Monthly Archives: August 2010

CSA: Week 11

CSA Week 11 ~ 8.11.10

This week the delivery included:

  • 2.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 large Walla Walla onions
  • 3 beets (I have no idea what to do with these!)
  • 3 little tomatoes
  • 2 dozed ears of corn
  • 1 little pale pepper of an unidentified variety

I need to get the zucchini used up, so maybe I’ll fry some tonight with our supper.  The cukes will go into refrigerator pickles.  Other than that, I don’t have much planned for this produce.  With vacation and all, I haven’t been doing much menu planning.

Any suggestions?

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Vacation Update

ahhh...vacation

Three of the last four days have included hours at the beach. With temps in the 90s and high humidity, is there really anywhere else to be?

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Company Girl Coffee ~ 8.6.10

Have you ever noticed that time really drags on the week before something exciting?

Starting the week feeling horrible didn’t help, I’m sure, but mostly this week has been spent in anticipation of next week.

What’s next week?  Well that would be a week of vacation!

I make it sound so exciting…and to me it is.  Don’t be disappointed to hear that I am staying home all week.  I already have eye doctor appointments scheduled for both kids, one will go to the dentist and I’m meeting with a new insurance agent and taking the cat to the vet.  There is a meeting at school and the end of the season “dinner from dirt” for the kids’ garden club.   I also will be getting re-licensed for daycare next month so I have some home projects that need done before then…I’ll spare you the gory details of re-licensing.  Suffice it to say it involves many hoops of unknown size & color and hinges on the agreeableness of a self-proclaimed overworked government worker. (Yesterday she spent 7.5 hours at a providers house pointing out a few cobwebs & reading hand soap labels.  yes.  7.5 HOURS!)

I’ve explained to the kids that I hope to work hard in the mornings and play even harder all afternoon.  When making the appointments I stacked everything on three mornings.  I love the days that I can just be a SAHM.  No people in & out by 7:30am.   No big deal if ALL food groups aren’t represented in USDA required proportions at all daytime meals and snacks…  ohhh the freedom!

These are the times it is wonderful living in a tourist area.  There are literally HUNDREDS of lakes less than an hours drive from SmallTown.  I see beaches, magazines and mugs of lemonade in the afternoons.  Grace has asked to invite friends over for a bonfire at least once.  Absolutely!

Dreaming of all the potential of next week has really slowed time this week though.  I am a little irritable with work things.  That could be because I need this time off to re-energize or it means I am really anticipating the laid-back afternoons of next week.  Either way, it is FINALLY FRIDAY!

I am thinking about prepping the bathroom at nap time today.  I really want to paint it and even have a fresh gallon of paint ready.  I figure if I can empty the decorative shelf & tape off the woodwork/trim during nap time, I could have that thing primed and painted before bed!  How cool would that be?

This day will probably be spent watching the clock.  Just a few hours until sweet freedom kicks in….

For more Company Girl Coffee visit Home Sanctuary.

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Crazy Canning

Beans from our backyard gardens.

We love dilly green beans here at our house.  Last year I made a measly half-dozen jars to see if we liked them.  We did!  This year I made about 30 jars.  I have no doubt they will disappear.  I first read about them here.  Then I saw similar recipes, but I stayed with Jen’s.

For these dilly green beans.  I did not want to miss the CSA green bean picking!  It happened that I could pick cukes on the same day.  So Saturday, Dan & I hit the road early and were at the gardens (40 minute drive) by 7:15 am.  We quickly picked almost two buckets of cukes and moved over to the beans.

Beans proved to be a slower picking process.  There were a lot of weeds!  We really didn’t know how many to pick.  It is hard to judge just how many beans are going into those bags…  We finally figured three half-full grocery bags should be plenty.  Are any of you laughing at us yet???

Yield from the CSA picking.

That tub the beans are in??  That is a crisper drawer from the old frig we recently got rid of…the kind of crisper drawer that takes up the whole bottom of the frig.  Yeah.  Maybe we should’ve stopped with two bags of beans.

If you want to see exactly what we did with it all you can read the summary here. Dan also brought leftover produce in to work.  The last of it went home with one of his employees today.

most of it...

...the rest from the other side

The jars on the very end are the jalapeno jelly.  It is the only thing we’ve tried so far…and it is GOOD!  My jalapeno plants are loaded right now, so I know I’ll be making more of that.  Everything else need

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Adjustments

After 6 months of life with a teenage daughter, life is pretty good.   If fact I think she’s matured so much in the last year.  She’s responsible and funny, caring and considerate.  Yes, there are hormones that rear their ugly head from time to time, but it hasn’t been too bad.

There are two things I am having to adjust to though.

First, is finding that quiet house time to myself.  My husband has always been an early to bed kind of guy, so when the kids were in bed (and often asleep) by 9:00 I had some time to myself.  Now Grace is up until 10 frequently and sometimes later.  She sleeps til 8 most mornings so she gets plenty of sleep…but it doesn’t leave much time alone for me.  I’ve tried to get up earlier without much success.  So I figure I’ll either learn to get up earlier or learn to live with less time to myself at the end of the day.  This isn’t a big deal…just a little different.

The second adjustment also has to do with relaxing in the evening.  After a long day I sometimes get into pajamas after supper, especially if I know we aren’t going anywhere/doing anything for the rest of the evening.  But not anymore.  Now I’m dressed until I go to bed.

Dan & I both hope that our house becomes a hangout place for our kids & their friends.  We like to know where they are and what their friends are like.  If you are going to have an open door policy, you have to be ready to open the door!

