Monday, January 28, 2013

Harvest Monday January 28, 2013

So just before it got super cold last week I collected a couple of my Tatsoi plants. I only have a few more small ones now, so I hope they continue to grow.  These were under my hoop house. Also I made a dish similar to what I found on the Diary of a Tomato and Aglio, Olio, e Pepperoncino blogs (in my favorite blogs list) with my Puntarelle style chicory and beans.  I have not been very successful in forcing these and there really isn't much information on line for how to do it.  I actually found a website called You Grow Girl where she grew some with points and I have e-mailed her.  Hopefully she will get back to me.  So, I decided to cut some back (both inside and outside of the hoop house) and see if they come back closer to spring with the "pods" or "points".  I may try again to force some like the Treviso that I have been very successful with this year as well as last.  It seemed to work at first and I got some growth but there seemed to be some rotting at the root bulb happening.  So I made the chicory with beans that were pureed and drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with pepper.  The chicory I did a bit differently.  I let them wilt in their water from cleaning and then sautéd in oil, pepper flakes and garlic.  I would have used my borlotti beans, but wanted to save them.  I didn't have Fava so I substituted with Navy beans which isn't really a similar substitute, but it ended up being really good.  I boiled the beans with one potato and then pureed the potato with the beans as well.  I would really love to try it with the Fava and can't wait to get some :)  It was a touch bitter, but I loved it.  With chicories you just have to like a touch of bitter.

Chicory and beans (with some Belgian Endive, Malba Crackers, and some Creamy Toscano Cheese soaked in Syrah from Trader Joe's ( the Balsamic one from Whole foods is also yummy and similar)

Close up

Monday, January 14, 2013

Harvest Monday January 14, 2013

Temps have been up this week so the hoop house door has been open all day and night!  Here are the recent harvests:  Radicchio (of course), Arugula, Lettuces, Tatsoi, Maché, and Endive!  The maché is new for me this's pretty cool!  Found this NPR post about Maché:

Many kinds of Radicchio

Maché is on the right. Little dark green florets

One more shot!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

July 2012 To January 2013 Recap!

Yikes...I haven't blogged about the family since July!!!!  This summer we were pretty busy and July was a little crazy for us.  First I took a solo trip with the girls to stay with my brother Greg and his family.  We also got to see our old neighbors and good friends and I got to introduce them to Mckinley for the first time.  We are so thankful for skype as it allows us to let Lila, Amelia, Larkyn and Mckinley to "play" with each other and keep up their friendship. I also love chatting with Shelley and it really does feel like they are right there in the room.  But nothing beats being together in the same room and the kids had a blast catching up and playing.  We also got to go to an awesome pool with them and my sister-in-law Shelly and Quinten and Juliette.  So much fun. I am blogging Larkyn is literally pretend playing in her room and I heard, "goodbye Lila, goodbye Amelia!"  Then Grandma Rose visited for a week and we mostly stayed around the house and played and relaxed.  Greg and his family actually traveled back with me to visit some DC museums as part of Quinten's birthday present so we had a big family dinner and made home-made pizza.  We also had entertainment that evening from the kids.  The past few times they have seen each other they have sang and danced to music...headed up by Juliette.  It is really funny.  So after that weekend we took a day trip to Lewis beach with Rose.  We will have to explore that more since it isn't too bad of a drive for a day trip.  Rose and I got a chance to use the free trial of and find some interesting information about John's side of the family.  Their line went all the way back to Ireland and England and I think one trail led back to Germany.  I was able to find out about my Dad's Grandparents.  My dad was the last of four and he came well after the first three so he didn't even remember his grandparents or their names.  We always knew that my grandmother was Polish and my grandfather was Slovic.  I was very excited to see the Censuses and see my great grandparents names with the list of their kids.  One of which was my grandmother.  And there by their names, their birthplace of Poland.  Even though we knew from my grandparents that we were part polish I never knew how many generations ago that was.  By the way my great grandparents were Tilly and Harry. Unfortunately, though I did see a few Onder families in the Mckeesport area, I was unable to really link any to my grandfather for sure.  It is very addicting so I will have to just put that project on the back burner for now! After Rose left we took our much anticipated and overdue trip to see our friends Tom and Missy up in Maine.  We hadn't been there since their wedding right after college graduation!  It was great to see their families and Larkyn just loved playing with Noah....she even remembered him from the last time they visited us.  I just loved seeing their huge garden and catching up with them.  We got to see Tom's parents farmhouse where the outdoor reception for their wedding was.  It has completely changed and it is beautiful!  They put on a Lobster Feast for Tom's birthday and I have to say it was amazing. Never had fresh steamed Lobster before...I am more of a shrimp girl.  But it was fabulous and the big hit at the farm and at Tom and Missy's was the loads and loads of blueberries.  The girls ate them every time the went out and I had to start limiting Mckinley's intake!  Once we got back there was a lot of gardening to be done and the girls both got a long lasting cough which put us off the board for a while.  Pre school started soon after that and we were off and running 3 mornings a week this year.  I feel so much more relaxed about my co-op days this year since I am able to leave Mckinley with one of the other moms.  She is doing great with it and we mostly switch watching a little boy just around Mckinley's age and her going to their house.

