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A Picture Perfect Weekend

I think spring is teasing us. Saturday and Sunday. Both days where you could just imagine the trees starting to bloom, and look for the crocuses and tulips to start poking their tips out of the thawing ground.

Solomons Island was hopping Saturday. We took a drive down there to sightsee since the sun was shining and it was warm out.

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Unfortunately we do know we will have a few more snow and sleet events, at least in the forecast, and that it will be chillingly cold again late this week.

Today I did get to Lowe’s (along with about half of Howard County, it seemed – and the other half looked like they were in the Costco gasoline line). We picked up some potting soil for my spinach, arugula, kale and mesclun seeds. A trellis for this Malabar spinach, once I get to transfer it outdoors.

I am heavily into garden planning. There will be new herbs, and lots less tomatoes. I will fill in my needs for freezing and canning using the pick your own option at Larriland.

I used up more of my pesto from the freezer in recent dinners. Like last night.

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Pesto is on the chicken and in the rice. Those split chicken breasts I got in my basket Friday were excellent. I used a simple method of baking them.

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I placed a few basil leaves under the skin. Added some defrosted pesto cubes rubbed into the surface. A little salt, pepper and olive oil. Split a couple of the roma tomatoes from the Friends and Farms basket, which by the way, actually taste like tomatoes in the middle of winter. Imagine that! Some scallions. A small splash of white wine. Baked at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes until they registered 185 degrees on the meat thermometer.

The jasmine rice was steamed and then a cube of pesto melted into it. A bed of spring mix with a Caesar dressing.

Frozen strawberry ice cubes. Back when I was talking about my CSA essentials I showed my simple method to preserve those less than perfect berries. Cut out the bad spots. Put the good parts in a blender with a little sugar and puree. Freeze in ice cube trays. In the middle of winter, this is your reward.

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Particularly when it is nice and warm outside and you are kicking yourself for not defrosting a few steaks. We did at least clean out the grill (something, either field mouse or chipmunk decided storing seeds in the side unit was a good plan). Fired it up and cleaned the surface. I will be ready when it warms up again. Maybe next week?

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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