Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween light display

These people are so cool:

Happy Halloween!

Love, J

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Yes, I've been spending a bit of time on Pinterest lately. It's just so. much. fun.

And I found the tweezers. They were in the pocket of my bathrobe.

Love, J

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cat & Mouse & MIA Tweezermans

That mouse has a potty mouth.

This afternoon I'm really wishing I could track down my tweezers. My eyebrows are out of control. They're hot pink (the tweezers, not the eyebrows), so you'd THINK they'd be easy to find...

Love, J

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Potatoes & squash & mushroom sauce

I cook too little, considering how much I enjoy it. Now that garden season's wrapped, my fall & winter resolution this year is to spend more time planning & executing real meals.

What I'd really like is to work my way through my food board on Pinterest. I put a little dent in it last night, with three successful new dishes:

Crispy potato roast:

Source: None via Jessica on Pinterest

Spaghetti squash & vegan cream sauce:

Source: None via Jessica on Pinterest

I'm just posting the links because one of the many things I've learned from blogging is that it is very, VERY hard to take appetizing photographs of food, especially after dark in our dim kitchen. The photos above do justice to the yumminess of the food in a way that my shots cannot. And they pretty much look the same anyway, except I made my potatoes in a low tart pan with fingerling potatoes from the garden, so it turned out really tiny and cute.

In a perfect world, I try not to use processed food overly much, but the "cream" sauce has almond milk & fake cream (kream? like krab?) & nutritional yeast but it tastes kind of amazing so I can forgive all that.

Love, J

Friday, October 21, 2011


Some photos on Pinterest that make me laugh:

The hubs says of this picture, "it gives me just one reason to have a child:"

Source: None via Jessica on Pinterest

And this one is hardly timely, but it still makes me laugh so hard:

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Love, J

Thursday, October 20, 2011

nothing special

Me (fixing dinner): Hey, honey, will you play with the camera a little bit? I knocked the lens funny earlier and it stopped taking pictures. I'm worried I broke it.

~ 3 minute pause ~

Him: No, it's working fine.

Later I found the camera full of the following pictures. I like the quiet, random snapshots of this average evening:

Love, J

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Next up: apple butter

#9: Apple butter is messy.
After I cleaned all this up, I noticed splatters on the ceiling above the stove.
They're still there.

I'm trying to keep up my canning momentum as much as possible, with such a weather-dependent business. I feel like apple butter fits the bill because:

1. It is awesome.
2. It is delicious.
3. It is sweet, which is different from the savory pickled green beans.
4. It is something that is always better when homemade.
5. (And I think my stuff counts as "homemade.")
6. The apple season arrives after bean season has ended.
7. Apples will keep a bit and give me more wiggle room as I try to sell beans and process the butter during the same weeks.
8. Really, apple butter is awesome.

So now I'm getting some butter samples ready for Mr. PhD to approve. Since Mr. PhD is 1/2 retired and works only in fits and starts, this approval could arrive in a matter of weeks (plenty of time to roll out some jars this year) or many months (in which case, I'll be ready for next year).

Fortunately, having been through this process once before, and having other stuff keeping me busy, I'm much more calm about it this time around!

Love, J

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall garden

I'm trying some cold weather garden food this year, to see if I can stretch out our fresh-eating season, and am having mixed but mostly good results.

Broccoli in the greenhouse.
So far it looks great, but we'll see if it gets big enough to do anything.

These peas illustrate my total novice-ness in the garden.
I was so proud of how beautiful the vines came up, and kept bragging about how cold-tolerant peas are and how you can plant them so late in the year.
Then I got about 2 peas off the whole bunch.
Because (duh) cold weather = no bees = no pollination.
Damn it.
The bunnies love the vines though, so it's not a total loss.

Speaking of the little 4-legged scamps, they may hate their new, reduced hours out in the yard, but they love how negligent I've been in picking up after the pear tree.
Pear butter will finally get made this week, if I can get my act together.

Fewer/smaller pumpkins then I'd hoped for,
but the crop we did get sure is pretty.
I'll plant more next year for sure.
(Especially since I'll have room to spare without all those nasty eggplants.)

I'm trying some broccoli and some bok choi outside too, just to see how much cold they'll really handle. Bok choi look great, broccoli not so much.

Love, J

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last drop of sun food

It's cold, but we're still eeking by on the last of the tomatoes and other fading garden goods.

I have to remember this salad for next year, because it is awesome:

Red onion
Balsamic vinegar

Holy cow.

This week I also took a stab at eggplant parmesan. It was not good. At least, I hated it, but the hubs has been soldiering through the big dish of it all week. This is the final straw for me and eggplants. We are finished, at least as far as the garden goes.

This year I learned not to grow:

- Swiss chard (don't like it/pretty sure I'm allergic)
- Eggplant (just blech)
- Watermelons & cantaloupe (by the time they were finally ripe, it was too cold to be melon weather, and this is more of an end-of-July food)
- Beets (MAYBE I will try these again, but they seem to make my throat hurt the same way chard does)

To end on a high note, I had this awesome meal almost every day last week:

Soup = misc. tomatoes in a crock pot all day, cook them down and then hit them with the hand mixer. That's it. Serve the soup while it's still crazy-hot.

