Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So Good To Cook Again

Between the move and the travels and the lack of even an Isolationville-sized grocery store here in Desolationville, I feel as if I haven't really cooked more than a few meals here and there for months. This week has been better, though. I've been making an effort to get planned dinners on the table every night and it's mostly worked. Last night was grilled asparagus (in season in this state right now) and a passable attempt at shrimp fried rice. It needed higher heat, of course, and my plan to use the big side burner on our grill failed because of ridiculously high winds.

A few nights ago, I was feeling the need to use up some eggs. I made a layered omelet (I like them, ok?) with some soy-based Italian sausage, sundried tomatoes, capers, and cream cheese. It wasn't the prettiest one I've ever made because the sausage chunks were too big and I should really have had one more egg. We ate it with creamed spinach and toasted slices of some whole-grain rolls I had in the freezer. It was a nice comfort meal.

Now the big question is what (and how -- secret shopping doesn't work well in our current situation) do I plan for Husband's birthday, which is coming up next week. I'm thinking that I'll take a cake to his work, but the dinner is still completely unplanned.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yet Another Reason To Garden

Like anyone who cares about food and where it comes from needed any more reasons to feel that growing your own is a great idea, the NYTimes today provided another article about the distances that food travels. This article actually gave me new information. I didn't know that one of the reasons that imported food can be so cheap (imported to anywhere, not just the US) is that fuel for international shipping is not taxed! The EU is considering changing that, according to the NYTimes, but can you imagine what a shock it would be to the average consumer if food prices suddenly reflected a more realistic cost of bringing food from across the globe?

Anyway, it renewed my determination to get a garden bed ready for fall planting. I've been trying to get an agreement about where I can start working on soil improvement. I can't have an open compost pile, unfortunately, but I do have access to other organic materials. There's a big pile of grass clippings just thumbing its nose at me every time I see it. We can't buy much in the way of fresh produce without driving 60+ miles, so even greens and some herbs would be a great addition to our lives.

I'm thinking of doing lettuce in pots for the summer if I can get them to a decent size before they bolt in our heat. I also just gave someone else one of those hanging tomato growers and I'm thinking of trying to get a tomato plant to set fruit before the nights are too hot. A girl can dream, at any rate, and I'm working on keeping my dreams manageable. There are more possibilities here in Desolationville than there were in Isolationville, but the weather and wildlife will still keep some serious restrictions on what and how I can grow.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Haiku and A Healthy Eater

I really, truly am trying to blog more regularly here. I just got back from a long trip and my cooking has not been particularly inspirational recently. My camera has been hard at work taking pictures of wildflowers instead of food. My most humble apologies!

But today, I perused the food blog event calendar a little, and found a few things of interest, so with luck, I'll get some new pictures up soon. In the meantime, I wrote a short haiku for the Haiku That Blog event. Entries are placed as comments to the announcement, but here is my haiku representing Lunch Bucket Bento:

A blog of boxes
Small containers, filled just so
Lunch, separated.

In other news, BabyGirl, who is now not so much a baby as a toddler-on-a-mission, has decided that green vegetables are the BEST THING EVER. This phase, which I'm sure will be short-lived, started about two weeks ago when she grabbed green beans off my plate while completely ignoring her cheese ravioli. Tonight, I made her pasta with peas and broccoli and cheese sauce (with mustard...I have to make up for the low-salt somehow). She painstakingly picked out every single pea, including those that had stuffed themselves into the shells, then ate about half the broccoli, and then deigned to eat some of the pasta, too.

Watching a toddler with cheesy fingers try to pry peas out of medium-sized shells is priceless, by the way. Very determined little beings, they are.