A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

It’s a Killer, in More Ways than One

We haven’t really been working on any bungalow projects lately, mainly due to heat and humidity, so I’ll just offer you a bunch of random but somewhat related news.

I had a tough time searching through many bug and insect identification sites to determine what this large black wasp-like insect was, only to finally find out that it is a Great Black Wasp. Go figure.

It spends lots of time on our native Rattlesnake Master, is a pollinator and is also called Katydid Killer, not to be confused with the Cicada Killer who is still digging holes in our garden. Apparently our yard attracts murderous insects.

Also in the garden, our tomato plants are humongous! We’ve already enjoyed a few Cherokee Purple heirlooms and a Lemon Boy, both of which were quite delicious. The other 2 varieties haven’t ripened yet. We’re going to be inundated with ripe tomatoes all at once I’m sure. If there’s one good thing about this hot and somewhat wet summer it’s that the tomatoes are going to be awesome.

On the produce front, we’re about halfway through with our 20-week organic vegetable share from Angelic Organics, our CSA. Right now we’re swimming in cucumbers, so I’m planning to make a cold cucumber soup for dinner tonight. I saw a recipe that used more cucumbers, but now I can’t remember where I read it, so this one will have to suffice. I already picked up a loaf of freshly baked bread from Heavenly Hearth in Wilmette. Yum.

We also received several heads of cabbage, and while I’m saving one in order to make Stuffed Cabbage, a dish that both Pete’s and my German-Hungarian families often made (although I’ll be making a healthier vegetarian version of my Grandmother’s recipe), I get tired of making cole slaw with the rest.

I came across an interesting recipe in our BBQ cookbook for Grilled Cabbage (you can find the same recipe here), so we decided to try it with a little variation, using chicken sausage in lieu of the bacon which was much healthier.

It takes about an hour to cook, but it was soooo worth it! We’ll definitely be making this again.

Finally, along with all this healthy eating, Pete and I joined a gym. While we still have plenty of bungalow projects to work on and blog about, we also need to work a little more on “us”. It’s only been a week, but we feel like we’ve found a place that will keep us both motivated with the variety of classes and activities it has to offer. And even though the personal trainer just about killed me in my first session, I’m looking forward to more torture.

As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. So while it’s too late for the poor unsuspecting katydids and cicadas in our yard, we’re planning to stay a step ahead and get stronger before the bungalow kills us first.

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