Friday, October 30, 2009

Love these!

Thanks Sam :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Bread Baking Time Again

I'm working on baking a really good artisan style bread (the country loaf kind you get at Panera) and yesterday was my first attempt at 'Classic Country style Hearth Loaf' from the wonderful book Bread Alone by Daniel Leader. It's a fairly complicated process of temperature taking (everything that goes into the bread gets it's temperature taken) measuring (he prefers to weigh rather than scoop) mixing and kneading (I cheated and used the Kitchen-Aid and tho he allows for this, hand kneading is preferred - but 15minutes! ...I'm too old for that) waiting (3 rises) and finally baking (which involved 2 mistings of the oven to create steam for a crispier crust).....whew!

I've been making sandwich bread for 9 months now and that is a breeze compared to this whole process. Though I'm sure as I continue to make this style bread it will get easier (and I want to make sourdough also). I'll try to post pics of the process next time, for now I will present the final product (there were 2 loaves, this one was prettier:)

Ta Da!

And it was yummy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Go Phillies!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

tee hee

I just love Patrick :) We are planning some big changes in our back yard....stay tuned!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good Quote

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires,
rather than in attempting to satisfy them.

- John Stuart Mill

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When our Yard grows wants to be a Farm:)

I recently finished reading Farm City by Novella Carpenter. Good book and pretty much where we would like our yard to be in a few years...except not in a crime-ridden section of Oakland. For more info on her urban farm....check this out.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Everything you'd want in a baseball game.

Beautiful Stadium.

Very big baseball.

Good looking kids.


Exciting plays.

Strange mascots.

A bit of rain.

And a bit more.

Drunk fans with accents (behind our kids).

Bright lights.

And the home team wins!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

If only I had a Twitter account....

...I could go on and just post things like - I hate the Yankees.

Friday, October 16, 2009


When deep injury is done to us,
we never recover until we forgive...
Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.

- Mary Karen Read's final journal entry prior to being killed in the Virginia Tech shooting.


Thursday, October 15, 2009



Actually it's earlier than usual and a record for the area. Tho the news stations treated it as though it were a category 3 hurricane, to most people it was a welcome relief. And we got to turn off the automatic garden sprinklers.....yea!

Friday, October 9, 2009

But Where's the Car Chase?

We took our two youngest children (15 and 18) to the movies last night. But not just any movie....a documentary (oh goodie:).
Food, INC. is a beautifully filmed, chillingly narrated treatise on our agricultural system. Steven and I were alternately frightened, inspired, and educated. Our kids were simply bored. At least they had the courtesy to wait until it was over to critique the film.

Wilson - "Mind numbingly boring." "Everyone who would come to watch this movie already believes this stuff."

Annie - "Too long."

.....sigh :(

One of my favorite parts was a segment on Joel Salatin (my hero) and Polyface farms, extensively chronicled in Michael Pollens Omnivore's Dilemma. Joel's farming techniques and belief in the interconnection of all parts of the farm.... from grass to cows to chickens and pigs to manure... is a throwback to America's oldest farming practices as well as a solution to what ails the industry today. He preaches a truly wholistic view of agriculture. His open-air chicken 'processing plant' was filmed, showing the actual butchering of the birds. Upside down in the cone, slit the neck, bleed them get my drift. My daughter (loudly) exclaimed her revulsion and surprise.....repeatedly. When Dad told her, "hey you eat that," she answered, "But I didn't know they were going to show it!!! ....Tell me when it's over."

I will say that watching the slaughtering of chickens was a bit disconcerting but we want to raise meat birds someday and I think it was beneficial to actually see it (in all it's crimson glory). Most consumers today share the desire to remain uninformed about what happens to food before it appears on our supermarket shelves. It's hard to change the way we shop and eat, especially in today's economy.

Our food system depends on consumers' not knowing much about it beyond the price disclosed by the checkout scanner. Cheapness and ignorance are mutually reinforcing. And it's a short way from not knowing who's at the other end of your food chain to not caring - to the carelessness of both producers and consumers. Of course, the global economy couldn't very well function without this wall of ignorance and the indifference it breeds. This is why the rules of world trade explicitly prohibit products form telling even the simplest stories - "dolphin safe," "humanely slaughtered," etc. - about how they were produced.

..........from The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan

As far as our own little corner of the world and our children's contribution to changing the system as it is, our hope is that despite their less than enthusiastic reaction, seeds were planted (excuse the pun).

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Like my good friend (ahem) Susan Isaacs (pretty broad use of the word friend....hi Susan:) I absolutely love this show and this is one of the reasons why.....

...but I wouldn't let younger kids watch it,
for obvious content issues :0

addendum - apparently FOX keeps taking these off ignore the annoying young man at the beginning of this clip, it's the only one I could find of this scene.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Favorite color is Orange

We have been growing Bell peppers all summer. They've been small but numerous and quite delicious. BUT....they rarely (no matter how long I leave them on plant) turn color. We did get several purple, but out of 18 total plants, we got 1 orange and 2 red peppers...
...What's that about?

Monday, October 5, 2009


Many folks want to serve God,
But only as advisers.

It's easier to preach 10 sermons,
than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose,
But mosquitoes come close.

Peace starts with a smile.

We are called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

If a church wants a better pastor,
It only needs to pray for the one it has.

Some minds are like concrete.
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

I don't know why some people change churches;
What difference does it make which one you stay home from?

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you.

Don't give God instructions, just report for duty.

The task ahead of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the
Grace of God will not protect you.

You can tell how big a person is
By what it takes to discourage him.

We don't change the message,
The message changes us.

...and my personal favorite...

Quit griping about your church,
if it was perfect, you couldn't belong :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

September Garden Talley

Tomatoes ........................93 lbs.
Apples ................................35lbs.
Zucchini ...............................23 lbs.
Peppers ..................................22lbs.
Green Beans ...............................21 lbs.
Cantaloupe .............................8 lbs.
Carrots ...............................1 lb.

...and 101 eggs!

Total for September .........................203 lbs.

But we still seem to be spending a fortune at the grocery store....kind of frustrating. Maybe this winter when we are eating all the canned and frozen produce we'll start to see some change. In the meantime I'm keeping records of all our food purchases for the month to see if I can find out what's up.
(maybe we just need to stop drinking wine.....nah)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's not Snow

...It's our security system!

I want to share more of our trip to Georgia (hi Sam) but thought I'd sneak in a bit of gardening fun as well. In the future we plan on doing most (if not all) of our planting from seed, but this year we will be cheating (again) by using transplants. It went from 100degrees to 80 this week so I'm starting to panic, which I always seem to do at this time of year.

Our first bed is devoted to broccoli, 8 plants went in yesterday. We'll probably be planting around 36 total; we eat a lot of broccoli. I think it's the only veggie that everyone likes (still arguing peas vs. beans even with just 2 kids left at home).

So, into the freshly-tilled dirt go the broccoli seedlings....

....followed by the ring of eggshells to discourage snails and slugs....

...and then some diatomasceous earth to further inhibit creepy crawlies, specifically pill bugs. Those little suckers are voracious!

Finally, the ever attractive cat-guards to restrain our feline friends from using the conveniently prepared bed as a litter box.