I haven’t grown cucumbers in a few years because my vine veggies just haven’t been doing too well – and I gave up. Since I had such a banner year with my squash in the past few years summer – I think I just may go back to cucumbers this year. So with the warm weather approaching and my love for cucumbers and German cooking (my great-great grandmother was from Bavaria) – I figured I would whip up another a great compliment to burgers and hotdogs. Cucumber Salad.
We’ve had such a ridiculous amount of squash and zucchini this summer- that I truly was beginning to think that Nick was getting “squashed” out. I’ve made zucchini quiche (super quick – I’ll post it one day), grilled zucchini and squash – with homemade herbal marinade, zucchini bread and our favorite: Apple Sausage and Zucchini Pasta. This is one of our favorite meals I came across some many years ago – and with a few changes and alterations – it keeps getting better every time.
One of my favorite things to whip up is Pesto. My dad used to make it sometimes when I was in college and when I finally got my own apartment and my own basil plant – I couldn’t wait to make some of my own. Nick – was skeptical. He had never liked pesto as a child and the color completely turned him off. I promised him he would like it if he gave it a whirl. It turns out it is one of his favorite things I cook up. It’s a quick, easy and delicious dinner fix when time or motivation isn’t in your favor.
Finding the time to do the things I love can be challenging. Most certainly during the school year, but even during summer vacation. And ever I was diagnosed with RA (Arthritis is not just a disease of old age. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.) two years ago – it’s been an uphill battle with walking, bending, cooking, sitting, sleeping, eating and pretty much doing any kind of normal function. It broke my heart to have to give up some of the things I absolutely LOVE to do. That’s why – on a good day – when I can – I strap my hiking shoes on, queue up my Playlist, lead up Harley and head out into the woods. Last week I was finally able to get out on a walk with Big H. He’s been cooped up for the better half of two years – except for the occasional walk around our local development and yard time (of course). Harley has been off leash trained since he was 6 months old and the beagle in him loves a good nature sniff. So, I loaded him into the car and headed off to trek around one of the local hiking trails in my neck of the woods. If pups can experience pure BLISS – Harley sure was! Mentally – I always feel my best during a hike – but it was even more special to experience my first walk -in a long time -with him. I love how I just never know what we’re going to find. Every turn, bridge and path – leads to a new adventure that’s never the same the next time we trek out. An hour and half later – we had discovered a turkey nest, caught some grasshoppers, spotted a fawn and snapped some cool shots. Was I sore by the end? ABSOLUTELY. Did it wet my appetite to get out there a bit more often? You had better believe it! Was it worth it to see Harley smile – EVERY BIT !!!!
Are you like me ? Do you feel more at peace in the woods or are you more of a beach/city person?
As I mentioned a while ago – in my Baking …. Basil and Cultivating …. Cabbage entry the Third Graders at our School were participating in the Burpee Cabbage Contest and I was lucky enough to score some cabbage seedlings. Honestly, I’ve never grown cabbage before, I know they’re cooler weather crops and the way that my peppers and squash have been fairing the past few years – I was kind of nervous trying a new veggie. But they were free – and I figured WHY NOT? The least it could get me would be a “I learned my lesson blog post”. The best thing it could get me was some delicious coleslaw. Luckily for me and Nick’s belly we got the latter.
Cold HOW TO:
I’ve been fighting a nasty infection for the better part of a week now. So, taking the old motto: “if you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em” to heart I figured … If I can’t get out and help Nick in the garden – I might as well bring the garden into me. With the amount of herbs I plant each year (or grow back every year) I knew I just had to have something natural to help defend my system. It just so happens I have a nice little bush of Lemon thyme by the back door.
- Harley – doesn’t like canned pumpkin (unless it’s in Molly’s bowl).
- Molly doesn’t like pills with peanut butter or cream cheese.
- Harley, on the other hand, will kill for it.
- Molly will tolerate avocado with a pill – as long as you rub her throat and make sure it goes down smoothly.
- Harley will most certainly eat avocado.
- Molly loves rice and canned pumpkin
- She is NOT a fan of Orzo.
- Harley will eat her Orzo as long as there is not too much canned pumpkin on it.
- EVERYONE EATS CHERRY TOMATOES
Which, I suppose, brings me to my 1st How To: Giving Molly her 3 1/2 pills last night – was torture. Nick and I were hot, agitated, and completely at eat other’s throats by the end of the ordeal. After 25 minutes – 2 of the 3 1/2 had been administered and we were completely exhausted. Molly was too. She has curled herself into a sulky ball in the bathroom – trying to avoid any more drama. And it was only Day ONE. BUT …. It’s almost summer. Summer = tomatoes. The tomato garden is everyone’s favorite hangout (second to the Mulberry Tree, naturally) in the summer. Molly’s favorite delicacy is always the cherry tomato, though if she can get a plump Burpee or ripe Jersey – she’s totally game. So this morning, when I opened the fridge and discovered a nice container of Organic grape Tomatoes I thought “What if I could trick her beagle nose into thinking her pill was really just her favorite treat?” Continue reading