Monday, December 15, 2008


...They're what I got after reading this poem. It was printed on the front page of the church bulletin yesterday.  It references my favorite, favorite verses of the whole Bible. 

"Who on earth saw him first, knowing 
truly who he was? Belly to belly, when
John, prophet in utero, distinguished 
in the natal soup the fetal bones, the body
curled like a comma, eyes tight, skull
packed with universal wisdom,
this unborn cousin began to dance.

And when she, birth-giver-
her ordinary vision arrowing down between
her legs through pain and straw to her son's dark,
slime-streaked hair, to his very skin, red with
the struggle of being born-she lifted him
to her breast, kissed the face of God,
and felt her own heart leap." -- Lucy Shaw

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday.

So we're obsessed with Twilight. My shirt says "Team Edward," hers says "I (heart) Edward...he's dazzling." 

Cheesemaking Woes.

So all week I was planning on updating with a blog attesting to my prowess in the kitchen- namely, pictures showing me making homemade cheese. However, despite following the directions in my New England Cheese 30-Minute Mozzarella Kit to the tee, TWICE, no luck. I keep ending up with soft, small curd rather than the larger, firm curd needed to finish the recipe. After much debate and consultation of the "cheese techs," I've determined that the problem is the milk. Therefore, this weekend I will be attempting the third batch of mozz and the first of fromage blanc, utilizing raw milk from a dairy nearby. Of course, I will make sure everyone who consumes the cheese understands that raw milk was used, and that only adults (no children/people with weakened immune systems) eat it, just to be safe. Has anyone else dabbled in home cheese-making? What were your results?

Here's hoping to being able to bring homemade cheese to the wine-and-cheese-party this weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just for fun!

After all the tough "green" challenges (thanks, Crunchy!), how about something more fun? This one is free, doesn't create waste, and has a slew of benefits to boot! I bet you could even lower the thermostat....

Check it out here, via Blissfully Domestic. 

Other people are getting ready for Christmas- I'm prepping for spring!

That's right.

I love spring.

Spring to me means starting my garden: pouring over catalogues, trying to decide what I want to try this year, reading over my notes of what didn't work last time, and finally planting.  I get so much satisfaction from watching my tiny seeds sprout into little plants, then growing until, finally, I can eat them fresh and even preserve them to enjoy later.  

We're lucky to be far enough South now that I can start pretty early. Once the seeds sprout, it'll be 2-3 months before many of them are big enough to plant outside. That means that if I want to start moving some plants outside in April, I need to be getting a move on in the January/February time frame. Throw in a busy holiday season and time spent ordering and shipping, and you'll see why I'm already picking out veggies. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an amazing book by Barbara Kingsolver. You can see her webpage here- it's full of helpful information and delicious recipes. Barbara has inspired me to try heirloom plants this year- plants that were grown in the past, but are not commonly found today, often because commercial operations don't grow them.  I think they're cool because of the huge variety available- tomatoes alone come in colors from black to yellow and pink, and the tastes vary widely as well. It's also neat to think that some are the same vegetables that were enjoyed by people long ago. Heirloom Acres Seeds is one source I've found with a good selection of both seeds and plants. 

I'm particularly excited about the tomatoes and the asparagus crowns. Anyone who's ever grown tomatoes knows that once you eat a home-grown one, you can never settle for a store-bought one again. A little tip: if you plant cherry (or grape, or any other smallish-variety) of tomatoes in large pots, you can start moving them outside to get sun early in the year. If a cold snap is imminent, it's very easy to move them inside for the night. Do this and you'll have the earliest tomatoes around- and be the envy of all your neighbors! I've done this for the past two years using cherry tomatoes and 3ft. stakes in the pots with great success. Also, asparagus crowns are a good option if (like me) you're impatient and don't want to want 3 years to harvest it. Plant the crowns this spring and you can start enjoying a small crop in a year's time.