Ta-da!

There it is. The yummy salad I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

One of the things I forgot to mention is that the herbs in the salad and the dressing also came from my garden. I added fresh basil to the salad, and fresh oregano and pineapple mint to the dressing.

No time to do much more than a quick post. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me so I’d better get to it.


Something to admire

(Romaine lettuce still firmly planted in the garden)

Isn’t that one of the prettiest vegetables you’ve ever seen? It’s a head of romaine lettuce that I grew. Or planted so it would grow. Or something like that.

Because the weather has warmed up considerably, I picked it yesterday. I wanted to be sure to get it before it bolted. Does romaine bolt? I should have looked that up. At any rate, it’s getting too hot for the poor lettuces. I think our salad days for this season are almost over. In terms of lettuces, that is.

I used this head of romaine in a salad for dinner last night. Tastiest. Salad. Ever. I served it with some of the red romaine lettuce (not pictured), orange bell pepper, slivers of parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and a lemon-garlic dressing that I made. Very yummy and refreshing. I’ll post the picture tomorrow. I like to keep one on stand-by in case I don’t get around to photographing food every day.

On the good news front: M the Younger has landed a job in Colorado. Yay!!! With the date of the move quickly approaching, it was beginning to be more than a worry. How in the world were M the Younger and his fiancee going to be able to pay the rent? Utilities? Buy food? Fill up their gas tanks?

The job acquisition is a big load off of the minds of those of us involved, especially those of us who have agreed to cosign on their lease (that would be M the Elder and myself).

On the bad news front: The problem with the fish in our pond is now officially a fish kill. M the Elder found 18 dead fish this morning. We’ve decided the only thing we can do is wait it out.

The problem stems from too much dead vegetation decomposing in the pond. The decomposition process sucks up most of the oxygen in the water, oxygen the fish need to survive. We’re hoping the heat will speed up the process so that the water will clear and all the fish won’t die off. There are thousands of fish in that pond so hopefully once nature takes its course we’ll still be left with more than a few.

M the Elder and I had lunch today at the Erie Station Grill.  It was ok. The service was good, and our waitress was friendly. The food was just ok. In all fairness to them, I ordered a just-ok type of sandwich — a BLT. M had the veggie wrap which was also ok.  Both were served with french fries.  M ordered their homemade chips, but they were out of them.

We may or may not go back.  It was one of those places that neither impressed nor overly (or overtly) disappointed.  Very appropriate, I suppose, for someone who said they’d likely be a mediocre superhero.  😉


A row of lettuces

This is the row of mesclun mix. Pretty, isn’t it? (What you can’t see, but only get a glimpse of, is the row of weeds to the left of the lettuces. I need to get out there and do something about that.)

I keep waiting for it to bolt, but the nights have been cool enough to deter that from happening. All in all, it’s been an unusually cool summer. Very nice for lettuces.


Herbs

(Basil in the garden)

I didn’t have much luck with the basil seeds I planted. I put them in one of those little seed starter things, and some did come up. However, when I moved them to the garden, only two survived.

The good news is that the two survivors are looking pretty darn good.

I hope to someday have a raised herb bed near the house. In the meantime, I think I might stick with pots for the herbs from now on. I seem to have better luck that way. I can also keep them close to the house. The garden is a little bit of a walk from the kitchen.

The tomatoes and lettuces are still doing well. I think we’ve had salad every single day for the past month. I’m still not tired of it. Fresh lettuces are so delicious. I particularly like the mesclun mix. The radishes, unfortunately, did not do so well. The soil was not as loose as it should have been for that type of root vegetable. It should be better next year now that I’m getting the hang of this gardening stuff.

The weekend is going to be busy, and my house will be full. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be good to see the Exquisite Emma once again. We haven’t seen her since May.


Szechuan Noodles

Last night I took this recipe, worked it to suit my tastes and what I had available, and cooked up a great noodle dish. I’m not sure it can still be called Szechuan Noodles, but it was close. I left out the meat (chicken and shrimp). I didn’t have the hot bean sauce so I substituted a hot chili garlic sauce, and I didn’t use nearly as much oil as the recipe calls for. Next time I make it I’m going to marinate some tofu and use that in place of the meat.

There was a little chopping involved. I started with this:

(Bok choy)

Added these:

(Carrots and red bell peppers)

And plenty of this:

(Onion)

It all went into the wok, along with some broccoli:

(Stir frying)

M cooked the noodles for me while I was chopping and stir frying. I used brown rice bran noodles, something I had in the pantry.

