Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend – Saturday

Well, as you know (or can guess) the theme for this Memorial Day weekend is: “Work until crippled. Rest. Repeat.”

I woke up at 6:00 a.m., full of piss and vinegar. A quick trip to the bathroom fixed that problem.

I filled in the Blog with the help of two cups of coffee. I watched the morning news until it was time to get ready for my 9:00 a.m. haircut.

From there I went to Kroger’s for meats for tomorrow’s traditional barbeque. I had originally planned on barbequing on Monday, the actual Memorial Day. But, we are supposed to have glorious weather here all weekend, EXCEPT for thunderstorms sometime Monday afternoon. So, Sunday it is.

Next stop was Westborn, for veggies, sweet corn and (for dessert) a wedge of watermelon!

Last stop was Home Depot for my herbs. That was a mistake. EVERYBODY in Southeast Michigan was there, getting plants. Seriously! I parked about a mile away and hiked in. I got everything on my list, except for flat leaf parsley. WTF? They didn’t have anything but curly parsley (that’s a garnish, not an herb). Dammit!

Well, I still need another patio table, so I guess I’ll check Lowe’s on Tuesday. If that fails, there’s always Joe Randazzo's across from Lowe’s. I WILL GET ME SOME FLAT LEAF PARSLEY!!!

Oh, Brother Carl: I did check and Home Depot did not have any flowering almonds there.

I got home (with an empty gas tank, according to the warning light) around 11:30 a.m. I unloaded everything after treating Caley and then changed into shorts and a t-shirt. I saw a beautiful cardnial under the feeder and took a picture of him through the bathroom window.

I planted the herbs and added the shy gargoyle. He looks pretty exposed right now, but in a month he’ll be hiding. While I was at it, I put out the turtle, too.

As I washed my hands, I realized I was hungry. I looked in the pantry and found a tin of corned beef. I love that they still make the can with its key to open. It’s old school cool. I made a sandwich and ate that sitting on one of my new patio chairs.

Then I got back to work.  I had an idea of putting chicken wire between the raised bed veggie garden and the fence for the cucumbers and squash to spread out on. So, I stapled one end of the chicken wire to the wood and wire-tied the other end to the fence. I took some pictures for you, but it’s hard to see the wire.

I put the hammer and staple back and decided to take a nap. I turned on the TV and found no end of war movies on (Memorial Day fare). So, I watched The Longest Day until I fell asleep. I recorded the movie to watch later whatever I missed.

When I woke up, I went back outside. I cleaned up the mess from the pine tree. I put the cut up sections of trunk in my wild garden. I think decaying wood helps maintain the “forest” soil.  I usually beg my neighbor for a few chunks of his firewood, but I have my own this year.

I picked a few lily of the valley stems for my bedroom (I like the smell).

I finished up around 7:00 p.m. and buttoned everything up for the night. Then I went in and washed up.

Next I started dinner. I was making Parmesan Chicken with a side of smoked Gouda grits.

I made my usual paste of two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped thyme (I got that off my new plants), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I smeared that over the two boneless chicken breasts and then put them into a shallow bowl with a mixture of 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs.

I put them on a rack on a half sheet pan, hit them with a quick spray of canola oil and stuck them into a preheated 450 degrees F. oven. I set the timer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, I brought a mixture of 2 1/2 cups of whole milk and 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Then I slowly whisked in one cup of coarse-ground grits (NOT instant). I reduced the heat, covered it and let it cook (stirring occasionally) for about 20-25 minutes, until creamy, but still with some bite.

I grated up about four ounces of smoked Gouda cheese and cut a half stick of butter into pieces. 

When the grits were ready, I removed them from the heat and stirred in the butter and cheese. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and put some in a small dish.

I added a chicken breast and ate a fantastic dinner. One regret, though. I should have butterflied the chicken breasts. One was too much to eat.

I watched the rest of The Longest Day and then went to bed.


  1. I'm looking, John, I'm looking. What does the decaying wood do...where do I put it? Shade garden only?

  2. Doesn't it ALWAYS rain on Memorial Day? Gardens are looking good!

  3. @ GPF: I think the rotting wood gives the wild garden area the soil effect of a woods. So, I don't think it would help in a sunny place. Hey, its just my wild-ass theory, but I've done it ever since I moved her and you can tell the lily of the valley, the violets and ferns are doing great. I'd still like to introduce some jack-in-the-pulpits and trillium, though.
    @ Jake: Yeah, usually it rains. But now they are saying probably not here!!!