Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RIP Digit

We came home tonight from our trip to Colorado and found Digit dead. He apparently passed away this afternoon, since he was alive when our housesitter came by earlier. We had had him since he was an 8 week old kitten in September 2000.

He was an unusual cat, incredibly sweet and affection and loyal. I always put my hands under his chin and pressed my forehead to his in a "Digit mind meld" while he purred. He loved having his belly rubbed and would turn over to get it rubbed at the slightest provocation. He purred all the time and loved everybody, including the veterinarian. He hated being picked up so he always left the room when Q told him "Heraus!" (German for "get out!") so he could leave with dignity. He always wanted to be near us and followed me from room to room.

Until I was heavily pregnant and slept sitting up, he spent almost every night of his life sleeping on my pillow, next to my head. He loved sitting right next to people's heads and strived to be allowed to snuggle Willow's head; he couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed to love on her the same way. A few weeks ago, with very careful protection, I let him lie down next to her and he sat next to her face, purring and purring. She was fascinated and reached up to touch him. After several of her groping pats, he got disgusted and moved...all the way up to above her head where she couldn't reach him but he could still be close. Best cat ever. I hope Marbles and Isabel don't miss him as much as I know I will.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sleep Training

Oh so much Christmas crafting is happening and this little grinner just rolls with it all. It's nice that she's still little enough that I can make her presents in front of her. I ended up with 6 sewing and 2 bookbinding projects for our list this year. Q has 3 woodworking projects. We both have granola to make and the hot chocolate mix (Alton Brown's - mmmmmmm) is done. I'll have to post pictures after the gifts are given so I can remember what everyone got this year. :)

We were nap training last week, not a wonderful experience but totally worth it because she's sleeping really well now and she almost never cries. Despite what many people say, I do think that sometimes the only way to create a good sleeper is to let them cry it out after they were put to bed drowsy. We have been using Dr. Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child since she was born and have found his descriptions of different stages to be spot on and his recommendations about solutions to be helpful. I was watching my poor baby wake herself up over and over when we were holding her because she wanted to continue being with us.

I am counting the days and hours of W thinking we are AWESOME and wanting to spend every minute of every day with us since I know they won't last forever, but it's best for our baby girl to get her sleep as well. According to this poll, many babies don't get the recommended amount of sleep. My guess is that this is partially due to a parent's unwillingness to make them unhappy for a few minutes. I'm so conflicted about this issue because I believe that there are a lot of good things about attachment parenting, especially in the first few months, but there are cases where it doesn't seem to serve Willow.

Similarly, we're strongly considering trying to move her out of our bed after we return from our holiday trip - verboten at 4 months in attachment parenting circles - because we're waking her up when we come to bed at 9:30 or so, after she fell asleep at 6 or 7. One compromise is to put her down in her crib and then I can bring her back to bed with me whenever she wakes up for her first night time feed, usually around 11 if she hasn't woken up when we go to bed. If any parent doesn't think it's worth it to invest time and energy into supporting their child's sleep, they haven't really imagined how wonderful it is for them to have time to get things done after the 6 or 7 pm bedtime or during a 2 1/2 hour morning nap. Bliss with the bonus of having a very smiley happy girl when I go in to get her.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 5

Dinner for December 3 - 9
Popcorn and Leftovers
Friend's Potluck
Sweet Potatoes with Meat Sauce
Hot and Sour Soup

We brought Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup (recipe at the bottom) to the potluck so I included those ingredients.

turkey stock
green pepper
diced tomatoes
dried shiitake
pinto beans
garbanzo beans
refried beans
Salsa De Casa
tortillas (local company, flour is from ?)

Should Have Been Local
kidney beans
green onion
bread crumbs
tofu (a company makes it locally although I don't know where the soy comes from)

Not Local
cheddar cheese (Tillamook)
sweet potatoes (red and white)
coconut milk
black fungus
dried lily
bamboo shoots
Sriracha sauce
red wine vinegar
rice vinegar
olive oil
sesame oil
soy sauce
spices (salt, pepper, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, curry powder, chili powder, white pepper)

Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup
saute - 1 lg onion, diced; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1/4 c. ginger, minced; 2 T sesame oil

cook an additional minute after adding - 1 T curry powder, 1t cinnamon, 1 t turmeric, 1 t coriander, 1/2 cumin

mix in 1 1/2 lb. (about 2 large) cooked orange sweet potatoes

simmer after adding 1 qt. stock (vegetable or chicken)

add 1 can coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup is my go to meal when I have a winter cold but we've always had to go to a restaurant because we haven't had the ingredients on hand to try and make it ourselves. For once, we thought about it this weekend when we weren't sick. We had a family trip to the Asian market to pick up the unusual ingredients in this recipe and gave it a try.

