Years ago, during a particularly hot summer spell, a friend told me about her favorite hot weather snack. She would clean a bunch of seedless grapes, put them in Ziploc bags, and freeze them. I was a bit skeptical, but gave it a try. Wow! I was instantly hooked on frozen grapes. They’re a bit sweet (depending on the variety), cold, and juicy. And best of all, they’re a healthier snack than an ice cream bar.
What’s the most useless kitchen appliance? After my experience this week I’ve concluded it’s the garbage disposal.
I lived for years without a garbage disposal (not allowed in my Chicago building). I did have a disposal in my last apartment, and managed to clog it numerous times. Through that process I learned that you cannot put celery or onions down disposals. And I never have since then. But canned cat food? Who knew?
Yes, after a particularly stressful, long day at work this week, and a long, tense visit to the vet with Princess, we came home. I scooped out the tiny (let me stress tiny) remains of her canned cat food from earlier in the day, ran cold water (always cold), turned on the disposal, put the cat food down the disposal, and poof. Huge explosion of gunk came up at me (horrors). It flew all over the counters, all over the floor, all over my clothes. And rapidly, very rapidly, both sides of the sink began filling with water.
When I was a Girl Scout my very favorite thing to make at cookouts was a foil dinner. Our 10-year old version of this gourmet delight started, quite obviously, with a square of foil. On top of the foil we’d put a bit of ground beef, some canned, sliced potatoes, and a few slices of carrots (also from a can). That’s it. No seasoning, no more veggies. We’d seal the packet up, place it on top of the coals from our campfire, and later (it always seemed to take much longer than expected) we’d have what we thought of as a real yummy dinner.
It’s time for the farmers market! Okay, if you live in a southern climate this probably seems very puzzling to you. After all, you have fresh produce year round (or so it seems to this native northerner). But while we have a “year-round” farmers market in town, for most of the year it just features crafts (such as homemade soaps) and canned and preserved goods. But now, finally, it’s that time of year again. The farmers market in town is finally starting to get a bit of fresh produce.
My mother loved to make three-bean salad. The minute it turned warm this dish began appearing on our dinner table as a regular side dish. Now don’t get me wrong; my mother was a wonderful cook. But there was just nothing about her three-bean salad that I liked. Her version consisted of a can of green beans, a can of kidney beans, and a can of yellow waxed beans combined together. I’m not convinced she drained the cans. To this mixture of beans she’d add some oil and vinegar. That was it. Absolutely no seasoning. No garlic. No onions. Nothing. The stuff seemed to last for days, mainly because she was the only one who would eat it. But beans? We all loved beans.
I awoke this morning at 3 a.m. to loud shrieks and pitiful wails. I immediately jumped out of bed and ran to find my cat Princess. These weren’t her usual “I want to play” cries that I hear at least one or two nights a week. She sounded like she was suffering. Turned out not so much, unless you count wanting fresh canned cat food as suffering (and yes, that’s Princess licking her lips at about 3:05 a.m. this morning).
A year ago I posted here about the changes I was dealing with due to Princess’s advancing age. The past year has brought even more changes. As a result of some ups and downs in her health, we’re learning to deal with a number of new routines. But happily, Princess is still with me, is still active, and on balance has had a lot more good than bad days.
Do you have any collections? Do you think about them very often? Do anything with them? Or are they just something that you periodically stumble across and then remember.
Two of my collections — art and perfume bottles — are displayed prominently in my home. I see them every day. And when I see them, I’m reminded of where I got the pieces and the fun I had finding them. Sometimes when I look at one of the paintings that I bought at a particular art fair, I’m reminded of the friend I was with that day, the weather that we encountered, and even the meal we ate as a break from the fair. My other two collections — handkerchiefs and antique purses — are generally stuffed away in a closet, only pulled out for particular occasions. But oh, the memories they can bring when I pull them out.
Will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today? I don’t have any Irish ancestors but like so many people around the world, have long celebrated the day in one way or another. A dear friend has taught me that life is short, and it’s good to capture and celebrate as many moments, both big and small, as you can.
Will you wear something blue tomorrow? If not a whole outfit, perhaps a blue blouse, a pair of blue earrings or a blue bracelet? Why, you ask? Because Friday, March 2 is the Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Dress in Blue Day, designed to raise awareness for colon cancer. It’s also a major kickoff for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during March.
For years the health benefits of salmon have been touted in the media. As a source of Omega-3 fatty acids – one of the good fats – salmon’s health benefits also have been widely researched. Chief among the advantages is lowering one’s risk of heart disease. Although some other fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids (including mackerel, herring, and sardines), salmon seems to be most frequently mentioned. The American Heart Association currently recommends that adults try to incorporate two or more servings a week of one of these fish into their diet. Continue reading