Monday, April 28, 2008

Obvious winner: Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

I knew this was going to be a winner because it was a pain in the ass to make.

There was "paper thin" slicing of five lemons involved and also three separate things to prepare and then add in a specific order.

It's a wonder I decided to take it on at all.

But I did - because my dwarf Meyer lemon was looking tortured under the weight of its fruits and when I mentioned the recipe from behind my surprise issue of Martha Stewart (I canceled my subscription months ago) the look on Bubba's face was nothing short of orgasmic.

He pressed his lips together, clasped his hands at his bosom and rolled his eyes so suggestively I thought I might need to leave the room. IfyouknowwhatImeanbutanyway...

Yesterday I donned my sombrero (dudes, it was HOT here yesterday!) and sauntered out to the patio for the big harvest of my tiny tree. And then about a hundred years and FOUR different baking pans later, we had some of this coffee cake. Half of which was incredibly awesome, the other half of which was slightly undercooked given the type of pan I'd chosen to use and the fact that I left Bubba in charge of taking it from the oven but failed to mention that he needed to test the center with a toothpick for doneness.


Lesson learned here: When the recipe calls for an angel food cake pan, it means it. Because a bundt pan won't work due to the rounded nature of the pan (and thus the rounded nature of the cake's bottom when flipped) and a springform pan *might* work, but you'll have to, like, stay around while it's baking to adjust for the actual baking time given the extra square footage of the cake without the angel food cake hole in the middle.

Do you see what I'm saying?

I hope so, because I'll tell you that it's not a *lot* of fun pouring the batter into a bundt pan, realizing that it's totally NOT going to work, then running out to the garage for a springform pan, washing it, drying it and the pouring the batter in there just to realize that it's too big so that you can then run BACK out to the garage for the smaller springform pan which also needs to be washed and dried before pouring the first layer of the batter in for what feels like the hundredth time. And also good job doubling the amount of dishes you have to do.


If I were to make this cake again, and likely I will given Bubba's affinity for it, I will use the smaller springform pan again, but this time I'll put a round ramekin or something in the middle to act as the angel food cake pan hole because TEE DAH the springforminess of the pan was the most satisfying moment of my baking life to date.

Sad? Perhaps. But look at how beautiful the cake looks when you are able to spring the pan away from the cake instead of chop it away from the sides of the angel food cake pan with a knife as detailed in the recipe's instructions.

See? That is awesome. No hacking away at that perfect crust. No loss of precious crumb topping. Also, look how it's not face-down on my floor because the springform pan bottom acts as the perfect little plate which I can transfer right over to my cake stand instead of my usual manhandling of the cake out of the pan and off the cooling rack which inevitably ends up with the cake on the floor and a LOT of bad words. Anyway, wow, that's a lot of awesomeness from one pan and I now understand why someone smart invented these things.

Anyway - next time, I'll add the ramekin to the middle and see how it goes baking-wise.

Either way - we had a nice slice of it last night with some Caffe Roma coffee and it was a heavenly experience. I didn't clutch my bosom with the heavenliness, but Bubba did. He has a thing for lemon baked goods, bless him. And sorry this photo is so dark, I was too intent on eating my cake to move from my seat on the couch to a brighter lit somewhere for the sake of a photo. Maybe a future slice will be eaten in the light of day.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Adopt a Crop update: I hope I'm not jinxing myself

(Forgive the hot dog fingers here - I had just finished huffing a 3 mile run and I was hot, ok.)

Guess who ate the first three strawberries of the season three mornings ago on her cereal?

Yeah, it was me.

What? Strawberries weren't the Adopt a Crop crop of choice?


Ok, so I don't have a photo of the cucumber again. And would you like to know why? Because I can't keep my damn camera charged long enough to accommodate the super long ass time it takes me to ultra focus the digital macro feature TO PERFECTION, that is why.


So, I had a shot all picked out and focused and perfect and then the camera zips shut like an asshole and the screen reads,




The good news is that the only thing that died on me this time was the camera battery (which thankfully can be brought back to life with some amount of charging) and the Pickling Cucumbers whom I was trying desperately to photograph to perfection are indeed ALIVE.



