in lieu of

Can’t write; busy celebrating.

May 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Greens. You envy? [mealplan monday]

OhmyGod Harmony Valley, you fill my life with awesome. 

At the moment, I am noshing down a giant salad filled with overwintered spinach (sweet and like no other spinach you’ll eat), mixed salad greens, arugula and romaine (and only the romaine doesn’t hail from the farm).   To that, add radishes from the farmers market and a healthy handful (or three) of leftover crudite (peppers, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower), a little vinaigrette, and a sprinkling of candied walnuts and craisins — can I please have a giant salad every day for lunch?  The only thing it’s really missing is gorganzola.  That would make it PERFECT.

Anyway… that’s not what I am here to talk about — only a brief plug to say, farmer’s market and CSAs are brimming with greens and if you aren’t already doing so, get yourself out and get yourself some.    You’ll ask how you ever ate iceberg lettuce.

That being said, greens are a big part of this week’s meal plan:

Tonight: chicken stir-fry.  It seems boring, but it’s a staple of our spring and summer cooking — and with the variety of veggies available to us, it’s really something different every time we make it.  Plus, both girls love it.

Tuesday: grilled steak, ramp and morel sautee, asparagus, roasted parsnips, side salad.  ‘Nuff said.

Wednesday: spring quiche (spinach, bacon and cheddar), mixed green salad and burdock/sunchoke chips (I haven’t had a chance to figure out what to do with our burdock and sunchokes, and making them into chips seems like a fun little experiment).

Thursday: arugula & pesto flatbread pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato, grilled chicken; side salads.  Anyone have a good recipe for flatbread? 

This weekend we’re sticking close to the home front, for once — which will be nice, as we’ll be able to catch up on some projects and do a bunch of grilling.  I’m thinking: gourmet burgers (maybe a stab at a Nordeast Jucy Lucy?) one night, grilled cornish game hens another night, and BBQ, perhaps, on Monday?  Who doesn’t love a good BBQ!

May 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm 1 comment

When they ask how far love goes…

First Birthday:

From Paige

Second Birthday:

From Paige

Third Birthday:

3rd birthday

Fourth Birthday:

From My Summer 2007

Fifth Birthday:


…When my job’s done, you’ll be the one who knows.

    (Dar Williams)

Happy 6th birthday, eldest daughter, my beautiful ray of sunshine, young lady who teaches me daily about the world and myself and  life and love and just how big and full and perfect it all can be.   Amidst the darkest hours of my adult life, you gave me all the reasons to be a big, strong girl.  My life is forever changed for the better because you are here.  Thanks for letting me be your mom, and thanks for teaching me all you do.  I am bursting at the seams with pride; I love you more than anything I write could ever say.

May 15, 2009 at 10:01 am 1 comment

In which she realizes why she hates politics [The Restless Native]

So I just read Surly’s newsletter, which was chock-full of delightful news and bits (like Art-a-Whirl this weekend! Yay!)

But some not-so-delightful news:  Apparently the state legislature is looking to make up for the state budget deficit by raising the taxes on MN breweries.

Grr.  As if I don’t already pay enough for my beer.  Do you know (already) pay more tax on a glass of beer in Minneapolis than you would in Manhattan?  No wonder Dave brews his own.

But seriously: I realize budget deficits are bad, the collective populus has to find a way for all these oh-so-meaningful and not-at-all wasteful public service programs to continue (whoops, you may have gotten a little peek at my politics there), but really, Minnesota: let’s make it HARDER on local businesses to survive.  Yes, that’s certainly the best way to make it out of the economic debacle.

So,  I tend to be pretty apathetic about politics (I have opinions, I vote — but I don’t align with a party and I’m not active about issues or whatever; it’s just not for me) — but two things I will advocate for vehemently: local businesses and beer.

So — why not?  I’ll get in touch with whoever represents me.

State representative: check.  Easy as pie.   She even has an e-mail list.  Yay.

State senator: D-bag alert.  First of all, cpmpared to our state rep, his internet presence is absolutely pitiful.  AND — I can’t get the email form he has on his web site  to work.  And  even if I could — come on: you really think I’m going to trust some information that I send off into a web page form is going to grace your desk?  Honestly.  And, lo and behold, no one wants to answer the phones in your office, either.   Nice.  Glad to see my tax dollars are hard at work paying for you to represent my interests.  Also — something seems fishy here (and yes, I probably do have more than my fair share of skepticism about politicians) but his home address on Google Maps looks suspiciously like a cheap rental maintained specifically to stay “in district”.  Hrm.


