Barley with Chives; Free laptop computer….

Barley with Chives

Why do I have such a hard time getting rid of stuff?

I've been cleaning my office; attempting to downsize (I rather hate that word, but it's useful).

In the past 12 years we have moved from just outside Minneapolis to the city, then to Ireland, Andorra, the Vendée, and we are now packing to move to the Lot et Garonne.

We keep hauling all this 'stuff' with us… And it's accumulating!

I should note that I'm using the royal 'We', as mon mari is very, very good at throwing things out. So good, in fact, that before we left Andorra I had to rush down to the local charity shop and buy back the new winter coat and jacket I had just bought on sale.  He said he never saw me wear them….. 
He threw away my sewing machine once… I digress…

I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning, going through old travel magazines I had saved for the great article on Paris restaurants or the beautiful photos of a drive along the Mosel or the secret tips for finding the best luxury hotel deals….

I had a great meander down memory lane looking at the glossy brochures of all the properties we considered in Ireland when we were going to do our B & D.

I had a delightful chuckle at my past while trying to figure out just why I had thought this article on Einstein or that brochure on making pottery were worthy of space in the packing boxes.

I finally accepted that restaurants, hotels, and properties for sale change: no need to keep all that; pretty drives, Einstein and pottery making don't change: no need to keep all that, either.

The realization that made me finally start carting the whole lot to the recycling bin is this: the only time I look at it all is when I'm packing to move it.  And, pleasurable as that is, it doesn't justify keeping it. 

For information I can go online and find it faster; for the pleasure of leafing through old magazines, I can go to a library.

I still feel sad… Some of these magazines are 20 years old.  Does anyone remember 'European Travel and Life'?  How about the annual issues (I think May) of Bon Appétit when they highlighted one country – both food and travel?

It's time to let go…. Please, send me encouraging words, comments of support in this painful endeavor…

Which brings me to on more thing….

Anyone want a free laptop/notebook computer?

I can't bear to throw it away but it doesn't have sufficient capacity for me.  I haven't used it in about 5 years, but it would be fine for someone with minimal needs. I turned it on yesterday and everything appears to be working fine.

The specs: Winbook, running Windows 98, 1.3 GB hard drive, 40MB RAM, 56K modem, floppy drive and CD reader (not RW), purchased in the US, it has a QWERTY keyboard (rather than the French AZERTY)
The bad: it has a thin line running down the screen, slightly off center; the sound doesn't work and the battery no longer holds a charge.

I'll send it to anyone willing to pay the shipping, which would be around 75.00 (I think). 

I would prefer (since I'm a sentimental packrat) that it go to someone who actually has a use for it.  I already have a willing volunteer (guess who?) to take it apart into little pieces to see 'what's in it'.

Anyone interested can either send me an email (thyme2.kate at gmail dot com) or leave a note in the comments.

Anyone collecting old magazines?  Smack!!! (sound of someone getting their typing fingers slapped – stop it!!!!)

Because of the impending move (and mon mari's poorly timed hospital stay) I don't have a garden this year.

Instead of a few square meters of 4 of 5 different kinds of basil I have a few lonely plants. 

Instead of the long row of parsley, I have one.

The oregano needs trimming and I have to get the dead flowers off the thyme before I can start using it again (project for this afternoon).

But my every-trusty, ever-faithful chives are doing just fine.

It's a very sturdy little herb.

My mother had a clump behind the garage for years that was totally neglected, accept for when she snipped some off to use.

I once dug out a clump of garlic chives (in Minnesota) and tossed them into our back woods.  They managed to take root and thrived for years.

All that makes them perfect for the beginning gardener.

Their versatility makes them perfect for the accomplished cook.

Yes, I know I just wrote about them last week… But, really, they are a sadly underused herb and deserve another week in the spotlight.

And remember: like onions, and the other alliums, chives are high in vitamins and antioxidants. They also have been shown to act as a natural antibiotic.

Why not pair them with an underused grain: barley?

For all of the weeks Herb Blogging recipes visit Archana, of Archana's Kitchen on Monday, for a recap of all of this week's entries.

For all of the older ones visit the home of Weekend Herb Blogging's founder, Kalyn, at  Kalyn's Kitchen.

Barley with Chives

Barley with Chives

1/2 cup barley
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock (or more, depending on type of barley)
3 tbs fresh, snipped chives
1 tbs fresh, snipped basil
1 tbs good olive oil

Cook barley in stock until done, stirring occasionally. If all stock is not absorbed, drain.  Stir in olive oil, chives and serve.

Wasn't that easy?  Good food doesn't have to be complicated….

Here is a Barley Risotto recipe.

For the record: I'm keeping all of my 'Saveur' magazines.  I have them all but the very first issue…. I just have to figure out how to pack them so mon mari doesn't notice….

I said I was trying… I made no claims about succeeding…

22 thoughts on “Barley with Chives; Free laptop computer….”

  1. Would you or someone please explain exactly what garlic chives are? I have seen several references this spring in recipes, but I am uncertain. Is this just young garlic coing up in the spring? Does it have the cloves or, like chives, is it just the stems/leaves?

  2. I have been trying to “down size” my collection of crap too in the hopes that Nissan will transfer my hubby to the other side of the world (Japan, England, Russia, any where really) and guess what i still have all my magazines and yes they too are hidden from my Hubby.
    I really want to live in Finland to tell the truth. I loved the country when I was there and the people are great.

