...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Time with my Valentine

Despite our still-fairly-new responsibilities as parents, we have managed to enjoy monthly date nights for the past several months.  Valentine's weekend was no different.  We spent Saturday night with two sets of some of our closest friends and their children at their farmhouse just over the border in Illinois.  A week before the event I was informed that the guys would be cooking for the ladies.  Ben asked for a few pointers and otherwise took it from there (mostly, wink).  The first part of the evening was segregated as the ladies sipped red wine in the living room and caught up while the kitchen was off-limits as the men finished preparing the meal.  We enjoyed two versions of roasted pork shoulder and loin (the blue cheese/fig being my fave) from one of our friends' hogs from last season as well as some freshly baked bread, a winter green salad with citrus, Wisconsin cranberries and some hazelnuts we brought back from Oregon, roasted local herbed potatoes, and cheesecake and chocolate truffles for dessert.  One of the guys had created a special "love song" mix on his iPod and gave an impromptu guitar serenade while we sat around and talked after the meal.  No details were overlooked; it was quite impressive yet very relaxed.  I can't describe how much we enjoy these meals with close friends.  This winter Ben and I have been trying to invite friends over for Sunday dinner on a regular basis.  It's a chance to enjoy a meal with them, without having to get a sitter and pay a lot to go out.  It always ends up being a better experience that way anyhow.  The celebration of love continued on the official holiday as we managed to see a movie and go out for Turkish food.  Great wine, great food, and wonderful conversation with my sweetheart.  And we barely talked about Vera.

I am already learning things about the eggplants I seeded.  I found out from these dear and experienced farmer friends of ours that I probably started my eggplants a bit early.  Being nightshades like tomatoes they could probably wait another month at least before starting.  I was simply going by the general advice on the seed packet.  The only thing I have to lose is that they will get leggy before I can transplant them outside.  Worst case, I'll just seed more a month from now; I still have plenty of seeds.

In other news, the mushrooms are "mushing" extremely well.  Our neighbors should be returning from Vancouver today, which is a good thing because we're up to our necks in white buttons.  I've harvested for two meals now and the spaces from which I cut have filled in with more.  It's crazy how prolific they are!

We've had a bit of snow this afternoon.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a day to get Vera out on her sled.

No comments:

Post a Comment