Here's the recipe for what we actually ended up making. It has a lot more vinegar and some Sriracha sauce to give it more sour and hot. I followed the directions.

2 small handfuls dried "black fungus"
2 small handfuls dried shiitake mushrooms
1 large handful dried lily (it comes in long strips, kind of like dried petals?)
2 qt. turkey stock
1 small can bamboo shoots
1/3 lb. breakfast sausage, pan-fried
2 t soy sauce
1 t white sugar
2 t salt
1 t ground white pepper
6 T red wine vinegar
2 T rice vinegar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c water
1 pkg tofu
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 t sesame oil
green onions and Sriracha sauce for garnish

It was delicious. I doubt we'll ever need to get it from a Chinese restaurant ever again and it's going into the regular winter rotation.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's like Discovery Channel in my front yard...

I was looking out the front window when suddenly a flock of 300-500 birds all landed almost simultaneously in the neighbors' yards. I think they were starlings. They were remarkable to watch. They would all fly up at once and do a sweeping loop up and over the roof of our house then return to the yard or all fly up to the telephone lines for a moment. Occasionally on the ground one would start up a little and there would be this wave of birds that flew up a couple of feet and settled back down. They kept an almost perfect circle of space around the crows that were also in the yard, with a radius of about two feet. A few minutes after they descended, they all flew up and are completely gone, as though they were never here.

I am an activity center

Have you seen these Fisher-Price commercials? Kind of makes you think the Geico robot daycare commercial is just a little less funny?

Don't get me wrong, Willow has toys and will have more as she gets older. Right now she has two wrist rattles and a small Waldorf style doll whose name, Bellbonnet, is pretty self explanatory. She also really enjoys one of my hankies with a knot tied in one corner. Daddy is making her a wooden egg rattle and wooden teething ring for Christmas (sssshhh...don't tell). We play on the floor and she reaches for these toys, occasionally grasping one and flailing wildly with it. She is even already able to entertain herself sometimes and spends ten or fifteen minutes on her back or side just staring at her hands, or the corner of the room or the flames of the fire. Most of the time, however, I am an activity center.

Parents really are the best activity centers and don't even require batteries. We can jiggle, swing and bounce. We sing an infinite ever-changing variety of songs and produce any number of other sound effects. Fisher-Price's tagline on their commercials is "How does your baby learn?" They then proceed to show some toy that the baby can imitate or that causes some response to the baby's action. Again, parents are extremely versatile in this way. When Willow "talks", I talk back. She plays at "scooting" by pressing her feet against Daddy's hands to propel herself up his chest. We laugh and she laughs back. Soon she'll learn to clap and wave bye bye and any number of other things by imitating what we do. I do occasionally wish that I could steal a little more time without my little cling-on. Cooking, dishes, and laundry do all take longer with her on my chest but she's getting priceless lessons in being a human and we've probably saved hundreds of dollars in baby gear.

I think what has really gotten my dander up is that it feels like toy companies are trying to undermine our worth as parents. "You can't possibly give your baby what it needs, let us sell it to you." And it always requires batteries. And it is always made of plastic which, if the company is lucky, will break even before baby number two arrives.

