Friday, August 20, 2010

Pickl-It party

Have you ever wondered what 25 pounds of tomatoes, 3 pounds of basil, and 10 pounds of beets look like? Wonder no more...

My good friend Susan told me about a great deal her CSA is having right now, and I just had to get in on it with her. So with plans to do some freezing and lacto-fermenting, we signed ourselves up for these insane amounts of produce.

This morning was our Pickl-It party, which is really just a fancy way of saying "hey, let's do this together so that maybe the kids will keep each other occupied long enough for us to make a dent in these huge quantities." The box of tomatoes and the bag of basil are all mine (Susan got her own) and we decided to split the beets between us.

Phase 1 of the plan is to peel and slice/grate the beets and throw them into Pickl-Its for yummy, lacto-fermented pickled beets - they're probiotic! Phase 2 is to process the basil with olive oil and freeze in small portions for quick pesto-making and sauce-seasoning all winter long. And finally, phase 3 of the plan is to core and freeze the tomatoes for use in stews and sauces this winter (because anything in a can is bad, but canned tomatoes are especially unhealthy due to their acidity which leeches even more BPA; jarred tomatoes are really expensive).

Were we insane to think we could plow through 10 pounds of the beets in 3 hours while the 2 toddlers and an almost-1-year-old played, and the baby slept? Maybe. Other than a few scuffles over tinker toys and blocks, and meeting the expected needs of the younger two, we did make some progress. We were able to wash and peel about half of the beets. Don't they look like rubies?

This is my hand - after scrubbing with soap, even.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me this afternoon...the food processor will get a nice workout. It's also a good thing we found a freezer on Craigslist - the basil and tomatoes will be nice and cozy with the 1/4 grass-fed cow and 25 gallons of raw milk we put in it last week. Dreaming of getting a food dehydrator now...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All she needs is a fairy wand

Maybe that will be our next mission at the craft store...

Friday, August 13, 2010

For the birds

We took another field trip to the craft store today, and this time Claire picked out a little wooden birdhouse. (She also picked out a pair of size 15 knitting needles, a knitting frame, a cupcake-making kit, and a bag of tootsie pops, but we only brought the birdhouse home.) It was the perfect painting project for us this afternoon.

Claire also made up her own version of hopscotch to play on the back patio

While I was putting the groceries away she stole a tomato, sprinkled pepper on it, and ate it like an apple

And this is what we saw in the backyard before heading up to bed

Thursday, August 12, 2010


A rare moment where Claire stood still long enough to have her picture taken (as soon as this was snapped, she dove back down onto the bed to snuggle Arden some more)

There's no such thing as Bedhead when your hair is this short (even if there were, who would notice it beyond a smile this bright?)

I love my girls :)

The windows needed washing, anyway

Today we stayed in our pajamas all day. Ok, we've done that a lot this summer, so today wasn't out of the ordinary in that regard. What set today apart was that we painted the windows.

A few days ago we took a field trip to a craft store because the cord cleat for Claire's bedroom blinds snapped in half, and it's been really irritating trying to wind the cord around a tiny little screw each morning. Of course, I can't visit a craft store without walking up and down every single aisle, and while we were doing this Claire happened to find the perfect tube of bright pink paint. It was just the size for her little 2.5 year old hand to grasp, and she was being so patient with my wandering that I told her we could get it. I hesitated at first upon noticing that it was window paint, but then I realized how fun it might be to paint on the windows...and I was right:

Tengo Bingo!

Cleanup wasn't too bad; it came off pretty easily with water and then I followed that up with vinegar to eliminate the water spots. The windows had been covered with sticky little hand prints so they needed a washing, anyway.

I have another project that's calling me back to the craft store tomorrow...I wonder what else we'll find while we're there?