Made it Monday – Chickpea Vegetable Soup

This is one of my favorite soups and it always makes me fee so thrifty because it is 1 – cheap and 2 – uses a Parmesan rind, something that I would otherwise toss away. I also always think of the good friend who told me about this recipe every time I make it.


The recipe comes from the New York Times – Chickpea Vegetable Soup. The most difficult part is remembering to soak the beans the night before. The recipe doesn’t explicitly say what to do with the half an onion with the clove stuck in it or the remainder of the Parmesan rind. I end up fishing that stuff out and tossing it away, along with the bay leaf. I also don’t think I use quite as much salt as called for in the recipe. I do keep an eye on the soup and I have added more water as the water evaporates while cooking. So basically, soup! Very hard to screw up!

For those who read last week’s Made it Monday, you will probably guess that I do not add the lemon rind to the Parmesan cheese for serving. Ding, ding, you are correct! Ain’t nobody got time to zest a lemon! I just sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and serve with crusty bread and butter.

Made it Monday – Lemony Pasta with Peas and Ricotta

I’m bringing Made it Mondays back!

So for this Made it Monday, I am venturing into the land of foods no one in my household enjoys. It all started when my friend put out a plea on the book of faces for easy vegetarian dinners. I went to the simply recipes website, one of my favorite recipe sites on the internet and started browsing. A few pages in, I saw this – Lemony Pasta with Peas and Ricotta

Now why this jumped out at me, I have no idea. I am not a huge fan of lemons and the hubs does not like cooked peas. But for some reason this called to me. I saved the link in one of the 1586356285 open tabs on my cell phone and periodically, I would come back just to look at it. I had the desire for this pasta bad.

One night for dinner, I made it. So there were a few areas where I went off the rails. One, we did not have panko in the apartment. This was a shock to me, I could have sworn that we had a big container of panko in the cupboard. I looked and I made the hubs look and no panko to be found. I substituted regular bread crumbs instead. I also used green onions instead of the spring onions. Also, I hate zesting lemons and lemon zest. So there was no way I was going to zest a lemon enough to create two heaping tablespoons. I used two lemons, the zest and juice of one going into the ricotta cheese and the zest and juice of the other going into the pasta sauce? topping? onion and pea mixture? whatever it was.

So how was it? Well…..

Not as appetizing looking as it was on the simply recipes website. Also, that is way too many bread crumbs

It was edible. The bread crumbs stuck to the pasta creating the most dry, sticky pasta. Oh, that was another thing I did not do. I did not reserve any of the pasta water to add at the end. The taste of lemon zest was too much and hubs wished that there were less peas.

I don’t think I will make this again, however, if I did, I would make some changes. First of all, have panko on hand. Alternatively, run a piece of bread through the food processor to create feathery bread bits and then toast those. Second, less lemon zest. The zest of one lemon would be plenty. Third of all, butter. Who wants to eat such dry pasta? Add some butter to it and maybe a little white wine too.

Hello again

Hello there to the internet. I’ve been thinking about this blog, which I am well aware is not the same as you know, actually blogging. So let’s throw down some bullet points, catch the internet up on my summer, and then maybe I will start posting again. Maybe. No guarantees.

    • The life and times of Sissy
      When we last updated on Sissy, she had an oozy, itchy hock and we were treated with (terrifying) hock boots. Sissy is doing good! The hock boots have really helped. I’ve been alternating between protecting her hocks with the boots and leaving the boots off but spraying a good coat of blu-kote on to allow some air to her hock.

      Sissy also got bit up by the bugs this summer. She has one bite in her mane, one on her neck, one bite on her right side, and six bites on her left side. Of course, in true Sissy fashion, she has itched herself raw on her hay rack. Tonight I treated her by washing her bites with betadine, followed by a bubble bath. Then I dabbed her bites with triple antibiotic, brushed out her mane and tail, and put her away with many cookies.

    • The f@3&ing shoe boil
      Still dealing with the shoe boil.

      It opened on it’s own but then failed to stay open and keep draining despite my best efforts

      The vet opened the shoe boil up to allow everything to drain out. N and I were flushing the boil out daily and progress was going well until one day it wasn’t. Ugh. Dr. J keeps trying different methods to encourage the boil to heal from the inside out. He also recommended trying to bandage Sting’s elbow to keep it from getting irritated when he lays down. Sting is already sporting the shoe boil boot but somehow something is still irritating that elbow. My friend M and I tried to create a bandage using vet wrap and a diaper. The bandage looked good until Sting moved. Then failure. Dr. J mentioned that in the old days, they would put Sting in a slip stall and string him up so he can’t lay down until this heals. Well good thing we aren’t back in the old days then because no way am I doing that! I am looking at a set of elbow boots for standardbreds as an option.

