OK, yeah, it's been awhile and I've gotten out of the habit. I blame Facebook (again), as it has taken all of my public posting attention lately.
I have taken a lot of photos lately, of food and work and pets; I'll post some of them here. It is officially grilling season and I have begun to cook dinners outside. One of the first was grilled chicken thighs and asparagus. I made a nice, quick potato salad alongside, adding a dab of Baconnaise for extra flavor.
The other day I had some sort of meat pulled out of the freezer, but I suddenly got a severe craving for beans. I prepped a pound of dried pinto beans, then added them to the pressure cooker along with big chunks of carrots, garlic, a couple jalapeno peppers and some smoked pork slices. Thinking the finished soup might need a touch of acid, I made a gremolata of sorts from chopped tomato, garlic, parsley and hot pepper vinegar. It was a satisfying bowl of soup, most definitely.
I frequent the Deals near work as a source of these giant bottles of sweetened, lemon tea (I am getting rather addicted to this stuff and I rarely drink sweet tea) and the other day I saw a great bargain of individual frozen fish packages and bought some rockfish (a fish I'd never heard of before). I decided to bread and pan fry it (yeah, I know, not so healthy, but tasty). Note to self: add more salt to a flour coating than I think is necessary. I never get it salty enough. I halved and quartered some baby potatoes and sauteed them in a really hot pan. I wanted them brown and crispy on the outside and soft and creamy inside. They almost tasted sweet. In other words, perfect. I was short of green vegetables so it was green peas on the side.
I am really loving my job. This is probably the first time in my life I actually love my job. Don't get me wrong, I've had jobs I liked okay, or more correctly, I liked who I worked for and with but the jobs themselves, meh. Putting trays and pots and racks of flowers and plants attractively in the places they belong appeals to the part of me that likes order and precision. In the corporate world, it seems like most jobs are never really done; you just do your piece of the puzzle and you don't get that satisfied feeling at seeing something through to its true end. At this job, entire tasks are completed many times a day and I find that seriously refreshing and very satisfying. Yes, I'm sometimes stiff and achy when I get home, and the plants are wreaking havoc on my allergies (but, let's face it, that would be happening no matter what), but I am happy. It figures that this is a temporary job.
Besides the work being enjoyable, I get to be surrounded by the beauty of all sorts of flowers and plants. Standing in the aisle with the hostas, where it's cool and shaded, I can feel myself become calm and peaceful. I also tend to end up doing a lot of work in the greenhouse. It's hot in there, but I like the quiet and the relative seclusion. When new hanging planters are delivered, they arrived wrapped in cellophane which we have to remove. By nature of a lot of plant being stuffed into a smaller amount of plastic, flowers and branches of the hanging plants naturally fall off and the process of unwrapping leaves the area around our feet littered with the most beautiful trash. Fuschias, huge dragon wing begonia blossoms and petunias made such a pretty pile of debris that I had to photograph it.
Some lavender came in the other day and I became obsessed by it. I led practically every customer who asked for help over to it. I even bought some for myself; the first time I had bought anything from the garden center. It smells divine, a much more citrusy scent than the traditional lavender. It is called coconut ice and will have pink and white flowers rather than the hazy purple variety.
I can't wait for it to blossom!
I am drawing and painting, slowly, a triptych of sorts for Stephanie to adorn her new walls in Denmark. I need more hours in the day.