Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yesterday, my husband flew to Seattle to meet up with his brother and parents for an Alaska Cruise that departs today. My sister-in-law, nieces and I aren't going for a variety of reasons. I'm relieved that I'm not there since as much as I would like to visit Alaska some day, a Carnival Cruise is pretty far from my idea of fun.
It's also really nice to be getting a week of alone time. I finally got to watch "Julie and Julia" last night. I also get to eat whatever I want without taking other preferences into account. Last night, I made a big salad with spinach, arugula, green onions, carrots, radishes and grape tomatoes and then I grilled some asparagus and a half pound tuna steak.
I ate half the tuna steak and four big spears of asparagus, putting the other half of each away to eat on salad tomorrow night. Tonight, I'm meeting my friend Celia for sushi, so it would appear that I'm getting a very fishy start to my week.
I'm also hoping to get some evening kayaking in later in the week, so hopefully I'll get home early enough tonight to rack my car so that I can just put the boat up there and do some local paddling right after work. I have three (or more) choices of places to go which don't involve much driving.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
So tonight we're eating weeds for dinner, not because we have to, but because we can. On my way home from work tonight, I pulled a big bag of garlic mustard pesto, getting the roots when I could since it is, after all an invasive weed which crowds out native plants like trilliums, jack in the pulpits, blood roots, probably trout lilies and violets too. Basically, it kills the biodiversity in the under story of deciduous forests. But enough about my environmental politics.
Originally, I planned to make Wild Man Steve Brill's garlic mustard pesto www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Web%20Reci
As I thought about his recipe, I realized that I didn't want to pay for a cup's worth of basil and that instead I could get great local spinach from our CSA farmers at the Westside Community Market and I realized the miso that I have is red which may or may not be the mellow miso Brill asks for. I also thought that olives were kind of weird as a pesto ingredient, that I didn't want to use so much miso because of the salt content, that he used a heck of a lot of olive oil, too great a ratio of nuts to green stuff and that I wanted to use some parmesan cheese in my pasta. I consulted a couple of my cookbooks for other pesto recipes. I also rearranged the order of additions to the food processor to minimize bruising of the greens.
Here is what I came up with:
1/2 c. walnuts
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
4 garlic mustard tap roots, chopped
pinch of salt
Put the first four ingredients in a food processor and grind into a paste.
Add 2 T of miso and whir the food processor until combined
Then add as they fit:
1 c. garlic mustard leaves
1 c. spinach
1/2-3/4 c flat leaf parsley
process until well-mixed.
Then add 3 T olive oil, more if needed
Then add 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and mix.
Add pepper to taste and adjust salt if needed.
The paste was very flavorful on its own. It possibly could have used a little more salt the way we ate it over whole wheat bow ties with grilled shrimp and extra chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan for garnish. We both thought it was pretty tasty.
This made enough for our dinner tonight, one leftover serving for someone's lunch tomorrow and an ice-cube tray which I will freeze overnight and put in a zip-top bag. Even though I barely made a dent in the garlic mustard along the bike path, I still went a little crazy and have a good bit of what I picked in the fridge. I might actually buy the basil now, use pine nuts instead of walnuts, up the miso a bit and freeze another couple of ice-cube tray's worth of pesto.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
I think we may have seen our last cross country skiing for the year. It's pretty melty and yesterday, we took advantage of that by hiking at Horicon Marsh.
The snow and ice are melting and the trail was in pretty good condition.
There were lots of geese both in the air and on the ice. We also saw and heard a few sandhill cranes which have also returned, but they were flying and never close enough for a photo opportunity.
Last weekend I started my prairie plant nursery in one of our sunnier rooms. As of yesterday, I had no germination, but today, two of the tiny pots have golden rod sprouting in them. Hopefully, I'll see more of those in the next week.
I also need to move on with planting the vegetable garden. The herbs (except the messy looking ones) will move to the front yard right next to the door. They should look and smell really nice. I want to try leeks again this year and maybe some onions. I'm also planning on growing Jimmy Nardello peppers again this year. I haven't grown them in a few years, but they are really good and they're the only peppers I've really grown successfully and from seeds. Besides that, the friend from whom I learned about the Jimmy Nardello peppers died earlier this year in an accident and it seems like a good way to honor his memory.
This post is kind of rambling, but today, that's the state of my brain. I sure hope to be riding my bike again soon. Maybe this week or next.
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