[ Taken May 1, 2009 | Raindrops | Dayton, OH ]
The line between "too much garlic" and "the perfect amount of garlic" is pretty thin and all too easy to cross.
Based on actual tests, the perfect amount of garlic to be consumed in a single sitting is about 1 head of garlic per person. When you up that amount to about 1.5 heads (or more) of garlic per person, then you have crossed the line into too much garlic, and bad things can happen. (Bad things include, but are not limited to, dehydration, restless sleep, extremely vivid and strange dreams, and complaining co-workers the next day. Sorry, guys!)
John and I both consume a lot of garlic in the fall. We both suffer from seasonal (residual ragweed, mold brought upon by all of the rain) allergies and general snuffliness, and garlic tends to dry out the sinuses and allieviate some of this.
Our favorite delivery system? Garlic butter spread on home-made bread. (Any kind of home-made bread will do, but I prefer rosemary-sage bread. I swear, that breadmaker is the best kitchen gadget ever. Hands down.)
Heat the oven to about 250.
prep about 1 head of garlic by removing all of the "skin" from the cloves.
Put the cloves in a small rammikin and add enough butter and olive oli to completely cover the garlic when the butter is all melted.
Cook until the garlic is done.
Whir up the garlic, olive oli, and butter in the food processor with a dollop of sour cream until you have a creamy spread.
Spread it on bread, or dip crackers into it.
Yeah, it is a pretty vague recipie, but aren't all of the best recipies like that?
Speaking of rain, it is time to complain about the weather in this part of the world!
Ever since the calendar clicked over into September, it is like someone turned the dial from "summer" to "fall" with no "get used to it" stage in between. It has been dreary, rainy, greay, and generally blah for a couple weeks straight now. Our weather is worse then that in Seattle. (Seriously. I was talking to a co-worker who lives in Seattle and he was enjoying beautiful and sunny weather with the temperature in the 70s, while I was enduring grey rain with temperatures int he lower 60's.)
What happened to Indian Summer?
According to John, this fall may mark the shortes amount of time between when we turn off the air-conditioning, and turn on the heater.
And us with so may outdoor house projects left to finish up yet!
[ Taken May 1, 2009 | Raindrops | Dayton, OH ]
Our food processor died a couple of weeks ago in the middle of a batch of pesto.
It was an ancient (possibly older then I am) Braun processor that my Mom gave us that we loved. It had tons of accessories and blades. We used it a lot.
When we went to replace it we found that they literally don’t make them like that one anymore – at least not in the US. One of the features of the old Braun that John liked the most was the variable speed settings. They don’t make variable speed food processors for the US anymore. Here you can get a food processor that has three “speeds” – “high”, “low”, and “pulse”. (Braun does still make variable speed processors, but they are not rated for the US electrical grid.)
We looked around a little bit, but didn’t really see anything that we thought we would like as much as the old Braun.
Then John found out that the old Braun had a belt-driven motor, so he decided to try to fix it himself. At first, it seemed like the fix took, and we had hopes of babying the old Braun on for a little longer. Then it died a second time in the middle of whirring up breadcrumbs for eggplant parmesan.
We found a food processor we liked at Target. They didn’t have it in stock. The shelf model was all they had. We didn’t feel like going to a Target in the next town over to pick up the one that they had in stock, so we drove 5 minutes down the road to Walmart (I hate Walmart) where we found another food processor (display model) we liked. Of course we couldn’t find the one we liked in a box on the shelf. It took three tries to get someone to help us (I hate Walmart) since apparently Walmart employees don’t have to help customers outside of the confines of their own tiny little areas of responsibility. When we finally found someone in Housewares who would talk to us, they suggested that we could order what we wanted online and have it delivered to the store for us to pick up for free. John pointed out that we were right there in the store, so saying that we should go home and place an online order was not helpful at all. It became obvious that the Housewares employee was not interested in actually helping us. (I hate Walmart.) We left.
