Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Canning Dried Beans

I used up the last jar of Cannellini beans.  I had a one-pound package of dried Great Northern beans and figured I'd can them.  I do this a lot.  It's easier than buying cans of beans--it's less expensive, for one thing and it's easier to carry a few packages of dried beans home than their equivalent in canned beans.

The thing about canning dried beans--or any non-acidic vegetable--is that you have to use a pressure canner.  I very fortunately got one from my friend Debbie, who doesn't can so much these days.  She gave it to me as long as I agreed to loan it to anyone in our congregation who needed it.  I've made offers but so far, there are no takers, but it's here if it's needed.

I was so intimidated about using one of those things--I was convinced I'd either blow up my kitchen or can things wrong and kill all of my loved ones with botchulism.  Nope.  I looked it up on Youtube to see if I could at least get an idea of what was supposed to happen when the thing got up to pressure.  I found some very helpful videos that eased my mind a lot, and I've been a kindasorta suburban homesteader ever since.  Well, I would be if suburban homesteaders could buy their dried beans.  But you know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Gifts

Step away from the Bedazzler.
When I was a kid, I thought a handmade gift was really thoughtful and meaningful.  Also, I was a kid and didn't exactly have a lot of cash.  I often set about making my mother her birthday or Chistmas gifts (I don't think I ever did this with my Dad.  Mom: from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for inflicting my, er, craft ability upon you).  I tried to hand sew her an apron.  Keep in mind, I had never sewed before--if there was ever an undead apron, it was the monstrosity I made my mother.  For her birthday one year, I made her a tanning kit (look, the woman could probably reside on Mercury, that's how much her skin loves the sun.  Alas, I do not have this trait).  This kit consisted of an old Cool Whip container retrofitted with a mirror and a wire hanger (the better to direct the sun to herself when she was outside tanning).  You put water in the bowl part of the container to keep cool.  Yes, I thought it was brilliant.  My mother. . .well, to her credit, she was gracious.  But as far as handmade gifts having lots of meaning, well, let's just put it this way: I figured other people's handmade gifts had lots of meaning.  My handmade gifts had meaning, but the meaning was: WARNING! ASPIRING MAD SCIENTIST OR TRAINWRECKY CRAFTER AHEAD.  I thought "Here is a nice sweater you might like" or "Here's a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, there, now you don't have to cook!" would be a better meaning as I got older.

If you are determined to make a hand made gift for someone, please look at the two examples above and promise yourself you will not try those.  Unless you want to alienate the recipient.  Then have at it!  Otherwise, there are simple things you can make or pull together that will go over well.

First, if you're handy with a needle and thread, Bryallen found instructions on how to make a bag out of an old sweater.  Actually, she has a lot of good ideas.  Mulled wine sachets, tissue holders, USB covers, handmade envelopes, cookies, chocolates, and herb garden and a framed drawing are all ideas she covers in her post.

You can do a homemade soup mix.  There are a bunch of sites with recipes.  Put them in a clean sauce jar or a canning jar, wrap some ribbon around it, and you have something for a busy person who sometimes needs an option for a quick meal.

You can decoupage something for someone who likes decorative things.  If they like candles, decoupage a jar with some shimmery tissue paper and put a tea light in it.  If they need storage boxes, decoupage some boxes with scrap cloth that goes with their decor.  You get the idea. 

You can make drink mixes or spice mixes

Chocolate covered spoons are also a nice option.  I mean, think about it--stirring chocolate into your coffee or hot chocolate, letting it melt. . .oh, lord, my moouth is watering now.

You can take a photograph you know the recipient will enjoy and frame it.  I did that for my Dad one year; I took a sweet picture of him and my niece, had a copy made, and framed it for him.  Or burn a CD of their favorite songs (I did that for my mother one year--and they did enjoy it on road trips, so yay!)

If you figure people are already going to be buried under a mound of cakes and cookies, you can make them spiced nuts.

If you can can things, then pickles, jelly, jams, salsa, or preserves are almost always welcome.  If you can knit, sew, crochet, carve, draw, or do something else that can be creative, then I think the gift world is your oyster.  (I'm not great at those things.)

Just remember. . .no ugly sweaters.  No Bedazzler.  And no retrofitted Cool Whip containers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Very Zombie Holiday

Well, considering my feelings about Black Friday, I think this is apropos. . .

