Friday, March 30, 2007

atlanta restaurant plug

i'm on an email list with a bunch of other degenerates, and one of them sent this out recently. i haven't edited it at all. but for those of you in atlanta, i think this place is worth a try (i myself have never been, but i'd like to HELLO BOY! CAN WE GO SOMETIME? LOVE ME).

"Hola usted bastardos sucios,

This is a shameless plug for a restaurant I went to last night w/ my
girlfriend. It was really really kickass and its right around the
corner in the lobby of the Windham hotel on 10th street. Its called
"Mojito's" and its about the best Cuban you'll find around this bumfuck
town. I recommend the mojitos, the ceviche, and the filetes. My
girlfriend got the Puerco de la Casa or something like that, which
directly translated means 'really fucking good pork cooked in a mango.'
The ceviche was hands down the best I've ever had. The mojitos are all
hand-ground with cane syrup, no fucking around. There's a regular
customer there they call the rapping grandma. She's what she sounds
like. They have a ceviche negro which is bathed in squid ink, but I
wasn't going there, maybe you will ..."

gangway! the foams are back in the ATL

muy interesante.

richard blais is back in town.

"consulting with restaurants". what does that mean?

i'd totally work for him.

thanks to doctorzachary for passing along the article.



i so want this shirt!

(Lia Bulaong posted this on Serious Eats, and it couldnt have had better timing).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

today's hippie taco brought to you by....

so we're on this tortilla wrap kick, okay? today's lunch is roast beef and veggies drizzled with chimichurri sauce, and a nice fruit salad which the boy made yesterday. the fruit are really good and sweet, even the watermelon, which is surprising for this early in the year.

there is so much garlic in the chimichurri! i'm really glad i have toothbrush and toothpaste in my desk.

Sometimes i forget how good i have it.

I think i’ve seen my husband face to face a total of 2 hours since Saturday. This isn’t because we’ve been absent from home; much the opposite. I’ve been home – but i’ve been in the yard – so i’ve seen him waving to me from the back door. I spent most of Sunday afternoon outside doing yard work in either my yard or Mrs. B’s yard, and spent Monday and Tuesday afternoons after work in the yard as well. To be honest, i’ve kind of over-exerted myself, and that’s why tonight after work i will not do yard work. I’ve done all i can to my kitchen garden until the little babies in their peat pots start growing and need transplanting. My fingernails are shot. My lower back kind of hurts. But i’ve got tan lines!

So tonight i’ll spend some quality time with the husband, even if we’re just sitting there watching TV, because my brain has been too full of enriched soil and cow manure to pay a lick of attention to him.

People often tell me how nice it must be to have a husband who’s a chef, because i don’t have to cook. And he does cook a lot, although so do i. i don’t expect him to cook for me all the time, because it’s what he does for a living. Even though cooking is enjoyable for him, after a long ass day at “the office”, he just can’t face the stove. And sometimes after long days, neither of us can face the stove, and that’s when we log into and order a large pepperoni with a side of parmesan sticks.

My boy is good, and i appreciate him. and i want to say thanks to him for putting up with me this week as i was outside every waking moment; and when i wasn’t outside i’d wax poetic about my cucumber trellis and how big the rose out front is going to get, not paying much attention to his eyes glazing over when i spoke. Thank you honey.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

on bobby flay and mojo

bobby flay's mojo pork has been a big favorite of ours for the past few years (it's really called Grilled Pork Tenderloin a la Rodriguez with Guava Glaze and Orange Habanero Mojo, but damn if that isn't a long title). i will say that it took several years for the boy and i to get over our aversion for bobby flay. like many people who hate him, it all started out with the Cutting Board Incident (which you can read about here if you've been living under a rock and don't know about it). the boy absolutely refused to even watch any of his shows after that. but then one memorial day weekend about 3 years ago or so, Food TV had a marathon of his Boy Meets Grill series, and we got hooked. the boy says that although he still thinks bobby flay is an ass, he has much respect for him.

and frankly, with bobby flay's credentials, i think he has every reason to be the way he is. i would be an ass too if i was voted 1993's James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef and could cook the way he does.

but we do prefer bourdain in the end.