      Looking on the bright side, Sting isn’t lame, not running a fever, and has a good appetite and attitude. Also, I can ride him even with the f@#$ing shoe boil.

    • Show!
      Sting and I went to a local schooling show. We showed first 1 and first 2. We got two thirds with scores in the 60s. So that was good. There is a video, so perhaps I will write a detailed post and share the video. No promises.
    • Lesson!
      I’ve taken a couple of lessons on Sting, Maybe I will write up detailed recaps, maybe not.
    • My eyes. my eyes!
      I went for a routine eye exam with my optometrist where it was discovered that my corneas are cloudy. A break from contacts did not clear up the cloudiness, so I was sent for a second opinion from an ophthalmologist, who also thought the cloudiness was an inflammatory response to contacts. Three weeks of treatment with progressively stronger steroid drops did not cause any improvement, so I was sent for a third opinion from an ophthalmologist specializing in corneas. This ophthalmologist ran some bloodwork and then sent me on my (not so merry) way to the eye institute and a fourth opinion. Good grief.

      All of this has been rather nerve wracking. I haven;t noticed any changes in my vision and am still seeing 20/20 or 20/25. My eyes also feel fine. I do think at this point, this is beyond something caused by contacts and veering into something is wrong with me. The next plan is to send me for additional bloodwork, specifically looking at my wacky low cholesterol. I’m just waiting to get the call to setup the appointment.

    • A thing that sounds fun but really isn’t
      House hunting! I’m starting to lose hope that we will ever find a house to purchase. I really want to move out of the apartment and into a house with two toilets (the luxury! No more debates over who gets the bathroom first), more storage, a yard, space for a veggie garden, and a patio. Oh, the dream….
  • Rain
    Stop it. Stop it now.

    Well this will take a while to dry out. Ugh

    And we’re done! Recapped! Woot woot.

F@%&ng Shoe Boil

So I was working on a post about my last lesson but that is going to stay in my drafts while I complain about something else.

Last week, I came down with a lovely cold or other virus. I started feeling crappy on Wednesday. By the time, work came to an end, my head was spinning and I just wanted to lay down. Of course, hubby and I had an appointment to see two houses with our realtor that night. I went and checked out the houses and was relived when we did not like either one. That meant I could go home and lay down! Hubs went out the barn to water because he is a superstar and I went home to lay down.

I ended up staying home from work on Thursday and alternated between reading and napping. Friday, I felt a bit better, so I dragged myself into work so that I would get paid for the holiday. By the end of the day, again all I wanted to do was lay down and rest, so home I went.

For those keeping track, that is three days that I stayed away from the barn. On Saturday, I was feeling more human and went out to check on the ponies. I figured I would fuss over Sissy and give Sting a little lunging session to get him out and moving. Sting whinnied at me and I put his halter on and pulled him out of his stall.

As we walked down the aisle, I noticed that Sting seemed to be walking a little stiffly which I thought may be because the horses have been in due to the near constant rain. He also was breathing heavily with flared nostrils. Once I got him in the crossties and took a step back, this greeted me on his left elbow.

Son of a….

ARGH! Sting had a nasty shoe boil about a year and half ago, that took forever to re-absorb. Finally, it had gotten to the point where it was just a slight thickening on his elbow and I had rejoiced. Well, now the shoe boil is back. Ugh.

Since Sting was breathing heavy and sweating, the barn owner N took his temperature. He had a fever of 103. I called the vet and left a message while N dug through her tack room looking for a shoe boil boot. The vet, Doc J, returned my call and asked if I wanted him to come out and see Sting. Yes please, the shoe boil has returned and he definitely has an infection. Doc J was about an hour away but he would start heading towards the barn.

I groomed and left him in the crossties while I puttered around. Sting appeared much more comfortable and took a little snooze. When Doc J arrived, he took a look, agreed that there was an infection and proceeded to give Sting shots of antibiotics and also bute. He left Uniprim, steroids, and more bute for the next few days. He said he would be back out on Wednesday to see if Sting would need another injection of antibiotics, unless things looked worse before Wednesday.

