done that this weekend! Guess we'll have to try for that next month when we head up that way again!

Looks doable. Let's see how we go.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Week From The CSA: Thank God, it's FRUIT!

Went nuts cleaning out the fridge last night - we ate salad with garlic roasted fava beans, zucchini hummus with pita and loads of pea pods raw. Delicious and just in time for another bagful of produce from our CSA. I'm really not keeping up, but I'm doing my best. This morning I made us a savory veggie tofu scramble (including cabbage, carrots, onion and zucchini from the CSA) which we both enjoyed. It was weird eating it with toast, but somehow it worked.

This weeks bag includes:
  • lettuce - salad, maybe taco tonight?
  • a legume of our choice (pea pods or green beans) - probably cleaned and eaten raw as snacks again - they travel well and are delicious
  • fava beans - will be roasted with garlic again, they were yummy.
  • blueberries - yum!
  • Kotata blackberries or gooseberry or jostaberry - yum!
  • black cherries - yum!
  • fresh cut chives - these will go well with the potatoes I've been craving
  • summer squash - if it's zucchini, more zucchini hummus - it's so good - or shredded and lightly cooked with a little cheese - like mac and cheese, only I feel slightly less guilty

Note: the CSA recommends cooking the three types of berries we're getting into a cobbler and I say, no way. These babies are going to be enjoyed fresh and raw! I may like cooking, but I have to say that the raw food movement has definately taught me that some things are best enjoyed in their natural state and berries are one of them! I can't wait to give myself a sweet treat tonight - hope A doesn't eat them all before he gets them home!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Getting Excited About Raw Again

Working my last weekend at the market and trying to be very diligent, but it's challenging. A is picking me up here after work, we're buying some sack suppers and heading out to a concert at the zoo. Meeting many friends, including some who planned a "masala" wedding and now have a lovely child, with whom A is smitten. Should be fun.

In the meantime, I've eaten both a bagel and macaroni and cheese today, but am dreaming about raw food. I want a Vita Mix blender so bad that I'm considering just purchasing one on my credit card. Oh, bad American! Slap to the wrist. Anyways, I got ahold of this book from a friend of mine and can't wait to make some of the recipes in it. The pictures make the food look mouth-watering-ly delicious!

I mentioned the possibility of a raw entree at our wedding, but A thinks not so much. I reminded him of his earlier assertion that it's my wedding and I should have it the way I want it. I am tempted to ask for some really off the wall things just to see how far I can push it. At any rate, having a raw entree doesn't seem like such a wild idea to me. If everyone selected this option, we could have trouble keeping up, but I think most people would not be into it. But I know that I and my lady-in-waiting* certainly would.

*I haven't chosen or requested anyone to be in my bridal party yet as I'm waiting for a count from A, but assuming I have any bridal party, I assume she is waiting to be asked, hence, lady-in-waiting. And it's very regal and even though I don't really want to be a princess and certainly don't want to be a princessa and just is fun to say.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Week From the CSA

I went through the fridge last night and cleaned house. We still haven't touched the cabbage, but that'll keep a little longer. I made a chili with some of the dried beans, but though soaked, they hadn't cooked last night - I'm hoping the day in the slow cooker will do the trick, because I'm looking forward to a bowl of warm chili this afternoon. I threw in a bunch of peppers that I got free at the market, some of the onion from last weeks bag, some corn off the cob and a tiny bit of broccoli I found in a bag hiding in the fridge. It might seem weird to put broccoli in chili, but the best chili I ever made was thrown together with bits I had in the freezer once when I was poor and hungry and included a whole bag of frozen broccoli. Spiced it all up with a little chili powder, some cayenne and a lot of chipotle powder, because I just can't get enough of it.

We had taco salads for dinner last night using Fantastic Brand black beans - they were delicious and a great addition to the salad despite being pureed. If no chili tonight, then bean dip! Used up most of the remaining lettuce and decided to cut and clean the lettuce immediately as it arrives for easier usage. It's hard to want to make a salad in the evenings after work when I know it involved cleaning cutting so many veggies.

So far, what we have left from previous weeks includes:
  • rhubarb - going to make another pie, just need to get some berries
  • lettuce - just a bit, probably eat today as side salad
  • pea pods - these got lost in the fridge - we'll probably eat them raw because they are sweet and delicious
  • onion and dried beans - these will last a while
  • cabbage - need to make saag one of these nights - that'll make it go quick. If that doesn't happen, then I'm making sauerkraut
  • zuchini - raw pasta makings! Or raw zuchini hummus. Or dog food. :)
  • carrots - general use and A keeps eating them raw which is great!

This week's bag includes:

  • lettuce
  • pea pods
  • fava beans - never eaten this!
  • cabbage
  • blueberries - I've been eating blueberries as a nice light breakfast and it seems to be quite nice.
  • summer squash
  • a fresh cut herb
  • sedum - never heard of this! It appears to be a garden plant and NOT necessarily edible. So far the other two plants are still on my kitchen window ledge, but A says he's got potting soil somewhere and I know we have pots, so I'm planning on digging in the dirt a little later today!

