Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fresh Corn from Farmers Market

Saturday morning Jupiter and I went to Farmer's Market. To be totally green, we should walk up to the Farmer's Market that we live close too, but I'm really in love with the Farmer's Market at Deering Oaks in Portland. I mean, they had belly dancers, of all things. Jupiter really liked the belly dancers. I think the farmers did too. But anyway, they also had corn on the cob. A few years ago, I bought fresh corn from Farmer's Market. I love fresh corn from Farmer's Market. It's SO SWEET. It's kind of like eating sugar. And I generally don't cook anything else for dinner, just corn. Jupiter is being stubborn, and thinks she doesn't like corn on the cob. More for me. It's the best corn I've had since I lived in Iowa and one time someone came up to me while I was working at Stop and Go and offered me some of the corn he was driving around in his pickup truck. So Saturday, I spent five dollars on 12 ears of corn. Seems like a lot of corn, but I ate two ears and Elmo ate two ears, then I cut the rest off all the ears of corn and put three ziploc bags of corn into the freezer. Man, do I wish there was a neater way to cut all the corn off the ears. It's a mess! But, come January, I can have some frozen "fresh corn from farmer's market." And I'll think of summer.
My pumpkins are orange. The first amazing fact is that I have pumpkins. That are large and normal looking and orange. This spring I finally got around to putting in a new garden bed between my house and my neighbors house. I have great neighbors. They snowblow my driveway for me all winter. This spring, when the 14 feet of snow from both of our driveways melted and we could find our yards again, my neighbor came out with his rototiller and tilled up where i wanted the new garden bed to go. Then after I hacked off most of the branches from the devil bush (it's not really called that, but it should have been. It has fourty billion thorns on it) they came out with the chainsaw and cut the rest of that down for me too. So I put tomatos and squash in those spots.
And lo and behold if I didn't manage to grow productive plants, for a change. Sunlight is amazing. The squash plants are taking over my yard, my driveway, and are encroaching on the neighbors property. Jupiter took sungold tomatos to school for snack the other day and told all her friends we grew them in our garden. Yay!! And the Roma tomatos are just starting to ripen. I think I will get enough to make some salsa. And the squash, well I have enough. I have to find more recipes. I can make nice chocolate chip cookies with zuchini in them..if you don't tell people they don't even know they have zuchini in them. And there are six full sized pumpkins. With any luck, I'll be able to keep them dry and not rotting until October 31st.
I think I want to cut down the one tree that's left between my house and the neighbors and just make one nice sized garden bed. That would be great.
I was making dal one day during vacation (because I wanted to play with all my spice bottles) and Jupiter was playing with the lentils. Lentils in their dried form are great for sensory kids. After I explained to her what they were, she wanted to plant some in the garden. We did and guess what?? We even have a few lentil plants. Which Jupiter also shared with her friends in Pre-K. It was way to late in the season to actually grow lentils, but she's happy with the plants, anyway. She built a little rock wall around them, even.

My favorite recipe for Masoor Dal

2/3 cup red lentils
1 md size onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder1
1 tsp ground coriander
5 tsp clarified butter (I just use regular butter, tastes fine to me)
1 tsp ground cumin (zeera)
pinch of tumeric
chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 green chili, chopped

Wash the lentils throughly

Put the lentils, half the onion, chili powder and ground coriander into a large saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until lentils are cooked. Skim the froth off from time to time.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and fry the other half of the onion with cumin and turmeric. Add the fried onion to the lentils, making sure the fat does not sputter. Garnish with cilantro and green chili.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Found the blog!!

I have an issue with my blog. I can't find it. My own blog. I went to the website and started it, created a post, published the post, and then couldn't figure out how to get to the blog itself so I could see it. I had to wait to get an email from someone I sent the link too so I could click on it myself and save it. Then when I came on tonight to try to post a new entry, I couldn't figure out how to get to the working part of the blog to compose a new entry. I will refrain from mentioning my lack of webskills on my resume during the staff selection process. Apparently I can read the internet, but I can't alter the internet. Yet.

