Sunday, May 27, 2007

The amount of work which this farm requires, especially during the nice-weather months, amazes me. There’s always something to do, and my hammock is calling to me as well. ;) Today the thermometer is inching up toward 90˚ and I find that I can work better if I go outside for 20 minutes, then inside for a half hour. I’ve accomplished surprisingly much so far today, but this may be it. My last session out, as I was tugging maple seedlings out of a bed of pachysandra, I noticed a lot of three-leaved vines growing in the groundcover as well. Uh oh. I quickly dumped all of the weeds into the wheelbarrow and came indoors to—douse my legs with beer! Yes, it works. The alcohol breaks the bind which the poison ivy oil has on the skin. Of course, you can use rubbing alcohol as well, but that was the whole way upstairs in the bathroom cupboard and time is of the essence. It should be applied 10 minutes after exposure. Now I’m not entirely certain that I brushed up against any of the plant, but better safe than sorry. So I opened a bottle of Killian’s Red (not my favorite Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre) and applied it liberally with a paper towel. I walked into Jack’s office, where he is working, and his head snapped up. Yep, beer perfume sure is the way to attract him. I split the remainder of the bottle with my husband and now neither of us wants to work any more this afternoon!

But we will. Another session or two outside and I will feel better about setting aside a couple of hours tomorrow to celebrate Memorial Day—in a hammock.

Lunch today was a quickly put-together one. I had some cold whole wheat pasta in the refrigerator, and some cooked black beans, both leftovers from previous meals. When I looked in the veggie drawer of the refrigerator I quickly decided on a pasta salad. Jack is not fond of cold meals, but some days I just can’t fathom turning on the stove. Besides, I turned off my big ol’ commercial stove at the wall at the gas line so the 11 pilot lights wouldn’t be contributing heat to the kitchen.

This turned out to be a great salad. Next time I will decrease the carrot and add tomatoes (which I am out of right now) and I think that will make it even better.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Mexican Pasta & Bean Salad

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- -----------------------------------------

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 ounces black beans, cooked -- (about 1/2 of a 15-ounce can)

1 large garlic clove -- crushed

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

3 ounces carrot -- shredded

3 ounces red bell pepper -- chopped

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels – thawed

1 small avocado -- diced

4 ounces cooked pasta -- whole wheat preferred

1 ounce queso fresco – crumbled

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl, combine the oil through the chipotle pepper. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve with baked tortilla chips.

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Per serving: 409 Calories (kcal); 20g Total Fat; (41% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 5mg Cholesterol; 45mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 10 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

For a few weeks, we have been eating our meals outside as often as possible (I’m finally able to get Jack to admit that it’s not so bad sharing your meals with a couple of bugs). Sunday breakfast is especially enjoyable, although in a couple of weeks it will be too hot to eat outside since the patio is on the east side of the house. We set up a stool for Spooky to lounge on, and before I know it an hour will have passed.

A very civilized way to begin the day.

I now need to finish my outside work then take a shower—I’m reminding myself of the smell of the basement party rooms of the various fraternity houses which my friends & I frequented during our college years… not really a pleasant memory! :)