Well, as of this morning at 7:51am anyway.

Now for the coming clean part to which I alluded during my last update. Specifically, I bought some seedlings during my very fun nursery trip to fill in the garden places devastated by bastard seedling munching bugs and the asshole squirrels.

And, I will admit, one of the seedlings I bought was a Pickling Cucumber - DON'T BE MAD AT ME ,OK?! I mean, I know I promised pickled cucumbers from seed and everything but sometimes those seeds are not big and strong enough or haven't had enough soapy baths to keep the bugs away and they get chewed to sad nubs and die. Then the only thing I can do is plant all the other seeds, hope for the best, rejoice in the one seedling that looks like it *might* live and then race off to the nursery for this tiny seedling's big brother. Which I found, organically grown and uhhverything, and planted in the mound where the previous bug devouring occurred.

I hope no one tells him he's planted in a cucumber graveyard.

And while I was there I obviously bought other plants because, come on already. Rows and towers and rows of organically grown vegetable seedlings are very, very hard to resist even when you aren't sure exactly where they'll go. Meaning, you've accounted for every last bit of space in the garden, going to great lengths by even conducting an internet adoption poll to fill in the last open slots, and are pretty sure there's not, like, any room left for anything else AND YET STILL, you buy some more because they're there and pretty and promise things like midget Cantaloupes.

Come on people, that is awesome.

So, a quick run down of the impulse vegetable seedling shopping I did:

1 Minnesota Midget cantaloupe
1 Pickling cucumber
1 Jalapa jalapeno
6 Rainbow chards (because my seeds got chewed)
6 Sweet basils (because my seeds had a 0% germination rate - losers!)

That's not too bad, right?

Anyway, I'll have photos of these soon enough. And, oh yeah, I planted a Ronde de Italia squash, which I had in my head was an Eight ball squash but is, in fact, not at all. Not that it *really* matters because this beast is already cooking right along and has fruits setting already. SCORE. I will be eating these through summer as long as the evil squash bastards of yore don't show up to demolish my plants.

As far as other crop updates go, the radishes are looking sparse but strong. So, I'm putting all my Hoping for Radishes eggs in their tiny baskets.

The beets look fine, but not really any bigger than they did before. Which is fine as long as they're not being devastated and destroyed by munchers.

The lettuce looks good. Slow, but good. I have about two of the wee plants rolling the dice and setting new leaves like grown-ups. The others are all shrimpy and barely lettuce at all. COME ON FOLKS.

The snap peas look awesome. Sometimes I forget to give them credit for their awesomeness since, in addition to actually growing from seed, they're fucking fast and are already half way up their fences. Good work guys - mama loves you.

The tomatoes are looking and feeling suspiciously fat around the blooms. Which, in normal words, means they are acting like they want to set fruit. Freaks! It's barely warm out! Not that I mind. The sooner the better.

The strawberries are obviously kicking ass and the borage I randomly and haphazardly planted around the strawberries is sort of going nuts, which I just realized this morning.

Am I forgetting anything? I can't remember. But it would appear that I'm in the midst of gardening season and that makes me a happy bitch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FaDSA April: Modern Apron

Dear Donk,

You can call me old-fashioned if you want, but I feel like sewing patterns should have, well, patterns. I know this book is supposed to be *so simple* that I don't need patterns, but let's face it, I'm not so hot with the math and measuring business so patterns typically help. I need to trace and cut along predetermined lines, OK.

But, I will say I was happy to see at least a diagram in the back of the book for this one. Granted, it just showed measurements and a line drawing, but it was easy enough for even me to follow without making massive mistakes and ruining my favorite fabric ever. That's saying something about the "Simple..." in this book anyway.

I also realize that this *pattern* called for seersucker, but I don't live in the south and couldn't picture myself cavorting around the kitchen in a fabric I actively associate with mint juleps and those straw hats with the really flat brims. I can be very literal sometimes. And as you know, I found this fabric in Portland and loved it very much and wasn't going to leave the store without it so, when I couldn't think of anything else I'd want to make from it I decided,TEE DAH, it will be an apron.

