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So, last week I was back on the “Summer Salad Wagon”. Yes, still bought Trader Joe’s boxed Caesar salad without chicken, bags of romaine, Sorrento salads and their Just Chicken pre-cooked chicken since temps here have entered the 90’s so no oven for this chick-let till November.  Since I don’t have a volunteer tomato plant this year I also picked up a box of their Sugar Plum tomatoes . Have you tried these? So sweet and delicious. Anyways, the problem repeating salad summer this year is that after two years of this, I am really sick of romaine and other lettuce. I mean, every night?

I should segue here and let you in on a bit of info. I am no spring chicken which you may have surmised by now. As a result, which I have mentioned before, need a complete knee replacement (what fun) but am having trouble finding a surgeon since I have psoriasis on my legs and surgeons fear infections, etc. and etc. Sorry, is this too much info? Someday you may be in the same boat.

Oh and to veer off course in the middle of my segue, here is a site for anyone facing knee replacement surgery. It has a ton, seriously, of info on every aspect of it. It also has forums for support pre-op and post-op. So, back to what my first detour was talking about.

The back yard is a land mine of hummocks and bumps due to being a rental for almost 30 years. (The landlord never re-leveled the pits dug by assorted tenants’ dogs when they moved out.) In the past this was never a problem. Since the knee pooped out on me though, I’ve had to hire someone to pick up Blue’s pooh. I got sick of loosing my balance, falling over and so on. Anyhow, the woman who does it asked if I’d mind if she moved a few things around on the back patio where my dead container garden sits. Would I? Of course not!

Just to refresh your memory.

Just to refresh your memory. The patio.

She further suggested that perhaps her brother could come over and clean things up a bit. Oh my…music to my ears. I’ve wanted to do this for so long but am limited by my knee and balance. Well, she gave me a quote yesterday and yay! it’s affordable. 🙂 Guess what? He’s coming over tomorrow!

This means I can get the grill back up and running since she said he could make a trip to Home Depot for bags of potting soil and propane refills, saving me from having to deal with such a huge store. So I’ve spent the last few days on Pinterest (how did we ever live without it?) hunting down recipes for the grill.

So my hopes for a decent patio and container garden are resurrected. Didn’t mention it in the last post but the dirt in the pots is over ten years old and needs replacing. Can you see me schlepping all that dead dirt to a side bed or even the garbage can? Yeah, not so much. Plus all the chairs need a bath and the umbrella needs cleaning and fluffing. So there’s good news on the potted container herb and veggie garden front!

This will help immensely in the cooking department and cut back on the number of salads I have all summer. I’ve also decided that I’m going to get a cast iron Dutch oven that I can use on the grill vs. my nice Le Creuset which will never see the flames of my grill. For Christmas last December I “gifted” myself with a 10″ cast iron fry pan that has been seasoned on top of being pre-seasoned which I will enlist also.

This week I noticed Von’s has boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale (the kind without salt, water, antibiotics, etc. added). So I’ve been looking for recipes that would work on the grill with those pans. I’m thinking, keep the chicken from drying out as it can easily do on the grill.

Speaking of summer food, I bought a small but remarkably heavy watermelon the other day. Once home though, I was really dreading cutting it up. What was I thinking? I should just buy a bowl of cut up watermelon. Well, it’s been sitting on the counter staring at me as I’ve hemmed and hawed about cutting it up. Just in time Pinterest came to my rescue with this site and how to cut up a watermelon like a pro! Note: the author also has a video on this link and a recipe for a watemelon-lime slushy that I’ll be enjoying very soon. 🙂

P.S. After viewing the video, I checked out Joanne’s blog (no affiliation) and it’s one I’ll be bookmarking since all the recipes are from scratch and not overly long or heavy on ingredients. Just what my new eating habits need!