Saturday on Thursday

Every lawn mower on our hill could be heard running yesterday. It was a single dry day in a month of rain. We and all of our neighbors were itching to get outside and beat back the weeds. Mike stayed home to spray and mow, and so it felt like Saturday. My goals for the day were to weed and clean-up my culinary herb garden (check), deadhead the hydrangeas (check), and to weed any areas that Mike couldn't hit with his spray (mostly check). It was a knee-killer of a day, and it caused me to weenie out on my walk with Sue this morning. My knees need a day off.

So I started where the echinacea and lily are planted and pulled weeds from all around those. I was happy to see that at least three of the original six echinacea plants are still going. Also, the lily we planted last year is coming back. I looked up to see Sadie halfway up the cherry tree.

The cherry tree has more blossoms on it. I expect we'll see it in full bloom within a day or two.

Most of the star magnolia blossoms have been bruised by the rain, but I was able to find a few that are still perfect.

The tulip at the front door was completely open.

These that share their whiskey barrel with the poppies were looking in fine form too.

Smitty waded through the weeds to have a little munch on the catnip. It's the best thing in the yard, as far as he's concerned....except for maybe the mousies.

Mike mowed the entire field...about five acres, so no small task. We have about 7 acres of property, but some of it is wooded.

By day's end, we all were pooped pups, having spent the entire day outside working on stuff.

After icing my knees, I got to work trying out this new recipe from the diet. These are Red Lentil Rice Cakes. The recipe includes a "simple tomato salsa," but we had ours with some of my homemade tomato jam.

If you were following along when I traveled to Ireland, you might remember when I visited the Avoca Weaving Mill. We ate at the associated cafe there, and I had the most delicious lentil nut loaf. It was so good, I ended up purchasing their cookbook containing the recipe. When I got home, I tried it for myself. It was good, but the tomato chutney was missing, and the dish suffered some for it. Fast forward a few years, and I've learned to make tomato chutney. Even better is the tomato jam that has taken the place of tomato chutney. I can't decide whether I like Amy's Tomato Jam or Tomato Jalapeno Jam the best. Both are delicious. Also, I've learned they cook down much faster if cooked in a skillet rather than a pot.

Anyway...all of that to say that the Red Lentil-Rice Cakes are a good stand-in for the lentil nut loaf, and they can be made in smaller batches. I've linked to the recipe back there above the image, but I should add that I made a couple of changes. I used dried dill in place of the fennel seeds. I'm not fond of the licorice flavor imparted by fennel, and then there's the whole problem of seeds. Also, I used half the amount of dried basil since I didn't have any fresh on hand right at the moment. The only other thing I would add is that they should be scooped up in packed one-third cupfuls. I plopped mine in the skillet and then pressed them relatively flat with a spatula. They're easier to turn that way, although you'll need to turn them carefully. Even if they break apart, you can use your spatula to kind of press them back together, and they'll be just fine.

Okay, so that was yesterday. It was an interesting sky this morning, and we're expecting rain by noon today. It's the last gasp of rain (if you believe the forecast) before a dry week next week.

My next task in the garden is to do some planting. The annual pots still need attention, and I haven't planted a single seed for anything yet. It's time to get going if we're to enjoy any sunflowers, lettuce, or tomatoes this year. That will be for next week. As for today, I'll get back to my blocks and some inside-the-house chores.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

piecefulwendy said...

Sounds like you had a long, but rewarding day. Good to know that Smitty is well balanced in his eating -- a little salad with his protein. Gotta keep his stud muffin self looking good. Sadie almost blends in with the tree! Hope your knees are feeling better, and I hope you enjoyed a day full of good stitches!

Kate said...

It has to feel good to get all that done and get a head start on the growing season. Hope your knees have recovered.

quiltzyx said...

I never knew that cats grow in trees. Must be an Oregon thing. Hmm.

That Star Magnolia blossom is so beautiful! Wow! Your Tulip is SO red - almost hurts my eyes. lol

Great pic of Farmer Mike in action! Y'all did a LOT of work on this day.

Brown Family said...

We worked in the yard and cleared out two storage sheds. Today was bulk trash pick up and we has a drive way full for them

Lyndsey said...

Sounds like a busy heavy day in the garden but well worth the effort. I love seeing the photos of your land.