Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Awesome Protesters

Scallion Pancake-Omelet

After a stretch of eating out for a while, Mister and I made a pact to not eat out for the rest of the week. We have some nice Easter leftovers in the fridge (ate the ricotta, have NOW polished off all the ham, half of a rice pie, a fair amount of kielbasa, half a jar of horseradish and beets, a full paska bread...) and I'd been craving a ham omelet. However, surprise surprise, all those food blogs that I read have seeped into my brain and this little dish from Maangchi worked its way into my thoughts.

Since I'd noticed last week an abundance of chives growing wild by the train, I figured I'd scoop them up in lieu of the single plant I have out back. I wound up collecting a fair amount of chives, and a handful each of plantains and dandelion greens. Washed them all well, and concocted this delicious recipe:

Scallion Pancake-Omelet

-- 2 c. of greens, roughly chopped
-- 1 c. of ham, diced


-- 1/2 c. water
-- 1/2 c. flour
-- dash of soy sauce
-- 1 tsp. sugar
-- 4 eggs


-- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
-- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
-- 1 tsp. sugar or honey
-- chopped onion (I used a little bit of the chives)
-- chopped green or red chili peppers (I used dried red pepper)
-- 1 tsp. roasted sesame seeds *optional

Heat frying pan. Prep filling and mix batter. When pan is hot, pour 3 Tbs. oil in. Throw the greens in, and the ham on top. As quickly as possibly, pour the batter over the entire thing. Tilt the pan around to cover all of the greens. After a couple of minutes, when the bottom is browned, flip the pancake. After a few more minutes, when the bottom is browned, flip the pancake again and cook for 1 min more before serving.

I served this with two potatoes worth of home fries and a drizzle of sauce on top.


So I've been "commissioned" (a.k.a. volunteered) to make an outfit for my mother. As some of you know, my mom, sis and I are going to the Steampunk World's Fair! in PA at the end of this month. When discussing costuming for it, my mother kinda went "oh... well... y'know... I'll just wear anything... put me in whatever you want!" To which my sis and I went "oh dear".

So I'm making her a lovely two piece skirt and vest combo with a corset as well.

The preliminary sketch of what it'll look like (ignore the feet in the drawing):

In the midst of creating the pattern:

This was the first project that I used my chalk holder for, and I have to say that I'm pleased with it. Cutting out along a line is infinitely easier than cutting around the pattern. The fabric shifts, and the pattern shifts, and the act of cutting creates valleys and mountains in the fabric... just draw a line.

A shot of the mock-up of the vest. It fit my mother beautifully, with two changes needed: make the arm scythes a little bigger, and have it cover less of the chest, so as to show off the corset.

A shot of the mock-up of the corset. It needs an inch taken in at the top center (half an inch from each side) and larger seam allowances (as it currently has the edges extend beyond each other). It fit my mother much better than it does the dressmaker's form.

You'll have to take my word on it that the skirt is thrown together as well, as any shots of it involve it draped on a chair or something.

I have now put a call out to a friend to have sewing nights at her house, as my machine is unreliable and I KNOW it would love to eat my beautiful cashmere woolen.

After all this is done, I get to throw something together for myself! Yay! :-P

Also, for those who enjoy sewing, tailoring, or historical costuming, Vintage Sewing is a FABULOUS resource. They upload vintage sewing books, and the amount of detail that is gone into... I mostly worked with a book from the 40s for this project, called Modern Pattern Design by Harriet Pepin.


So apparently life has been happening. The first Craft Brunch came and went, Easter, planning the second craft brunch, costuming, oodles of *joy* at work (for certain values of joy), lots of stuff!

I also have consistently been a lazy bum regarding blogging.

(R -- I will try out that Mint Chutney with Basil as soon as both plants are bigger. I think I have about three mint leaves tops.)

So here are some pictures to get caught up:

Happy Dwarf Grey Snow Pea plants!

Happy Vermont Cranberry Bean plants!

Happy Lincoln Shell Pea plants!

Slightly less happy Midnight Black Turtle beans! (They almost drowned due to a gigantic hole in the gutter that they were previously under, and when we dumped out most of the water in emergency evac, there were some torn leaves.)

Basil is making out like a bandit! His birthday is coming up soon, he'll be one!

