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Monday Musings: 07.26.2010 Edition July 26, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Garden, Musings, random stuff.
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PhotobucketExciting news!

I picked my first tomato this week – and we all know what that means, right?  It’s officially summer – for real!

Surprisingly, the first tomato wasn’t even one of the “early” heirlooms – it was one of the Big Beefs – my one hybrid this year.

Go figure.


So, as per tradition, the first tomato of the season became the first tomato sandwich!

Peeps brought home a lovely loaf of semolina bread, and I still had some of my homemade mayonnaise in the fridge. . .plus, I had plenty of tomato left for another sandwich for breakfast the next morning!  There’s no rule against a tomato sandwich for breakfast, is there?

Truly, summer just doesn’t get much better, does it?


PhotobucketSo last week, we made this grilled salmon with French green lentils – and it was quite nice.  (And I don’t even like salmon!)  We served it with green beans, picked fresh from the garden, which is always a good thing.

But the real show stopper was the mustard-herb butter – it was absolutely To Die For  And so easy, too – and we had some left over and just put it on vegetables a couple of days later – and it was just as good.  Here it is – try it:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice



While the dog was napping on the landing in the other room, the kitty decided to get a little brave!

We’d picked up a catnip toy for her a couple of weeks ago – it’s what I call a mousy-bird – a mouse-shaped toy (that we stuff with catnip) with feathers sticking out of it.  It makes her nuts!

Boy, pretty soon, they might even be able to look at each other, then go about their business, huh?


PhotobucketI noticed these little worm-things in the garden the other day – they’re only on the fennel, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like these black-and-green striped caterpillars before so I asked the internet.

It appears that they’re  caterpillars from the black swallowtail butterfly.

Huh.  Butterflies hatching in my garden.  Just . . . huh.



So, you know how I picked a tomato this week?

Yeah, I picked another one.  And if the first tomato of the season is earmarked for sandwiches, the second has to go for pizza.

I’m just saying – pizza margharita – fresh tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, and some fresh basil, along with some good olive oil  – it’s a very good thing.


PhotobucketSo.  I turned on the TV the other day, and the local-guy cooking segment was on R-News YNN.

He was making a blueberry-cantaloupe smoothie.  EXACTLY the same way I’ve been making smoothies for YEARS!

If Dan Eaton has been either reading this blog or peeking in my kitchen window, the least he can do is flounce in and say “hi,” don’t you think?



I glanced out the window at my office the other day, and saw that someone in my building has been riding a, um, three-wheeler?  tricycle? to work.

I’m not sure what the proper nomenclature is for a motorcycle with an extra tire, but it’s pretty neat – and it’s got THREE WHEELS!



It’s not quite “Shopping with Peeps,”  but we were walking the dog, and occasionally, he likes to stop by Abbotts – I think he’s hoping they’ll be open so he can get a cone.

While they’re not likely to be open at 5 in the morning anyway, we were amused by the sign from the night before – when we had a decent amount of rain.

Not just closed due to weather – Oh no! – but there were no customers anyway!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  It’s looking like another gorgeous, summer week, isn’t it?  Maybe a little rain later in the week, but at least the temperatures are looking to be a little more reasonable – we can’t take much more of this 90-degree, 98-percent humidity stuff!  Blech!


Monday –  We’re still trying to make a point of cooking at least one recipe from each cooking magazine to which we subscribe, and this week, we’re going with Cuisine at Home‘s falafel burgers –   basically, seasoned chick pea burgers on pocket pitas, cooked on the grill.  It’s worth a try, anyway, right?

Tuesday – We dug a pork loin roast out of the freezer – yes, we’re still trying to get that emptied – I don’t think there’s an actual bottom!  Peeps is going to come up with something exciting to do with the roast – something on the grill.  We’ve also got some beets from the garden to use, along with either some salad or green beans, or a starch of some sort.

Wednesday – I roasted a chicken over the weekend (and it was GOOD!), and, with some of the leftovers, I’m going to be playing around with some sort of chicken-tarragon-ricotta filling for crepes, all coated with a cheesy cream sauce.  It’ll be good – really!

