Sunday, June 2, 2013

Saturday's Story

I slept lousy on Friday night. It was too damn hot in the house. I may have to reconsider my A/C setback program! I gave up and got up at 5:00 AM.

I putzed around a while, and then finally got ready for the first of many errands: my massage at 8:30 AM. I don’t know why, but Margaret seemed rather brutal today. When she was finished, she asked how I was feeling (standard question). I said, “Beat up!” She said, “You can always tell me to back off, you know.” I said, “No way! You’re the professional and if you think I need it, go for it.”

From there. I went to Kroger’s to replenish my dwindling stock of staples. I also bought a beautiful bone-in rib eye and some brats. I probably won’t get a chance today to grill (more storms in the forecast) but hopefully tomorrow will be different.

I had eggs and milk in the car, so I dashed home and dropped them off. Then I went to get my haircut at 10:30 AM. Michelle, my long-time barber, just got back from a vacation/attending a wedding in Maine and she was telling me how great Maine was. I really have to get out to the northeast coast one of these years!

Sidebar: I was flabbergasted in my travels this morning to see many gas stations with regular (REGULAR!) at $4.15 per gallon! Since I typically have to pay $0.20 more for mid-grade (sidebar to the sidebar: why the hell isn’t there a “cents” symbol on a computer keyboard? Don’t they have any cents?) (see what I did there?) that’s $4.35 a gallon! Ye gods!

Anyway, even though I have half a tank of gas, when I came across a gas station with regular still at $3.85, I pulled in and filled up my tank with mid-grade at $4.05.

Then I went to Westborn. I decided that with all this heat and humidity, all I really wanted to eat was a cold pasta salad. But, not just any pasta salad. I wanted to make the “Ultimate” pasta salad. So, to add to what I had at home, I got a yellow bell pepper, an English cucumber, a Vidalia onion, grape tomatoes, baby spinach and some feta cheese (made from sheep’s milk).

I also grabbed some sweet corn, some mushrooms and a little bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for tomorrow’s cookout.

I completely forgot the Irish butter I wanted to try. :(

I got home about 11:45 AM, treated the cats (again today) and put everything away. I changed into my shorts and noticed it was already clouding up. Uh, oh…

So, I did what any red-blooded American male would do (well, maybe any OLD red-blooded American male would do): I took a nap. I told you I didn’t sleep well last night!

When I woke up, it was sunny and hot outside. I went out and planted the porch rail planter and the window box under the kitchen window. I learned my lesson from last year and didn’t plant the flowers so close to each other this time. So, I didn’t take a photo yet. They look too sparse.

Then I dumped out all the kitty litter in the wheelbarrow onto the two horseshoe pits and worked it in with a shovel.

I saw Rick, so I thanked him for all his work. He said I still need to call the township for a final inspection. I don’t have to be here (thank God), but I have to leave the shed unlocked for the inspector to check it out. So, there goes my plan for moving everything this weekend! I also gave him $100 for his guy who spread the topsoil and told him I didn’t want to hear shit about it.

I fixed two more wheelbarrow’s full of my magic dirt and spread it in the vegetable garden. Then I planted my veggies. I put in three Ichiban Japanese eggplants, six Big Early Bell sweet peppers, three Husky Cherry Red hybrid cherry tomatoes and three German Queen heirloom tomatoes. I left a spot for Rick’s extras (he always gives me “something” he has leftover when he plants – usually hot peppers).

Sadly, I was unable to find any Italian tomatoes (my go-to favorites) this year. I took some photos for you.

When I came inside, it was 5:30 PM, so I started on my pasta salad. I had a pound of frozen, cooked, medium (51-60) shrimp, tail-on. I thawed them under running water for five minutes and then took the tails off.

I made a pound of bow-tie pasta, drained it and put it in the fridge to cool. I went out and harvested some flat leaf parsley, chives, thyme and oregano. I went to the pantry and got a small can of sliced ripe black olives and a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. I also got a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, but threw them away when I checked the expiration date (it said “Best by Dec. 2009).

I diced up the yellow bell pepper, half of the English cucumber and half of a Vidalia onion. I took a small tub of grape tomatoes and cut each in half. Then I diced up the feta cheese. Note: I threw away the water the feta was sitting in and then thought I might have been able to use it, but didn’t know where or how. The pasta was cold by that time, so I got a huge bowl and began to assemble my salad.

I put in half a bag of baby spinach, then the pasta and finally everything else. I cheated at the very end and used good (Ken’s Steak House) Italian dressing instead of making my own. I mixed it all up and seasoned it with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Then I covered it with cling wrap and let it get happy in the fridge.

About an hour later, I dished up a bowl for my dinner. It was good (no, it was damn good) but not “Ultimate!” Why? I dunno. It was missing something. It was too sweet and needed just a little more bite. I think I should have either used a red onion and/or green olives.

Note: I sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I had two bowls just to make sure, LOL!

I watched a little TV, but went to bed early.

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