The Sun Shines

Of course the sun shines today. It was the last day of vacation, but at least one actual nice day to enjoy. When I wasn't dismantling my fridge, cleaning the fridge, then swearing at the pieces of the fridge when they wouldn't all go back in the way they came out. Now, by the way, it looks like a brand new fridge. Jupiter went with Mimi and Bepa to drop Bepa off at the bus station, then went to the playground and to Mimi's for lunch and to play in the pool. It's full of rainwater. So aside from the fridge, I got beds made, clothes (including the clean work clothes I washed two weeks ago and which have been residing in the laundry basket ever since) put away in drawers and on hangers, the dishes washed, and the water in the goldfish tank half changed out. Now I can actually see the fish. Jupiter really really wanted fish. But she doesn't really understand about feeding them only teeny tiny amounts of food, so I have to hide the fish food from her. Last week she found it. But even though she loves her fish, she really wants a bunny. I said no. No bunny.
So after all that work, I picked Jupiter up and brought her home. We went to the frog pond, but the mosquitos bit us so we left. We played frisbee in the yard, but I poked my eye with a stick trying to retrieve the frisbee from a tree. Jupiter loves to throw the frisbee, but she's not really in control of which direction it actually flies. So we went to the nice safe playground where Jupiter learned a new playground trick and chased some boy up and down the slide. She's wanted to chase boys ever since she had a crush on Greg from the Wiggles, and packed her suitcase one night, climbed up on the rocking horse, and announced that she was chasing Greg. Greg has now been thoroughly supplanted by Troy from HSM. She chooses checkout lines at Shaws based on the probability that Troy might be manning the register. I've made tenative plans to move to a sparsely populated island when Jupiter turns 13. Or maybe even 11.
So tomorrow, it's back to work. I don't like working. I think maybe all the rain gave me a chance to be a normal stay at home Mom for a couple of weeks. I'm not very good at the at home part, considering that this morning the house looked worse, housekeeping wise, than it does when I'm gone at work all day. How does that happen? I understand that Jupiter runs through the house like a little tornado, and she's been spending more waking hours at home. Which is kind of nice. I wish I could stay home more. Although I am lucky enough to have four weeks paid vacation, a benefit I will possibly enjoy for one more year while I undergo the "staff selection process." gotta love mergers.
The weather looks super for tomorrow....and I'm not sick!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation in Maine

Once a friend and I came up with a new slogan for Maine, that could be put on a license plate. "Maine. It's not bad. It's just cold." Usually I use this slogan in January and February. However.

This is August. I've been on vacation from work for a week and a half. The temperature has yet to hit 80 degrees during the entire time I've been off work. And it has rained EVERY day. Not all day, every day. But some part of every day. There are times when I think God has happy hour, sitting up there in the big chair, drinking beer and peanuts while he watches my life unfold. I know He's up there laughing at me now, watching me stare at the Weather Channel, NECN, and Channel 6, one after the other, trying to find a forecast that I like. This actually is another activity I do frequently in Jan/Feb. It's something that I EXPECT to do during the winter. Not in August.

I know I shouldn't complain. If I were a farmer, or my livelihood were dependent on tourism, I would be in big trouble. It's just that summer is my favorite season. I love to be too hot. I live to go to the ocean. The brief Memorial Day to Labor Day summer of Maine is all too brief, in my opinion. And most of this summer has NOT been summerlike. I haven't even bothered to take the down comforter off my bed. All summer.

So anyway, what does one do in Maine when one can NOT go to the ocean? Today my four year old daughter (aka Jupiter) decided she was going to go visit her grandmother so I could go shopping. I needed a haircut, so I went along with that. Once in a while it's nice to be able to go to stores and look at something that is not labled High School Musical, so I thought it was an okay plan.

When the ocean is closed, the Mall is open. In this case, the Maine Mall. On a rainy August day, I heard more French than English. The Quebequois are taking advantage of shopping here. As a Francophile, it was almost like being back in Montreal. I love Montreal. There was also a lot of French being spoken at Target. I started thinking to myself in French, even. Then I came home and discovered Jupiter at the playground, face covered in pink chalk. The sun had tried to come out for a couple hours, which just kicked up the clouds and caused my rain by 4:30. Jupiter is exceedingly active. When she doesn't get her activity requirements, she does things like drag all the blankets and pillows in the house out to the living room, make a big pile of them on the floor, and launch herself off the couch onto the pillows and blankets repeatedly. People think I'm nuts, but I know our lives will be much less stressful if I let her do that when she needs too. Fortunately we have lots of pillows and blankets.

Tomorrow, the forecast is for showers. I think on all the channels. We're going to Aquaboggan Water Park. I don't think I will be hot, so I'm hoping for tolerable. But Jupiter will love it.