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you see i was getting geared up to make a soup the other day and i opened my freezer to see if i had a chicken carcass because if im going to make a soup i may as well go balls out and make a stock too right? and what did i find? a whole half a chicken.

now, i don’t remember when i put it there.  therefore: mystery chicken.  the internet told me that chicken is good frozen for 9 months to a year and i am pretty sure that it hasn’t been that long.  also growing up we had a chest freezer and used to get a whole hog from the farm once a year and i KNOW some of that stuff was in there forever and ever and none of us ever died so …

i thawed it out. and the skin definitely had some freezer burn, but the meat looked intact. so i said fuck it im going to make a stock anyway i mean worse case scenario it tastes funky and i have to toss it and use boxed stock but at least i tried and really what else am i doing today the weather is kinda crap and the only other real plans i have involve napping on the couch while i pretend to watch the olympics and maybe MAYBE taking a shower so its not like i cant fit it into my day.

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so i woke up this morning and it was beautiful and sunny and i opened the blinds in the bathroom to peek out into the back yard and my freshly panted bed and the whole backyard is in shadow and im like boooo but i know this.  we have a shady backyard on the east side of the house.  itll be shady till like… may probably… when the sun is finally high enough to get over the laurel hedge on the south side of the yard.

and then it hit me.  i just put in late winter seeds.  but my beds dont have any sun yet.  crap.  BUT my summer veggie bed gets some sun now and gets the MOST sun in the summer and since im not planting till like may/june in that bed theres no reason not to start arugula and peas there since they’ll be ready to harvest when the other stuff goes in (THEORETICALLY ! ).  we’ll see which bed does better.

ALSO while outside i found my favorite flowering mystery shrub is flowering again!  this guy showed up last year and i have NO idea what it is or how it got here and my across the street neighbor friend has the SAME MYSTERIOUS SUDDENLY-APPEARING SHRUB and she ALSO doesnt know what it is!  exciting!   and lovely!

i found one thing i wasnt looking for though:

slug eggs.

i had another post written here and i didnt like it so i am rewriting it.  it was grim and sarcastic and i already have an outlet for grim and sarcastic so instead im going to talk about stuff i unabashedly like:

I like this website where they post a free yoga routine video every week.  i have commitment and follow through problems with most things but exercise in any form is the worst mostly because although i like the IDEA of exercise i hate actually moving my body with any kind of effort for any longer than say… 10 minutes also having to wear special clothes and getting sweaty and having to use an entire hour.  but i guess i can say i hate yoga LESS than say running.  for one: i can wake up and do yoga in my pajamas.

i also like listening to my recommended station on the last.fm iphone application.  i set out to do the dishes today and ended up cleaning out the fridge and organizing a drawer just because i was listening to stuff id never heard before.

i like… not feeling guilty about being lazy in my meal planning:

  • chicken enchiladas (leftover shredded chicken from my chicken stock this weekend)
  • orecchiete with mushroom (add broccolini and chili flakes)
  • yakisoba (because it was so good the other week and i STILL have leftover cabbage)
  • tomato soup and grilled cheese (per eva’s request)
  • leftovers (whatever else is leftover)

garden 2010 is officially GO

maybe I’m pushing my luck but i have just put in the first seeds of 2010.  ive looked it up.  a million times in a million places; there are some things you can definitely plan in february.  look although ive lived in the pacific nw for over a decade, i am still a midwestern girl at heart and this goes against everything ive ever known so bear with me and my neuroses ok?  here we go…

we put in our initial patches of arugula and peas as well as a small patch of radish.  nobody here is a huge radish fan im just excited to be growing stuff.  i think eva is just excited to be able to bust out her “gardening hat”.

when i turned in all the green manure i planted last year (im still not sure if that was worth doing or not – the beds that i overseeded are “fluffier” than the bare beds for sure but i wonder if putting that much raw organic matter into a small space is overkill?) i could not BELIEVE the number of fat worms i have populating my beds.

im so excited !!

in another couple weeks I’ll put in another round of peas and arugula and then we’ll be getting ready for march.  next weekend we’ll get the fence up and find a place for these blueberries.

woo go garden!

creamy mushroom barley soup

a few weeks ago there was this lovely soup making the rounds. it was posted and reposted everywhere. the only thing NOT posted was the recipe. now i love deborah madison and ‘vegetarian cooking for everyone’ has my current favorite soup and and of course i was dying to try it but im not really in a position to buy a new cookbook right now. so i looked up another recipe and worked backwards from this vegan modified version and came up with this.  i don’t know how close it is to the original but its goooooood. Continue Reading »

(not-so) happy valentines day

a failed attempt at cupcake decorations turned homemade valentines for eva’s third grade class.  very cute.

C. and i dont celebrate valentines day.  we’re with liz lemon (sham created by card companies to reinforce and exploit gender stereotypes).  I will instead “celebrate” the day by making mushroom barley soup and maybe a loaf of bread if i magically get SUPER motivated.  also eva’s “boyfriend” is coming over to play.  which would be annoying if i didnt find it so darn adorable.

(*awkward transition*)

things are somber around here.  as of course any dummy could have guessed, a dog with a nosebleed for 5 days straight is creeping past “not normal” into “bad fucking news” territory.

in lang-dog’s case we have found it to be a tumor in his sinus cavity back by his eye.  we dont have biopsy results yet but regardless of the results theres not a whole lot to be done.

there’s also not much else to say about that.

yesterday we went to the yard garden and patio show and i was able to get the seeds im missing for this year’s garden including chantais melon which was exciting.  we also picked up a few pots of blueberries and looked at patio pavers too but honestly with dog medical bills major landscaping projects are likely on the back burner for now.   we’re also rethinking the fence we were going to run around the garden to keep out lang since well… we dont really know how permanent its going to have to be, if that doesnt sound horrifyingly morbid.

the rest of my weekend and likely the remainder of the holiday has been/will be spent lying on the couch with the big dog playing animal parade.

stuff i am terrible at but enjoy anyway:

  • baking
  • knitting
  • video games
  • gardening

This past weekend i decided to focus on the last one.  the weather this winter has been unseasonably warm and dry (thx el nino).  i’m wondering if that means i could probably plant some stuff earlier than usual?  im a little scared of that – everyone tells me that we’ll get another frost around march.  but still, a friend of mine who has the most phenomenal garden said she’s already put in potatoes and some other stuff… so im thinking i’ll get my plans together now and start putting things in mid to late february.

not pictured: every other book i own

so yeah that means planning.  im the kind of nerd that has to make 1000000000 lists and charts and spreadsheets and then research all kinds of stuff and stress and sweat about every single detail before i put a single seed in the ground because i don’t really understand this whole process and am somewhat terrified of it.  Last years garden gave me some confidence;  everything i planted grew and produced something with the exception of the corn, melon and winter squash (which actually did set one teeny squash, but then broke off before it could ripen). the corn and the melon just might not be appropriate for the pacific northwest.  that doesnt stop me from giving it another shot this summer tho.  i don’t know why I continue to freak out about this crap.  i mean – stuff has been growing for millions of years.  right??  the natural course of things is on my side.  theoretically.

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