Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Resurrecting Cooking Blog

Jeff and I have been depressed about the world situation right now. Really depressed. He responded productively by getting extremely active with Indivisible Oregon. Sadly, I responded by diving back into my Elder Scrolls Online game, but this week I have finally decided I need to stop hiding out in the game.

Starting now, I am going to try to make some overdue positive changes in my life. First starters, I've decided to become a lot more proactive in our menu planning because over the last couple of years our eating has drifted back into a lot of store-bought prepared food, i.e. things like canned soup and less healthy foods. Jeff has tried to keep up our nutrition—he still makes a lot of salads—but sometimes he just doesn't feel like cooking. This has resulted in a much larger food budget. I'd like to work to reverse the trend and use more of my time helping out with the cooking tasks.

Last Thanksgiving, the Instant Pot was deeply discounted and since many of our friends had been raving about theirs for months on social media, we decided to give it a try. Jeff has gotten good use out of it, since he uses it most days for making oatmeal for breakfast, but I am going to try and add a lot more recipes to our arsenal. I'm hoping ultimately we will buy less canned foods, especially soups.

Anyway, for folks who are interested in our cooking exploits, we'll be resurrecting Jeff's mostly neglected food blog and resume posting about our successes and failures. I plan to do quite a lot of Instant Pot recipes and I'm hoping to try my hand at some crusty breads and filled pastas (not too much of these because of carbs).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Progress on Shed

Finally, another day of work happened. It got really hot, but at least it wasn't raining, for a nice change. Today they starting framing the door and windows and the roof.
Installing the brackets. I actually bought these on sale last fall from VanDyke's Restorers. They are called Restorers Rustic Merced Arts & Crafts Outlooker Bracket. They match our house pretty well, though I don't like the groove they cut into them (I didn't notice it in the picture at the website when I ordered them).
 Here's where they left off for the day.
We're hopeful the weather will hold and they'll get the roof on this week.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Breck's Order

We finally received the Breck's order from March. Even though it came about a month later than I had expected, the bareroot plants we received actually looked healthy and appeared to be viable. Jeff planted them yesterday and once they start growing I'll post photos. I only received the flowers; the bulbs will arrive in fall.

There is still absolutely no signs of life in the dead plants we got from Wholesale Plant Nursery. It's time to dispute the charge.

Our rain has continued practically non-stop since we started the garden shed/chicken coop. We're hoping next week brings better weather and we can make more progress on the framing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vegetable Garden

Over the weekend Jeff went off to the Master Gardener's Incredible Edibles sale and bought a few plants. We're doing a much smaller garden this year because we tended to be pretty unreliable about caring for them in earlier years. The chard and kale will also survive over the winter.

Jeff got them in the ground, but he didn't redig the whole garden so there are still a few herbs leftover from earlier years. It's kind of hard to see the new plants.
As usual, I'm just going to cut and paste the list into the post so I have a record (for next year):
Rainbow Chard, Kale, Lettuce (Merlot and Red Sails), Slicing Tomatoes (Early Girl, Black Zebra, Indigo Rose and Purple Bumblebe) and Basil.

We also picked up a squash plant for the backyard to help shade the dirt to help prevent weeds.

I also ordered a number of seeds for the front planting strip. I learned from my earlier lessons not to buy plants, but I have not been totally cured of online shopping. But now I start with the lists of 30 good companies at Dave's Garden and only shop at those. At least seeds are much cheaper if it doesn't go well.

I'm not sure if I should post the list of seeds as I receive them, or as I plant them. :)

We'll probably do the major planting in fall when we receive all the bulbs. Jeff is considering double digging and amending the soil before we plant everything.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring Plantings

We have had so much rain this year. We are definitely ready for some sunny days.  On the bright side, our ferns are ecstatic about the weather. We got a bunch of bareroot ferns from a friend last year and they're looking great.
Earlier this week we bought 20 bareroot ferns from Bosky Dell Natives and they are huge and beautiful, unlike the mostly dead ones we got a couple weeks ago. They filled up a large burlap bag. Jeff got them in the ground today but I haven't taken a picture yet.

Oh, and look who's awake!