Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Dangerous Precedent

Because A. was busy trying to fence in some new pasture for his loudly protesting and apparently hungry sheep this morning, and we needed to get to the dump and the feed store before the feed store closed at noon, I volunteered to go by myself while Cubby napped. This meant I had to take the Subaru instead of the pick-up truck, because I do not drive Big Red if it can be avoided. Especially to the feed store, where I already demonstrated some pretty embarrassing (BUT TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT, THANKYOUVERYMUCH) lack of skill with the stick shift.


So I took the Subaru. I'm afraid this means that now every time Dump Day rolls around, A. will find himself to be conveniently busy and will just suggest that I take the Subaru to the dump.

It appears my awesome, can-carry-anything car does have a drawback, after all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

You Should Probably Thank Blogger

Things I had already written about in my head for today include:

1) Cubby has a cold again, but now he can blow his nose into a tissue! If I hold it to his face. Clear evidence of precociousness.

2) I used the air conditioning in the awesome Subaru for the first time yesterday. This is the first time in about six years that I have had a car with functioning air conditioning and it is just about as exciting as you can imagine. That is, VERY.

3) I ended up having to plant some paste tomato seedlings yesterday that A.'s aunt brought me, because they were tall and flopping out of their tiny peat pots. So Phase Two of the Tomato Crazy commenced early this year.

4) We moved the chicken tractor out onto grass a few days ago so the chicks could enjoy our crazy warm weather. This morning I decided to see if I could move the chicken tractor onto fresh grass by myself, just by lifting one side and dragging it slowly so the chickens would shuffle along with it. I can. I can also accidentally let out one of the chicks while moving it, which ran mindlessly around the perimeter of the tractor for a couple of minutes with me in pursuit before it came face to face with Mia and threw itself back into the tractor through a tiny hole in the chicken wire in panic. So thanks for helping me get the stupid chick back into the tractor and not biting its head off, Mia! You're aces.

But then Blogger was down this morning, which spared all of you from full-length posts about any of these inconsequential and trivial topics. So you see, you should thank Blogger for that.

Happy Friday, poppets!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Re-thinking the Pictures

Uncharacteristically, I took some pictures of my dinner last night. First I took a picture of the asparagus in the colander, because DAMN, asparagus. It's about TIME you grew enough spears to feed three people as a side dish. I was very excited by the asparagus and the camera was handy, so I took an asparagus beauty shot. And then the camera was there, so I took a picture of them cooked in the pan. And then I took ANOTHER picture of the T-bone steaks cooking in another pan next to the photogenic asparagus.

Then I remembered that I am not actually a food blogger and no one needs to see inexpert shots of my dinner cooking on my messy stove. You all know what asparagus in a pan looks like, right? Yes? Good. Moving on.

In other garden news, yesterday I planted kohlrabi, turnips, chard, dill, and parsley seedlings. And snow peas. For which I had to dig up a section of the garden next to the fence that was pretty much 100 percent grass. Know how much fun digging sod is? Not fun. Not at all. I wanted to plant them there so they could climb on the fence, saving me the effort of putting up a trellis for them. Except I think the effort involved in digging up the grass far exceeded the effort of sticking in some bamboo for a trellis. Plus, then I decided to plant two rows, so I have to put up a trellis between them anyway for the row away from the fence to climb on.

Sometimes I am not so smart.

But no matter! The planting is coming along now that we've finally gotten some nice weather. Next up: potatoes.

God help my aching back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's Eat Some More Weeds!

I'm starting to really get into this foraging thing. Well, "into" in the sense that I really enjoy going into the flower beds to pull out some otherwise unpleasant invasives to make into an edible vegetable for dinner. I'm not going to get as into it as these people, though I applaud their persistence (and I really like their blog). I'm not motivated enough to dig up a dock root and eat it, thanks.

I probably also will not bother with the wild foods so much when the garden is producing crazy amounts of vegetables. But now? When the lettuce has refused to grow because of a month of rain and I would otherwise be forced to BUY vegetables? For MONEY? At a STORE? Bring on the dandelion greens. And garlic mustard.

Yes! Garlic mustard is totally edible! Even yummy! I knew this, but I had never tried it. I also never realized that it's actually a plant that was introduced many generations ago by immigrants for culinary purposes. That's right. It's SUPPOSED to be eaten. So I did.

I found some garlic mustard plants on the north side of the house that had just started to form flowers but hadn't actually bloomed yet. Like many greens, they get bitter when they flower. I also found some dandelion greens that were still relatively young, washed it all (twice--dirty little buggers, those greens) and blanched the whole mess for a couple of minutes in boiling water before chopping and adding butter, balsamic vinegar, salt, and little sugar.

Verdict? You should eat garlic mustard. It doesn't taste anything like garlic after it's been cooked, but it's a really good green. Certainly better than most tough, old mustard greens I've had to pay money for at the store in the past.

So get out there and pull some weeds and eat them. Good for the garden, good for saving money, good for your health. Wins all around.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Laundry and Tears

That's how A. described what I was getting for Mother's Day. The laundry because Cubby's things must be washed every three days if I want him to have a diaper overnight, which, well, I do. Yesterday was a third day, so Mother's Day or not, laundry it was. Tears because Cubby woke at the unhappy hour of 5:30 a.m., which meant he was not particularly chipper by 7:30 when he went back to sleep. Except he didn't want to go back to sleep and spent a good half hour or so alternately crying and babbling to himself in his crib before finally giving in.

So, we didn't really start out so well.

But! During Cubby's second nap I got to go out to the garden and plant some seeds (parsnips, carrots, beets, spinach, and radishes) because the ground is FINALLY drying out. So that was a happy thing. Then the MiL made a delicious pot roast lunch with a rhubarb pudding for dessert, which Cubby actually slept through so I got to eat without fussing around with him. And THEN, in the afternoon after A. was finished mowing and doing various other chores, he took over the primary caregiver duties so I could just . . . do stuff. Or not.

I vacuumed (WAY easier to do when I'm not pulling the cord from Cubby or making sure he's not into the cat litter or whatever). I washed the floor in the bathroom in Cubby's room, which is impossible to do when he's awake and running around and equally impossible when he's asleep in there. I sat down and read for a little while. It was GLORIOUS.

Then we had some nachos and gin sours at cocktail time and the MiL made some strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, which we all ate sitting outside while Cubby ran around and played with sticks.

It may not be everyone's idea of a perfect Mother's Day, but it worked for us.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Directive

To all the mothers in the crowd: Happy Day to you. To everyone else: Go find a mother and do something reallyreallyreally nice for her. That's an order.

Tipping your geriatric-style sunhat to her doesn't actually count, CUBBY.