Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We had our annual pumpkin carving party at The Woodlands Community Garden last weekend. Unfortunately, due to a timing mistake on my part, we were carving pumpkins by flash- and candle light! Whoops. But everyone had a great time anyway.

Especially the squirrels. Not even 24 hours after I put this beauty on my porch it looked like someone had taken a shot gun to it. The squirrels must be incredibly hungry in Philadelphia this year.

My friend Alex and I went to a party last night dressed as the Baseball Furies gang from The Warriors movie. Scary! Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Sprouts


The summer crops are out of the community garden plots (and the green tomatoes have been dealt with). I sowed some lettuce mix, carrots, arugula and spinach and the sprouts are sprouting. Onto the next season!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Perfecting the Pie

I've been working on my pie crust recently, and I think I'm close. I recently combined a few recipes, including my future mother-in-law's crust and the spices from the green tomato pie recipe, and I was really happy with the results. AND it's the first time I rolled out enough dough to cover the whole top of the pie without having to resort to a lattice, score!

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c shortening
  • 1/2 c cold water

I often use Crisco and mash it into the flour with a fork until "pea-sized", which works fine. You can also use unsalted butter and cut it into pea-size pieces, then mix into flour. Add water a little bit at a time until dough holds together in a ball. Refrigerate (for several hours, if possible).

  • 6-7 tart apples
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 T butter

Sift dry ingredients. Peel and thinly slice apples and combine with dry ingredients. Roll out 1/2 of the dough (a good trick is to sprinkle some water on the counter and lay down some parchment paper, then roll the dough out on that - when ready, just flip the parchment paper over onto the pie dish). Fill pie and dot with butter. Cover and went the top crust. Bake at 425 for 10 mins, then lower to 350 for 50 mins.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Other Side of the Coin

The growers from the Walnut Hill Community Farm are all off to bigger and better things. But those darn plants keep growing! So what to do? Start a mini fall-season CSA!

We decided to do a very short pilot of a CSA this year to see how it would go and how much work it would be for the whole growing season. We have six families that are getting a delivery once every two weeks from the beginning of October to Thanksgiving. We had our first delivery and it was a lot of work, as we expected, but also a lot of fun!

The families are getting the boxes of produce for free, and the only thing they have to do is fill out a survey at the end. Though one of our families promised to pay us in sweet potatoe pie in November. We didn't say no.

The first box consisted of: one half pint cherry tomatoes and small bell peppers, one pint blue potatoes, one bunch green onions, two pints green beans, one bunch swiss chard, and one bunch each dill, thyme, and oregano.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eat Your (Candy-Coated) Heart Out

I'm babysitting again, the same wonderful family I was sitting for last year. It's only once a week, but we've been getting some quality crafting in. For example, this cake. Inspired by a five-minute viewing of the show Cake Boss, we went to the CVS, grabbed a box of yellow cake and some vanilla icing, then went to TOWN with the food coloring, sprinkles, jimmies, and what-have-yous. I think it's a classy cake. And oh so delicious :)


Monday, October 18, 2010

First Whiff


Last week I had my first whiff of fall! You know that decaying leaf smell? Fall is my favorite season - season of squash and apples and trees on fire with color and scarves and knitting and baking. Speaking of baking, check out this bizarre green tomato pie I made.

I know I can always go to my friend Nicole of blue bicicletta for some great seasonal drawings and poems. Here's one I really like:

Enjoy the new season everyone!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Sweet First

Last week while I was digging up the last of my potatoes in The Woodlands Community Garden, I accidentally dug up some of my sweet potatoes! This is my first time growing sweet potatoes and I didn't realize that they could actually root along the vine, creating more tubers as they go. Like this:



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Parlor Profile: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

When Zoey and I were in Seattle, we stayed with a friend of mine from college who I haven't seen or even talked to in four years! It's hard to believe, but we had an amazing time and she and her roomates were wonderful and gracious enough to let us crash at their place while we searched for an apartment for Zoey. We rewarded them by making dinner and filling their freezer with amazing ice cream from their favorite ice cream place in Seattle, Molly Moon's.

Name: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Location: Pine Street, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

The Scoop: Molly Moon's was started in 2008 by a woman who is actually named Molly Moon Neitzel. There are currently two stores in Seattle and a "mobile scoop shop" that got up and running just this summer. They try to use only ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, including milk from West Washington cows (though they sometimes dip down into Northern California for some ingredients). The two shops are made from sustainable and reclaimed materials, and all of the cups are compost-able (points!). They also make their own waffle cones in-store, yum!

The Flavors: I had ginger and strawberry. Other popular flavors include balsamic strawberry, salted caramel, honey lavender and sweet basil.

The Price: One two-scoop cone ran us $6.60. Ouch!

The Verdict: The ginger ice cream was perfect; creamy and spicy with small pieces of ginger in it. The strawberry was underwhelming, and actually tasted a bit like freezer burn. The cone was a bit thin, but nice and sweet, and the smell of waffle cones baking in the store was incredible. I tried a lot of the other flavors too, and some were incredible (theo chocolate) and some were ho-hum (balsamic strawberry). I like the aesthetic of the store, very clean and classy with nice wood details, a bar with stools and white walls that make the small space seem bigger. Their dedication to sustainability and local ingredients is also admirable (they don't ship their ice cream either but hope to open more stores in the Seattle area). Freezer-burn aside, I give Molly Moon's two thumbs up!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Back on track

Yikes! It took me a while to get back into the groove of this blogging thing after my trip to Seattle. But I'm back and I have photos to share. Here are some highlights:

*** Camping in Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Dakota***

***The Corn Palace, in Mitchell, SD. And yes, that is a person on a Segue, made out of dried corn cobs***

***The Badlands, SD***

***The Mount!***

**A common sight***

***In Seattle, my friend Rachel's P-Patch***

***We spent a lot of time in Seattle doing this. Drinking coffee, trolling craigslist for apartments for Zoey, and reading the latest Barbara Kingsolver novel. Lovely ***