Sandwich (layer as follows):

Chopped basil
Chopped basil
Olive oil
Frying pan

Love, J

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ferris craft fair

Another record sales day!

I don't like to be too pushy, but I had the following exchange FIVE different times yesterday:

Me: Would you like to try a sample?

Them (walking by): No, thank you.

Me: Are you sure? They're kind of amazing.

Them (stopping): ... Well... okay. (They eat bean. They are wowed. They buy a jar.)

Two girls I had this conversation with even got on Facebook later that night to "like" Stock the Cellar.

And THEN, that night I got a text from BFF telling me she needs to buy a whole case, and quick, because she put some beans on the hummus plate at her wine bar and people were freaking out over them.

I had trouble sleeping last night, with all my giddy adrenaline. I've been reading Mansfield Park and even that snoozefest couldn't wind me down until after midnight.

Love, J

Some updates

1. Several emails this week have informed me that Blogger's being squirrely and only sporadically allowing people to post comments. I'm sorry. I don't know how to fix it, but hopefully it will be one of those problems that will just go away if I ignore it. (I love those kinds of problems.)

2. For all those sissies-like-me, my buddy Wesley sent over this link to tame Halloween movies. I think I'll for sure be checking out Idle Hands this year. Whatever cool points it loses for having Jessica Alba in it, it more than makes up with Seth Greene.

3. Little cousin was my first taker on the Owl. She's very excited to pick her own colors. I'm excited to knit something that giant. I'm also pleased to have this new way of getting to knit things I like without the chore of buying the yarn or having to figure out what to do with the damn things when they're done ; )

4. AAAND, the beans are flying off the shelves. We have a hit, people! I've only got one batch of quarts left, and fewer pints almost daily. It's crazy, and I am so, so grateful. Right now I'm getting a little bit of business coaching from a friend, and hopefully you'll soon be able to order my wares at a bar or two in town!

Love, J

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween movies for sissies like me

Here is a link to photos of people freaking out in a haunted house.

Let's play a game. I'll list four activities, you tell me which one doesn't belong:

1. Buying someone a gift
2. Going to the movies
3. Eating at a good restaurant
4. Being terrified shitless

Do you know why #4 doesn't fit with the rest of the list?

Because it's the only thing for which I'd never shell out $20. Nor can I understand why anyone else would. I love Halloween, but in more of a candy corn, jack-o-lantern, corn maze kind of way.

For example, no scary movies for me, no thank you. I had nightmares for about 3 years after I saw The Sixth Sense, and that's not even supposed to be *that* scary. (Yeah, right.)

But because fall is a time to hide from the rainy weather and cozy up in front of a movie, I'm
always looking for good, non-scary autumn flicks. So far I have:

~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Disney)
~ Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
~ Practical Magic
~ All the Harry Potter movies
~ Rear Window
~ Wallace & Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
~ The Patriot (the hubs put this one on here because he finds if fall-y. I used to love it but haven't seen it since Mel Gibson went insane.)

And I love Nightmare Before Christmas, but I have trouble with it because it's too Christmas-y for Halloween and too Halloween-y for Christmas.

Any other suggestions are welcome! (And I know Hocus Pocus seems obvious, but for some reason I cannot stand it. It does have pretty scenery though.)

Love, J

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An offer of an owl

Over the winter, I would like to knit this owl.

The thing is, I have no use for a giant, stuffed owl.

So if anyone out there would like this owl, but doesn't want to knit it, I'm your gal.

I won't get it done by Christmas, but Valentine's Day isn't out of the question.

Lemme know.

Love, J

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Lady is a Tramp

Love, J

PS ~ If anyone out there is looking for a choreographer for their next music video, probably you should give Foxy Shazam a call and ask who they use, because whoa, man:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

She gets her yoga moves from her mama

~ When Lily chews on the bottom of her own foot, like so, it absolutely slays me.

~ I sold almost 30 jars of beans at this weekend's craft fair. I'm still playing with the numbers to see if I can get the bucks to make sense enough to make a go of it, but in the meantime I sure do enjoy standing at a table and receiving compliments all day ; )

~ The best part of The Rachel Zoe Project has got to be how Rachel and Rog get each other ridiculous gifts like an Escalade or a $60k watch and then act so cavalier about it they may as well have just picked up a Kit Kat from the Circle K for each other a la me & the hubs.

~ G texted me this week to ask if I'd go trick-or-treating with her this year. I'd thought she was over that activity, but apparently she just needed a two year hiatus. This makes me about as happy as the above-pictured foot chewing.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Canary Islands Time Lapse

This is just about the most beautiful thing ever. Watch it in full-screen mode, for sure.

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Love, J

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The last of his T's

I made a blanket for the hubs last Christmas, using his old t-shirts.

But 20 years of sports and concerts = too many t-shirts for one blanket.

(Unless it was a giantmegablanket, which would actually be kind of cool.)

So he got another one for his birthday:

I like this one better, as it's all stitched by hand and has a raised border along each block.

And the basement is one garbage-bag-full-of-accumulated-junk lighter!

Love, J