Saturday, April 28, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
All that grass is used as a winter cover crop, to help reduce soil erosion, and fertilize the soil. The gardens are organic, so no chemical fertilizers allowed. So the first thing I had to do was chop all that grass up and turn it under. I will admit to pulling a lot of it out, as it had all been turned under once already about 3 weeks earlier and had grown back. Once that was done, we put a couple inches of compost on top. The Girl (aka M) was a big help, as she enjoyed using the big shovel and the wheelbarrow to fetch, which was a good thing, as my back was killing me from turning the while garden over the day before.
The next day (Saturday), we planted our first seeds...a couple kinds of lettuce, radishes, carrots, kale, and onions in the garden bed, and in cell pots in the green house we planted summer squash, bush beans, sugar snap peas, and Brussels sprouts. And yesterday, we had sprouts! Lettuce, kale and radishes in the plot, and bean, pea, and brussels sprouts in the green house!
Then today, we went to Van Wingerden nursery to get free starts. The nursery was giving away starts in the understanding that we would share our harvest with the Ferndale Food Bank. We got 12 free starts! We got 5 more lettuces, 3 cherry tomatoes, a green pepper, and 3 red cabbages. I also bought 2 everbearing strawberry plants (since that is the first thing M stated she wanted to plant if we got a garden). Isn't it pretty?
Hopefully, my brown thumb is solely due to lack of experience and skill, as opposed to truly being unable to garden. There are several people at the community garden I can ask for help, which I fully intend to do! Wish me luck in growing a bountiful harvest...which we will share with the food bank, neighbors, friends...
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Brown the meat. Sauté some onions. Add cinnamon sticks. Deglaze with brown ale (I used Newcastle). Bake for 3 hours until meat is falling apart. Done. She (and I) served it with polenta, but I am sure mashed potatoes, rice, or anything would work.
I have some meat left over, and a lot of broth. I may make some soup with it...add noodles? I'll let you know :)
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It was pretty simple, and doesn't really need a recipe, as a description will suffice. I cooked a pound of ground beef. When it was done, I transferred it to my baking dish (more on that later). In the same skillet, I cooked a chopped red onion and about 6 oz sliced (and broken) crimini mushrooms with salt, pepper and about a teaspoon dried thyme. I bought the package of sliced, and didn't quite use the whole thing. And I broke them into smaller pieces so they would mix in better. When the onions and mushrooms were about done, I added a can of green beans to warm thru. I then added all that to the baking dish and stirred it all together. I then made gravy in the same skillet by bringing a couple cups of beef broth/stock to a boil with several dashes worchestershire, then thickened it up with some Wondra flour (read the carton to learn how). I then poured this into the casserole.
For the potatoes, I do like instant mashed potatoes. They are seldom lumpy, and you can flavor them however you want. These I made regular, seasoned with just salt and pepper. I made them a little thinner than usual to aid in spreading. I would recommend using a knife, and scooping some up and scraping them off on the side of the baking dish, as you want a seal around the edges to keep the gravy in. If you put dollops in the middle of the casserole to spread around, it displaces the filling and everything oozes out the edges as you go. Trust me on this. So anyway, spread the potatoes evenly across the top of the pie. Dab some butter all over (or spray with butter flavored pan spray) and broil until golden.
Now a note about baking dishes. Any Pyrex pan I have ever seen says not to broil it. So I have never tried. If you have done it, and it didn't shatter, yay for you. I am too chicken to try. So I looked for baking dishes that could be broiled, and found Le Creuset oval stoneware baking dishes. They are a little more pricy, but I got them when Macy's was having a sale with free shipping (they didn't carry them in store) and got 2...one equivalent to an 8x8, and the other to a 9x13. And an added bonus, *nothing* sticks to them. Not cheese, broiled on potato, lasagna. I love my pans :)
Our dinner was quite yummy, and there were left overs for me to have next week. Can't beat that!
Friday, April 13, 2012
The pattern calls for a chunky weight yarn, to make a chunkier sweater. I opted for a worsted weight cotton, and a size K hook (which is several sizes bigger then usual for this weight yarn). By using the big hook, the stitches are softer and looser, allowing the piece to drape better. This is my first time using cotton yarn, as I usually have gone with the more budget-friendly acrylic. But cotton yarn has a more defined stitch (it's less fuzzy), and I thought it would make a nice sweater. I like the feel of the yarn and the way the hex feels, but the yarn takes some getting used to, as it doesn't slide as well while hooking.
I will post more as it progresses...this is also my first garment created by hooking, so I am interested to see if it turns out!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I plan to wear this little beauty to church tomorrow for Easter. Cute!
Friday, April 6, 2012
I think the next ones I make will have all regular flour in them. I am also going to try aebleskivers, which are Danish mini puffs (poffertjes are Dutch). The aebleskivers also use buttermilk and baking powder and baking soda instead of yeast. I will let you know how they turn out :)
Monday, April 2, 2012
I am thnking of cranking out little cute things and selling them this summer at a local farmers market...better get busy!
Btw, I got the bunny pattern from a friend who posted a pic of it on Facebook...I am not sure where she got it, so don't know where to give credit :(
In the past for Easter, our church has had us bring fresh flowers to decorate a cross that we display outside by the street. This year, they are asking us to bring flowers in a vase that they will distribute to the various homebound members of our congregation. I am seriously considering crocheting my flowers...they last longer, and are pretty cute, if I say so myself! This daffodil is inspired by a pointy five-petalled flower on a blog at crochethealingandraymond.typepad.com. I added a petal to make it like a real daffodil then made my trumpet with a round of double crochets and a scallop edge. I then sewed it onto the middle of the flower. I am in the process of trying a slightly differend edge on my next trumpet, so we will see. Creating things is a trial and error process! I am trying to decide if I want to try other flowers as well...hmmm...