What a difference a few months can make! Last year, my veggie beds were rapidly overrun by grass and weeds; the lawnmower couldn’t fit between them, and the plants were all trying to escape. They still came out okay, but there were so many disappointments that we were determined to do this year’s beds differently. In mid-April, Calin decided to rebuilding my beds for me from scratch. We decided to model them on the old ones but take pointers from several internet sources. So we got some solid white pine (cedar is too expensive, and pressure treated is a really, really bad idea – especially for edibles!), and he got to work making me bigger, better beds.
It took a few hundred dollars of wood and crazy deck screws and landscaping fabric, and about two weeks (with our time constraints) to get them all built, but in the end they were substantially larger, tall enough that the grass won’t just grow in the sides, and just generally much better. (I know it doesn’t look like it in this picture – our lawn mower broke, so this is with three weeks of grass growth under steady, growth-inducing rain.) We lined the bottoms with landscape fabric – wrapped up the outside – so that the crab grass will stay out longer (hopefully forever), and we cut them into the hillside farther apart and actually level. We also made sure that the top sides were much farther above ground level, so the yard won’t take over the beds from the top. (more…)
I am wildly overdue for a gardening post. This is not because I haven’t been gardening. Or, more accurately, this is not because my garden hasn’t been doing things. This is because for some reason I have been more focused on food than on plants whenever I sit down to my computer. I’m not sure if that has some deeper meaning, but I’m going to choose to pretend that it just means I’ve been hungry. Anyway, this is gonna be a long one…
My garden is beautiful this year. Beautiful and wild and green and thriving (with a few notable exceptions) and producing fantastic and sometimes unexpected things. I love it, and I try to go out and commune with it every day. Except lately it’s been raining a lot (perhaps hence the notable exceptions?), and I’ve been tired and getting home late a lot. But most days!
As promised, I’m posting my outrageously unsuccessful attempt to make one of Sweet Pea’s blueberry recipes…
After much perusal of my list of options, the one that stood out the strongest (and seemed like I could make it fairly easily in my sister Caitlin’s small kitchen while she made guacamole and her boyfriend Eric prepped steaks for the grill) was the Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf. I’ve never really made a loaf before, but when I make another one (or if any of you have never made one and need to) I now have a few pointers by way of epic malfunction.
It all began promisingly enough. I had the ingredients; I had a pan; I had a kitchen. I put everything together and stuck it in the oven. (Failure part 1 – I totally forgot to take pictures during any of this. The light was bad anyway.)
I made these amazing muffins a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to post them yet. Just looking through the pictures is making me hungry – I might have to make them again this week!
I have a serious soft spot for blueberries. One of my neighbors growing up was a pick-your-own blueberries (and raspberries and blackberries) farm, which was always fantastic on those long summer days when I wasn’t in school. It’s much harder to make it out there now that I’m working during normal business hours, but I fantasize about pints and pints of blueberries, and I drool over any recipe with blueberry in the name (or ingredients list). I recently discovered a list of favorite blueberry recipes on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (the list is at the end of her post on Individual Blueberry Buckles – every single one of them looks incredible) and nearly went mad trying to pick one to make RIGHT NOW. (Look out for a post on this disastrous attempt later this week…)
Quiche is one of the things that I always wish I made more often. Since I now have the world’s fastest and easiest pie crust recipe thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, and I have the world’s most fool-proof (you would think…) quiche filling recipe, I really have no excuse. So this week, we embarked on another quichey adventure.
The pie crust recipe makes enough for one 9-inch pie pan, but I really like thinner pie crusts, so I typically end up with too much dough. This time, I solved that problem by doubling the recipe and making three quiches (well, okay, two and a tiny) instead of one. My filling problem, oddly, goes the other direction – probably because I actually have a 9 1/2 inch deep dish pie pan. So in order to make enough filling for all three quiches, I basically faked it in the realm of 2 1/2 times the recipe.
Recently (okay, not so recently), I was recruited to make a friend’s birthday cake. I didn’t confess at the time, but this was my first ever layer cake. If I had owned up ahead of time, I’m not sure I would have been trusted with the task, but once I had committed it was too late, and I was forced to learn.
This isn’t any old birthday cake. This is The Cake that Alice makes Every Year and it’s always amazing and delicious and it’s become a tradition and a birthday staple and I had to make it just perfect. Ha. Fortunately I had extra of almost everything…
True love is hot tea and home-made chicken noodle soup.
Which is what my poor, sore-throated hubby requested this evening, and what his sweet, loving wifey made for him.
Aren’t we adorable?
Yesterday, I called an emergency conference of People Who Read My Blog or Facebook Posts, when Calin requested chicken noodle soup to help him feel better. I have never made chicken noodle soup. I have never made chicken not-noodle soup. I have made soup, though, so I figured with the right recipe I could probably pull this off. (more…)