Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yum

Boy howdy, I have not been talking about cooking food here very much, have I? Well we still do it, I swear. Things were hairy there in the first trimester, what with my sudden grudge against kale and squash and oats and curry, but then along came the second trimester and there were trumpets and confetti and a celestial choir and energy to do things again and kale was once again my friend and most of my clothes still fit. Right. The third trimester rolled around a few weeks ago, and, well, I am not quite so peppy and sometimes getting my own socks off is really comical and my middle organs are starting to get all smooshed and eating is just not quite what it once was and hopefully will be again. Let's just say that snacking is better than dining, shall we?

Anyway, what the heck was I going to talk about here? Right. Tofu. I am not really sure why this caught my eye, because it sounds really boring, but it did and we made it and it's so stinkin' easy and yum. First we made pseudo sushi with just brown rice and avocados and umeboshi paste and whatever other veggie were around. Good. Then we made Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce. Sounds boring, right? Well it's not, just don't forget the wasabi (oddly, I have been really into spicy food throughout...just NOT CURRY), which we recently realized you can buy powdered in the spice section of the grocery store for cheap. It's a little weird, but it's also not florescent green, which is ok with me. The meal is simple, you can put it on the table and snack on it all evening, and it feels good for you. Eat it up!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Phildelphia Love

Durn it, it's Monday and I'm tired. Busy weekend: work, guests, and Busy himself with the usual busy at four in the morning. Quite a lot of fun in there too though; a good chunk of time in the garden, a rockin' gospel concert, and some family time chief among them.

Last week I got not one, but two seriously squeal worthy packages in the mail. Both from Philadelphia, a city I've never even visited but sure do hope to someday. The first was from this girl, and it contained two pair of handmade baby socks and this hat:



Jeezopete is that cute or what? In general the hats kill B and this was no exception. Kind of crazy to fit it onto your hand and think there will be a Busy Little Guy's head in there soon.

The second package was from this gal. It sure has been fun to trade pregnant lady news with her. We are just a week and some change behind them: two June babies coming up. Anyhoo, as though she read my mind, out of a box came a gleaming jar of homemade belly butter:



It smells like happy and goes on like a dream, and I'd been eying pricey butters and not taking the bait for months. Also in the box was a Nikki McClure baby book and some lovely rosewater for judicious spritzes when the tired rolls around. Also: her card had a wax seal on it; the cracking of it alone made me do a little dance.

So yeah, I am feeling the Phildelphia love: thanks you two.

We finally got all of our early seedlings out in the dirt, and boy were they ready. We planted them on a beautiful Saturday and Sunday rain watered them right in for us. A bit more rain and shy sun and then we're in for a stretch of sunny, sunny weather that should make everyone happy. Along with our seedlings we planted another round of baby bok choy and lettuce and the first rounds of beets and two kinds of carrots. Game on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pluck of a Weevil in a Biscuit


Where to begin? Where did I leave off? Where am I now? Seriously, that last question is no joke. Lately I have been doing extremely hilarious absentminded things like 1) putting the jar of mustard under the kitchen sink instead of the fridge 2) reaching for organic butter and coming home with non-organic butter 3) constantly walking out the door without all my shit. Ok, it's really only hilarious if you know what a precise person I am usually am. Righty-o.



So Charleston was just about the most fun two people can have in three days. When we pulled into the driveway after it was all over I told B that my fun-meter was broken. We kicked things off by reading Treasure Island in the car on the way there (thus my awesome title for this post) which completely blew us away with its greatness. We are going around spouting choice phrases whenever possible ("Good grief, we have left the kitchen in a state of smash!"), and we are gunning for Jekyll and Hyde next. Shiny.



Charleston itself was blindingly picturesque. We strolled down brick streets, sniffed camellias and magnolias and jasmine, toured historic houses, posed in front of countless fountains, visited an old plantation and took a boat ride that brought us within five feet of a great blue heron, and pretty much just enjoyed the phejesus out of ourselves. We ate stunning grits and butter beans and fried chicken, visited no less than four bakeries, had the best Thai food we've had in ages, and found a super cute cafe for our no-attitude morning decaf americano (nerds). On day two, with sore pregnant lady feet, we rented bikes and sailed around the city with practically no effort at all. Every time we do this we re-vow to Always Rent Bikes. It's just so stinkin' fun and you and do and see so much more. The weather, predicted to be partly cloudy, was actually like this:



Right? Delicious.

