Hey – I actually took three whole days off last weekend! I read my book (yes, that paper thing you hold in your hand), visited my in-laws, did some gardening and drank up the sun. The tomatoes and basil are in the ground and the window boxes are up and ready. My beans are continuing to grow, as beans will do if you treat them properly. Now they have new neighbors, that’s all.
I also harvested a few heads of the lettuce and spinach and have put together a multitude of salads with them. Can’t wait for them tomaters!
The hubby took my picture next to my long postage stamp of a vegetable garden. I’ll send it off to my family as soon as they get their new computer.
Well, okay. I just found a WordPress blogging challenge I can get my teeth into (literally as well as figuratively). Bouncing Tigger’s Vegetarian Recipe Challenge may just fit the bill. So far I’ve been doing pretty well, with no objections from the hubby and I’m looking forward to trying new recipes.
So, first: here’s a recipe I put together for soup. Proportions are entirely optional, as are the number and type of veggies. The more veggies the merrier, including members of the broccoli family which often don’t play nice with the neighbors. I’ve done this soup with broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Cabbage would be fine, although I don’t think I’ve ever put cabbage in up until now. I’ll have to try it next time. Come to think of it, I don’t think bitter greens (kale, collards, etc.) would work in this soup.
I also add a handful of lentils and a can of beans of whatever kind. There’s your protein. I add some grains, too, like barley and quinoa. And, just to top it off, I also drop in a small amount of pasta towards the end.
I typically use soup stock for this soup. Sometimes it’s home-made, sometimes it’s from a can. How much? Enough to cover the veggies and still leave room for broth – and the inevitable expansion of the grains.
Here are the veggies I typically use:
Onions, garlic, carrots, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas. I sometimes add tomato and mushrooms, although just small amounts of each. I start by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil, then add the other veggies until they’re glistening. Then I add the broth, stir it up, then stir in a handful of lentils, barley and/or quinoa and a can of beans. I’m partial to chick peas, but you can add whatever you want.
I usually use frozen corn and peas, so I want until the soup is almost done to add that plus the pasta. If I have any parsley, I’ll chop that up and add it, too.
Now, here’s your part – do you have any vegetarian recipes you’d like me to try? I like to take pictures and videos of what I’m doing, so I’d probably do that and post it here. Check out my new recipe collections page to let me know!
It’s been a busy two days, relatively speaking. Yesterday the hubby and I shopped for vegetables and fruit at one of the area’s best places for produce: Russo’s. You can get any variety of veggie or fruit from around the world (Asia, India, the Caribbean, etc.). I’ve never seen some of the stuff they carry, but they do a great business.
I practically had to be carried back to the car the last time I went there. I was still sick and went through a half a box of Kleenex before I got back home. From there I went straight to bed. This time I was well enough to maneuver a shopping cart through jam-packed aisles and then get back out to the car in one piece. I even bought some flowers!
After the shopping trip we braved the darkening weather and decided to walk along the Charles River near Watertown. It was relatively warm yesterday, but started to get colder and cloudier as we walked. Still, it was really nice to get out of the damn house for a change and feel like a normal human being (also for a change).
We even went out to dinner after our walk. Waltham, MA has some fabulous Indian restaurants, one of our favorites being New Mother India. We warmed up over hot lamb curry and a cauliflower-yellow lentil dish. That was after we polished off a few pakoras and some garlic naan. Aahh, yes.
Then today I finished updating my consulting website and finished up a bunch of other work stuff. Then I did another shop (yikes!) at our local supermarket. Among other things, I got a nice corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day (not that I’m Irish or anything). Then I came home and crashed. The hubby is making dinner. I seem to be ready for a shower and bedtime.
It’s been a long and very hot week. I’ve been swinging from project to project and am ready to drop. I did stop the rope race long enough to host a cookout earlier this week, though. It was wonderful. We sat outside, taking advantage of the cooling breezes and dined on cumin and garlic marinated chicken breasts (sizzing on the grill outside), braised green beans, chick pea salad and a huge plate of veggies with various dips.
