Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kimchee tuna

I threw together something tasty tonight. I had it on my list to make this week and of course tonight was the night I remembered I needed to buy kimchee. So I drove though the mush to the Asia Food Market and also came away with some red bean cakes to sustain us through the long drive home. And I want to say thank you, THANK YOU God, for the person who snow-blowed (snow-blew?) our driveway today. I am so grateful for that act of kindness my heart hurts.

Ok then, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. You have to be ok with your house smelling a little funky afterwards.

12 oz. tuna, drained
12 to 16oz kimchee
10 oz. spinach

Heat tuna and kimchee in a large pot. Add a little water. Add spinach and cover, steaming the spinach for 3-5 minutes. Stir everything together until the spinach wilts. Serve with rice and roasted seaweed.

Obviously not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

On the Back Garden Again

The spot where I planted the back garden was initially growing: a rose that never flowered, raspberries whose berries were the size of peas, the orange lilies, and some very healthy grass. I hacked out the berries and the rose and put my compost pile over any pieces I couldn't dig up.

Oh, yes, how could I forget? There was also mint, LOTs of mint, and tons of violets, too. Now, a lot of you will say, "Oh, how lovely!" But let me tell you about something called totipotency. That's where a cell has the ability to divide and produce all the other cells of the organism. It would seem that mint and violets can produce whole new plants from a few cells left in a flower bed (slight exageration). I have seen these plants growing from a piece of stem or root smaller than my pinkie toe. And then they take over. I found over 50 unhappy bulbs under a mat of violets. They turned out to be some awesome white daffodils-- yay! All that said, I do not deny that mint and violets are lovely. If you'd like, I could pot some up for you. I still have plenty.

Where was I? Ah, the healthy grass. We are blessed with some superb grass in our yard. We do nothing to keep it that way so there are places where weeds are making headway. But Something about the conditions in our back yard has yielded thick grass mixed with soft, spongy moss. It reminds me of "The Horse and His Boy" when Shasta is learning how to ride Bree and keeps falling off onto springy turf. Sorry that reference will be obtuse to many. At least two things are true about that grass: it is wonderful, and it is hard to dig up. I will think twice before I dig up grass to make a flower bed again. Besides being hard work, the roots are so thick that they remove several inches of dirt with them. So I ended up with a a hole that my moldy, compacted into bricks, purchased on sale, "compost" could barely fill. So far all of my gardens have that sunken look. That's how I measure wealth these days--"Wow, look at that raised bed! They must be rich!"

On the Back Garden

The Back Garden was my first foray into planting flowers. Several years ago I was suckered into buying two mail order collections, one of daylillies and one of bearded irises. It wasn't such a bad deal and I think it was a good place for me to start. Both are very easy to grow and very colorful. I planted them together in a bed at the back of the yard that doesn't get nearly as much sun as I thought. So usually the irises are all leaning into the sun (or away from the wind, I haven't quite figured it out yet) and fall over if I don't stake them. The daylillies would be more prolific if they had more sun, I think. But they all take great pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On Cup-a-Soup...a rant

So I had a hankering (an hankering?) for cup-a-soup while I was shopping at Wegman's so I decided to pick some up. Before grabbing this impulse buy, I took a moment to look at the price. I blinked. I may have even gasped. The cup-a soup was $1.29 for a box. Not too shabby. Right next to it was a box of chicken noodle for $1.39--same brand. It had more servings and it cost $1.39. But the kicker was this: The standard, 5 minute, chicken noodle cost $5.50/lb. The Cup-a-soup cost $11.50/lb!!! That is a high price to pay to make soup in a cup. I actually debated with myself for a while because if I paid the 10 cents more and couldn't finish it, is that a bigger waste of money? Then My Love said he would help me eat it and the dilemma was resolved. One thing I'm grateful for is that Wegman's posted both the unit prices using the same units, instead of one per pound and one per ounce--which will occasionally stymie me. That's like hitting a big word while reading and your choices are to skip over it or google it, and skipping is faster. But if you don't stop to figure it out, you really are none the wiser. That's why you can often find me standing for 5 minutes frowning at two boxes of soup.

On the title

I love flower gardens. I love planning and dreaming about them, I love working on them, I love sitting beside them. Sometimes I worry that its a massive waste of time and money and I'm Scottish, darn it! If you're gonna spend money, it better be worth it. But I learn a lot through gardening. I learn about the motivation of hope--I can spend two days hauling (well helping to hall-thanks, My Love) six cubic yards of dirt, all the while thinking, "This is gonna be the best garden ever!" I learn about the price of letting others do the work--I could have grown that plant from seed and watched it and watered it and transplanted it, but I'm willing to pay you more to do it for me. I learn about the perniciousness of weeds left alone--like this one weed which starts out with two tiny leaves, but grows 12ft high with massive, stinking berries and a tap-root like a carrot bigger than your leg that you can never get rid of. Then, next season, the area is covered in weeds with two tiny leaves... I digress. My conclusion is that I love gardening and its good for me. Better than that, my Father loves gardening, too! Every aspect, from planting to reaping and seasons and, well, everything! can be a spiritual analogy. Its powerful when God takes something that I love to do and shows me real things about Himself, so I often find myself saying, "Garden me, Lord!"

And so, I have a blog. I imagine it will be more than a bit about gardening, with thoughts and rants filling in the spaces. I refuse to gripe about how I hate to write, and it takes me two hours to write a paragraph, and nobody cares etc. I choose to express myself, and since I am a work of God's hands, may he be glorified.