When we first bought our house, Kris and I didn't realize that we had to pay for the water we used. I was raised in the country, and all of our water was drawn from a well. Kris was raised in military housing, where her family never had to pay for water. Neither of us were even aware that water was not free.
We moved in at the end of June. The previous owners had kept the lawn a lush, thick beautiful emerald green because they were trying to sell the house.
During the month of July, in order to maintain this lush green lawn, I pulled every weed by hand (though there weren't many; I think the lawn was new), and I watered for several hours every day. Two or three times a week, I mowed the lawn with my reel mower.
The lawn looked beautiful; it was the best lawn in the neighborhood.
When our first water bill came at the beginning of August, we were flabbergasted: "We have to pay for water?!?"
We didn't water the lawn so much after that.
The Willamette Valley is in the midst of a bit of a heat wave. It was in the upper-nineties yesterday, and while that might not sound like much to those who live in the southern part of the country, it's plenty hot fur the Pacific Northwest.
When the weather turns hot and humid, I crave lighter meals. Recently I've learned to make a Thai Beef Salad that is both light and delicious:
Salad IngredientsThis recipe is simple to prepare, and the salad is delicious.
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 coriander (cilantro) roots, finely chopped — you may substitute coriander (cilantro) stems if you haven't the roots
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 12 oz. sirloin steak, fat trimmed
- 1 small soft-leaf lettuce (like Bibb) — spinach might work, too
- 6 oz. cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium Lebanese cucumber (or English cucumber — any long, narrow cucumber will do)
- 4 spring onions, or 1 large red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (you may wish to add an additional tablespoon of lime juice, depending on your taste)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh red chili — use Thai chilies if you have them — you may also substitute red pepper flakes if that's all you have
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar or soft brown sugar
- Combine the garlic, coriander (cilantro) roots, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Finely grind the mixture in a mortar and pestle, or blend it well in a food processor or blender. Spread the mixture evenly over the steak.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over high heat. Cook the steak for about 4-5 minutes per side, turning onlyonce. Remove the steak from heat and allow to cool.
- Wash the lettuce and separate the leaves. Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber into chunks. Chop the onions.
- To make the dressing, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, palm sugar, and chilies in a small bowl, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cut the cooled steak into thin strips. Place the lettuce on a serving plate, and arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and strips of steak over the top. Drizzle with the prepared dressing, and then scatter with the coriander (cilantro) leaves.
If you'd like, you may prepare a double batch and then refrigerate the ingredients separately until needed. (The beef, when marinated in the dressing for several days, becomes even tastier.)
What are your favorite summer foods? Share your recipes!
On this day at foldedspace.org
2004 — Indigo Girls 2004 A bunch of us had tickets for the Indigo Girls concert at the zoo last night. We had a fun time despite a delay in getting to the zoo.