Autumn carwash fun

This weekend was a pretty laid-back weekend during which Mike and I got a lot of stuff done.  Mike had some stuff to do at work, so he headed off to work on Saturday, and I went to the bootcamp class at our gym, and then headed out to a hair appointment.  I absolutely love my hair stylist… she is amazing and inspirational and such an artist!  I was thinking about it the other day, and I’ve been going to see her for over four years!  She’s been at three different salons during that time, and I just keep following her.  I’m currently very fortunate because she’s in a salon literally one block south of my house.  So convenient!  🙂  I remember when I used to have to walk up a mile long hill to get to her salon!  🙂

I haven’t been talking much about CSA produce and cooking on the blog, but rest assured, a lot has been happening in that department!  Saturday afternoon I chopped up all my veggies and then Sunday afternoon I did some cooking!

The highlights were:

  • Roasted beets and potatoes with fresh thyme
  • A soup that started out as a tomato green bean soup but very quickly morphed into ‘throw everything that isn’t nailed down into the pot’ soup
  • A chicken sausage pasta dish

Everything turned out really well, and I have to say I was impressed with the beets roasted with thyme.  As I recall, on one of my posts long ago (almost exactly a year ago, in fact) both Lia and Aunt Joanie extolled the virtues of roasted beets with herbs.  I was highly doubtful and have tried roasting them in the past with dried thyme and still really wasn’t on board with them.  Maybe I just didn’t have the right herb combination?  But this weekend I tried them with fresh thyme, and the world stopped revolving around the sun for a second!  Wow!!  Very good!  In fact I tried to get Mike to eat some by calling them ‘roasted veggies’.  He said sure.  Then I brought him a bowl and he saw they were beets and wrinkled his nose.

“Never mind,” he said.  “I don’t like beets.”

After a little cajoling I managed to get him to try some, and he went so far as to say he ‘actually didn’t mind them cooked this way’.  All things considered, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement.  And when you consider all of the antioxidants and iron in beets, how can you say no?  So that was my big cooking success of the weekend.  🙂

I also started making a tomato green bean soup that I made all the time last summer with my abundance of green beans.  However, I kept throwing in a little of this and a little of that, and the next thing I knew my tomato green bean soup had somehow morphed into tomato, green bean, summer squash, cucumber, swiss chard, red pepper soup.  First I thought I’d just add some summer squash because it was a good way to use up summer squash (of which I’ve gotten a lot this summer).  The summer squash was in the same bag in the fridge as three cucumbers.  Three cucumbers is a LOT of cucumbers, so I decided to chop one up into the soup.  I did that and then felt like it looked like there was almost no cucumber in there compared to all the other veggies, so I decided, why not?  And chopped up the other two cucumbers as well.  Then I remembered a red pepper I needed to use up, so that went in as well.  And I had just washed a whole head of swiss chard, and so somehow that ended up in the soup as well.  The soup turned out phenomenally!  About the only thing I made sure I did from the recipe was to put in the quarter cup of fresh basil.  Let me tell you, my friends, I have discovered that there is basically no soup, no salad, and no roasted vegetables that do not benefit from a quarter cup of fresh basil.  I’ve become so fanatical about it that I’ve been buying about a quarter pound of it a week (which seems pretty excessive for a spice!) and have gotten Mike to promise that we can have an herb garden on our roof in the spring.  Sadly I discovered that basil cannot be successfully planted in October, even in Seattle where the weather is pretty mild year round.  Apparently basil should be planted in May in Seattle, and without doing all the mental mathematic acrobatics, May is a long time away.  Ah well.  I guess that will give me time to learn how to grow basil so that I don’t kill it as soon as I plant it.  I’ll likely be pinging the only master gardener I know (*coughDad) to see what I’ll have to do to keep basil alive.  Apparently it’s a finicky plant.  Rosemary grows everywhere from the Pacific Northwest to the desert with ease (which probably explains why I was so successful growing it the past couple of years, because basically it doesn’t care what you do to it), but basil is easily killed.  I have a conscientious friend who inadvertently killed his basil plants, and I myself killed a basil plant back when I lived in the midwest.  So I’m really only cautiously optimistic.  Growing basil might be beyond my skill level.

