Monthly Archives: July 2012

CSA Week #8


Oh life. When are you going to slow down to let me catch up?

So we got this week’s CSA box and it’s not terribly exciting. Very similar to last week. But hey, fresh, local, organic veggies are just fine with me!

So the box:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Kohlrabi
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapenos
  • Some type of hot pepper
  • Green bell peppers
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic

Phew! Lots to go through this week. So here’s the plan:

Friday: Zucchini lasagna (it’s cooked in the microwave, but when it’s really hot like it has been, we put it in a metal casserole pan and toss it on the grill!)

Saturday: Turkey burgers with grilled potato & onion packets

Sunday: Stirfry with kohlrabi, bell peppers, onion, cauliflower, hot pepper

Monday: 5-layer Greek dip & Baba Ghanoush with pita

Tuesday: Black bean and goat cheese tacos with shredded pork and guacamole

Wednesday: Left-overs/clean out the fridge

I’ll be out of town this weekend, so I didn’t plan anything horribly exciting this week as far as food goes. I do think I’ll try to make this mango coconut chia pudding, though at some point. Yum.


Drinking for the 30th Summer Olympiad in London


I graduated from college in 2009, which, let me tell ya, was the best time to graduate. Screw all those other times to graduate, May 2009 was the best, what with all that recession and unemployment and banking crisis and whatever…

I had a 3-month temporary contracted position from August – November 2009 and I was thrilled. It was a good job and I learned a lot, but they couldn’t afford to keep me after my 3 months was up. So I moved back to Chicago and began my FUNemployment. Eexcept that I wasn’t eligible to collect unemployment, so it wasn’t really all that fun. Not that I think it’s fun for anyone to collect unemployment. That’s another topic for another day… I applied for so many jobs. People think unemployed people sit around all day? Not true. I got up at 7 or 8, worked out for 45 minutes to an hour, had breakfast, took a shower, then sat at my desk and scoured various online resources for job postings. I applied for quite a few jobs. And I didn’t just throw my resume and cover letter at each job posting. I’m one of those people who actually takes a lot of time researching the organization or company and writes a thoughtful cover letter, unique to each posting. It takes forever to do that stuff.

So I did that from November until mid-February before I nearly became homicidal. I had a few interviews, but jobs weren’t really easy to come by, and I didn’t get any offers. So in February, when the Olympics in Vancouver began, I cut back on the applications. I still looked every day and still applied for jobs every day, but I didn’t do as many. I needed a break.

There were quite a few days I’d sit with a glass of wine or beer and turn on the TV to watch/listen to the Olympics as I wrote cover letters. There was SO. MUCH. CURLING. I literally watched curling for probably 4 or 5 hours each day. To this day, I don’t know what the rules are or how to play…

A few days into the games, I had the great idea to make a drinking game. So I did. Erin, my roommate at the time, is an elementary music teacher. She’d get home around 4 or 5 most days and we’d make dinner, watch the games, and drink, following the rules that we came up with. We also played over the phone and Skype with people or just texted friends when we saw something happen on TV that prompted a drink.

Due to the popularity of the drinking game for the 21st Winter Olympiad in Vancouver in 2010, I thought it might be fun to put together some new rules for London 2012!

Be sure to keep these “rules” handy for any time you find yourself watching the Olympics between July 25 & August 12 (I know they don’t officially start until the 27th, but there are events before that and we can’t let those events feel left out, can we? The US Women’s Soccer team plays against France on the 25th at 12 pm ET!)

Take 1 drink:

  • Every time you see a royal.
  • Every time the Olympic theme is played, sing along with “Bah”, “La”, or something similar, then take one drink.
  • Whenever Hope Solo is shown or talked about, shout “May the force be with you!” and take one drink.
  • Every time an American “takes the stage” (competes), take one drink and chant “U-S-A!”.
  • Whenever an athlete “is a superstar in his/her homeland”, take one drink.
  • When the camera pans to an athlete’s family, take one drink.
  • Whenever the announcer says a name that you can’t spell, take a drink.
  • Every time the commentator speaks of an athlete’s “determination” or “drive” to overcome some obstacle (an injury, personal hardship, etc) in order to participate in the Olympics.
  • Every time there’s a shot of something super English (Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, a double-decker bus, etc)

Take 1 shot:

  • Whenever you see a female athlete from Brunei (there is 1), Saudi Arabia (there are 2), or Qatar (there are 4). This is the first Olympics ever in which females from these 3 countries will compete!

Finish your drink:

  • When a track & field athlete breaks a world record.


*NOTE – these rules are subject to revision. If you have any ideas, please feel free to contribute!

