Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pony Rides

One of Vessel's favorite things about the Farmer's Market is riding the ponies.


The early stages of our mini garden:

Tomatoes and marigolds

Carrots, beans, radishes, lettuce, jalapenos, cucumbers, and onions

Vessel's "beanstalk" that came from a little seed he found.

Here are a few little things I picked from our balcony on Saturday. It's not much, but it is fun to see I can actually grow something! Jalepenos, carrots, green beans, and green onions.

Sad to say, my radishes did not survive this year. My cucumbers did not do well either. I think that had to do with being planted in a pot smaller than the space they needed to grow and flourish. My tomatoes started to get blossom end rot, so I had to find some calcium plant food for it and now it is doing much better. Hopefully I'll get a few tomatoes from that plant. My lettuce did awesome in the beginning and I harvested some of it when it was still young and sweet. Now it is just bitter and starting to die. I still have a lot to learn about gardening....

Here's what we got from the farm this week. Lots of good food I can't grow. :)
Squash, carrots, beets, chard, green peppers, cucumbers, green beans, heirloom tomatoes, and cabbage. Mmmmmmmm!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carrots and Zucchini

We've been getting a lot of carrots and zucchini from the farm the past couple weeks. And we are horrible people. Because instead of using those vegetables as a part of a wholesome dinner, we've been making treats out of them. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate zucchini bread are just a few.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Epic Fail?

A few days ago the city went around repainting all the yellow parking space lines in the parking lots around our complex. A few days later the city came around to re-tar the parking lots. So they just did the parts that weren't recently repainted. Don't you think it would've made more sense for the city to coordinate their projects so that they re-tared the parking lot FIRST and then had their guys come around and paint all the parking spaces? Just an idea.

Pickled Beets!

My friend Terri and I decided to pickle us some beets last week. Lucky I had her to show me the ropes of canning.

Here is the pot o' beets getting ready to boil.

When we were draining the beets we were surprised at how much they bled out into the water!

After the beets were cooked we had to peel off the skins.

But if you don't wear gloves, they could stain your hands....(photo courtesy of Terri)

Here is the brine: Distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and cloves (I believe.)

Filling the jars. It wasn't until after our first batch that we realized you really gotta pack 'em in there tight.
(photo courtesy of Terri)

And once the bottles are full of beets and brine you give 'em a good warm water bath for about 40 minutes.
(photo courtesy of Terri)

And hope they seal....

(photo courtesy of Terri)

Now we just have to wait at least 4 weeks to find out if they worked!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

At the Fair

Went to the fair last week. Rides were only $10 for 7. So Vessel got to go on pretty much every kiddie ride available.

Daddy and Jacob waiting* while Vessie and I rode the ferris wheel (which by the way was much faster and scarier than I had anticipated.)

Jacob couldn't ride any of the rides, so he had to be content with just riding on Daddy's shoulders.

Good times were had by all.

*If you give your husband the camera while you go on a ride with your kid, you'll find some very funny pictures on the memory card when you get home and put the pictures on your computer. Pictures that may or may not involve scantily clad obese women and/or crazies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jacob Walking

Hooter Hider

My friend Lesa made me this "hooter hider" for baby #3 since my other one is now worn out from several washings. Full link here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sky on Fire

This was our beautiful Montana sky tonight. Pictures just can't do it justice.


We recently got some photos done because I wanted some shots of our family before the arrival of the new baby. Since moving to this apartment, our walls have been bare, which makes it feel less "homey" to me. All the pictures we have are packed away in a box somewhere in the storage unit. So I got some cheap frames and mirrors and made a little wall collage. I looked and looked everywhere for some wooden lettering that I could incorporate, but wasn't able to find what I wanted anywhere. Finally I went to check out what Bed, Bath, and Beyond had. So I asked an associate to help me find some letters, but they didn't have what I was looking for either. "But wait a second....that box there...." said the associate. It was a boxed set of frames and letters that spelled "love." I said, "that would be perfect, but I don't need the frames. Especially for a set with with a $50 price tag." The associate then proceeded to open the box (without any persuasion from me) pull out the letters and say, "here, I will sell you just the letters." "Really? You can do that?" I asked. She said, "I'll do it for you. Let me just get my manager's approval." "Well, what will you do with the rest of the set?" I asked curiously. "Oh, we'll just put a clearance sticker on it that says AS IS." Manager approved the idea (without any persuasion from either of us.) I was sort of in shock. In all my jobs of working retail, that kind of thing was never allowed. Never. I would've never even given a customer the option. But as the consumer this time, I wasn't about to complain. That gal totally brightened my day, and I walked out of the store paying 9 bucks for the word "love." I think it turned out pretty cute.


Here are some of the peppers we grew on our balcony! To most, it probably seems a bit stupid to get so excited about something so small. But I am proud of myself because this is the first time I've grown actual food successfully! It might not be from a big garden in our yard, but I guess you have to work with what you've got, right? And pots work just fine! I've also got some tomatoes ripening, some beans, carrots, onions, lettuce, and cucumbers. The only thing that failed were the radishes. Due to the hot days we've been experiencing, they bolted so the root will no longer grow round and fat like a normal radish. I will, however, have little radish pods that I can harvest for the seeds. But hey, yay for the peppers!


We've been getting a lot of beets from our farm the past few weeks and started running out of ideas on how to use them. So after some googling, Mike found this recipe. Beet risotto with spinach garlic bread. We've made risotto quite a bit so the process wasn't new to us. Basically, just make risotto and mix in some pureed beets that have been roasted and top with some beet greens for garnish. The dish looked very festive, with the bright red and greens, and was also relatively tasty.