Every weekend for me is a three-day weekend (until I convince Chris to let me work on Natalie's working Fridays) but these next two weeks are really long weekends... not only do I have Friday off, I get two Mondays off in a row (one for Labor Day and one because Abby and her 'rents are going on a beach trip). Luckily I have plans for both of these weekends, otherwise I think I'd go stark raving mad missing my pumpkin. :) This weekend involves lots of downtime after a really busy Summer and an especially busy August, then a picnic on Monday, and next weekend involves a camping/canoeing trip on the Shenandoah. Yay! I haven't seen "my river" for a few years now and I'm soo excited. Plus, I didn't get to do any camping this spring or summer, and I missed my annual camping trip with friends. I thought I didn't miss it, but I thought wrong - I walked down the camping aisle at WalMart with my dad today and wanted to drive straight home, pack up my truck, and spend the weekend in a tent.
My old phone - the one I just got working on Wednesday - was driving me NUTS (apparently I've become more accustomed to my Samsung than I'd like to admit), so today I caved and went and bought a new phone. I've been usingTracfone ever since I got my first phone, but today I made the switch to Straight Talk, which I feel secure about since it is, after all, owned by Tracfone. I got the Samsung T104G and a month's "All You Need" plan for starters. If I need to upgrade to an unlimited plan, well, it's still cheaper than the average contract phone. I love having video and the MP3 player... quite an upgrade from my cheapo old Samsung! I AM hoping that my old phone springs back to life enough to pull everything off of it, but so far, no luck.
I wandered the produce section in search of garlic, lemons, and green cabbage, I ran across some fresh artichokes and knew I absolutely had to have them. I've been craving them ever since I read an article in one of Chris' foodie magazines about artichokes with lemon-garlic aioli. I bought two, brought them home, pulled up a recipe for aioli, and got busy.
If you've never cooked an artichoke, there are some good directions here. I'm a bit lazy, so I usually just chop off the stem until the artichoke will sit upright, stick it in a pot with an inch of so of water, bring it to a boil, and keep adding water as it steams off. When I can pull a leaf out easily, I declare it done.
Well, the aioli flopped. Completely. Maggie even went at it and tried to render it into something edible, and even she couldn't do anything with it. Then I tried to make some garlic butter using the same garlic we'd used for the aioli, and that was inedible, too - I think maybe the garlic was bitter? In the end I melted some butter with a dash of smoked paprika and everybody loved it. I consider it a small victory that the kids cluster around me excitedly to eat artichoke. :)
Two artichokes don't go very far among seven people, though (Anna is the lone holdout in not liking artichoke) so I ended up scrambling some eggs for an egg and goat cheese burrito for my dinner. I also sliced up some peaches I got last night and threw them into a sort of makeshift cobbler, which I'm about to rescue from the oven and share. :)