09 June 2016

Midweek Motley

What we're doing

Our miniature "container garden" on the deck is growing well, for the most part. The herbs all seem content, and the Siberian bush tomatoes are getting bushy indeed. Our grape tomato plant, on the other hand, is definitely less than thrilled with the 40s and 50s we've been having; I think I need to pull it inside, if I can find somewhere that Kit won't be constantly getting into it. The green lettuce is growing more quickly than the red, though today I noticed Little Bear knocking over one of the reds when he watered it, so that may be the reason. The strawberry plants in their hanging basket are covered with little white berries, and a few of them are beginning to pink; more and more of the berry plants' leaves are starting to turn brown, though, and I'm not sure what's going on there. Little Bear is still being very helpful with the weeding and watering, and is always proud to show off "his" plants when we have visitors.

Kit's vocabulary is growing. I know we're often the only ones who understand her, but she's not quite 1, so that's normal! We're hearing "boom" frequently these days, as she's constantly looking for opportunities to drop things on the floor so she can use her new word. Another new one this week is "buh" (bye), which she says every time I hang up the phone. Oh, and "aaah-meh!" She's just started folding her hands when we all sit down to pray before meals, which is so cute, and then when we get to the Amen she often shouts "aaah-meh!" and beams at her own cleverness.

What we're eating

This afternoon we picked up our first "share" of the summer from a CSA that we signed up with this spring. Since we're still renting and I don't have the ability to plant a big garden right now, I've been so excited about getting produce fresh from a local farm each week this summer, and expanding our family's repertoire of vegetables consumed. Well, I had my own vegetable prejudices confronted right off the bat; there aren't any vegetables that I "won't eat," exactly, but despite knowing that Matt likes it, I have never once brought home arugula in our nearly-5 years of marriage. And what went into the top of our sack of vegetables this afternoon? A large bag of arugula-chickweed salad. But I ate it! And it wasn't as off-putting as I remembered... which may possibly be related to the fact that I make my vinaigrettes with a 1:1 ratio of oil and vinegar... Everything tasted more or less like balsamic. But still. 

Here's the whole of our leafy loot. From the top left: arugula-chickweed salad, spinach, sorrel, chives, bok choy, mizuna mustard, and radishes. Kit helped herself to some of the mizuna while I was putting everything away, and she didn't seem to mind it, though she didn't wind up actually swallowing any of it. Little Bear groused about not liking chickweed, because his youngest aunt doesn't, but we told him that he had to try it anyway and he wound up excitedly asking for a second helping of salad.

I'm in the process right now of testing out the no-bake granola bars from last week with almond butter instead of peanut butter, so we should have a post with the main recipe for those and a couple of adaptations up soon!

What we're reading

From Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas, Tim Burton's Big Fish, Me Before You, and the Terrible Power of Story
 - Beautiful, inspirational look at Story, at how powerful a force storytelling is in forming and directing our hearts and minds. She reminded me strongly of J.R.R. Tolkien's essay On Fairy-Stories, the conveying of fundamental Truth through myth.

From Meg of Held By His Pierced Hands, Heavy Blessings
 - Reflecting on the Visitation and the pregnancy of St Elizabeth, Meg delves into how receiving blessings with joy and gratitude does not preclude acknowledging that some blessings can be difficult to carry.

From Tiffany of Don't Waste the Crumbs, All-purpose Slow Cooker Chicken
 - Did you know that you can roast a chicken, roast it, in the slow cooker? I had no idea. It worked perfectly, though! And we really, really appreciated being able to cook the chicken without heating up the house.

From Katie of Kitchen Stewardship, 3 Common Summertime Toxins (& How to Avoid Them)

From Kendra of Don't Waste the Crumbs, Companion Gardening Beginners Guide

From Molly Green Magazine, Allowing Yourself Time to Heal

And I'm still listening to Andy Minter's recording of Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda on LibriVox, but I'm getting close to the end; I'm still very impressed with and thoroughly enjoying Minter's presentation, and was so excited to see that he has also done the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, which I've actually never read. That will be a treat!


  1. You might like this recipe with arugala that I have. It's BLT pasta- toss together bacon (crumbled or chopped), cherry or grape tomatoes (I sear them quickly first to get a little roasted flavor), pasta of choice, a bit of the warm pasta water, and a bunch of arugala. Top with Parmesan or feta cheese to taste, and salt and pepper too. I love to make it in the summer!

    My mom makes flank steak served on a bed or arugala topped with red onions caramelized in a balsamic sauce, Parmesan shavings, and a squeeze of lemon juice. It is basically the best meal ever. But also expensive and thus quite a treat. Nonetheless, another delicious use for arugala!

    1. Ooh, thank you! Those both sound delicious. We actually have a few moose steaks left in the freezer, and that sounds like the perfect way to serve them. Does she grill the steaks, or do they cook with the red onions and balsamic?