I can’t believe I haven’t written anything since Tuesday. I’ve been pretty busy. I’ll stick to the past few days since those are the easiest to remember.
On Friday my Uncle Dave came over to build some garden boxes for me. They are a 4 foot by 4 foot square and about 18 inches tall. He was going to bring me a load of free compost from the city he lives in (residents can get one truckload per month for free) but the compost wasn’t ready yet. So, all we could do was build the boxes. Once those were done and he went home, I used a gift card we had received for the wedding to buy a LOT of dirt. I guess we could’ve waited a few weeks and tried again for free compost but, now is the time to plant the second round of things like green beans and such. So, I felt the need to strike while the iron was hot so to speak. My husband would probably tell you this happens to me a lot. I get an idea and I go about 90 miles per hour into it without a lot of planning. But, this is a good idea. More fresh, home grown produce awaits us at the end of this idea. And, even if we don’t get great yields we can replant the boxes in the spring. Or, if we decide we hate gardening we can turn them into sand boxes once we have kids or something. So, by Friday evening one box was filled with dirt and we had figured out how much more we needed to buy.
After the sun went down I came in to make up a batch of “plump pea dumplings” from 101 Cookbooks. Basically you put fresh or frozen cooked peas, ricotta, Parmesan and lemon zest into a food processor. Once it’s pretty pureed you wrap teaspoons of it into wonton skins and make little dumplings. I made about 50 and then I was out of wonton wrappers. (Robert brought home more today so I can finish them). They fry up into yummy little bits of goodness and, once you wrap the filling in the wonton, you can freeze them individually and it makes a great quick bite later on. We really like them a lot and I was in the mood to make up a big batch. I will probably finish up the filling on Monday.
Saturday morning I got up early (by my standards at least) because I had a crafting day ahead. I made lunches for myself and my Aunt Patti and headed towards her town for the “crop til you drop” event my friend Darla had planned. She is hoping to do this the first Saturday of every month. I have ALL of my wedding photos and some amazing and wonderful fairytale paper to work with so I was quite happy to work on my wedding album for the whole day.
Saturday evening I was supposed to go to my friend, Julie’s bachelorette party. Due to some craziness and then some phone tag, I didn’t end up meeting up with her at all. I feel badly that I didn’t make it. I’m sure she had a blast without me though. It was quite a party that was planned in her honor.
My husband spent Saturday doing a multitude of things around the house. He got the rest of the dirt we needed, washed and hung several loads of laundry on the clothesline, ran the dishwasher and just generally made my life easier. He’s good like that… 🙂 I feel very blessed to have him. I used to be very frustrated at still being single in my late 20s and when I hit 30, but, now I understand. He was SO worth the wait (and not because he does laundry).
Anyway, when it became apparent I wasn’t going anywhere, we put the rest of the dirt into the garden boxes, planted/transplanted a few things and put in some seeds. We are growing three kinds of chard, four kinds of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, basil, spinach, cilantro and green onions for our second round of gardening.
So, anyway… Today was a really packed day. I got up and started cleaning the kitchen while I made a pot of coffee. After I relaxed with a cup of coffee I got started on our dinner since it was supposed to cook in the crock pot all day. I made stuffed peppers with coconut rice and mangoes. It was SO good!
While I was working on putting dinner together, Robert came in and started working on lunch. We had delicious reuben sandwiches and a spinach salad. I love reubens and they are so easy to make at home. Now if I can just get Mom and Dad’s sauerkraut making tools down here to Texas and Robert can find a good rye recipe, and we can grow some monster cabbages, we’ll be all set!
In the afternoon I continued the laundry parade we have every weekend and got things out on the line and actually put away when they came into the house. I also cleaned the kitchen yet again (it’s neverending when we get into cooking). Robert had to go to the fire station for the monthly equipment check. It’s my least favorite fire department time… Sundays when he has equipment check AND he stays over. It takes away a big chunk of our weekend time together. But, it is important to him and I am proud of him for being a firefighter so, it’s bearable. 😛
Anyway, while he was gone I pulled out some cookbooks to find a loaf of bread I could make to go with our supper. I found a spinach Parmesan “bloomer” in the bread machine book that I could finish in time for dinner. So, I got to work on that. It mixed and did it’s first rising in the bread machine so that makes the process a little less work (and mess) intensive. While that was working I dug into the archives of the Down to Earth blog which I am finding VERY interesting.
I also moved some things out of the dining room so we can finally put the table back where it belongs. I made my first batch of mint suntea. I’ve been making mint tea for a few weeks for a nice, refreshing iced tea drink on the stovetop. I thought it would be great to work on making it like I used to make sun tea when I was a kid. It worked pretty well, though it wasn’t as minty as my stovetop batches were. I am wondering if I make a mint simple syrup in a big batch to add to the sun tea as I make each batch if that would help. I will keep experiementing and once I have the “perfect” batch I’ll post up some instructions. So, plant your mint now so you will be ready!
Robert came home eventually and was tired out so he took a brief nap while I was finishing up dinner. I left the bread outside on the back of the truck to do it’s final rise. I figured it would be a nice warm place… the loaf got quite large. Unfortunately when I slashed it as the recipe called for, it fell quite a bit. I guess the knife wasn’t sharp enough or I did it wrong or something. Anyway, right before I got ready to preheat the oven I thought, if I was going to run it anyway I should probably fill it up. So, I pulled out the cookbook again and whipped up some blackberry muffins with some frozen blackberries. The batter made 12 regular size muffins and 9 mini muffins. All of that went into the oven and I cleaned up the kitchen one more time and sat down to relax a bit.
I woke Robert up once it was all finished and we had a really good supper of the stuffed peppers and spinach bread. And, he didn’t even mind that it was a meatless supper. We’ve been doing that about once a week now.
After supper we had a few minutes to relax together before Robert had to go back to the fire station for the night. He filled up the dishwasher for me while I got all the leftovers put away. We kept half of the spinach loaf out for eating this week and put the other half in the freezer for later.
After Robert left I worked on bringing in laundry and watering the various pots, troughs, and now boxes we have for our garden. I put the soaker hose through the new boxes and found a way to keep the water flowing between the two boxes with one soaker hose.
Finally, when I really wanted to sit down and just veg out in front of the tv, I pushed myself a bit longer to go into the hobby room and clean off my sewing table. I got that done and sat down with two mending projects. I could find my good scissors OR my rotary cutter so after I reattached the handle to my LaPorte County Library tote bag and fixed the sleeve seam in Robert’s tshirt I was done sewing. Bummer since I was really looking forward to doing some sewing.
Since I couldn’t sew, I dug into some boxes and found my knitting book and the one dishcloth I started ages ago. I looked at the stitches and my hands almost immediately remembered what to do. So, I turned on the tv and knitted a good portion of the dishcloth while watching tv. I made it much too wide when I first started it so it may be more like a placemat or small towel, but, that’s ok. I can work with that too.
Now, finally, I am getting ready for bed. I really wanted to post before the weekend was over. I didn’t make it officially since it is after midnight but, at least I got my activities down. I’ll have to recap some of my thoughts and ideas tomorrow.