Sunday, November 25, 2007

Do you think this happens to Martha?

Sigh. It was supposed to be a fun weekend of Christmas decorating (a bit early this year but we're busy this December). You know.....gather the family, pick out a tree, put lights up outside, the usual. I was so happy that I'd carved out a couple of days to do something fun for the holidays. Clearly my expectations were a bit high!

Picking the tree out went well. Decorating the tree went as well as could be expected when assisted by a two year old who insisted on putting ornament hooks on every single ornament...and then attempting to hang every single ornament on one branch. Even though it went very very sloooowly, it was amusing and pretty cute. We laughed, he was proud. After he got bored and wandered off, I moved the ornaments around and fixed it all up- call me anal, but Christmas is for me too!

Today was the day I was going to make beautiful outdoor arrangements with greens I'd gathered in the woods last weekend. I was going to put lights in all the trees. I was going to deck the house, so to speak. It started out well enough- the sun was shining, it was even warm-ish. I gathered all my branches and made this:

Pretty huh? Yes it was...until it came crashing down two hours after completion! Great. While it was still hanging, I proceeded on to lighting up my trees. I was in a good mood! That's when I discovered that most of the lights that I'd purchased last year, and that had been fine when stored away, were no longer working. So, no lit up trees- just a trash can full of lights. And, of course, just as I was pitching my lights, I heard the crash that was my greens falling off the wall. That's when I started to weep. And curse. Alot. Seems a part of the wall basket had broken. Fortunately Colin hates weeping and hastily dropped what he was doing and fixed the thing all up. A few minor adjustments, and it was all okay.

Except for the state of the patio, which is what we walk through to get into the house.

See all that? That's mud and ice....the result of leaving planter emptying and storing until now. Seems the best way to empty a frozen pot of soil is to soak it in water, alot of water, and then dump it. And then shovel it into my garden. (That wasn't really what I had in mind, but I wasn't asked my opinion!) So, if you come to my house, tread carefully and please wipe your feet!


Monday, November 12, 2007


This was good soup. Perfect way to use some of the rosemary still growing in the garden. Doubled the recipe, used more rosemary and more garlic, had lots leftover for freezer lunches.

Rosemary White Bean Soup
From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 pound dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Update

First of all, if you read my post from last Saturday, and you liked the recipe for the yummy yet healthy Pumpkin Cookies, go back and get the recipe again. I've updated it. I've been playing with it a bit, and this morning, I think I perfected it- according to the cookie experts in the house anyways!

This is the first day in almost a week that I feel somewhat less than teetering on the brink of death. Okay, maybe that's an overreaction, but I've had a really really rotten cold accompanied by a bout of insomnia (which does not for good healing make!). Then I wrenched my back while coughing. Ouch. I was in a sad sad state. Yesterday I dragged (drug?) myself out in the late afternoon, as I was desperately craving fresh air. So, to the park we went, with a pocket full of tissues and a hot drink. It was a beautiful fall day, so I'm glad I ventured out. Last night I finally had a decent night of sleep, so I feel somewhat human again. Good thing, I've probably been a bit unbearable lately.....

And, for those of you that check in to see how my mom's doing, this last round of chemo was much harder on her than the doctors anticipated. She's developed an infection which started in the mouth and progressed through her digestive tract. Very draining, very uncomfortable. She's been on some medication for that for the last few days, and feels a bit better now. So, we shall see what comes next.