I put the shoe boil boot on Sting and put him back in his stall. Doc J and N left and I went to finish up watering the barn. By the time I got down to Sting’s stall, he was sweating and breathing heavily through flared nostrils again. Compared to his snoozy manner in the crossties, I thought maybe the lack of air movement in his stall was bothering him versus the slight breeze in the crossties. I called hubs and asked him to bring out Sting’s stall fan. Once hubs brought that out and we hung it up, Sting cooled down and appeared much more comfortable.

The next day, hubs and I came out to check on the ponies again. Sissy was fine and Sting’s shoe boil looked no worse and Sting’s demeanor was much better. Hubs and I hung up all new water bucket for both Sting and Sissy (they both enjoy sitting on their buckets and Sissy also enjoys pooping in hers to show her displeasure). We also fixed Sting’s stall mat and dropped off molasses so that Sting eats all his various powders. Here’s hoping that the shoe boil heals well.

I hear that some horses are able to lay down without ever having to wear special protective gear. Well, not my two! Hock boots and shoe boil boots, I think they are teaming up on me.

Mystery Sissy – an Update

Hubs and I got back from Kentucky on Monday and after picking up our dog, Pepper (another story for another day), I headed out to the barn to check on Sis. The barn owner, N, let me know that the vet did come out to take a look at her hock and that she would meet me down at the barn when I got there.

I arrived at the barn and immediately high-tailed it to Sissy’s stall. I said hi to her, threw open the door, and saw…a silver hock. N arrived shortly after I did and explained that the vet felt the hock sore was caused by how Sissy lays down and gets up these days and then an infection set in. He gave N some Alu-Spray and she had been applying it daily. I thought her hock looked better. I didn’t poke at it too much but from what I did, Sissy did react like it is still pretty itchy.

N wanted to show me the spray and that is where we get to the first of Sissy’s overreactions. Alu-spray comes in an aerosol can and when N shook the can, Sissy started to snort. Once N started spraying, Sissy started spinning. We re-captured Sissy and N finished spraying her hock. N did remark that Sissy had been super easy for this previously and I said that Sissy felt like since I was back she had to put on a show. ‘Mooommmmmm, they’ve been torturing me with scary spray and I’m itchy and I haven’t been groomed and why did you leave meeeeeeeee.’ was what Sissy was telling me.

Hello, my name is Sissy and I’m dramatic and demanding

N also told me that the vet thought boots to protect Sissy’s hocks were a good idea, which was good since I had two different types of boots in all sizes to try on her. I had ordered hock shields online and I figured if I ordered everything, I could return what did not work. I pulled Sis out and stuck her in the cross ties while I put the boots on her right hock (the uninjured one). The hock shield ultra ended up being the winner and I started to pack up the other boots while chatting with N.

This leads us to the second Sissy overreaction of the night. I looked back and Sissy was staring back at her right hind with a worried expression. Then she began to snort. Great….she’s scared of her own boot. I turned to grab her lead rope and Sissy started to snort and dance. By the time I got her lead rope on, I was starting to worry that she was going to slip and fall from all the dancing and snorting. I dropped the cross ties and Sissy took off down the aisle. As much as a 26 year old horse with a bum leg can take off. I was able to keep up at a light jog. Clearly, the hock boot was an instrument of torture and must be escaped.

Have you ever seen something so frightening?

Two laps up and down the aisle and Sissy started to be resigned to her fate. I stood with N, chatting about Rolex and the barn going-ons, which scratching Sissy’s withers. N remarked on Sissy’s neurotic tendencies and offered to hold her while I put the second boot on. I put Sissy in her stall, where she showed her displeasure towards me by barely taking an offered treat.

Yesterday, I headed out to see how the hock boots held up. I saw that the right boot must have fallen off, as it was hanging on my stall door but the left boot was still on and covering the sore. After taking it off, the inside of the boot was pretty dirty while the sore looked relatively OK but the Alu-spray had rubbed off. I sprayed her hock again and then I cleaned the boots off and left them to dry. I gave Sissy a long grooming, groomed Sting (muddy, muddy gelding), and gave Sting a quick lunging session. Right before leaving, I put the boots back on Sissy and there were no dramatics. I’ll head out again tonight to see how things look. I’m thinking I might ask N to take the boots off in the morning and apply the Alu-spray. Then her hock can get air during the day and I’ll come out at night to put the boots back on.

Seats – a rant

So hubby and I are at Rolex this weekend and I have a rant. Or a complaint. Or maybe I’m annoying.

We got stadium seats for Friday dressage. We sat down in the morning and watched tests, then took a break for some shopping. Came back to watch tests before lunch  (and also to be sure to see Michael Jung).

We then got some lunch, finished walking through the trade fair, and went back to watch the remainder of dressage.