Sure, it doesn't have the alleged absorbency characteristics of the seersucker but I hardly care. It's wicked cute and now has a ring pocket (I don't wear my rings while I cook because of the big mess, you know) and an adjustable neck strap that I also love.

The neck strap, while neato because of its adjustability, became necessary after I realized it was really long and the apron wouldn't cover my boobs if I wore it like that. Sure I *could* have ripped the neck strap off, cut it down and sewn it back on, but then it would probably be too short and Whoopsy! I'd have to make a whole new one when it didn't fit over my giant heed.

No, we can't have that.

So, instead I added a little velcro to the strap so that I could slip it over my head and velcro it up so it'd drape at a normal place. Specifically, over my boobs. Can't have them open to the fires of the stove, you know. Now it's a perfect fit and Bubba thinks I'm extra clever for that little maneuver. Score!

Anyway, enough about my boobs. I have a birdie apron and I love it a lot. It's already dirty with stains from at least two good dinners and a baking extravaganza with lemons that went on this Saturday.


So tell me, how's things going with your apron?


Friday, April 18, 2008

Adopt a Crop update: This time with soap

What? I've already posted this photo?


This is a new photo. Of the new plant. That will *hopefully* be replacing the one that was devastated and destroyed by something disgusting that I'm trying to now fend off/mercilessly kill with soap and water.

See, this is when I start to wonder if I'm cut out for the whole organic gardening thing. I mean, I read my books and I stalk other gardeners on the internet and I make assumptions about organic right and wrong based on my gut instincts (Round-Up bad. Manual hand-weeding self to death - GOOD!), but at the end of the day, I usually walk away feeling like it's something of a crapshoot and gee I hope that something grows otherwise won't I feel like a horses ass.

Thankfully, *something* always grows, not always from seed, and I learn a few things each season that will keep me going in the next season when I'm faced again with shit like this where I've companion planted and mulched and floating row-covered my ass off and yet still I can't.grow.cucumbers.from.seed. Due to the damn munching bugs.


So, this season I'm learning the joy of the good old soap and water spray. I'd like to be able to grow the whole damn organic garden from seed with no intervention by me or any spray bottle, but it looks like I'm going to have to settle for a few clandestine moments of tiny bug annihilation with the Trader Joe's biodegradable soap mixed up with some water in my dollar bin spray bottle. Which just goes to show what a total fucking experiment the whole gardening thing is for me anyway.

I'm no professional, which you well know.

So, let's just forgive me for resorting to a soap and water killfest while also hoping to hell it works and lets my cucumber seedlings survive long enough to become mighty enough to fend for themselves without their hourly sponge baths from mommy.

And while I have you hear, why not show you the plants in my garden who can fend for their own damn selves.

Both tomato plants are blooming

The peas are climbing

The strawberries are ripening

The beets are stretching

The radishes are basically doing this...

The lettuce is growing second leaves

The bell peppers are actually germinating. Contrary to everything I've read about their ability to germinate from direct sowing. Take that, seed packet!

And my neighbors gave me a bunch more snap peas from their 100% germinating seeds because they are overachievers.

Anyway, I hope to come back and tell you all what a ravishing success the soap and water genocide was on the plant munching evils. Or at least be able to show off the big strong cucumber plants I found at the nursery. Since that's where I'm going this weekend for a cantaloupe plant because, yes, that bed has been devastated by creatures too large to succumb to the mild threat of biodegradable soup.

Squirrels - be warned. You're on my list.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good job, Portland.

I am home from a trip with one of my best friends and I'm not even hungover.

How's THAT for growing up already?

Portland was rad, as I'm sure you can imagine, especially given that we had some unseasonably warm weather and those Portlanders (is this what they're called? I don't know.) really come out of their shells when the weather gets over 70 degrees. Oh the pasty legs and ill-fitting tube tops. That is something of a tourist attraction in itself.

