Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Patience and Gratitude

Wherein the patience is all yours and the gratitude is all mine. I know I’ve been promising you buttermilk, kefir and yogurt for weeks now but I must beg your forgiveness. In late January my husband went on a business trip, returned home and promptly headed to bed. He stayed there for a week with flu and fever. The following week my youngest son came down with it – only this time it was the stomach flu. That lasted a week and then my oldest son came down with it – no stomach ailments but hacking cough. Both boys slept fitfully, waking with hallucinations that took me forever to bring them back out of. And now, I have finally succumbed to that dastardly flu.

The fact that I was up all hours listening to whooping coughs and calming frightened minds down, and spend two to three hours outside in the elements each day doing farm chores has not helped at all. The fact that March came in like a lion (my weather notes from last week read Monday – snow, Tuesday – snow, Wednesday – sleet, Thursday – driving rain, Friday – hail, Saturday – snow, Sunday – snow) has not helped at all. The fact that everyone is as sick as can be of chicken soup, now that I finally need some, has not helped at all. I am gradually getting better and kefir and yogurt are on their way soon, I promise.

In fact, I have a special guest who will be doing the honors and I’ll send you her way quite soon. But for now I wanted to raise a white flag to let you know that I am here, and that very, very soon we will get back on with home dairy challenges.

Until then, think cheesy thoughts and don’t forget to return to this blog at month’s end (when I’m quite certain that March will go out like a lamb) and link up all that you’ve done. I really do have some wonderful prizes in store for you!

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I’m having one of those days.

I was so organized at 12:30 when I went to bed. School lunch made, packed in fridge. Muffins made, covered with tea towel. I overslept but still managed to uncover the tea towel setting over the muffins I made last night. Dorp, forgot the sugar – no one would eat them. Scramble to find breakfast for kids.

The butcher phones at 7:30 – they want to start on the cow but I don’t have responses from all the people yet on how to cut. Scramble to find emails and frantically get it off.

Work through temper tantrums to get the oldest off to the bus stop with the neighbor. Jump in the shower to quickly get ready – 15 minutes to get #2 to preschool on time. Door bursts open. Where is the yellow sheet to show how many times #1 rode the bus in October? At 9 a.m. there will be a big gathering at the school to turn in the sheet in exchange for hot cocoa and prizes. I put the sheet in the backpack on Friday. No longer there. Coax #1 back to bus stop since bus is now coming in 2 minutes and bus stop is 4 minutes away.

Rush out of shower, throw on dirty clothes from floor – get #2 dressed and brush teeth. No time for breakfast or teeth brushing myself. Jump in car and carefully drive speed limit to school. Just checking to see if you were paying attention there. Of COURSE I drove the speed limit.

Find #1 looking dejected alone with no cocoa or prizes. Try to find a teacher to get the yellow sheet. Can’t find teacher. Bell rings but a volunteer overhears situation and whisks #1 off for cocoa and prizes anyway. Monday tragedy #1 averted.

Rush #2 to preschool now 25 minutes late (of course, 45th street viaduct down to one lane so lost 10 minutes of my 2 kid free hours). Rush to Met Market to pickup some zicam and lozenges for dh who abused body too much Sat night and is now on the brink of illness, leaving this morning to fly back east. Rush home 15 minutes before dh leaves for airport.

Note the visibly flattened tire on dh’s car. Scramble to address critical emails for my online store before running out the door to drive dh to airport. Monday tragedy #2 averted.

Field phone calls enroute. Rush back to U district with 5 minutes to spare to pickup #2. Lose all kid free hours, down to 4 now for the week with which to tackle thieving credit card companies and reconcile checking accounts, and other general things to keep the store running.

Phone rings in car on way home. A customer is waiting at my house – misunderstanding that the online store is not a brick and mortar. Meet customer desperate for solution for refluxy baby. Show him my house which is completely in shambles – boxes of squash and beets on the floor, dishes strewn all over the kitchen, closets and drawers open in a mad rush to pack for airport, toys and pajamas and dog hair oh dear.

Now having addressed all critical things I can think of preparing once more to head back to school at 3:25 bell to pickup #1 and rush him to lego class in Ravenna which begins at 3:30. Hopefully I’ll remember to grab the bag of library books that must be returned today in Wedgwood “on the way home.”

Hoping I have enough chutzpah to process all those beets after returning home and making frantic dinner followed by frantic bathing of children and frantic book reading.

Do you ever have a day like that? BLAH!