I'm not buying it. We are what our baby needs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 4

Dinner for November 26 - December 2
Popcorn and Leftovers
Pot Roast with Carrots, Beets, and Spinach
Dickie Jo's (restaurant)
Turkey Spaghetti (recipe at the end of the post)
UO Employee Appreciation Evening

This week was a little weird because we ended up eating out twice, once because we got caught out and about way later than I could comfortably make dinner and once because it was free food. :) Everything else is proof that a 26 lb. turkey goes a long way after Thanksgiving if you only fed 8 people at its original roasting. Still so much incredibly rich, thick stock to freeze...

pot roast
chicken stock
Salsa de Casa
green pepper
tomato sauce

Should Have Been Local
white beans

Not Local
cheddar cheese (Tillamook)
cream of mushroom soup
canned mushrooms
olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
spices (cumin, cloves, cayenne, cinnamon, salt, pepper)

Chicken Spaghetti
roasted chicken or turkey pieces - 4 c.?
1 pkg. (14 oz.) spaghetti cooked
1 can mushroom soup
1 small can mushrooms
1 1/2 sm. cans tomato sauce (I use about 1 c. homemade)
1 large onion and 1 large green pepper (chopped)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco, salt, pepper to taste
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese

Saute onions, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms. Simmer above mixture after adding seasonings and sauces - tomato sauce, soup, and 1/2 c. water. Add mixture and chicken pieces to spaghetti. Fill casserole half full - add layer of cheese - add rest of spaghetti mixture and top with remaining cheese. 350 degrees for 30 min.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Laundry Day

Contrary to the old nursery rhyme, this week's wash day was Thursday with folding, ironing and mending all rolled up into Friday. I actually find it satisfying to have a visible pile of work for the day that disappears as it gets done. Most of the time it just doesn't happen. For instance - teaching- seeing my pile of information disappear as I tried to impart it to the students would have been very disconcerting. Parenting, ditto, "Sorry Peanut, Mommy's pile of songs and nursery rhymes is all gone. We'll have to wait for the next delivery."

Best luck to everybody this weekend with housework, yardwork, present making and other seasonal delights!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 3

Dinner for November 19-25
Popcorn and Leftovers
Split Pea Soup
Roast Beef Hash
Taco Salad
Potato Pancakes & Turkey Gravy

Thanksgiving dinner was amazing, as always. We only made the turkey (after helping to harvest it on Sunday), mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin custard so I didn't include the ingredients for things we didn't make.

lobster mushrooms
chicken stock
Salsa de Casa

Should Have Been Local
salad greens

Not Local
butter (Tillamook)
sour cream (Tillamook)
cheddar cheese (Tillamook)
olive oil
coconut milk
split peas
lemon juice
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
brewer's yeast
soy sauce
spices (salt, pepper, dill, paprika, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I've been on a bit of a baking binge. We had Whole Wheat Cranberry Scones on Saturday morning and Chai Spiced Shortbread Cookies tonight. I just started grinding some soft white wheat berries that we got last year (having just run out of the hard red) and I'm delighted by the light airy results even though I'm using only whole wheat flour in the recipes.

I'm going to try this walnut pie crust with our favorite pumpkin custard recipe for Thanksgiving since we have friends who don't eat flour or sweeteners coming for dinner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 2

Dinner for November 12-18
Meatloaf and Broccoli
Popcorn, Leftovers and Snacks
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots
Lobster Mushrooms and Penne in Cream Sauce
Ham with Braised Cabbage and Pumpkin
Dinner with a Neighbor (Russian Pelmeni)
Chicken Soup

beef, ground
lamb, ground
goat, ground
lobster mushrooms
green pepper
hazelnut butter

Should Have Been Local
apple cider vinegar
spices (parsley, garlic powder, onion powder)

Not Local
cheddar cheese (close though, Tillamook, just over 100 mi. away)
rye crackers
brown sugar
olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
Bragg Liquid Aminos
brewer's yeast
spices (tarragon, thyme, salt, pepper)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My nod to politics...

Occasionally I catch a light case of politics. I try to make day to day choices that reflect my beliefs and figure that if enough of us do what is wholesome and healthy and share that vision with our neighbors, the big picture will sort itself out. I realize that this is optimistic and short-sighted and I'm able to live like that because I am fabulously lucky. Many people are unable to even make the choices I make because of certain challenges - economics, health, education, etc. Regardless, it's what allows me to move through life doing what I can and being exceptionally happy.

Okay, for any of you who haven't figured it out from my lifestyle choices combined with my geographic location, I tend to lean left. Depending on what you're used to, some say far left. ;) For Eugene, OR, it's pretty gently left as I've got a pretty strong streak of "do what you've gotta do" personal responsibility thrown in.