(I found this on You Tube a while ago.  This is the earliest appropriate time to do it!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Annual Zombie Shopping Apocalypse. I mean, Black Friday.

A week from today will be Black Friday, that very quintessential of American days.  The day after Thanksgiving, people will rouse themselves at ungodly hours (over the past several years, around 2:00 a.m.) and wait in line to get into a big box store that opens at 5:00 (or earlier in some places).

Things often got out of hand on that day, to the point where shoppers and employees died.

Don't get me wrong--some people, like Judy, are black belt Christmas shopping frugalistas, and good on 'em.  (Also, Judy and her peeps are in and out, no messing around.)

But me, I just can't.  I lack the patience required for dealing with other shoppers.

American readers know what I'm talking about, but maybe international readers don't--so let me paint a picture for you.  It's like the zombie apocalypse, except instead of slow-moving Romero zombies it's the fast-moving rage virus zombies, and they don't want to eat you or your delicious brains, they want to knock you down and step over you to get three $30 DVD players at Walmart.

I hate shopping in the best of circumstances.  On Black Friday?  Forget about it.  Malls packed with people and noisy toys and gadgets and store music systems just make me tired.  And cranky.

What I do on Black Friday--if I'm not working--can be one or more of the following:

  1. Make turkey stock and/or turkey soup
  2. Eat leftovers
  3. Resolve to pace myself with the leftover stuffing.
  4. Eat every last bit of the leftover stuffing and resolve to do better next year.
  5. Eat apple pie for breakfast.
  6. Read.
  7. Resolve to write out my holiday cards.  Find other things to do instead. 
  8. Nap.
  9. Meet up with friends.
  10. Go for a walk.
  11. Scritch my kitty.
  12. Clean.
  13. Watch a movie (maybe a zombie movie)
  14. Nap.  Oh, wait, I already said that, didn't I? Well, after a day of feasting, one needs a day of napping.

You get the idea.  I stay far, far away from stores and from anything that resembles constructive activity (except if it has to do with food).  Unless I don't get the day off, like this year, in which case I'll get lots of stuff done because I'll be one of three people in the office.

When I lived abroad, there were Christmas and winter holiday shopping rushes, but since there was no Thanksgiving, there was no designated day of OH MY GOD LETS GET THIS STUFF FOR REALLY CHEAP.  Christmas season was busy, certainly, but there was no one frenetic day.

So, fellow American readers, what do you do on Black Friday? Do you shop, or do you prefer to slack off like me?  And readers who live abroad who celebrate Christmas or other winter holidays, what is the shopping crunch like where you are?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crafty, crafty me (for once)

See that picture?  A success! I'm stunned.  (Though I did have a failure, which you'll see as well.)

I'm not much of a craft person. I have dreams of doing things beautifully and frugally, of being the perfect and hip suburban homesteader who can knit, can, sew, garden, and Homemaker MacGyver her way through life's travails.

Reality is very, very different.

I'm all thumbs.  I tried knitting, and I'm not bad if I do it for a while and I have an easy-to -follow pattern (though I keep forgetting how to cast on).  My mother was a good knitter when she did it, though she takes pains to tell you that she thinks she knits too tightly (I like that because any sweater or scarf she'd make would be thick, substantial, and warm.)  She made the best slippers, and little stockings to hold packets of Lifesavers for the Christmas tree.  Like me, little things out of place bug her--she knit my niece a baby blanket, noticed a dropped stitch when she was almost done, and unraveled it and redid it.  I managed to knit an alien dishcloth when I was recovering from getting two impacted wisdom teeth out (thanks to a bad reaction to the painkillers, I was on an Advil regimen and so had a clear enough head to do the dishcloth).  The same thing happened with a dropped stitch--I noticed it when it was almost done, I couldn't let it go, I unraveled it and redid it. (If nothing else, I have a special talent for being neurotic.) I have tried to take up knitting again since I got my cat four years ago, but she enjoys pouncing on the needles while I knit. Which is cute, but not so great for whatever I'm working on.