My guests brought drinks and dessert. Two of those guests are in the food business and brought things like home-made Belgian waffles (from a woman who is from Belgium and knows all about them), fruit-laden snack cakes and a blueberry-mascarpone roulade with a fruit compote topping. I also chopped up a fruit salad to top the waffles.
I’m going back into hibernation now. It’s supposed to get to 100 degrees or higher (don’t know the Celsius equivalent is, sorry!) and it’s hard for me to breathe out there. Very, very humid as well.
Stay cool, to those who are experiencing a very daunting summer in these parts.
August 1. My parents’ anniversary and the height of summer (sorry, buddies in Oz!). My basil is lush and full and my tomatoes are ripening on the vine. I spent several hot hours weeding and trimming, then watering. If the gods are with me, I’ll sleep well tonight.
A good friend of mine invited me to a garden tour in her home city of Somerville, Massachusetts. Somerville is tiny and very densely populated. I'm amazed there are any gardens there at all. But, boy, was I wrong! I took some pictures and am posting them here as a slideshow. Enjoy!
It's almost spring today, something that doesn't happen in these parts until at a month from now. Agreed, the rotten winter weather award went to DC and parts south this year, but it was cold and miserable up here, too.
Today was warm and sunny. I'm sure we'll be back to early March before long (windy, snow squalls, then finally giving it in to April). For now, though, I took a look around my pre-plant garden and made plans for the purchase of compost and seeds.
The hubby and I went to Mahoney's Nursery today and picked up the requisite items for early spring: Coast of Maine lobster compost/fertilizer and spring seeds: arugula, lettuce, spinach and – for a little later – green bush beans. Just the thought makes my mouth water!
Yesterday was nice too, but not as nice as today. We decided to roam further afield for our weekly veggies and ended up at Russo's, which is kind of like a farm stand on steroids. Got lots of interesting things, which I decided to turn into lentil soup. So, in the pot went onions, garlic, carrots, lentils, brown rice and ham. Lovely!
We picked up a home-made rye bread at Russo's which I'm going to include with the meal. The carrots and the spinach were sitting around the fridge for a while, so it's just as well I'm using them up. The bread will be wonderful, though!
Okay, the last two days have been lovely, from the perspective of food and food appreciation. First, the hubby and I went to see Julie and Julia, the film about Julia Child and Julie Powell, who cooks every recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking in one year. Meryl Streep was an absolutely wonderful Julia Child. It was worth it just to see her. And, surprise of all surprises, my husband actually liked the film. I almost dropped right there. If you haven't seen this film yet, what are you waiting for? Go, go, go, go, go!!
Today was, as it has been of late, hot and humid. I holed up in my air conditioned study for a few hours (where I am now), but eventually started to go stir crazy. Luckily, the hubby had some plans to go out, so I tagged along. He even agreed to go food shopping at both Russo's – Italian, with fabulous produce – and Masse, which is an Armenian grocer. We loaded up with minimal complaints from the other half, probably because both places were air conditioned. Russo has great prices, so we loaded up on lovely, inexpensive vegetables and fruit, also some very nice breads.
From there we went to Masse, which is an Armenian grocer. We were too tired and hot to cook, so we got felafel, baba ghanoush, pickled vegetables, feta cheese and a chick pea/spinach salad. We brought them home to serve for dinner. Since it hadn't rained, I decided to water the garden before I forgot. I walked to the side of the house, watering can in hand – and saw…
Tons of them! Red! Rich red! Ready to pick and eat right there. I watered, I picked, I danced into the house and showed them off to the hubby. He went, "Wow! Take a picture! Are there any more?" I led him outside (now, this is my husband, mind you) and he gaped in awe at my over-burdened tomato vines.
We brought the loot into the house, washed it off, and started the feast:
At the top left is tsatsiki (yogurt, cucumber, garlic dip which I made a day or two ago. To the right is half of one of the tomatoes, then to the right of that is the chick pea/spinach salad. At the bottom left is red-tinged picked turnip (great with falafel!), and to the right of that is hummos with roasted red pepper. We dipped our bread, ate our veggies and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
And, just for show, I took some pictures of the tomatoes, next to some of the other produce we got at Russo's. Awesome!