I’ve lost my desire to cook! It’s not due to warm weather normally associated with this time of year. In fact, we’ve had beautiful weather here in Chicago the past few weeks – temperatures in the 70s. For me, that’s a perfect summer day!
Actually, my attention has turned to the outdoors and this little thing I call my backyard. Since I moved to this home, the backyard has been the last area to get any remodeling attention. I’ve always wanted to have a fenced in area, but with each year, there was another interior project that needed to happen first.
So for several years, I just let the bushes continue to grow wild and serve as my fence with the neighbor on one side. For the record, when I moved in, the bushes had already been growing for 40+ years so it wasn’t just me and my neglect. But this summer, new neighbors moved in on the other side and they put up a fence. This was enough motivation to get me going and commit to finally fencing in the yard once and for all. Since they put up a fence, there was one less side to do — a big savings for my checkbook! The downside, it’s not exactly the type of fence I would have put up — oh well, what can you do?
Next thing you know, I’m signing up to Angie’s List and researching fencing companies. It’s a great site to get actual reviews from customers on a variety of services. The hunt for the right fencing company took a while since I also had to coordinate the removal of all the massive shrubs, but it all paid off in the end.
Flash forward to the first time I walked into the yard and smelled the cedar wafting around me. It was heaven! It’s been several weeks now and I am just so happy with my new fence. But of course, the story doesn’t end there.
With all the bushes yanked out and the fencing in place, I’ve been obsessed with gardening. There’s so much to do and not enough hours in the day. By the time I’m done, I’m covered in dirt and looking forward to a long shower. Cooking is the last thing on the my mind.
Instead of just picking up the phone and ordering a pizza, I still find myself standing in front of the fridge trying to come up with something delicious. On this particular evening, I found a bag of carrots and ended up creating the most delicious pasta sauce ever! You’re thinking – what? How do you turn carrots into pasta sauce?
Ever since I started watching my sugar two years ago, I stopped sweetening my spaghetti sauce with sugar! It was a big change at first but eventually I got used to the flavor. But on this evening, I stood there staring at this bag of carrots and thought about the ways carrots are used in baking carrot cake and the sweetness they have in juicing. Have you ever juiced a carrot and apple together? It’s such a delicious combination.
I then peeled three carrots and shredded them with the smallest holes on my box grater. I added the carrots to my regular spaghetti sauce recipe after adding in all the tomatoes and after simmering for 20-25 minutes, sat down to an amazing sweet flavor!
I don’t know why I haven’t tried this sooner. I hope you do if you’re like me and love a sweet sauce. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on my backyard transformation. I’m so excited at how it’s turning out.
Happy August and enjoy the remainder of Summer — it’s going by too fast!