Well, hello again, Friends. Has it been a week already? Is Easter already over? It all seems a little unreal. The man of the house had a few extra days off, so we tried to really buckle down and make the most of the whole spring cleaning idea. We started out strong on Friday, pretty much lost the weekend (because Saturday was Fun Day, and, well, I toil not on the Sabbath), and tried to catch up a little this week.
What I had not foreseen, and this was just plain dumb on my part, was that replacing three of the shrubs in our front yard would take the better part of two days. Stupid, ugly, palmy shrubs. They were worthy foes, but they’re gone now and all I can say is good riddance. Then I made Kevin watch the hoarding episodes on Oprah the past couple of days (fine timing, O!) so that he could see how good he has it with me. Of course, then he kept pointing at me and calling out “Hoarder! HOARDER!” the rest of the afternoon whenever he caught me carefully setting aside some of the stuff in our closet which clearly belonged in the trash. Which was fairly often, so I can’t complain. A good time was had by all.
Along the way, I also conquered what was quickly becoming my new enemy: bread dough. Because, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had suddenly lost the ability to turn out anything but total slop. The first time I tried the ever-popular No Knead Bread, it was a success. The second time around, I decided to get a little crazy and add olives to the dough. Runny, horrible mess. Unsalvageable. Not easily daunted, I tried it again the following week sans olives. Um, the same. Oozed all over the carefully floured dishtowels and eventually ended up in the trash. Oh, and in the meantime, I was making my go-to pizza dough, which is mixed up in the food processor and takes mere minutes to whip up. Unfortunately, I put the blade in wrong and–you guessed it–RUINED THE DOUGH.
A lesser (smarter?) woman may have stopped there, content to buy their bread at the store, but it was driving me nuts! So I gave it one more shot, and voila! Turned out a decent loaf of bread, most of which we devoured that evening at dinner. Now I can rest again.
Would you like a delicious dip for bread, by the way? This one is inspired by one we had at Yia Yia Maria’s, and it is delicious. Here’s what you do: In a small microwaveable dish, mix one or two crushed garlic cloves with about a quarter cup of olive oil. Microwave for about a minute, until the garlic turns a little bit golden (but don’t scorch it!) Pile up about a quarter cup or so of crumbled feta cheese, top with the garlic oil and some fresh ground pepper, and enjoy! Add a little more oil if it looks too dry; the cheese should be like a little melting island in the center. So good!
Tonight: I conquer the pizza dough.