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Scattered Sundays

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There is a house I pass on my walk every day, and I have seen the owner out there building raised beds over the last few months. She’s out there with her little girls digging and shaping her yard into a garden.

This week, I stopped to talk to her as I headed down the hill. We introduced ourselves and chatted about gardening. As I was leaving, I offered her as much free chicken compost as she’d like. So, obviously, I’m great at parties.

After 12 months of no colds or sicknesses, Bennett finally came down with the spring sniffles this week. He has always been my “fever” kid and from the time he was a baby, up until last year, he would come down with 103-105 F fevers every 6-8 weeks. We called it his period.

a kid sleeping under a greentblankey

Naturally, we kept him out of school because of the cold. And naturally, I was a bitter Betty. I get TWO days a week to work with no interruptions, and this kid took over one of those days. Blast.

Bennett’s throat was bothering him and Troy found these sore throat kid suckers in our linen closet that apparently one of us bought at some point in the last two years. I’m not sure how much they actually help, but it kept Bennett quiet and happy.

Thankfully, he is also the kid who will play by himself for hours. Jack was never that kid. Bennett plays with his magnet blocks and army guys for a near-infinite amount of time. The flip side is that he makes a giant mess. GIANT.MESS. Everywhere he goes.

a kid playing outside with blocks on a blue blanket.

With him home, my dream of a quiet day of work was mostly ruined. But thankfully, I was able to take photos for two recipes. One will replace some hideous old photos that are currently on the blog. The other is an upcoming canning tutorial which naturally I am nerding out over. Grab your Balls. It’s almost canning season.

I heard from his school that a bunch of kids were out with colds and boogery noses. Tis’ the season, but we’re all glad it wasn’t anything else. That’s one of the many things that sucks about the last year – you can’t just get a simple cold without second-guessing your entire life.

To add insult to injury, the boys were supposed to spend the night at my inlaw’s on Friday. My inlaws are both fully vaccinated now and asked if they could finally have them for a sleepover.

Thankfully, Troy and I have learned A LOT about disappointing the kids over the last year and hadn’t told the boys they were going to spend the night. That worked in our favor so that we didn’t have to deal with two sobbing kiddos who weren’t able to go to their beloved grandparent’s house.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Like most people, I have been fixated to the news this week over the shooting in Atlanta and the anti-Asian racism that has run rampant over the last few years. It’s nothing new, but the increase in violence, especially since the start of corona, has been devastating.

I looked for resources to share with anyone who is looking to learn how to be an ally to the Asian American community. I found it on Instagram of all places on the Stasher bag profile. Who knew that a reusable storage bag company would have such a fantastic thread on ally-ship?

Due to copyright reasons, I cannot share all their slides, but you can see the whole thread here.

floating shelves with books

Troy worked on the floating shelves this week. I love them. Which is good given the amount of swearing that happened while he was fitting the brackets on the wall! Next up: he will be staining them and putting a clear coat over the stain so that they’ll match the windowsills he made.

I played around with some books and other things to see how to decorate them when they’re all done. Since the photo above, I have acquired a plant for the shelves and remembered that I also had a clock and cute retro bluetooth speaker that was a gift from some friends. 

After the shelves, “we’re” getting close to being done with the finish work. Troy found transitions for the floor so that the gap between the tile and wood floors will finally be closed. After that, baseboards need to be cut, installed, and then painted. Nobody is looking forward to that part. Baseboards are satan.

The final piece will be closing the gaps at the top of the upper cabinets. We’re saving that for the end because Troy doesn’t know how he’s going to make it look nice. It’s just easier for us to put it off for now. That’s what I do for the garden. 🙂

a hand holding 4 eggs

And yes, my hands are always that dry lately.

Last Sunday I set out on a 5-mile run. I had only gone .10 and my ankle was sending me signals that it was not happy. I kept going for a bit knowing that I would be fine and it was doable. By .5 miles I just told myself “yah know, you have nothing to prove. Just stop and take a walk”. So I did!

I did my normal 4-mile walking route for the rest of the week. No running until Saturday, and I only did 3.25 miles instead of pushing it further. Nooooooothing to prove. Just trying to be healthy over here.

In the Garden This Week

Garden updates are back! Well, at least for this week. We had some lovely sunny days with temps almost into the 60s. The boys played outside and I did some weeding and some maintenance of this weird rock wall thing we have.

I also finally tackled one of the raised beds that we planted back in fall. It was right in the middle of the start of our kitchen remodel and I had zero cares to give at the time. I didn’t follow my own advice to use homemade seed tape. And, like a total rookie, I let Bennett handle a packet of carrot seeds on his own. 

small carrot tops in a raised bed

I should have thinned these seedlings out months ago. I should have done a lot of things but I just didn’t. Excuse the chaos, real people live here. But, I finally got around to thinning on Wednesday. We’ll see if it helps at all.

We have beets coming up that were overwintered, and I added some fresh lettuce starts. The lettuce that we planted last fall bit the dust during our early February snow “storm”. Oh well, the chickens enjoyed eating what was left.

green leaves on a raspberry cane

This week I also saw the first green leaves on the raspberry patch AND the mini drawf apple trees have some leaves and closed buds on them as well.

a hand and apple leaves

My apple tree does not come with handless sleeves. Those are extra.

I’m a huge advocate for trimming back your dead raspberry canes in the fall of each year. Guess who didn’t do it last year? This girl! See note above about kitchen remodel. 🙂 This will be the first growing season I’ve had where the raspberries are kind of on their own. We’ll see what happens.

The parsley is going bonkers and the mint is starting to do what mint does and sent up a bunch of new shoots. I really need to trim the old dead mint stems soon. But I won’t. Probably.