The third thing I made was a ‘robust Italian sausage’ slow cooker meal.  I added some stuff… like a bunch of roma beans and an extra onion.  I didn’t throw fresh basil into that… Mike doesn’t have quite the love affair with basil that I do and I wasn’t sure he would appreciate it.  As it was, he really liked it.  When I ask him what he wants, he can’t really think of anything to ask for except for chicken soup.  But then when I make chicken soup he’s kind of tired of it.  So he’s been telling me to just make something.  When I found the Italian sausage thing it looked like something he’d like, but something that I could ‘healthify’ with less pasta than the recipe called for, organic chicken sausage, and extra veggies.  Everything turned out well!  So nice!

What else has been going on?

Let’s see…

Work has been busy!!  For both Mike and me!  On Monday when I left work the Seahawks vs Lions game was starting in Century Link stadium (which happens to be right across the street from where I work), and I actually saw the fireworks go off to signal the start of the game.  It was a lot louder than I thought it would be, but I did have the presence of mind to snap a couple pictures of the firework smoke before it faded away.

Fireworks behind the Union Station clock tower at the stadium

Fireworks behind the Union Station clock tower at the stadium

 

With autumn coming and the days getting shorter, I’m also seeing gorgeous sunrises in the mornings as I wait for the bus and in the evening when I’m downtown.

Walking around the South Lake Union area at dusk

Walking around the South Lake Union area at dusk

 

Piper has been unsure about the colder weather.  It definitely means that she wants to cuddle up more with us for warmth.

Pretty typical place for Piper lately

Pretty typical place for Piper lately

 

Mike has still been working on his ethernet wiring project.  He had some kind of breakthrough tonight that he was really happy about.  He went around talking about things being ok again due to mis-measurement errors.  I think he forgot to take into account the thickness of a door jam or something.  Anyway, he’s happy, so I’m happy.  🙂

By the way, I was reading the news the other day and saw this.  What in the world is up with that?  Wooly mammoth bones found in Michigan?  Crazy!  And I saw this.  Beard championships?  Really??  I think I’ve just been overwhelmed with strange news this week!

Next week I’m going to a tech conference in Houston with a bunch of people from work.  It’ll be fun!  We’ll go to lectures, and talks, and stuff like that.  I’m excited!  I’m planning to make up a big pot of chili this weekend so Mike has something easy to heat up while I’m gone.  Mike has already said he’s going to need a project to do while I’m gone.  I suggested the ethernet project, but I think he’s hoping that will be done this weekend before I leave now that he knows that some measurements were miscalculated.

Last Sunday Mike asked me if I wanted to go with him to get a carwash.  Not exactly the world’s most exciting date, but I was up for it.  😉  We drove all the way up Aurora looking for Mike’s favorite car wash.  Going through car washes is always kind of fun.  Am I the only one who feels like car washes are a remnant from another era?  There is literally nothing mechanical like that anymore.  It’s basically made up of a bunch of gears and levers that move around and whack your car with brushes and pummel it with soap and water.  And that giant dryer at the end that basically walks up your windshield?  I mean, really?  Car washes are old school.  Interesting and kind of fun, but very old school!  You know what else is old school?  Those giant vacuum machines outside of the car washes.  And that of course was where Mike wanted to go once we’d gone through the car wash.  I like the car wash because it’s kind of interesting (especially for someone with a two minute attention span like me since it really doesn’t last any longer than that), but the dryers are a different matter.  Mike basically kicks me out of the car so that he can vacuum my seat and then he wants to stay at the dryers until we are all out of quarters.  Every time the dryers start beeping crazily indicating that the time is running out Mike frantically starts feeding more quarters into it.  Because there’s no way we want it to stop.  Because basically we want to stand outside in the chilly evening vacuuming all night.  I watch the timer hopefully thinking that the time is almost up… and then Mike throws more quarters into it at the last minute, resetting the time back to five minutes.  Ah, well.  All good things come to an end eventually, even  fun with dryer machines.  Because at some point we actually do physically run out of quarters (and all cash money we have that can be converted into quarters).

I hope everyone is having a good week!  I’m ready to make chili this weekend!  Anyone else enjoying fall foods yet?

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3 Comments

Filed under Beets, Cats, Cooking, CSA, Gardening, Life in Seattle, Pictures, Seattle

3 responses to “Autumn carwash fun

  1. Jim Armantrout

    Karena, You Grandfather found a Mammoth tooth on the farm when he was plowing once. It is in a glass case at the farm. Love Dad

  2. Nate

    I really hadn’t thought about it, carwashes I mean, but you’re right. They are stuck in ‘old school’ and there’s no way out! No sonic lasers to take the place of gears and levers.

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