Some days I will make a meal out of next to nothing to avoid going to the store. Then there are days I just need to use up the bits and pieces of what I already have in the house to avoid wasting good food. Today, I combined both of the above into a really good holiday Monday dinner.
I thawed some local ground lamb two days ago and then realized I had leftovers in the fridge to finish before I cooked anything else. I still did not manage to cook the lamb yesterday because my whole day was spent in a marathon of task list tedium, and by the time I finally sat down last night, I was too tired to eat. I officially have zero boxes to unpack and every last little thing has a place in this house. I’m still holding off on hanging art because I hope to paint these icky Barbie flesh-tone walls soon.
Today has been devoted to all things fresh air and laundry. I looked at the weather forecast this morning, and I think perhaps my honeymoon with Tucson may be coming to an end. All I see ahead is bright sunshine and temps over 100. Everyone has been talking about the unusual weather this spring. Tucson has recorded more rain and cool temps than ever before. I have listened carefully and taken to heart that this weather was not to be squandered. I aired out all my pillows and comforters in the strong sunshine. I hung another hummingbird feeder along with the sweet little hummingbird perch that my friend Linda made for me.
I was utterly defeated by the water feature that is sitting dormant in my backyard. I feel bad because it is obvious that birds and lizards have used it in the past. I see wildlife flitting by to check for water, and I really wanted to fix the situation while I had some time off. I don’t know enough about the wiring and drip system to even know where to begin making repairs. Hopefully I will stumble onto someone professional that can help me figure it out soon.
I still have some pretty major unfinished tasks to accomplish, but by late afternoon, I really just wanted to put my feet up and read a good book. Before I gave in to the urge, I prepped this meal so I could make a quick dinner. I thought about going to the store, but when I looked in the fridge, I saw half of a cucumber and a red pepper. I remembered I had several cans of chickpeas. I was planning to make hummus last week, but four grocery stores later, I can’t find Tahini anywhere in this town!
A quick chop and dice, a trip to the herb garden, and a drizzle of olive oil later, I had this fresh salad marinating in the fridge. I zested the lemon before I cut it and added the zest, the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic to the ground lamb and mixed it together gently. I formed the meat into patties, wrapped it, and put it in the fridge for cooking later.
I have no fresh garlic in the house, which is a first for me. I have no idea what I did with the last head I bought. I know I roasted two heads last week, but I swear I had another one on the counter with the onions. Oh well, not worth the gas to go to the store, and the granulated garlic will work fine in the lamb burgers.
If I have any leftover chickpea salad, I will add tuna and take it for lunch for the next few days.
It is Memorial Day, so I started the day thinking about my dad and his service to this country. He did what his country asked him to do, but that does not mean he believed it was right. He suffered mentally for his time in Viet Nam, and ultimately, he lost his life to the obscenity of Agent Orange.
On this day in particular, I wish with all my heart that we give PEACE a chance.
- 1 16 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a container, cover with a tight lid, and shake well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Taste for salt and serve. This works as a side dish, a main dish, lunch the next day combined with tuna, or add feta cheese, goat cheese, or fresh mozzarella.