An urban micro farm experiment. Adventures in trying to live a simple life.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday morning

It's back to chilly weather here in SE Wisconsin. Yesterday's warmish weather got me in the mood to take seed organization seriously. I have my master list of what is already purchased and what I need. But today, we're back to cool weather and that means finding excuses to use the oven so I made scones for the first time ever. And they weren't half-bad for my first attempt!  I used the recipe on the blog of Hostess of the Humble Bungalow. It is by far the easiest to use and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen. Who has heavy cream sitting around? Not me!  I am going to make another batch this morning but now I'm enjoying this first attempt with coffee for breakfast.

It has been several weeks of long days at work. Ten to eleven hour days can leave a person brain dead on the weekend. Saturdays are usually spent comatose....laying around with just a few chores being done. But Sundays are often a whirlwind of activities related to getting ready for another long week at work. Yesterday I did three loads of laundry and hung them all outside to dry. Fabulous but a little treacherous as I had to dance across the patches of ice and snow that were melting in my yard. It was a welcome day of warmth in the middle of winter.

By the way, I am aware that I'm in a No. 7 year--numerologically speaking--so not wanting to leave my house except for work is not a surprise to me.

Back to breakfast and planning my garden!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cold day in February

Nice night for some binge watching on Roku.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


We got an inch of snow last night after some pretty warm winter weather so there is a layer of crusty ice under the dry and light snow. It's too cold to do a thorough cleaning of my cars. Maybe it will get to 12 degrees and it will fee warmer than 10 !

This is what you do with left over heavy whipping cream from the holidays.  You whip it and cover your strong morning coffee with it!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Catching up.

I admit to spending most of my time using my iPad and ignoring recording my boring life on my blog. It is so easy to snap a photo with the iPad and instantly put it up on Instagram (just got the connection!) vs. using my camera, uploading the photos to my laptop and then hoping that I remember my password to my blog. In my defense, I have about 25 passwords that I use at work plus the 12 that I need for personal business at home and then the 3 I need to manage my internet life!  Are you kidding?  That's a lot to manage !   So here are a few snaps that I've accumulated over the past few weeks encompassing Christmas and the arrival of my new best friend.....Mr. iPad!  I think my kids were afraid I was becoming a techno-dinosaur.  Thank you for the great gift!

 Getting everything ready for house guests and party goers and gift wrapping and exchanging. All set.

Wrapping the woolens from The Foundry Home Goods Store in Minneapolis. It's a very woolen Christmas. It always is.

The traditional Christmas Day walk.

 This guy got so much attention.

Here he is with his reading material. Studying French cheeses.

Can't have enough leopard at the party.

A week later I hosted the annual numerology reading party with my two best shopping buddies. 


After a very social year of hosting several parties and mingling more than I usually do, I am looking forward to my "7" year of solitude and becoming a hermit.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Busy Saturday

Help!  I'm running out of time to get everything that needs doing done before Christmas !

With rainy, foggy and almost warm weather, it was a good choice to bake, bake, bake and can, can, can. I finally heard my furnace kick in later that night for the first time all day! 

I ended up with a surplus of cranberries so I made two jams. It is so much fun to can when it's not 100 degrees and humid outside. 

It's even better if Jacques Pepin joins in!


It amazes me that all of this activity takes place in such a small space! This is the busiest corner in my kitchen. Everything happens here.


 I made two kinds of cranberry jam. One with pears and one with strawberries and raspberries.

I use a vintage masher tool. It creates a more rustic jam....not too smooth with just the right amount of fruit pieces. It's a good upper arm workout!

 Then simmer, simmer, simmer and taste, taste, taste. Yum!!

I sterilize my jars by washing in soapy water, rinsing and then pouring boiling water in them and swishing. Then, they go in a warm oven.

 Once the water bath is boiling and the jam is the correct consistency, the jars come out and things start to happen quickly.

 Oops! It's always difficult to keep that first jar upright.

Have the area all ready to cool the jars once they are done with the hot water bath. It does help to have Jacques Pepin in the kitchen!

 Later, the jars have to be moved so the cookie baking can take over the table.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

And it tasted as good as it looked!

This was such a delicious turkey! I prepped it 2 days before by rinsing and patting it dry, stuffing it and then covering it with kosher salt. I read that the dry brine was similar to a liquid brine but easier of you don't have enough room in the fridge. I was afraid I wouldn't have enough room in my oven! Is 20 pounds enough turkey for 5 people? !! Lots of yummy leftovers went home with everyone.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

First snow of 2015

How quickly we adapt to the change in seasons in the midwest. You can go from planting tulip bulbs in almost warm soil to snow in just 2 days!

The leaves were still clinging to my big maple tree which provided a beautiful color contrast this morning. No more raking now! It's away with the garden tools and rakes and out with the snow shovels.