Superbowl Sunday

This morning we had popovers with friends.  I brought the popovers, wet separated from dry and we cooked them up there.  They provided the homemade cheese (failed mozzarella that ended up as a delicious ricotta) and marmalade.  Yum!  I’d never made popovers before.  They were simple but exciting.  I highly recommend it.  After nap we went to a toddler friendly superbowl party while Whiz worked at home in preparation for a conference in L.A. that he attends tomorrow.  Wow yellow pants.  That’s all I have to say about that.


Words of Wisdom

My friend Kimiora posted this on Facebook:

1. the path is not straight.
2. mistakes need not be fatal.
3. people are more important than achievements or possessions.
4. be gentle with your parents.
5. never stop doing what you care most about.
…6. learn to use a semicolon.
7. you will find love.
-marion winik

I made a mistake today.  Two actually.  But life goes on.  Overall it wasn’t a bad day.  A T.A. brought homemade sea salt caramel chocolates to our weekly meeting.  I made pizza from scratch without the aid of the bread machine.  Henry helped me.  When I figure out a daycare arrangement that makes me happy life will be just about perfect.

Improvement: I fixed the printer.  I know.  Leave me alone.


The mantle.

Back in December I put a wood bowl of granny smith apples on the mantle as a Christmas decoration.  They were getting a little wizened, so today I peeled them, sliced them and tossed them with maple syrup, cranberries, raisins and orange juice concentrate for the making of a crisp.  We had friends over and most of the crisp was eaten along with a lot of beer cheese (potato, leek, kale) soup, some asparagus and greens with citrus viniagrette and a whole loaf of yummy bread.

I bought an orchid to put on the mantle instead.  Now I have two mismatched orchids there and I think the are stunning.  They felt like a splurge but I reminded myself I think nothing of spending that much on wine.  I’ll just cut back on wine for a little while and the budget will never notice.

That was pretty much my day.  I also made cheese scones for breakfast.  In the afternoon Whiz went over to a friend’s to watch football and I hung out with the Goob, shopped, cooked, cleaned and then sat around and ate and talked and laughed with friends and said goodnight and cleaned up.

Goobster was really sweet today.  While I was getting dinner ready I accidentally pulled down the hanging basket of onions and potatoes and squash on myself.   He ran out of his playroom all concerned when he heard me yell, and was very sweet handing me everything to put back while I stood on a chair.


Rain Day

Hello November.  I’m sad to say goodbye to one of the most beautiful Octobers in memory.  Rainy season is officially here.

I’m already fantasizing about next year’s garden.  I think I roped in a willing collaborator (in addition to Whiz who gets credit for all tilling and irrigating).  I’m super excited and inspired to be organized.  First step: planning what to plant.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

1. Establish an asparagus bed.  I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last winter and am now ashamed that we didn’t establish asparagus years ago.  But I’m also a little scared because it sounds hard.

2. Pole beans- we’ve been growing bush beans the last two years because I was too lazy to build a trellis.

3. Red and sweet yellow onions.  The Whiz proclaimed our red onions from this year are his favorite thing from the garden.

4. Cucumbers- for eating and pickling (need to pickle them small next year).

5.  Delicata squash.

6.  Raspberries.

7.  Sunflowers.

8.  Zinnia.

9.  Marigolds along the front path.

10.  Basil.

11. Dill.

12.  Cilantro.

13.  Parsley.

14. Chives.

15.  Potato?

16.  Tomatoes: rainbow cherries, san marazino, yellow boy, celebrity

17.  Kohlrabi

18.  Lettuce.

19.  Sugar snap peas.

20.  Sweet corn.

21.  Zucchini- try cooking blossoms next year.

22.  Kale.

23.  Jalepeno.

24.  Eggplant.

25.  Cauliflower.

26.  Ghost pumpkin.

27. Lemon Balm.

28.  Also must make sure to harvest the transparent apples when they are ripe next year rather than letting them fall and rot like I did the last two.

