I've noticed I actually feel better, looser and more muscular lately. I wish I could attribute this health to any sort of workout regime, but there’s been nothing lately — for seriously two whole weeks, nothing! But my clothes fit better, and I feel really strong. I’ve been eating really great food lately, not skinny food, but great food and not stuffing my face with it either. I have a slightly better handle on my self-control.
I have to hand it to Whole Foods for inspiring me with a need for Greek foods. They have their new, seasonal spring prepared line out, and the mini peppers stuffed with marinated feta were complete bliss to eat. Also, their marinated baby artichokes are worth every penny of the $7.99/pound price tag. I have been craving them nonstop since last week’s early lunch. While I was there, I ate the Mediterranean-style panzanella salad with cold parsley-mint noodles. The noodles were okay, but the salad had bits of smoked mozzarella that were stellar. I did use their Greek-style green olives in last week’s puttanesca sauce too, also delicious. But my entire reason for planning another trip is to stock up on those darned peppers. I can’t wait!
My garden is officially planted now, too. I have eight tomato plants, a row of onions, broccoli, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, radishes, carrots, potatoes and a few kohlrabi. We’ll see what comes of it, but right now it looks promising. All green shoots pushing through the dirt expectantly. We tilled by hand this year, just turning the dirt over with a bunch of compost layered over top. I have thick clay rocks settled into a corner that are too hard to mash up and use. The soil here is poor compared to my Minnesota background. There, it’s black and loose, prime for planting with minimal effort. Here, it’s a mix of sand and clay, tufted together in immovable clumps that don’t dissolve in water and block the sun from reaching my seeds. If I lived in Minnesota, I’d have to special order seeds that I can find in any grocery store here, like kohlrabi, purple beans, heirloom tomatoes, kale and eggplant. But they’d grow instantly, once I procured them. I’ve got them now and have to stand around with my fingers crossed for good weather to allow the soil to retain just enough water and drain the rest. I feel like they clay clamps together and forces the water to run off rather than soak in. I’m left with rivulets of water on top of the soil and dry roots underneath. Luckily, today we’re having the slow, steady kind of rain that eventually penetrates even the most stubborn of the clay veneers without beating down my fragile tomato plants. I’m thrilled to be growing things again and eagerly awaiting the wonderful day in June when my peonies burst open. It’s my very favorite part of the summer.