Monday, May 23, 2016

Walking in the Rain

Our plan to hike to Mary's Rock this weekend imploded about 9:30 Thursday night when Carter casually announced that the high school spring sports celebration at which he would receive his track letter would be held at 2pm on Sunday. That and this crappy weather conspired against us. Our string of beautiful Sundays in rain-filled weeks fell apart as the rain this week extended fully through the weekend.

Sunday at noon just after a wave of heavier rain appeared to have passed on the radar, we threw on our rain jackets and headed out for a just-under-four-mile walk of the neighborhood. We found out just how lacking our rain gear is. My 35-year old rain jacket kind of keeps the water off but really does let it soak through and Ann borrowed a wind jacket from Carter; ditto for that. It was one of those misty rains that when you're out hiking, you have to decide whether it is worse to sweat under rain gear or just leave the stuff off and let the rain wet you. It was about 55 degrees out, so not that cold, but after 75 minutes, we were ready for hot showers.

Although the neighborhood is mostly urban, there are some undeveloped parts especially along the creeks that feed into Opequon Creek and then quickly into the Shenandoah River. I was surprised at the number and types of flowers in bloom. We saw a single black locust tree in bloom (those in our yard are not open yet) and I picked some blooms to munch on. I like their green pea x honey flavor. Oxe-eye daisies are also starting to open, but not in our yard. Rafts of blackberries are everywhere. Lots of purple clover is poking out of the grass here and there.

Sweet Yellow Clover

Penstemon laevigatus, Eastern Smooth Beardtongue

Dame's Rocket
Chilly and cold weather led Ann to suggest a pot of lentils for dinner and I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically agreed. Besides being a favorite food, the thought of tucking into a warm bowl of goodness on a blah day was comforting. After the to-do at school, we dropped in to the grocery store to score a couple pounds of lentils, a tube of tomato paste, some carrots, and some celery. The lentils are flavored with mirepoix, garlic, a little tomato paste, some pimentón, and a big bouquet of sage, thyme, and rosemary.

Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary in the Bouquet Garni

Final Product (with Sambal on Top)
Warm lentils, easy to fix, easy to eat, comforting, and tasty. What more do you want on a chilly rainy day?

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