affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Lawnchair is installing the window AC in the bedroom. While we have a nice suburban AC unit that cools the whole house, we find it economical to have a separate AC unit for just the bedroom. I'm better at putting up with 90 when I'm awake then 75 when I'm trying to sleep. And the bedroom is usually the warmest part of the house (being the highest).

We harvested our first cauliflower today. Cabbage moths have found our garden, so shading the cauliflower with its own leaves was not completely effective. But tasty because it was home grown. I also ate a half dozen strawberries, a handful of peas and some mulberries (though some bright individual built his compost bins under my mulberry tree, making harvesting hard).

Squash plants took off while I was gone. They all had a few leaves when I left, but now they all 8+, and the leaves are as large as my head. I'm not sure we left them enough room. The cucumbers are similar. One of the eggplants has bloomed, and the flower is very pretty. Mint is trying to escape the pots. The tomato and pepper plants are still small, but there a number of green tomatoes on the early girls and romas. Deer didn't kill the apple trees, they're both heavily leafed. The peach tree has grown a twig from the bottom which is taller than the original stick part. I hope it is coming from above the graft.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
A chance comment from Ninja Tech reminded me that since I love having early spring flowers, I should plant some bulbs this fall. So we bought some at Home Depot (we were there to buy a nice drop cloth). I might have gone a little crazy with crocuses.

This morning, Lawnchair broke up the dirt in the front bed (which currently has very generic bushes), and then we worked in some of the compost we got from the city last week (for $10 they dump a bulldozer scoop full in the bed of your truck or trailer), and buried tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, freesia and 120 crocus bulbs. We'll see what comes up.

Now I bathe again, and finally stain the heirloom.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Was good, and did a bit of data collection this weekend. Went out yesterday afternoon, but forgot the battery. As it was almost 5, asked my helpers (Zach and Curt) if they had plans for this morning. They didn't, and so we went out around 9. Was back by noon, with 6 files of GPR to process. Went fast, despite the stupid jokes.

Bought leek seeds on the way home. It is a bit late to start them (usually start seeds 4-6 weeks before transferring to the garden), but figured at $2 I could at least try. I'd be kicking myself if I didn't.

After a breakfast of brownies and tea, biked out to Sunrise greenhouse (for the third time this spring) for a few more plants. Bought three more tomatoes (some of the free ones died, and found Early girls which already had flowers), a few more peppers (a couple of sweet, one hot), Thai basil (for my Thai curry), chives, cilantro (I'll get some to last one of these years), and strawberries (another pot for the patch by the tree, since last years ones came back, but could be a bit thicker). Planted it all, including lettuce, spinach, green onion and cucumber seeds. Still got some room in the main patch. I figure I'll hit the bigstore greenhouses as they're closing up, and put whatever I find on sale (wouldn't mind more herbs).
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Is apparently in the beds along the fence, but not in the yard. Today was the third in a row where I got dirt under my fingernails. Sunday I cleared out the area between the front patio pad and the southern fence, and planted the tomatoes and peppers Zach gave me. Yesterday I planted the chocolate mint, lemon balm and catnip that [livejournal.com profile] lisichance gave me in the area I cleared out Sunday. Today I cleared out the continuation of the mint bed (between the fence and a row of limestone rocks) and planted spearmint, candy mint and lavender there.

The fence bed isn't ideal, as the fence blocks some of the sun. But I'm sick of letting it grow up weedy (and grassy, and treey). I left in the flowers that were already there (including lots of violets). The saplings got cut down as far as I could find roots. I planted two redbud saplings that I had pulled out with the roots into a pot for Mom. Wasn't terribly careful about them living. The grass that kept a root ball when pulled was dumped root side down into the front yard, so maybe it will grow.

(I actually did thesis work this morning, and the weather is so nice, I couldn't refuse).
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Frost has been here, so no more tomatoes. I got home in time to pick the last green ones, though. So that means I can make green tomato pie. Now, green tomato pie isn't overwhelming, it rather tastes like apple pie. But I love the idea of using the tomatoes that would otherwise go to waste. Here's the recipe I found on the web, altered into a crumble. I don't have time to bake tonight (sewing night), but I will bake this tomorrow.

big bowl of green tomatoes (20 or so small ones)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoon butter

Wash the green tomatoes well; peel and slice. In a saucepan, combine tomatoes with lemon juice, peel, salt, and cinnamon. Cook tomato mixture over low heat, stirring frequently. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into tomato mixture. Cook mixture until clear, stirring constantly. Add butter, remove from heat, and let stand until slightly cooled.

3/4 c flour
3/4 c oats
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c nuts
3 tblsp butter
2 tblsp oil

Mix these together until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake for approx 30 min at 375 until top is golden.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
In preparation for the frost, I decided it was time to dig up the leeks. I had planted 6, and all lived. 2 just hadn't gotten any bigger. So it is soup time. I decided to retry the potato leek soup.

3 tbsp butter
garden full of leeks (4-6)
2 small shallots cloves
1 clove garlic

Slice white parts of leeks, shallots and garlic. Fry in pot with butter for 20 minutes (maybe add shallots and garlic after 10 minutes).

3 potatoes
5 cups water
2.5 cubes vegetable bullion

Peel and slice thinly potatoes. Add with water and bullion to pot. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Stick silly puree device into pot until smooth.

Add 1/2 cup half and half to be Vichyssoise.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
It has been a wet year. Just as I finally gave in and started watering the garden, it started raining. And kept raining for a few days. Most of the houses around me were built in the fifties for a good reason - it was the last time the area was flooded out. While 93 was a bigger flood, the levees held it back.

So thankfully we are a bit north of the current area of flooding. The most it has affected my life is not getting to hang out with C&C this weekend, as they couldn't get to C's parents to drop off kids. I'm hoping that C is able to get to work, and drop off Noah (appropriate name) at daycare in Ottawa.

Garden is doing well. Picked another cuc this morning, and have 3 tomatoes to eat tonight.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
This has been a great weekend, despite my random pain. Cut for weekend happiness )
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Today's morning task was the garden. We hooked up the trailer and biked over to the local greenhouse at 9. Of course, we then found out that they open at 10 on Sundays. So back home. So a nice, easy morning ride of maybe a mile.

Around 10, we packed up the recycling and dropped it off, to offset the gas we were going to spend. Drove down to the Baldwin Junction greenhouse. Despite the signs, I don't think they actually sold plants there. Did watch a shelf full of plantlings get loaded by tractor into a moving van.

Next try was Vinland Valley Greenhouse. Found most of what we wanted there, including a sweet black kitty who we carried around. Bought bell peppers, tomatoes, stevia, Thai basil, lemon grass and leeks. Swung by the local greenhouse again on the way into town for hot pepper, another tomato, cilantro, brocoli (even though the snowed on ones managed to survive the cold spell), red cabbage and strawberries. I picked out mostly flavorings (the herbs, hot pepper and leeks), while [livejournal.com profile] lawnchair picked out salad fixings.

The herbs got planted in pots, the strawberries in the tree patch, and the rest in the main garden patch. I know where each is, so I won't accidentally weed them.

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