food

Oh, sweet lettuce*

Salad exquisite

Tonight we had probably the best-quality lettuce I’ll have until next garden-season (in 2019). This is the salad I made from this lovely gift from the Hunter-Gatherer-Forager-Everything Guy Across The Way. With a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Yum.

Already storing harvest memories from this year…. I know it’s a little early, but some seasons are like that. [Not saying “climate change,” notice!]

* Lettuce is lechuga in Spanish. Somehow, I think lechuga has a classier sound…but not by much. Yeah, I’m lame; it’s about me, folks. 😎

Basil story, NorthCountry 2018

Basil ringfort

With a generous daily measure of water-added, the basil in the ringfort has been productive.

Basilcrop

Today we harvested, and the volume was good for a giant dollop of a pesto-like sauce for a big pot of dried tortellini (not to be confused with tortelli or tortelloni…for example).

However, it is so dry weather-wise that unless there’s rain after we leave, these tender plants will NOT make it, and there’ll be no later-season harvest.

Tasty menu

Skipper again

Darned muggy today, and too hot to cook, really. But I had a chunk of pork shoulder that needed to be prepared—didn’t want to do the freeze/thaw dance with it, and besides we did need something for our Saturday night meal. I managed to turn it into simple-recipe stovetop BBQ without overly heating the house. Trick: I started early, and by 9am the pot was turned down to simmer, and by noon, the pot was in the fridge so I could remove (some of) the partly congealed fat before reheating it for dinner. Yum.

Food diary

Plein air baconing

Of course, first we had coffee, not shown, most of which we enjoyed sitting outdoors in this area. Then, our guest got out some fantastic black pepper bacon and cooked batch after batch on this camp stove/their camp table, meaning neither closed-in, traditional kitchen (our house, their camper) acquired a lingering bacon aroma. (Yay.) On the regular burner, she did a big skillet of scrambled eggs. And a fantastic brunch was enjoyed by all.

Multi salad etc

We independently nibbled (and sipped) through the rest of the day until we sat down to a FEAST. We brought out salads that didn’t get consumed yesterday and added new salads and miscellaneous veggie dishes. Meat courses were ribs (not shown; bought thoroughly cooked, and reheated), and my version of Irish stew (lamb, Two Hearted brewskis, potatoes, rainbow carrots, oddments—in the iron dutch oven). Pretty sure the white carrots tasted funky, kinda like slightly acrid parsnips, but no one else was bothered by them.

In short, a good-eating day, with plenty of visiting and page-turning, and the like. Near perfection—low-stress and fabulous fun all day.

Quack reference (no ducks)

Basil forest

We began the Plant-the-Enchanted-Basil-Forest-Project in earnest today. We got the plants, three big pots, yesterday. Today, we removed most of the floral flotsam and jetsam that had reoccupied the Botanist’s garden mound. And the quack roots. Many quack roots. Given how dry the soil was (need rain!), I also dumped half the rain-barrel water that’s accumulated since we arrived on the mound, to de-dustify the soil. It’ll wait overnight for completion of prep, then….

Tomorrow we will plant!

Because the plants are so lush, we pruned them back to allow the roots to develop when they get in the Real Earth, and used the “clippings” to make pesto for our (dry) mini-raviolis.

Life is darned good.

Moving right along

Michigan sauce

Yeah, pure Michigan. Like the idea, but I haven’t yet been willing to put this stuff in my gullet. Not likely to change that opinion, either.

Mayfly visitor

Moving on, yeah, the fish-flies are still here, and this one wanted to be my best friend. Pooooooooof, I exhaled, and it was gone, off to find another sponsor in this hard, hard world.

Lupine best of

Droney captured a lovely, still-sunny moment. Lordy, lordy, the lupine are lovely. We are enjoying them to the n-th degree!

Reuinted tablecloth

And, we reunited with our good friends (sigh; love them!) who have looked after our place through the winter doldrums and captured-and-eliminated many rodents who sought to reside in Our House (aka cottage), against Our Wishes, through the winter quiet. We reoccupied The Cottage without much competition from Rodents or Bats, in great part thanks to the efforts of ukelele-playing Puppet-Woman, whom today we recognized as Saint UPPW….

Ripening science

Avocado ripening

One of the things I loved about buying veg/fruits at the markets in Mexico was that if you wanted avocados, the market lady (almost always a lady) would ask when you intended to use it. You could be very specific, like seven this evening or three this afternoon, and the avocado she offered in response would, invariably in my experience, be perfect at that time. Yay!

Bee balm

Now I see that today WholePaycheck had two piles of four-to-a-bag avocados, one with this sign and one with a 3–4 day sign.

I bought a single from the regular pile, and it was perfect in our salad. Didn’t need four avocados, so I don’t know if their system is as good as the market ladies of southern Mexico.

I got a bit inventive

Pork stack

At the moment, I’m calling this a pork stack. It’s a composed meal with a rice mixture (that I won’t buy again) on the bottom, then a mixed veg layer (mostly greens—bok choy and spinach, plus green onions), then sautéed pork loin medallions on top. Soy, no ginger or garlic (forgotten) for the main sauce-y flavorings. And, on the very top, a scatter of the green parts of the green onions for visual interest and flavor.

Just whipped it up, and that’s why I forgot several bits I would have added if I had taken longer. I’m really proud that I managed to make it in one pan (rice) and one skillet (the other two, veg first, then meat).

This isn’t particularly original, as it’s essentially a stir-fry. Tasty, however!

Simply blooms

Lily redorange

I find lily-peace a great counterpoint to the tensions that “Westworld” generates in my psyche. And the thunder that came in last night…whew…that added to my stress. Tonight, I found “Westworld” easier to emerge myself in…no thunder.

Hosta bloom

TMI? Here’s a simple, uncomplicated hosta bloom-shoot. Tah-dah!

Turning the ship around

Goldenyellowfleurs

Is there such a thing as a cheer-up weekend? I’m looking for one.

Really, I’m okay.

Got out of my head in the late afternoon to create a poached chicken dish…boneless/skinless thighs in white wine, but sauté bacon and onion first, throw in some garlic, then the chicken, white wine…and let it simmer. Add in some carrot coins and later some mini-zucchini chunks…then throw some parmesan shavings and fresh julienned basil on each portion. Enjoy with a big salad.

A Friday-night recovery feast. I’m on my way.