Well, baked vegetables for dinner.

With cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, olive oil, and all manner of tasty toppings.

Do yourself a favor and make these and these for yourself sometime. Both recipes are easy. Just adjust ingredients as you like and pop ’em in the oven at the same time. The prep for me was probably 20 minutes — all stuff I had in my kitchen or my garden.

This was a great way for me to eat and really enjoy my first home-grown tomato of the year, but I’ve got to say that the zucchini fries were probably the stars of the show tonight. I will definitely be making them again. Perhaps often?

 

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We took our first camping trip as a couple this weekend. As you can see, we started off pretty well. Despite the CRAZY HEAT (Southern Ohio, why do you HATE EVERYONE?!?!), we were able to find a campsite with lots of shade, set up a tent, explore our surroundings, and even start a fire for what would have been a tasty dinner.

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Then, for the first time in probably a month, it rained. We ended up eating (just a little bit soggy) baked potatoes in the car. We figured it was just a summer storm passing through, so we waited in the car thinking for sure we would get a second shot at cooking the rest of our dinner.

Nope.

It. Rained. All. Night.

The blow-up mattress (thank goodness we had that) ended up serving as a very hot, sticky, and slightly rain-water-y island for what little sleep we could get. We mostly pretended to sleep. Highlights of the night include me getting up to go to the bathroom and then refusing to go back in the tent . . .

S: I can’t go back in there. It’s too hot. I can’t breathe.
B: Well, are you going to sleep in the car?
S: No.
B: Are you going to sleep out here?
S: It’s raining!
B: . . . )

And then there was the case of Bob’s missing glasses slash wedding ring. We were both pretty sure we lost them both for most of the night. Long story short – he misplaced them, I was sure someone snuck into our tent and stole them when we to the bathroom at 2 am.

B: I just really don’t think that someone would hide all night in the woods in the rain waiting for us to go to the bathroom so they could steal my glasses.
S: Well, we can’t find them. What else could have happened?

I found them right outside our tent in the morning.

Why do I love camping?

Can’t stop playing on this site.

Seriously. Why?

So one day a girl who thought she was pretty tough was sitting in her home office browsing the Internet because that’s important when her mother-in-law called. The tough girl’s family was all very close so this was not a weird thing at all and the tough girl’s mother-in-law needed a favor. You see, the tough girl had married into a family from Kentucky that had a farm. Since the girl liked to see herself as the tough, outdoorsy type, she thought this was pretty cool. And since she had grown up very close to the city in a family that was not from Kentucky, she thought it was ironic, too. Young people (like the tough girl) love irony these days. Irony is like a secret new way to make every thing cool if you act like you don’t care.

The tough outdoorsy ironic farm favor turned out to be picking green beans. And on the day of The Picking it turned out to be raining. A lot. The tough girl’s grandfather-in-law, an actually tough farmer man, had to be out for the afternoon, so three LONG rows of green beans were ready to be picked and it was all up to tough girl and her mother-in-law, who is very tough but does not think so at all.

The girl and her secretly tough MIL waited for a few hours, hoping the raing would stop. For a while, they even went to Panera, but even when they ate sandwiches the rain still wouldn’t stop. The last time the tough girl did farm labor, she literally threw up, so things did not look good, but plants don’t care if hard work makes you throw up, so she and her MIL walked out to the field of green beans, stepped into the soil, and sunk up to their ankles. The mud made a fart noise when their feet went down, and then again when they came back up. Sneakers were ditched. Socks too. That’s how the suburban girl, who actually isn’t very tough at all, ended up spending four hours, in a rainy field, barefoot, picking green beans out of shin-deep mud.

It probably sounds like this was long and arduous and awful, but the not-very-tough suburban girl learned a lot that day. With no music or tv or even noise at all except the cows, the girl and her secretly tough mother-in-law got to talk all day. They got to take some breaks with her mother-in-law’s mother-in-law. The ironic suburban girl learned more about the actually really tough family that she married into. The three women, who are not related by blood at all, got to talk, and laugh, and eat, and work, and even gossip a little bit. The girl from the suburbs was sore the next day, but she is glad she picked six kitchen sized garbage bags of green beans, because as she grows up she is learning that family means doing all of these things. That hard work and laughter and gossip and rainy days with sandwiches and farting mud are what make families great. And this time, she didn’t even throw up.

Forgive the poor photo quality.

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Thus far, I’ve entertained myself with . . .

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and . . .

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It’s been great! But now it’s time to carefully read the 16 National Board Standards to which I think I have sold my soul.

My AP class designed shirts that they thought were reflective of their experiences with me this year . . .

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