*NOTE ALSO – let me know if/when you are playing this game and we can play together – over text, Google+, phone, or some other means of communication.

CSA – Week #7


So I took a bit of a break…

I missed the last 2 weeks of CSA posts because 1) Our CSA is picked up on Wednesdays and the 4th of July was on Wednesday, so our pickup was pushed back to Thursday, which just threw my whole schedule off and 2) Last week was really crazy at work so when I got home, all I wanted to do was sit on my butt in front of the TV. So that’s what I did.

But I’m back now! And we’ve got some goodies this week! In the box:

  • Yukon gold potatoes
  • Pickling cucumbers (that are gigantic)
  • Tomatoes
  • Assorted peppers (1 green bell, 2 jalapeno and 1 Thai chili)
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Eggs (as always!)

Whew! I think I got it all. I’m pretty impressed with our CSA and the variety we continue to get. Southern Wisconsin is officially in an “extreme” drought (there’s only one more category of drought “badness” and I think it’s called something like “Catastrophic” (not kidding), so it’s pretty bad around here. Our CSA newsletter has been talking about the 1,200 gallons of water they’ve been bringing up from their creek every week to water the crops. Our personal tomatoes and peppers are doing pretty well, all things considered. We’ve been watering every once in awhile, but it’s becoming more often now that things are ripening and needing more water.

Which leads me to my next point, WE PICKED OUR FIRST TOMATOES! We’ve got 4 big, plump, juicy, delicious, heirloom tomatoes sitting on the counter, waiting to be eaten! The first to ripen were the Mortgage Lifters and Tigerellas. There are also a handful of cherry tomatoes that are yellow and should be ready pretty soon. All this tomato talk leads me to this week’s menu:

  • Thursday (today!) – BLTs using CSA tomato and lettuce (cheese sandwich for me with a bonus slice of CSA onion!)
  • Friday – Heirloom tomato sandwiches using our tomatoes & CSA basil. We started making tomato sandwiches constantly last summer after I stumbled across this recipe. They’re. So. Good.
  • Saturday – TBA. It’s the last weekend my mom’s sister is in town, so we may go out…
  • Sunday – Grilled chicken legs with grilled potatoes & onions (using CSA potatoes & onions)
  • Monday – Thai basil curry using basil, Thai chili pepper, onion,
  • Tuesday – Loaded nachos w/ shredded chicken, black beans, onion (CSA), cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos (CSA), cilantro (CSA), homemade salsa (!!!)(CSA & homegrown tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic, peppers…)
  • Wednesday – Leftovers?

The following are bonus snacks/other things we’re doing with CSA items:

  • Pickles! My mom LOVES pickles (I hate ’em), so she sliced up all the cukes, green pepper, and some onions last night and pickled them.
  • Sauerkraut using the cabbage (my brother and sister-in-law really like sauerkraut… I do not)
  • Creamy dill veggie dip using the CSA dill with carrots (CSA) and other veggies for dipping

My brother and sister-in-law will probably come up with something to do with the eggplant. I’m not a fan of it, so… we’ll see what happens there.

My gosh that’s a lot of food… but yay, CSA!

Bladders can apparently hold a lot of water


So I had my ultrasound this morning to check out my ovaries since there’s the new-found family history of ovarian cancer and I have this weird pain on my lower right side (though I now know that it’s not in the area of my ovary). We’ve recently found out that not only did my grandmother die at age 50 from ovarian cancer, but my great great grandmother died at age 50, though we don’t know the cause of death. There’s also another female relative somewhere a few generations back who died in her 40’s. I’m glad we found my mom’s biological family!

Luckily, they told me this morning that everything looks good and there are no abnormalities, so that’s good! My mom just had her physical and got a referral to genetics so we can get tested for the BRCA gene mutation. Let me take a moment to brag about my mom. She’s lost about 40 lbs over the last 2 years. She’s done it without fad-dieting, she’s just eaten less and been eating better. She was taken off one medication and had another medication cut in half at her appointment because her bloodwork is so good and she’s so much healthier now! Yay, Mom!

Okay, enough bragging…

We received a special package in the mail yesterday. My mom ordered a DNA paternity test. We think we can get my grandmother’s ex-husband (1 of 2 men who may be my mom’s father). She still hasn’t met him and won’t until we get the results.

We have some of Mom’s family coming over tomorrow to cook out and enjoy Monticello’s fireworks. I’m enjoying building relationships with them, though it is a little weird, because we’ve missed out on so much time. Oh well, we’ll just have to make good use of the time we have now! 🙂