I was so excited to stumble upon our first little cucumber while I was trying to coax a vine back to the trellis – I had no idea it was even there! So exciting! The whole ‘grow stuff’ thing is really working! We also have a squash which is starting to form and most of the tomato plants are in blossom at the moment. I’m amazed at the sense of accomplishment and straight up pride I’m taking in these little plants started from seed….!
Our little garden has finally made it outside and the growing seems to be speeding up (Huzzah!). The peppers have been staked and the tomatoes have been re-homed into cages (it’s very humane, don’t worry) or those upside down Topsy Turvy things. I have had mixed reviews as per their performance, so we’ll see. So far the plants are trying to bend back up toward the bag (?), hopefully they will figure it out soon and stop fighting gravity. The cucumbers have sort of stopped doing much of anything, so I’m not sure what to do with them, but the squash has continued the whole ‘world domination’ plan.
Of course I have learned a few more lessons….
Lesson 5: If you are going to restart your herbs and/or lettuce, stop trying to be nice and start them in the house (see previous post where I killed them all in eggshells). These guys need tough love and need to start their entire existence outside in the elements (nice elements, not too crazy). After a few of my lettuce sprouts got to 2 inches high, I put the basket outside and they promptly shriveled up. The next batch is doing much better with a full life of outdoor love. Parsley also curled up and had to be reseeded.
Lesson 6: What you think is enough light may not actually be true. I had placed my recycled soup and coffee can planters in some pre-made wooden garden boxes figuring they would just continue to flourish in the sun. This is hard when your wee plants aren’t quite big enough to see over the edge of the planter. I used the plastic boxes from some of my starts to prop the cans on until the plants are big enough to sit flat.
I’m a total Harry Potter nerd and can’t stop making the scarves. Why? Because when my owl arrives I want to be good and ready and have loads to spare so I can give them to my new friends (they will be my friends!!) and honestly Hogwarts looks a little drafty (not that I’m complaining at all. I love drafts. Really!!).
I gave the quick run down of the Harry Potter scarf construction in this post here, but finally had enough inventory set aside to get around to working up a ‘later years’ Potter scarf. Follow the same instructions as seen in the previous post, but knit only 2 rows for the alternating yellow and red stripes (pictured is 3, I dislike. The double row on the needles now looks a ton better). This piece worked up even faster than I thought, and I had a very enthusiastic model to help with the photograph. Huzzah!
Of course, should you want to pay me to make it for you instead of doing it yourself (and I’m totally ok with that…) you can find it listed in my Etsy shop.
I know, I know. Everyone has a different favorite barbeque technique to the point where fights ensue, but this is my favorite and what I grew up with. The sauce we use is popularly known as Chiavettas in the Western New York area, and many people I know buy it by the gallon and import it to wherever they have relocated to (I get it – we ship hot dogs 4000 miles. Sahlen’s are so worth it). It’s not the typical red BBQ sauce we tend to stereotypically associate with grilled meat, but it’s still damn tasty.
- 1 cup white vinger
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 1/2 TB poultry seasoning
- 1 TB salt
- 1 t pepper
- 1 egg
I prefer to cook with chicken quarters (the skin absorbs the marinade at just the right rate that both the skin and chicken are amazing. Note: I don’t eat cooked chicken skin unless it’s with this sauce.) but you are more than welcome to cook breasts or other random parts as well. Marinate your chicken for at least 2 hours before cooking, or even overnight in the fridge.
Tip: blend the marinade in a blender or some such to keep it from separating later.
Grill for the same amount of time you would with regular chicken bits (about 30 minutes for 2 quarters) but beware that charcoal or gas grills may cause falre-ups so have a spray bottle handy. Enjoy!
It really doesn’t get much better than fresh, local eggs.
The city recently changed an ordinance allowing for more folks to raise chickens in their yards – 5! I don’t think we could convince our HOA to allow it (for now) so I will be thrilled to support our friends and neighbors with egg laying ladies instead. So. Good.
Many moons ago, before Christmas, I ordered a Grow-A-Frog kit for my husband as well as one for my retail storefront (twice the fun, right?). Thankfully the folks who ship the tadpoles watch the weather to make sure they don’t freeze and die in transit, thus our tadpoles arrived only yesterday. They were totally worth the wait as I’m completely enamored. The little guy at the house has yet to be named (we’ve been trying out different combos but nothing is sticking yet. Hubert Cumberbund? Engleburt Humperdink?), but my little guy at the shop was immediately Herbert Thunderdome. I don’t know why, but he looks like a Herbert (and who doesn’t want to be a badass in the Thunderdome family?). Herbert could of course turn out to be Herberta but we won’t know until the legs come in.
The Grow-A-Frog thing is pretty cool. These frogs are actually African clawed frogs and I’m told with proper care can live for years (5 is average – but some people are quoting 20!) and get rather large. In the tadpole stage they have see through skin so you can see their little hearts pumping as well as food digesting. So cool! I’ll be sure to update on progress – we’re about 3 weeks out from appendage growth. At this point Herbert measures in at a little over an inch long (with a constantly moving tail) and 1/2 inch wide.