so back to the mojo. which i pronounce the american way because, well, i'm a nut. you know, as in "I've got my mojo working" or "That's some bad mojo, dude". during the summer months when we're firing up the ol' grill, we make this about once a week. each time, the mojo sauce is different, because sometimes we don't have a habanero on hand and use different peppers, and sometimes the strength of the habanero differs greatly from the last habanero we used. what takes the longest is making the mojo itself, because you have to reduce it on the stove for a while. it takes many oranges and limes (because i use fresh for this; i've sometimes cheated with using store bought orange juice, but frankly, you can taste the difference).

a little grilled corn and some fries from the 8-pound bag of crinkles i bought at costco round the dish out, although we normally serve it with a corn salad (i'll post the recipe for corn salad the next time i make it. it's fantastic).

we always have a lot of extra mojo sauce leftover, so i try to find creative ways to use it. for instance, today's lunch is ham, cheese, and veggies drizzled with the mojo wrapped in a garlic pesto tortilla. i'm wondering how well it would go with chicken cutlets, or certain kinds of fish? (not all fish could stand up to it). lurking in the back of the fridge we have some leftover chimichurri sauce (also a bobby flay concoction which j made on friday night to go along with grilled steaks). this sauce went really well with leftover steak sliced up and wrapped a la hippie taco which i made for our day on Lake Lanier this past saturday. those wraps included mixed greens, red onion, and blue cheese crumbles. so many possibilities for the tortilla wrap! i could eat those every day.

chimichurri sauce:

2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 serrano chiles, grilled, peeled, chopped
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine mint, parsley, cilantro, garlic, chiles, honey and mustard in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a medium bowl.

Friday, March 23, 2007

mounting irritation

this is about the stupidest thing i've heard all week (and it's been a doozy of a week, so you know this one has got to take the cake):

Foie Gras Removed From Puck Restaurants

>Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is cooking up kinder, gentler menus. As part of a new initiative to fight animal cruelty, Puck said Thursday he will no longer serve foie gras, the fatty liver produced by overfeeding ducks and geese.
motherfucker is just caving, because most of his clients are so-called celebrities, people who jump on that peta bandwagon only because it's fashionable. shame on him (and them).

now, dont get me wrong, i'm all about animal rights and saving the animals and against seal clubbing and all that stuff, i mean, i am human and i do have feelings after all. and my dog is probably the best treated dog in the whole friggin world. but peta is a little bit like that cult of wackos who offed themselves when the comet hale-bopp flew our way some 10 years ago. and those mary kay "consultants" (read: naggers). they're all fucking bonkers.

having grown up in france, i ate this stuff pretty regularly. and i will tell you right now, it's pretty tasty. the boy doesnt care for it, but my mom and i can eat the stuff on toast for breakfast every day, happily; although we'd watch our asses expand to the size of said-comet hale-bopp. but i digress. seriously. it's not like i eat at wolfgang puck's restaurants anyway; all the guy does is serve jazzed-up pizza and call it a day, and frankly, my pizza is way better than his. we laugh at him and point fingers when he shows up every quarter or so on HSN (or is it QVC? bah who cares?) trying to shlepp his wares. dude can keep his so-called celebrity clientele.

i'll rant more about this some other time. i'm in dire need of coffee.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

my take on chicken paprikash

Found lurking in the back of the freezer on Sunday was a bag of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I’ve been buying chicken thighs lately because a) they’re usually cheaper than breasts, and b) they tend to be more flavorful than other parts of the chicken, and c) everything i’ve made from Fucshia Dunlop’s Hunanese cookbook has called for chicken thighs, so i’ve been buying them in bulk and freezing what i don’t use. Since this particular ziplock bag had sufficiently defrosted by yesterday, i was encouraged to make use of them for dinner.

I only had about 5 minutes to myself yesterday, seeing as i kept being pulled into meetings. I am transitioning into a new position at work (hooray for me!) which starts April 2, but i keep being summoned to meet so-and-so, and attend various impromptu gatherings. so i didn’t have much time to surf the web during lunch. Because frankly, when was the last time i took a lunch break? It’s a rare thing. I usually work while shoveling food into my mouth. I know i know, this is something i need to change because i do need that break. I’ve been trying to go outside with patty when she goes on a smoke break, to at least get some sun and some fresh air and get away from this effing computer screen and all the technology that comes along with it. funny, considering i work in the techie field. Heh. So i digress. While eating a Kashi frozen entree, i quickly surfed around on the Cooks Illustrated website for anything i could make with chicken thighs which wouldn’t require a huge trip to the grocery store on the way home; and i settled on chicken paprikash. This would give me the excuse to use the dulce paprika i bought from Spice House, and also make use of the peppers in the “rotter” drawer.