When we got back to our seats, they were occupied. In fact, the whole row was full. Now, could we have possibly sat in other seats, sure. But we paid for those seats. Those are our seats. Plus, if we sat in other seats, what happens when the people who have those seats come to sit down? If no one sits in their purchased seat, why even bother selling seats? Just have a freaking free for all and punch it out.

Hubby went and kicked the women in our seats out. Now, I understand that this was a pain in the butt. Hubby had to enter the row, then exit, then the seat stealers had to exit, and then hubby and I had to walk in. And I swear, we tried to be quick and as non-intrusive as possible. But the ladies at the end of the row just acted so put out, complaining about having to stand up and sit down. It was really annoying. And those ladies had not been in those seats earlier. Those seats were occupied by drunk girls. So either the drunk girls stole the seats or the ladies were seat stealers themselves.

We finally got settled. However, we still weren’t in our correct seats. Two women pointed out that one of our seats was still occupied (what the f) and shifted down one so one of us could sit in one of their seats.

So it all worked out, however, all three times we came back to the seats, different people were around. I don’t think KHP does the best job marking the sections but seriously people. If you’ve purchased a seat, that is the seat you sit in. Period.

Mystery Sissy

Hello world! I am back-ish. Alternate titles for this post – Are you kidding me, why, horse, why?, Worst horse mother ever.

So the back story –  last summer, Sissy developed a bald spot on her right hip. Looking at it, my fear was that when she laid down, she was struggling to get back up with her bum leg and scraping her hip against the ground. I did my best to doctor it but the spot just kept getting worse and larger. So one day, I slathered the spot in Corona. I mean Sissy looked like she had been claimed by the Uruk-hai (if Uruk-hai rode horses). I then put her in her stall and went to water the barn. By the time, I got to Sissy’s stall and peeked in, the Corona was gone. What the fuckity-fuck, I thought. Where did the Corona go? That stuff is so thick and doesn’t absorb. So I walked into her stall, looked around, and saw all the Corona rubbed off onto the post by her stall door. That little stinker! She had been itching herself raw on her hip and giving me a guilt attack.

So from then on, I changed my treatment plan. Sissy would receive a daily hose down of her hip, then let the hip dry, and then follow that by a generous spraying of Blu-Kote. Or as I call it, the purple. With this treatment, her hip slowly starting to heal up although I actually did catch her itching her hip a few times in her stall. Finally, hair started to grow back and by this spring, you almost can’t even tell.

However, this winter, Sissy did develop a hock sore on her left hock. She does lay on her left side, so this would be caused by difficulties in getting back up. I have been diligently spraying the sore with Blu-Kote or coating it with triple antibiotic. She did pop out an abscess earlier this year and was on a month treatment of Uniprim too.

Last week, I pulled Sissy out to groom her and her hock sore looked terrible. I started to poke at it a little bit and Sissy reacted like this was the best thing ever. Sissy is sensitive to bugs and generally an itchy horse who enjoys being groomed. Well, when I touched her hock, her reaction was ‘right there, OMG, so itchy, scratch it, scratch it now!’ She leaned into me, stretched her neck out, and began grooming anything in sight. When I stopped, she waved her leg in the air, not to kick me but to bring my attention to the fact that she wasn’t satisfied.

I talked to the barn owner, who wasn’t surprised that Sis would get a hock sore but was mystified by how itchy the sore was. I cleaned her hock more aggressively then I had been, taking off quite a bit of scabbing and hair. Then at the recommendation of the barn owner, I sprayed Banixx on the hock and also on her right hip, which I can tell she is rubbing again.

So last night, I went back to the routine and hosed off Sissy’s hock, which she enjoyed so much, she nearly knocked hubby off his feet trying to groom him. I also hosed her hip off as well. After time to dry, I liberally applied Banixx to both areas and asked the barn owner to have the vet take a peek at her hock the next time he is out. I’ve also ordered hock shields for Sissy.

Of course, this would all happen right before hubby and I are leaving to attend Rolex. Of course. Last time we went to Florida, Sissy popped out a huge abscess and needed treatment. I get it, Sis, you don’t want us to leave. Please stop removing large areas of fur to make yourself look terrible and for me to feel like the worst horse mother ever.

So I’m mystified. Is the sore being made worse by a fungus? Is Sissy having an allergic reaction to something? A barn friend commented that her hock almost looked like it was a chemical burn. Could she have reacted to the Blu-Kote or the triple antibiotic? But why is she itching her hip again then? Well, I will keep you posted on this mystery.