Now that I'm home in the sunshine (brought that good weather right back with me, you know) and reflecting on our trip I can definitely say that Portland was a good choice for our yearly girl's trip. And also it appears I've done some growing up since I spent the whole of my time doing exactly what I wanted to do instead of getting all self-conscious and suggesting we do something more widely acceptable (and supah boring) like trolling museums or looking at statues.

And then I also didn't get all "we need to party like we're still in college so that we don't feel like old ladies" and insist we spend our nights bouncing around bars and clubs instead of doing what I really wanted to do which was to have leisurely and decent meals (eating bar food at 2 am doesn't count as dinner anymore) with a few good cocktails and walk back to the hotel for a pj party in front of the tube.

I know! I'm wicked lame and boring and getting old and sad or something. But really I think that all people want to give up drinking their heads into hotel toilets and moving through vacation mornings shrouded in sunglasses, hooded sweatshirts and shame but they're too afraid of being called lame, boring, old and sad so keep on with the charade until they come home to an intervention or realize they're "that old guy" at the bar and no one is buying their act anymore.

Me, I'm over it. Call me what you will, I didn't wake up with a single hangover, didn't shame myself publicly in front of a new city or get off the plane with any inexplicable tattoos or bruising and I'm pretty happy about it.

I'm also not at all feeling guilty about the amount of shopping I did or the self-indulgence I took part in because I had a very capable PIC along for the ride and that is the key.

I think she really said it best: "You know you are on vacation with the right friend when you both jump at the sight of vintage trim/racks of Amy Butler fabric/organic fruit at a farmer’s market/a giant Banana Republic outlet."

There's room for all my bizarre/old lady/farmer wannabe/fashionista on a budget/lazy ass desires on these trips and that's why I love them. Not once did Kelli look at me and go, "Really? You want to go to a Tulip Festival and walk around a field?" and that is grand.

Acceptance for your freakishness. That is the key to all good friendships and vacations. And it doesn't hurt when you go to cities like Portland where you can indulge all your freakishness at once.

You're good shit, Portland. I like you when you're sunshiney.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Adopt a Crop update: Fleeing the scene

So, I was going to post an Adopt a Crop update today since WOO! I saw a new cucumber poke its head out of the other mound (there's two you know) the other day, but VERY SAD - it has been chewed to a nub by some evil bastard bug and now I don't have the heart to put up its picture.

And then the other cucumber sproutling got chewed AND THEN the volunteer lemon cucumber that I was getting all teary-eyed over and was offering up to a good home got totally demolished by whatever asshole bug is out dining on my garden. Like, took this very strong and mighty seedling down to a stringy threadbare mess.


Thankfully I am very lazy (see, we can make this a good thing) because last night as I was consulting my organic gardening bible in The Library to figure out what I could do to entice these evil bastard bugs away from my tiny seedlings, I noticed some seed packets I'd shoved in with the gardening books and WOO! there were some pickling cucumber seeds from the days of yore. Oh! And also cantaloupe seeds - which will come in handy because something is eating those, too.

Anyway, it appears that after a previous seed starting extravaganza in The Library/Breakfast Nook/Greenhouse/Auxiliary Kitchen Storage Area I might have been too lazy to take the leftover seeds out to the garage (shocker) and, well, just shoved them in between my garden notebook and Melons for the Passionate Grower for later.

Ta Dah! Later is here and some shithead is eating my plants so this strategy of seed hoarding in the kitchen worked out. Muhuhahaha!

Just like I planned.

Anyway - no photographic Adopt a Crop update for today. But know that I'm fighting an intense war out there and will get back to you with updates from the front.

But only after I return from my yearly trip with Kelli. YAY!

Member last year how we went to Santa Fe? Yes. Well, this year we are going to Portland because we hear a lot of nice things live there. Like fabric stores, yarn stores, big sexy farmer's markets, some kind of Saturday Market of crafts, museums, coffee, good food, you know...

