Sunday, May 6, 2012

Garden Update!

Last fall, we put in a few herbs in a single bed (dill, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme).  After some trial and error, we added some mint and chives.  As you can see, the herbs have really taken advantage of the early spring rain and cool weather of the last few months!

Emboldened by the success of the herb garden, we upgraded to some vegetables. Our crook-neck squash plants are growing like crazy, and we're hoping the newly planted beans (bushy italian long beans and wax beans, no trellis required) will do the same.

We rounded out the garden beds on that side of the yard with some basil, oregano, and epazote. Between the four beds and the potato bucket, we now have a pretty respectable victory garden taking up half of our front yard.

As of this posting, Ariana is on her way back into town with a some marjoram, tarragon, and carrot starts to finish the last bed.  Once those are planted, our little vegetable garden will be complete. With a little luck (and regular watering in the evening) we will be enjoying a nice little crop of potatoes, beans, squash, and carrots later this year.

But with all these hearty vegetables, we got to thinking.  What about fruit?  To remedy this terrible problem, Sarah and I planted an dwarf naval orange tree this afternoon.  It will be awhile yet before we see any fruit, but the orange blossoms should attract plenty of bees and other pollinating insects to keep everything happy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


  • For the record, those two roses on the kitchen table are the two different colors of rose we have right now.
  • Ohh, okay!
  • They don't look different to me.
  • No, look, one is slightly redder than the other.
  • Yeah, one is pink and the other is -- red.
  • Fuck you!
  • Well, fuck you!
  • Well, I'm drinking Sarah's kefir now. So nyehh!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pie between Friends

So Marge recently came into a delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie. It was so good that by the time we took a picture, only one slice remained. Thanks to Emy for the amazing pie!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Garlic Soup: Easy and Delicious

Want an easy vegetable soup that might just heal your soul? I love this recipe because it is all about how you cook, rather than relying on specific ingredients. Many truly fantastic recipes are based on the need for good, nutritious food when resources are scarce.  This soup, a descendant of a French peasant soup, is no exception.  You can add whatever herbs and vegetables you have lying around, so long as you stick to a general outline.

Chop a few cups of fresh herbs (I used basil, oregano, and rosemary, but whatever you have around), and at least two entire heads of garlic. I went with almost three, but I love garlic. Sauté everything very briefly in 1/2 cup of regular olive oil. Then add 3 quarts of water and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer uncovered for approximately one hour.

Now add chopped vegetables and any legumes or starch. I put in a diced red onion, kale, and brown lentils. Maintain a simmer until everything is fully cooked.

Add salt and black pepper to taste, and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon. If you want to thicken the soup a bit, you can add tempered egg whites egg yolks (thanks Emy!) or blend slightly with an immersion blender. Or you can do what I did, and add 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sarah's Sexy (Sometimes) Sunday Bread Bake

Okay, okayyyy, as lucky as I am to live with folks who are always making delicious goodness, I can't leech off of them all the time. Y'all got me; I'm guilted into ever-so-occasional productivity. Time to look busy.

Say, what the heck is this doing in Marge's cookbook drawer? Nobody bakes bread any more. Who kneads it? [rimshot]

This basic recipe starts with a "sponge." Hmmm. Why would I start bread with a gnarly sponge, especially one that photographs with this weirdie green hue? It's making me feel ill to look at it.

The dough still photographs green after kneading. Maybe it's because it took a cup and a half more flour this time than the recipe calls for. Maybe whole wheat flour turns you green. Maybe the Wicked Witch of the West was actually vegan and loved to snack on flour late at night, making her highly soluble when that pesky Dorothy showed up with a bucket of water.

Whoa, my questionably tasty bread dough is multiplying like rabbits. Or like cancer. No one should joke about cancer. This is just a very minor, highly curable cancer with nommy side symptoms.

Final rise leaves many questions unanswered. How many pans are under that towel? Can anything worth eating possibly come out from under that grease stained rag? Hey, does the kitchen smell like gas to you, and did the pilot light in the oven go out? (The answer to that last one turned out to be "yes," but we triumphed through the power of internet forums, a long tapered candle, and sheer boldness.)

O well, guess we'll never know.

CSA Haul

Every week, we make a Sunday-morning journey to the Hollywood Farmers Market to pick up a CSA basket from our friendly neighborhood CSA, South Central Farmers.  A CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm typically sells shares of their weekly produce harvest rather than selling individual vegetables.  For $20, we get a big box full of whatever South Central happened to pull out of the ground that week.

It's really fun to see how the selection of vegetables changes slowly throughout the year.  Plus, when you have a ton of local, seasonal vegetables in the fridge it makes it a lot easier to remember to eat seasonally.  After you've been doing it for a few years, you just start to associate particular months with particular vegetables.  Though I have to say, living in Los Angeles makes that a little crazy.  For instance, we were getting peppers well into December, whereas up north in Davis pepper season stops in mid September.

Anyway, we got a ton of delicious shit in our CSA basket this week, including but not limited to: celery, romaine lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, kohlrabi, red onion, chard, several different kinds of kale, oranges, lemons, and green cabbage.  Oh yeah, and we bought some Brussels sprouts at the farmers' market too because we just couldn't resist.

The cabbage has already been sauerkrauted and we made tofu dill salad lettuce-wraps with some of the romaine, but I'm not sure what we're going to do with the rest of it.  I'm just glad we're not getting turnips and parsley anymore because we still have a ton of that in the fridge from last week.