Happy Arava Canteloupe seedlings!

Moderately happy Baby Pam Pumpkins! (I think I killed one seeding, which makes me sad.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Delicious Squash Bread

So the other day I made a delicious squash bread from this recipe.

Here are some pictures!

Roasted Squash.

Empty squash shells.

Being kneaded by my machine (I think my machine needs oil -- anyone know how to oil KitchenAid stand mixers?)

One loaf looked like a turkey while in-pan.

Lookit how tasty it is!

Things to make note of for next time: we don't eat two whole loaves of bread in the time needed. Freeze one. (I used an entire loaf for a breakfast strata because it went stale.) Use unsalted butter for the butter on the top afterwards because as this is a sweet bread, the saltyness of the butter threw off my tastebuds.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Current State of Affairs

Above is a wee diagram (click on the image for greater detail) detailing what my backyard currently looks like. It's color coded, for ease of view. The green plant-like objects are what was previously planted: chives and rosemary. Red is the Tigers Eye Dry Beans, Orange is Raven Zucchini, Yellow is Common Mint in a tub (that looks like it already has mint in it!), Lime Green in Bouquet Dill, Light Blue is German Chamomile, Dark Blue is Arugula and Purple is Salad Bowl Lettuce.

All of the above was direct seeded, and, aside from the beans and zucchini, pretty much just sprinkled on top and watered with Compost Tea to settle it.

Since the Greek Oregano I have stated that it will spread in a clump, I also potted it and it is currently out front sunning with his new friends.

From L-R, Vermont Cranberry Shell/Dry Beans, Lincoln Shell Peas, Basil, and Greek Oregano.

Dwarf Grey Sugar Snow Peas in their new pot.

Midnight Black Turtle Beans also repotted.

I also bought some long pots for the front porch and put the beans and peas in their new home -- as they sorely needed it! Apparently, the beans were trying to put roots through the towel into the ironing board they were sitting on. Silly beans! All I need is to rig up some string for trellis'.

Some Crochet Stitches

Striped Chevrons -- currently making a baby blanket with this one

Alicia Stitch

Crochet Cable

Crazy Stitch

Crocodile Stitch

Fanfare Stitch

Notes on Compost

● Fruit scraps (including citrus peel)
● Vegetable peelings
● Tea bags
● Old flowers
● Spent bedding plants
● Rhubarb leaves
● Comfrey leaves
● Nettles
● Young annual weeds (e.g. chickweed and speedwell)
● Pond algae and seaweed (in moderation)
● Coffee grounds and filter paper
● Grass cuttings
● Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit – not too much as could become too wet)

Human urine is a very good activator!

● Tissues, paper towels and napkins (unless they have been in contact with
meat or disease)
● Tumble dryer lint (from natural fibre clothes)
● Old natural fibre clothes (e.g. woolly jumpers or cotton t-shirts
– make sure you cut them into small pieces)
● Vacuum bag contents(as long as you have natural fibre carpets)
● Garden prunings
● Toilet and kitchen roll tubes,
● Woody clippings
● Dry leaves, twigs and hedge clippings
● Human and pet hair (slow to break down)
● Cotton threads/String(made from natural fibres)
● Feathers
● Wool
● Newspaper(scrunched up)
● Shredded confidential documents
● Straw and hay
● Vegetarian pet bedding
● Ashes from wood,paper, or lumpwood charcoal
● Sawdust and wood chippings
● Corn cobs and stalks
● Cereal boxes
● Corrugated cardboard packaging (scrunched up in small amounts)
● Pine needles and cones (although slow to compost don’t put too much in)
● Egg shells (but crush them first to speed up composting)
● Egg boxes (good as they trap air)

(taken from this post from the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-Op)

Some Recipes to Make

Limoncello Cheesecake Bites (I'd probably use REAL cream cheese.)
Turkish Fermented Cabbage
Shaker Squash Bread -- I have a few that need to be eaten NOW...
Sri Lankan Mustard

"Okay, tip for your Recipes to Make Soon post: when making the Sri Lankan, mustard, remember to add salt to the ginger and garlic and mustard seeds when soaking, not after! Mustard seeds ground or pasted without the salt seeping in will turn inedibly bitter.

