Monday, May 28, 2007

The Life

For the first time in a long time, I bought myself two treats yesterday while we were at the bookstore. I'd seen these two magazines mentioned elsewhere; Heather Bailey blogged about her pattern in Quilts and More, and Pam Garrison wrote about her participation in Somerset Life. While I truly am working very hard to buy less, use what I have, and pare down (and feel that I've been fairly successful), it felt good to get the treats and I've been thoroughly enjoying them. The sheer joy of getting up early, having a cuppa coffee, and sitting down with fresh magazines to read is worth the (very) occasional splurge. And splurge is the word -- at $14.95, Somerset Life is more of an investment than a magazine; even $6.99 was steep for the Quilts and More (which, if you're curious, is more geared toward a beginning/non-quilter -- slightly disappointing in that regard). It was fascinating to me that our local Borders bookstore has dropped ALL their scrapbooking magazines and is now a fount of sewing/knitting/crocheting/art-crafting titles; I wonder if they are just mixing it up, or if there's been a real shift out there.

Before the shopping trip, we spent yesterday morning working in the yard. My efforts to make Dean a gardener seem to have paid off; he spent a long time planting seeds and puttering along with me. I think that being able to enjoy time in your yard tending to growing things is a life skill worth, well, cultivating (sorry!). It's hard, sometimes, to let Dean loose out there -- plants do get stepped on, things get planted in impossible places, some portion of water intended for the flowerbeds ends up all over the driveway, and my own plans have to go by the wayside (that is, he enjoys having us work together so whatever was on my list gets neglected). But all that is worth it to have him happy out there, and despite all the 'gardening don'ts', his own garden is a magical, thriving place. It reminds me of the time we were mini-golfing and I told him to stop messing around so much -- just as he sunk a hole in one. (Yes. I recognize the ridiculousness of my telling my son he wasn't taking his game of mini-golf seriously enough -- I'm working on it.) I then of course said that he should clearly mess around as much as he wanted since it was working so well for him, and that holds true for his garden, too. We'll get out there today and water everything we planted yesterday since the rain that was in the forecast isn't materializing. And we'll take a walk, I hope, and scout for turtles. This is the life.

Oh, and chicken salad. I've been meaning to share my most favorite recipe for a summer staple around here:

  1. 3 poached chicken breast halves (so, one full and one half breast piece -- poach by bringing to a boil in a shallow saute pan with a lid about two cups of chicken stock with enough water added to nearly cover the breasts; add breasts, cover, let return to a boil, then shut off but leave on the same burner for about 30 minutes or until breasts are cooked through)
  2. 2 or three stalks of celery, cleaned and diced, or equal amount of seeded cucumber, or a combo of the two
  3. 2 or three scallions, minced
  4. 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  5. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  6. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  7. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. optional: some seedless grapes, sliced in half
Dice the cooked chicken, and combine with celery/cucumber and scallions in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine everything else (except grapes) and whisk smooth. Pour dressing over chicken, top with grapes if desired, chill and serve.

1 comment:

Donna said...

I love when I really do LOL at the computer! When you realized the ridiculousness of telling your child he was not taking his miniature golf game serious enough! Sounds so much like me. I have to constantly tell myself not to wreck the kids' fun when we're playing miniature golf!