a couple weeks ago i did the unthinkable and turned thirty. *gasp* my brother, who happens to have a phd in mathematics, called to tell me that thirty is so mathematically insignificant it is hardly worth celebrating. since i can hardly count (i know this for a fact because when i was a bank teller my manager once told me, "lisa, you're really great with customers, but maybe you should learn how to count.") i gently reminded him of the following mathematical proof:
30/60 = baby girl/mom
i am exactly half mom's age! i am too mathematically significant, oh dr. brother of mine! check that fraction again folks, cause we're using this whole year an excuse...i mean, reason to celebrate! and we're kicking it off with a girl's trip!
our plan was to go see and do all the things that would be a drag to do with our husbands and really the whole trip has morphed into a series of things we'd never, ever get to do if the darling mr.s were around. so far we've:
*taken the scenic route even though it's much longer *pulled off the interstate just because we think "there's something significant here," and driven around in circles while reading about the town from wikipedia *stretched our legs by shopping at dillards *taken the next exit on the interstate and backtracking two miles because we really do want to see that farmer's market after all
and most other green things. week 3 into our csa and robby stopped to ask me, " what have you been doing with the bok choi?"
i think it'd be embarrassing to mention the altar i have built for my weekly share of greens, so i simply said, " i make chinese food! i'll send you a recipe!" in an attempt to deflect the depth of my devotion to yummy green things.
for those of you new to bok choi, it is an asian cabbage. you will want to be sure to treat the green leafy part and the substantial stemage separately, much like swiss chard (which has it's own altar 'round here). in the following recipe, i used the stems like white onions. without any further ado, i present to you:
spicy stir fried chicken and greens with peanuts
3 tablespoons oil (peanut, canola or olive) 2 Tablespoon soy sauce 2 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar 3 teaspoon sesame oil 2 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon chile sauce (more or less, depends on how hot you like it!) 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 4 green onions 1 large bunch greens 1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
whisk together the following 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon chile sauce
add 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide strips. set aside to marinade at room temp 20 to 30 minutes.
whisk together (i'm not actually making a mistake and making you do this twice, just trust me.) 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar 2 teaspoons sesame oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon chile sauce
set aside. and now we do some chopping!
4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately 1 large bunch greens, stemmed and cut into 1 inch strips, about 10 cups. seperate out stems.
i used broccoli rabe and bok choi last time but you can try any mixture of mustard greens, kale, or spinach too.
heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large, high sided skillet over high heat. add white parts of onions and stems, stir 30 seconds. add chicken and stir fry until cooked through, about 3 minutes. transfer chicken mixture to a bowl.
add 1 Tablespoon oil to same skillet, heat over high heat. add greens by large handfuls and stir until just beginning to wilt before adding more. saute until just tender and return the chicken to the skillet. add reserved soy sauce mixture, stir until everything is heated through, about 1 minute.
season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts. eat up, build altar, praise God for making such delicious green stuff for your bellies!
what i call pure deliciousness in the form of jam, ball canning calls a "spreadable fieldberry." as i have made no changes to their recipe, i am hesitant to post it. my google searches for similar recipes come up with things loaded with honey or artificial sweeteners and their own site does not have the recipe posted.
so, to keep me out of trouble, here is the book i got it from. they offer several versions of the jam; cherry berry, blueberry, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, and spiced peaches. chattanoogans, there is a copy of this available at our library.
ball complete book of home preserving edited by judith kingry and lauren devine.
after months of searching last spring, this is the one book i bought. i have inherited many canning books (thanks aunt carol!), bought a few used, borrowed every single one from our library, and spent hours in bookstores and am happy to say, i love this book!
well, most weeks i ignore the fact that i have a blog. but something about spring makes me all twitchy and much to josh's dismay, active. way active. like, make-2-batches-of-jam a day active. i blame it all on the zyrtec, aka, the drug that has given me my life back.
so, the last week of april (yes, this is a week late, but really, it's been a long pause, so who's counting days at this point?) marked two important dates on my calendar: the first sunday market of the season and the first csa share of the year.
look at what those lovely hughes' had waiting for me sunday.
the mr. was very patient as i sat on the sidewalk and loaded these one by one into the bag that fits in my bike basket. and then when i nearly cried about riding over the train tracks and losing THREE WHOLE BERRIES! these suckers are precious. for crying out loud, they're the first of the season!!!
last year was my first foray in to the wide world of canning. i think i might be addicted. there is something delightfully hoarder like, no rewarding about being able to taste spring in the middle of winter. so here i am at 9 in the morning making strawberry rhubarb fieldberries.