I haven't actually used this yet. I really should, eh?
I took sewing lessons and even managed to make a pillow cover, a bag and a purse (though the purse is pretty amateurish).  But again, time, money, and confidence are lacking here.  I am resolving to make some simple things in 2012, just to show myself that yes, I can do it.  (I was never under the illusion that I could make an entire wardrobe, but a few simple things like a skirt or a bag would be cool.)  I managed those other things with a lot of guidance from a very patient sewing teacher, Mikala.  Honestly, I credit her with showing me how much fun craft can be, and how artistic it truly is.  Or how artistic it can be.  I have the color and design sense of a mole.

Well, Mikala hosted a one-day decoupage workshop in her studio.  I thought, "Hey, why not?  It's not expensive, it's on a weekend day, and I haven't seen her in ages!"  So I signed up.  Oh, she does things right.  The woman had mimosas for us.  Now, although I couldn't have a mimosa, having the alcoholic tolerance of an anorexic mosquito and needing to drive home after, it was a nice touch.  (I had a mixture of cranberry and orange juice instead.  Delicious, by the way.)

Decoupage is one of those fun crafts that doesn't take a lot of money but can be a lot of fun, and strangely satisfying.  You can use paper or cloth scraps (or pictures from magazines, you get the idea) and glue them to old jars, boxes, or containers (or other things like picture frames or light switches) to give them a new life. You add more layers of glue on top of the paper or cloth to create a protective barrier. It's not as difficult as you'd think (though it's not completely easy).  One of the students in the class last weekend made her vase look like it was ceramic; it was really cool.  You can even do it to furniture, though that's more advanced and requires a fair bit of sanding.

I like the idea of reusing things.  I brought in an old jar to use.  Mikala had cloth and paper; for the jar I envisioned a candle luminary type thingy.  ("Thingy" is a technical term. Really.)  I figured I'd get an led tealight (not a real one, I have a very curious cat) and put it inside when I was done.  It wasn't difficult at all.  I'll probably get some ribbon and wrap it around the rim.

As you can see, I don't do the pretty flower stuff
Mikala had vases and some boxes from the dollar store.  Ironic, since the dollar store boxes were already really pretty.  However, I wanted to try my hand at using cloth, and so I did.  And. . well, it doesn't look too bad in the picture, but I know I could do better.  A few tips--don't try to glue paper or cloth right to an edge--it's fine to wrap it around corners and glue it down.  It would have looked a lot better if I did that.

Practice will make perfect, I'm sure.  Now I just need a tree.
I also managed to reuse an old canning lid.  Finally! I had tossed the ones I had been saving away because well, I didn't want to end up on Hoarders, crying over the prospect of clearing out a room filled to the brim with old canning lids since "I can reuse them somehow, I swear!"  Now I can--I'll need to practice more, but I think I can turn these into Christmas ornaments.  No, I do not have a tree.  But I do have friends with Christmas trees, and a Unitarian Universalist Church that has a holiday fair every year, so. . .I can reuse these.  I can use scrap cloth and paper and ribbon.  I can make all kinds of stuff!

But I can't keep it in my place.  As I said, ending up on Hoarders is not my life's dream.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Financial planners and falling a long way down

Boston Gal linked to the New York Times story about Carl Richards, who lost his home and found himself in financial hot water--made all the more humiliating because he himself is a financial planner.  He has written a book outlining where he went wrong and the very human feats of (il)logic of his that helped him get there, which is one way to bounce back from something like this, I suppose.  It's not unusual to see people who have made a mess of their financial lives straighten out and come back as personal finance pundits--Trent Hamm and Mary Hunt are two such people who've done it.  (I myself veer away from giving chirpy advice because I find it very irritating.  Also, I'm no one's example to follow.)

What Richard's situation seems to have boiled down to was the herd mentality.  Everyone else was doing it so it couldn't be a bad idea, right?  So he and his wife made some spectacularly bad decisions, but they seemed just fine because everyone else was making them and not suffering any bad consequences.  And I remember those years--well-meaning people advised me to walk down that same path, and acted like I was horribly neurotic for not wanting to do so. 

I'm not writing this to berate him--we all screw up, we all make mistakes, and we all make decisions we shouldn't based on what we want to believe rather than on what is actually wise.  But I do think this is a good story to keep in mind the next time a pundit or an advisor or a mortgage broker or a real estate agent or anyone else gives you advice that seems a little reckless to you: it probably is.  Respect that voice of doubt in the back of your head.  These people are not your friends.  They don't care what happens to you after you sign on the dotted line.

