Monthly Archives: June 2008

In My Nearly 30 Years…

I’ve successfully made crepes a mere three times, and not for lack of trying mind you. The first time was when I was 9 and my mom and I made smoked salmon crepes. The success was due primarily to my mom and her surprisingly good crepe-making skills with a non-non-stick skillet. The second time was when I was 22 and sort of seeing a French woman. Again, I didn’t have much to do with the success. I had tried my hand at making crepes solo a couple of times, but with terrible results. So, I was mightily surprised when my crepe-making experiment last night worked! Check out these pretty little crepes:


Did we have strawberry-whipped cream crepes at 10:30 last night? Hell, yeah!


As I told Porkchop, this newly developed skill opens up exciting realms of cooking possibilities. I am already making plans for asparagus-mushroom crepes with a hollandaise sauce for next spring!

I am quite pleased with myself.

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This morning Porkchop dropped me off at the Tower Grove farmers market for free yoga. The instructor was a guy who teaches at South Town Yoga, and there was a very decent number of people attending. The session was a pretty straightforward Ashtanga-type class made all the better by the cool breeze and leaves rustling around. However, the next time I go, I’ll be sure to take a sheet to put under my mat because it became quite dirty.

After yoga, I picked up a few things at the market:


Lovely little tomatoes from Ivan the Fig Man. The tomatoes were grown in his solar greenhouse, which sounds like an awesome setup. Next week, I will take more cash to buy his salsa and roasted red pepper sauce – made with his mom’s recipes and totally fantastic (also, his mom was at the market…she seems great and must be to make such delicious things). I think the cherries were from Eilerman Brothers. The radishes were sort of an impulse purchase because I really want to buy at least one thing each visit from City Seeds. Click the link because it’s a great program.

While walking to Grand from the market (which is a really great walk), I ate a tomato and a couple of cherries. I also stopped at our old apartment because the residents were having a yard sale! I wasn’t looking to buy anything, I just wanted to see who was living there. Unfortunately, a friend of the resident was keeping shop (I know because I can be nosy and ask things like, soooo, do you live here? Because I lived here last year.), so I didn’t get to inspect the resident.

I was about to stop at the new ice cream shop at Grand and Arsenal, but I saw my bus letting people out at the stop north of Arsenal. So, I ran to the stop and hopped aboard because the weekend buses don’t run as often and you have to catch them when you can.

Anyway, the new ice cream shop is Emack & Bolio’s, which is apparently a franchise out of Boston. I look forward to trying it because I *heart* ice cream! So much! But back to the name of this shop. My commuter buddy has told me many times that the name of the shop is quite unique, and yesterday evening he said it was Enob and Bobo’s, to which I yelled out ENOB AND BOBO’S!!?? Then he said, well, it isn’t Enob and Bobo’s, but it’s something very close. So, I had to laugh today when I saw the shop sign because Emack and Bolio’s will permanently be Enob and Bobo’s in my mind.

Once I was back home, I made lunch:


Crepes filled with sauteed chard (from my shared garden), a sundried tomato-basil sauce (made with our own basil) and tomatoes from the market. The crepes were accompanied by sliced radishes topped with a bit of melted butter and salt. For dessert, I had a small bowl of cherries.

Nothing makes me as happy as good food. Seriously.

For a snack this afternoon, I had a crepe smeared with honey (from local hives).

For dinner, I’m thinking about pasta with potatoes and more sundried tomato-basil sauce, but I’m also thinking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I hope you are also eating well!

Ready for the New Season

Here’s hoping that the summer season marks a new trend in events. For the past month, it seems I’ve only written about rough times. Hopefully, this will be the last post for a while that starts with, wow, this past week sucked.

Anyway, it did suck. I stayed home from work on Tuesday (yay!) to take Porkchop to an urgent care clinic (so not yay!) first thing in the morning. I knew getting to the clinic was going to be rough when Porkchop threw up twice before we even got out of the house. It became apparent that Porkchop couldn’t sit up or stand without vomiting. After throwing up a few more times before finally seeing a doctor, the diagnosis was a stomach virus or an inner ear infection, with the doctor suggesting it was probably a stomach virus. Porkchop filled up on a couple of bags of IV fluid while at the clinic, so we didn’t leave until after 1:00, with a couple of prescriptions.

