I have to say, their plants looked really good on this particular visit. It looks like orchids and ferns are The Thing right now. I'm not sure if they're trying to quietly coordinate with Longwood's upcoming annual Orchid Extravaganza. (btw, if you've never been to their orchid event, then you should go. I was really taken with it last year. The best part was the "orchid curtain" around the doorway of the music room in the Conservatory. I think you can see a picture of it on their website. Every year is slightly different, and I doubt it'll be a disappointment.)
I never get tired of anything glass--I love the way it photographs. (Are you hearing me, Annie H.? There's something to get your creative juices flowing: Give yourself an art assignment to take some cool pix of your--and Dennis'--work.)
Remember the overpriced velveteen pumpkins from this post (scroll doooowwn if you follow the link)? They had two tossed carelessly into a clearance bin. Well, three, actually, but the third was split open (revealing that they're stuffed with white RICE--not beans! HA! Would never have guessed that). They were dusty orange and marked down to $14.95. I really, REALLY thought about it. Ultimately, I put mine back while swearing up and down that THIS would be The Year that I make my own--no need to buy them. Yeah, yeah, yeah: We'll see how that goes.
Later on Friday night, Leslie came over for Ron's pizza before we (wait for it ...) left to go see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. Yup. That's what I did Friday night. Some justification for my actions: When I was in fourth grade and Leslie was in preschool, my mom gave us B&B for Christmas. Because there's a five year gap in our ages, I probably watched that movie a thousand times because it was one of the few things that we could watch together. (Five year age gaps are *HUGE* when you and your siblings are little kids, but the gap closes shockingly fast as each year goes by.) Leslie and I were cracking up in the theater because we still have every word of dialogue memorized. I know. That's so sick, right? I seriously have not watched this movie since my high school babysitting days ... why does my brain hold onto that stuff, but not the name of the new student I've already called on three times in the past fifteen minutes? Totally ridiculous. Anyway, yes I will be honest: It was awesome to relive 74 minutes of childhood.
It snowed overnight into Saturday. It was enough snow to be pretty without paralyzing Philly and the outlying suburbs. (I'm sure Septa was off-line for 36 hours, but that's to be expected.) At some point on Saturday, I found my resolve to finish what I started last Saturday (or, depending how you look at it, January 2010):
The heart garland! It's a project two years in the making ... although it only took two hours to cut out 100 hearts and thirty minutes to actually sew them together. I'm serious: If I go back to school, it'll be to study the psychology of procrastination. It's totally fascinating. The odds of me actually making that commitment (and magically finding the money for it) are slim to none.
You can buy clear thread for your sewing machine, but I just switched my stitch to a zig-zag and used white. I have a lot of leftover hearts that I'll use for Valentines that will get mailed out.
I made a second one for my banister--it's all pink and white without red. I think it looks a little wimpy for this space, but it's only going to be for--what?--two or three weeks at this point. My Bono heart coordinates pretty well with it. Maybe I'll retake this with natural light tomorrow.
To end the weekend, we're having Joan's Wicked (ironically, it's vegan) Chili.
This is one of our favorite things to make. It's as good (we think better) as any chili with meat, and it makes a HUGE amount. You can serve it all week or freeze half for later.
1 large yellow onion
4 medium carrots
1-2 green bell peppers, chopped2 T olive oil
3 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz tomato paste
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 12oz can of corn, drained
1 16oz (?) package of frozen, shelled edamame (thawed)
2-3 T chili powder (depending on how hot you want this to be)
2 T curry powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T brown sugar
3-4 vegetable stock or water (doesn't make much of a difference)
salt and pepper to taste
- Saute onion, peppers, carrots, salt and pepper
- Add tomato paste and stir continuously
- Add spices and stir
- Add remaining ingredients; simmer until it's heated through and thickened slightly.
- Don't forget the wine (for drinking, not cooking)
So there you have it. Let the week begin.