29.  Sugar beets.

30.  Blue morning glory to grow up the laurel hedge.

Anything else I should consider?  What do you love growing in your gardens?  Don’t say chickens, I’ll get depressed.  Whiz enforces a strict anti-chicken policy even though I’ve already picked out names (Flossy, Gertie and Eudora) and send him links to free coops on Craigslist.  To be fair I did scar him a little with some previous poultry farming.  Best not to go there.

Next step: figuring out when is best to plant these guys and drafting a schedule.


Squeal!

First thing this morning we got in the car and headed north to meet a new friend for a walk.  She lives about an hour from here outside Monroe, WA on an amazing 20 acre parcel in the middle of Forest Service land with her husband and 9 month baby daughter, Heron, plus their two dogs and five horses.  This is their house.

Just a sweet wood cabin in the woods.  It’s the only homestead grandfathered in on the Everett watershed.  It’s also on a gated Forest Service road so most of the time they have the forest to themselves.  They’re both vets and have a practice plus run a non-profit horse rescue.  In other words, they’re living my childhood fantasy.  Amazing!

My friend, Hannah, took us to some great chanterelle gathering spots near their house.  As I was clambering around on a mossy slope amidst the ferns and the conifers with Henry in the Ergo it occurred to me that things really could not have been improved upon.  It was awesome.  And look what we brought home:

I confess, I didn’t find all those.  Hannah took pity and shared some of her massive booty.  Dry sauteed with a little garlic, plus sea salt and black pepper served on a bed buttered noodles.  Glass of zin.  Ooooooo Baby.  HEAVEN.  The perfect end to a perfect day.


Delicata Squash

Why, yes, I AM proud of this photo, thank you.  No, I don’t have any formal training, but I’m flattered that you would ask.  Um, my mom’s old canon powershot A something that she gave me when I lost mine.  No, it’s not expensive.  Not at all.

Anyway, in other news: we still have a pile of delicata squash from our garden.  It was only last winter that I tasted delicata for the first time.  Now I think it may be my favorite fall/ winter produce.  They’re super easy to prepare: just cut lengthwise (which is much easier to do than with other squash), seed, rub with a little olive oil and roast in a covered dish for 30 min.  The flesh turns into an amazing sweet light golden custard all on its own.  Amazing!  Plus it makes perfect baby food.

Another bonus: Delicata are heirlooms so we can save seed for next year.


First Annual Artisan Food Festival at Pike Place Market

Today I improvised a lemon cucumber mint avocado smoothie and went from wondering what to do with all our cucumbers to sad that we don’t have more.

Lemon Cucumber Avocado Mint Smoothie:

2-3 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped roughly

juice from two lemons

½ ripe avocado

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

2 Tbls apple juice concentrate or more to taste.

I made this twice today actually, the first time with the juice from only half a lemon because that’s all I had.  It was good.  Goobie ate quite a bit unsweetened.  But it was definitely missing something.  I tried sweetening it a little with agave which was disappointing.  I realized what I really wanted it to be was more of a tart lemonade with lots of mint and cucumber and avocado instead of water.  After obtaining a couple more lemons at PCC (one of them free incidentally because kids get free fruit at PCC I learned today as Goobernaut was gnawing a lemon in the cart), I tried again.  This time with the apple juice concentrate instead of agave.  MUCH better.  About perfect actually.  I brought some over to a friend’s who’s sick because it seemed like it might be therapeutic.

Goobernaut and I also attended the first annual artisan food festival at Pike Place Market today.  A best friend from elementary school was up from Portland to host a booth.  I bought some locally made pickled fig from her.  Yum!  More about her awesome local foods business to come when her website launches next month.  http://www.artisanfoodfestival.org/

Here we are age seven.

The food festival was awesome.  We might have to make it a tradition.  Free tastes of phenomenal foods plus a free bag of Café Vita coffee.  Oh Café Vita, you are irresistable!  Plus a free bag of rice which I won by spinning a wheel.  Wheee!!!  I love you, Seattle.