Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, yeah, the gluten

Well, back to the gluten-free thing.
Winn-Dixie, which is the only decent grocer we have in town, just added a small section of GF foods! Wow! It features a lot of the "Red Mill" flours and mixes as well as the delicious rice-and-nut crackers!
Kudos, W-D!!! This saves me a LOT of trips to Birmingham and ordering online. Given that the selections there are kind of limited to basics, there will still be some of this, but less, since the "basics" are what you run out of quickly.
I have ordered a "breading" mix, having run through my own ideas for fried-chicken dredge, with mixed results.
I made a tuna casserole with "Mrs. Leeper's" version of "tuna helper." Very, very nice. I did add onions and mushrooms which, I am sure improved it no end. Since this is the first time I've made it, I can just imagine how it would be without, which I guess is ok, but onions improve anything (except dessert (-;).
I am still not thrilled with ANY of the breads I've tried..they all tend to crumble. The "Grainless Baker" breads, however, are quite good when toasted, which the others have NOT been, so , for other things I will just stick to my lettuce-wrapped "sandwiches."
Getting fibre in is still a challenge! I am trying to eat more fruit and having a veggie at every meal.
Nice that that old standby, corned-beef hash, is still on the menu! Nice for breakfast with an egg on top. Classic!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gardening and thinking

I took advantage of the cool snap to get out there and do some more weeding, mulching, staking etc. I was thinking about all those organic gardeners who assure us that, if your plants are healthy, tended regularly and given the nutrition and water that they need, then attacks by insects and diseases will be minimized, if not eliminated. I was comparing this year's garden, which reflects all I learned last year about the above nurturing and noting how healthy everything is. Last year was real hit-or-miss.
It occurred to me that the care of our souls is no different. If we tend ourselves (I am of the opinion that we don't "HAVE" a soul, we ARE a soul, we "Have" a body) regularly, feeding ourselves with the good "food and water" of worship, reflection, and study, then we flourish, we resist the attacks of predators and we produce good fruits.
Now, about those moles........I am working on a metaphor for THEM. In the meantime, back to the big ammo!!!
The potatoes are finally coming up, so I am back to humming "leek-and-potato soup!" I put them up on a little hill that was made by dumping some of the better-looking soil that came out of the swimming-pool hole, so perhaps the moles will miss them.
I have a moral dilemma out there, getting bigger every day. I had thought it would be good to offer the "first fruits" to God by donating an armful of squash to the Bosco center, per a suggestion by my friend who works with the Edmundite missioners, who run that hot-meal programme. Well, so far, only ONE squash almost ready to pick. So, here it goes: shall I go ahead and eat that one myself and await the several that are going to be ready in a couple of weeks? I mean, what can they do with ONE SQUASH? It would seem kind of puny. I guess God will cope with my not hanging on to the letter or the law and getting them a decent basket-load instead of showing up, looking at the hundred-or-so folks in line for lunch and saying "Hi, I brought you a squash."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

fossil finds!

One of the "giggle of girls" made a spectacular find on our BPS trip! I will have to get the spelling of the thing from our paleo mentor in B'ham, but it was good enough that the professor who was heading up our trip told her it would have to go to the state collection! She gets her name on it forever, though, and a letter of recognition. LATER: It's a "Rudist." He described it as "a clam trying to be a coral." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudist
We hunted in a great gully over towards Mississippi. REALLY the bottom of the ancient ocean.
Looked like the remains of a prehistoric clam-bake.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Modern improvements

One of the things that has made life INFINITELY better is the invention of drafting /drawing pens that don't involve having to constantly take the nibs off for soaking (in ammonia, yet) and unclogging...not to mention having to suck on the darned things to get them "started." I was thinking about my old set of drafting tools...I have my uncle's set around somewhere...and how much time I used to have to spend cleaning the things. AND they cost an arm-and-a-leg.
Yeah, life does get better!!!

hello from the Pap

This was on a post to the Yahoo group. Thought it was too cute!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Where are they???

No sign of potato seedlings yet. hmmmm.
Had my first salad entirely out of the garden last night. YAY! Sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, minced onion. Can't wait to add my lovely peppers and cukes! The first cuke out there is about 1.5 inches long now and there are some more little cukes starting to show up. The squash is producing, but I've promised the "first fruits" there to God, so they have to go over to the Bosco centre.
Also tried fried chicken using white-bean flour and rice flour. Just OK. You can taste the oil a little too strongly. Back to the drawing-board on THAT, too, but it's not bad. I was just about ready to go to KFC and get "glutened, " I was that desperate to have some fried chicken.
The wings I did with the all-purpose GF flour last time were better.
It's a learning-process.
Still, it's nice to know there is cold fried chicken in the fridge! One of my favourite things on earth!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

What's in the garden?

How does my garden grow?
Yellow squash, tomatoes...three varieties, several varieties of peppers, okra, onions, Ichiban eggplants and one larger variety (I forget which), kale, cucumbers, collards, string-beans, cantaloupes, and little red potatoes, basil, parsley-sage-rosemary-and-thyme, lemon balm, strawberries and leeks. I am going to try to get some sugar-snap peas in, hopefully, it won't be too late in the season, and some lettuce that Burpee claims I can still plant. I am going to put some of that into the aerogarden as well. I had some of the last of my Fall lettuce last night in a salad and it was SO good.
Won't plant collards again. I forgot that I don't really like them that much. ditto the kale.
Maybe next year I will try Belgian endive. It's a fussy thing to grow, but it's so hard to get it here in Selma.
I need to let the garden rest over the winter, so, anything I grow over that season will have to be in the greenhouse, sitting in boxes right now in the "barn." I might set it up on the deck so I will have a warm, sweet-smelling place to sit "outside" during the colder months. Actually, I have been mulling over putting it up and trying to grow some tropical stuff...like maybe a little avocado tree, lemons, or something.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Potatoes, potatoes

Got my potato tubers in! I look out at my garden and sort of hum: "leek-and-potato-soup! leek-and-potato-soup! leek-and-potato-soup! leek-and-potato-soup!" Can't wait. I did one of those little-kid things and dug up a leek to see what was going on. Not big enough yet to even qualify, so I crossed my fingers and re-planted it. Maybe, by the time the potatoes come in, the leeks will be soup-ready.