The garlic is all sending up lots of starts. It was finally planted in December (I think), but should have been planted back in October. You still can plant spring garlic if you’d like (related: How to Plant and Grow Garlic), but the final bulbs will be a bit smaller than normal. 

Coming up this week: planting peas. YES, I should have done it weeks ago. YES, you should stop judging me. It all grows eventually. That’s my gardening motto: “Meh, it will happen”.

Housekeeping

In May, we’ll be doing a “Prep Once, Cook Twice” challenge. Participants will learn how to create building blocks for fast weeknight meals.

Participation will be $10 USD, and will include:

  • An ad-free ebook with recipes, tips, and tricks so everything is in one handy place.
  • Joining a community of fellow home cooks who are looking to master realistic meal prep techniques designed for busy people.
  • Membership in a closed (read: drama-free) Facebook group where we can all share recipes, ideas, and what we’re making.
  • A game plan for how to make meal prep, freezer/pantry cooking a sustainable (read: long-term) part of your life.

You can get on the waitlist now to be notified when the challenge opens up for registration. Those on the waitlist will get to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Sign up here for the Prep Once, Cook Twice Spring Challenge waitlist

What I’m Reading This Week

I plowed through The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett. It is the prequel to The Pillars of the Earth and was maybe my favorite of the Kingsbridge series. Like all Follett books, it was LONG, but I flew through it because he is such an engaging writer.

If you have read The Pillars of the Earth, you’ll also want to check out his century trilogy. It starts with one of my all-time favorite books, Fall of Giants.

I’ve moved onto Normal People by Sally Rooney, simply because it was available immediately from our library for download. It hasn’t grabbed my attention like The Evening and the Morning, but I am still really enjoying it.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Hollie left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Fried Pickles {Pin this recipe}:

I’d never heard of Tony’s so I Googled and made a sort of Cajun seasoning with what was in my spice cupboard. I used sweet hots and some Spanish pimento-stuffed olives. Omg. I heard “oh yeah!!!” from my husband in the other room. I didn’t expect them to be so crispy! Yum!!

a hand dipping a fried pickle into a bowl of dipping sauce

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Easy Pizza Crepes – Homemade Pizza Crepes are a fun and tasty weeknight dinner, lunch, or snack. Personalized with your favorite pizza toppings, these savory crepes are ready in minutes and can even be prepped for a quick meal. {Pin this recipe}

2 pizza crepes on a plate with a fork

Crispy Baked Potatoes – Learn the secrets to making the best Crispy Baked Potatoes in the oven! An easy make-ahead dinner, these healthy baked potatoes are the perfect comfort food. {Pin this recipe}

Healthy baked potatoes on a plate topped with cheese

What to Eat, Preserve, and Can in Spring – Spring – the time of year when all gardeners feel so much hope and promise! Learn what to can and preserve in spring, as well as delicious recipes for seasonal produce. {Pin these recipes}

8 photos of springtime produce dishes

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – the childhood favorite with none of the burns on the roof of your mouth.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Potatoes – skip using the oven and make these crispy taters in the air fryer.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies – a no-brainer. These cookies rule. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – we made a batch of these last week and they disappeared faster than candy. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: An old recipe that I am making so I can retake the old crappy photos. Plus salad and cut veggies on the side.

Tuesday:: Pasta and salad. This was supposed to happen last week but didn’t. Oops.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup (I already have the veggies chopped and prepped in a Stasher bag in the freezer), and garlic bread.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Another attempt at a recipe that I’ve been testing an infinite amount and it makes me want to throw everything at the wall. I just cannot get the cooking time right on these things.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

 

What are you having this week?

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I am so excited about the Garden updates!!!!

  2. Hugs to Bennett! Sniffles suck, but thank you for not spreading them!

    Emma started volunteering at our library last week. It’s not something she super loves yet (peopling is SO not her thing, and when you add COVID…), but I freaking need some time off! Bonus, she is learning about robotics (because they want her to help with their robotics events), and so I suggested Emma and Jared go in on Saturdays so Emma can practice and Jared can help if she needs it. I now get TWO entire hours each week where I am not the adult in charge. It’s amazing.

    I’m itching to grow some food. We still have our raspberries in a pot, but they need to be completely replanted as the soil is… 4ish years old? I’m thinking of growing some lettuce, carrots, and radishes for now.

    I love your kitchen! It must feel so good to be in there.

    Super excited for the upcoming challenge!

    I’m currently reading Exercised by Daniel Lieberman. You might find it interesting!

    • Awww, Emma. I was a library volunteer when I was her age too. It was so fun. Hopefully, she eases into the whole “being around people” thing. 🙂

      Enjoy your quiet/alone time!

      Carrots need really loose soil and take a long time to mature. Since you’re using pots, make sure you get potting soil meant for containers to keep it from getting too compacted.

  3. Oh those pickles????❣️  
    I plant my carrots in large tall pots because my soil sucks. No amount of Tilling or compost… will get rid of all the lumps and clay in my garden soil so I wind up with gnarly screwed up carrot nubs and twisted gnarled carrot nubs in the garden. I am terrible at thinning  and wind up with a bunch of teeny tiny little carrot knobs and some nice long carrots. I’m definitely going to make your seed tape and try laying it in strips in my big pots.
     Cabbage is still on sale from st. Patrick’s Day so I’m making another batch of your mother-in-law‘s cabbage thingy this week! It’s the best thing ever! Your kitchen is looking awesome. I’m not jealous AT ALL????

    • I wonder if you might benefit more from raised beds than a bunch of pots. Pots need drainage and constant soil maintenance. With raised beds, they pretty much drain fine on their own, and you just need to add compost every year, rather than change everything out.

      Our raised beds are DEEP but don’t need to be as deep as they are. You could use lumber or pavers depending on your desire to “build” things.