Sustainable Giveaway

I thought I would do my first blog giveaway and in the spirit of sustainability it’s not something new.  It’s something in progress that will no doubt be new to you as it is also new to me. 

My barouni olives ended up filling 3 containers which are taking up precious counter space in my small kitchen.  They are alreay scored and in brine and well on their way to becoming tasty treats in early winter.

olives-brining1

The xth person to reply in the comments with a haiku about olives and who is able to physically come pick them up wins.  The x represents a number which I’ve come up with based on a mathematical equation involving the number of syllables in a haiku.  To keep things honest I’ve already told that number to a completely impartial chicken.  The only rule for forming a haiku is that it follow the pattern of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 in the last line.  For example:

Olives are tasty

Salty, succulent goodness

Martini awaits

If you were curious about the barouni olive experiment but missed the very short harvest window this is your chance!

Even if you do have some olives curing take a stab at the haiku – it’s harder then you think!

Reality Check

So, so remiss on posts lately…summer is here in full force with all it’s watering requirements, putting food up and busy trying not to miss summer.

We are preparing for several shortish trips and of course it’s looking like all my efforts on the tomatoes will end up going to the neighbors because true to form things are looking like they will be ripe just when we are gone. My 30 tomato plants for canning, freezing and drying are just beginning to blush. The corn is looking like it needs about another week. My shiny dark eggplant (first ever) will be ready next week. Nuts.

I’m especially torn up about the tomatoes since they are the food we eat all winter long. I buy cases of BPA-laced cans full of tomatoes grown out of state for salsa, pizza, pasta, winter stews, barbecue sauce, chutney and dried tomatoes. I’ve even been dreaming of making tomato preserves to flavor ice cream. And they go and cheat on me like this. So fickle.

The reality check for me was two weeks ago. While this blog is a labor of love for me it’s generally not until after the midnight hour when I finish my kitchen experiments and real computer work and sit down to record my locovore trials and tribulations. I knew the whole food supplement I had been taking was responsible for quite a bit of my energy but it’s really hit home the last two weeks.

Through an ordering error we ran low and in true mom style I had stopped taking them so that there was enough for everyone else. I’ve been running down, finally getting a horrible head cold and trying to continue on but I’m just barely hanging in there waiting impatiently for the new supplements to arrive. You would think with all this produce growing outside my front door that would be enough but frankly we haven’t been home long enough to prepare things lately. I try to eat a few leaves while I water but it’s clearly not enough. I have to admit defeat there.

Once you start a chain of events ordering food from the farmer or other buying clubs you have committments to meet.

I had ordered too much milk which means I needed to stay up a few nights making cheese. I had ordered way too many apricots from Rama farms which meant making jam, fruit leather, gallette and drying. I got an email Saturday night when I sat down at the computer around 10 p.m. reminding me that the chickens from Pastured Sensations had been delivered and were sitting in a cooler on someone’s front porch across town which meant I had to jump in the car and drive over and back before I could begin processing the 20 pounds of apricots on my counter.

And then just when you think there may be some rain and you don’t need to spend precious free time outside watering you check the forecast – no rain in sight. In fact it’s going to break 90 tomorrow and you need to make bread which involves heating the house.

All of this sandwiched in between T ball lessons and soccer lessons and swim lessons for two little boys who want to go to the zoo and the beach.

I felt guilty but the week of my head cold (which happened to coincide with my husband being out of town) I bought some convenience foods for the kids since I was only eating chicken stock from the freezer and not up to cooking. I didn’t have the energy to bake a cake for the three year old’s birthday and we had a party planned for the day my husband came back in town so I bought a box of cake mix. I tried not to read the ingredients but I couldn’t help myself. I was disgusted, both by the ingredients and the flavor but I have to admit it was easy. While at the store I let both boys pick out a box of crackers which still haunt my car.

There have been a lot of concessions lately and I don’t feel good about it. The worst part about it is we come back from a short trip just in time to leave with the kids on a longer trip and I have no time in between or even this week to cook enough meals to take on vacation so I’ll be buying snack foods for the beach and we’ll be eating out. It’s nice to have a break from cooking though. I really should have been a Jewish grandmother. The guilt around food – OY!

Under Construction

I’m working to transfer the entries from a free blog to this snazzy new one.  Until I complete it please visit http://www.SustainableEats.Wordpress.com for entries.  Check back soon – chicks are here, irrigation is ordered and there is lots more to come.