8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, halved widthwise and cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, halved widthwise and cut into ¼ inch strips
3 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup or thereabouts of dry white wine (to be frank, i didn’t measure)
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt & pepper

preheat oven to 300 F.

heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (hee) over medium-high heat. season both sides of chicken with a boatload of salt and pepper and cook them in two batches, skin-side down first, without moving them until skin is crisp. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes. brown the other side 4 to 5 minutes longer, then transfer to large plate.
Repeat with the other batch. You can pour off some of the oil from the pot, but make sure to leave about 1 tablespoon of it to cook your onions with.

Add the onions to the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. I added a bit of brown sugar to the onions as they were cooking, because i always do this. You don’t want the onion to brown, though, just get soft, so perhaps there is no merit in adding brown sugar. But i find myself becoming more and more like Mothra in my cooking, doing things out of habit or just because that’s the way i’ve always done it nevermind what those fucking celebrity chefs say, so there.

add all the peppers and cook until the onions are browned and peppers are soft, about a few minutes more. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the paprika, the marjoram, and the flour. Stir constantly for 1 minute. Add wine (and i was a bit liberal in my pouring of it), and scrape up the bottom bits with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Remove the skin from the chicken; add those in with the liquid left on the plate, and submerge them under the onions and peppers. bring to a simmer, then cover the whole thing and place the pot in the oven where it should stay for about 25 to 30 minutes. Now do some cleanup, because if you cook like i do, you’ll have dropped your wooden spoon (twice) and made a big red splattery mess on the floor and cabinets. Then go watch TV or do what i did, which was to take pictures of the plants in my yard (for another post another day).

take the pot out of the oven. Mix the sour cream and 1/2 tablespoon of paprika in a small bowl. Remove the chicken from the pot and plate it up. Stir a few tablespoons of the sauce into the sour cream mixture, and then stir this mixture back into the pot. Spoon the sauce over chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

I decided to make it with a side of plain couscous because i’m growing weary of rice. We’ve eaten rice with almost every dinner for the past few months, and i’m getting riced out. Besides, i had some couscous handy. I tried to be all artistic with the couscous, scooping it into the middle of the shallow bowl i used to plate up, but couscous has a mind of its own and fell over. So be it. i also kind of went nuts with the parsley, but i think the green is pretty. Besides, at this point, it was close to 7:15 pm and i hadn’t eaten anything since lunch (11 am-ish) and all i wanted to do was eat. right. now.

What i’d do differently next time:

1. I’m not quite so sure couscous is the best accompaniment for this. It’s definitely more of a rice dish, and the happy folks at CI suggest egg noodles, but as i stated above, i’m a bit riced out these days.

2. When hauling chicken out of the pot, before you plate up, it really ought to be deboned at this time. I’d even shred it with my hands or a fork and put back into sauce after you’ve added the sour cream mixture. I didn’t much care for picking around the bone while i was eating. Yes, i was being lazy, because after the long day i’d had which started off stupidly enough (see previous entry) i only wanted to use one utensil at dinner, that being a fork.

3. I have a suspicion that this will be much better after having sat around in the fridge for a day or two. most stew-type things are.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

dumb blonde joke (or strawberry blonde joke)

{start of joke}

So a blonde drives into the parking deck at her workplace at 6:27 am. Blonde gets out of the car, walks around to get her bag out of the passenger side of the car. Blonde opens car door, locks car, puts keys in bag. Blonde sees gym bag in backseat and wants to put it in the trunk. Blonde steps back, and car door slams shut.

Bag, with computer, cell phone, lunch, coffee and car keys is still in car.

{end of joke}

But seriously, roadside assistance had someone out there in 10 minutes to pop the lock. I highly recommend Quik Pik.

Lunch and more importantly, COFFEE! was saved!

