Thunder and lightning woke me early Friday morning, but this time I was able to just roll over and go back to sleep. It was only sprinkling, though, when I left for work.
It had completely cleared up and was sunny, hot and humid when I went to lunch. I stopped at both Meijer's and Westborn to get some ingredients for dishes to take out to Lake Orion. I plan on making my "light" Italian pasta salad and grilling some hot dogs and brats. I'll also make some of my clam chowder soup for Mom.
After I got home and unloaded the car, I checked the gauge on the patio and found I'd gotten 1/2 inch of rain overnight. And, it still may not be finished. They are predicting occasional rain and thunderstorms (some may be severe) late afternoon through Saturday morning.
I left work an hour early (with the blessings of my boss). I had a lot to do tonight at home and was all caught up at work, so it made sense to me. It was sprinkling on the ride home, BTW.
Once there, I treated the cats, changed into my shorts and T-shirt and started making my clam chowder soup. I had it finished and cooling by 6:00 PM. This used up my last container of homemade chicken stock, so I know what I'll be doing on Sunday...
It was sunny again and my thermometer said it was 80 degrees F. (the Weather Channel said 76 degrees, BTW, but the thermometer is in the sun). Regardless, I got out the step ladder and cleaned out the gutters over Jake's patio. I finished that and was back inside by 6:45 PM. It was really, really muggy, BTW.
Now it was time to make the pasta salad for Lake Orion (the longer it sits in the dressing, the better it tastes, you see). So, I cleaned up all the bowls, utensils, etc, I used for the clam chowder, started the dish washer and got to work.
I won't bore you with details, but if you are interested, go to the Archives and pick Wednesday's post on April 30, 2009. The only thing I changed was to use fresh mozzarella (cut into 1/2 inch cubes) instead of the provolone and to change the ratio of the dressing from one part lemon juice to three parts extra virgin olive oil to one part lemon juice to two parts EVOO (I really wanted more of the lemon "zing"). Oh, yeah. I also switched out the Rotini pasta and used imported Italian pasta that translates into "radiators" (if you saw them you would understand).
I started making it at 7:15 PM. When I went out to pick some fresh oregano, it was raining, again. I finally finished the dish at 9:00 PM. I put away two four-cup containers of the now-cooled clam chowder, one in the freezer and one in the fridge. Had I remembered the final amounts, (it's been a while since I made this), I would have doubled the recipe for Mom.
I put the pasta salad into the new, big container I bought today. Obviously, there were many, many taste tests and it's almost spot-on. It just really needs more salt. But, my Mother isn't supposed to have a lot of salt, so I always under-season things I make for her.
So, it's after 9:00 PM and my kitchen is a total disaster. There are pots and pans, whisks and spoons, a dirty immersion blender and bowls and "stuff" everywhere. Other than cleaning out the gutter, it's been a continual five hour cooking marathon.
I decided that I can clean up this mess tomorrow morning and deserve a break tonight (what's left of it, anyway). So, I just turned my back and walked away...
What's nice is that with all the tasting of both the soup and the pasta salad, I'm not at all hungry. So dinner tonight is... NOTHING! I went in to see what was on TV tonight.
Unfortunately, the Friday Night Fights were NOT on (dammit) so I watched a taped cooking show until I was sleepy and then turned the TV off.
The thunder was rumbling and the lightning lit up the house as I tried to go to sleep. It was pretty impressive, but I fell asleep eventually, anyway.