Err on the side of caution. The worst that can happen if you're wrong is that you don't have the thing you wanted and you're not in debt that you can manage.  The worst thing that can happen if you're not wrong and do it anyway is that you don't have the thing you wanted and you're in debt you cannot manage. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Link Festival

First, I know I'm American, and this is from Blackadder, a British comedy, but I think it's appropo for today. (And yes, House fans, that's Hugh Laurie, and yes, that's why I always picture Dr. House as suddenly doing a monologue on how he's a bit of a thickie.)

 I'm going to be in my friend's wedding today--so it's long gown and sparkly cruel shoes for me tonight.  I'm very, very happy for my friend, who's a riot to hang out with.  I took my last vactation trip with her (in 2006)--we went to Mexico.  She's a dance instructor and has won numerous awards for ballroom and Latin dancing so of course we had to go to a salsa club in Playa del Carmen.  She impressed everyone there.  She had just started to really get to know the man who would later become her boyfriend, then her fiancee, and soon her husband. 

So, since I won't be around today, I'm linking to people whose past posts you may have missed.

Last month, Donna Freedman blogged about the Web Economy [BS] Generator.  Although I am a shameless policy dork, I am kind of in love with that site.  Thank you, Donna!

Over at MSN Money, Andrea wonders if she could survive on minimum wage and realizes that she probably couldn't (if she had to pay rent or a mortgage).  She doesn't have cable or a lot of luxuries.  She thinks she'd have to give up her car insurance if she was in that situation--but in my state, if you own a car, car insurance is mandatory, so you could increase the deductible and/or drop collision and comprehensive insurance.  I know I couldn't make it--and I bought my place back in 1999, when housing prices were much lower than they are even today (though that may not be the case soon, sigh).  Frankly, I remember struggling when I made $19,000 a year after graduating from college--most of my take home pay went towards my share of the rent ($400 for me), my car (either constant repairs for the rust bucket I owned, or the payment for the newer car I later purchased), food, utilities, and gas.  (I didn't have cable either.)  At even today's minimum wage, I would have had to move back in with my parents, and that would not have turned out well (rents in this area have gone up significantly since then).  I can't get judgy towards people who aren't making that much and who are struggling with debt. 

Twenty-minute duck? Laurie, I am so coming to your house for dinner.

Judy has her plans all set for Black Friday.  (Good lord, woman, you are organized!) Me, I either hang out in my jammy pants or I work.  I'm working this year.  Very few people will be in the office so I'll be (hopefully) able to get some stuff done. 

This is a really pricey impulse purchase.  While I can be quite the impulse buyer myself, I don't think I could get into that much debt on impulse.  I'd have the longest-running anxiety attack in history if I did that--it would last the length of the car loan.  More along that theme, Wise Bread points out that a new car can even eat into your retirement savings, so leave the impulse purchases to the odd pack of gum or Pez. (Come on.  Pez is awesome.)

Len Penzo pointed out that whirlpool tubs are for suckers.  The closest I can get to having a whirlpool tub is blowing bubbles in my bath through a straw.  And even if I had the money--or the space (small bathroom, and a small condo make this an unlikely purchase for me), I wouldn't get one for the reasons he outlines.  Though I am a fan of leisurely baths.  When I lived in Japan, I loved the bathtubs there.  The one in my home was heated (you wash before bathing, and you cover the tub after using it so other family members can bathe).  I was also a regular at the public bath house and went to hot springs when I travelled around Japan on vacation.  (If I was a multi-billionaire, I'd buy a place in Arima, which has lovely hot springs, and I would host my friends in Japan and overseas to come and hang out for mega spa days.  This is highly unlikely to happen, however.)

World of Okonomy made a salad from heaven.  Salads can be decadent--I have learned to love them.  One thing I love about Steve's blog is that he doesn't just talk about food, he talks about his whole day up to the time he makes the meal he features. 

Miss Piggy Bank has posted several interesting things since this one, but go give her three cheers for paying off her credit card.  I know there are advantages to using those things if you are financially responsible and have very good impulse control, but let's face it, most of us humans lack those things!

