A Little R&R

It was a long week and I was really looking forward to this weekend. Then Friday afternoon I started to feel really tired. My whole body was aching. And then my throat got scratchy. Sick in September? Not fair. But while my weekend is now going to be focused on a lot of rest, hot tea and chicken noodle soup (on the stove for lunch) I’m determined not to waste it. Though I felt awful, I had to go to the Evanston farmer’s market this morning. I’ve missed the last few weekends due to work and household projects, and the season is waning. So I used every ounce of energy I could muster to go. It was wonderful. The sun was a bright autumn gold, leaves were crunching underfoot and in the rare moments my sense of smell was functioning, it smelled like fall. The air was warm but not hot. A perfect morning. The market was jam-packed. We came home with about five pounds of Kennebec potatoes, two bunches of leeks, a pound or so of Brussels sprouts, a quart of baby Portobella mushrooms, 5 sweet peppers, steak and stew meat. I also got a five pound jug of honey to squirrel away for winter. There were so many other wonderful things – kale, winter squashes, pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, onions, carrots, eggplant, the last of the sweet corn, cherry tomatoes (still!), apples, pears, garlic, shallots, raspberries, grapes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, flowers, wheat sprays for bouquets, dried Indian corn, cider… just everything. Now that’s officially fall I can revel in it.


Despite not feeling well, this is going to be a food-packed weekend. Tonight we are doing tabletop grill (best $10 I ever spent at a thrift store) with some of the stew meat, sweet peppers, mushrooms and shrimp we have in the freezer. Tomorrow night I’ll make beef stew for dinner to use up the rest of the stew meat and some beef stock that’s open in the refrigerator that we need to use. Tomorrow I’d like to do a couple of pints of mushrooms in oil, and we have some apples left over from husband’s trip to the market last weekend that need to be used – he’s requested apple crisp, and that sounds good to me too. And I’d like to make some muffins for breakfasts during the week – maybe applesauce spice cake muffins this week. And I can’t wait to use the Brussels sprouts – I was so excited to find them. I had a feeling they’d be in at the market this weekend. I bought them from Nichols who had them individually and off the stalk, so I could choose how many I wanted. But another vendor was selling them on the stalk. They look so striking that way, but I decided to buy them by the pound instead because there are a lot of sprouts on a whole stalk! I’m not sure how I’m going to make them yet – definitely roasted because I think that’s the best way (so many people hate them because they grew up eating mushy, smelly over-boiled ones), but I’m not sure which flavoring I’ll use. I’ll have to look through my recipes. I’ll likely serve them with the steak we got. Maybe that will be Wednesday night dinner – something good and hearty for a midweek meal.


Other than my cooking ambitions, I’m just going to try to rest. I have a few good books I’m into, so curling up with a cup of tea sounds great. Maybe a few low-key projects while I’m sitting around though… I have a corkboard in the office area, and my sister tells me (and I agree) that I need to finish it – she suggested the fabric and ribbon covering, but everyone does that now. I want something a little different, so I’m going to cover mine with a paper map – I love the map wrapping papers, so I picked one up the other day for $3.50 at the art store. It’s of Rome. It’s almost a perfect fit, so I just need to trim a little bit off from around the edges. And so that I’m not constantly marring it by sticking pins through it, I’m going to criss-cross kitchen twine across it, so that I can tuck items into the twine. Similar to the fabric/ribbon boards, yet different. And if I can muster up enough energy, I need to tidy up the bookshelves. Keeping them organized is a constant battle – I admit I have a book addiction! And when I get tired of reading, I’m going to start on some crocheted potholders for myself – red with a cream border, to match my newly painted kitchen.


Oh yeah – that’s what I did last Sunday, by the way. No more ugly gray cabinets – I just couldn’t take it anymore. So now the cabinets are a dark cream/tan, with the walls a lighter shade for contrast. I love it – it’s warm, homey and perfect. Well worth the effort. We also finally moved the Paris watercolors from the bedroom into the living room – husband hung them in a row above the wine rack and the sewing table and it really finishes the room. Amazing how moving things around and reusing things really makes a difference!