The girls are just so much fun to watch and play with.  I'll start with Mckinley since there are tons of milestones and funny things since July.  She is ALL OVER THE PLACE.  She wants to be everywhere and anywhere her big sister is and then some.  Since she started walking in July (the day we got back from my brother's) she has just gone wild.  She is now trying to climb up on things to get on the bay window sill, the play kitchen sink, Larkyn's big full sized bed and all the dining room chairs.  She is also taking a ton now and finally was able to say her name and Larkyn's (La-kin and Mckin-wee).  Recently she has shortened it to Kim-bee.  She just loves possessives...Mommy's, Daddy's, La-kin's, Mckin-wee's!  Her favorite things right now are accessories--hat's, socks, bows, scarves, shoes.  She also loves books and playing with baby dolls.  Don't get the child started on olives or pickles.  Like mommy she can't get enough and it is so funny to hear her say "olives".  Also funny is that ever since she stopped nursing at around 14.5 months her comfort when we snuggle before bed or if she just needs some comforting is to put her hands up my sleeves!  It really throws her if I wear a short sleeve shirt!  As I am continuing this long post in the new year (2013) she is also saying 3 word phrases like "I love you" and repeating everything!

Larkyn is doing amazing in pre school and at home.  We do some school work at home and, of course, she gets a lot of exposure to learning at school.  I am glad to have all the resources of the pre school since Larkyn needs practice writing and cutting.  They do wonderful activities for those skills. We are pretty sure she is a lefty but she often switches on us and uses very light pressure.  She has improved a lot since the beginning of the year and she works really hard at it.  As a reading teacher I tend to focus on the reading skills.  She knows 25-30 sight words and has started to sound out words all over the place and reading pre-decodables :)  I try to make sure I slip in math too and have been working on place value and ordinal numbers lately.  Although math is an easy one to work on during the day and while reading books as well.  Despite the fact that she is our shy girl she is so excited about going to kindergarten next year (mommy may not be ready for it though).  I even asked her if she would like to stay home and do school at home with mommy and she was sure about her "no" answer.  She is our little mommy and for the most part does a wonderful job playing with her little sister.  When she gets her choice of shows to watch she tends to choose the British shows like Peppa Pig and Charlie and Lola.  It's hilarious to watch her play with her Peppa characters and do the voices with a British accent.

July 2012- Standing on her own
Reunited with old friends
Standing on my own

First time walking--July 2012


All the cousins together

Loves head-wear

On our way to Maine...New Haven, CT


At the Farm

Missy and I

The gang going for a hike

Touching the crazy moss
Tired baby

Bean Store, Maine

Yummy Restaurant on the trip home

Maine Shore

New Hampshire Beach

10 year anniversary night out
First day of School

Hiking Great Falls

Luca's World

Rainbow Bright

Reading Nook!

Pumpkin Time!

Carving Hello Kitty

A Mouse and a Monkey

Christmas Tree Time

Dance to the Music

Larkyn hiding again!

Decorating the tree

Christmas Morning




Christmas Dinner

Hat girl and Fancy Nancy

Santa brought a tree house!

Skyping with Rose Christmas Night

Christmas Toys

Fall 2012 Photo Shoot

As for the rest of us....we are all well.  The dogs are getting up there in age, but (knock on wood) are all still acting half their age.  Shnikies will be 11 and still our excited pup.  Our guess for Luca is that she is around 12 and she continues to jump our neighbors' fence every chance she gets.  She is our sweet girl. Petey is probably around 8-9 now.  We love him but have to yell at him at least a few times a day to stay away from the trash (which is under our island and he has some how figured out how to get in there) and quit begging under the table.  John is still flying part time for the Navy Reserves and working for the government.  I am home working on the main topic of this blog...the gardening (and keeping the "ship" a float).  I am enjoying all my time with the girls and building new friendships in our wonderful neighborhood and community.  Love seeing my old friends too, so if you are in the area we are always up for visitors :)