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Monday Musings – 03.23.2009 Edition March 23, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.


While spring has so much good stuff going for it, one of the less desirable things we run into this time of year is the sprouting of, well,stuff that’s not supposed to sprout.ย  ๐Ÿ™„

I think I’ve pretty much reached the point in my life, however, where I think, if an onion’s “sprout” is, in fact, bigger than the onion itself – it can go.

Besides, it’s only going as far as the compost bin, anyway.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰



Since when is parsley a perennial herb?ย  ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Seriously.ย  This stuff is supposed to die in the winter, so I can plant new parsley in the spring.ย  It’s not supposed to come back.ย  What is UP with that?ย  ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

I guess maybe I should have pulled it up last fall instead of just letting the frost get to it, huh?

My tarragon, on the other hand, is behaving properly – it’s a perennial herb which is supposed to come back every year.


Don’t you love seeing the brandy-new shoots coming up in the spring?ย  ๐Ÿ˜€



We like to record Sara Moulton’s show on PBS on Saturdays – this week’s Greek-style show was apparently brought to us by the letter “Y” – Yiouvesti, Yiouvarlakia, and Yemista.ย  ๐Ÿ˜†

I guess I’m going to have to watch the show – I have no idea what any of those things are.ย  ๐Ÿ™„


I like to buy plain, nonfat yogurt in the quarts for my morning smoothies – it’s much, much cheaper that way, and it’s really no big deal to measure out half a cup.


So I happened to notice the other day that, while the Tops yogurt is nothing more than nonfat milk, milk solids and active yogurt cultures, the Wegmans yogurt also has corn starch and gelatin.ย  And NOT active yogurt cultures.ย  ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

No wonder the texture was weird.ย  Blech.



It’s that time of the week again – Menu Plan Monday.ย  Be sure to pop on over to Org Junkie when you’re through here for some additional meal plan ideas.

We’re still pretty much eating out of our freezer, though I’ve realized that most of what’s filling the freezers is “big stuff” – whole turkeys and pork butts and the like (intended for smoking this summer) or for roasting.ย  I actually had to buy chicken this week!ย  ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

MondayVeal & Barley Soup.ย  Doesn’t that sound interesting?ย  We cooked one of the veal breasts we had in the freezer last week, and we had a goodly hunk leftover, along with the lovely, lovely jus from braising the bone-in hunk of meat.ย  We put together the basic soup over the weekend and will simply reheat and add some barley while we’re slicing a loaf of homemade bread.ย ย  How much simpler can it get?ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tuesday – We’re going to be kinda making up a Greek-style baked tilapia with rice. And spinach salad.ย  I found, when sorting through one of the many piles of recipes I have lying around, a newspaper clipping of a recipe from Sunkist for “Greek-Baked Alaska Halibut in a Pouch.”ย  I’m not making that.ย  But it gave me an idea for tilapia – probably wrapped in foil, and probably Greek-ish.ย  We’ll see.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wednesday – The weather report is promising that it’ll be nice through the end of the week again, so we’ll be breaking out the grill again.ย  :D Peeps (especially) has a great fondness for Jamaican chicken, which is seasoned with a dry spice rub, left to marinate (is it still marinating if it’s not in, well, a marinade, I wonder?), then grilled.ย  Full of great flavors, spicy in a good way – not too hot, just fairly complex.ย  Alongside, we’ll be making black beans and rice.ย  Peeps insists black beans count as a vegetable, but I’m not so sure. . . ๐Ÿ™„

Thursday – More grilling!ย  We’ll make some of Peeps’s Italian sausage into patties, with some sliced provolone from the freezer – YUM.ย  Also, we’ve got some leftover butternut squash polenta that we can reheat to go with it, (yes, it sounds weird, but it’s really good!) and a bit of spinach salad.

Friday – Pizza night!ย  That’s the easiest night of the week (for me, anyway!)ย  ๐Ÿ˜†




1. judy - March 23, 2009

Sounds and smells like another delicious week. Hope your weather hangs in there for the grilling! Have a good one

Toy Lady - March 24, 2009

Thanks, Jude. So far, the soup was lovely (leftovers for my lunch today), and I’m kind of looking forward to the tilapia.

Even though I hate fish. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

2. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

Good call on the yoghurt. I’d been using Weggie’s nonfat plain, but after reading your post, I looked at what else was there, and settled on my old fav from my grad school days, Stonyfield Farm nonfat plain (CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CONTAINS OUR EXCLUSIVE BLEND OF SIX LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES INCLUDING L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI AND L. RHAMNOSUS.). There’s pectin in there, but no gelatin. And at least there are active cultures.

Toy Lady - March 27, 2009

I think BJs (or maybe it’s Sam’s) carries Stonyfield yogurt in the BIG containers. . . but I just don’t have room in the fridge!

I’ve been very happy, though, with Tops brand – it’s just nonfat milk and live cultures – AND sometimes, when I’m feeling really wild, I get nonfat VANILLA yogurt at Tops – very nice with a little granola and dried cranberries. ๐Ÿ˜€

3. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

I’m kind-of torn about Tops. There is one in town, and sometimes it has decent stuff at usually good prices, but the produce isn’t as nice as at our (teeny, pathetic) Wegmans. Also, I don’t know the layout as well as Wegmans, and I can’t do the shopping list thing there quite as easily. Also Wegmans is directly on the way home, while Tops is just a bit in the other direction…

I *used* to make my own yoghurt, back in the day. With reconstituted powdered milk and cultures from bought yoghurt. It was a bit chalky in texture but worked fine. Here’s my recipe:

2c nonfat powdered milk
4c warm water
Dump into a used yoghurt container and whisk.

Make 2 of those.

Put them into a cheap styrofoam cooler stolen from the lab – in which reagents had arrived, usually packed in dry ice. (Nowadays they provide shipping labels so you can send ’em back for recycling.)

Fill the airspace around the yoghurt containers with warm water of the same temperature.

Put the cover on the styrofoam cooler.

Put the whole thing in the sink (in case of leaks).

Go to the lab and work all day.

Come home in the evening and transfer set yoghurt to the fridge.


Eventually I upgraded to an actual Igloo cooler… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Toy Lady - March 27, 2009

See, I’m kind of torn about Wegmans after the whole Century Liquor debacle. ๐Ÿ˜•

I mean, their produce is, most definitely, much nicer than anyone around. (But we buy most of our produce at the public market anyway.)

I’m still kind of holding a bit of a grudge. ๐Ÿ™„

4. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

Oops. I forgot to mention that it’s a good idea to add 1/4 c of active yoghurt culture, either from bought yogurt or from the previous batch.


Toy Lady - March 27, 2009

Thanks, but I’m not sure how much interest I’d have in making my own yogurt – too many years of making cottage cheese on the farm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I don’t get the styrofoam lab coolers from my job, though I’m pretty well set for binder clips. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

I think I do still have a couple of Omaha Steaks or Burgers Smokehouse coolers, though . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

P.P.S. I like eating mine with Kashi Go Lean cereal and whatever berries are in season. Gets my protein metabolism going in the morning. Not to mention the, er, fiber effect.

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