Still Plotting

By: Sherree Thompson

Here it is April and I’m still plotting my “spring” garden. Now that the weather is co-operating, my mind is wheeling with ideas and plans.

 I am hoping to apply what I learned from last year’s summer garden, but apparently this past summer was out-of-the-normal for gardens. This is just the thing that would come my way. I always seem to try a first when everything is out-of-whack. Technically I think it might be a good thing. I mean, the more hurdles that are tossed my way just forces me to learn even more.

Last year, I learned not to place some plants near others or they will cross pollinate. For example: don’t plant cucumbers by zucchini.You will get these funny, gourd-looking cucumbers.

Cross Pollinated Cucumber

Cross Pollinated Cucumber

Another tips is to make sure to net your berries or they will be swallowed by the birds.

I also opted not to make raised beds, and have decided I will skip that again this year.

Beautiful Raised beds a River Banks Zoo

Beautiful Raised beds a River Banks Zoo

Since we have fresh ground to work with, we have a few big projects ahead of us. One being the beds. I must work on that shortly or I might miss my window for planting. I’m such a procrastinator about the things that I think won’t take that long.

I feel like I already have a jump on the planning though. I have my seed source ordered, my garden mapped (mostly) and a watering system plotted.

I actually think I might pull out a calender and write out my plan. Go me! That is definitely a first. Here’s to getting organized.

Carb-Free

By: Sherree Thompson

After my husband’s short visit to the emergency room with Cardiac-like symptoms, we opted to try an all carb-free diet. He had been reading a tri-athletes training guide and it just so happened that his symptoms matched what the book was saying in regards to having a Carb Intolerance. (The doctors ruled out anything heart related).

I had never heard of such intolerance and I didn’t realize which foods are considered carbs.  I’ve never really counted calories or been committed to specifically weighing meals and such. After all, I’m an “eat fresh and balanced” kind of girl.  Well, did I learn a thing or two. I had no idea how difficult it would be to totally eliminate a food group from our regular diet. Kudos to those who have to do so on a normal basis.

Anyways, we eliminated carbs for two weeks. We only did it to see how he would respond and to see if it was something we needed to adjust. Thank God it was not a permanent change, because I had already been cheating by day four. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was snappy, tired and downright hungry! And who really wants to live without sweet potatoes and corn? Not this momma.

At the end of the trail, my husband agreed that he felt tired a bit, but felt better overall. I really thought he would want to make this a normal thing, but he didn’t. Instead, he said that he thinks, for him, cutting back would be beneficial but that entirely cutting them out was not the answer. (Apparently he eats way more carbs than I do).

I am very thankful the carb-free-life is not for us and that I get to indulge in my beloved pasta! Okay, indulge isn’t the right word, but enjoy is.

Last night I made a simple Linguini and Spinach in a garlic cream sauce. All I used was fresh spinach, garlic, salt & pepper, about 2 table spoons of cream cheese and about a half teaspoon of real butter.

Steak with pasta

Several people have asked me for recipes for the dishes I cook up. The problem is, I don’t usually have one. I tend to use a pinch of that and a dash of this, so it is always a tough chore for me to get a precise recipe. I will, however, give you all the ingredients and hope that you find the blend that works for your pallet. After all, cooking is an art and only you can tell when it’s just right.

Here are a few of my recent combinations:

Poached Eggs sprinkled with Smoked Paprika and a dash of salt:

Eggs

Chicken Salad Sammy: Roasted chicken breast, mayo, grapes, red onion, salt and pepper, and a dash of stone ground mustard. This is actually a really fun dish to make as you can play around with almost any ingredient combination.

Chicken salad sammy

Beer Bathing Chicken: Chicken, sweet onion, poultry seasoning, ground cardamom, salt & pepper and a bottle of beer

Chicken in the pan