Monthly Archives: June 2013

Now on to food!

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In preparation for the garden, Josh bought me a pressure canner and a food dehydrator.

I’ve been going out of my mind with excitement over the new cooking things I get to try. I’ve found the most glorious of canning blogs and she posts things about other methods of food preservation every once in a while.  Today, I am dehydrating watermelon, because, WHY NOT?

Say hello to the pretty dehydrator!

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Holy crap! You grew up so fast!

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Yeah, I’m showing off its size. It also has two mesh trays and two fruit leather trays. Hello, watermelon. Are you ready to be dehydrated?

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So start by cutting the rind off. I prefer doing this before I cut the watermelon into pieces because I’m not an idiot who likes to make more work for herself. Cut off both ends and then just slice down the sides, following the curve of the melon. I cut it in half and then quartered the halves, slicing the quarters about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

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Then I filled the trays, and saved a quarter of the melon for Josh, because he was not willing to allow me to dry his watermelon if he didn’t get any fresh. I bargain with food. Set it for 135 degrees and let it go.

 

 

 

 

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I’ll post pictures when it’s done.

The other project I worked on today is learning how to decorate using buttercream. I work in the pastry department of a really wonderful resort and I want to be of use decorating. So, I went to Michael’s and bought a piping kit. It was a fantastic deal with coupons and had all sorts of things I needed, and a few I didn’t. I made buttercream this morning and started building with the cakes I had in the freezer.

I didn’t take pictures of the process, but I learned how to make shells, ropes, roses, rosebuds, leaves and c-swirls.  This is my first rose!

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A few times I dropped my roses, or went to place them and they said “nope” and landed on their sides. That is why the top of the tiny cake looks the way it does.

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If you look carefully, you can see the two NOPE roses laying on their sides, and the champion rose is on top.

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Ooooh, pretty.  Okay, on to my square cake. Here you see the shells on the outside, ropes on the inside and the c-swirls for the flower spray.

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After that, I just placed some roses and then made a few buds with leaves.

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By the way, neither of my cakes are entirely smooth. That is for a few reasons. One is that I didn’t have the best paper towel for the purpose. Two is that I messed up that center bit on top of the cake and said “fuck it, this is for practice purposes.” Three is that I really didn’t care that much. It was about the piping, not the smoothing.

So there you have it. My first attempt at decorating a cake.

Apparently, I’m pretty good at this.

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You say “Tomato”, I say “HERE LIES THE CARCASS OF A DEAD FISH!”

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More about the garden!

We finally got the tomatoes to a point that we felt comfortable planting them. I put them outside a few weeks ago and it shocked them a little too much, so we brought them back in and gave them worm tea and they went crazy.

So we both had the same day off (SHOCK!) and so we decided to work outside a bit.

Here’s the garden on the 5th.

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This is what it looked like when we were done yesterday.

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WOW! Look at all the growth in only 20 days!

Well, it’s impressive to us anyway. We’re like little kids peeking through the stairs at christmas. We check it every day and give each other status reports. It’s all very exciting and I know you’re envious. It’s fine. You can be.

Planting the tomatoes was a task we had been preparing for. I have collected one fish worth of bits and one sunday’s breakfast worth of eggshells from my work. Josh watched me do this with a varying degree of concern for my sanity as I claimed that “Pinterest TOLD ME TO!” and “I found a blog through pinterest and it said this is how to get the best tomatoes!”  He lovingly shrugged and scooped up all the soil we had previously laid down for that bed and even dug a little further for the fish to be given a proper burial.

I laid the fish out carefully (read: chucked it while giggling) and announced “I must take a picture!” So I ran inside, washed my hands and when I came back the fish bits had mysteriously been spread out more evenly through the bed.

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We covered the fish lightly and then I dumped the eggshells over the top.

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We laid out the tomatoes according to type and Josh put a stake next to them and gently tied them to the stake. He did this because even though he has larger hands than me, I managed to break any tomato I tried this with. I am a failure at tomato bondage.

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Also, Josh assures me that singing classic rock to the tomatoes will make them grow better.

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We had too many tomatoes for one bed, so I put the Pink Ladies where the celery decided it didn’t want to grow, and the Black Brandywine with the tomatillos and brussels sprouts. Anyway, I didn’t take pictures of the rest of the process because it involved me gently covering all the tomatoes with dirt while Josh put worm poop on all of our other plants.

We rewarded ourselves with two strawberries.

They were, of course, delectable.