With anti-nausea medicine, Porkchop was no longer throwing up, but she was still feeling very very rough. Wednesday wasn’t any better. Since the primary problem seemed to be dizziness – not nausea – I took Porkchop back to the urgent care clinic Thursday night (side note: everyone should be set up with a primary care physician because it’s impossible to walk-in as a new patient!).

We would have gone earlier in the day, but I had all of the house inspections scheduled for Thursday morning. The garage needs to be treated for termites because of evidence of old damage, and there are some other fixes to be done, but everything is really okay.

So…back to the clinic visit. The nurse who took Porkchop back to the exam area was so unbelievably rude and unprofessional, I can’t even write about it. Even now, I want to give her a good kick to the head, and I’m usually not a violent person. Porkchop saw a different doctor who ran her through all sorts of balance tests. So, this time, the diagnosis was vestibular neuritis, a swelling of a nerve in the ear, which leads to dizziness and nausea.

There’s not much that can be done, so Porkchop just has to wait it out.

On Saturday, she actually went to Six Flags to work! The other excitement on Saturday was that we met with our realtor to draw up the list of things we want fixed on the house, and we ran out of gas while driving down Kingshighway!

I was absolutely mortified by running out of gas – I’ve never done this before! I knew we needed to get gas, and we were going to soon, but apparently not soon enough. Having not driven Porkchop’s car very much, I’m not attuned to how much you can drive it when its “check gages” light comes on.

Porkchop went to work again today (she drove herself, which made me very worried, but she arrived safely), and I stayed home and did luxurious things like stay in my pajamas until 11:30 and then yoga. And pack a few boxes and make cookies.

It seems Porkchop’s vertigo will subside soon. Maybe I will purchase a used car in the next couple of weeks, and perhaps we will move at the end of July!

Here’s to a Good Summer!

When do we Rest?

This past week has been intense.

There was a work conference, which required a couple of early mornings. There was Porkchop and me putting in an offer on a house. There was a 4-day trip to my parents. There was a counter-offer received and another sent out. There was my mom’s birthday and Father’s Day to celebrate.

There was a cavity filled this morning. And then there was a call from our realtor stating that our counter-offer had been accepted, and me trying to sound excited through my numb mouth and grogginess. After the call, there was a flurry of inspection-scheduling.

Also, there is Porkchop being sick and vomiting many times today. There is my worry and concern and hoping she is better tomorrow.

Whew.

Local Meals

After having lunch and dinner today, I realized that I’d had meals using only local items. Yay!

This morning, I took Porkchop halfway to Six Flags and then stopped at the garden for weeding, thinning, and carrot seed planting. I thinned a ton of beets and kept the greens. When I arrived home, I made this lunch:


Scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms and green onion cheddar cheese, served atop bread from Companion Bakery, accompanied by sauteed beet greens.

Dinner was similar:


A bison burger with regular cheddar cheese and more greens.

I didn’t know if I would be too keen on the greens, but I like them. Hopefully, I’m not sauteing the goodness out of them.

Also, bison…it exceeded my expectations.

So, when I was at the garden this morning, I noticed that the garlic was putting out twisty little shoots. I had a feeling that I recognized these from the Madison’s farmers market, but I couldn’t remember the details. Once I was at home, I learned that the twisty things are “garlic scapes” and should be picked off so that the garlic clove grows larger. I also found some recipes for the scapes, which are supposed to be quite tasty.

It’s true! Scapes are yummy! I went back to the garden to harvest them this evening:


I read that scapes are not supposed to have the “bite” that garlic does, but oh ho, some of the scapes here do. Many of the larger ones are downright spicy! (Yes, I taste-tested a few.) I look forward to trying these in a couple of recipes.

Meanwhile, here is Porkchop’s idea of eating local:

Slider from the White Castle at Grand and Gravois.

First (and Second) Fruit

It’s a great feeling to be munching on lettuce straight out of the planter, checking out your plants, and catching a glimpse of your first fruit. Behold:


There is also a second fruit here, barely visible but peeking out from the flower on the right. This makes me happy. Sorry for the bad shot here, but it was the evening and this plant is freaking tall.

Also, who knew that oregano flowers would be so pretty?


I love their little delicateness.

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This week has been a mixed bag. Work has gone swimmingly with just a little pre-conference craziness…but the house stuff…Argh!

This week, I learned that because of the foreclosure mess, the special loan programs and down payment assistance funds intended for low-to-moderate income people have been restructured and sucked dry.

