I just picked up the CSA produce last night and was shocked to find not one but TWO big eggplant (eggplant? eggplants? I have no idea what the plural for eggplant is). So far when I get eggplant, I’ve been making ratatouille which is an amazingly forgiving dish. I’ve made it with no peppers, one eggplant, and pounds of zucchini. I’ve also made it with no eggplant, one green pepper, and pounds of zucchini. I think I have discovered why ratatouille is apparently ubiquitous in the French countryside… if you have a bunch of summer squash, zucchini, and peppers, what else are you going to do with it besides throw it all together into a stew? I mean, really? Besides eggplant parmesean and ratatouille I don’t even actually know any dishes people use eggplant in. Am I missing something crucial? Is eggplant actually used in a lot of things of which I am unaware? Plus, how many other main course dishes are so flexible that you can completely eliminate key ingredients (i.e. eggplant and peppers) and they still taste about the same? Either that of the sheer volume of zucchini I’m using just overwhelms everything else. TWO big eggplant is something else though. Unless I want to make ratatouille that basically consists of eggplant I need to find something to do with that second eggplant. I asked Mike how he feels about eggplant parmesean.
“It’s ok,” he said. “How do you feel about Audio Engine speakers?”
Talk about answering a question with a question. And a pretty unanswerable question at that since my knowledge of Audio Engine speakers (or any speakers for that matter) is pretty small.
“Um, they’re fine. Are you going to like them well enough that we don’t have to package them back up and return them?” I was referring to the incident last week in which my audiophile husband bought fairly nice speakers for our TV and packaged them up the day after they arrived and shipped them back. He told me that “they sounded like a tinny iPhone in his right ear and booming bass in his left ear”. He told the company he bought them from that the “product was different than expected”. I appreciated that he had enough tact not to put his full thoughts on the RMA for returning the speakers. 😉
“Well, they sound good then.”
On Sunday a line of thunderstorms rolled through Seattle. It was shocking really. We so rarely get any thunderstorms. Piper, who has basically forgotten what thunder is, dove under the bed for safety as soon as she heard a reasonably loud crack. As for Mike and me, we were glad we hadn’t made any outdoor plans for Sunday. Or much of any plans at all for that matter. Well, we did go to Staples and wander around, but I don’t know if that counts as “plans”.
In the spirit of fall, I made Mike meatloaf for dinner on Sunday night, along with a small baked red potato (courtesy of the CSA) and some lemon pepper sauteed zucchini (also courtesy of the CSA). Now that we’re heading into fall, I’m getting more root vegetables from the CSA which is nice because those usually store better than the spring/summer vegetables. Potatoes, for instance, stay good for several weeks as long as they’re in a cool environment. That’s definitely not true of zucchini which starts getting slimy after a few days to a week!
I asked Mike what he wanted me to make for dinner tonight and he said beef stew.
“But I just made beef stew a week ago. Aren’t you tired of beef stew?”
“No. Just use different root vegetables than last time.”
“You mean I shouldn’t use potatoes?”
“No, no. Use potatoes.”
“You mean without carrots then?”
“No. Use carrots.”
“Well, what do you want me to change then?”
“Didn’t you put in turnips last time?”
“Put something different in instead of the turnips this time.”
So there is slow cooker beef stew simmering at home as I write that is exactly the same as usual except that the turnips from last week are replaced by parsnips this week. Hopefully that’s enough of a change. 🙂
Also, in case anyone is interested, parsnips look very much like huge white carrots and are very difficult to cut. Particularly with a three-inch paring knife which seems to be my cutting and chopping tool of choice in the kitchen (inexplicably, given the fact that we have a nice knife specifically for cutting veggies). My only exposure to parsnips was in a cooking class that Mike and I took together for our anniversary five years ago. I don’t recall what we did with the parsnips in the class; I just remember that their existence registered in my mind for the first time at that class. That was also the cooking class during which we bought the nice knife for chopping veggies which I continue to pass over in favor of a $5 paring knife from Meijer. I am a weird person.
This week Mike and I are going to see a Dougie MacLean concert downtown. Dougie MacLean is internationally known for Celtic music and I’ve been listening to him since my MI days so I was surprised to find tickets to see him so cheaply in Seattle! Plus we’ll be seeing him at a venue we’ve been wanting to visit anyway. However, if you’re thinking that Celtic music, particularly of the Dougie MacLean style, is more my kind of thing than Mike’s, it is. He is graciously going with me, and I’m actually not sure how he’ll last through the concert. When I’ve played Dougie MacLean music at home, Mike wrinkles his nose and moves one eyebrow up and one eyebrow down in the way that is reserved for things he’s seriously trying to like but not making much progress on. I’m counting on the fact that Mike will fall in love with Dougie MacLean when he sees him live, but that may be overly optimistic on my part.
In other fun and interesting news, since Mike and I have a TV we’re going to do the P90X workout plan starting next Monday. It’s a 90-day hard-core plan that lots of friends of ours have had great results from. Mike has been wanting something to kick-start his workout plan, and we’ve decided on this. It looks admittedly extremely infomercial-ish, and if I didn’t have a lot of friends who’ve vouched for it I wouldn’t even try it. But it’s hard to argue with real results. So anyway, we’re both excited about that. We won’t be following the eating plan, though. It’s very restrictive and I feel like with my food allergies my eating is already restrictive enough. Plus, I also believe each person has only so much motivation on any given day, and if we’re already going to be using it to do hard-core workouts I don’t think we’ll have much left to do hard-core eating too. About the most I’m planning on doing is buying some protein powder for post-workout fare.
Although Mike and I planned to try out a new restaurant last weekend, it didn’t end up happening. On Friday night we went to the BBQ hosted by my work friend, and Mike ended up eating beef stew leftovers on Saturday (from the turnip beef stew as opposed to the parsnip beef stew which I’m making today) and the meatloaf that I made on Sunday.
We did go out to eat the weekend before that, though.
I asked Mike to smile and he managed a small one. He also got some sort of chicken pasta that was good.
We’ll be going out to eat before the concert on Thursday though. We’re not sure where we’ll be going. One option is Wild Ginger which is an awesome Asian restaurant downtown and conveniently on the same street. Or the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar which is just a few blocks away. I’m leaning towards that place just because it’s supposed to be very good and we haven’t been there. Or there are several more options which are slightly farther away, but they would be new restaurants for us to try.
Mike has just about all of the clutter cleared out of the living room after getting the TV, the TV stand, and a bookcase delivered. Piper is a little disappointed now that the boxes are cleaned up and the clutter is going away. For my part, I’ve been going through my clothes and getting rid of all the ones that I don’t want anymore in preparation for getting a bedroom set. (Shockingly?), we’re both still using nightstands that I bought used for $5 each in college and dressers that each of us have had since our respective college days. So we decided it was time to get matching furniture and get rid of the college dressers. Fortunately Ikea is coming through again with an inexpensive set that we like. Before we actually get that, though, I’d like to go through our clothes and throw out old stuff so that we’re not putting old clothes into new dressers, which reminds me of the Biblical reference of putting new wine into old bottles.
Yesterday over lunch I walked to Whole Foods. It was a little rainy, a little cold, and a little windy, but it was nice. I love seeing the changing seasons, and even though summer was nice it was HOT and I’m ready for fall. 🙂 On the flip side, they were all out of the garden vegetable soup I was planning on getting, probably because it’s colder today and more people were craving soup.
In Piper-related news, apart from the storms she’s been doing well. She’s usually exhausted by Monday because she stays up most of the weekend hanging out with Mike and me.