The first tomatoes of the year

11 07 2012

It’s veggie CSA day and we got our first tomatoes! Cherry tomatoes, some romas, strawberries, basil, parsley, lettuce, plums, zucchini, cabbage, spring onions, potatoes, and eggs. I swapped some cucumbers for more onions because they were too huge, and also because I’ve been pickling and just can’t handle cucumbers in the fridge right now (the hubby was not a big fan of this decision).

And not only have I been pickling, I’ve been making jam, mustard, ginger beer (haven’t tasted it yet) and my own mayo. Out of control? I might have busted the blender…

Those carrots are from our backyard! Best harvest we’ve had. Last year was an arugula year; this one was a carrot year. We enjoyed a few at a time from the garden for a month or two and then one decided to flower so I pulled ’em!

One was gi-NORM-us!

It’s not exactly State Fair worthy, but pretty darn good for a humble back yard garden, if I do say so myself.

Here they are all washed up and ready for pickling. Oh, how I love pickled carrots with hummus. Or plain. Or in a bloody mary.

Today is special for another reason – it’s my friend Alison’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Alison! I blogged just for you.





Laaaaaaaaaaaaa! La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la la La LA laaaaaaaa…

9 07 2012

Sometimes it’s best to admit you have a problem. So here goes…I am obsessed with pitchers. Large ones, small ones, round ones, glass ones, ceramic ones, ones that play ball.

So when I fell in love with a ridiculously hip and pricey pitcher at a shop in the neighborhood, I refused to pick it up. I walked by it in the window for months. I would NOT buy that pitcher. I wouldn’t touch it. I could resist. Really. But then the hubby wanted to go in that store. And when I told him about the pitcher he said “do you want to get it?” And when I said it was too expensive, he picked it up (!), looked at the bottom, and said it was still ok.

Lo:

Why do I love him so? I can hear him sing every time I look at him. Plus – I love all big gray wrinkly animals, especially whales.

And most especially, Willy:

 





Tray from across the way

5 09 2011

I love snacky foods. And setting out little tastes of a lot of things when friends come over. So I was very excited to discover that my good friend Amber does too! She calls it “tray” and I was lucky enough to enjoy one with her (and friends) at her summer home last month.

We have a couple folks coming over for a back yard bbq today, and I put this tray together:

Strawberries, green Greek olives, cubed pepper jack cheese (childhood favorite!), herbs de provence coated salami, pistacios, bread and butter pickles, ho-made pickled carrots, and 2 wheels of cheese from the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, a Formagella,and a Foggy Morning, which we’ll be enjoying with the last gravenstein apples of the season.





New project

9 05 2011

I’ve been working on a new quilting project and finally have it all mapped and measured! I’ll be in the craft room for the next few evenings…





The point of gardening

19 03 2011

In addition to the stress relieving activities of weeding, digging, planting, and watering, and sometimes getting some food out of the deal, one of the best fruits of a gardener’s labor are flowers:

Tulips and freesias are two of my favorite flowers. The daffodils and purple crocuses look great together in the yard.  And of course I love the calas too.

Our fall planting is doing relatively well. Being new at this, I figure if we get to eat half of what we plant it’s worth it. The beets are refusing to grow, even after 2 rounds of planting. I blame the slugs and snails. But the kohlrabi and arugula are doing fantastic:

At least…I think the kohlrabi is doing fantastic…I don’t really know, not having grown it before. It certainly looks happy in the foreground of the above picture.

The arugula has been incorporated into many a meal at this point (and I’m still at war with the neighborhood cat that will not stop digging up the carrots planted right behind):

How long does a cabbage take to grow? I have no idea but this one looks promising:

And we’ve had a few unexpected additions, thanks to the rain and a rotting stump hanging out in the border:

Now if only we could get our mud patch of a yard to be grass again…





Faux Amour

9 03 2011

Every month a (hilarious) newsletter is sent out by the police station in our neighborhood, outlining the activities of note in the district. The location of each action is noted and on the corner closest to us? It is almost always Faux Amour.

“Officer Salvador arrested a soiled dove and her paramour for engaging in a sad, shabby substitute for amour.”

“Decoy Officer Dickson was solicited for an act of prostitution by a wannabe paramour, who was then arrested…”

The aggressors are called things like craven criminal, truculent thug, suspicious scoundrels skulking suspiciously, surly sinister, and vile vandals, and are accused of tawdry acts, peddling pernicious poison, lacking in basic decency, and possessing concealed daggers.

And they are often “brought to justice.”





What a difference a week makes

7 02 2011

I was nervous about the garden this last week. We were on vacation and I knew the weather would turn warm. Luckily, the plants seem to be A-OK in the water dept now that they’ve received a welcome back soaking. The calas are gorgeous of course:

And some of the tulips I planted right before we left are already inches above the ground (in front of the staghorn’s stump-stand)!

(Can anyone tell me why my artichokes keep laying down their outermost leaves?)

The rose is doing well, the daffodils up, the crocuses blooming, and the freesias and thyme looking great:

Also – the lemon tree is blooming at last:

I have lost another battle in the war I am in with the neighborhood cat that has decided my veggie bed is its new litter box. Carm has been chasing it out of the yard at night, I (drunkenly) sprayed it with a hose one time, and I thought we were making progress, but I had spread chili flakes all over the area it had been hanging out in before we left and it appears that it just moved to a different row of veggies. Now I’ve lost a bunch of carrots and some cabbage. Bastard cat. I read somewhere that orange oil discourages late night feline garden visits…any other advice?