Happy July 4th, everyone.
I live in Michigan, which is currently in the middle of a heat wave. Today the high temperature was 95 degrees, but the heat index got as high as 104. The last few days were in the 90’s, and the next few are expected to be almost as bad as today. Aside from a couple of errands, I stayed inside all day, nice and cool, thanks to my air conditioner.
I practically grew up with A/C. My sister has allergies when she was small, so my dad had it installed before we were in elementary school. I’ve had it ever since, and I wouldn’t want to be without it. At least not at home. I don’t do well in heat. But sometimes, being without A/C is unavoidable.
When I was growing up, my family spent almost every summer weekend in Standish, Michigan, visiting my mom’s siblings and my dad’s brother. Five of my mom’s six brothers and sisters and my dad’s brother owned houses on the same street. Between the two families, we owned nearly half the street.
My sister and I always had a good time “up north,” as we called it. There were usually some cousins around, so we always had someone to play with. Until we got our travel trailer when I was 12, every one of my dad’s two-week work vacations was spent in Standish. The main drawback, aside from being away from our friends during the peak of the summer? Not a single house owned by any family member had A/C. And it could get hot, especially in my Aunt Bertha’s house (the one that my parents eventually owned) – hers was the largest, and it was two stories. Everyone had several box fans, but all they really did was move around the hot air. There were times when it was so downright miserable, my mom would take us kids into town, just so we could ride in the air conditioned car.
But we found ways to at least somewhat deal with the heat. We sat outside under the shade trees by the water, we barbecued instead of cooking in the houses, we swam in the lake, we drank pitchers of lemonade and kool aid. The nights were the worst, though – any daytime breeze would be long gone, but even with the windows wide open and fans whirring away, the air still hung like a hot, damp blanket.
My sister and I couldn’t wait to get home and out of that misery, and I think sometimes my parents were glad to go home to our air conditioned house too.
It’s on days like today that I think of those summer days spent in Standish without A/C, and I realize I’m very fortunate and grateful to have it. It is one appliance I wouldn’t want to be without.
A meme on Facebook about Texas weather inspired me to do my own Michigan version…
Spr…oops, nope, still Winter
Fa…nope, still summer. Seriously, enough with the heat!!
Winter s-s-so c-c-cold it feels like it’ll n-n-never be Spring
*Repeat from top
The garden is progressing, albeit much slower than I’d like. Rain, pain, and a couple of unavoidable situations have delayed progression, but it’s coming along. If I could get one or two relatively pain free days without rain, I could get this done. At least my plants are still healthy in their store pots; in fact, my cubanelle pepper already has a 3″ pepper on it!
I worked on the garden tonight, after it stopped raining, around 8:30. Thank God for long summer evenings!! I planted three more pots before I ran out of dirt! These 10-gallon pots hold a lot of dirt. So, back to Lowe’s I go tomorrow. Here is what the garden area looks like, as of this evening:
The pots are made of a heavy duty unwoven fabric, and are quite inexpensive. They come in all sizes, and I chose the 10-gallon size for my garden. I think they’ll work nicely. I still need to construct and install the fence, put up my bird feeders, and move my weather station over here. Then I’ll plant the flowers. My new goal date is July 4! Better late than never!!
Bonus – it was still raining a little when I decided to go outside to do some work, and as the sun was shining at the same time, we had a rainbow. I snapped a quick pic, although it doesn’t do the real thing justice.
I’ll admit, I’m not exactly the most adventurous eater. Oh, I’ll try new things, but ask my family and friends and they’ll tell you that nine times out of 10, I order chicken when dining out. Unless of course, I can afford to have steak (I’m looking at you, Mr. Paul’s Chophouse – a maybe once-a-year treat but oh so worth it!). But I do love chicken. It is my protein of choice not just when dining out, but at home, too.
A few years ago, I began hearing about bison meat – that it was tastier and healthier than beef, but I never saw it in the grocery stores around my house. I’m sure Whole Foods has it, but my nearest Whole Foods requires two freeways and fighting traffic in a business district to get there. So when I saw a one-pound package of ground bison last week at my local Aldi, I felt like I’d won the lottery or something. I finally found bison! It was rather exciting. To me, anyway. I put it in my cart, already planning to make burgers with it. I do love a good burger, and I hadn’t made any in a while.
The big question was, how to season it? Since it’s a red meat similar to beef, I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong treating it like I would ground beef, so I settled on McCormick’s Worstershire Pub Burger seasoning blend, with a little garlic salt sprinkled on during cooking. It smelled…different. So different that I was a little concerned that maybe I wasn’t going to like it. I wouldn’t say it was gamey, but the scent was quite different from beef. Maybe a bit like lamb, and I hate lamb. HATE IT.
But I soldiered on – I was already committed to trying this bison and I was going to see it through. I waited until it was almost finished cooking (to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, just like beef) before I added a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, let it melt down over the top of the burger, then served it protein style (sans bun – gotta watch those carbs, ya know), with a chopped salad.
I cut off a piece, speared it with my fork, put it in my mouth, and…
Actually, it was VERY GOOD. It wasn’t odd or gamey at all. It tasted a lot like beef, but richer and very tasty. Maybe a little dryish, but I’m not sure if that is because I overcooked it or that it’s pretty lean – only 10% fat. Regardless, I quite enjoyed it and will definitely purchase it again!
After I eat the other three bison burgers that are chilling in my freezer.