Anyway — you probably don’t care about ANY of that unless you live in Northeast.  BUT — what you should care about is higher taxes on beer.  I’d encourage you to send a strongly-worded letter to your state representatives as well.  Lord knows I did

May 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

insert motivation here. [Writer’s Block Wednesday]

It is Wednesday and I should write something.  Except that I am sleepy and don’t want to write.  I also don’t want to work out, or clean my house, or really do much of anything save lay on the couch and watch old episodes of Six Feet Under.

 How to motivate myself…?  Why am I in this cycle in which I resist doing anything (especially prominent when there is a birthday party coming up Sunday and a to-do list a mile long)?  How can I break out?

I know.  I could go hop on the treadmill (and I might, later) and probably wake myself up a bit.   I could just force myself to put away the clean laundry (which frankly, is probably dirty again since it’s been sitting on the floor since Sunday — I wasn’t going to put it away on Mother’s  Day!), and pick up the house, and order the stain for the new front door — ooh, but I can do that online so I will probably do that.

I think both Dave and I had a knee-jerk reaction to looking at a summer calendar that is essentially fully booked already.  When I am this busy, all I want to do is pull inside myself and hibernate.

Thankfully, yoga starts this coming Tuesday.  I need something to get me out of the house and out of this rut.  I need an outlet for relaxation (and not just slovenliness, which is my current coping mechanism for stress).

Also: I am taking next Wednesday off to spend it with Alice, who will officially be one year old that day.  How did that happen?  How has she been here a year already?  Holy crap. 

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to some quality time with my youngest daughter — and honestly, for a day in which I do not have to stress out about office-appropriate hair or an hour-long commute (which, is THAT getting old already).

In other news, there was a hint of sunshine over lunchtime today but it now looks like Perpetual Napland out again.  Damnit.  Will I never get a bike ride in again?

Blah.  This has been your random writer participating in an exercise of meaninglessness.  Hope you’re not in a giant funk like mine.

May 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm 1 comment

Procrastination: it’s just a label [Tuesdays from the Craft Hovel]

I’m a born procrastinator.  When my dance card gets full, what do I do?  Find something with which to distract myself.  I don’t know why I do this, really, only that I do and that the creative pressure it adds is either a strange rush or actually enhances the creative process. 

Whatever.  All that to say I have sort of ignored the baby gifts and porch and kitchen curtains to figure out how to make a fabric label for crafts.  (Thanks, Diana for providing me with this distraction).


and: voila.  A new project for me to try out.  Hey — it’s useful.  I can attach my new labels to all those nifty gifts I am making!

May 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

tastes like spring [meal plan monday]

For the record, we’ve switched to planning the week’s meals on Thursday (as that’s CSA day!), but whatever.  Monday is still a good day of the week to think about food (OK, really — what day isn’t?)

This week tastes like spring.  Seriously, we’ve had so much asparagus over the last week, I smell it when I sweat.  It’s not a bad thing.  I also have approximately 5 gallons of rhubarb to eat — so you know, anyone interested in rhubarb-baked anything, just holler.   The menu this week includes:

  • Quiche with spinach, ramps, and leftover crab.  OMG.
  • Cleaning out the fridge from mother’s day dinner — a seafood fest with amazing sauces and salads and yum, french fingerling potatoes
  • Pie dough (no we’re not just going to eat pie dough — we make big batches and then freeze it for pies, quiche, etc.  Silly.)
  • Quinoa salad with black radish and carrot (we try to experiment with one new thing per week, especially when we get awesome recipes from Harmony  Valley…
  • I think we’re also going to try and make sunchoke and burdock chips this week. Mmm.  And why not?  The potato chip is so, done.  Plus we have this bitching mandolin with which to cut up stuff.
  • We don’t have the plan for the end of the week (yet), but I have a feeling a stir-fry is on the docket.  We do so much more stir-fry in the summer…
  • I’m also thinking about soba noodles someday this week… though not necessarily on the menu, I’m totally craving them.

May 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm 3 comments

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