Sunday, October 20, 2013

Food Cravings

I woke up at the usual time on Saturday to a light rain. I ran through the morning routines and managed to get to my rescheduled massage at 8:30 a.m. without a parking lot hitch.

While I was being pummeled, I asked Margaret if she ever had any luck over-wintering mums (I haven’t). She said, no, but she knew somebody who did who swore it was NOT to cut them back in the fall and mulch over top of them (like they tell you, and I have always done in the past). She claimed this person just left them alone and did not cut them until the following spring and they grew again! So, I’m gonna try that!

From there, it was all about the Saturday errands. I went to Kroger’s, then Westborn and, finally, Home Depot.

I unpacked everything and left out the things I planned to use this weekend. Now, for some reason (back in the ‘60’s, a cute little flower child would have told you that your body was trying to tell you just what it needed), I have been craving two very disparate things. One that I attribute to summer’s passing: a kick-ass pasta salad. The other is a nod to the reality of fall’s arrival: pot roast.

[Sidebar: Okay, so there’s the whole beef stew thing going on, too, but I am fighting it!]

So, most of the Kroger run filled in the raw ingredients I needed for both. The trip to Westborn fulfilled the fresh produce and cheeses I required. Well, okay, I bought a seven-year old, imported, aged white cheddar cheese hunk I didn’t need, but it just sounded sooo good!

Home Depot bought me a little more grass seed (I noticed a few spots I’d missed in my late night’s sowing), furnace filters and some regular Elmer’s glue for the secret project.

I was back home by 11:00 a.m. I unloaded the stuff after treating the cats. Now, here’s where I fncked up. I never vacuumed out the trunk after getting the last load of straw. So, each shopping plastic baggie, plastically-electrically charged or something, dragged in straw bits into the house. Damn!

I turned on the radio, instead of my usual DIY shows, so I wouldn’t get distracted.

I put away the groceries and “stuff” and then cleaned up the mess.  Since the furnace had just taken a break, (it was still only 45 degrees F. at 12:30 p.m.), I went and disassembled the furnace and replaced the filters. I was literally shocked at the amount of dust and cat hair on the old filters. I have this switch-out written in on my cupboard calendar for every three months, winter and summer, but I must have missed the last one! I would have taken a picture, but I would have been too embarrassed!

I changed clothes, filled in the Blog entry to date, and finally went out back in the rain. I seeded (or re-seeded) all the spots I thought I’d missed.  I came back in after shutting up the shed, damp and with my right shoulder hurting. I changed clothes and started the second load of the weekend wash. I did the first on Friday night, although I don’t think I mentioned it. No guy likes to admit he has premature washification!

I went out in the garage and sprayed all the remaining bolts and nuts on the bike frame, fenders, etc., with that stinky penetrating oil. The whole garage reeked of it. I went back inside after reluctantly shutting the garage door and washed my hands several times. But you could still smell it in every room of the house.  Apparently, the smell is as “penetrating” as the oil!

I baked the last tray of that spanakopita for lunch. Not because I wanted spanakopita, I just wanted the space that big box took up in the fridge freezer. I have GOT to wash out the chest freezer in the garage and fire it up!!!  There were frozen turkey breasts for sale at Kroger I was drooling over, but have no place to put them. Pathetic!

I ate four or five of the spanakopita and decided that was about as Greek as I wanted to get today. So, I went in and took a long-deserved nap.

I woke up about 5:00 p.m. and had to laugh. The sun was shining! Well, at least the grass seed I got wet to spread got damp. [Editor’s Note: Not alliteration, but fun to write.]

I started making the pasta for my made-up killer pasta salad. I am trying to combine two of my favorites: traditional pasta salad and Italian antipasto salad. If this works, I will publish this as my own recipe. If it doesn’t, we’ll never speak of it again, okay?

I started by making the pasta: tri-colored rotini. Not that it tastes better (I personally don’t think it does) but it looks better. When I had that in a colander, rinsed and drained, I started chopping veggies. First came five green onions, white and green. Then half a green bell pepper and half a red bell pepper. Next I cut half an English cucumber into cubes.


I forgot the cherry tomatoes!!

I don’t mean I forgot to buy them. I completely forgot to put them on the list when I was imagining this dish! Okay, now how to cope? I could open a can of diced tomatoes, drain them and add them (nah, too wet). I could hop the fence (LOL, yeah, right) and steal a few tomatoes from my neighbor (nah, he’s got that .357 Magnum and a bad attitude). I decided to just let the tomatoes go…

I drained half a jar of pitted Kalamata olives and threw them in as well (I debated long and hard about slicing them, as I would have normally just added the sliced black olives I keep in the cupboard. However, I decided they would make more of a “statement” if they were whole.

Then I moved onto the antipasto side. I chunked up half a wedge of year-old, aged Asiago cheese (the older it is, the sharper the taste, BTW).

Sidebar: You have probably noticed by now that I keep using “half” of everything. Part of that is what I imagine the amount the dish should have (I told you I was making this up, right?) and part of this is so I can recreate the dish in a few days if I like it, LOL!

Next came the meat. Originally, I resigned myself to taking a number and waiting forever at Westborn for a chunk of salami and a chunk of pepperoni so I could cut it into nice cubes. However, I spotted some Hormel packets of thin-sliced sausages at Kroger’s, so I picked up some pepperoni, hard salami and Genoa salami. I cut half of each into 1/4-inch slices.

I mixed everything up with some of my bottled Italian dressing (I need to use it or lose it). Then I dusted it with a generous helping of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese (from Westborn).

I plated it and ate a late dinner. Was it kick-ass? Nope. It was very good, delicious in fact. The mix of the variety of sausages and the Asiago cheese was brilliant. But, it lacked the acid bite of the tomatoes. And I wish I’d thought of this before, but one of those jars of artichoke hearts might have pushed it over the top. So, no new recipe. Just something to improve upon.

I watched the rest of the Tiger’s game (I felt duty-bound to) and was disappointed (like everyone else) that they lost. I should have looked for the Red Wings game, but they lost, too!

Go Lions!!!


  1. That's one expensive salad, but really sounds good!

  2. If only I had remembered the cherry tomatoes!