That said, I started singing "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in the shower a few days ago because I've been a serious Bob Dylan fan for over 2/3 of my life and it sometimes pops into my head. Then I started thinking about the lyrics and for the first time since I first heard them 20+ years ago, they seemed vitally relevant to the current state of society. I started thinking about the genius of the lyrics, since I can easily picture that song being sung at Occupy Wall Street. (I later confirmed that it is.)

In the weird way of coincidence, today I heard the new folk anthem that has just been created for Occupy - Makana's "We Are the Many". It's a fantastic song and remarkably reminiscent of Bob's, which is going on 50 years old now (!). If you are a singer/guitarist, here are the lyrics and chords, I'm sure they'll be popping up in a million more places but this is where they are now.

So ends my overt reference to politics for a while. Back to the baby, chickens, cooking and creating (while occasionally rocking out to songs I can believe in). :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nonsense Baby Songs

Q has always made up little nonsense songs to completely original tunes that he is unable to recreate later, with the exceptions of ones that I latch onto and make him repeat over and over. I sing all the time but it's almost always real songs that I've gotten stuck in my head. Now, Miss W has joined us and it's been brought to my attention that babies tend to inspire song making and singing.

I looked up all the words to "Hush, little baby", "There was an old woman", and "The Day I Went to Sea" because I needed long songs to amuse myself as she listened during the day. Along with more traditional fare, songs that have never been lullabies have become ones because I know the words or they make me think of her - "One Day" by Matisyahu, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles, and Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby".

Now the wonderful creative nonsense that little ones inspire...

Within the first week of Willow's life, my mom mentioned how she kept having a song she'd learned in kindergarten run through her head. The original was:
Little Duckie Duddle, splashing in a puddle
Splashing in a puddle so small
Said he, "It doesn't matter how much I splash and spatter;
I'm only a duckie after all!"
Mom knew the first two lines of the remake were "Little baby Willow, sitting on a pillow, because she is so very small" We finally completed it with "Says she, 'I don't give a hoot how much I squirt and toot, I'm only a baby after all." This is a very true song for a newborn and we enjoyed it immensely. I've modified it as she's gotten older and it's now in my regular Willow soothing rotation during the day:
Little baby Willow, sitting on her pillow
Wondering what the day will bring
First she'll have a snack, then she'll have a nap
Then she'll do it over again.

Here's my favorite that Q came up with one night. I made my own simple tune (since he couldn't repeat his):
Willow on my shoulder
Willow on my arm
Willow on my shoulder
I'll keep you safe from harm.

To the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot":
She's my baby Willow short and sweet
From the top of her head to her little tiny feet
When she gets all steamed up hear her shout
But then she smiles and the sun comes out.


Here are Willow's feet and her calves and her knees
Her thighs and her tummy and her chubby chubby cheeks
Here are Willow's hands and her arms and her head
Shoulders, chest and nose and now it's time for bed.
(This one is usually followed by "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" during daytime play sessions. It gets big grins.)

And the latest, to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star":
She's my baby Willow Anne,
I hug and squeeze her all I can
When we go to sleep at night,
I'm thankful for her smile bright
She's the sweetest in the world,
My precious little baby girl.

Who knows which ones will stay with us as she gets older. Will there be ones she remembers? Will I ever remember them? I want to, which is why I wrote this post. These songs will always recall her precious early baby days for me.

At the very least, I'm sure she feels the love we're pouring out to her as we sing "her" songs. She looks into my eyes and grins her little dimpled grin. She's started cooing along in delight. That is a gift every parent should give to themselves - lose your inhibitions, sing your baby nonsense, and rejoice in having yet another way to tell her how much she is loved. Anybody else willing to share their own baby songs?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Chickens

After they went to roost last night, we moved our old girls in with the new girls. They've all been exploring the new yard this morning without too much fuss. Just a little posturing.
Here's one of the Speckled Sussex. They look exactly alike.
Here's our Silver Laced Wyandotte.
Little Miss and the new sexlink also look almost identical. Here's the new coop and the new yard. We haven't gotten the water/food/shell/grit locations finalized yet, but I made sure they have plenty of all of the above this morning.
The lady we bought them from says the girls are 7 months old but she said they are all just coming out of a molt?! Seems young for that to me but she says the Sussex haven't started laying again. The sexlink lays big beautiful dark brown eggs though.

