Saturday, May 30, 2009

trying not to wait

the first cucumber
waiting for cucumbers

What I'm doing right now instead of waiting around...

writing grant proposals

cooking, a little, with tasty things from the garden

clearing out the freezer

enjoying the garden with HWWLLB (he works, I watch)

knitting diaper covers

reading a lot:
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Michael Cunningham, The Hours
  • Willa Cather, One of Ours
  • Pam England & Rob Horowitz, Birthing from Within
  • George Downing, The Massage Book
  • Monica Ali, Brick Lane
sleeping a lot

practicing yoga

practicing meditation

finding little chances to enjoy friends (between grant proposals and naps)

writing in my journal

fantasizing about craft projects (but mostly not doing them)

So far so good. I feel very patient. Now if only the well-meaning phone calls would stop interrupting my non-waiting ("Hi, are you in labor yet?"), maybe I could get some of these craft projects underway...

Monday, May 18, 2009

tie-dye, chickens, and nothing to report.

Love Party coop 8

Hi all. Sorry I've been such a slack blogger lately. Down to the last few weeks of pregnancy, and we are getting a lot of phone calls to which our standard response is, "No, nothing to report."

Lately I am back to my old routine of collapsing into bed by 9 PM or so, which doesn't leave much spare time for other pursuits. Even knitting has become kind of tiring. Instead I'm gobbling up books (I just finished Monica Ali's Brick Lane, if you're looking for a good read - it was great).

Saturday I did not manage to go on the Henside the Beltline Tour d' Coop, but I did hang out over at Mr & Mrs Love Party's house to keep them company during the tour for a little while. They had about 150 people come through their backyard to check out their chickens and ask the same dozen or so questions over and over again. A friend of ours on the tour in a very popular part of town had over 600 people come through! Backyard chickens have become a big thing in Raleigh, and every spring the fever spreads a little more via the Tour d'Coop. If you're a chicken fan, check out this local news video full of great chicken coop pictures and a short interview with tour founder Bob Davis.

Love Party coop 7

I grew up with chickens and fresh eggs, and I would love to have them again - especially for the poop. I think they would do our garden right. But HWWLLB is seriously not into this idea, and it seems that fresh eggs are becoming pretty abundant in our neighborhood without any contributions from us. I sure wouldn't mind going co-op with someone who wants the chickens-as-pets-and-for-eggs part, who would let me have the poop.

On a totally different topic, I did want to share a morsel of the previous weekend, which was a wonderful two days of family, friends, food, surprises, gifts, crafts... you get the idea. I should have written about it then. Anyway, my wonderful sister threw us a surprise (and very green) baby shower. There were out-of-town friends and family, and it turned into a whole weekend of fun. Bugheart and Grub came down from D.C., and after breakfast on Sunday morning we went out into the backyard and tie-dyed a big stack of onesies.

freedom rock onesies 1

HWWLLB has been plotting this project for a while. It was very messy and fun, and now our baby will feel right at home when he cranks up the Dead on a Saturday afternoon. More pics here. I love how bright they all are. And it really got me itching to dye the bundle of sock yarn I've had in the closet for so long...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

micro is the new green

baby greens 2

This has been an exciting early-spring garden for me because of a new (to us) innovation: micro greens!

A few months ago during the seed swap that we had with friends, I was thinking about ways to use up old seed packets, and looking at all the expensive blends of seeds they put into the seed catalogs, and realized that I had plenty of potential custom blends of my own sitting there in the bin of old seeds.

I made a blend for micro greens with:
pac choi
corn salad

We also had a big packet of unopened mesclun mix from two years before. In March I got two long planters (the kind you use for window boxes), and planted each with one of the blends. These seeds are all somewhat aged, so I didn't really worry about germination rates, I just dumped them in there. They have done great!

The first time I had to thin them, we made a salad with just a few leaves of over-wintered Bibb lettuce, and a whole bunch of tasty little micro greens. They are delicious! HWWLLB, who is really not a salad-eater even on his most virtuous days, proclaimed them "much better than lettuce" and said he would happily eat them whenver I served them.

Each time we harvest them, it seems to just make more room for the left-behind greens to get a bit fluffier, but I did finally do some re-seeding last week. I plan to keep harvesting and re-seeding them til I run out of seeds. I don't know what I'll do then - though if I dig through our old-seed bin again, I bet I'll find a bunch more aging seeds that would like to become fancy salad mix.

Here's a recipe for the dressing that has become our new favorite on micro greens:

Put into a small jar:
4 Tbsp EV olive oil
2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp honey
pinch of sea salt
one clove of garlic, peeled (but not chopped)

Shake well to blend contents thoroughly. Let the garlic steep in the dressing for a little while before serving. If you leave the garlic in the jar, it will just keep infusing the dressing with a stronger garlic flavor until the dressing is used up. Keep refrigerated.

And thanks to all of you for the tips on getting things finished (or not). I think I just need to accept that this is my M.O. right now. Too many things on my mind to worry about unfinished knitting. In fact, knitting is usually so therapeutic for me... I think if I forget about it for a little while, I'm going to come running back to the yarn in my hour of need anyway (and maybe get some of those wayward projects done).