So, I am leaving my garden in the hands of, well, no one really. The sprinklers will sprinkle it and hopefully My New Strategy of mulching the seedlings with plastic will keep some evil bugs away long enough for these guys to shoot off some new leaves before I get home.

And in the event that I return from girling it up in OR to find a stringy mess of forlorn cuke seedlings, I will reseed with the ones I found in the kitchen and pretend I planned it all that way. OH, and then if those seedlings don't make it either (distinct possibility) I will be able to be found scouring the aisles of my local nurseries for two pickling cucumber plants and a nice strong cantaloupe.

And then I will thank you to not be too disappointed in me for resorting to buying seedlings rather than growing direct from seed because I think you can see that the tiny seedlings hardly stand a chance against these asshole bugs and there are only so many little green lives I'm willing to risk for pickle-able cucumbers, OK?


Monday, April 07, 2008

Beets. I'm pretty sure.

Good afternoon people, we have beets.

(Detroit Beet Seedlings)

I'm, like 99% sure they're beets now, too.

Why not 100% sure? Well, it turns out that, in addition to being wildly lazy, I'm also a little bit retarded.

See, I *thought* I'd planted the new bed in the following order from the back:

Snap peas/sweet peas (on the fence)

So, when I saw little sprouty things coming up all over the place in the "Beet/Radish" section, I was like WOO! We have radishes! and maybe soon we'll have beets BUT NOT YET and also Hey! There's some lettuce over there. It just went downhill from there and it was a boisterous and misguided time in general.

Then a few days later during a particularly introspective and thorough garden staring session, I was like, why does my lettuce look funny and reddish instead of bright green like my radishes which are growing in rows even though I *know* I didn't plant them in rows? And, huh, what are these little sprouts around the edge of the lettuce patch? Is THAT what ugly marigolds look like as sproutlings?

Was I drunk when I planted this garden? Something doesn't seem right.


So, off to The Google I went to find out, once and for all, what a Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce seedling really looks like and to get to the bottom of exactly what type of shenanigans were going on in the garden. I mean, in my imagination, baby lettuce sprouts should be bright green things with semi-rounded leaves, but right before my eyes where I had allegedly planted the lettuce I was seeing red-stemmed seedlings with long narrow leaves. I think you see where this is going.

Well, no big surprise here, but in my brief two second searching of the glorious Google Image Search for "black seeded simpson lettuce seedlings" I found a picture of Wow! Those look exactly like my radish seedlingswaitaminutehere..."

(Black seeded simpson seedlings which have since been thinned.)

Thus followed a heated image search for radish seedlings that resolved the "is that what Ugly Marigolds look like as seedlings?" question with a resounding "No that's what a radish seedling looks like you idiot." and then also the big realization that those weird looking red-stemmed lettuce seedlings with long narrow leaves were actually, yes, BEETS.

(Perfecto radish seedlings)


This is when you look at me like I'm wearing my underpants on my head and ask how come I don't use plant markers like a normal person.

Well, I have a perfectly good reason why not: because I drew a picture of the bed in my garden notebook so that I'd know *exactly* how many of each thing I planted and where because I didn't want to cut out any more plant markers because I'm, let's say it together - LAZY.

(Suddenly I'm realizing my original fear that someone would see my sloppy writing-with-garden-gloves-on handwriting)

And why didn't I just go into the garage and get this amazing hand drawn garden diorama when curious about the alien beings shooting up in the garden? Well, obviously it is easier to go all the way in the house to the Internets to search on my suspicions than to go open the big heavy garage door and consult my very informative drawing which would have resolved everything but sadly lived behind a very squeaky heavy door which I was unwilling to slide open.

See? LAZY.

And also a little bit in denial about my memory's true abilities.

So, as it turns out, I planted the garden like so:

Snap peas/sweet peas (on the fence)


Good news though is that we have beets, radishes, lettuce, snap peas, sweet peas AND chard coming up in the garden regardless of whether I can recognize them.