Also, the turmeric is just for colour, not taste. You can skip if you like. And try to substitute green chilies instead of cayenne powder. Okay, all done :-)" -- R

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Seedlings!

5 out of the 20 Dwarf Grey Sugar Snow Peas that I've planted have sprouted! Three had by this morning, and another two by the time I got home from work/dinner at midnight. :-DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

I'm so excited. And I'm expecting the beans soon -- apparently, 5 days with perfect growing conditions is average for beans sprouting. It was the fourth day today.

The question then is, how soon after sprouting should I be readying trellis' for them?

I'll let you know as it happens!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Seed Planting Again

So in addition to the seeds the I already planted (Baby Pam Pumpkins, Arava Cantaloupe, Dwarf Grey Sugar Snow Peas, Lincoln Shell Peas, Midnight Black Turtle Dry Beans, Vermont Cranberry Shell/Dry Beans), I planted a few more today.

Along the right-hand side of the garden, next to the garage, I planted a row of Tiger Eye Dry Beans, and next to some strange trellis-y thing I planted a few Raven Zucchini seeds.

Seeds Planted:
-- Baby Pam Pumpkins (20 seeds, 2 per pot)
-- Arava cantaloupe (20 seeds, 2 per pot)
-- Dwarf Grey Sugar Snow Peas (20 seeds, 1 per pot)
-- Lincoln Shell Peas (20 seeds, 1 per pot)
-- Midnight Black Turtle Dry Beans (20 seeds, 1 per pot)
-- Vermont Cranberry Shell/Dry Beans (20 seeds, 1 per pot)
-- Tiger Eye Dry Beans (20 seeds, 1 per space)
-- Raven Zucchini (8 seeds, 2 per space)

Birthday Dinner Party

Since the boys totally went all out on the dinner they made us M and I decided that Something Must Be Done.

(Apparently also, M's boyfriend keeps making that stew and going "you'll never top this.")

So, here is the fabulous Italian inspired dinner to whup the boys' French inspired dinner:

Course One: Antipasti platter
Course Two: Pasta with garlic and oil (we'll probably get a really awesome looking pasta)
Course Three: Sliced strawberries and kiwi in a fun design
Course Four: Braised beef with a wine and mushroom sauce, topped with fried onions
Course Five: Steamed fresh sugar snap peas with lemon juice
Course Six: Biscotti, espresso, sambucca

We'll also have little Petit Four holding the place cards at the table (since M does love her little desserts).

We're going to WIN. :-D

Random Meals

So the other day, M came over for dinner while we planned our guys' birthday dinner (one's is the 15th, the other the 25th so we're having one dinner for them). Due to all of the cooking but poor planning last week (and this week too), the meal wound up being strange.

I had leftover cheese sauce from Mac n cheese, and some potatoes that were super soft, so I threw together a potato gratin. I also had a loaf of stale bread that I beat with a rolling pin to make breadcrumbs for the gratin. :-P

After putting that in the oven, I realized that we also had some ground beef (from the meat sauce) in the fridge that needed to be cooked statim. So I threw it in a pan, and realized that we had tortillas in the fridge, as well as lettuce and half of a can of olives. I found the last jar of salsa in the house (and whoooooooooeeeeeeeeee is it spicy!), and grated some mozzerella since we're out of any other kind other than gruyere.

So yeah -- tacos and potato gratin. Fabulous. And for dessert I pulled a couple slices of frozen Turtle Bread (cashew and chocolate chips yum!) out of the freezer, toasted them, and put butter and cinnamon sugar on them. M also brought chocolate covered dried strawberries. And we planned. I'll do a separate post on that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update: Warning, Image Heavy

Man, what is with the radio silence around here? You'd think that someone was a bad blogger or something! :-P

So lots of things have happened since the last time I posted.

Lots of food was had (as well as my last shopping trip at LUSH with my discount),

Lots of dishes weren't done and compost not taken out,

Not one,

But TWO tasty meals were planned and created with friends.

Some seeds were planted...

In neat little rows...

Placed in the window,


from their rather precarious position (the pictures were taken after I've already scooped by seeds back into place).

And still remaining, more seeds to plant, make compost tea, plan a birthday dinner, and hopefully start an exercise regime!