Sunday, May 31, 2009
lazy sunday...
A few shots from the day...

I like to call my gardening technique "container terracing". The space for lots of sun minus squirrels is very limited, so I'm pioneering the practice of putting little pots on top of and inside big pots to maximize output. It should be quite a harvest...

We took the bikes out to the velodrome for a trial run today. Here's Paul putting the finishing touches on his new set of wheels...


Friday, May 29, 2009
when it rains... really pays off.


Thursday, May 28, 2009
I've been making tea with my lemon verbena plant (and mint...yum!) lately, and ran across this recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook for Lemon Verbena sorbet. Just the smell of it makes my mouth water, and it's in the freezer for tonight. My plant's not very big yet, so it was only really enough of a harvest for a fraction of the recipe. So here the divided by three version I just made...

Lemon Verbena Sorbet

1/3 cup lemon verbena leaves, packed
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup cold water

Put the leaves and sugar into a food processor and grind away until the sugar is green.

Then add lemon juice and water and zizz it a bit until it looks fully mixed.

Strain out the leaves, leaving the greenish liquid behind.

Put liquid into a metal bowl or baking dish and place in freezer. After 3 or so hours, mash with fork to break up chunks and serve.

This really came out less like a sorbet (because I don't have an ice cream freezer) and more like a granita. But delicious and refreshing. Kind of an herbally lemony taste. Next time I may try a bit of mint in with it for added refreshment.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
...dinner tonight! Easy and delicious, this is my new comfort food.

Adobo chicken

1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (3 pounds with bone)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Place all ingredients into a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Chicken will be very tender and sauce will reduce to about half. Put chicken in serving dish and pour sauce on top. Serve with jasmine rice. Serves 4.


Thursday, May 21, 2009
vitamin c...
Yesterday UPS brought me a bushel of these:

Yum! It's like home coming to me!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009
the only thing better...
...than a Nilla wafer is a chocolate Nilla wafer.


Monday, May 18, 2009
because I'm kind of a nerd...
...I've decided to enroll in The Knitting Guild Association's Master Knitting program. Basically, send a bunch of samples of my knitting off, and they get judged to see if they qualify, and in the meantime, I get feedback on how to improve my knitting. Yes, I warned you that I'm nerdy. I'm the kid who liked the standardized tests, mostly because I "got" them, and could tell what they were asking. And for some reason I like filling in little bubbles. So part of me kind of sees this as the SAT's of knitting; a litmus test to see what my strengths and weaknesses are.

My first weekend of haphazard knitting produced the first five swatches:

I chose the green color because it speaks to me and I always feel cheerful while knitting colorful yarn. The first swatches seemed a breeze, and part of me thinks that I just have to zip through Level I quickly to get to the more challenging levels, but I'm trying to be open to learning a bit while demonstrating techniques that I feel I already have down pat.


Saturday, May 16, 2009
bearing fruit...
Although the plant itself is still rather small, today revealed the official first tomato of the year! He's diminutive too, but filled with promise...

and the snap pea plants that were seeds less than 2 weeks ago are reaching their little tendrils up for the trellis. Just a few more inches, fellas!

Meanwhile, the lettuce and arugula are going gangbusters (yes, this is an official gardening term), just need some thinning.

And of course the herbs are all doing well! The basil crop will be especially hearty this year...we'll be in the pesto business soon!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
i am officially addicted... guacamole.

Avocados have been on sale around here lately, and I haven't been able to resist. Especially after the discovery that the best guacamole recipe was basically avocado mixed with my homemade salsa. And so I ask you, is it such a bad thing to eat a whole batch in one day? According to

A one-ounce serving (approximately one-fifth of an Avocado) is just 50 calories, yet serves up nutrients, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of dietary fiber. All with zero cholesterol and just 0.5 grams of saturated fat (the "bad" type of fat).*

So really, it's not too bad, other than the fact that I'm plowing through tortilla chips.

As for my other addictions...

Totally cute, right?

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Sunday, May 10, 2009
teapots are fun to knit for..., they sit still for fittings and don't complain about itching.

I'm in a designing mood, and another quick little project will satisfy that, plus the need I'm having for finishing something. Knitting another tea cozy makes me feel a little bit crazy, but at least it's for a different reason than usual.

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Friday, May 08, 2009
just in time...
...for tea! Yes, I am thoroughly excited by the fact that my teapot now has his own cable-knit sweater. No, I am not embarrassed by this at all.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009
because it's getting warmer...
...and my tea is not. And because I fall prey to the knitter's compulsion to knit covers for things...

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009
parsley, sage, rosemary...
...and thyme. And dill, basil, and cilantro, and oregano, and mint, and lemon verbena.

Saturday involved braving the rain and the crowds at the WNC Farmer's Market annual Herb Festival. If I had actual ground to plant a bunch of stuff in, I probably would've come home with more pepper plants, edible flowers, and a bunch of crazy medicinal herbs like astragalus, boneset, and wormwood. But since I'm mostly limited to pots on the fire escape and windowsill, I'm only growing things I can eat...

In addition to all the herbs, I've also got some tomatoes, a bell pepper, loads of lettuces, and some sugar snap peas. A few more weeks and we'll be swimmin' in salad!

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Monday, May 04, 2009
I needed some color... my life. Today I finished these socks, which have been sitting on needles for months and months. Occasionally I'll knit a little bit, but mostly, they've been toted around in my bag in case I get stuck waiting somewhere. But finally they're done!

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