I’m grateful for some Easter ham that ‘got give to me’ by a neighbor. Even though I’m mostly vegetarian, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to make a few grilled cheese sandwiches with leftover ham.
I’m grateful for the grapefruits that Kathleen sent me from her yard tree in Florida– for Christmas! I’m glad I savored all the citrus she sent, and especially the grapefruits. She planned to send more but the state suffered a deep freeze and all her fruits were lost. At least, that’s what she said.
I’m especially grateful for the Last Grapefruit, which I used tonight to make a grapefruit-poppy seed cake. I guess I made the glaze a little bit wet, but the cake is delicious nonetheless, with zest and juice in the batter, and more juice drizzled into poked holes while the cake is still hot. It’s got a bit of bitter bite to it, maybe I squeezed the pulp too hard, but that tempers the sweetness just right.
I’m grateful for a lot more today, also. For waking up alive, for sunshine and running water, for Honey Badger, for family, pets, meaningful work, hearing the first meadowlark, and a body that still moves pretty well all things considered, to name just a few.
If only pictures could capture scents. I love when I walk through the sunroom and a beautiful aroma stops me in my tracks, leads my nose to it. This morning it was this front orchid, whose name I’ve long lost. Like other fragrant orchids, it pulses its scent on its own schedule and always takes me by surprise.
I’m always grateful to learn a new kitchen trick. I saw on Instagram a hack to use up the last bit of peanut butter in the jar by adding soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, minced garlic, sriracha, and some warm water to make a tasty peanut sauce. I’ve cleaned out two mayo jars since then in a similar way, adding to the last few tablespoons instead of trying to scrape them out. Today I threw in a tablespoon of Penzey’s Peppercorn dressing mix, some Greek yogurt, a bit of oil and vinegar, and a dollop of maple syrup, and shook til it was well blended. Then I doused this random mix of romaine, pickled iceberg, sauerkraut, almonds, bean sprouts, chopped white onion, and a few cubes of Havarti, for a delicious lunch salad.
Why didn’t I have another cheese sandwich? Ack. The Kitchen Ants ate holes in the bread bag. Most of that last beautiful loaf was full of ants… I had sliced it, and they were deep into every slice. I live in peace with the Kitchen Ants, who mostly lay low, but the past couple of weeks they’ve been marauding any crumb I leave on the counter or in the sink. So, as usual, I’m grateful to them for motivating me to keep up with the kitchen, and (as E.O. Wilson invites us to) I marvel at their super skills when they do show up. I thought I’d done a great job putting the kitchen to bed last night when I came in this morning and didn’t see any ants on the counter…
…but then I noticed some on the mottled granite and saw with horror their trail to the bread bag which I’d set on top of this cookie tin. It never occurred to me that they could make holes in the bag, but sure enough it was still zipped shut, and after I dumped it into the compost bin I saw some tiny holes in the bag that no one else could have made. Oh well. I imagine their regular food supply has been flooded out and they’re starving. I’m happy to share my crumbs with them, and I’ll figure out an ant-proof bread solution for the next loaf. I honestly hated to take the antfull bread a hundred ant miles away from their home, but didn’t want to leave it out closer to the house where Wren would have eaten it all.
These itty bitty ants are back in my kitchen, and this year I’m grateful for them. Last year when they first showed up around the cat bowl, I didn’t mind, I’d take the bowl outside and knock them off; but then they started showing up on the kitchen counters as well, and I got annoyed. I don’t like to kill anything, even little ants, but before long I was sweeping them up with a paper towel, and sometimes smushing them on purpose. They just kept coming! Once I’d vented my frustration on them sufficiently, I started to think about them differently. Then they tapered off and disappeared over winter.
Yesterday I noticed a couple of them. Today there were more. Well, I had left dirty dishes on the counter, what could I expect? I’m grateful to the little kitchen ants for providing me incentive to get back on track with keeping the dishes flowing through the sink daily, keeping the counters clean and empty ~ removing the ants’ incentive to invade my kitchen. Thanks, itty bitty kitchen ants!