I suppose this is what happens when you grow something new. I mean, I can find a tomato, pea, cucumber or squash plant among rows and towering rows of plants at the nursery with one eye tied behind my back, but until now had never had to identify a radish, beet or chard sproutling. So, alas, I learned a thing.

(Rainbow chard seedlings)

(Strapping young snap peas - ON FENCE)

Ok, perhaps I learned a few things. BUT WHATEVER BECAUSE we have beets. WOO!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

And also soup

For some reason this has been a very active blogging week for me. Hello - FOURTH POST IN A ROW.

What do I think this is, NaBloPoMo? Sheesh. I am wickedly out of touch.

Anyway, I made some soup this week and it was so good, used so many random things languishing in my cupboard and fulfilled the "grow your own stuff and cook with it" requirement of Grow Your Own, that I thought it warranted some of my yammering.

Plus, if you don't have something in mind for dinner yet, this might be a good idea. Especially if you live in an evil place that is not yet experiencing spring. I've seen a lot of comments where people mention snow and I even saw someone had a photo of them hiding Easter eggs in a snowbank, so I'm thinking not everyone is coaxing along strawberries and cucumbers right now like someone I know (me) and could perhaps use a nice warm dinner and maybe less talk about spring gardening.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect.

Anyway, my favorite farmgirl and recipe inventer, Susan, put this recipe up the other day and I knew right away it was The One.

The One I had been searching for to provide us with sustenance and also The One that would empty my cupboards of canned goods that were taking up some valuable space. Also I was starting to feel guilty for buying stuff I wasn't immediately using, so you know, it helped fix that, too.


The soup is called, Cream (or not) Of Artichoke Soup With Garlic, Onions, & Garbanzo Beans.

I chose the "(or not)" version of this recipe since I can't be eating the Evil Cream this close to shorts and bikini weather, ok. But I am considering heating the leftovers tonight (recipe makes a lot) and stirring in some FF Greek yogurt to see if I can achieve the divinity that Susan spoke of without having to then have a strict talking-to with my too-big-ass later on. I'll let you know if this ruins it.

Now I know I said this recipe used up a lot of stuff sitting around in my cupboard (chickpeas, artichoke hearts, a whole sack of onions) but it also used up a good bit of my parsley hedge (YAY!) and that is where the Grow Your Own bit comes in.

I've grown a lot of parsley, people. And it still comes as a great surprise to me. I mean, I put the seeds in the ground, yes, but then it totally grew and never died. It OVERWINTERED. So, now, it's spring and (whoops, sorry snow people) and it's getting bigger now. A little scary.

Anyway, I pulled a big stalk and minced it all up nice to Super Garnish this dish. When I reheat the leavin's tonight I will be mincing and stirring in a bunch more because I have a lot of parsley I need to use and also it tastes nice.

So - I grew it myself and now it's taking over and making its way into every recipe. Maybe next we have Parsley Brownies?

Another bonus of this recipe was the fact that it gave me an excuse to make croutons from a leftover loaf of sourdough and that was about the best thing ever. Soup is good, sure, but put fresh parsley, a little parmiggiano reggiano and homemade garlic croutons on top and it becomes a masterpiece.

I highly recommend this recipe and also making your own croutons. I made them like this:

Finny's On-the-Fly Half-Assed Croutons
1/2 Garlic and Cheese Sourdough loaf from Trader Joe's, sliced
Garlic salt
1 clove garlic, halved
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with oil. Rub slices of bread with garlic halves and then cut into cubes. Toss it all (garlic, too) onto the sheet and coat. Drizzle (HATE THIS WORD) with olive oil and garlic salt - toss to coat. Slam it in the oven for 15 minutes or so, toss. Slam it back in for another 15 minutes or so until the cubes are browned all over. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with shredded parm. Let it cool for a minute or so and then sprinkle over the soup and parsley. YUM.

While you may have leftovers of the soup (because it makes a lot, not because it's not ruuuuuully good) you will NOT have leftovers of the croutons. Sorry, they're very good and you won't be able to resist. Just saying.

Happy Leavin's Night, y'all.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Adopt a Crop: Tiny sighting!

