Independence Days Week IX

Wow, is it a new week already???

I have spent the morning after my chores reading other blogs, following random links, and have several pictures to post thanks to Sarah Kucera who is the intrepid artist responsible for them.  Simply incredible.  I can’t get my mind off Detroit lately it seems, and when I do I keep finding links that bring me back there.  But anyway, back to the update.

Plant something:  cowpeas, interplanted with my corn.  I read that they are good fodder for chickens, but I have also read that chickens don’t like beans much so we’ll see.  I’m certainly not averse to some blackeyed pea soup even if they won’t eat them! Bush beans in the rose beds.  The seeds are down to about 60% germination, they’re seeds that my mom had in her cupboard planning to put into her garden when she died five years ago.  She truly was crazy as a loon, but she had a very green thumb and I miss her; I think about her every time I see my little plants.

Harvest something:  lettuce, cherry tomatoes, the first poblano pepper of the season, golden rasberries (they’ve been coming ripe two or three at a time so Mr. Tin Foil and I munch on them while watering).

Eat the food:  we made tepary bean hummus which tasted delicious but immediately made me bloat horribly.  Yeah, yeah, those of you who speak a little Arabic will realize that houmous is actually the name for the garbanzo bean specifically, but what else could I call it that us ‘merikuns will recognize?  Besides, the name for the spread is synonymous with the bean although most Americans don’t realize that.  And probably don’t care.

I got beets from the local farmer’s market and made roasted beets in olive oil with sea salt, and a wilted green salad from the tops with balsamic, home grown onion, and bacon.  Sometimes you don’t even miss meat, I’m telling you.

The heavy duty camp stove is a keeper.  Even Mr. Tin Foil, who thought I was crazy for buying it, realized how much better it was to keep the heat OUT of the house when cooking.

Build community food systems:  shopping at the local farm stand.  We have several coworkers who are pregnant and due soon; I spoke with a couple of coworkers last night about making up dishes that are easily frozen and reheated to give to them.  The idea was received very well and I hope to organize some sort of ‘food shower’ a little sooner to the due dates (the regular baby showers have all taken place already, and it’s too soon for my idea anyway).  I received many gifts when my kids were born, but the ones that are clearest in my mind these many years later are the food dishes I received gratefully.   My most favorite was the zucchini bread that came with the recipe attached by ribbon.  Sadly I lost the recipe in one of my moves; I found a good recipe to substitute but I wish I still had that one.

Manage stores:  Mr. Tin Foil sacrificed a toe nail in the cause, but he put together another shelving unit for my home canned storage, and dropped a shelf on his toe while doing so.  Now at least all my canning stuff is in one place.  Maybe I’m a little compulsive, but I keep looking at it thinking I’m not going to have nearly enough jars to preserve everything that’s coming in the garden!

We have been painting the house over the past week, which has needed to be done for MANY years.  I don’t enjoy sweating in the heat but at least the wind isn’t blowing at 40 mph in the mornings when we have been doing it, and the satisfaction of seeing our house start to really look GOOD is immense.  It’s worth the tedium.  And definitely better than paying somebody else over $1k to do it (which is what the average price seems to be).  I want to support local businesses but not at that cost, thank you very much.

One thing I simply don’t understand:  a professional will spend three days caulking and then taping off all your windows and doors so that they can spend one afternoon blowing paint all over the house and yard.  Why not simply caulk and paint, and spend the same amount of time using fewer fossil fuel inputs and a little more skill?

Next project which I have been banned from starting until the painting is done:  the stone walls for the back patio.  And the gazebo erection on the new patio.

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