Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Well, I am not, sweaty, and tired. But I am happy.

Today was Paul's last day of his long weekend, and I decided it would be nice to do things other than work. He spent most of the day putting his bike back together. It's been in pieces for months. He'd get to one spot and find he had to order a part. Put that in, work a bit more, and order another part. Lather, rinse, repeat. The joys of classic motorcycles.

I woke up with energy this morning. I lie. The energy came after I had my coffee. Still, I got a load of laundry done, did some cleaning in the bathroom, had the requisite mild asthma attack, then went out to clean the patio. The patio is done, and most of the plants are outdoors for the year, I hope. I still have several in the kitchen to put out, but I'll try to get that done before the end of the week. Ended up repotting a couple of plants as well. Now I need to get my annuals for the baskets and replace the herbs that didn't make it through the winter. I'm going to wait on that until after the trip. I can't see doing all that planting and then leaving for five days. Oh, there will be people around the house. And cats. But I generally don't do this kind of thing until the first of April or so anyway.

Besides, the catnip survived the winter. That's all that matters, right?

And being St. Patrick's Day, we had to celebrate. We went down to the Fillmore Pub for lunch. They were packed - including a large group of Red Hat Club ladies all decked out in green. They seemed to be having a great time.

Then I came home and got busy on dinner. The main dish was a Guinness Stew, and that takes a long time to cook. I started soda bread first, and then started working on the stew while the bread was cooking. The stew recipe I have calls for it to simmer in the oven, so I couldn't bake and stew (or something like that) at the same time. I tried a slightly different bread recipe this time around, and was afraid I'd wrecked it, but it came out just about the best ever. Next time I'll use just a little less milk and see how that goes. Once the stew was ready I started in on some potato champ, which is mashed potatoes with lots and lots of butter with some veggies folded in. The stew came out great - the meat just fell apart, which is the way it should be.

Paul is doing the cleanup, and then we're going to watch a DVD or two. I may actually sleep tonight!

Oh, yeah: And while the stew was cooking I spent about an hour cleaning up a brass pot that had been left on the patio all winter. It was pretty nasty, but I made a solution of vinegar and salt and used enough flour to make a paste, and that cut right through most of the tarnish. All it took was a little brass cleaner to finish. Shiny!

Hope you had a good St. Patrick's Day.


Filed under: Life            
3/17/2009 6:50:52 PM
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