So yeah. We give Charleston the thumbs up. Then my lovely parents arrived, bringing with them lots of baby excitement and hugs and general loveliness. They also brought with them Much Baby Gear - my beautiful old oak crib and an enormous box of goodies from a high school friend of mine. My mama got to feel Mr. Busy kicking away in there, which was pretty awesome, and we celebrated Johnny's birthday a few days early. Oh, and my mom cleaned our oven for us and Johnny fixed our broken screen door. We are lucky kids.

After all this excitement, I pretty much spent most of the weekend sleeping or on the couch. We did plant some peas and poppies and lupines and B did some garden maintenance involving beautiful compost and leaf mould. We're hardening our early seedlings, and the new batch is under the lights. Basils, tomatoes, squash, and tomatillos are already up and running. Our cabbage starts are especially lovely:



Also lovely: B's bagels. He is fast on the track of experimentation, and they get yummier at every turn. Lucky me.



Hope you all had wonderful last weeks and even better this weeks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Postal Surprises

Sweet Mary, how did it get to be Thursday? Search me.



We had a mighty, might fine weekend with B's mom and her company. I did finally give in to the headcold that has been threatening me for the last two weeks, but to be completely honest I was just relieved that it wasn't the flu. Busy Baby Boy can handle a mama full of snot, but fevers are no good. Anyway. We talked and walked and celebrated B's mom's birthday and played some music and did some dancing and watched a film and yes: ate some food. The picture above is kind of symbolically excessive: B's bagels with farm fresh scrambled eggs, two kinds of homemade jam, some marmalade, some homemade boursin, some homemade pesto, and a plate of apples, pears, and clementines...you get the idea. Sitting around our table discussing food with folks we love is pretty much top priority when people roll through town. Anyway: at some point we got to discussing ice cream, and a certain type of Ohio ice cream came up, well, because it's completely awesome and they make some flavors that will both raise your eyebrows and leave you asking for more. They were making Salty Caramel ice cream well before it was cool, darn it. In fact, I think their ice cream might have been my first salted caramel experience, lo some many years ago now (uh, a lot of years ago now...yeesh).

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday:



It has four friends in the freezer. Did you know that you could get ice cream in the mail? I am unashamed to admit that I personally had never contemplated such a thing. B made me try to guess what came in the mail and I got so desperate as to suggest a live bunny rabbit before he gave in and told me. Small mammals come before ice cream in the postal department part of my brain, I guess. We were flabbergasted, touched, and after playing with the dry ice (do not underestimate this part), we had to try all five flavors pretty much immediately. They are all so stinkin' good that I kind of wish that I didn't know you could order it through the mail... Thanks YR, we feel spoiled rotten.

Thanks for all the Charleston suggestions! You are all a bunch of emailers as it turns out, which is lovely and dear because then I can write you back instead of hiccupy comment responding thing that I really have no hang of whatsoever. We are looking forward to grits and gullah rice and butter beans, as well as some bike riding and camellia sniffing. This time is crazy sweet, we feel so sneaky just rolling out of town for no good reason whatsoever.



In garden news, as soon as we get back we will harden off all of our early seed starts because they are HUGE (those are onion trimmings up there - ours are growing like mad and I am just whacking them off at 4-5 inches for now) and plant all of our summer booty. Exciting. Despite making an extremely unladylike noise when bending over, this girl is ready to dig in the dirt, belly and all. I am a little afraid to examine the overwintered onions and garlic - it has been so freakin' wet. Fingers crossed.

Hope you are all well out there...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bagels


Wouldja look at that? My husband baked that. It is a long-fermented water boiled bagel, and it is the best bagel I've had in I don't know how long. You cannot get one of those here, all you can have is a very bready sweet sort of affair that will leave you both full and hungry an hour later. Complicated. These are trad bagels - chewy on the outside, like chewy, with insides boasting real flavor and bubble pockets perfect for cradling cream cheese from the hours it spent fermenting. I am starting to think he might be a baker when he grows up. Fine by me.


Have great weekends out there. We are spending this one with B's mom and her special friend. Much fun has been planned for.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Busy

This is what I call our little guy: Busy. He started kicking early and he likes to kick a lot and he doesn't mind kicking hard. I am charmed, the husband is charmed, but I am f-ing tired, because lately it's made sleep a wee bit elusive and this girl a wee bit tired (or more), and I'll admit it: a wee bit cranky here and there. Moving on now.

I worked this weekend, but we still got into a pretty average amount of trouble. The handpies grew and this time contained peaches:



Tunes were played:





And no photos because they didn't do them justice, but we made veggie reubens with our own sauerkraut and B's rye bread and all the tired and the cranky vanished at the first bite of the sandwich of my dreams. B finally got to try making bread with a stone and it was stunning. He is getting to be a durn good baker, that boy.

Happy Monday.