A random, fragmented recap of some moments of life lately.
Look at what my incredible husband built last week! Last year we planted all sorts of veggies in these two raised beds. We carefully tended them and waited for them to grow. We watered and weeded. Annnnd then the neighborhood varmints used them as two giant all-you-can-eat salad bars. The worst part? The varmints were persnickety eaters. Their favorite thing was to eat ONE BITE out of a tomato, turning it rotten, and then leave the rest. I think the bunnies in our neighborhood are adorable. But after this I wanted to drop kick them one by one. So the husband came up with this awesome idea which should hopefully keep our veggies safe this summer (from the two giant varmins in the back of the picture as well)
Elsewhere on the garden front, spring has officially shifted the corner toward summer and the plants are crazy happy about it. Our herbs are thriving (in the planter box we have cinnamon basil, regular basil, cilantro, thyme, two kinds of parsley, mint, and oregano). The oregano and mint we both planted last summer. The oregano stuck around throughout the entire cold, hard winter (who knew it was so hardy?) and the mint died down but came back. My favorite thing in the world is when I'm cooking and I can run out to the backyard, barefoot, and grab a handful of herbs straight from the dirt. The smell of fresh basil is just pure, unfiltered summer to me. On a non-edible note, the hostas have returned in full force. Some previous owner planted these, probably years ago, and I absolutely love them. They come out of the ground practically overnight and in what feels like hours become massive. I think a hosta leaf is one of the prettiest things in the world. It looks like someone painted it with delicate swirls of green and white.
We went to a Ben Folds concert with friends Saturday night and I may have over-indulged (we also had a little impromptu cookout before hand and went OUT after the concert, to a BAR, past ELEVEN!). I have never felt older than the next morning when I was completely down for the count after drinking what five years ago would have not really fazed my liver. Long story short I ate McDonalds because that is the world's best hangover food, and lied on the couch all day. So I felt like a slug and really wanted something full of veggies and healthy goodness the next day. So I whipped up this little rice dish. I used a couple of recipes for inspiration. Basically I sauteed red onions and garlic in olive oil, then added red cabbage, thinly sliced carrots, and broccoli. I grated a big thing of ginger all over that and tossed in a liberal amount of soy sauce, sri racha, and small pour of sesame oil. I let all of that cook/flavor meld covered while I cooked some diced chicken in a wok (with soy, olive oil, and fish sauce). Once the chicken was done I added it to the veggies, along with cooked edamame, and cooked white rice. I finished it off with some fresh cilantro from the yard. SOOOO good. Even better with a little TJ's peanut vinaigrette salad dressing on top. Lots of yummy Thai flavors and tons of veggies.
We decided to subscribe to the daily edition of the NY Times. Yes, I know that print papers are fast becoming dinosaurs, but I've always wanted to be the kind of person who reads a newspaper every day (or almost every day, days I work 13 hours forget it, I can barely handle reading people.com after that). I sat outside the other evening with two papers and a glass of wine and it was utterly lovely. I felt immediately smarter and more caught up on the world afterward. I tend to go through phases where I want to tune out all news because my work can be depressing enough without adding in the world's sorrows. But really I don't want to be the kind of person who buries my head in the sand. I want to know and understand as much as possible about current events, because I think it will make me a better human overall, and that's always a good goal right? George also wanted to get caught up on today's events.
We have FINALLY got a system that works for walking both dogs without being literally dragged behind them while they both pull the shit out of the leash (I should absolutely get a sled in winter and rig it up to them if I need to get anywhere during a bad snow, they were born to pull large things). For George we have a harness (with the leash hooked up to his collar he would happily strangle himself because he would just. be. so. exicted.) Sandy gets the gentle leader. She sort of hates it, but is the only way to walk her without getting both of your arms pulled out of the socket. Finally we got a double leash that hooks to both of them. It's not a perfect system. Getting the harness and gentle leader on them pre walk can be a 20 minute wrestling match. If we come across another dog tangling almost always ensues. But overall it makes our walks a pleasant experience for both dog and human alike.
We took George to the season's first official South of the James farmers market in Forest Hill Park (I have never been, I know, I know! I have been missing out for a very long time, I intend to fix that this summer). It was so much fun. Lots of delicious looking things that I can't wait to buy over the summer. But the highlight for all of us had to be Mrs. Yoder's. I have also never had one of their doughnuts (I know, I know!). We happily stood in line, watching the girls roll out the dough behind the truck, until we got to the window and were handed our doughnuts and the heavens opened and angels danced and choirs sang. This was, without question, the best doughnut I have ever had. I'm not sure I can ever have another doughnut. It was so fresh, literally dripping icing (George had a little icing shower without us realizing it for a few moments, because it just dripped right off the hot doughnut R was holding onto his head, he did not mind, in fact it might have been the happiest moment of his life, in his little doggie head I just know he was shouting "make it RAIN!"). I just cannot do justice to how good it was. I will happily get up early on my Saturdays off to go to the market to get one of these doughnuts (and of course some veggies, to cancel out the whole giant, icing covered doughnut thing).