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Monday Musings: 09.30.2013 Edition September 30, 2013

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.

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Can I just mention those crazy butternuts again?

There’s one squash out there that’s almost as big as Jarly!  And that’s only one of them. . .

Anyone know how, exactly, to tell when they’re ripe?  I’ve got a couple that seem to be the right color, and some of the foliage is dying back.  But the squash doesn’t want to come off the vine.  You know how when, say, a tomato is ripe, all you have to do is give it a little nudge, and it just drops off the plant.  Will the squash do that, do you think, or should I go high-tech and get out my pruning shears?


Jarly started tracking again this weekend – and what a gorgeous day for it!

He’s been practicing every morning all summer, and even after an hour of sniffing his head off, he still did pretty well.

Though we do still have a way to go.


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Well, fall is officially here.  I mean, yeah, most of my tomatoes are still in the ground, and I haven’t pulled up the pepper plants or cut back the lillies yet, but it’s fall.

We planted garlic this weekend for next year!  This year, I’m experimenting with it – I planted it closer together, and I put two rows in – the plan is that once it comes up, and once I see green garlic at the market, I’ll start “thinning” it – by actual harvest time, we’ll still have plenty left.

That’s the plan, anyway.



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.    You know how sometimes you’ll see a recipe, either in a magazine or online, and you either bookmark it or print it to try “soon” – as soon as, say, apples are in season, or the weather gets cool enough to want braise a hunk of meat, or something of the sort?

Yeah, well, here it is, October is looking us in the face, and it’s time for roasts and and braises and beans dishes!  I’ve been saving fall recipes for months, and darn it, I want to try them – and what happens here in fickle upstate New York?  We have another string of gorgeous, sunny days to look forward to.

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I just guess we’ll have to make the best of it, that’s all – I’m such a trouper, aren’t I?

Monday – I don’t even remember where I saw this Pasta with Chorizo and Chick Peas – but when I found one last package of Peeps’s homemade chorizo in the freezer, I knew that was what it was for!  This will make a boatload, so I’ll probably either send some home with The Boy (if I see him this week) or we’ll have leftovers for breakfast a couple of mornings.  Maybe even both!

Tuesday – We were shopping the other day, and I saw pork loins on sale.  I wanted to buy one, until Peeps reminded me that we have a loin roast AND chops in the freezer.  Look how much I saved by NOT buying it on sale!    We’re going to grill the chops, and finish the broccoli that’s hanging around the freezer, and we’ll do some sort of grain – brown rice or barley or something, I guess.

Wednesday – While we were digging the pork chops out of the freezer, we also found a package of lamb chops.  Funny thing about lamb chops – I don’t remember really having lamb as a kid, so I never really grew to love it the way Peeps does – but man, it sure is good grilled!  We’ll marinate the chops briefly with some olive oil and mint – because you know those couple of mint plants I put in last year?  Yeah, they’re crazy now.  It’s taking over the back yard – at least the parts of it that aren’t covered in butternut squash vines, anyway.  We’ll have grilled potatoes (leftovers make lovely hash for a weekend breakfast, by the way!), and some nice sauteed kale.

Thursday – In the spirit of getting stuff out of the freezer, we pulled some porkstrami out for Minimal Effort Thursday, which we’ll enjoy with a tossed salad.  We also found a recipe for traditional rye bread that I want to try – what better time?

Friday – The tomatoes are still holding out for pizza night – yay!  I may get a chance this week to slice and bake the one wee eggplant I got from the garden, too – if I do, that’ll go on my pizza too, along with the tomato slices.

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




1. Jean - September 30, 2013

I don’t know that I’ve ever had lamb chops. I wonder if it is a food picky children would eat? Hmm…

Toy Lady - September 30, 2013

Hi, Jean – I never had them much as a kid – I think they were too expensive for our family of six at the time. 😉 But I do know that my son, who CAN be a little picky, loves them. Granted, though, he’s 25, and his pickiness is more about attitude than anything else. . .

2. Anne - September 30, 2013

I’m curious about the tracking class. Is tracking a useful skill in everyday life? Or is it just more mental (and physical) exercise for Jar, plus a lot of fun?

Toy Lady - October 1, 2013

Hi Anne! In the real world, this sort of tracking class would be the first step for search & rescue training – though about the only thing Jar’s likely to rescue is a lost hot dog! 😉 I don’t think Jar will ever be physically up to actual S&R work, so for him, it’s mainly a fun exercise, though I’ve heard stories of minimally-trained dogs finding lost items – keys and cell phones and stuff. And a couple of times, he has actually “tracked” a deer, though it’s not like he bagged it and brought it home for dinner. 😛 He does enjoy the training and the actual tracking, and, of course, time spent in the company of random strange dogs is extra-good for him.

3. Karen - October 3, 2013

I think it’s when the foliage shrivles and dies that the squash is ready – that’s what I did with my spaghetti squash

Toy Lady - October 4, 2013

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too. 🙂 I did cut it back – I needed to get to the composter! I’ll leave them, then, for the time being. Thanks, Karen.

4. judy norton - October 7, 2013

Can’t believe I have not commented on this one. Guess I am really slipping! Love the story and picture of “tracking.” And it sure did look like a beautiful day.

I personally LOVE LAMB. As kids on our birthdays we got to make the menu for “supper.” I always wanted lamb and Mom always made it happen. Roast was wonderful but my favorite is always just the chops, broiled. My mouth is set for them now!

Taking the garden down must be done sooner or later. Hope your garlic goes well.

Enough. By time I post this you will have a new one coming I hope. Afterall , tomorrow is Monday.

Toy Lady - October 7, 2013

Jar LOVES tracking! We practice every morning, so he’s come to expect it – don’t know how it’s going to work once the snow is covering the ground though. 😕

I hope all is well with you, Judy! 🙂

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