old thyme photos (friday foto finder: herbs)

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that I am not capable of talking about thyme without making puns.

This week’s friday foto finder challenge is “herbs.” Well, actually, it’s “HERBS.” So maybe I should have tried to finds some Herbs, not herbs. I don’t actually know any Herbs. I did learn that there is a slang meaning of herb (with the h pronounced) that means, more-or-less, “dork.” I don’t know if admitting that I learned that on Urban Dictionary makes me a herb. Let’s pretend not.

Anyhow, I seem to have gotten sidetracked by herbs (h pronounced) while looking for herbs (silent h). I did find some herbs, but not much in the way of an interesting photo. I did remember that I’d gotten some thyme as part of my experience belonging to a CSA in 2007, and tracked down this old photo, which features some thyme hanging out with some veggies. So, we have an old photo of thyme.

Then I vaguely remembered having bought some fresh herbs to use in preparing my Thanksgiving feast. Remarkably, the package of thyme has held up quite well in my refrigerator. I was amused to see that the label says “Infinite.” No wonder it has lasted so well, being infinite thyme. (I never realized I was someone with infinite thyme on my hands. Or in my vegetable drawer.)

But wait! It gets older! When I was checking to see if there was anything interesting of the herbal variety in my spice cabinet, I found this bottle of “Organic Lemon Thyme,” which someone long ago had lovingly labeled with masking tape and bubble letters. This is not actually thyme that I have used, and I didn’t really mean to save it. I liked the bottle, which had been in an apartment I lived in when I was an undergraduate. That was over 20 years ago.

This, my friends, is some old thyme.

To see what other herbs have been dug up, pay a visit to the fff blog. Have some herbs you want to share? There’s still time to play along!

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The Republic of Pants: Election 2012

It’s once again election season in the Republic of Pants. Four years ago, we were gripped by the tight pants race between Corduroy O’Bloomer and Trousers McPants. Today, the pants of the Republic are still split.

The media’s bias-cut stretches the fabric of the truth, tailoring the fit to either the Left Pants Leg or the Right Pants Leg. For those fully comfortable dressing on one side or the other, the choice may seem an easy fit. For those caught between the legs, however, the decision remains an uncomfortable one, and many concerns chafe.

After wearing O’Bloomer for 3 years, many are ready to try on a new pair of Pants. Some complain that O’Bloomer didn’t fit the way they’d hoped, that they’d been deceived by overly flattering dressing-room mirrors. Others never thought he was a good fit, and are pushing to go back to older pants styles. Yet there are still many who support O’Bloomer, and argue that his sturdily constructed pants are only beginning to be broken in.

O’Bloomer and his Vice Pants, Bootcut BiDenim, seek to publicize benefits of The Affordable Cleaners Act, a law by which all pants should be given access to adequate laundering. They claim that better fabric care for all pants will positively impact the well-being of the Republic, as well as addressing the rapidly rising costs of laundry. Critics argue that the dry cleaning companies will clean up while the pants of the Republic are hung out to dry.

Corduroy continues to be hemmed in by threadbare rumors, including that he is a Muslin, or just like Linen. Rumors that he was manufactured abroad persist in spite of his display of his “Made in the Pants Republic” labels.

Opposition styles, though, are also far from universally appreciated. After one of the most awkward and embarrassing fashion shows in decades, Tweed R. Moneypants was selected as challenger to O’Bloomer.

Few would call the Moneypants campaign seamless, with evidence of it being patched up on the fly. Many claim that R. Moneypants is really a pair of reversible pants, showing whichever pattern of his double-face fabric better suits his base. Some dispute his claims that he pulled himself up by his belt-loops, saying that he was braced by his father’s suspenders. Moneypants has further been criticized and for pocketing his assets in offshore Bermuda shorts, and for being in the back pocket of powerful suits with a vested interest in seeing him wear the Pants.

The uncomfortable stiffness of Tweedy’s material has been the butt of many jokes. Hammerpants Rayon, running mate of Moneypants, seems to be cut from a more comfortable pattern, but many doubt that his flashy cloth has enough substance to adequately cover the seat of the Pants Government.

