The Optimistic Gardener

16 08 2008

In case you’ve been keeping score at home (admit it, you have been!), the seeds I planted last weekend are already starting to do their magic. I already have little dill and basil seedlings, so I’m pretty excited. The tomatoes are still taking their sweet time to mature and I’m sure I’ll have broccoli, zucchini, bean, and lettuce seedlings within the week. My friend K says I need to give them the same pep talk she gives her tomatoes every year, but, really, since when was “grow dammit” a motivator? Hmmm, I’ll have to ponder that tonight over a glass of merlot.

Speaking of things to ponder, Hubs has recently taken a shine to bringing home random pieces of furniture he finds on the curb. Today, he brought home a gorgeous retro accent chair. It’s orange, which would ordinarily bother me, but there’s some green in the swirly upholstery, which matches the color in the dining room, so I may be able to make this work with the right orange and green-themed accent pieces. I’ve suggested that perhaps he should start collecting pieces of wooden furniture, refinish them, and then sell them as a hobby. He likes the idea, but he has never been known for his follow-through, so there is a great possibility that our basement could soon resemble the junk yard where “Sanford and Son” took place.

Another thing to ponder is that the Baby starts transitioning into her preschool class this week. I’m still in shock! My 3 1/2 pound peanut has grown into a strapping 3 year old who laughs at my expense often and doesn’t hesitate to put me in my place when I make a ridiculous request of her such as washing her hands before lunch or wiping after she’s gone to the potty. Where has the time gone?

On the cooking front, I’m keeping things easy with a roasted chicken and 4-cheese mashed potatoes for dinner and starting the day off with the easiest Quiche Lorraine recipe known to man (courtesy of Graham Kerr at Food Porn):

12 ounces shortcrust pastry
6 ounces bacon rashers, rinds removed and cut into strips to fit pastry base
3 ounces gruyere cheese, cut into thin slices
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to season

Roll out shortcrust pastry to fit 8-inch pie plate. Prick base with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over pastry – fill with dried peas and bake in a preheated 425 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Remove paper and dried peas and allow to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Lightly saute bacon in a fry pan. Place bacon strips on base of pastry case. Strew with thin slices of gruyere cheese. Mix eggs with milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour half the milk and egg mixture over the cheese and bacon. Leave for 2 minutes to set, then add the remainder. Place into the oven and allow to bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, place on serving dish and serve hot or cold, cut into small slices.

Friday, I’m having some of my mommy friends over for cocktails and appetizers. I picked up some crab meat, so I’m leaning toward making some crab cakes, but haven’t thought much about the rest of the menu. For some reason, I’m thinking of fruit skewers and chocolate sauce and maybe a simple cheese ball? As always, thoughts on the menu are appreciated!

And, finally, I’m sad to report that the Baby will not be finishing this session of swim class. The pool was closed yesterday because the city ordered it and 29 others closed for cleaning due to an outbreak of (gasp!) Cryptosporidium, which is an insidious parasitic condition that occurs when people swim immediately following a case of what Hubs refers to as “The Trots” or they let their kids swim in $hitty diapers. Anyway, they hyper-chlorinated the pool, which doesn’t thrill me, so there is no trip to the pool in store for the kids this weekend.

 
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