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food weather

Pesto and stuff

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Busy morning. Took Gaby to playcare. Then it was off to the dentist.

After that, farmers’ market at the place from which I’ll be getting my CSA veggies. It was a very small market–it would fill only a tiny corner of the Sauvie Island market. But they had small freezers of beef and pork, honey, popcorn kernels, eggs, spinach and salad greens. I stocked up on said spinach and greens, and added a small bag of popcorn, pork chops, Italian sausage, and uncured bacon. A dozen eggs.

Of course, I had bought a pound of arugula just the other day. It wasn’t going to make it through the week, so I jammed it into the food processor with 4 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, half a cup each of grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts and olive oil. Presto pesto.

Arugula pesto lacks the weighty flavor and aroma of basil pesto. I find it brighter–some folks complain that it’s “grassy”–and lighter. The pound of arugula rendered down to about 3 cups of pesto, which is a good amount for breaking down into single/double serving sizes in either tiny containers or ice cube trays. I went with tiny snap-top containers because I wanted to protect the stuff from freezer taste as much as possible.

It’s still cold–upper 30s today–but we’ve had some thawing and rain. Most of the snow is gone, and the sump pump has been working its little heart out. No sign of sprouting greenery yet, and most nights are still below freezing. But maybe, maybe, we’ve turned the corner.

Lunch was a toasted half a whole grain ciabatta roll with smears of homemade hummus and fresh pesto. It was really good. Garlicky, but really good.

weather

You hear a rumble

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…like heavy machinery, a clatter like a slow train trundling down the track, but you know it’s not possible because you’re alone. Then you climb a dune and look out over the lake and realize that what you’re hearing are sheets of ice crashing and shattering on the shore.

The lake

around the world weather

Emerging

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Yeah, it was cold. Snow blew and drifted and crackled underfoot. The wind bit. The house creaked. No exciting frost quakes, just loss of cable internet for most of Monday. Given what other folks went through–stranded on roadways, in train stations, etc–not going to complain. Well, not much. I did get cranky as the day wore on and the lack of instant news/stock market/publishing gossip got under my skin. I fear I am an addict.

I struggled to assuage the longing by baking brownies. Pondered a wip. Started reading Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper, an older YA series that folks online had been raving about as a classic winter reread. I’m halfway through and have put the rest of the books in the series–5 in all–on hold at the library because yeah, the story is pretty good.

But hey, the warm-up has begun! -3F currently, but the wind has died. Saw a squirrel for the first time since Sunday, gnawing on the fresh suet block. A few hardy birds had gathered throughout the onslaught–the usual crew of jays, cardinals and juncos and even a pigeon or two–but more today, because HEAT WAVE!

I was worried about the car, since the garage is detached/uninsulated/unheated. But air temp in there is routinely 10 degrees warmer than the outdoors no matter what. That meant it was close to 10F in there this morning, which in turn translated to yes, the car started and I was able to get out of the house for the first time in 4 days. That lightened the general mood considerably.

Hope everyone affected by the polar vortex–that is so the name of my next band–is staying warm. I’m looking forward to spring, but there is still so much winter left to live through.

around the house mac life weather

A week

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Okay, not quite yet, but it has felt like one. Maybe, two.

MacBook Air has been acquired. His name is “Airy,” because. Lightning fast. Pretty much out of the box, since the Apple Store folks took care of porting over the contents of the MacBook. A few Mail glitches, but other than that, all good.

15 hours battery life is doable if I stay away from internet (surfing okay, but videos not so much), music, and turn down the keyboard backlighting. It is as light, if not lighter than, my 1st gen iPad. I really didn’t want to spend the money now, but I had no choice and as far as the system is concerned, I think I made the right choice. Really liking the quiet and speed of the solid state drive.

Not to be outdone, Kuro-the-Forester decided on Friday that he wanted some attention, too. Noticed weird smells emanating from under the hood after visit to Apple Store–not gas/oil, but lighter chemical smells. No leaks, smoke, drips, red lights on dash. Still, I worried about things like, oh, brake fluid, and made an appointment at the garage. Verdict–torn axle boot. Smell was due to leaking grease hitting the exhaust and burning. Front boots replaced, for an amount not as bad as, say, a head gasket, but still. Kuro is happynowIhope. Now hoping that House doesn’t take it into its pointy little head to make it a three-fer.

Gaby had an infected toe a few weeks ago that required antibiotics and painkillers, so I think she’s good wrt Crisis of the Day for another month or two. I hope.

::fingers crossed::

Lost a small tree during the recent round of t-storms. It needed to come down anyway because it was an accidental tree, not an I-planted-you-here on-purpose, tree. Too close to the back fence and up in the power lines. I’m lucky wires didn’t come down when it fell…well, actually, it bent. Still needs to be cut. I shall add it to the list.

There was a robin in my garage, but I think it’s out now. It had been in there for a while, clattering about the eaves, leaving dropping everywhere. I was concerned that it had built a nest, but I think it was just frazzled by the enclosure and the storms. Hoping, anyway. I will keep an eye out in case it comes back.

Backyard has taken on a primeval aspect thanks to the heat and rain. Really need to cut the grass, but there’s too much standing water.

In other news, BLACKHAWKS!! I love the moment when the guys pass around the Cup, the speculation as to whom the captain will hand it off first. In 2010, Toews handed the Cup off to Marian Hossa, who had tried to win it with so many other teams and come up short. This year, he handed it to Michal Handzus, who played for, iirc, 14 years w/o playing on a championship team. Handzus them passed it to Jamal Mayers, who had played 15 17 years. Mayer then passed it to Michal Rozsival, the last of the old timers. Then Rozsival passed it to Dave Bolland, who scored the winning goal.

Hockey. I think preseason starts in a couple months….

around the house gardening weather

Holiday weekend

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Memorial Day Weekend approaches. Today, it’s sunny, but windy and *cold*. Outlying areas could drop to mid-30s tonight, and folks at the hardware store were talking about a possible freeze even closer to the lake. I hope not–tomatoes and basil are in and they’re not going anywhere. We received some much needed rain over the past few days, about 1.5 inches, but the accompanying wind blew the blooms off a couple of the crabapples. The prairiefire is still hanging in there, but it’s lost about half its flowers. Petals all over the lawn, like pink snow.

In more conservative times (back when we were Zone 5), Memorial Day was the planting weekend around here. Now it’s a few weeks earlier seeing as we’re now Zone 5.5, but this weekend will make that a lie. 60s. Cloudy. 40s/50s at night. I ran the furnace this morning. A few days ago, I was running the A/C. I know–spring in Illinois. But it’s getting a little late for this.

Harvested a handful of mesclun for the dinner salad. One bright spot amid the chill.

Hit the hardware store on the way home. Bought some pink and white petunias in a basket, and a lime hydrangea (pale green flowers that turn pink as they age) for the shady side of the house. Some solar lanterns to hang about the backyard. Gaby had a grooming session–bath and summer clip–and looks very spiff.

I’m taking off Friday. Looking forward to the long weekend, even it stays cloudy.