lunes, 19 de enero de 2009

New African Violet

I have had this little green self watering planter for several months now and I finally bought a plant for it.  I love my new African Violet. I carefully planted it and added a bit of Shultz Liquid Fertilizer to the basin.  I have been looking for more unique African Violets, but am not having termendous luck with the local nurseries.  I think I'd like a dwarf or minature one next...

domingo, 7 de setiembre de 2008

Homemade Pizza Stone

I had been wanting to get a pizza/baking stone for our oven and was comparing tiles vs. commerical stones. I found a tile place near my work that sold 12"x12" tiles that were 1" thick...much thicker than any commercial pizza stone I have seen.

I bought the clay walking tiles by Gladding McBean. Apparently they are lead/toxin free and the seller at Fireclay Tile, said they had customers purchase these for pizza stones before. Yay, I took them home and had a friend cut them to 10 X 12 so they could fit side by side in the oven (with an air space around them).

They are really amazing, I can't believe how well then hold heat. Before when we'd open the oven you would feel a rush of warm air. Now, the heat a steady and unwavering...it's as close as we can get to a firebrick oven in our kitchen. For this old electric stove (yes, sadly we don't have natural gas as you have likely noted from the picture above)...it maintains the temperature very, very well.

We have fresh tomatoes and basil in our garden and have been experimenting with Margherita pizzas. I keep forgetting to buy corn meal to use on the bottom (to prevent the pizza from sticking to the stone) so we've been using parchment paper instead. No soggy crust here. I can't wait to use it again.


miércoles, 27 de agosto de 2008

Community Supported Agriculture


Well I've always enjoyed the farmer's market because the produce is typically better and I can usually meet who grew my food. and rather than have it waste tons of gas and sit on a truck for a few days, I can rest comfortably knowing that outside of picking the food myself, I am getting the foods into my kitchen relatively quickly. My partner and I have just finished our first month with a new CSA that delivers to a home nearby.

I must say, we have been consistent pleased with the quality of the food. The unique thing about this CSA, Eating With the Seasons, is that we can pick which produce we would like to include in our share.

The fact that we can select what goes into our order is big help particularly since we have a full veggie garden right now. We are currently sticking with a small bag of produce, which seems to work out well for the two of us. Though, I can see times where we might like to add onto our order, if we had guests and/or prepared a few bigger dinners. The other great thing about Eating With the Seasons, unlike many other CSA's, is the fact that because these are several local farms working together cooperatively, they operate the service year round.

some of our summer favorites:

nectarines
corn
strawberries
cantaloupe
garlic
potatoes
spinach

Our initial intention was to try to avoid produce we can buy organically at a better price, like certain herbs or salad greens, but some weeks the pay off of not having to make a special trip to the store is worth the cost. And lately we've been plenty busy. We have found we use all the produce more efficiently and creatively, and that so far our participation in the CSA has actually saved us money as opposed spending more one a few extra shopping trips a week...when things we really don't need find their way into our cart...

martes, 29 de julio de 2008

Garden Goodies

Summer is in our midst. Our garden is in full bloom and now we just await the fruits of our labor.

Things we are growing:

heirloom tomatoes (15 plants..mostly new and a handful of volunteers from last year)
persion cucumber
lemon cucumber
soy bean
watermelon
mixed greens
bell peppers (purple and orange)
cilantro (yuck.. this is for my beloved partner, who can't get enough of the stuff)
jalapeno pepper

Will post pictures later

miércoles, 9 de julio de 2008

Tumbling Composter

Weekend Project #461:

Create a tumbling composter.

For this project, I found a seller on Craigslist that had old food drums available. This was going to be perfect for the composter. The only thing I purchased was the piping material.

The central tube is lined with air holes and is open along at the bottom to allow for proper aeration of the composting matter. the tube stays in place with a cross beam (also covered in pvc tubing).

We've been using it for a while now...must remember to make compostables a bit smaller so they decompose more quickly...as this can become difficult to rotate if it's too full.

jueves, 24 de enero de 2008

The Devil's Throat

It can be challengin to not always be the one driving...diversions and potholes will inevitably be on our paths I hope we can navigate them alright.  

I recall losing my dad just over 3 years ago, which was unfortunately followed by an onslaught of repeated death in our family. We had almost had to laugh a bit because it was getting so ridiculous.

When he passed, after only three weeks notice he had cancer, we had three appliances go bad the day of the funeral, had two dogs die in a months time, and we were gifted with what would have been his first grandson. Shortly thereafter our other beloved relatives and holders of tradition started leaving, to the tune of 6; almost 1 every 6 months, sometimes closer together, and other times, more spread out. And this doesn't even include my husbands family. Only recently had I finished reeling from it all....or so I thought. When I was in the midst of it, I thought I was handling it ok and three years later, I realized I was hit so hard that I continued mourning, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so...

I'd like to say I have a cavalier existential attitude about death and human existence, but something in me struggles against this concept and leans on the interconnectedness of the universe and all things part.

This seems a hopeful glimmer of spirit in such times of desperation, with laughter added of course, that makes these moments bearable.

I'm Still Standing

...a bit about the pic I chose for this...La Garganta del Diablo, Iguazu (The Devil's Throat), some waterfalls I've been to in Argentina. Now I don't really believe in a devil, but I will say: I am familiar with having reverence for something that can be a terrifying- even a beautiful natural wonder.

martes, 15 de enero de 2008

life is short

Got some crazy life changing news to remind me that life is too short to be burdened by the trivial.

more on this later...