I am not particularly high maintenance, but I like to look nice…put together.  Know what I mean?  I don’t want my kids to feel like their mother is frumpy or dumpy or whatever…so while I don’t need to be “Stacie’s mom”  I don’t want to embarrass them either.

Do you still have little ones?  Do you want an example?

Yesterday Grace got a call from a good friend.  She was hanging out with a group of kids at one of the kids’ grandparents’ house down the street.  Could Grace come over?  sure.  It’s in the neighborhood.  That was at 7:30.  A little while later two boys knocked on my door.  They were friends of Grace and wanted to know if we had something to pump up their bike tires.  Of course.  I went out to the garage and got the air compressor.  They happily aired up their tires while half a dozen other kids found their way to our driveway. Later one of the kids was telling Grace that her parents sure must be strict if she (Grace) isn’t allowed to wear short shorts, when one of the bike boys interrupted with “no, her parents are cool!  they have an air compressor!”.

So you see, what if I had decided at 7 or even 7:30 that I could call it a night and change into pjs?

Today Grace and her friend from last night were texting about how bored they were when Grace asked if her friend could come over.  Sure.  So 10 minutes later I was picking up the friend.  We’ll bring her home at 9:30 or so when Dan gets home from Stanley’s wrestling camp.  They are out on bikes now.  And who knows who I could have in my driveway before long.

So there are some adjustments I have to make.  And some minor inconveniences…but really I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The girls are back!  Better go see if I need to make a snack for them.

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CSA: Weeks 9 & 10

I picked up our 10th delivery tonight so the CSA season is officially half over.  Unbelievable.

CSA Week 9 ~ 7.28.10

Things were starting to get a little ahead of me last week.  Then we went and picked beans and cukes (more on that later).  So the weekend was a time to catch up before too much went to waste.

As you can see, there were carrots, a couple zucchini, a couple cukes, kale, green beans, a walla walla onion, potatoes and a cabbage.  The carrots were used in freezer slaw, along with the cabbage.  The onion went into relish.  I froze the zucchini & yellow squash and we ate the green beans.

The kale was made into kale chips.  I’d never made them before, and learned that they are best right away, warm from the oven.  It is a pretty simple thing to do…wash and pat dry your kale, tear into pieces throwing out/composting the thick stems, rub olive oil on them and sprinkle with sea salt.  Then bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until they are crisp.  That easy.

And then there are those potatoes.  They are really good potatoes but they seem to be getting the best of me.  I keep forgetting about them.  I used a little over half a bag today for boiled potatoes for lunch then made the leftovers into potato salad.  Now I have two & a half bags to use.  We love potatoes so it really is just a matter of remembering they are there.

CSA Week 10 ~ 8.4.10

Do you see that beautiful sweet corn????  I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow night!  Expecting that corn in this week’s delivery, I had a pot of water on the stove ready. Unfortunately there was a new driver and deliveries were delayed until after supper time. TWO DOZEN EARS!  That means we’ll have corn three times in the coming days!  YUM!

Otherwise things look similar…zucchini (I think I’ll fry some with our supper tomorrow), cukes that will turn into refrigerator pickles,  a pound of green beans (for lunch tomorrow),  potatoes that will add to my stockpile of them, and kale we’ll have as chips (or maybe try in green smoothies?).  Missing from this picture is the big (one pound) walla walla onion.

So there it is…the CSA deliveries thus far.  I am liking this.  Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by so much produce, but it is good for me to have to use so many seasonal veggies.  My kids are fairly receptive and if nothing else are learning that all these vegetables won’t kill them.

Check back next week to see what comes in the next delivery…maybe some tomatoes??

What seasonal veggies are you eating?  And how are you fixin’ them?

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Weekend Wrap-Up

Well,  it was a very busy weekend!  I did push through and go shopping with Grace on Friday. As predicted we got home at midnight.  By 7:15 on Saturday morning Dan & I were at our CSA garden to pick beans and cukes.  That took a couple of hours and we were home by 10.

The rest of the weekend was a blur of vegetables and canning jars.  Here is what we made/canned this weekend:

  • 25 pints & 7 half-pints of dilly green beans
  • 6 quarts of dill pickles
  • 4 pints of dill spears
  • 5 pints & 4 half-pints of hamburger slices
  • 5 pints & 5 half-pints of dill relish
  • 1 pint & 5 half-pints of sweet relish
  • 5 half-pints of jalapeno jelly
  • 5 pints of freezer slaw
  • 4 gallons of cabbage (for soups)
  • 5 pints of freezer cucumbers

And then, because my house is hopping by 7 am…we cleaned the kitchen.  Including the jelly that boiled over all over the stove.  What a mess.  But by 9:30 last night the floor was scrubbed too.

And I collapsed.

Remember the sore throat I mentioned on Friday?  It never went away.  In fact, it invited its friends: body aches, low-grade temp, headache & mucous to the party.

I thought I’d take it easy at work today, but still take kids.  I feel bad taking a sick day when I am on vacation all next week.  And since I sorta brought some of this on myself (hello super-woman syndrome) I kinda feel guilty about that too.  However, this morning Dan said at 5:00 am that he was not working (he & I have the same party goin’ on in our bodies) so I decided that maybe that was a good idea.

I took a 5 hour nap today.  yes.  FIVE HOURS.  So maybe I needed this sick day after all.

And maybe I shouldn’t pick green beans and cukes on the same day again.

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