  3. Quel black thumb I must have! The garlic chives I got from a friend only survived for two years. And she is no longer here so I cannot ask her for more to give me a second chance. Wah!!
    You are SO brave to throw all those things out! It’s so hard when they seem like they are your friends!
    I’m so relieved to hear you say that you’re keeping the SAVEUR magazines! THat’s one set of things I’m keeping that I don’t have to feel guilty about.
    (Tell me WHY I am incapable of giving away clothing that I’ll never ever be able to wear again, and not only because it’s hopelessly out of fashion, having already gone full circle to have come back into fashion and out again….)

  4. Thanks for reminding me that barley is not just a winter grain. When I was growing up, mushroom-barley soup was the thing we made all winter, and other than “branching out” to barley risotto, I don’t often get beyond that in my use of barley.

  5. I sympathize, both with the puzzlement about why you thought something about pottery would be interesting and with the urge to keep some things, even though it doesn’t make “sense.” I have passing enthusiasms for things, too, and later wonder what in the world I was thinking!

  6. hehehe I collect old magazines (Whooppss!) But I think they are precious, especially the culinary ones. Good recipes today are developed from those oldies. I hardly cook barley, you remind me–thanks! for soup, but this thing I should do 🙂

  7. I am your polar opposite as I don’t believe in having “stuff”. My rule is if I haven’t used it in 6 months I don’t need it and I take it to Goodwill. If something “needs to be put in storage” we don’t need it and I take it to Goodwill. I take my husbands stuff to Goodwill all the time and he has yet to ever notice, which clearly tells me he didn’t need that “stuff” in the first place. I have gone so far as to purchase serving dishes for a big party to conclude after the party that I probably won’t have a need to use them again for many years so guess what… they go to Goodwill. No surprise that the people at Goodwill know me by name 🙂

  8. I wish my husband was reading this. I throw, he keeps – it’s a nightmare. On the other hand, our five year old has inherited my husband’s entire Babar collection from the 1960s; all he’ll get from me is last month’s Gourmet 🙁
    Love the barley risotto!

  9. carry only what you can put in your car. this rule only works for those who move a lot. you won’t want to pack , unpack, and pack all that stuff again if you move a alot.

  10. Barley and chives, underused for sure. This combo sounds heavenly to me!
    We must be packrat sisters Katie! I’ve been going through things try to discard. I have to do it a number of times with the same stuff to really make a reduction. Now I’ll have a new way of looking at things: if I haven’t looked at this since the last move, do I really want to box and move it again. Clothes are difficult to.

  11. I totally keep everything! Except everyonce in a while I go through and throw out a bunch of stuff, it feels so exhilarating! My chives are flourishing too, and this barley recipe looks so perfect!

  12. Virginia, garlic chives are a type of chives with flat, rather than round, hollow leaves and taste more of garlic, than onion…
    Shayne, I really want to visit Finland, never have. What is it with husband’s and their lacck of understanding about magazines???
    Lydia, for us it was beef barley – and I still love it!
    Zoomie, and then someone comes along and tells me not to through anything out or I’ll regret it…. Of course, he lives in a 15 room house in the mountains in Spain….
    Arfi, absolutely! Old magazines are great… Now I’m going to sneak out and retrieve all the ones I threw out.
    LisaRene, does that mean you get rid of your winter clothes every year (just kidding, I understand and wish I could have just a little of that courage… But, I’m working on it!)
    Dee, somehow, we must marry our opposites and help keep things in balance.
    Kudzu Fire, it’s exactly that thought – packing and unpacking (not to mention dusting) that has set me on this cleaning frenzy!
    Tanna, I try the 50% method. I’ll try getting rid of half of this group or that shelf… and then see….
    Pam, it does feel good…. until I start thinking about it and get up in the middle of the night to get it back.

  13. Remember to erase all your personal info from the computer, just in case anyone who you give it to ends up giving it to charity or something like that — you don’t want it coming back to haunt you!
    On a side note, one of my big projects this spring was going through all my cooking/wedding magazines and clipping the articles i wanted to save, and tossing the rest. such a pain, but it really helped neaten up my apartment!

  14. Moving is so hard. It’s really rotten when you have to start assigning a value to your physical memories. After moving three times in three years, I nearly threw away all my childhood journals because they took up a whole box. I talked myself out of it, but a lot of other stuff hit the curb. The sad/relieving part is that I don’t remember what got junked. It’s as if those memories got junked along with the items. How depressing.
    When and where are you moving to? My own recent move from D.C. to California kept me from the blogging world for about a month, so I’m out of the loop.

  15. Hola Beauty! I love to see your picture up here :D. I think I’m showing mine soon (I’m planning a silly personal video soon, stay tunned).
    Concerning this obsesive non-throwing-away things… you are not alone… I can’t throw anything away, my garage is up to the ceiling with huge packages containing all kinds of stuff. And the worst is the my husband is the same!!!!!
    Barley… what is barley? A cereal? Pasta? Never seen it before! Am I an alien?
    I HATE HOUSE MOVING!

  16. I am also coming to the (sad) conclusion that I can’t keep all my cooking magazines, and I’m not even moving! Love the idea of barley with chives. I am printing this recipe right now!

  17. Katy, most magazines get ripped apart and tossed right away… but there are always some… I now have a huge stack to go through.
    Neen, we are staying in France but moving a bit further south, closer to Bordeaux, the 1st of October (we think)
    Hola, Nuria, barley is a cereal / grain, and it is sometimes used to make beer
    Hi, Maryann!
    Kalyn, it always seems like such a good idea with the 2st issue, doesn’t it?

  18. The warm feeling I get when someone is thoughtful enough to say thank you
    for having been helped far outweighs the empty one I get when there’s no
    feedback at all.

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