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 I've had a miserable headache all day.  It ebbs and flows, and right now it's flowing and I'm squinting at the screen and holding my breath.  I think I'm going to break down and take a Vicodin before bed.  As a result I've been less productive today than I wanted to be.  I had planned to do a lot of stuff, including writing, but it all got away from me.
Hummus topped with whole chickpeas and olive oil.
Much nicer looking than my hummus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did manage to make hummus.  Yesterday when our neighbor, Linda, came over with a bottle of wine and some paper cups (It's so good having kindred spirits surrounding us.) the talk turned to chickpeas (I want to plant some this year.) and hummus. (Linda says she has her aunt's recipe for the best hummus ever.)  So last night I put some chickpeas on to soak and this morning I put some in the sprouter and cooked the rest.  Problem was I was sure I had tahini, but I was wrong.  Fortunately I found a jar of sesame seeds which were frankly just a bit older than they ought to have been.  However I was on a mission, and having to make my own tahini with raw, elderly sesame seeds was not going to stop me.  So I processed the seeds with olive oil, then tossed in the chickpeas, more oil, a lot of lemon juice and garlic, salt and some hot sauce.  And you know what?  It was good!  It's not the best I've ever eaten and it's inelegant and not perfectly smooth, but it was good and I enjoyed it.  I have a jar of it in the fridge along with more cooked chickpeas for salad this week.

Tomato seedling

I also have a terrifying amount of lentil (green, red and beluga), broccoli, cress, and radish sprouts in the fridge, a lot of chickpeas in the sprouter and a mix of kamut, amaranth and wheat berries soaking.  I'm on a sprouting binge and I won't be happy until I've tried to sprout every seed, nut and grain in the house.  I have an avocado pit in the kitchen window that should be popping soon, half a dozen lettuce and two celery bottoms in our raised bed, and a pineapple top in a jar of water in the window.  I also have a tomato plant growing from a seed I would normally just have washed down the drain.  Unfortunately not long after I took the picture of the little proto tomato plant, Peeb tore it out of the pot.  I now have a second one growing, out of her reach.

Why am I doing all this?  Well I get obsessed with things, and right now it's spring and growing stuff seems like something I really, really want to be doing.  Our garden budget isn't very big this year, so growing stuff from kitchen scraps is something that makes sense.  And I really believe that if we can we should grow things to help feed our bodies and our souls.  A garden is one of the best anti-depressants I know. (You can read more about the garden and life at the Villa on the blog I share with Glinda, Those 2 Nice Girls Next Door.)

Venus of Willendorf Fertility Goddess cast 240...
Venus of Willendorf Fertility Goddess cast 24000 to 22000 BCE (Photo credit: mharrsch)

This afternoon I got a couple of packages in the mail, one of which is my new talisman.  I think I've mentioned that I have this superstition about having a talisman for every novel I write.  So when I started Nine Lives, a novel that has its roots in an old piece I wrote entitled "Cat Tales." I knew I wanted a proper talisman for it, to help differentiate it from the original in my mind.  I chose a Willendorf Goddess pendant in sodalite, and I'm wearing it now along with my silver pentacle and the golden bear my mother brought me from Bern, Switzerland.  It's a touchstone for the novel, and along with the other two, makes me feel... safe I guess.  Or just in the right place in the universe, which is probably as good a definition of safe as any other.

So now I have hungry cats who have interesting ways of making their desires known, and I should pay attention.  G'night all.  Pleasant dreams.

 

 

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30:  'Next Iron Chef'...

If Alton says it's okay it is!

So the pie… it’s good, but it’s not as good as I’d hoped for.  The fruit, particularly the plums, wasn’t as sweet and flavorful as I’d have wished.  As I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to sugar, I never add more than is called for in the recipe and sometimes I add less.  While I added the full amount — one cup, which I thought was overdoing it a bit — the result was a little tart. *rimshot*  We’re keeping an eye on an elderly neighbor while her niece is out of town, and I meant to take her a slice, but Glinda suggested that it might be a bit puckery for her.  Fortunately I tend to like things that are sour, so I rather enjoyed it.  And the pastry was quite good.  It was a Pillsbury, refrigerated crust.  Hey, Alton Brown said store-bought pie crusts are fine, so I don’t feel a bit guilty using them.  I can make a homemade crust; I have, and it was quite good. I just prefer not to be bothered.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh (Photo credit: dronir)

Today I’m concentrating on salads, I guess.  I’ve got bulgur soaking for tabbouleh and quinoa cooking with curry powder.  Tabbouleh is pretty straightforward for me these days.  Bulgur, tomato (Can’t wait until I’m using our own tomatoes in this.), parsley, a little cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice.  I’ll probably add some chopped garlic scapes as long as I have them.  For the quinoa salad, I’ll be adding walnuts, snap peas, onion and diced apricots.  I’ll probably dress it with an apricot-curry vinaigrette.

Early girl tomatoes

Early girl tomatoes are (still too) early

French Breakfast Radishes

Fresh Picks should be here soon.  I managed to cadge some French breakfast radishes out of them again this week, and I’ve got a baguette coming, and a cheese-garlic spread from River Valley Ranch, so dinner is going to be really excellent tonight.  I’ll make some herbed butter for the radish sandwiches with either with Lake Shore Drive Seasoning or Sunny Paris Seasoning  from The Spice House. I’ll make up my mind at the last minute, I’m sure.  All in all, there’ll be some serious locavore action going on around here tonight.

I’m also planning to make a small batch of hummus today, but that’s by no means a sure thing.  I don’t have pita, but I do have a lot of different crackers and I’ll have a baguette later, which is really very good with hummus.  And the kicker is that none of this is really the type of thing I could take to our elderly neighbor and say  ”Bon appetit!” They’re really not her sort of things at all.  Maybe I’ll pull something together next week.

Coreopsis and rose

Coreopsis and rose (Photo credit: Tracy Rowan)

Glinda and I stayed inside last night and ordered a pizza.  She’d been home sick all day (I didn’t even realize until I heard someone walking around upstairs, freaked out, and phoned her.  She felt well enough to come down and watch Eureka (I say again, curse you SyFy, or whatever you’re calling yourself this week, for cancelling the best show you’ve got.) and eat pizza.  So when I was getting ready to close my back windows, I turned on the lights and the fountain briefly — I run the fountain for a few minutes each day to discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water — and something that had been squeaking below the window, fled into the coreopsis.  So there I was at eleven-thirty yelling out my window “Dude, we’re going to have words about this!”  Not even rats take me seriously.

 

 

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Tracy Rowan

August 2013

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