Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Better Homes and Gardens

The gray has returned, but the rain held off. With that huge pile of mulch sitting on the driveway, I found it hard to sit around even though I had hopes that we could find someone to help with the landscape chores. So there I was again, tools in hand, digging trenches around my budding trees, propping up the clematis vines, and deconstructing my garden.

I don't know if I will plant a garden this year. Last year, even though Saul was recovering from his stroke, he was able to help me put up metal posts with deer netting to protect the garden. Danny did all the edging and moving of mulch, thank God! This year, even he is too tired from overtime at his job to do it again.  Anyway, while we were on our epic family vacation in Hawaii, a deer managed to barrel through the netting and destroy all the heirloom tomato plants, peppers, marigolds, beans and basils that looked so beautiful when I left. It was too late in the season to try to salvage anything. The red gravel walkways have become overgrown with weeds that have grown right through them and the landscape fabric. Likewise, the mulch around the edges has supported the growth of more prickly thistles than I believed were possible in such a short time—a daunting mess to say the least.

But I am a sucker for glossy catalogs of beautiful gardens that tout mouth-watering recipes for exotic varieties of fruits and vegetables. I don't know if I will be able to resist the lure of garden centers as I drive by scanning the kaleidoscope of colors and shapes for the perfect plant.

When I ran out of energy, I took a shower and then began to clean out the refrigerator. Usually, at this time of year, I am planning meals to use up leftovers before Passover. The seder has moved to Jess and Alex's home in Baltimore, but old habits are hard to break. I made a compote with leftover pears that were getting soft, plums that were too sour, and a host of jams, jellies, fruit toppings, etc. that each had a little bit in the bottom. A touch of vanilla extract made it all smell heavenly as it was reducing. I also made bread pudding with leftover bits of homemade challah and a small amount of leftover almond filling for hamantashen and the usual eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and sugar. It came out delicious! I may have to keep cans of almond filling around from now on. I caramelized what was left of a bag of shallots and used up leftover cheddar cheese and noodles and made macaroni and cheese.

Saul went to a meeting this evening at Melrose B'nai Israel that is supposed to prepare us to host a parlor meeting of some kind about Israel. I guess I will hear the details when he returns. I don't mind hosting, but I hate meetings.

Will I ever be able to get up in the morning and, like Sami, just figure out what I will be creating today and just do it?


Ari said...

Preconceived plans or not, I don't think Sami could have ever managed to create quite so many things in one day.

Now, had I been at your house this week to see, smell and taste all of that, I might not have been as impressed, but when you put it all out in writing, it sounds incredibly tantalizing.

sabasenders said...

Having come home from the meeting. I was greeted with "Saul could you put the food away I'm too tired." So, I got to sample the food while putting it away. It was and is incrediby tantilizing and scrumptious. The bread pooding was the winner. the other were a close second.

Ari said...

Dad, your spelling fumbles never cease to entertain me....

I'll take your word for it, but "pooding" evokes imagery of a dish that wouldn't be quite so appetizing! :0)

Sounds more like something Yenta or Darcy might cook up in Beth's back yard.