So, I didn't want to worry you, but I've been stressed. And also doing a scary amount of staring and finger crossing and checking of germination dates on seed packets and begging quietly into the soil.

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease grow little cucumber seeds! The nurseries here don't have your variety in stock so I'm just going to look like a failure when you don't grow. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!"

Yes, that is right, I *might* have been contemplating trying to pawn off a healthy sprightly seedling plant on you as though it sprang from the seeds I put in the ground when these seeds proved to be totally inert. I *might* have, but I didn't really *want* to. Because *I* would still know I was a failure and ohwecannothavethat. So, I haven't bought any plants or anything. All seeds are exactly where they were and growing at their own slow pace.



*Sigh* I need a special kind of help, I know.

Anyway, you might be able to discern that the aforementioned threatened faking has not happened (um, phew) and instead I am proud to present to you, Adopt a Croppers everywhere, with the first Pickling Cucumber Sighting:

Ta dah!
(BTW:"Ta dah!" will probably accompany every update because I'm very self-congratulatory.)

It may not look like much now, but I'm hopeful that it will unfold from the soil big and green and strong and able to fight off whatever is munching the hell out of my cantaloupe sprouts.

Sadly, those seeds really may be replaced with more mightier plants from the nursery. Thankfully I don't really care what type of cantaloupe I grow as long as it grows and fruits. And also I'm not trying to impress you with my ability to grow cantaloupe from seed so don't have to worry about the very public failure of all that.

So, YAY! Those of you following along with Adopt a Crop 2008 have your first exciting gardening update. And, per my original promise, there was no super sweating, dirt touching or personal torture for you to contend with. Best gardening ever, right?

And lest I forget those who voted for things other than cucumbers, I have an update for you as well. Specifically those who voted for Sweet Bell Peppers because I planted seeds and one live plant (impatience getting the better of me again) and things are looking up.

Lets also not forget to ogle the plants that are sprouting and growing as though they were also voted as BIG WINNERS even though they only got one vote (from me, I have that power you know):

Ambitious strawberries

Radishes that will need to be thinned in the worst way

Snap peas stretching for the fence

Volunteer lemon cucumber who doesn't know when to quit

It's big times around the garden, folks, and we're just getting started so no use trying to pretend that you're not STOKED because I know you are.

Me too.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

FaDSA: April Project - Modern Apron

Dear Donk,

So, I hope you'll forgive me if you have a hundred aprons and don't want to make another one because I have a hundred aprons, too, but only one that truly fits the bill. And that bill is keeping me covered up enough so that my mess making doesn't end up also being my fashion statement.

See, I've taken to coming home from work and forgetting to change clothes so I end up making dinner and risking messiness in my good clothes that are sometimes dresses.

Worse yet, I sometimes end up serving dinner wearing a dress and an apron and some heels and looking a little too much like June Cleaver for any of us to take seriously. It's gotten a little 50's in my house to the point where Bubba took one look at me during a recent "Hey, I'm impersonating a Real Live Housewife" moment and asked me to just steer clear of the cocaine and maybe I was taking this whole Wife thing a little too seriously.

Really though, I don't do coke or act like a Real Live Housewife.

But I do make a mess while I cook (mostly on myself) and so I need a real person apron that covers my whole front and doesn't just stop at the waist with some frilly thisandthat which doesn't protect a damn thing from flying tomato sauce. For example.

Cooking is a full contact sport in my kitchen and I need a full coverage uniform for the job. If it's "Modern", all the better so I don't promote this whole Real Live Housewife persona that I've been inadvertantly cultivating.

SO - y'all...if you, too, need some real apronage for your real cooking and have it in you to sew one.more.apron - please do so. I'd love to see what you come up with and I'll thank you to not remind me that we sewed an apron last year that was a halvsy type and how come we didn't take care of this whole full coverage apron business then.

Let's regroup on May 1st (YAY! MAY!) to show off the month's winner and move on to other things and perhaps revisit that whole pintucking fiasco.

Also, big congrats to our March winner!