September 15, 2009

Plums, cooking pot, salad, sandwich, soup

My son and I were out and about this morning prowling the neighborhood, taking advantage of the beautiful weather, getting some (three hours worth of) exercise and doing an errand or two. First we walked to the library so I could return a book and maybe find another but the library was closed so only the return was accomplished. Along the way I spied a hand-printed sign offering free plums from a plum tree. The note advised passers-by to pick from the tree twice a day to keep the plums from falling to the sidewalk. We did our part and picked a large bagful of what turned out to be my favorite plums - Italian prune plums. They're perfect!

We headed towards a local shopping area where I wanted to check out the thrift store. In the housewares section I practically stopped breathing when I found a like-new (maybe actually new) 5-1/2 quart Le Creuset white round cast iron French oven for $25. In spite of the fact that we'd have to carry it home, I bought it. We continued on to Archie McPhee where I got a strange gift to send to someone back in Wisconsin. (Can't say what it is in case he reads this.)

We ended the morning at a vegetarian Thai restaurant where we had lunch. I had something called ginger delight, and if I'd had any socks on, it would have knocked them right off. It might have been the most ginger I've ever eaten in one sitting. Good thing I love it.

Not a lot of creative cooking has been going on around the house as we've been living an undisciplined end-of-summer life. We eat when we want to, which can mean lunch at 3 or 4 o'clock, and a late dinner when we're too tired to put a lot of thought into the meal.

See this salad? It looks like it was meant for at least four people but nope, it was made by me for me on one of those late lunch days. I was starving and got carried away but yes, I ate the whole thing. We've been shopping at a lot of farmers' markets and also gratefully receiving excess garden produce, so salads are high on the fresh and easy meal list.

Another day my son made this spicy tofu sandwich for lunch and it was so good. I rarely eat sandwiches but when I do, I'm always surprised at how good they taste.

Here's an old familiar soup we had for dinner last night. It's called Tuscan stew and we ate so much of it last year that I couldn't even look at it for a while. But it was just right last night, filled with late-summer veggies from our kids' garden. Yesterday was dark and gloomy, with a windy chill in the air, and this soup was exactly what we needed to warm us up.


  1. I'm glad you are having fun in the new neighborhood! That cooking pot looks wonderful. And what a great price!!! I'm too busy to post, but part of the busy-ness is making garden meals too. What a great time of year.

  2. Are you kidding me with the free plums?! That is so amazing! There is a pear tree on my street in someones yard, and I am always tempted to pick one and just see if they are any good, but I never have. It doesn't look like the family picks them (there are a lot on ground, split open from the fall) and I hate to see them go to waste, but I would feel so guilty picking them off of someone elses tree! I love that they had put out a sign!

    Hahaha--that salad doesn't look big to me, sadly. I eat that size salad by myself for a meal quite often :-)


  3. I can't believe you found a Le Creuset for TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS?!!??! I am faint with envy! (It's gorgeous). Can't wait to see the food you'll make in it! :)

  4. Claire,
    I hope you're taking lots of pictures of all that food. I miss you guys!

    You should ask those people if they need help picking the pears!

    Brand new, too. Unfortunately, I got the pot for one of my sons. I have three other pieces but two are back in Wisconsin. I love cooking in Le Creuset - everything seems to come out better. Maybe I should take that pot back.


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