Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hey good looking', what you got cooking?

My idea of heaven....70 degrees every day with wispy clouds and a delicate breeze. Columbus was NOT heaven this weekend - searing blue sky; searing 95 degree days; thick, stagnant air. But we were on a mission to get some planting done so we toughed it out and harvested our collards and turnips then planted more beet, squash (sweet dumpling and ronde de nice), basil (Thai and Italian) and marigold seeds (to fend off nematodes around our tomatoes and tomatillos) and transplanted our eggplant seedlings (Thai, Chinese, and Italian) and two more varieties of tomato (currant and Costoluto Genovese) into pots. Joe staked around the strawberries to hold netting in an effort to defend against marauding squirrels and I added some baby coleus and impatiens plants to our expanding flower beds. Mulch was laid and sunburns were obtained by all.

Aside from the gardening, we mainly just laid low during the day and tried to keep our core temperature slightly below reactor meltdown levels. Luckily Taran manages to amuse himself regardless of the weather. A major highlight was cooking himself into a Taran, ukulele and K-bear Stew with a dash of bunny Sam and B Dog (they're in there somewhere, I promise);

Splashing around in the buff on his new sea creature sprinkler mat (oops, forgot the camera because I was too busy parading around in my underwear through the sprinkler convincing Taran that really, it was fun. This did work eventually, but I'm hoping that the neighbor wasn't at her window at the time. I'm banking on her recent hip replacement having kept her grounded);

Giving a butter knife concert while modeling his new suspenders;

and living it up in Mama's fancy high heels.

Speaking of living it up in fancy high heels, I got to do a little of that as well this weekend. On Friday night, Joe is usually still working and rather than watching him from the couch across the room or flicking spitballs at him, I decided to take myself out on a date. So I went to see my friend Esther's students perform Dirt at an agricultural arena - by arena, I mean a large dirt pit where cows are usually brought in and displayed on show.

Essentially, the venue was a cow barn with amphitheater seats. As hot as it was outside, it was 10 degrees hotter inside. This served to put me in a trance-like state that might have been just perfect for soaking up the unusual performance. The dancers were beautiful and wild and reckless with their bodies (and their immune systems) on the shifting soil floor beneath them and watching them made me miss dance so much that my throat constricted and my stomach clenched. This makes it sound like I was ever a beautiful, talented dancer. Neither of which is true. I was an all-elbows-and knees, played-a-chicken-in-sleeping-beauty-while-my-classmates-played-fairies-and-princesses, awkward-teen dancer. But I love it and I miss it and the Zumba class that I take twice a week with the other aging Moms at the community center down the street does nothing to quench my desire to really dance again. 

I used to take myself out on dates all the time pre-Joe and pre-Taran and it's something I've always loved. Like I love traveling to new places alone. I feel like I remember to breathe, have new thoughts, re-arrange my atoms. The entire performance was only an hour, and then I returned home, but it felt like an entire journey.

On Saturday, our friend Peggy gave us an amazing gift - date night TOGETHER! I think this is the third time this has happened since T was born. So I exchanged my gardening Teva's for flower strewn, Sex and the City shoes, 

and Joe and I headed out to my favorite restaurant and ate beautiful food on the patio of a little haven of loveliness - Basi Italia. We had wild boar sausage with brandied cherries, watermelon-mint salad with aged ricotta, ribeye in a fruity demi-glace and lobster pasta with vodka sauce - all washed down with a yummy ale from an Ohio microbrewery. Then we headed off to see The Avengers and cuddled and laughed and thoroughly had a good time. Thank you, Peg!

Tonight we just stayed home and cooked, but it was equally wonderful. We had picked up some garlic scapes yesterday morning at our farmer's market down the street and I blended them up with some olive oil, sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to make a pesto,

tossed with orange bell pepper and baby spinach over pasta.

Joe's had a vision for our collard greens all weekend, so we picked up some bacon from our favorite vendor at the farmer's market (Oink Moo Cluck), and he harvested half of our collards and slow cooked them up southern style with crispy bacon and onions. Words cannot describe the deliciousness. Neither can this out-of-focus pic, but it was the best I could do - I ran out of patience trying to capture it, the food smelled too good.

Boy did this weekend fly by too fast!!


  1. Got any leftovers?
    We had my sister, Jesse, Chantelle and almost 4 yr old Jonah for the weekend. Made humous with kalamata olives, chicken liver pate from Amish fresh chicken livers, fresh tomato marinara, fresh asparagus etc.
    Do you mean our very own Peg baby sat?
    Love from Ithaca not quite as hot but pretty hot and no rain yet.
    xxoo Janet
    fruit tree ever happen?

  2. Yay! Thanks for leaving a comment. The chicken liver pate sounds incredible and I miss Lenny's marinara sauce. I can't believe Jonah is almost 4!! I haven't even met him yet.
    And yes, our very own Peg babysat - pretty great, hunh? I love having her in Columbus, and not just so I have an Aunty to give us an occasional date night. It's so fun to watch how excited Taran gets to see her. In fact, he was so wound up at bath time, that Peg finally had to pretend she was going home and wait for us downstairs while we got him ready for bed.

    Believe it or not, still no fruit tree. Joe hemmed and hawed over which tree to get and where to plant it for so long, that by the time I finally dragged him there yesterday to get a tree, they no longer had any. I guess we are about 2 months past the best time to plant. My eyes were shooting daggers when I found this out yesterday at the nursery, poor Joe. He knows he better make it the top of his priority list next March, or else. ;)

  3. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog, and that link to the interesting article! I love that you went to see a dance performance on your own. That is my ideal solo-date, along with a meal, of course! Your talk about loving/missing dance made me wonder if you have heard of Nia, or if you have any classes in your area. If you aren't already familiar, I highly recommend checking it out!

  4. Ariana,
    Thanks for visiting! I have heard of it but know nothing about it. I think there are classes at a wellness center 1.5 miles from our house. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!