The noodles went into the wok, were warmed up, and then I added the veggies and sauce. Here’s the finished product:

(Szechuan Noodles, Bogs style)

It was delicious! The hot chili garlic sauce added just the right amount of kick (spiciness) to the dish. I’d like to try it with hot bean sauce next time around.

I had my big check-up yesterday (my 50th birthday celebration physical). I’m happy to report that I’m doing fairly well. My blood pressure is borderline high. I have until November to keep up the healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss (I’ve lost about 20 lbs.) in hopes it will bring down my blood pressure enough that I won’t need medication. I dread the thought of starting on any kind of meds (since I’m on none now). I’d rather do the work (eat healthy, exercise, lose weight). Years of working in a pharmacy have shown me the slippery slope of being medicated. You take a pill for your blood pressure and then the next thing you know you’re taking one for the side effects brought on by the pill for your blood pressure, and then another for the side effects of that one, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

That said, if my blood pressure doesn’t come down, then of course I’ll take whatever medication I have to take.

Blood was drawn to check out my cholesterol, blood glucose, thyroid functions, and lord know what all else. I’ll be getting a mammogram next month, and will get the pap smear done when I go back in November.

The great news is that the doc thinks I might as well wait until next year for the big birthday present: The colonoscopy. That’s the one we all get when we turn 50. I can wait until next year for the stress test too.

Yay.

It made perfect sense to me. I’m not 50 yet.

We had some big storms roll through yesterday evening. Luckily for us, the worst of them went around our area.

(Storms rolling in)


Audrey II, Move 2008, and Orange in the Bogs

(A head of romaine lettuce growing in my garden.)

This photo of romaine lettuce was taken a week or so ago, and it reminds me of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. It appears to be saying “Feed me!” in this picture, but it’s looking more like romaine lettuce these days. I’ll try to remember to take my camera with me when I go out to work in the garden today so I can get a current shot.

Time for my Move 2008 update for Week 27. It was an excellent week. My best for the year in terms of walking mileage.

  • Mileage for week 27: 31.35
  • Total for 2008: 584.72 miles
  • Strength training: x 3 (using 10 lb. weights)
  • Yoga: x 5

I’ve also been working outside around the property with M. That counts as strength training as far as I’m concerned, especially the sawing I did yesterday. We have plenty of downed branches from the various ice, snow, and spring storms. The small stuff ends up in the chipper/shredder to become mulch. The big stuff is cut to use for firewood, and I was doing that cutting with a handsaw.

One thing the guys (husband and youngest son) have teased me about over the past few years is how wimpy I am when it comes to “real” work that requires strength. I spend all this time working out with weights, building and toning my muscles, yet I have little real strength from those workouts. Doing some of the heavy work outdoors builds, tones, and strengthens me and my muscles. I’m going to try to do that more often.

And now for a few orange flowers, as requested by TPGoddess.

These are tiger lilies:

They come in a variety of colors. We have orange and pink. You don’t want to let the cats near lilies of any kind. All parts are toxic to cats, so says the ASPCA.

These are day lilies (this particular one is known as the common day lily which can apparently be turned into wine if one so desires):

When Johnny Appleseed made his way through northeastern Ohio, he must have brought day lily bulbs with him. They line most of the back country roadsides, their blooms turned towards the sun.

Our meadow and lawn are filled with a variety of little orange flowers. Some are really tiny. The jewelweed, also orange, should be blooming soon.

The orange-red-yellow flowers in this picture of a praying mantis are jewelweed. They tend to look more orange with the naked eye than they do on close-up with a camera lens. Jewelweed colors can also vary from orange to red to yellow. I believe this variety is called the spotted jewelweed.


Strawberries: A last hurrah

Strawberry season is just about over here in the Bogs. It was unusually long this year. I think that’s due to the cooler weather, and the fact that it was a later season than years past. The strawberries were, in my opinion, better tasting than usual. Locally grown, freshly picked strawberries are always yummy, but this year they outdid themselves in terms of good strawberry flavor.

I’ve noticed a red trend here since I started food blogging with NaBloPoMo. It’ll be interesting to watch the summer colors as I continue through the month.

In terms of flowers, this is our orange month. The daylilies are blooming and most of the roadside daylilies in this area are orange. I love riding along the back country roads lined with daylilies.

I’ll do my Move 2008 update tomorrow since Sunday is my last day of the exercise week (mine runs from Monday through Sunday). I might get some more walking in today (I did 4 miles this morning). I had an excellent week. My best this year, I think.