When asked to choose between cake or pie, I’m a pie kind of girl.
The crispy crust.
The moist filling.
Pair it with a cup of coffee?
Me and Agent Cooper, we could hang out.
But I digress, when I discovered the First Prize Pies cookbook by Allison Kave my mouth immediately began to water. It had all those modern cookbook elements to make a girl swoon:
Glossy photos. Inventive recipes. A cover that enhances your home decor.
But did its results match the sweet and savoriness of the physical book itself?
Read on for my full review.
Continue reading “Book Review: First Prize Pies”
Once again I had a less than stellar crop this summer. The culprit–I suspect–is sunlight.
The previous owner installed raised beds in the side yard, and they just don’t get enough sun–like only 5-6 hours of sun at the most during the summer. I did get some tomatoes and peppers, but not enough to support me and my tomato-ravaging baby bear. That kid will just take bites out of tomatoes like they’re apples.
I’m still going to put the beds to use though. The rhubarb, artichokes, and herbs are all thriving, so I think I’ll play on that theme and add more of the same. I just planted Parsley, Sage, Rosemary , and Thyme (as recommended by Simon and Garfunkel).
I also direct seeded some arugula, spinach, and cool weather peas in the bed that does get the most sun. The arugula have popped up but that’s it so far.
And finally the star of fall has appeared–RAIN!
Two weekends of wet weather have my lawn coming almost back to life. Almost, and only if it enjoys being covered with bald spots.
Other Garden News:
- The Pineapple Sage is finally sending out bright red flowers. I didn’t remember it being such a late bloomer.
- The Cedar out front is dropping its cone-thingys (we call them tree penis’, but I’m guessing that’s frowned on).
- The Abutilons are going strong.
All right the kidlet is stirring and I still have writing work to do.
Starting around April, it’s a normal occurrence to hear the gardeners of Sonoma singing in celebration:
“It’s here, it’s here! My favorite time of year! Spriiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.”
Or maybe that’s just coming from my backyard…
Either way, as the sentiment lazily drifts across the warming breezes, I’ve already started dreaming of juicy tomato sandwiches, ripe plums, and so much squash I can’t freeze, barter, or doorbell ditch enough of it.
Continue reading “Holy Spring Batman!”
The rain has come to play yet again this week after an incredibly hot week with temps in the upper ’80’s to ’90’s.
Continue reading “Crazy February Weather”
I’m going to say it, and hope I don’t jinx it: This is the year I get my garden growing!
With a new kidlet to care for, and an almost tendinitis free body, I’m more determined than ever to start overhauling my garden and consume what comes out of it rather than what comes from the supermarket.
This year I plan to
- Update my drip lines,
- Go into spring with a plan,
- Start my own seedlings for some plants,
- Erect trellises for peas and squash,
- WATER MORE,
- Build a potting bench, and
- Build a picnic table.
Things I would love to do include
- Removing wood chips from the side of the house and moving gravel from the shed area to that area for better drainage (and to reduce the risk of termites);
Removing the garden boxes that are right next to the house (not great sun exposure and potentially an incubator for termites)
- Expanding other garden boxes to get more sun/make up for losing the boxes next to the house;
- Removing the lawn (it looks like shit anyways);
- Creating a fire pit area with gravel or decomposed granite walkways;
- Expanding the garden beds into lawn areas;
- Planting drought tolerant flowers for hummingbirds and butterflies; and
- Planting either kiwi vines or passion fruit to block the sun that hits the covered patio in the summer.
So um… doable? We shall see.
What I’ve been up to around the garden this month:
- Added leaves to garden beds
- Jan 21 – pruned roses out back
BUT I have pretty much the best excuse in the world–the birth of my own Sweet Pea!
Continue reading “I have been remiss…”
Today we’re expecting another scorcher, so I’m doing what I can to keep the house cool and my garden from withering. Our weather has had a lot of ups and downs of late, from upper seventies one day to high nineties the next and back again. The heat has been good for the peppers, but next year I really want to have a better irrigation system installed. My irregular watering has resulted in blossom end rot on my Early Girl Tomatoes. : ( I shall not abide it next year!!! Continue reading “August Garden Update”
When I was down south visiting the family I had to take some pics of what was growing in the nursery. Continue reading “Happy Succulents Come From Southern California”
Back at the end of June my mother-in-law and I made the trip down south to my parents’ house for my baby shower. My folks live out in the hills on 4+ acres where they own and operate a wholesale nursery. Their backyard is amazing, and it’s there that we decided to have my baby shower. Continue reading “Sunny SoCal Shower”
Spring is feeling decidedly like summer already, and with fresh plums on my counter it is tasting like it too. Plums are my absolute favorite summer fruit. There’s just something about them that tastes like sunshine and swimming and lazy days.
Today I went out to the side yard where our Santa Rosa Plum is and found TONS of plums scattered on the ground. It looked like maybe something (probably a darn squirrel) jumped through the branches and unleashed the fruit. I’m leaving for Southern California tomorrow and the hubs won’t know what to do with them, so I’ll have to figure out how to store them till I get home. Leave no fresh plum behind! Continue reading “Garden Update”