How is it Friday already? This week flew by in a whirlwind of gardening, doctor’s appointments, buying school supplies, and watching the Olympics. And playdates. Lots of playdates. So here it is Friday (I swear I thought it was Thursday when I woke up this morning), and the blog posts in my head are as yet unwritten, unpublished.
So here’s a quick summer-is-winding-down summary of my week for you:
As a result of the drought this summer (and our neglect while away on vacation), we are now performing triage on our ragged lawn and garden. Our efforts to water the front lawn seem to be making a difference (let’s just agree not to talk about the weeds or the layer of pine needles). I have been hacking away at the wilted brown daylilies and miles of weeds that have overtaken the flower beds. My doctor told me I need to do more cardio, but I think my daily hour (or three) swinging a hoe is going to count this week. I planted some mums, spread some mulch, and have created many piles of yard waste to bag for pickup next week. And in a feat of superhuman strength, my husband single-handedly chopped down two-thirds of our overgrown hedge. Next week: more weeding, more mulch.
Do you have any great hints for maintaining your lawn and garden in the worst of the summer heat?
In the kitchen, I’ve been keeping things simple. Sunday night we were so wiped out, we ate popcorn for dinner. I jazzed up the popped kernels with a generous handful of grated cheese, leftover bacon, melted butter and salt. Mix it up and bake on a rimmed cookie sheet at 250 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve with Chocolate Banana Milk Shakes (from Mollie Katzen’s kid’s cookbook Pretend Soup).
I also tried one new recipe from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. With the illicit stash of cheap quinoa flour that I brought from Ecuador in my suitcase, I made the Banana-Walnut cake. My kids often say they don’t like nuts, but they sure liked the cake. It was lovely with a tall glass of iced coffee while catching up with a good friend. (It’s a super moist cake and keeps really well for a few days–two, at least!) I’ve got some amaranth flour to try next. Next week I’ll share a recipe for a cool Avocado Shrimp Roll–wonderful for a summer lunch or light supper. I need to make it one more time to get it just right…
HAHAHA!!! By that I mean that things are getting pretty dusty–possibly even sticky–around here. The daily laundry routine has helped me keep on top of the dirty clothes, and I’ve managed to make the bed and do the dishes every day. I even broke out the vacuum and attacked the family room rug (and then issued one of my frequent bans of food in the family room–frequently broken by everyone, including me). But any serious cleaning is going to wait until next week. We’re expecting houseguests again next weekend, so I’ve divvied up my cleaning tasks throughout the week on my list at TeuxDeux.com. I love TeuxDeux because I can’t misplace my list! It automatically moves any items you haven’t crossed off onto the next day’s list–so easy.
How do you prepare for houseguests? Mints on the pillow?