We’re back! Yep, and it’s that time of the week again. We missed the CSA last week since we were in chilly Chicago. Compared to Tucson, it was crazy cold in Chicago. However, knowing what we know about winter in Chicago, it was actually a really beautiful and mild week (considering it was January….). We couldn’t have picked a better week to go back to Chicago in the winter – it was in the 30s everyday, and it only snowed on our last night there (it was really just a dusting). Our flights were on time, and my Tucson winter coat sufficed (although admittedly it was risky that it was all I brought with me…). I mean, it’s winter in Chicago, what was I thinking!?!?!? Clearly I have a sense for these things…
Here’s the trip in a nutshell – I like bullet-point lists:
- Great flight from Tucson to Chicago Midway (check!)
- Dealing with rental car agency in Chicago and navigating lame city traffic on I-290 (and a faulty railroad crossing on Harlem) on the way to Kirk’s parents house (boo…)
- Waking up super early to drive into the city and sit in hospital waiting rooms through an seemingly very long MRI (boo…)
- Getting the preliminary results from our neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist that Kirk is looking good post-surgery (and healing well – remaining tumor doesn’t appear to be growing!), and that we don’t have to come back for a follow-up MRI for a year (yay! check!)
- Enjoying eating an excessive amount of food at Portillo’s: Italian beef, cheesy fries, and chocolate cake (check!)
- Having fun and hanging with Kirk’s family (check!)
- Eating delicious homemade brunch – egg, sausage, and potato bake (check!)
- Going into the city to visit friends, and eating an AMAZING diner at the Purple Pig while taking tons of touristy group pictures, even though none of us are tourists (check!)
- Relaxing and watching the Bernie Mac show while drinking Chai tea (check!)
- Driving back into the city for coffee with a mentor, and tea & champagne at the Peninsula with my best friend – who doesn’t love scones and tea sandwiches? Especially when they’re so fancy… (check!)
- Saying goodbye to best friend, again (boo….)
- Eating Kirk’s tasty homemade spaghetti with family (check!)
- Realizing I ate too way too much, and getting ill (boo…)
- Waking up at 6am, still ill, and having to get back to the airport to get on an airplane (boo…)
- Taking Dramamine so as not to get ill on airplane – that stuff is amazing! (check!)
- Sleeping through most of flight (check!)
- Getting back to Tucson, and stepping out of the airport into sunny, clear, 73-degree weather (check!)
- Arriving back at the house to see that the kitties survived (check!)
- Feeling happy to be back at our new home (check!)… but still missing friends and family (boo….).
(Above) With some of my Chicago ladies outside of the Purple Pig!
(Above) Fancy pants tea at the Peninsula. I have dreams about this tea service…
And that sums it up! We were gone Tuesday night – Saturday morning. in retrospect, it was a pretty quick trip. I’m glad I was able to see most of the people that I wanted to 🙂
Honestly, after getting back (and not feeling well) I didn’t do much cooking over the weekend (except to make toast). I spent Sunday afternoon in the backyard, gardening. I’m really getting into gardening – there’s something very calming about it. But it’s so confusing trying to keep track of the seasons here – what should be planted when? I have no idea. Since the weather is so strange, I feel like I really don’t know what I’m doing.
I’ve been doing some research on gardening in a desert climate (specifically in the Sonoran Desert), and there are a few local resources that offer gardening classes – some are focused on organic gardening more broadly, some are focused on homesteading, others on permaculture. Permaculture has always been kind of interesting to me, so I may explore that a little more. Who knows? As I learn more, I’ll fill you in. For now, check out this and this. What do you think?
Back to the topic at hand, though. I love CSA night! Wednesdays are one of my favorite nights of the week for that reason! I love seeing what we’re going to get, and it’s exciting that it’s slightly different every week. It’s fun to see what’s coming into harvest at different points of time during the year. Maybe over time it will help me get a sense of my own gardening…
Today we got the following as part of our share:
- Lettuce – so delicate and sweet!
- Cabbage – please! I need some good cabbage recipes!
- 2 Bok Choi
- 3 Fennel
- 2 Broccoli
- 3 Purple Turnips – does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with these?
- 9-Grain Bread (I ❤ this stuff – I’m so glad it’s in regular rotation)
- 2 huge bunches of Mustard Greens (I was actually supposed to get one bunch of greens, and two more daikon radishes. The daikon was HUGE this week, and we still have one left from a few weeks ago. I’m not really a big radish person, so I asked if I could trade the daikon for another bunch of mustard greens. Thus, I have two bunches of mustard greens!).
The entire top shelf of our fridge is, yet again, full of green things. In fact, green things are now starting to take over other parts of our fridge. I foresee lots of healthy meals in our future…
This is me, signing out. I hope to have some more fun stuff to post in the next few days. Happy February!