John decided to try doing the online ordering for in-store pickup anyway. He was told that he would be notified in a couple of days when the food processor arrived and we would be able to pick it up.
A week later, having heard nothing from Walmart about our in-store delivery (at least he hadn’t put down any credit card information for that transaction), John cancelled his online order and called around and found a Wallmart a couple of miles down 75 (on the way to Cincinnati fencing practice) that had the model we liked in stock, and arranged for one to be held so he could pick it up.
Upon opening the box at home, we discovered that the chopping blade (the most important and most used blade) was missing.
God, I hate Walmart. And not just because of their evil corporate practices, but also because of their utter apathy toward customer service and general incompetence.
John returned it.
We did what we should have just done in the first place, and just ordered a new processor from Amazon.
John placed the order on Wednesday. The processor arrived Friday evening. Amazon has never done us wrong. (Unlike Walmart.)
We had joked while working on the deck that if Merlin died during the building process, then we could just bury her underneath it. (There was some kind of complicated pyramid/mausoleum/death monument reference here, I think, but it is moot anyway since the deck is up and she is not dead yet.) When the food processor died I suggested that we could bury it in the raised flowerbed that we are planning for one end of the deck for future generations to find and puzzle over. Kind of like a time capsule, only not. John didn’t think very much of that idea, so the old Braun will just find itself in a can on the curb come next trash pickup day.
RIP Braun food processor.
[ Taken August 25, 2009 | Green Tomatoes | Dayton, OH ]
[ Taken August 25, 2009 | The Garden | Dayton, OH ]
[ Taken August 25, 2009 | Red Pepper | Dayton, OH ]
The garden has continued to do very well. So well, in fact that the tomato plants in one corner of the garden have completely overwhelmed and collapsed the bamboo trellis.
Summer is almost over. August has slipped into September, and the mornings have turned misty and chilly and the temperature at night dips down toward 50 degrees. Where has the summer gone?
Gone the way of all summers when you are no longer in school and no longer have school holidays to break up the year into smaller chunks. Work has been particularily fraught over the past month or so. A lot of work (enough that I don't much want to face a computer when I finally do get home) and long hours and precious little relaxation in the sun with a book to close out the days.
It is Labor Day and I am off of work. Off of work and lolling around the house as the muggy-ness and intmittent rain contribute to a general feeling of lazyness. John and I had a fairly busy weekend, though, and I think that we deserve a day of doing nothing much.
Saturday was the Harvest Day event, a 12+ hour long affair, since I had to be there for both morning court as well as night court (which was help after feast rather then before) with a full day of fencing in between. I passed the South Oaken Rapier Champion title on to Lisabetta - a friend from Ann Arbor and another transplant from there to southwest Ohio.
Sunday John and I continued to work on the deck. We have the uprights and handrails on now. I really wanted to get that project completely over and done with this weekend, but it was not to be. (See mention of the constant rain today. The past month has been very inconveniently rainy, and rainy weather makes it difficult to do outdoor work.) Maybe we will be able to get the final bits of handrail stained in the garage over the week, and maybe we will be able to get them up next weekend. Maybe. And Maybe we will be able to seed over the exposed dirt and put in the new flower bed as well. Maybe. Maybe. Mostly right now I just want to get the deck done before September slipps into October. I would like to be able to have one or two barbecues on the new deck before true fall closes in.
My office has been doing something called “summer hours” this summer where basically you work 4 extra hours a week, and you can get every other Friday off. Since I regularly work 45-50 hour weeks, this is basically just getting a little bit of my own back, so you had better believe that I have been capitalizing on the opportunity. This past Friday was my last "summer hours" day, which really made for a nice long holiday weekend. The tricky bit will be to cut back to a more reasonable and sane 40-or-so hour workweek now that “summer hours” is officially over.
I would be 100% in favor of a “fall hours” policy, and then a “winter hours” policy, should my office ever decide to try out those as well.