Things I love
- Nina canned tomatoes, sold at Costco. They are straight from Italy, inexpensive ($3.79 for 108 oz), packed in puree and salted. Except that in Italy, salted means 24 mg a serving, not the 250 mg you get from US canned tomatoes! The color and flavor are incredible. I freeze half the can in a ziploc and defrost it when I need it.
My second choice for canned tomatoes, incidentally, is Dei Fratelli. I find them on sale for $1 / 28 oz can and they are an Ohio-grown family business.
- Tribe brand Pizza flavored hummus. Say what? It sounds shady but the ingredient list checks out. No cheese, just extra veggies and spices to make a miracle spread. Tomatoes and roasted red peppers stand in for much of the oil found in their other flavors, so it actually ends up being a healthier hummus (15 fat calories in 30 calories for 2 tablespoons, as opposed to 30 fat calories in 50 calories for their regular flavors). My main goals with store-bought hummus is for it to taste great AND have more calories come from the garbanzo beans rather than the oil.
This flavor gets two thumbs up from me and Mackenzie. We found it at Giant Eagle on sale for $2.99 / 16 oz.
- Going out to fancy restaurant on my own tonight. The fates aligned and we had both a soon-to-be expiring gift certificate and a babysitting obligation. Scott stayed home and I dressed up, brought a book, and enjoyed a truly fabulous evening solo. It was outside of my comfort zone, actually, but rewarded me ten-fold for the initial awkwardness of making a reservation “for one”.
- Mackenzie deciding neither Scott nor I can leave without “big snugs” and “big kisses”. She dashed after Scott today as he stepped into our backyard and she called out, “Oh Daddy wait! I forgot to give you big snugs.” She repeated the performance when I left for dinner and it was almost enough to make me want to melt into a puddle right there. Of course, the siren song of a masterfully crafted salad proved powerful and I did make it out the door. 😉
Things I don’t love
- Naively wearing a green shirt to the garden store and having everyone stop me to ask questions.
It started with “Miss? Miss! Where are the hydrangeas?”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“The hydrangeas, Miss. Where are they?”
Apparently my dumb-founded expression didn’t tip the guy off that my scoop-necked maternity tshirt was NOT the same as the polo-shirts sported by personnel.
He waited impatiently for my reply and looked positively put out that I didn’t have the layout of the store memorized.
Only after I got a similar question a few minutes later did I realize the root of the problem.
By the time I left the store, anyone who approached me and looked likely to strike up a conversation got a preemptive, “Sorry, I don’t actually work here.”
- Being without air-conditioning. It was fixed this afternoon, but the past three days have been a bit tough. Mackenzie kept waking up from her nap (in only a diaper) sweaty and grumpy. But hey, the ringlets made a comeback. 🙂
- More friends moving away! Every year this time, friends graduate and move away from Columbus but this year is going to be especially painful. I’m thrilled that we’re here another 3 years but we’re going to have to suck it up and find some new friends soon because their ranks are dwindling.
Things I might love
- We just (finally) signed up for a CSA. That means we’ll pick up a box of produce each week at the farmer’s market, brought straight from a single farm based on that farm’s output. After investigating all the listings on Localharvest.org, we decided to go with a full share from Elizabeth Telling Farm. They have a pickup close by, emphasize leafy greens, focus exclusively on veggies, have a nice long growing season (27 weeks!), sustainable farming practices, and decades of experience. Plus the owner blogs about how things are coming, which seeds they ordered, and what to expect each week.
Of course it did mean taking a leap of faith. We laid down a serious chunk of change to pay for a full season, and may have to field bumper crops of rutabaga and radishes depending on how the growing goes. We will likely have to supplement with other farmer’s market purchases depending on what arrives in the box, but we’re committed to using up everything we receive through the CSA even if it means seeking out new recipes each week to make it happen.
- I just did a quick search at our local library and came up with dozens of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, including many for crockpots and pressure cookers. Why I didn’t do that sooner, I don’t know… but hopefully the time spent poring over recipes will pay off with an infusion of new dishes into our repertoire.