Friday, April 27, 2012

Produce Food Co-op

So, a few months ago, we signed up at Urban Acres (on Davis, a couple of blocks from the house) and their produce co-op. I guess watching a lot of Chopped and Iron Chef and cooking shows made the idea of getting a "mystery bin" of produce every two weeks fun. Make us eat healthier (not that we eat unhealthy) and try new things.

Realized that in the Winter, we'd be dealing primarily with greens (something I rarely cook) and root vegetables (think turnips). Who knows what else.

We were right about the greens -- spinach, chard, kale. What on earth to do with it? Well, get creative. We've learned to embrace the greens -- in quiche, in pasta (albeit with cream sauce), in calzones (with lots of cheese and bacon), in soup. Our fridge seems to be green.

Now that spring is upon us, we're hoping to see asparagus and peas and the veggies we're more used to cooking. But until then, we embrace the greens.

And now need to get a composter. And maybe start canning.

But what to do with Bok Choy?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Living in historic Winnetka Heights can be great (historic houses, big trees, Urban Acres). But living in a historic neighborhood and in an old house, can be a big pain as well. Especially the old house part. Something always needs work. Last year, siding was replaced, fixtures in the kitchen replaced with "non-Home Depot" schoolhouse fixtures. Well, this year, a crucial replacement took place on Friday: AC/Furnace replacement.

Thankfully a month ago the annual maintenance people came to give the AC its checkup. No freon. So, found out Freon is pretty expensive, and hard to come by. And, we've known that the unit was looking like it wasn't going to last much longer.

Tony then called five companies to come and estimate a new AC. Since we also knew that the furnace was looking suspect, asked for them to estimate both. I know how much we complain about being part of an RFP process. But, that's what we did. Narrowed it down to two companies. Asked a few more questions, and then settled with Frymire.

How'd we find Frymire? Well, it seems that advertising does work. They're the firm with the "Your Wife is Hot" billboards. Tony liked them.

So, Friday we were scheduled for installation. They say they'll get there at 730 am and will be there until about 2-4 pm. At 729 am, they were at the front door. I pretty much worked from home -- until I decided that clean windows were in order. So, between email and calls -- cleaned the inside and outside windows. Meanwhile, our ferocious guard dogs, Maggie and Kat -- with the doors open, the backyard fence doors open, the front door open -- slept. Maggie making the workers climb over her anytime they went through a doorway. Kat on the couch. They weren't even tempted to take a little tour of the neighborhood.

After lunch, the "boss" came by to see how things were going. Around 230, the "sales guy" came by to say they had about an hour left and see how things were going. And at 330 pm -- the AC went on.

So, this year's upkeep on the house wasn't exactly "sexy" -- but in Dallas, Texas, AC is pretty important. Trying to figure out if the AC needs a name.