I don't know where we're going to put the new beehive we get this spring now that the chickens have their old spot but it really seems like a perfect place for the new chicken yard.

Monday, November 14, 2011


First off, everybody in the world should know about this Baked Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe. It is amazing when it is baked the night before and lasts us for a couple of breakfasts reheated in the morning.

Fall officially came to the valley a couple of weeks ago and our blueberry bushes are still an amazing color.
Q has taken to the new tiller with zeal. He'd already done the side and back beds (which now have annual clover sprouting) and them moved on to the front bed and the paths.

He's still planning on tilling up the strawberry bed, make a new raised bed that matches the others to replace the one currently tipped up on it's side, till up a curved path around the asparagus bed at the very front of the house, and put new bark down on the paths.

We'll see when all that happens because he spent yesterday working on a new chicken yard behind the shed. This will hopefully be the "permanent" one for the layers. Time was of the essence on this project because we got some new chickens yesterday. A lady was selling her 3 chickens, 1 rooster, and their coop for a very reasonable price. The rooster, who crows very robustly, is living in our guest bathroom on water alone until he gets put in the freezer tonight. The other three hens are locked in their coop until this evening when we are going to put all the girls, six in total now, together in their new yard. Since Lacey has been separated from Lily and Little Miss ever since the failed introduction, we currently have three "sets" of chickens. We figure that putting them all together in new, neutral territory will let a proper flock pecking order develop. The new ones are two Speckled Sussex and another red sex-link (like Lily). Pictures will be forthcoming.

Willow and I just got back from a two week trip to visit Colorado. I don't have pictures to post today because my phone is being difficult. It was so much fun and the drive was easy with a very good baby and a couple of excellent books on tape. I strongly suggest Clara and Mr. Tiffany and The Poisonwood Bible to anyone looking for a good read or listen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 1

We popped the first of our homegrown popcorn tonight!

'Tis the season to stock the pantry for the year. As we're buying up our bulk grains and meat for the year from the local farmers, the freezer and pantry are at capacity. I've been curious how much local food we've started eating but don't want to get as obsessive about tracking it as I could easily become. I narrowed it down to just tracking dinner. I know that breakfast is mostly local (scrambles, toast, milk, oats) with the glaring exceptions of "Instant Breakfast" and coconut milk in pumpkin custard. I'm trying to come up with another plan ahead solution so I can have better easy breakfasts. Lunch is quite varied and mine is often leftovers. I'm not always sure what Q does for lunch. :)

Each post will have a week's worth of dinners followed by a complete list of ingredients divided into local, not local, and should have been local. "Local" includes processed food (like sausage and salsa) that is made locally without worrying about where individual ingredients were grown (remember, against my nature, I'm trying to not be obsessive.) Asterisks denote foods from our yard. "Should have been local" is foods that I can buy from local producers but didn't due to poor planning.

Dinner for October 23-29
Braised Cabbage and Lemon Pepper Sausage
Sausage Stuffed Squash
Roast Chicken, Beets and Potatoes
Popcorn and Leftovers
Potatoes with Meaty Marinara

Italian pork sausage
lemon pepper sausage links
whole chicken
acorn squash
green pepper
chicken stock
Salsa De Casa medium salsa
*marinara (homegrown except olive oil and salt)

Should Have Been Local
garbanzo beans
white beans

Not Local
olive oil
Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips
golden raisins
canned green chiles
nutritional yeast
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
spices (salt, pepper, curry powder, carraway seeds, cumin, cloves, cayenne pepper)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goodbye Summer

First frost came last night. As I surveyed the blackened garden, I noticed that the tomatoes I'd given up on as hopelessly infested with bugs didn't look as bad as I thought. I gleaned 4 pounds off the ground! With a few salvaged basil and oregano leaves, untouched by frost at the middle of the stand, and some garlic from the fridge, I just got a Goodbye Summer Homegrown Marinara batch started. At least we've still got beets and carrots in the ground and a hearty kale plant for my harvesting cravings. And tons of frozen and preserved food. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reversible Scrappy Baby Pants

I love the Quick Change Pants that Soulemama is always making for her little folk and I have a whole bunch of fabric strips that are scraps from a project my mother makes. After some practice, I've come up with a reversible baby pants pattern that I like and works over her fat cloth diapered rear end.

