Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mexican food day

Today I cooked in my new kitchen for the first time.  I was craving something spicy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My own beans!

For a few weeks here, I've had green beans growing on the plants.  I didn't want to pick them yet, though, because I often get green beans in my CSA (community-supported agriculture) box, and I didn't want to be inundated with beans.  So I'm letting my own dry on the vine (the seed packet says you can do this), and today, my first pod was ready.  I opened it up, and inside were three perfect "painted pony" beans, and one that's a little abnormal.
More to come soon, I hope!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review: Joshua

Joshua: A Parable for Today
by Joseph F. Girzone

I have read a fair amount of Christian fiction.  Much of it has interesting and important stories to tell, whether they are rooted in the facts of scripture or not.  But this book misses the mark.  While it shares an important message of freedom in religion through loving faith, the style is clunky, the prose awkward.  Characters speak in pedantic, pompous paragraphs (enjoy the alliteration, Mom), and Joshua himself repeats his message over and over in much the same words each time.  The few actions described carry much more weight than the many verbose soliloquies delivered by the various characters.  Joshua's carvings, healings, and acts of mercy and kindness toward the people in the town are much more powerful than the theological arguments he delivers to ministers of escalating importance.

Overall, an interesting idea that was executed poorly.  Would not read again.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


S and I made fridge pickles today.  We may have overestimated how many we would get.

Lots and lots of cucumbers.  This is not even all the slices we ended up with.
This is 14 jars waiting to be cleaned.  We added six more after filling these when we still had cucumbers left over. 
The filled jars, waiting for the hot vinegar brine.
My share of the finished product.  S took home just as many filled jars; 20 pints in all.
Now, as you may know, fridge pickles are not processed in the boiling water bath.  We just made a hot vinegar/spices mix and ladled it over the cucumbers in the jars, then let the heat seal them.  We will keep them in the fridge so that even if the seal is not entirely perfect, the pickles will still be good for at least a year.  Anyone want some?


I have heard complaints that I haven't been blogging.  Sorry about that, kids.  No excuses, I just haven't really felt like it.  But today I made pesto using my own home-grown basil.  It's pretty simple:

3/4 cup of basil leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons pine nuts (thanks Susan!)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start with everything except the oil in your blender or food processor (more on that later).  Grind 'em up, then start drizzling in the oil until everything's the right consistency.

Mmm, goopy green stuff.
Now, the trouble for me started when I discovered that my blender (which I got free from the pawn shop when I bought my bicycle) leaks.  Not a lot, but there's a small crack near the blade assembly, probably due to someone (possibly me) over-tightening the screw-on base.  This is not a big deal, except that it requires cleaning afterward and I lost some oil along the way.  Since I'm moving soon anyway, I think I'll give this one to goodwill and get myself a spanking-new blender or food processor.

Here's my question for you, dear readers: which should I get?  Black & Decker makes both a blender and a food processor.  The blender has something like 12 speeds and a pulse function, and is tall and skinny, as blenders often are.  The food processor has a pulse/off button and an on button, and is more bowl-like in shape with one of those special multi-use blades.  Both run $29.99 at Target.  I'm tempted to go for the FP, because I think the larger bowl would be easier to clean than the tall blender jar.  What's your experience with such things?