Slow and simple Wednesday

Wednesday I was moving slowly, no doubt still recovering from the efforts of the day before in the vegetable and new perennial gardens. I did not make it to Freeport Tuesday, instead, decided to press forward with more weeding and edging in the new bed which has no name yet.

Maybe it should be the holly bed? It does after all host 3 Castle Spire blue hollies and 1 lucky male, a Castle Wall, to provide pollination resources. AND my best friend, twin sister of a different mother (who is somehow distantly related to my mother I’m sure) is named Holly. Yes, the Holly bed, I like that.

That bed is new and still very weedy, with many, many, many, common and broadleaf plantain seedlings continually sprouting, another reviled weed, creeping purple bellflower, slinking in from the rear, and of course, my old pal Creeping Charlie making a frontal assault. I weeded, and even used a teeny bit of Roundup on the bellflower, being very careful not to overspray. I then deeply edged the entire front of the bed, making a nice sharp edge to discourage weeds, especially Creeping Charlie, from moving to a better (gentrified?) neighborhood. I’m going to give it a week, then one more good weeding and then put heavy layers of cardboard over the bellflower at the back, and newspaper toward the front, then cover that with another yard of shredded bark mulch.

After that project on Tuesday, I was a bit of a slug yesterday. I finally got moving later in the morning and did some more pruning, trying to tame the rather unruly weigelas in the Holly bed. I had just finished weigela #1, which has just finished flowering, when the rain sprinkles began. So I packed up my pruners and decided to head to Freeport to return my hiking boots and look for some new shoes.

What was I thinking! I grew up in Maine, and can distinctly remember visiting LL Bean in the good old days, when the floorboards were plain oiled wood boards, and the changing rooms were unisex plywood cubicles with hook and eye latches. Not so anymore, I’m sorry to say. Progress has turned Freeport into a yuppie cash cow, and on an overcast day in the summer, it isn’t pretty. The most satisfying part of the trip was parking — after waiting for a BMW SUV try and squeeze into a smallish parking spot, giving it several unsuccessful tries, my cute Pontiac Vibe slid right in as soon as he abandoned it. That was sweet.

Bean’s was crazy. I managed to return the shoes, no problem, but gave up trying any new ones on, it was just too busy to try and find a salesperson and get some actual technical assistance. Gone are the days…. Back home, I puttered some more than made a yummy dinner using some leftover rice pilaf (Basmati rice with celery, onion, dried cranberries) and chicken breast.

Chicken with Curried Orange Sauce
1 boneless chicken breast, halved, and pounded to an even thickness
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 c chicken broth
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T curry powder (I like Penzey’s)
Red pepper flakes to taste
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Rice Pilaf
big bunch of spinach, coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh parsley

Pound chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in saute pan over medium high heat until it shimmers. Cook chicken, browning well on both sides. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.

Add oil if necessary, and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and stir until it begins to color. Stir in curry powder and red pepper flakes, then add juices and broth. Reduce by half.

While sauce reduces, reheat rice (or be cooking fresh). Just before serving, stir in spinach until just wilted. Add a big handful of chopped parsley, reserving enough to garnish. Serve rice under chicken breast, topping with the pan sauce and garnishing with parsley. YUM!

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2 Responses to “Slow and simple Wednesday”

  1. Gentle Palm's gardener, Portia Says:

    You are a brave woman to brave the store. Never been, never plan to, despite being the biggest wearer of L.L. Bean clothing on the planet. Catalogs are a definate advance in civilization!!

  2. Ali Says:

    Catalogs and internet shopping rule, with the exception of shoes :-/ For the podiatrially challenged, trying on shoes is the only way. If only Birkenstocks were suitable for gardening….

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