Thursday – Freezer cleaning – we found a package of beef tenderloin tips from a while ago – they were vacuum sealed, so they’re perfectly fine, just been there a while.  I’m thinking something simple, like a stroganoff or the like.  That’s always a winner!

Friday –  And it’s pizza night!  Let’s hope I can score another tomato or two, huh?  Wow, that’s just the best pizza ever!

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.





1. Grace - July 26, 2010

I love the name of your blog! Linked over from orgjunkie.com.

Thanks, and welcome!

2. Pary Moppins - July 26, 2010

I have never tried to grow fennel before and it is rather difficult to find around here in the stores. Is it fairly straightforward to grow?
Good luck with your tomato crop. Do you have a problem with birds? I’ve been told that orange and yellow tomatoes are not as attractive to birds as the red ones are. So far, in our experience, this has been true.
I love that you incorporate the weather report into your cooking and that you are making a concerted effort to cook from your magazines. I on the other hand, have a document box FULL of clippings from mags that at some point I will go through…sigh…one day. For now, I just have to be content with weeding through my cookbooks.

Hey there. This is my first time with the fennel myself – so far, it’s been a matter of just sticking the seeds in the ground and waiting. I think I may not have given the plants quite enough space between the row of fennel and the row of Swiss chard, though – the plants are already nearly 5 feet tall! I did thin them a while ago, but I’m not sure when they’ll start to form bulbs.

And I haven’t had too much trouble with birds in the garden – if anything, it would be squirrels! (I think Mr. Blue Jay does a pretty good job keeping the other birds away, to be honest!)

And we won’t even mention the boxES of recipe clippings and printouts we BOTH have. 🙄

3. Amy Walker - July 26, 2010

That tomato looks scrumptious!!

It was surprisingly tasty for being the first of the season!

4. FoodontheTable - July 26, 2010

That margherita pizza looks soooo good! There’s nothing better than fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. I just had fresh tomato, basil, and gorgonzola salad for lunch.

Now that sounds terrific! I can’t WAIT until I have enough tomatoes to make salad!

5. Anne - July 26, 2010

That vehicle is generally known as a trike. Mostly reserved for the .. um .. more senior riders, when they feel diminished stability, etc. They can be very expensive, since typically they are a regular bike with a conversion kit. But they are a nice option, instead of having to give up riding completely.

Huh. It does sound like a good idea – I’ve never seen the actual rider of the TRIKE. Usually it shows up shortly after I get to work, and leaves some time before I do.

We saw one the other day that (I kid you not!) looked like the body of a snowmobile – on three wheels. 😯

Anne - July 27, 2010

Were the two wheels in the front and one in the back? It’s called a Spider. My DH rode one at a bike rally and said they are a blast to ride. A little odd looking, though.

I think the two wheels were in the front on the snowmobile-looking thing. It was truly bizarre! 😆

The funny thing is that quite often, around this time of the year, we’ll see a new story about some snowmobile accident. Yes. Snowmobiles. In July.

Usually alcohol is involved, though. 😉

6. judy - July 26, 2010

Stupor Kitty may need a name change if she continues to look so much better, trim and headed toward slim. Wonderful picture. Yes, I do believe the day will come when they will look into each other’s eyes. (Then watch out! 🙂 🙂

BEAUTIFUL TOMATO. We are eating from the cherry tomato plant right now with over 100 of all sizes. We now have 8 on the “big” tomato plant but still pretty green We need some sun now and some warmth.

Great Monday show. Thanks.

Hey Jude! They do make eye contact – you can feel the loathing almost sizzle between them (mostly on her part)! He just still thinks it’s a big game!

7. sjbraun - July 28, 2010

Yes! Yes! We love the swallowtail butterflies and caterpillars here, although I’ve seen none yet (I grow dill mainly because that’s what they like here).

Well, look at that! These guys just sort of appeared – first there was one, then three. At last check, all three were still there. This was the first time I’ve ever seen them.

One of our regular readers, Maz, is also very interested in butterfly hatching.

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