Every fiber of the candidates is being examined for stains, holes and other defects, whether or not they are material to the issues. In this straight-legged race, neither side has the option to be a relaxed fit. Both must stay up on their briefs or risk being caught with their pants down. As the old adage goes, “He who slacks off gets sent to the cleaners.”

Both O’Bloomer and Moneypants are expected to be neatly pressed for the upcoming debates, with carefully tailored responses under their belts. Questions likely to be addressed include: How will each address the continuing strain on the fabric of the Pants Economy? How will they protect the National Pants from the looming menace of international Powerbritches? And finally, and most controversially, do leggings really count as pants?

making faces and saving thyme

Yesterday was my CSA share pick-up day at the farm, again. And like the last 2 weeks, the share included 10 pounds of tomatoes. Here they all are in their polychromatic glory:


We also got some onions, a couple of small summer squashes, eggplants (I traded in my peppers for some extra eggplants), and some more basil. Inspired by Magpie Musing’s face of last week, I have put together my own vegetable face, based on the tradition started at The Great Big Vegetable Challenge.


I have quite a bit of thyme left from last week. (Also some basil and tomatoes.) I just roasted some potatoes with olive oil and thyme. But I may have to freeze it, as I don’t think I can use all of it before it goes bad. I don’t want to waste it. (Yes, I am fighting the pun. Fighting it!)

We had some friends over on Saturday, and I was able to use some of the thyme in a couple of dishes. My guests (at least those over the age of 5) each lent a hand with some food prep, including plucking thyme leaves off the sprigs.

The problem with cooking with thyme is that it is an herb that asks, begs and screams out to be used in puns. One of my guests abruptly cut off another guest in mid thyme-pun with a “don’t!”, but then shortly after succumbed to one of her own thyme puns. (“But you wouldn’t let me!” the interrupted guest cried.) It is a devilish thing. Some of the puns were not even entirely intentional, such as:

  • Did we run out of thyme?
  • No, we’ve got lots of thyme.
  • How much thyme do we have?
  • Are we going to save thyme?
  • I challenge you not to think up any of your own.

    Anyhow, dinner went well, and I had a grand time. (Though I was busy cooking most of the evening.) Here’s what we had for dinner.

    1. Roasted Tomato, Garlic and Chevre Frittata
      I followed this recipe from pantry permitting, and it was really tasty, and not too much work. One of the steps involved roasting tomatoes and garlic in the oven with olive oil. I roasted a big batch of tomatoes, leading to quite a bit of garlic-infused rich roasted tomato juice, which was really tasty.
    2. And because one of my guests does not like a goat cheese, I made a second fritatta.

    3. Roasted garlic and tomato frittata with monterey jack cheese and carmelized onions
      This was good, too. I basically used the recipe above, but with chunks of monterey jack cheese in place of the goat cheese, and with some onions that I browned on the stove with olive oil.
    4. stir-fried basil eggplant
      I threw some sauteed eggplant in with some carmelized onions, along with some basil left from the previous week, and soy sauce. (This was very, very loosely based on a Thai basil eggplant recipe.)
    5. tomato, mozzarella and basil salad
      Tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes. Cubed up with some cubes of fresh mozzarella, and tossed with basil leaves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
    6. cucumber salad with roasted tomato and garlic yogurt dressing (that practically is the recipe):

      4-ish medium cucumbers, peeled (the skins were very bitter) and thinly sliced

      For the dressing I mixed (and the measurements are guesses. I don’t measure when I improvise):
      3 TBS plain whole milk yogurt
      juice and olive oil from the roasting pan from the tomatoes and garlic (about 1/4 cup)
      2 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
      thyme leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
      a bit of fresh basil, shredded
      a splash of red wine vinegar

    Dessert was ice cream. I didn’t make it. (In a previous life, I would have made 2 or more desserts, and served things up in courses.)


    I wanted to show my guests how pretty the vegetables looked, but realized that I wouldn’t have time to do all the preparation after their arrival and still eat at a decent hour. So I took a photo. The round orange vegetables that look rather tomato-like are actually Turkish eggplants. The photo also includes a bowl of the roasted tomatoes, and a small bowl of the roasted garlic cloves, as well as the little bundle of thyme that I have not yet wasted. Plus a couple of little zucchinis that didn’t make it on to the menu, and which I ended up wasting. I just can’t think of any good jokes about wasting zucchinis. Certainly not any puns.