Browsing Archives for July 2010

Jesus in the Wheat

July 23rd, 2010

This billboard hovers over Interstate 70 just outside of Colby, Kansas welcoming the weary traveler to stop and consider a few interesting points such as…

Was Jesus only three feet tall? Whose hand is that?  Why does Jesus look like he is in a trance?  Has someone hypnotized Jesus?  Why would anyone hypnotize Jesus?  Is the person holding the wheat bouquet hypnotizing Jesus?  Was Jesus a smoker?  Is Jesus being hypnotized by the wheat bouquet person so that he can stop smoking?  Why does this smoking cessation hypnotism program take place in a wheat field?  Is this billboard part of an anti-smoking campaign?  Is this billboard encoded with the explanation for crop circles?  Is Jesus standing in the wheat or is it only his head hovering above the wheat?  Is this billboard a blog about wheat weaving?  Do people still weave wheat?  Or is Jesus about to wave the wheat?  Does that mean that Jesus is a KU fan?  Is that why Mangino got fired?  Did Jesus have anything to do with the recent big twelve deconstruction?  Is he happy the Huskers are leaving?  Are you happy the Huskers are leaving?  Have you read this hilarious theory about the big twelve break-up?  Do you, dear reader have any further explanations for this very mysterious billboard?  If so, please – feel free to enlighten.

Fresh Garden Herbs

July 19th, 2010

Of all the plants that I have grown in my garden this year, the herb patch brings me the most pleasure.  These sturdy plants remain icily unfazed by whatever creeping pestilence is plaguing the rest of my garden.  They don’t wilt overnight for no apparent reason or blacken with some horrible fungus from incessant rainfall or become infested with slimy green eggs dropped from the back end of some wretched bug.  They just grow.  And they look pretty.  And they smell good, all the while looking down their noses at the weaker plants around them who so easily succumb to bugs, disease, and a lackluster gardener.  I like to pinch off their leaves and rub them between my thumb and fingers breathing in their heady scent when I am pulling weeds and watering.  It’s cheap aroma therapy and works wonders to revive an embattled gardener who is up against an army of squash bugs.

Also -  the herbs make everything that I cook taste much better.



Top center – dill

Purple leaves are basil

Across from the basil is cilantro

Underneath the purple basil is sage.

Underneath the sage is lemon balm.

The one with the tiny purple flowers is oregano

To the right (your right) of the oregano is lime basil.

Did you get all that?

Or should I go through it again?





The lime basil has a wonderful citrusy smell, but a peppery, basil taste.  It’s kind of like an herb that is having an identity crisis.  Perhaps it just turned 40?

Oregano is a perennial.  I did not know this when I planted it last year and was surprised to find a clump of it growing this Spring in a happy, unperturbed mass by the fence.  When I discovered it, I briefly became a happy unperturbed mass as well.

Dill – probably one of the most easily recognized herbs, but you still feel kind of smart and earthy and extra wholesome if you can identify it in a public place while lots of people are standing around you whom you wish to impress.

Here we have chopped purple basil, lime basil, oregano and lemon balm.  I frequently add chopped herbs just like this to whatever I am cooking -  sprinkling it on chicken and chops.  But sometimes I really outdo myself and make a quick sauce of mayonnaise, parmesan, salt and a little garlic and then add the chopped herbs to the mixture, spreading it on whatever is about to go in the oven for dinner.  This is particularly good on fish creating a rich, fragrant, golden herbed crust that is absolutely delicious.

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Thinking of starting a small garden of your own?

Might I suggest the herbs?

They are a perfectly painless, particularly pretty patch.

And tasty too!

I used to have a boss who liked to drink a diet coke in the afternoon.  She would come out of her office and proclaim, “I really need a coke, but I want one in a glass glass… with ice.”  Then she would explain how coke in a glass glass tastes much better than coke in a can and how ice makes all the difference and how without the ice one might as well lick the coke off the dirty floor boards under her feet.  Then she would sort of stare me down as if I was supposed to present her with a coke in a glass glass with ice that very second, but I never had one ready for her so she would go downstairs to the vending machine and buy a coke in a can and the afternoon would spiral slowly downwards from that point.

I learned a lot of things from that boss.

Among them was the shimmering factoid that coke does indeed taste better in a glass glass…

(with ice, of course.)