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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

Growing up I wanted to be a teacher who was a lawyer (law professor maybe?) who had a farm and worked at McDonald’s on the weekends because along the way I was told employees got free fries.

It’s interesting to look back at those expectations and see what has come to be. Out of all of those things, it may be a stretch to say I have a farm (a micro farm) but that’s it. I know in my six-year-old eyes a farm meant one thing and one thing only – horses and dogs to keep me company during my chores.

And now I’m married to someone who is allergic to all animals.

I wonder if my 20+ years of Law and Order watching may qualify me for some sort of honorary law degree? I mean, really, I have invested a lot into my education by Jack McCoy.

Speaking of micro farms, it became apparent to me a few weeks ago that I killed 95% of our strawberry plants. Last fall I gave them a nice blanket of straw to hide all the weeds for the winter.  And just like Lenny from of Mice and Men (not Law and Order), I went and pet those rabbits too hard. The straw was too thick and hardly any of the strawberries survived.

In a way, it was a blessing since when I did a deep clean of our strawberry bed last year I mentioned I probably should just tear it up and start over. This at least forced my hand with a clean slate.

Given our limited gardening space, there is no more ground we can cover with plants. My mission over the last few years has been go vertical as much as possible. Two years ago Troy built some of the best garden trellises ever. Those house peas, beans, and cucumbers and help veg go up instead of sprawl over the ground (that we don’t have).

I checked all over Pinterest for vertical strawberry towers that would work for us. Many involved PVC pipe which I felt somewhat uncomfortable using to grow food. Others were elaborate wooden structures that I knew Troy would laugh in my face if I had even showed him. There were also some super simple wooden towers but they didn’t look sturdy enough to survive boys. Because boys.

Needing something else that didn’t exist led us to create a few prototypes of a newer kind of strawberry tower. We got the structures built last week from scraps of things we already had on hand.

I’m honestly not 100% certain how they are going to work. I’m the ideas person and Troy is the one who is in charge of implementation.

Now that the frames are built, we’re going to line them with landscaping cloth early next week. We’ll add a mix of soil, compost, and straw to the middle, and then cut holes through the cloth and plant the berries.

Bare-root strawberries are so much cheaper than established plants, but they take an extra year to start producing fruit. On Friday I invested a small fortune on three flats of new berries for the new towers. Go big or go home, right? You can’t eat regrets but I sure can eat a lot of strawberries for the next five years.

The best part of growing strawberries is how many baby strawberries they will make each year. Strawberries put out “runners” or strawberry vines that if redirected appropriately can make new strawberry plants. My hope is that eventually the ground around the towers will be blanketed by berries too.

If you saw my Instagram stories this week, you know I was working on a new Instant Pot recipe on Wednesday! I’m excited to say it is ready for its big debut, so stay tuned for that on Thursday. As always there will be non-Instant Pot cooking instructions included so I have you covered if you haven’t yet joined the cult don’t have an IP.

We were on track to tie for the rainiest April on record in Seattle this year. That was until the forecast for the next week was released. We’re looking at low to high 70’s for the next six days. It makes me itchy to get into the garden but I know patience is the key. There is a sense of optimism and joy that comes with a positive change in the weather.

First lilacs of spring!

I have a problem. It’s a first world one. The liner of my purse is ripping.

I have had this purse longer than Jack has been alive. It is a perfect size, super cute (I get comments all the time) and I hate shopping for well, everything. I’d rather get a Pap from Edward Scissorhands than go shopping for a new purse.

So tell me sewers/fixers, how can I repair this tear? A patch? Honestly, I’m tempted to just use duct tape. No one will see it and it should hold up for awhile. Help me!

As a family, we hold hands and say a prayer before dinner every night. I get that is not part of everyone’s life, but it is an important part of ours. Half of the time Jack or Bennet are trying to eat their dinner (sans hands) while we’re doing it and I’m usually yelling at one of them to focus.

It’s never a Rockwell painting is what I’m trying to say.

This week Bennett decided he wanted to hold both Troy and Jack’s hands at the same time during prayers. It involves Jack standing up and leaning over Troy. It usually involves Bennett picking his nose or something. But the image of these three together makes my heart sob baby panda tears each time.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week:

Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies – This is the best 25-minute weeknight dinner around! Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies is a one pan meal that has it all. Using storebought gnocchi, convenient frozen veggies, and a 30-second homemade marinade, these fried gnocchi will be your new go to dinner.

fried gnocchi and roasted veggies in two white dishes with a gray cloth and blue glass of water on a wooden background

Mexican Hot Chocolate Lara Bars – Delicious homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate Lara Bars are simple gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan snacks that you can make in your own kitchen. Learn how to ditch the store-bought Lara Bars and make a spicy chocolate version yourself!

homemade mexican hot chocolate lara bars on a white dish with cashews and a date

Sustainable Cooks Whole30 May Challenge – Join the team at Sustainable Cooks for a Whole30 challenge in May. Community, recipes, and support will make this a fun challenge. Right? Sure!

sustainablecooks whole30 may challenge

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week:

  1. How to Plant Garlic – Step by Step
  2. Homemade Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  3. DIY Insulated Blackout Curtains
  4. Homemade Sugar-Free Coffee Creamer
  5. DIY Raspberry Supports – a “Super” Step by Step Tutorial

Meal Plan!

Monday:: Ravioli, roasted frozen veggies, and salad

Tuesday:: Breakfast for dinner

Wednesday:: Homemade frozen pizza, salad

Thursday::  Hamburgers and veggies

Friday:: Chef salads and biscuits

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week:

Smith Brother’s Farms: $20.31

Fred Meyer: $18.74

Yogurt was 50% off!

Costco: $55.27

What are you having this week?

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. Liquid stiches might work well for the purse. You can get a small bottle at Joann’s or any other craft store for a few bucks. It’s essentially super glue made for fabric.

  2. Hi Sarah, I don’t know what material the purse is made of, but if it can stand heat you could always get a ironable stabilizer fabric to put below the outside and inside fabric. Then just iron the two sides of the tear to the stabilizer. 

    But honestly I duct taped a rip in a leather chair with such good success that I could easily recommend that too ?. Hope the chickens are behaving.

    • Outside is leather and the insider is (now) a super thin cloth lining.

      Sigh, the chickens are being buttholes. We let them all out to free range the other day when we were out working on new strawberry towers. They had the whole yard to play in and chose to pick on our sweet little injured chicken right in front of us!

      • Goodness that poor sweet chicken. I saw a documentary once that had their chicken wearing colored glasses to prevent them becoming hostile with each other. Maybe you need to get them each John Lennon glasses 🙂 

      • Now that sounds pretty amazing and silly at the same time.

  3. I would take the purse to a shoe repair shop and see if they can fix it. Probably cheaper than a new purse.

    • Good idea! I have a shoe place I love dearly but they’re soooooooooooo slow. I’ll have to track down something I can use if they take forever on my purse.

  4. I understand about the purse. I also hate shopping. I have some winter boots that are older than my kids. The back seam is going on one of them (thanks to a 3yr old who thought it would be funny if she wore them). I’m hoping I can repair them and keep them going for another winter.

    Maybe iron on interfacing will work on your purse.