You may have noticed a lack of consistent posting these past couple of months… and that’s because I was barely balancing the demands of working, blogging, renovating, road tripping, wedding planning, wedding crafting, and holiday entertaining all at once! (And by the way… yes, it can be done without going mad!)
On New Year’s Eve, under a cloudless blue sky on the Gold Coast of Northern Baja, I married my partner in crime and partner for life in a beach ceremony that I’ll never forget.
(More to come once we wade through the 8,000-plus pictures taken last weekend!)
I admit it — if fava beans weren’t so good for the soil, I likely wouldn’t grow them at all, edible or not. Hidden inside those fat long pods are handfuls of delicious beans, but they make you work for it. Really work for it.
Shelling the beans is a labor-intensive process, one that should be done on a (not so) lazy Sunday around the kitchen table or on the back porch while you watch your kids play. You might even enlist your kids to help, or bribe a friend to do it with you. It’s a lot of time to spend on a bean.
But despite the seemingly neverending shucking involved, fava beans have a buttery goodness that you don’t find in other beans, making the toilsome undertaking a true treasure hunt.
Legumes have long been known to be good for your garden by fixing nitrogen and improving soil fertility. These legumes come in the form of common peas and beans, as well as cover crops that act as green manure in the off season. But how exactly do they “fix” nitrogen in the soil, and what does that mean anyway?
Every once in a while I come across such an ingenious idea that’s so simple, I wonder why I didn’t think of it before. The Roo is one such idea.
Part apron, part pouch, it’s like a helping hand (or more like a helping armful) around the garden, making easy work of carrying bulbs and harvesting veggies and whatever the task at hand (or arm, hehe) may be.
Last week, I reviewed the Roo and offered one up to one lucky winner. An entry was chosen by my randomizer, and that winning entry is…
Show of hands: How many times have you gone into the garden, merely to water the plants or refill the bird bath… and then find yourself trudging back to the house with the bottom of your shirt rolled up, filled with a bunch of tomatoes you hadn’t intended to harvest, while you juggle another handful of peppers… all because you didn’t want to make multiple trips? (Am I the only one who does this??)
There are days when I wish I would’ve worn a larger shirt. Or one that wasn’t white. Or I could just bring a basket out with me every time I go in the garden… but I always forget and then I’m too lazy to run back to the house for one.
For people like me, there’s the Roo.
It’s been cold around these parts… and by cold, I mean it’s hovering around 60°F.
I know, I know. I’m a SoCal girl through and through.
But when the weather starts to turn and I start to second-guess going out of the house in flip-flops, I think of soup. Rich, hearty, steamy soup.
This is one of those lazy-day recipes when I want a big bowl of soup but don’t want to work too hard at it. It’s the easiest thing in the world to whip up (short of pouring one out of a can) and it’s absolutely delicious. You get a nice dose of green in your diet and you still feel satisfyingly full.
Even though I like to sabotage it with some fatty strips of bacon (my weakness!) this recipe can easily be turned into a vegan meal with vegetable broth and perhaps a chipotle chile or smoked saffron for flavor.
Have you ever wondered why a hard-boiled, farm-fresh egg — from your own backyard or from the farmers’ market — is such a pain to peel?
As any backyard chicken keeper knows, a day-old egg is notorious for being sticky and difficult. The shell comes off in bits and pieces and you inevitably peel part of the egg white along with the shell, leaving behind a pockmarked mess. On the other hand, store-bought eggs have shells that come off seamlessly and beautifully, begging for a dish of deviled delights.
You could, of course, simply make a scramble or an omelet with that day-old egg. Or you could wait a few days, after which that few days-old egg will hard-boil and peel to perfection. Or you could buy eggs from the store specifically for hard-boiling, which defeats the purpose of having backyard chickens to begin with!
Take heart: There is an easy way to accomplish the perfect hard-boiled egg (even with a farm-fresh egg!) and it doesn’t involve vinegar or baking soda or any of the many homemade solutions floating around.