While you're at it, give I Am The Working Poor some atta-girls for reaching debt-free status, and some encouragement in the face of the troubling news about her workplace

The Frugal Graduate made some gorgeous wrapping paper--makes me want to forgo the stuff in the stores and try this.  (She's posted lots since then, but you really want to check this out.)

Boston Gal posted about a financial planner who fell on hard times.  I have thoughts, many of them, but I'll save them for a separate post.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Butternut squash and apple soup

This is something that adds a lovely, elegant touch to any meal.  It's excellent with a crisp salad and crusty bread, or as a starter before a more substantial dinner.  It's creamy and buttery (yet uses neither cream nor butter).  It's sweet and savory, and it's a great thing to have if you are going to be eating something particularly spicy for your main course. 

It's also very easy to make.  I made this last weekend with the butternut squash I had gotten from my CSA.

Take a large butternut squash, slice it in half, and remove the seeds and the seed pulp.  Place in a foil lined baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil (especially in the cavities) and add one sage leaf to each cavity (if you have them available; you can freeze fresh sage and take out a little of that and use it).  At this point, if you prefer the mellower taste of roasted garlic, take two to four cloves, place in the pan, and drizzle with some olive oil.  Roast in a 350 degree oven until it's tender--I usually do it for about an hour or so.  (If you're pressed for time, start it in the microwave.)  Once it's done, remove the sage leaves and scoop out the butternut squash; place it in a bowl.

Meanwhile, clean and slice two leeks (white and light green parts only).  Peel, core, and chop a grannysmith apple.  And chop a medium sized onion (or use about 3/4 a cup of chopped frozen onion from your grocer's frozen food section).  If you didn't want to roast your garlic, take two to four cloves, smash and chop them.  Sautee all of these in a stockpot in some olive oil over medium heat, until translucent and fragrant.

Add the butternut squash (and roasted garlic if you decided to use that) to the pot, and about 4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock (turkey stock is also acceptable).  Bring to a boil  and then allow to simmer for ten or fifteen minutes.  At this point, you either want to transfer it in batches to a food processor or blender and puree it, or use an immersion blender right in the pot.  Puree it and allow it to simmer more.  Add a little more stock as it will get very thick (unless you like it very thick). 

You can add roasted squash seeds, crispy fried sage, or just a sprinkling of black pepper or chili pepper for a garnish if you wish (if you prefer it spicy, I'd do a little streak of cayenne or chili pepper).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Healthy Snacks

Steve did some wonderful things with kale and peanuts, so if you've got a hankering for a healthy snack, check out his blog for a second.

Last weekend, I roasted some winter squashes from my CSA.  I used one in a soup and one I froze for use later.  But one thing I love to make and eat whenever I cook any type of winter squash--be it pumkin, delicata, butternut, or any other kind, are roasted seeds.  My mother used to make these after we carved Halloween pumpkins and I'm not exaggerating when I say that if I had to chose between the seeds and candy, I'd choose the seeds.  I would have cried for my lost candy, but I still would have chosen the seeds.

These are delicious.  They are very good for you, they are very easy to make, and since you already have them onhand, it's really no big deal to make them.  Double points for productivity if you're roasting the squash instead of boiling it, as that way you've got an oven already going (however, there are times I just slice and add acorn squash or kabocha in nabe or a miso-infused soup, so then I will quite shamelessly get the oven going just for the seeds.  I know.  Wasteful.  Ah, well. . .)

Basically, take out the seeds and the pulp around them, and pop out as many seeds as you can into a strainer.  Try to get rid of as much of the pulp as you can; there will be a little stuck to the seeds, but you will take care of that once you're done getting rid of the big chunks of pulp.  Rinse the seeds in the strainer under cold water, and swish them around with your hand to separate them from the little pieces of remaining pulp.  Pat them dry with a clean towel, and place on a dry cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, or whatever ground dried herbs or spices you like.  (I like just a touch of salt, but I've heard that a little bit of cayenne pepper and garlic granules are also nice as well.)  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes or so.  You'll have to check, so maybe about midway through pull out the sheet and see if they're getting toasted.  Stir them a bit to make sure the seeds are evenly cooked and put them back in.  When they're done, take them out and allow them to cool (well, I do steal a few hot seeds).  Eat and enjoy.

