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Monday Musings: 08.13.2012 Edition August 13, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Garden, meal plan monday, random stuff.


Gosh, I love our public market.  Have I mentioned that lately?

This week, for the first time, I know for sure that all of the produce I bought, every last seed and leaf, was grown locally and picked recently, from the person I bought if from – the nice potato lady, the old garlic guys, the helpful melon family (who also do maple syrup), even the friendly Mennonite cucumber guy!

I know it’s kind of trendy and all, but I truly do prefer doing business with my “neighbors” – even if, as in this case, some of them are in the next county!



I do love our potato source – and I jumped on this year’s new potatoes the minute I saw them!

The only problem is that they don’t seem to last as long as store-bought potatoes.  Not because they spoil or anything, of course, but because we always cook more than we’re actually going to eat!

You see, if you haven’t taken new potatoes, cooked them in a foil packet on the grill with nothing more than butter, salt, pepper and parsley, and then taken the leftovers and made homefries for breakfast, well, my friend, you just don’t know what “breakfast” should be!



Here in upstate New York, rosemary is an annual plant (mostly) – our winters are usually too cold for it to come back, so every year, I have to plant new rosemary plants in the herb garden.

This year, I picked up a different variety – a prostrate rosemary.  This one flops around on the ground, rather than standing up like a proper bush.

And what do you know – for the first time, I’ve seen rosemary blossoms!  I’m not sure what, if anything, that means, but it’s kind of neat.



We got home the other day, and I happened to notice what seemed like almost every bird in the neighborhood was lined up, sitting on our fence.

I have no idea why – why they were all there or what they were talking about – and especially what the deal was with the lone squirrel that was sitting on the post with them!

I couldn’t help noticing, though, that every stinking on of those birds left behind a, well, a calling card of sorts.  Stupid birds.



This year, I’m going to try to extend my garden as long as I can – I’ve already added another row of green beans which I’m picking like crazy – and I put yet another row in this weekend (hope it’s not too late!).

I also planted a row of an Asian green called komatsuna – it’s a member of the brassica family, which means it’s related to some of my favorite veggies (kale, broccoli, mustard greens – the “eat this and you’ll live forever” vegetables), and, according to the seed packet, it “will overwinter with protection and give greens through January, at least.”  I can protect it!



Long-time readers may remember that, this time of year, we start buying corn.  Not a lot at once – maybe 8 or a dozen ears.

What we do with it is this:  we shuck it, then we grill it briefly, just enough to get a little caramelization on the kernels – then we cut it off the cobs and freezer it for the BEST corn chowders, soups, and stews in the middle of the winter!

Not wanting to be left out, our big goofy-head wanted some, so I handed him a cob to chew on.

And he liked it – a lot!

Peeps noted that we might call him a corn-dog?



Speaking of Idiot Boy.

The other morning, we came back from our walk and went into the back yard to toss a ball around.  (I toss the ball, the dog brings it back to me.)

He heard or saw something on the other side of the fence – whether it was a cat or a squirrel or even a possum, I have no idea.

All I know is that he suddenly raced along the fence-line to chase it off – right through my garden.  Then he turned around to go back the other direction!

I put a stop to that – we’re doing pretty well with our “distracted recall” thank you very much.  Ultimately, he knocked a couple of tomatoes off the vines, trampled a few beats, and smooshed my green beans.

NO more running around in the garden for him!



After the ridiculous thunderstorms we got the other day, Peeps called me outside to see something.

Right across the street from our house was the brightest, prettiest rainbows ever!

I went in, got the camera and came back, and it was still there – I know there are scientific explanations for them, but darnit, rainbows are cool!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  It looks like we’re heading into a cooling-off trend around here, to some extent, anyway.  I’ll be honest, while I sometimes feel like a big jerk complaining that it’s too hot (in Rochester! where we have SNOW!), it is nice not to have 90+ degrees day after day!

Monday – We had a bag of chicken wings in the freezer, and Peeps suggested an old favorite we haven’t had in years – it’s a baked wing dish with kind of an Asian barbecue flavor, and it’s really, really good!  He’ll share that with you soon, fear not!  We’ll probably pan-roast a bit of broccoli, and maybe steam some rice to go with it.

Tuesday – We wanted to use some Alaskan whitefish that’s been knocking around in the freezer – just a simple pan-fry, with maybe a butter-lemon-parsley sauce.  If I’m smart, I’ll saute the beet greens I’ve got in the fridge!  Not sure what else we’ll do with it – maybe potatoes, or maybe rice or  barley or something more exotic- we’ll have to see.

Wednesday – Since we’re starting to get these ridiculous Beefsteak tomatoes, well, I think that means we need to do burger night – after all, the tomatoes are just begging to be sliced to top a burger, you know?

Thursday – Ah, roasted chicken.  A while back, I saw this recipe for grilled chicken with sriracha glaze, and I thought there was no reason we couldn’t use a whole butterflied chicken, rather than just the thighs.  Why not, right?  Also, since I’ve got plenty of kale from the garden (yay!), I’ll add a raw kale salad that just intrigues me.

Friday – And again, it’s pizza night. Not much to say about that, other than fresh tomatoes (yay!) and fresh herbs (yay again!).  Pretty boring to read about, not so boring to eat!

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





1. Kimberly - August 13, 2012

Oooo have you guys had a raw kale salad before? Yum! If you don’t like that recipe, this is the favorite in our house: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tuscan-Kale-Caesar-Slaw-366450 — we skip the anchovies and substitute a few capers. The curly kale you are growing works fine in it.

Toy Lady - August 13, 2012

We haven’t had it before – though the bit I tried was great! Your recipe looks wonderful, too – but WOW that’s a lot of anchovies! 😯 I usually use ONE in my caesar dressing. I like your idea about subbing capers, though.

AND I’ve still got half a stuffed gallon bag of kale – kale salad next week! 😆

Thanks for the suggestion, Kimberly!

2. Rona - August 13, 2012

I’m stopping by for a visit from Organizing Junkie today.
That’s a great feeling to know that you’re purchasing local products.
It’s another 107 degree day in Las Vegas. Man! Am I looking forward to cooler temps. Unfortunately, we don’t usually start cooling down till late September or October.
Your menu for the week sounds delicious!

Toy Lady - August 14, 2012

Rona, hi!

You know, I can’t imagine living with those kind of temperatures! I think I’d almost rather have our snow half the year. . .

3. sjbraun - August 13, 2012

I just love these weekly roundup posts. Your life sounds so lovely! I’m anxious to hear how your winter gardening efforts go. With last year’s mild winter, maybe this year will be the same? Our tomatoes are just now ripening, and I am taking full advantage. It’s so nice to just go out back and get fresh organic veggies!

Toy Lady - August 14, 2012

I am all for another mild winter! I’m going to try to winter-over the rosemary again – I had some success one year, but that was enough to give me hope! 😀

My tomatoes are doing well now, too – though I’m not sure if the yield is going to be all I’d like. Hopefully I’ll at least get a couple of batches of salsa, anyway. Plus, of course, plenty to eat fresh!

4. Judy Norton - August 13, 2012

You know my interests are a little different but I love to read all the things to do with food! I loved the fact that Jar liked the corn cob and I thought, why not? Everything about corn is good and the same is true for the Jar. I also will be interested to see how your extended garden goes. I hope you get lots of beans too.

It just has to cool down sometime. Rain dance anyone?

Toy Lady - August 14, 2012

We’ve finally gotten a bit of rain – I haven’t had to water the garden in a couple of days, anyway! Mostly it’s been in the form of thunderstorms, which thrills The Jar to NO END! 🙄

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