Blonde proceeds to guzzle coffee and dreads the smacking upside the head she’s going to get later by the boy.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

so very much NSFW, and not exactly food related

so the other night, patty, katherine and i ended up at One Midtown Kitchen after hitting the Infiniti release party (infiniti as in the car. yeah).

the other night marked exactly one month after valentine's day, which is known in the Boy World as Steak & Blow Job Day. i wouldnt click on that link if you're at work reading this. ha!

for the longest time i always thought the boy made up that holiday. but ha. was i ever wrong!

apparently, boys across the universe know about that day.

so to make a long story short, us girls went out and got a bit giddy and talked at length about Steak & Blow Job Day and other not so safe for work things. because that's what girls do when they get together. we also sit around in nighties and have pillow fights all the time.

and our waitress at One sucked... turns out it was the same waitress i had before, the one i now name Steak Fritz after (she must have gotten some french lessons, because she now says Frites the correct way). but she still kind of sucked, and she had no excuse because we got there late and the place was dead.

the point to this post? no point. not even food related either. heh. Happy Friday, and Happy Payday to those of you who will get three paychecks this month (that means me and everyone i know from work who reads this).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

more grilling

more grilling! because, why not? the weather has been great here. and by "great" i mean that i am wearing a short-sleeved shirt to work today with some flip flops. mental note to get myself a pedicure this weekend, seeing as all the un-love i've been doing to my feet all winter by bundling them up in socks and heavy shoes have made said feet look pretty chickeny.

speaking of chicken! and this one is for Mrs. B: ye ol' Spatchcocked Chicken.

hee. sorry. remember the fifth grade humor thing i told you about? well yeah. i said "spatchcocked". heh. i digress.


spatch·cock (spăch'kŏk) pronunciation

A dressed and split chicken for roasting or broiling on a spit.

i first heard the term "spatchcocked" (hee) while watching nigella lawson on the style channel years ago (the food network has recently been airing all her older shows, which is great because now the rest of america can jump on the I Love Nigella bandwagon that i've been hollering about since 2001). it seemed simple and intriguing, so we tried it at home and instantly loved it. to be honest, i love all grilled food. but i think the most pleasurable thing about this chicken is that it involves some medieval torture. there is something very satisfying, very gratifying about eating this after you've been mandhandling it a bit. you basically cut the chicken up the back, remove the backbone, and butterfly it out (meaning, lean with all your great might on that thing and make it flat. and yes, you will hear crackage of bones. see what i mean about medieval torture?). then you shove it into a ziplock bag with the marinade i mentioned the other day (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper) for a few hours before grilling.

sometimes it makes life easier to plop a tin foil covered brick on top or even a cast iron skillet (this ensures a quicker cook time). these will take a while, so sit back and do other things, like entertain your neighbors (hi Mr and Mrs B!), and start working on some side dishes.

side dish number one is bobby flay's warm potato salad. what's appealing about this recipe is the use of hot bacon dressing. oh, and caramelized onions. two of my favorite things! seriously, there is nothing better than caramelized onions. i could eat those straight from the pan with the heel of a loaf of french bread and be happy as a clam. actually, i have done this before. heh. we decided to make two starches, which is probably a big fat nutrition and culinary no-no, but who cares? are you the food police?

starch number 2 is a simple risotto, which Mrs B and i stood patiently by the stove and made. this was the first time i had ever made risotto, and i can't believe how easy it is to make. i can't believe i'd never made risotto before. what exactly is my problem? as long as you dont go in the other room and start vacuuming, your risotto will turn out just fine. i will always and forever associate risotto with that episode of hell's kitchen (first season) when gordon ramsey yells at poor dewberry, "why are you putting fish stock in the fucking risotto?". every time one of us mentions risotto, the other will bleet out at top voice, "WHY ARE YOU PUTTING FISH STOCK IN THE FUCKING RISOTTO?", and we crack up. yes, we are very easily amused (i'm hanging my head in shame). the risotto was finished off with some pats of butter and a lot of freshly grated parmesan cheese, which resulted in a very unctuous dish.

the chicken came off the grill and rested a bit before further dismembering into large pieces. Mrs B tells me that the blackened areas will cause cancer if eaten, since the black is superchar from the grill, but we all happily ate it anyway. and it was good. spatchcocked chicken turns out to be very juicy every time we make it. i'm not sure if that's the marinade at work, or the method of cooking which helps it stay that moist. it was well-received all around, along with the cheesy risotto and warm potato salad.

