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Seriously. This just makes me happy.

It’s January, and my mail box is groaning with the weight of seed catalogs. Normally, I’ve inventoried my seeds by now and have put in an order (Fedco, Johnny’s and Seed Savers Exchange are my go-to seed sources). But this year I’ve been catching up on bookkeeping instead. Oh the joys of owning a small business.

But as I flip through the catalogs, I almost always turn to the pepper pages first. You see, I love peppers. All kinds of peppers. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know this. At least 17 of the recipes listed on the recipe tab of this blog contain peppers, NOT including the spice mixes. Was there ever one vegetable that was so versatile to the homestead? That has SO many uses, not to mention being a nutritional powerhouse (hello vitamin A, C, B6, E and Folate? My top two things to grow are tomatoes and peppers, but if I had to pick only one, it would be peppers. Read the rest of this entry »

IceStormSo, I’m not much into the holidays. If it were up to me, I’d leave the country the day after Thanksgiving (which is my high holy day because, ahem, it’s all about the food and company) and go someplace warm until March 1st, and just skip the whole debate about whether we should put Christ back in Christmas. (If this holiday has significant religious meaning to you, I genuinely respect that. I’ve read some really moving pieces on the four weeks of Advent this year. Just leave me out of your “lets see how far we can get people to share this” messenger messages.) Read the rest of this entry »

HawthornInFallWell, here it is December. Whew. What just happened?

I had my last farmers market October 28th. Phew. Always a huge milestone to finish up with that full 6 month stretch of every Friday/Saturday markets. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is the reheated in the micro version, as we had dinner guests when it was originally served and I failed to get a picture.

So, for years, I’ve only had access to the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain on rare occasions when we visited a “big city”. For a long time, Trader Joe’s (TJ) wouldn’t go into states where liquor sales are not allowed in grocery stores, so they were non existent for the 16 years I lived in Colorado. TJ is now much more ubiquitous (and a lot of the liquor laws have changed), but they still won’t go into smaller or less affluent communities. And they always seem to arrive AFTER I move. One opened in Spokane about 2 weeks before we made the move to Walla Walla. Sigh. There isn’t one in the Tri-Cities…yet. So whenever we’re back up in Spokane, or over on the west side of Oregon or Washington, we hit up TJ and stock up on a few things like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and, of course, chocolate. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, we went from days in the 90’s to days in the 70’s in what seemed like a nanosecond. But upon review, we did get a week of 80 degree days. And we FINALLY got some rain, after a wet spring and then nothing for months and months.

September Temps 2017

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First baby picture. This is what I sent my husband when I visited the pound. “I think you need to meet this one” was my comment.

We have a new kitten! And I’ve become one of those crazy cat ladies where the vast majority of the photos on my phone are of my cat, lol. Read the rest of this entry »

Pineapple-Apple slawAs much as I love to cook, I’m often stymied when asked to bring a dish to a pot luck. Everyone wants to bring the big bowl of magic that is empty by the end, where everyone asks for the recipe. But a lot of times, pot luck dishes are just not how I normally cook. Meatballs in a crock pot. Cans of “cream of XYZ” soup in a casserole. Yeah, not so much. Read the rest of this entry »

The gangs all here

From left to right, Butters, Kirby and Malcolm, in a moment of harmony.

Last week, our cat Malcolm didn’t show up to come in for breakfast. He had been a bit whiny for the last few days. I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him the day before (the cats have a cat door so they can let themselves out – but not back in, after one too many live mice in the house incidents). I called for him and searched the yard, but almost immediately suspected he was gone. He’s spent most of his time in the past almost 7 years either eating, sleeping near me or sitting in my lap. He was always the first one to came in for breakfast, if he even went out at all. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Dan Savage, a writer and advice columnist for The Stranger newspaper out of Seattle (and not for the prudish, as he deals with a lot of explicit sex advice questions for all comers, from sis to trans to everything in between) is famous for coining catch phrases. One of my favorites of his is The Campground Rule. In this scenario, an older person dates a substantially younger person, and in the end, as often happens, things don’t work out. Dan has no problem with the age difference, as long as you follow “The Campground Rule”. Your goal, should you be the older person in this situation, is to leave the younger person in better shape than you found them. Read the rest of this entry »

OrganicFertilizers_edited-1Years ago (in 1996 to be exact), I took a soil science class at Colorado State University. It was fascinating. The physical make up of soils (sand, silt and clay), the chemical make up of those same particles, and plant nutrition fit right into my nerdy chemistry loving brain. Of course, we did all kinds of fertilizer calculations, all of which I have completely forgotten how to do 20+ years later. And unfortunately, we spent all of about one day out of the semester talking about the micro-organisms that live in soil. If you are an organic gardener/farmer, giving so little attention to this critical ecosystem, which is literally the driver of the entire nutrient cycle, is just sad (not to mention short sighted). Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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