Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Urban Farming Inspiration

I found this video through SouleMama's Blog. So, what do you think ?? Would you yank out your lawn to do this ??

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wedding Bliss

Six years ago today, Alan and I went to The Wedding Cove overlooking the Ocean in Lajolla and got married. We had our own circle of love filled with our close friends and family.

Then, we took this double decker bus up the coast for a beautiful ride to The Beach House Restaurant in Cardiff.

Chloe met us there for a brief cameo appearance

We took some sunset pictures...

And had a lovely candlelight dinner. A Beautiful Day....

Happy Anniversary My Dear....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

As I pondered this morning what I could write on this blog about Earth Day, a friend of mine sent me an article written by an author I truly respect, Micheal Pollen, titled, Why Bother ? Please take some time to read his words, they really resonated with me today, and I hope they do with you. If you want to read more from this man, pick up one of his books. Oh, and for you people reading that don't think you could ever grow your own garden...don't be afraid !! You can !!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Birthday Presents

Well, yesterday was my Birthday. I had a nice day, spent time with Chloe at the Farmers Market, talked to quite a few friends and family on the phone, and had a nice dinner out with the family. I also spent some time with my new presents. I have been wanting the Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer and my Hubbie bought some attachments to go with it. I had no idea how many attachments you could buy for this workhorse of a machine. So, I used the juicer and made the yummiest fresh orange juice. I usually do it by hand, and it takes so long just to squeeze out one glass, this time I had a whole pitcher's worth!

My next present was a surprise for sure, Chloe adorned the box with her art, and when I opened it, I almost fell off my chair. Guitar Hero for the Mac.

Now, most of you know me to be a purist when it comes to musical instruments, (an upright piano versus a keyboard) and I guess you can call me a simpleton as well, because I don't want to add any more electronics, games, computer programs, etc to my already busy world. So you might be saying, as I was in my mind "How could anyone play a plastic guitar with colored buttons instead of real strings, and enjoy it ?" Well, my answer is even a simpleton like me can get sucked into Guitar Hero and really like it ! A few weeks ago we were at a friends house and they were playing the game, so as silly as I thought it was, I gave it a try...and not only did I catch on, I was laughing like crazy, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment that I could actually rock...on a silly plastic guitar... So, if you look at the guitar, Alan put a special sticker on it for me....that I think sums it all up... "Sold Out". Now, I might add, that I had a sneaking suspicion that this gift was really more for Alan than for me.... Take a look at the picture below, this is how I found him in the office after I got the kids to bed... what do you think ???

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beans ! Yeah !

I started cleaning out the veggie garden to get it ready for a new round of planting and found the remnants of the pole beans we had last summer. There were very dried up pods still hanging on the tee-pee, its funny I had never really noticed they were there. I knew Chloe and Blake would love to open them up and harvest them, so I called them out to the yard. They quickly went through everyone and look what we have! A huge crop of new beans to plant. This was so exciting to me...a very simple pleasure at 5pm, after a long day, to find these beans and have the kids just as exited as I was. Since I have been working with the Children at School in the garden, I have learned how much they love to not only plant seeds, but they absolutely love to go through our seed box and touch them all. They not only touch them, but they so much want to own them, take them home...hoard them almost. Today at school, we had a whole bunch of extra bean seeds and the kids wanted to have one to take home, they practically begged of course I had to give them some. Then to come home and discover our own sweet ! It is just so cool to see the whole Garden experience through Children's eyes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sweet Pea Day

Today was Sweet Pea Day at Summer's Past Farms. They have a huge sweet pea maze and once a year when they are in full bloom you can go there and cut your own bouquet. It was quite busy today, and there really was not enough flowers to cut for all the folks that showed up. Luckily we got to cut from the tower in the Children's Garden.

The kids had fun in the sand box area to. They informed me they were working hard on making a garden.

There seems to be endless amounts of flowers and herbs blooming all over the grounds, its just so lovely. A few of my favorites, vibrant blue delphiniums, with pink and white valerian behind them.

We are definitely having a very warm summer weekend here. Believe it or not, the high is 92 degree's today....sorry you Michiganders, just had to let you know what you are missing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vintage Fabric Love

I got a intercom call last night,from my Husband while he was in our office and I was in the kitchen, asking me why I have not done a blog post recently? I think the exact quotes were "why is that bread post still up? that's old news?" (Yes, sometimes we intercom each other, silly, I know). Well, my answer was something like this "I haven't had time " Which is very true because I have been very involved in the School Garden, its spring after all ! Check out the blog here to see what's been going on. So for the few of you who read this blog and are sick of seeing the bread is a new one !

A Mom at school, (Donna) gave me about 3 yards of the fabulous vintage fabric a few days ago. Its cotton, and has a bit of a sheen to it. I just love it, because it looks like a hand painting of lovely. I am not sure when it was made, but I do know that is was from Donna's, Grandmothers stash that she inherited. It says So-Fro original, which if I am not mistaken is a Fabric Store chain of the past. Although, I goggled it and found that there is still one in Detroit, Mi, my home town. Anyone know about So-Fro Originals ?? So, my plans for this fabric is to make a cute little dress for Donna's 4 year old daughter Vica in exchange for this treasure. As for the rest of it... maybe a bright cheery skirt, an apron...who knows, it will speak to me as I work with it, and let me know what I should do with it...that's the beauty of fabric.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Breaking Bread

I recently purchased the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and after reading it and making a very small investment in some baking tools, I started baking my own bread at home, and guess what, it tastes great !! I have to say that I have received so much satisfaction from this experience, unlike anything else I have found in cooking and baking in my kitchen. There is something so gratifying about baking bread, and eating it fresh with family and friends. I am hooked !

Now, I am sure almost all of you are saying "baking bread, I don't have time for that!" Well, I really don't either...I am just as frazzled as any Mom on a daily basis. The method in this book is actually much easier than the traditional method of baking bread, and it is really doable. You mix up 4 batches at a time, just stir it with a wooden spoon, if you don't have a heavy duty standard mixer with a dough attachment, (who does ? oh yeah, Martha Stewart). Let it sit for two hours, then store it in the fridge. Then you can get the dough out anytime, I recommend 2 hours before you will devour it. Bake it, let it cool and enjoy.

The best part about it is, each time I have made a loaf, it is turned out so good ! Its a feeling of accomplishment that I just LOVE ! Not to mention...the satisfaction of eating it all up !! Oh, and the book has so many great bread recipes with dinner, lunch and breakfast recipes to go with. Did I mention, fresh bread is very adored by Chloe and Blake...I think the smell of the kitchen speaks to them, Chloe's comment after a few days of stuffing herself with it was " Mommy, now you can work in a Bakery!"

As for the recipes, The picture above is the first one in the book, it is the Boule Artisan Free-Form Loaf. The pictures below are the same recipe, which is basically a sourdough bread, but they are Baguette's.

If you want to see a video with the Authors demonstrating the process, check out this video.