Mrs P tried to pull off that "i'm a starving orphan in china please feed me!" look, and even though i know what she's up to, i still shower her with love. and a small piece of chicken. because, who can resist that face?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

steak fritz night

i havent blogged in a few days because, frankly, we don't eat like kings every night. i know, hard to believe? right? sometimes we even do the occasional hamburger helper.

there, i've said it. Mothra would be appalled. we never ate that growing up. even my Grammy would be appalled.

however, not all nights are lost on Add-Meat-To-Packaged-Goods. some nights in the past two weeks have been mild, so we've been firing up the grill (enter chorus here of "fire it up! fire it up!". ehem). so yeah, mild weather = firing up of the ol' grill = goodtastysuperfoods. we defrosted the last pieces of meat from the tenderloin bought at the Super H market a while back, and decided it was time for a Steak Fritz night. I made the frites from the Les Halles cookbook, except i made them matchstick-sized because i like my frites better that way. damn, they were so good i couldnt stop snacking on them while waiting for the next batch to finish their second fry.

the boy made a reduced wine-shallot sauce to go along with; looks pretty good right? however when all was said and done, the sauce was inedible because we used bad wine. and by bad wine i mean wine that had turned. wine, turn? in my house? yeah... it was a leftover box wine from when we lived downtown... FIVE MONTHS AGO. boxed wine is great for camping. okay so i admit it. i drink boxed wine on occasion. hey, even daniel boulud has boxed wine now, so get off my back.

we didn't let that bother us though. shit happens while cooking, it's all about living and learning. down the garbage disposal it went. i did turn down the corners of my mouth at all those mouth-watering shallots. well, they looked mouthwatering. sigh.

what this picture doesnt show is right after it was taken, i gobbed big globs of ketchup and mustard all over the side of the plate. heh.

today you have learned too much about me. when i'm in a good mood, i tend to overshare things about myself. things like eating hamburger helper and drinking boxed wine. seriously, i can hear all my French ancestors turning in their graves; i'm sorry. i'll never spill my own beans again.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

on the goodness of a BLT

my two favorite sandwiches are the blt and the reuben, but i don't eat them very often, seeing as i never have the components for them around the house. if we're eating out and i see a reuben on a menu, i have to order it; it's a compulsion. and if we ever end up at waffle house (as we did this past thanksgiving morning), i usually order a blt. anyhoo, so i woke up saturday and made the boy breakfast. when the boy and i have the same morning off together, i try to make him bacon and eggs, or waffles, or pancakes, you know; a big ol' breakfast. i rarely make any for myself because i'm not a huge breakfast eater. during the week i have my yogurt and my fruit and my coffee and all is good in the world. so while i was frying up the bacon, i remembered that we had a big hunk of french bread left over from the night before, and then i spied a tomato in the fruit bowl on the dining room table. tomatoes are pretty rare around the house these days, but i saw one and i immediately got giddy, because when there is bacon, french bread, and a tomato in the house, then i must have a blt. must!

so i made one, complete with a healthy slathering of Duke's Mayonnaise and some bagged pre-torn romaine i found in the back of the "rotter" drawer.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

on roast chicken

i've previously written that i'm a master at roast chicken. and this is true; i can do it with my eyes closed (okay, maybe not; after all, i don't want to burn myself). i think every good cook has their own "master" recipe for roasting a chicken, and every good cook thinks that their way is the best way. for the boy and i, roast chicken is one of our comfort foods, one that we always fall back on when we've had a bad day and need some good-tasting therapy. it's also the one meal i dont have to look up the recipe for (and me being bad with math and numbers, this is a good thing), because i've made it so often. it's just our good ol' standby meal. i don't consider it to be super fancy foodage at all.

a couple of people i've made this for have gushed about my chicken. one time when we lived in baltimore, i made it for an old friend who was passing through on her way from NYC to atlanta. another time (2 weeks before our wedding) my mom flew into Dulles airport and drove through rush hour traffic up to Baltimore, and i greeted her with this meal. i made it because it was easy, simple, and good. both recipients were shocked. "how nice!", exclaimed my friend, "but you didn't have to go out of your way to make me a super fancy gourmet meal". this kind of puzzled me, that she would consider a whole roast chicken as being gourmet. my mom said kind of the same thing. she even got on the phone later to my sister and boasted about the wonderful meal i made her (which made my sister jealous - but that's another story). this is the type of thing you'd make a tired traveler, or someone who's had a stressful day, or someone who just spent 2 hours battling traffic. it's so homey and buttery and delicious that it's one of those things that can be considered borderline comfort food/gourmet food, for the weary.

