Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend, Day 1

I woke up Saturday morning to the alarm! I must have set it without thinking when I went to bed. I tried to fall back asleep, but that didn’t work. So, I got up and filled in the rather extensive Blog entry.

I watched the morning news while drinking coffee. I wasn’t really hungry, so I didn’t eat. I finally shaved, showered and got dressed.

I headed out to run some errands. First stop was Kroger’s for some Memorial weekend food. Next, I went to Westborn. I needed some fresh herbs, but then I remembered their muffins. I’ve never had one, but they smell awesome whenever I walk by them. So, I bought a big, beautiful blueberry muffin for my breakfast.

I stopped at Home Depot for some plants. The place was a mad house! Apparently, everyone else had the same idea.

I had a list of veggies and herbs I wanted and I thought I got them all. I also bought two hanging plants (Calibrachoa – never heard of them but they are pretty). I loaded everything in the truck bed and drove carefully home so I didn’t spill anything.

Once I got home, I treated the cat and put away the groceries. i made a cup of coffee and ate my muffin - Delicious!!! Then I changed clothes. I hung up the two flower pots (after locating the chains) and went out back.

Sidebar: Yes, I still have my porch rail planter, but I thought I’d do something different this year.

I cleaned out the raised bed herb garden. As I said before, the only survivor of this past winter was one sage plant. So, I put in flat leaf parsley, basil, rosemary and thyme. I also put in my shy gargoyle. Then I watered the p*ss out of it and took a picture for you.

I moved on to the vegetable garden. I raked the winter crap out of it and pulled all the weeds. The debris went into the compost heap. I worked up the soil with some fertilizer (the last little bit I had) and then I planted. I put in two heirloom tomatoes, two Roma tomatoes, four green pepper plants, four eggplants and two cucumbers (behind the tomato trellis). That’s when I realized I didn’t buy the squash. Dammit!

So, I went back inside and washed up. I changed clothes and headed back to hell.

I got one zucchini and one yellow summer squash. Since I was there anyway, I got more fertilizer and some hose washers (they go missing a lot around here).

Back home, I treated the cat again, changed clothes and planted the squash. It’s too late to plant the seeds in the first row (peas and green beans) but I’ll plant in August and hope for a fall crop.

I hooked up the square sprinkler (with a new hose washer) and watered the garden for about an hour.

I went to work in the garage. I am sick and tired of having to leave my truck outside overnight (security concern!!!) But, I had two sets of sawhorse with two 2x4’s on each set for the cabinet doors I am working on. It dawned on me that, if I could combine them somehow, I would have enough room for both them and the truck.

So, I went with bunk beds! I screwed the bottom 2x4’s to the sawhorses and then built up from there. Before I loaded the doors on, I scraped each one again. They are drying out nicely and I’ll probably put more stripper on them Sunday or Monday.

I swept out the garage and pulled the truck inside (finally!)

Jake had been asking for an overview photo of the whole English garden. I tried to explain that perennials bloom at different times, so he would never see it “all in bloom.” But, he insisted, so I did my best.

Back inside, I had a voicemail from my daughter, Melissa, so I called her back. We talked for a while. She finally said she had to get going so she could make their dinner. 

Sidebar: While we were talking, my Brother Carl sent me some photos of his iris (the one's I gave him last year). Beautiful!!!

So, after we hung up, I started on mine as well. It’s a one pot wonder! So, I brought some water to boil in my pasta pan, while I peeled and deveined a pound of large shrimp. I boiled 8 ounces of spaghetti for five minutes and then added in the shrimp for the next three minutes (until the pasta was al dente). I drained that and put it in a big bowl (I think I could have just left it in the pot for one less thing to wash).

Anyway, to that I added 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, three tablespoons of drained capers, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (next time I think I’ll add some lemon zest as well) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I mixed that well.

I made a bed of baby spinach on my plate and topped it with the shrimp and pasta mixture. 

It was excellent! Light, but tasty! I only wish I’d bought a baguette to eat with it.

Sidebar: I was wondering why they didn’t top it with Parmesan cheese. So, when I went back for seconds, I did. Then I figured it out. The cheese overpowered that light, fresh, lemony flavor. So, if you make this, forget the cheese!

I put away the leftovers, cleaned up the stove and counters and ran the dishwasher.

I cut a rack of baby back ribs in half and took off the membrane. Then I rubbed them down with Famous Dave’s Rib Rub.

Sidebar: I really wanted to try Memphis-style dry rub ribs. So, I found a recipe for the rub. But, I realized the required ingredients would use up a small fortune of my spices (i.e. 1/4 cup of paprika – and all I have is the expensive Spice Island smoked paprika) and result in a large quantity of dry rub I’d probably never use. So, I looked for alternatives and found McCormick makes a Memphis ‘low and slow” dry rub. Great!

But, when I was at Kroger’s, they didn’t carry it. NONE of their dry rubs said “Memphis,” and the only two I recognized were Emeril’s and Famous Dave. I’ve never tasted Emeril’s BBQ, but I am partial to Famous Dave’s. So, I went with that.

I guess I’ll have to go to Memphis to see what that BBQ tastes like!

After applying the rub, I wrapped each section in cling wrap and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

By then it was after 8:00 p.m. I checked out the TV menu and didn’t see anything all that interesting. Besides, I was beat. So, (Carla would be so proud), I just went to bed.


  1. Gardens are all looking great.....keep up the good work

  2. Thanks, but you just don't notice all the grass in my gardens! I need to weed!!!

  3. Gardens do look great and so does that pasta dish. I love me some fresh basil.