Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remembering Why

Memorial Day for me is like a new beginning.  A new summer to look forward too.  Erin, soon to be off at school to paddle her outrigger.  Chris and I playing golf on Sundays.  It is all good.

Don't forget why we take a day to celebrate, to remember.  To the countless thousands who made the supreme sacrifice to allow us to continue on in our freedoms, to BBQ, to worship, to play, to love, to laugh and to be free, thank you will never be enough.  But, its all we have today.

A real thank you would be to end all wars.  Can you imagine?

Almost Long Beach Gothic

So I'm three weeks into this garden and I'm having a blast.  Already got a notice from the garden police for securing my fence posts to the wood border.  A no-no according to the by-laws.  I guess I need to read those one day.  Planted the obligatory tomatoes, squash and beans.  I also planted a Tomatillo plant will now plant some white onions, Serrano chiles and Cilantro and I'll have my own salsa garden going.  I planted two Artichoke plants and by the looks of the many Artichoke plants inside other gardens, they should do well.  In fact, some have so many of these thistle plants they let them go to flower.  Hey, they have a share table, pick the damn things and share them.

Just missing Chris for our Gothic picture.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

Saturday was it!!  I walked, had my name called.  Graduated with High Honors and Perfect Attendance from Le Cordon Bleu.  Got to see my chef educators and tell them all about Italy.  (they were envious)
Got to hug classmates, friends and family.  All the things I haven't done for me since 1967.  It was glorious!  How can a stupid song make you misty eyed?  How can hearing your name called make you feel on top of the world?

I don't know but it sure did.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Fishy Decision

Is farmed or wild salmon healthier for you?

An interesting article I found on Yahoo regarding the pros and cons of consuming Salmon.  Be it farmed or caught wild, consuming salmon has omega 3 which is good for your heart.  I choose wild because there is no added coloring that is present in farmed, which I find a bit disturbing.  However, farmed salmon from the good old USA is very regulated and is inspected unlike fish from Chile or Asian countries.  Read the label and it tells you the country of origin.

The article also states that eating too much salmon is not good for you.  I didn't know that.
Hope you enjoy the article and you can pick your wild coho or Atlantic farmed raised salmon based on knowledge, which is always a good way to make decisions.

Buon Apetito

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Its the End of the world as we know it...I'm Graduating!

With apologies to R.E.M.,
Saturday, May 21, is the day I get my diploma from Le Cordon Bleu.  Starting the day before my 61st birthday last year and finishing up one year and 3 days later, I am now a Certified Culinarian.  The timing is perfect.  According to biblical scholar, Harold Camping from Family Radio Worldwide, the Rapture will take those who are worthy to heaven and the rest of us heathens will be wiped out via earthquakes, floods and fires.  This is also occurs on May 21.  Seems to me a few of these things are already taking place.  Anyway, I'll have my diploma in hand when the Rapture happens at 10 PM.

And, even though we are having late rains here in Long Beach, it's not enough rain to have to worry about flooding.  Plus the rain would be great for my garden, if I had anything in the ground.  Alas, the rain has delayed the tilling of the soil and put a hold on my planting.  I'm glad my culinary career didn't start out this way.

So if the Rapture happens, then planting won't be a concern.  If it doesn't, I can start my new career as urban farmer and expertly cook the fruits of my labor for you all.  Either way, if it's the end of the world as we know it...I'll feel fine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm Back Pretending to be a Gardner

So I've been off-line awhile just kicking it and getting in Chris' hair.   We got a call back from the Long Beach Community Garden Association that a plot had finally come open after a three month wait.  We went Saturday to their orientation and got a list of rules that would choke a scarecrow.  Then we were assigned our plots.  It's a 20X30 plot of dirt that allows you to grow just about anything except thorned berry plants and cannabis.  All organic is encouraged, but no spraying of pesticides is tolerated and no poisons for the many critters that invade the garden from the very nearby Nature Center about 100 yards to the west.   Trapping and protection by fencing is the way you have to go.  Snap traps for vermin is OK.

Using their recommended soil amendments, I wheeled 12 wheel-barrel loads of free manure about 100 yards one way to my plot.  For $20 bucks, they will roto-till the plot and then its ready for planting.

20X30 plot of dirt
After soil amendments and 12 loads of manure

It's not Italy, but the veggies should be great.