Home > cooking, dogs, gardening > weekend in review

weekend in review

its getting to be where i’m just blogging about my weekends. my weekdays tend to be confidential. we just had a lovely heavy rain, a little hail, no harm done beyond the straight pipe to one of the rain barrels blew down.  i had just put the finishing touches on my outside projects and thought the timing good. i was hot and sweaty and thought the rain would be cool when i went downtown. john’s yaris had a flat and it took me some time to figure it all out, the murphey’s rule about finding all the tools you need. i was going to ride my bike and deal with the tire on wednesday but it wasn’t in the garage so i assumed it was stolen as i also hadn’t been able to find the circular saw. when i called john on the yaris missing lug wrench he told me the bike was in the hallway to the crawlspace. i have vague memories of loaning out the circular saw. if i did i need it back, kevin wants to build some shelves in the garage.

downtown was very wet, it rained hard and there was some hail. i am becoming blase’ about hail since moving here. used to be a big deal. it was fun watching the people. extreme weather brings out the best in people and thins out the crowds. there was glee in people’s eyes or a fierce determination; a controlled hurry. i was soaked, my memories of being hot quickly replaced with soaked to the bone chilly. i got my beans, a pound of a single source columbian that’s better then the other which is kaldi’s passport selection and a pound of the papua new guinea i’ve been enjoying. it may be my last. john is bringing his roaster and picking up an order of beans from sweet marias and is going to teach me how to home roast. can’t wait.

when i walked from kaldi’s to el rancho for a steak burrito and horchata (yum) i was soaked enough to draw looks of concern from strangers. it was all good though, just put the heater on for the drive home. still had the energy to pick up the buns i needed for my burger grilling tomorrow.

in spite of the rain it was a pretty nice day. got a lot done. i planted one of the forsythia i got from henry. i split it in two and put the bigger of the two in my back yard hedgrow. i’m going to put one more in which will connect it with my witchhazel. someday i’ll mulch or plan to turn it into one big bed, its getting closer though. i put the other up by the northwest corner of the house by the other ones. involved me cutting out some shit bush growing by the house and just gave a little attention to the whole area. weeded the little lilacs and noted one of them was wilty, i bet the satellite dudes stepped on it when they were messing around the area. i’m hoping with a little tlc it’ll bounce back.

i pulled out the last lily i had there. it looked like it was starting to get a little web going so i was glad to be transplanting it. the lady who gave them to me told me to move them every year that they depleted a certain nutrient and its proven to be true. there were some little ones coming up near there so i let them be because they’re in a different spot. i trimmed up the other forsythia and its looking pretty good over there.

at that point i hit a wall, and dozed through the tiger game. the kid pitched 8 shut out innings and the tiges are back at .500. when i got up i planted the lily right in the dog run that goes through the strawberries. when i harvested them i had to work to not begrudge the losses to dog trampling. i had to remember i like Fido and i’m glad he has a friend and remember from the first strawberry of the season that every strawberry is a treasure. next year i’m doing fencing. the lily should help and i will put up the fence there if i leave him unsupervised with Olive. nonetheless i got probably a good pint and a half and have enough to make strawberry shortcake for Nance and Peg tomorrow.

i also put in two thai chile peppers i got from the thai lady at the market and i put in another herb whose name is escaping me, hmmm. its a relative of oregano, ah yeah marjoram. i put it in between the oregano and tarragon. i have some dill going there and i thought the established plants would help minimize dog trampling for the baby dills. they are looking good and if half make it i should have plenty for my uses and enough to let some go to seed. that whole plot is coming in nicely and i have been mixing in other stuff in the edges to bring out the bed into a straighter line.

all of the planting was aided by the fresh compost that i’m pulling out of the big wooden bin. its nice stuff, very earthy smelling, could be more finished though because smokey likes to try and eat it still. but there’s a ton of it and it made me nostalgic for dad, it was his last construction project. harry came over yesterday and i got an audible wow when he saw the backyard. its looking good, the tomatoes are coming along and the cabbages are really big. the broccoli has gone to flower which i think is bad but its awfully cool looking.

i made strawberry pancakes for harry yesterday, best i ever made. i couldn’t find the bisquik so i riffed off of an internet recipe from scratch. i whisked 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flower, 3 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp sugar, pinch of xantham gum. made a pool in the center and added 3/4 cup i think of milk, a local egg and 3 tbsp melted butter. i melted it in the cast iron skillet and kept it hot for the cakes. i whisked that together and then added as many strawberry pieces as it could hold. fried those puppies up with served with real maple syrup, honey butter & a couple of eggs over easy. a of course a press pot of kaldi’s brazillian. most excellent.

it must have been a day for cooking because i also grilled out a stuffed pork loin and candied root vegetables. the pork loin i sliced open like a swiss cake roll, not bad for my first attempt. i had made the stuffing early and let the flavors merged. i put in a red apple, celery, fresh sage and fennel, sweet onion, couple cloves of garlic in a plain yogurt. after i cut up the loin i seared the outside after patting it with flour in olive oil and more garlic. then i stuffed it and wrapped it with cotton string and wrapped with foil. the vegies were these little white heirloom turnips and baby carrots i did with lots of fresh grated ginger, some sesame oil and local honey. i put a lot of soaked hickory chips on the fire and slow roasted them about 50 minutes, an hour would have been better. kick ass if i do say so myself. also did an all local salad with mixed greens, spinach, radish, thin sliced zucchini, and greenhouse tomato. i made the dressing too which also rocked: tahini, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, an inch of fresh grated horseradish, and a splash of braggs.

all in all a good weekend. i could’ve mowed the lawn before it rained, walked the dogs a second time and perhaps cleaned the bathrooms but there will always some things i didn’t get too. i am learning to be ok with that. i am learning to be ok with just about anything.

Categories: cooking, dogs, gardening
  1. May 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    You compost! What do you put into it? Do you keep it going all year?
    Sounds like you did it right, if it smells like earth. I’d never heard
    of a witch hazel plant or bush. How big do they get?

    • May 29, 2011 at 4:37 am

      I put all my yard waste plus my kitchen scraps minus meat and dairy. i try to roughly keep it 50/50 green and brown. in the fall when i have to deal with a large amount of leaves it gets heavy on the brown but through the winter it slows down or stops, depending on how cold it gets which allows me to get caught up so when spring hits its ready. i have two bins so i stopped putting anything but coffee grounds since march and its pretty much done. i’ve seen a lot of ineffective compost the tricks are turning it, keeping it wet, and having the right mix of carbon and nitrogen though its pretty forgiving. i like to do it in an enclosure because i live in the city and i don’t want to promote rats and their ilk. i turn it with a shovel every two weeks lord willing but always if it smells or if the ants start getting a toe hold. my witch hazel i only put in a year or two ago and its 4-5′ tall, they can get 10-15′ i hear. thanks for checking out the blgo.

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