anyone out there make this recipe from the good ol' people at ball canning? no added sugar, no pectin, just the fruit, apples, and apple juice concentrate. it is way delicious.
on to the veg. get a load of what the first week brought me. you see that brown bag back there? oh yes, that lil' guy. that would be fresh ground grits.
which made meal planning a cinch, because obviously the best way to celebrate the first share of the season was by eating some greens...
one last house cleaning item. anyone remember this image from the fall? we picked apples. specifically, storing apples. which we have been eating non-stop since september.
the arrival of strawberries at the market meant it was time to use these guys up, so that the fridge now looks like this and i have several pints of homemade applesauce. for those of you who've never made applesauce and think it sounds way homeschool, let me tell you, if you've ever made mashed potatoes, you worked a lot harder on that then i did on applesauce.
good bye apples! huber's, we're headed your way soon for more you-pick goodness!
okay, end of the long, long post. you still with me? we left on thursday and had a big ol' adventure, as we websters like to call it, trying to get to omaha and back for a wedding. here is the abridged version of the story: we made it there after a fun, and totally unplanned, 2 night layover in milwaukee and a cancelled flight-car rental crazy trek home.
tonight i leave for the beach and i promise to be back next week with more adventures to share. because before i go, there is a cobbler, pear bread, and kale chips to be made and who knows what when i get back!
or rather, what i finished reading obsessively last night. after christmas shopping with the cutler fam on saturday, we headed over to mckay's to see what treasures we might find.
i found this little gem in the history section and decided at $3 it was just the right kind of useless miscellany i would enjoy devouring as i recovered thanksgiving week. i mean, really folks, a history of personal hygiene? perfect!
every time i read a classic i ask josh, wiki, and google things about everyday life in the time period. what did they eat? how come the girls didn't work? what did they wear? how did they do their hair? did they bathe? and finally, at least one of those questions is answered!
it was funny, interesting, and most importantly, completely prepared me to dominate on this particular topic in any trivia game!
up next on the reading docket (really, i'm already 35 of the 802 pages into it...which may not seem like a good start but so far i have read about luther, the reformation, erasmus, and am moving on to calvin) is this overview of western culture:
i think so! since i last signed on i have been to washington dc, omaha, louisville, and a few places in between. i have had many, many adventures and apparently found none of them blogworthy. you know how it goes, every little thing that i thought, "oh! i should put that on the blog!" never seemed good enough for the long anticipated return to the blogosphere.
that is, until i was working one afternoon at leo, and by working i mean eating a jimmy john's and emailing molly while watching glee and the store, and molly's response to my email about the previous evening's exercise was that i should post it to my blog. now, i may need to rename the blog "emails to molly" cause that's how the rest are going to be written. in any case, here's what i have to say about my ongoing adventures in exercise:
two years ago i signed up for a swim clinic at the y and drug 2 of my girlfriends there for 6 consecutive 7am saturday morning sessions. only one of us thought the adventure was memorable in a good way.
now that i think about it, swimming is one of the reasons i started running again...i reasoned that there was nothing worse than the anaerobics of swimming and i was right. that's probably why i don't feel like i'm gonna die or suffocate when i run...my face isn't buried in water! i can totally breathe whenever i want!
pretty bad exercise theory to do something that doesn't let me breathe just to make running seem easier, but hey, it worked!
our workout was great. we left the house, walked for 10 minutes and jogged for another 10 minutes exactly and that got us to the y.
the swimming was depressing. i mean, really, a speedo? do i seem like that much of a masochist to you? i am. i swam a little under 15 minutes with plenty of breaks. after my nice hot shower, i put on the running clothes, and in an effort to stay warm and get home quickly, jogged the 14 minutes to the main and mitchell intersection.
i don't know why, but it was so, so easy to jog home! i think i was warmed up (muscularly) and after being in the pool you really appreciate even those gaspy jogging breaths.
oh, and in other irrational exercise plans, i realized i walk so fast it hurts more than running, so it's usually a relief to just start jogging! at least when i jog i use my quads and butt more. i think i walk with just my shins and hips...or at least that's how it BURNS.
when i was six i wrote a book. it was called, " i am myslef." if it were made into an independent film today, it would be a tale of a young girl's exploration of identity in the post post-modern world. as it was a book that i wrote and illustrated, it was 8 pages of exploratory dialogue in which i posed the following questions:
am i baer?
no, i am not a bear.
am i a mackey?
no, i am not a monkey.
am i a duck?
no, i am not a duck.
i am not any of these things.
i am myslef.
i think that about sums me up.