These are great as a straight snack, as a garnish for soups, or an addition to salads.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scaling back for Christmas

Before you read any further, I will eventually post some ideas about certain homemade gifts you can make.  But this post is a rambly one about actually scaling back on who you give to and how much you give, because sometimes, you just don't have the time or the inclination to make inexpensive gifts, especially when you're not sure if the recipient will like them or use them.

Christmas really stresses me out.  I prefer to exchange with my immediate family only.  Even then, I keep it simple (my sister and I agreed that we were a little old to be buying each other gifts all the time, and gave each other a pass for Christmas, though she still gets me things because I get things for her kids.  Well, no kidding! I like being an aunt, and she's the only sibling I have.  She's also in no danger of having 17 more kids, so I think I can swing this).  I would rather not exchange with everyone within a 100 mile radius of me.  I remember hearing someone on TV talk about getting a bunch of small things that she could throw together and create a gift  if someone brought her something and she didn't have anything for them (I think it was tea light candles and small voitive holders).  I shook my head at this.  Anyone who knows me in real life, please know this: I don't want anything but your friendship and your company.  I'm not just saying that. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jayne's Dried Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Last year, my coworker Jayne made these and they were divine.  I figured I'd make a couple of batches recently she very kindly shared the recipe with me.  Warning: the dough is very tasty and you'll be in danger of gobbling it up before you even bake the biscotti logs.  Jayne said that she could never get hers to be hard; I do recall that when she brought them in they were soft and oh-so-delicious.  I was able to get them hard and biscotti like, but honestly, I do prefer these biscotti softer.  (So Jayne's kind of the queen of the ultimate luxury biscotti. . .)

This makes for a really nice gift for people with a sweet tooth (and obviously, no health issues around sugar), especially for the holidays. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Has nothing to do with the purpose of this blog

. . .but if you can, check out Louis vs. Rick.  It is the story of a man who taught his cat how to IM him.  Start from Episode 1 and work your way through--there are only eight episodes up so far.  It's worth it.  I laughed so hard I cried, and then ended up with the hiccups.  So maybe you shouldn't read it if you're prone to the hiccups if you laugh really hard for a long time.

However, if you have a cat, you will relate.  I have a cat, and yes, if she could IM me, she'd do pretty much the same thing.  (Well, she doesn't pee on people's things.  She'll just roll around in them and sleep on them.  BECAUSE IT WAS IN MY SPOT, MAN.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is success?

J.D. Roth over at Get Rich Slowly has a post up about the difference between the wealthy and the poor, where he mentions the a couple of books that list the supposed traits of each.  Like J.D., I thought the assumptions these authors trotted out were simplistic at best.  But. . .it got me thinking and then going off on a tangent.

Two of the most successful people I know are my parents.  They are not driven, Type A people.  My father has never vied for the corner office, and my mother was never one to want bigger or better things.  If you asked my father what he did, he'd tell you he was a father.  That was his job.  And if you asked my mother what she did, she'd tell you she was a mother.  Their family was their first priority, always. It wasn't the Cleavers or Ozzie and Harriet, but I wouldn't have been happy in that kind of home.  I know they love me, no matter how much I make them want to tear their hair out (oh, my teen years were epic).

They aren't perfect by any stretch, but then, neither am I.  But I'd consider them very successful.  They have children who love them, grandchildren who love them, and friends, family, and colleagues who respect them and like them.  They love each other, they genuinely like each other, they are content with what they have, and they have built a very happy life together.  I'd rather have a happy life, content with what I have, surrounded by friends and relatives who I care about and who care about me than billions of dollars. 

Who do you consider to be successful?  And why?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salmon with watermelon radish

I enjoyed my CSA take last week.  I got brussel sprouts (which come on a large stalk; who knew?), yams, potatoes, watermelon radish, kale, mesculun mix, garlic, butternut squash, scallions, lettuce and those infamous ears of popcorn.  It was the last share of the season for the summer share, but I had also bought a winter share, so I'll be rolling in winter greens and squashes.

I made a very substantial lunch on Saturday--I took a small salmon fillet from the deep freeze pan seared it with some salt and pepper, and topped it with chopped, sauteed watermelon radish, and had roasted brussel sprouts and a yam on the side.