What would you change in your life?

My husband and I were sitting on the swing the other night talking about what we were most excited/nervous about in the upcoming move. We’re leaving the house we raised our kids in to downsize: less rooms, less house, less yard. I’m sad whenever I think about losing my yard and overwhelming garden, but I’m not spending any extra time watering and weeding. It’s hard enough to let go when you initiate change, and I keep wondering what it would be like if we were moving against our will. I just finished “Maid: hard work, low pay, and a mother’s will to survive” by Stephanie Land and it’s kept things in perspective. It made me realize that when you think click to continue reading…

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young is a quick and easy vegetarian/pescetarian dinner. We sprout our own mung beans and that takes several days, but otherwise, this doesn’t take much planning. I whisk  two eggs per person, and add vegetables until it looks like there is the same mount of veggies as eggs. You want one half of the veggies to be mung bean sprouts. Season with Thai fish sauce*, about 1 tsp per four eggs, and finely minced ginger and garlic to taste. Scoop mixture by a half-cup measuring cup into a hot pan coated with oil. I prefer a combination of olive oil and sesame oil. Sometimes a little egg will run, it is OK, just pull it back to the click to continue reading…

My Backyard Cluck-Clucks

The latest in my gardening adventures was the idea to get a few backyard chickens. Originally, I thought I’d keep them in the garden. I knew they made fabulous fertilizer, would eat all the bugs (we were counting on black widows and hobos especially) and all their scratching is supposed to aerate the soil. We ended up with about 10 sheets of nearly new plywood from a generous friend. So it seemed like a great time to get started and we picked up three chicks. Two Buff Orpington and one Delaware. The house didn’t get put together as quick as I’d hoped. Rainy weekends and lots of building trial and error…the chicks started to outgrow the plastic bucket in the click to continue reading…

Jalapenos? Kitten food…

My husband has developed a taste for spice that few peppers can temper. We had a whole garden bed devoted to the fiery little bits. This is a small portion of our harvest,  in the back you can see the bell peppers…second class citizens. We’ve dried and pickled serenos, jalapenos, Thai chilies, Tabasco “super chilies” and habeneros . And made dozens of jars of something we’ve named “Hab-Sauce.” I also tried a batch of Habenero Gold this year–it was a new project from my favorite canning book. Habenero Gold is a glorified adaption of jalapeno jelly, which you can eat with tortilla strips and cream cheese or brie. Last year I just substituted jalapenos with habeneros and it was such click to continue reading…

SSSSalsa!

According to Seinfeld people only eat salsa because the like to say “SSSSalsa!” But I remember the first time I had fresh salsa as a teenager, I abandoned the chip and used a spoon. We also love variations on the traditional tomato salsa. My grandfather in California gave us peaches and nectarines last week. I canned 14 half pints of nectarine salsa as soon as we got home. It is the one benefit of winter (non-gardening season,) opening jars of like this. You can make variations on salsa by substituting many different fruits for the tomatoes. Our favorite is: 1 lg can crushed pineapple 4 diced mangos handful of torn cilantro leaves 1 red onion, diced 2 sereno chillis, diced click to continue reading…