The only change I'm going to make is adding an inch to the top and taking an inch off the bottom so rather than sewing on a separate waistband I'll sew on separate cuffs to hold the two pairs together. More to follow in the near future, hopefully.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Putting the Yard to Bed

It's that time of year. This season's been made especially neat due to the purchase of an electric rototiller, which Q has put to good use. He double tilled the corn bed, including another couple of feet of sod, which the tiller had no problem with.
He also did the oat bed. We planted annual red clover as a green mulch in both beds. He's also going to do the front edamame/squash bed and who knows what else!
We also finished getting the corn husked this weekend. A few ears of sweet corn had a couple of moldy spots, so those are getting slowly fed to the chickens fresh. The rest are up drying along with the popcorn (which we need to try soon). It looks like we're going to crack most of the corn and use it to help lower our chicken feed costs this winter (along with the oats, which we haven't found a good method for threshing).
Here's Willow helping me test fit a pants pattern for her, courtesy of a worn out pair of Daddy's boxers. I'll post pictures of the finished first real pair tomorrow.
And here's an easy fall dessert...
I cut the apples in half and used the melon baller to remove the cores before putting them in the baking pan. A dollop of butter and teaspoon of brown sugar in each center, liberally sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice, and baked uncovered at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photo Shoots

At Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, October 22. Isn't Daddy a good photographer?

from October 8th, with Q's family

Monday, October 17, 2011

Early October

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I posted. Time flies in a haze of undone/slowly done chores and lots of baby snuggling.

This weekend we dealt with the corn patches.
This is about half of the popcorn already husked. Still working on the other half. It should end up being most of the winter supply considering we generally use about 1 cup every Sunday.

Here's the front yard with the popcorn stalks cut out of the raised bed and the lawn and strawberry patch mown. We're releasing the chickens on the strawberry patch for the winter whenever we get the fencing set up.

Here's the back yard after removing the sweet corn stalks. We were surprised to find that we could get a small electric tiller for $130. It arrives Wednesday and Q's going to go over all the beds with it. We found a source for reasonably priced straw bales so then we're going to mulch everything. We've done the city's free leaf program for the last 2 years but are tired of all the trash and fungus the leaves bring into our yard.
Here are the two feed bags of drying sweet corn that I need to get husked.

Apple cider we pressed with friends and then canned. Spiced, it's a delicious treat on a rainy evening and the smell is heavenly.

We're out of storage in the pantry so I'm using food as art. We grew everything there except the largest pumpkin and the largest acorn squash.

Purple carrots!

Here was our first dinner after we finished Whole 30. Willow got to watch. I've taken to using the stroller as living room/kitchen accomodations for her.
Here are the two knitting orders I've finished and I have two to get done.

BTW- This is the same laundry detergent recipe I use and the tutorial includes some very cute kiddos.

Hopefully it won't be another three weeks before I post again!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stocking up

So, admittedly, we don't grow most of our food (although we tend to grow more than most people do) but I really really try to avoid buying produce at the grocery store so, when I can, I try to stock up from local farms during the summer.

Some of the ways we do that are...
Buying bell peppers at the farm when they're 5 for $1 (!) and dicing and freezing them for use all winter. We also do this with onions and broccoli and green beans. We freeze our own edamame and corn. It's just like having the grocery store freezer section in your own home and have you looked at the price of quality frozen vegetables?!

We also buy and can peaches, cherries, and apples in season but freezing vegetables and berries preserves more taste and nutrition. Canning vegetables is also a much more involved process.

We pulled 20 lbs. of tomatoes out of the garden on Monday and simmered them down into a delicious marinara with some homegrown basil, oregano and garlic and farmer grown onion. Q cooked some Italian sausage and we had it over white sweet potatoes last night. It was so good and hearty that I ate the leftover sausage sauce all by itself after my potato was gone. The back left burner also has a chicken carcass getting transformed into stock for winter cooking. Heehee, the pun with the title was totally unintentional but I suppose we really are "stocking up". :)