June 2013 Harvest

Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:33 am
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For the first time, I grew garlic and radishes this year. The garlic is softneck so the heads are smaller than your typical hardneck variety. I do think that I messed up by not planting it until the very end of November and also by not fertilizing it in the early spring. This fall, I will plant it earlier, around the third week of October, and see if I get better results. As it is, I have grown 31 heads of garlic. The radishes were also not what I expected. They grew and they are supposed to be a varietal that has been developed to grow in warmer climates, but the radishes I harvested were exceptionally bitter, so clearly something went wrong there. I'll try growing them again in September and see if I get better results then.


Also including a picture of Bun-bun. He/she is a little bunny who lives in our backyard. We see him/her everyday. He is used to us by now, such that he is almost tame enough to pet. We love Bun-bun (Ben wanted to name him/her "Megatron", so "Bun-bun" it is).

Kirk Cameron and His Friend Explain Why Atheists Hate Bananas

Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:01 am
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 This guy knows a lot about bananas. He also knows about God's master plan and, therefore, apparently, he knows evolution is a terrible, terrible lie. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this video does not explain what God was thinking when he made butternut squash.

Edible Peppermint Tree Ornaments

Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Comments: 1 Views: 284

In the spirit of the season I decided to try to make some ornaments for our Christmas tree. I saw the basic concept on a TV show and I kind of took it and ran with it. It was actually fairly easy and I made 8 ornaments in less than an hour.

You will need: Bag of peppermint candy mints. Oven. Baking sheet. Parchment paper or Silpat. Non-stick spray. Cookie cutters. Metal spatula. Ribbon. And some type of round-ish, narrow device to make the holes for the tops of the ornaments. 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Step 2: Place Silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Step 3: Place peppermint candies on the baking sheet about 1/4-inch apart, leaving about an inch border around the edges of the baking sheet to allow for expansion during melting.

Step 4: Place baking sheet in oven for 5-15 minutes. (On the TV show they said 5-7 minutes but mine took more like 12-15). Leave them in the oven (checking on them every 2 minutes or so) until they form one complete melted mass.

Step 5: While the candies are melting, spray some Christmas cookie cutters with non-stick spray.

Step 6: Remove melted candies from oven and immediately press the cookie cutters into the candies to make your shapes. Leave the cookie cutters in for a minute while the candies harden up ever so slightly.

Step 7: While the candies are soft, use something like a chopstick or a wooden dowel or I used the bulb end of a candy thermometer to form a little hole in the top of each shape for later placing the ribbon through for hanging the ornament.

Step 8: Here's where we get tricky. You have to remove the excess candy from around the shapes while the candy is still hot enough that it's pliable so that it can be pulled away from the shapes but not so hot that it is molten and will make a mess. It's a little tricky and you have to use your own judgement here. *Remember, you can always stick your baking sheet back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to get the candy to soften up again (I had to do this several times).

Step 9: After you pull away the excess candy, you are left with your ornaments on your Silpat or parchment paper. While it's still hot/warm, use a thin metal spatula, like a fish spatula, to gently (GENTLY!) remove the ornaments from the Silpat.

Step 10: Wait for the ornaments to cool completely. Then affix a ribbon to ornament and hang. You're done! Now you have a cute, edible ornament for your tree that took no time at all to make. 


I should add here that Ben had a great idea, which was if you were entertaining guests for the holidays, you could put one of these "ornaments" in everyone's cup of hot chocolate. How cute would that be?

Gardening 2012

Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:09 am
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This year we've gotten off to a fast start on the garden. Luckily, our rosemary, thyme, mint, tarragon, chives, catnip and two varieties of strawberries all have come back from last year (i.e. free food), probably due to the mild winter we had here in the DC area. In addition, this year's crop includes green beans, pimiento peppers, fresno peppers, cucumbers, basil, flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, scallions and four varieties of heirloom tomatoes (Mortgage Lifters, Mr. Stripeys, Purple Cherokees and Chris' grandfather's tomatoes). I would love to grow a lot more but we have a very limited area in the backyard in which to garden.

The white tree is our fringe tree that we planted a couple of months after we moved in. It's my favorite tree in the yard.  


July Weekend

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:36 am
Comments: 2 Views: 243

Ben received a Kodak Easy Share camera for Christmas last year and decided that he wanted to start sharing his photos with others. These pictures were all taken by Ben this past weeknd. The food pictures were taken at our neighborhood farmer's market and the nature pictures were taken on a hike through a nature preserve behind our neighborhood. It was his idea to bring his camera to the market and park and take pictures and he is very proud of his photos. All of the subject matter was of his choosing. My favorite is the picture of the honey bears. That was his idea and he nailed it.


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