For some reason I haven't been doing much in the way of cooking or baking or writing here this week. Maybe I wanted a break from the holidays, and without really planning to, I took one.
Or it could be I've been working on other little projects here and there and I just didn't have the time or energy to spare.
Or I could just be lazy, or my brain keeps hitting the snooze button.
So I'm just going to chatter on about whatever pops into my head this morning, just to get myself back in the swing of things.
Hope that's okay.
Alex's room is almost done. I posted a bit about that recently, and there's not a whole lot else to say except this green paint needs at LEAST 3 layers, otherwise you see lighter streaks here and there. I wanted to just tell people (if they said anything…though I don't know what people these might be, or why they would be inspecting the door frames in my son's bedroom, but you never know) that I was practicing my faux wood grain technique. But that wouldn't really fly, because…well…for one thing, it doesn't look like wood grain – faux or otherwise – either, and JUST PUT ON ANOTHER COAT ALREADY, JAYNE!
Julia really really reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wants to "help" me paint. I let her do a tiny bit one day – a first coat somewhere – but I really really reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally don't want to hand over the brush. So I've been holding her at bay with the promise that she can help with HER room…and now that I'll be finishing Alex's room today (today, dammit!) I have to figure out what to let her do so that I don't have to go back when she's at school and fix it somehow.
We have an enormous bowl of assorted fruit on the dining room table – clementines and assorted pears and apples. I think all four of us had had too much of everything over the holidays and we were all craving fruit.
We've been eating lots of salad this week, and lots of vegetables, and minimal meats and starches. Tonight I'm making pea soup. Last night we had veggie burgers and corn and asparagus. Yeah, I know, corn and asparagus are not in season. So frozen corn, and asparagus shipped in from somewhere far from snowy/icy New England. But it was soooo very yummy.
Last night Bill and I watched the "Super Chef" or whatever it was called episode of "Iron Chef America" in which Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse are pitted against Bobby Flay and White House Chef Comerford (spelling?) in a battle that featured the veggies from the White House garden. It was a two hour episode, and whenever we tried to watch it prior to this, we were too tired to stay up for the whole thing. But we watched it last night to the end. And it was so inspiring, not just for us as people who like to cook (and eat), but as people who have a garden. In between views of the activity and lame Q & A with the judges (the Q's were lame; the judges had no choice but to answer somehow), there were little snippets of interviews with the two teams, and over and over – actually with the judges later, as well – they all talked of how much better foods taste when they come fresh from the garden, or are grown locally and you get them fresh at the local farmers' market, etc…the flavors are better, and there's just something magical and amazing about plucking something from the soil – something you have nurtured and cared for yourself – and bringing it into the kitchen and using it in a meal that you eat that same day. So true. And the vegetables! There are SO MANY cool varieties of everything – it made me want to pull out gardening catalogs and order all sorts of seeds (for Bill to plant and do most of the caring for while I take pictures of seedlings and tiny flowers and growing things and then go inside and make cheese and pasta, hahaha).
OH, and speaking of seeds, and gardening catalogs, if you are into gardening, and organic gardening in particular, and heirloom seeds, and gorgeous photography as well, go to the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds website and request a copy of their catalog. It's THE most beautiful seed catalog I've ever seen. Really. They've got entire pages devoted to showing comparisons of different types of produce. I'm 'splaining this badly. Okay, the page will have a black background, and then rows of whatever vegetable the focus is on – say, squash – and they'll group the vegetable by, say, color – so a row of the palest yellow variety, then the next yellow, then the yellow-orange, and so on. Is it absolutely NECESSARY? Well, no. But it's beautiful to look at and it made me want to just call up the Baker Creek people and say "I'll have one of each." And the tomatoes!! They have about two JILLION varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Really! Okay, maybe not two jillion, but it's a big number, whatever it is. Order the catalog, if you are a gardener, and I swear as you drool over the pages you'll feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store…only without the heightened prospect of cavities and sugar-induced highs and lows.
I think that is it for now. I need to clean out my refrigerator. NEED to. Don't really want to, but I've been putting it off for too long, and I don't have the "I'll get to it after the holidays are over" excuse any more.
Wish me luck!