1. if you have a V-rack, use it. you dont necessarily need one, and i've cooked many a chicken without; you can also take a lot of tin foil, ball it up, and use it to prop up the chicken when it's on its side. i like using the V-rack because the sides of the chicken get really well cooked, and you get more crispy skin to munch on.

2. preheat oven to 375 F and lightly grease your V-rack, if using.

3. take some room-temperature butter (depends on how much you want to use, around 5 tablespoons might be plenty), put it in a bowl and smoosh it around with some herbs of your choice. i use plenty of chopped fresh thyme and some herbes de provence that my mom brought me back from france (these can be really expensive if store-bought in the US, so if you don't have any, you can totally make your own, my dad does). i also put in a healthy dose of salt and pepper. smoosh this all around really well. take a good blob of it and smoosh it underneath the skin of one of the breasts, being careful not to rip through the skin. if you do, it's all good! no worries! it ain't the end of the world! just go about your business. take another good blob of it and do the same to the other breast. if there is any left, i shove it into the chicken cavity (make sure you take out the baggie of innards and cook those up for your dog; mrs p loves that) along with a halved lemon, sprigs of thyme, and sometimes a hunk of onion. take a tablespoon or two of canola/vegetable/or peanut oil and spread it all around the outside of the chicken. liberally salt it all over; i also pepper it a bit but not too much as pepper can burn.

4. oil your V-rack and put the chicken down on one side. add some water to the bottom of the pan (this will prevent the pan from smoking like hell once the chicken fat starts dripping into it). if you arent using a V-rack, dont add any water to the bottom of the pan. put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. take it out, and with a whole separate set of pot holders (you don't want cross-contamination now, do you?), flip the bird over to its other side and roast that again for another 20 minutes. take it out again and flip the chicken right side up for about 30 to 35 minutes, or somewhere along the lines of 160 F for the breast temperature. to be honest, i've never taken the temperature at this point. i just guesstimate it, and i'm right every time.

5. haul the chicken out of the oven and remove it from the V-rack onto a cutting board and let sit for about 15 minutes. at this point, you, your asbestos hands, and a sharp knife can tackle the dismemberment.

6. if you're not using a V-rack, you can use a regular rack or even set the chicken on a bed of cut up root vegetables seasoned with salt, pepper, and some olive oil. ummm yummmmm.

we usually serve this with rice pilaf and canned corn.

Friday, March 2, 2007

on gardening

so at the boy's workplace, whenever they need fresh rosemary all they have to do is walk outside into the parking lot and snip some off of this here very fine bush. to say that i'm jealous is an understatement. i've been daydreaming for the past two weeks about what my backyard will look like once i get my butt in gear and start planting things. the tulips i planted in early december are starting to come up, which gives me great excitement. in fact, the day i saw the first of the little babies trying to poke their way up through the dirt, i squealed. i love new growth, and i love spring. it just needs to get here a lot quicker.

our yard is just a big trapezoid with several (as in about 8 or 9) over 100-foot tall pine trees. there is ample room and light underneath the trees to grow whatever i want; it's just that right now the yard is a blank canvas covered in pine cones, leaves, tree branches, and the occasional dog poo (many thanks to the boy for going on Poop Patrol earlier this week!). i want my herb garden and veggie area to be asymmetrical in plot layout, meaning i dont want a bunch of square-shaped plots all over. i want this to flow. i want some flowage, dammit. sometime this weekend i will probably take some pictures of the yard and make a scale drawing of what i want it all to look like (i knew i'd eventually benefit from all those architectural drafting classes). that's one of my many homework assignments for the weekend.

it would probably take me a really long time to get a rosemary plant the size of the one in front of the boy's workplace, but i can certainly try!

also on the agenda: basil, thyme, lemon thyme, flat leaf parsley (i'm still debating what other herbs i want to grow, if any. i've had much success with oregano in the past, however i used so very little of it). some type of tomato and cucumber is also part of my Master Plan. and maybe some more flowers.

i'll daydream a bit more while i eat my salad.