So, when people say that this is a “buyer’s market,” keep in mind that it’s only so for people who are already financially advanced.

But, despite these setbacks and the $40 I dropped at Acorn for credit reports that did NOTHING for me, we hope to make an offer next week on a house. Cross your fingers. Fortunately, the $5000 from my insurance company (new tires = $200 more dollars) will provide a bit more of a cushion in terms of closing costs and all that jazz. Not that I’m going to blow the insurance money on a house down payment, it will just be good to have in the bank.

After the house stuff settles, we’ll think about the car situation.

I hope we get a house. I can’t wait to move! So much that I already have a nice stash of moving boxes.

With each move, I get more and more brutal in terms of things I discard. This time, absolutely no mercy.

Except for these:


How can I part with my Swatches from grade school? Since these are really the only reminders of my childhood that I keep with me, maybe I’ll hold on to them.

Maybe I’ll even buy new batteries and wear them! Except not both simultaneously. Apparently my arm is no longer small enough to pull that off (see the picture for a visual of my arm fat being squeezed).

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Another change of subject.

I’ve been craving salty foods like nobody’s business today. My mind keeps revisiting this food memory: I’m 8 years old and having dinner across the street at a friend’s house. Her dad grilled steak, corn, and the best potatoes I’ve ever had in my entire LIFE.

Seriously. These little red new potatoes had been grilled to perfection and were kissed with the perfect amount of salted butter.

I really want some of those potatoes again.

Or popcorn with butter and salt. Or guacamole. But I would prefer those potatoes.

In other food news, a former funding partner of our center sent us a 5-pound bar of dark and milk Belgian chocolate to congratulate us on the successful launch of a Big Experiment in Oklahoma. It’s a bit excessive, but mainly it’s hard to break off a piece because the chocolate is at least 2 inches thick.

Have a great Friday!

If it’s Quiche, it must be the Weekend

Friday afternoon, I suffered a spell of life-loathing. I don’t know what other people do when this happens, but I like to exert control over my environment by cleaning and straightening. So that’s what I did Friday night.

On Saturday, I scheduled a full day to keep myself occupied. After taking Porkchop half way to Six Flags (she caught a partial ride with a co-worker), I did things like the following:

  • Buy more basil plants, potting soil, radish seeds, and a pot.
  • Go to the Tower Grove farmers market for spinach, beef jerky, and a cherry-chocolate scone.
  • Go to a total of three grocery stores. One for regular things like tea and oranges, one for Dutch processed cocoa, and one for garlic (which I forgot at the first store and didn’t like the looks of the stock at the second). I can’t wait until our garlic plants are ready for harvesting because grocery store garlic is always so sketchy.
  • Inquire about a good deal on a car posted on Craigslist and later realize it’s a scam. It’s unfortunate that all of the good car deals are scams.
  • Drop off a pile of things to Goodwill.
  • Drop off recycling.

After doing the above, I made another quiche.


Spinach and sun dried tomatoes sauteed in garlic with the green onion cheddar cheese from last week. This time, I used 5 eggs…and we still have so many left!


It’s pretty good. I would prefer Parmesan cheese, but I was more interested in using my stock of cheese.

After suffering through the heat of cooking the quiche, I of course decided to bake more. My plan was to bake, pot plants, and then pick up Porkchop. However, I did not realize that the baking would take nearly 3 hours!

But we have a ton of cookies as a result.


These are homemade Oreos using this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is terrific (um, yes the filling is nothing but pure badness – powdered sugar, butter, and (horrors!) vegetable shortening – but sooooo tasty), but the recipe author and I evidently have very different ideas of what a “heaping teaspoon” means. While the recipe is intended to make 25-30 sandwich cookies, I ended up with more than 60! This is nice because the cookies aren’t as overwhelming, but it meant I sent baking sheet after baking sheet into the oven in what had to be a 100+ degree kitchen (except for a ceiling fan, I have no air conditioning source in the kitchen)! And then I stuffed them all with the filling and ended up going back and restuffing them because there was so much filling left!

But it was worth it.


We do, however, need vanilla ice cream to enjoy the cookies even more.

This afternoon I potted plants, and now I’m waiting for the sun to go down a bit more before vaccuuming the back porch of its loose dirt.

Tomorrow will begin another tiring week of car fixing, car inspection, insurance dealings, and going to Acorn and hopefully putting together a house offer. Oh, and work will be full of pre-conference craziness. I am exhausted already.