We'll see what we end up doing with this bounty!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Instant Karma

I may be a little bit evil, but it was my delight this morning to see the cops pull over this yahoo who speedily and dangerously crossed 4 lanes of traffic. It's always frustrating when people are driving badly and there is no cop. I feel more satisfied today that there is justice in the world.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Reading List : Growing Again

I just went crazy with my library's online hold program. Mostly books on CD, but a few paper books as well:
  • Botany of Desire (from my reading list/permission slip)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (from my reading list/permission slip)
  • Prince Caspian (because I enjoyed listening to Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and forgot to continue!)
  • Blink (never finished reading it before)
  • The Tipping Point (because I enjoyed Blink so much)
  • The Limbreth Gate and The Windsingers (because I discovered that one of my favorite authors writes under not one, but two pseudonyms!)
I don't think I'll even be increasing my reading time, but with the schedule change, I'll still be able to listen in the car, read on breaks at work and now, not feel guilty about it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wedding Registry

It's interesting trying to think of things to go on a wedding registry when A and I both already had a pretty well set up household before we moved in together and I'm trying to clear even more clutter now that we're keeping house together for good. Some friends told me not to forget sheets and towels - they registered for Ralph Lauren sheets when they married 11 years ago and are still using them and have about 40 towels that allow them to have some in the wash and never run out.

It would be easy for me to put a lot of decorative serving ware on a registry, but I think of that stuff as a bit of fluff - what if I miss something that would be quite good on the registry?

And do we register for things like silver silverware and china? I don't know if A and I are really china and silver people, but maybe if we had such, we would be...?

And some of the items that make my wish list are items for which it would be difficult to register without having a separate "wish list" on the registry list site - for example, items not available through a big box or chain store and a particular sporting good.

On another hand, I remember when A and I have used registries to buy gifts for people's weddings and struggled to find gifts that reflected our shared experience of that couple...how do we put items on the list that our friends and family will also want to give us?

And there is something to adjust to in the idea of making a list of gifts that we want...I mean, it feels a little strange, a little selfish and more than a little greedy. I'm glad I put our wedding website through the I Do Foundation so that we (and our friends and family) can at least know that if people do choose to buy items from our registry that part of the purchase price will be donated to charity.

If this is supposed to be the fun part, I wonder how well I'll enjoy the rest of the wedding planning process...

Friday, July 3, 2009


BBQ'd tonight with friends we met on the wedding cruise this past December. Though these folks live just 15 minutes away, we haven't seen them since then and have only spoken to exchange pictures immediately after the trip and to coordinate dinner plans for tonight. I don't know why we let such time go by as they are delightful. Our mutual friend, the bride from the cruise wedding, came up for a visit, so we all got together for a barbecue dinner and long visit.

Our meal was delicious: Dr. Praeger's California veggie burgers - brushed with EVOO before grilling, eaten with condiments between lettuce leaves - delicious! Watermelon, cob corn, grilled asparagus and strawberry shortcake and white wine for dessert. Two important lessons: 1. EVOO brushed on garden burgers before grilling helps them stay moist and 2. no white wine for me - I woke up with a hangover despite only drinking about 3 ounces.

I had a good time catching up with everyone and even found out about a local adoption agency that some friends of our hosts adopted a baby through. Even though I felt fatigued by the late evening and woke up not feeling well, it was a great night and gives me the idea of something to look forward to - only 2 more weeks until I have a reasonable work schedule again. It may satisfy some need to overachieve to be able to respond positively when asked "do you work..." but I will be even more satisfied to share my evenings and weekends in the companionship of my partner and good friends.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Working 9 to 5

I can't WAIT to work 9-5 M-F! And it's finally going to be my happy state!

For most of the last year, I've worked 6-7 days of the week at one or another of my jobs. At present, I'm on Day 9 since my last day off in a string of 21-24 days depending on if I need to go into the office next Wednesday. And I'm exhausted with it.

It's sad when your dream of the weekend is to clean house and do yard work, but that's even a part of my fantasy weekend, enhanced every time I walk into my kitchen and smell the pot soaking in the sink, every time I try to find something to eat or drink in my overfull and disorganized refrigerator, every time I walk around a pile or mess and every time A tells me how much time he spent working on the yard and how my help would be most welcome.

I also dream of waking up late, of heading to the beach to run with the dog just because we don't have anything better to do, of meeting friends for breakfast, of going dancing and staying out late without dreading having to wake up early the next day and of having more energy to live.

I don't have more energy yet. I'm not up for increasing my social calendar yet and in fact, want to keep my weekends to A and myself for a little while just to build up some reserves and express my joy and appreciate for him, since I couldn't and wouldn't have weekends off without his help. I know life will be better for both of us with this change and I'm just trying to get through the next two weeks without falling completely apart.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This Week From the CSA

I haven't had a chance to even look at this weeks bag. A brought it home and put it away and our fridge is getting very full with all this produce. It doesn't help that I did a pretty good sized shop or that the top shelf and door of our fridge are relatively unusable because of a delicate seal. So, in my effort to plan and not waste as much as possible, here's my ideas of how to use this week's produce:
  • lettuce - to be made into salad hopefully before it browns! Taco salad? Tomorrow!
  • cabbage - mmm...Indian cobi saag - should make this in the morning or evening and eat as leftovers.
  • broccoli - more?! I love broccoli, but I can't keep up!
  • a sample of the first of the summer squash - where is this?
  • edible pea pods - eat raw?
  • rhubarb - another pie, probably
  • orange carrots - guess I shouldn't have bought that 5 lb bag!
  • an herb plant (mint) - still needs to be repotted