So. I'm beginning to learn that having a house full of cats (and a visiting dog) can wreak havoc on laptop fans. I had the old laptop fan replaced ones, the second time it burned out it damaged the motherboard. This one I caught early enough and sent it in to be replaced. I keep threatening the cats that I will shave them down like I did the dog... but they don't believe me.
I think I will start saving up money to invest in a hairless cat in the future.
OK so what did I do while I had no computer? I picked up a PS2 controller and played Xenosaga which is actually so far a pretty good game. Coming from someone who hasn't played anything but Neopets & Pet Society in years.
I also did some yard work. However, I didn't get very far with it... the hickory tree & black walnut tree seemed to have both done very well for themselves this year. The squirrels are more than a little excited (and fat too!). However I feel like I need to wear a hard hat while raking in my back yard. I also managed to buy some mosquito dunks for the rain barrels... I'm tired of going outside only to be eaten by a pack of hungry mosquitoes. I feel a bit bad, killing all those poor little herbivore mosquito larva...
I ALSO got to see Oklahoma! at the Cumberland Playhouse! It was so awesome!
Ok, I know all of that is irrelevant to cooking... but to be honest I didn't do a whole lot. I made stirfry a couple times. I also made "The Best Pumpkin Muffins" from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's book Vegan with a Vengeance. I highly recommend this book. I had a pumpkin in MY GARDEN that needed using so I decided to use this recipe. I followed it pretty much exactly as written, except added some brown sugar crumbles on top of some of them. I wish I hadn't. The muffins are pretty sweet on their own. They were very good, but my biggest gripe is that they had SO MUCH OIL in them! 12 muffins and half a cup of vegetable oil. Granted, it made for one REALLY moist muffin, but I felt guilty every time I ate one. I plan on making them again and maybe cutting out some sugar (hopefully replacing it entirely) and some oil by replacing it with applesauce. Otherwise these were great.
I also made fried spaghetti, I may have mentioned it before but I changed the recipe up quite a bit & it tasted WAY better. So essentially I used about 3 TBSP of vegetable oil, fried 3 cloves garlic and one whole onion until transparent. Added half a SMALL can of tomato paste & home made pesto (fresh basil from the garden, olive oil & pecans - only because I didn't have walnuts or pine nuts) & sauteed a little longer. I threw in 3 cups of cooked spaghetti (which were leftovers from last night's dinner) and mixed well. It was really tasty and I had leftovers for lunch (actually, breakfast because I was being lazy).
I also decided to try some foraging for wild foods. Here in the south we have an overabundance of the non-native invasive plant, Kudzu. This plant can be used as animal feed quite easily, but is also edible for humans. The biggest problem is that its very fibrous & when raw its hairy. I followed some suggestions I'd heard and soaked it before boiling, then I boiled it for like - ever (1 hour). If you remove the veins its ok, if you don't its like chewing on a piece of paper. The flavor isn't really notable... raw it tastes kind of like a green bean. I whipped a big batch of it, so I hope to save the liquid it cooked in as a broth or possibly tea (kind of has the scent of a tea). I also picked the blossoms as its in bloom right now. They smell wonderful, like grapes (or to me, grape kool-aid) & they are BEAUTIFUL!!! Kind of look like wisteria except darker. If you eat them raw (don't eat the seeds!!) the have just the slightest hint of sweetness. I made them into tea and it is so delicious, floral and slightly fruity. It was worth all the harvesting. I think I will make the rest into honey sweetened ice tea. YUM!
So, I've been busy :) Anyway I'm trying to plan some meals for the upcoming week. I think I'll work on some latkes, perogies (I need to use up some potatoes - and i'm trying to eat as cheaply as possible), some of the artichoke salad, curry, and 3 bean salad... we'll see.
Wow! This is a long post! I think i'll end it here :) I hope everyone is well and safe from Irene!