Monday, May 26, 2014

Pasta and Socks

Well, it turns out that in the meteorological world, 60 is the new 80.

Because I was promised an "85-degree" day (with "partial sunshine" no less), and what I got was a largely 65-degree day (that was entirely cloudy).  Which would haven't been a problem really, except that I was planning for a warmer day, and awoke ready for a bike ride, that ultimately never happened.

Oh, did I mention it rained as well?  No?  Well, neither did the meteorologist last night.  At one point today, I actually had a sweater on.  Granted, it was a light cotton sweater and not one of my woolen wonders from last winter, but still. 

Ah well. 

Anyway, I decided that I'd better shift gears fast, and so instead of sunny-day activities like a bike ride and barbecue, I swapped in a couple of cloudy day activities.  I finished another pair of socks (this one's been on the needles for quite some time, actually):

And I made 2 batches of homemade pasta, which I've also been meaning to do for quite some time, since I ran out of it and I can no longer purchase pasta in good conscience, knowing I have the ability to make it myself (which always tastes better anyway).

I decided to make myself a nice sauce to go with it, to wit:

That's spinach and tomatoes and fresh local sausage in there, in case you're wondering.

I took a picture of it before the spinach wilted down, because let's face it, it always looks nicer before the spinach wilts down.  But I love spinach, so what can I do?   It has to be in there.

Shortly after this point, I added fresh chives and thyme and oregano from my herb garden.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to breeze outside and get fresh herbs.

Which is good, because one thing that makes me a little sad is that I've had to give up wine completely.  Don't cry for me Argentina, because I can still have a beer (or vodka, if you're pouring).  But the thing is, it's kind of nice to have a glass of wine while you cook, and a beer, well... I have to get used to it, I suppose.

I also can't have cheddar cheese anymore.  (Food allergies really suck, by the way.)   So at wine and cheese parties, I can now have... crackers and water.  So if you see me at one, come talk to me and savor my sarcastic bitterness because it's all I've got left.

And yes, I know they have wines out there that are "organic" with "no sulfites," etc. etc. etc.  I tried one several months ago.  My first, immediate impression was, "This tastes like grape juice that's had children's feet in it."

My second impression was, "I can't in good conscience serve this to anyone, unless I really need that person to get the point that I don't like them at all and never, ever will, and s/he does not seem likely to get the point in any other way."

I think I ended up using it to make vinegar. 

I also did a massive amount of planting and transplanting this weekend--to such an extent that my quadriceps were not all that unhappy that the bike ride was cancelled this morning--only to discover that there's a wascally wabbit loose in my garden.

When you're a child, you read the story of Peter Rabbit and you wonder what on earth is wrong with Mr. MacGregor... why is he so angry all the time?  Carrots?  Lettuce?  Who cares?  We don't eat those anyway, your cute little five-year-old brain thinks as you turn the page, trying to find an answer to it all.

And then you grow up and plant a garden--or maybe just a few tulip bulbs--of your own, and you quickly feel Mr. MacGregor's pain.  I will never forget the morning I looked out the window while pouring my coffee and savored the many multicolored tulips in my garden.  Or how, when I came back down stairs a half-hour later to put my coffee cup in the sink, they had all--yes, I said ALL--been lopped off.

I actually screamed on that dark day.

Since then, I've become convinced that the story of Peter Rabbit is a story about a young person who belongs in juvvie.  His behavior is nothing but a blatant lack of respect for other people's property and an unwillingness to accept that in life, there are certain limits and boundaries that we all have to learn to accept.  And personally, I don't think having his Mama make him chamomile tea and wrap him in warm blankets is going to help him get that lesson, unfortunately: I blame her, to a large extent.

Luckily, this rabbit only got 2 very small tomato transplants, and they got the ones that I thought probably wouldn't make it anyway.  So my hope is, s/he tasted those, thought, "Yuck--everything in this lame-ass garden is already half-dead," and left forever. 

In case that isn't the case, I bought some repellant and sprinkled that around the perimeter, and now we can simply cross our fingers and hope.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."