Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gardening 101

This morning has been extremely productive. Got a load of laundry drying and one folded, dishes running in the dishwasher, sweet potatoes steaming (to be frozen for Ruthie), crock pot full of chicken bones for stock, and I actually already showered! Next step: Hair. I dread doing my hair - I even tried to trick...ah, I mean teach Russ to do it so I could have him do it every day... didn't go so well - and am thinking maybe I'll just pull it back today (even though this is a terrible look as my hair is just a little too short) as I have more important things to do... The girls went down for an impromptu nap (is the Lord good to me or what???!!!), so I decided to go spend some time with my garden. :) I haven't taken pictures of the growth for a while, so I thought I would take care of that and let you see where we're at.
The lettuce was just bitter and kind of weird (I think we're past its season), so I just ripped that up and have some cucumber seeds in that spot - still waiting for some leaves to hopefully sprout. So, if it looks like there is a lot of dirt, just pretend there's a big, beautiful cucumber plant there with prickly baby cucumbers waiting to grow big and strong. We've also used a lot of our herbs and are waiting for them to grow up again. Need to buy some more too...
Our 2 peppers. Noa always wants to touch the "mommy pepper" and the "baby pepper."
Here are our Roma Tomatoes. We also have a tiny Heirloom Tomato plant right beside it, but it doesn't seem to be fairing so well. It is a bit younger though, so I'm hoping it will sprout up soon. Noa calls these "daddy peppers." I haven't told her that they are tomatoes yet because she really likes tomatoes and I'm afraid she'll try to pull them off. Can't wait until they're bright red though!
Our Yellow Squash has been a little bit more productive than our Zucchini plant, but I still feel like I could be getting more out of them. Oh well... it is my first time. I think we'll eat this one tonight!
Yesterday I noticed we had some "friends" visiting (or maybe taking up residence) our Dill plant. I read a little about it on-line and decided to let them stay since they'll turn into pretty butterflies and will actually help our garden. I'm a little dilled out anyway.
And last but certainly not least... Someone was nice enough to give us a few cucumbers. I knew we wouldn't eat them all right away (and actually, I think one is still rolling around on the floorboard of the car - we can eat that one tonight) so I quickly looked up how to make pickles. I used red wine vinegar (all we had), coriander, black peppercorns, kosher salt, water, banana peppers from the garden, garlic... I think that's it. They are so pretty! I can't wait to taste them in a few weeks to see if I actually have a knack for it. I sure do hope our cucumber seeds bring some our way!!

Next year though, I don't think I'll be so skiddish about what to plant, how much to plant... I think I'll go crazy and just throw much more in there than I did this year. It is so fun to watch it grow and learn about God through it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A little Psalm 118:24 action

This is the first of hopefully many verses that the girls and I will learn together. I love hearing Noa quote this all by herself (well, 4 words) as she's playing throughout the day. I pray that my children love to hide the word in their hearts. How powerful!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's Up?

If we haven't called, e-mailed, texted, or so much as given you a wink or a smile lately, it is because we've been going non-stop! I'm not sure why it has been so busy, but seems that we've been goin' like gang-busters lately. Here's some things that have been happening around our house.
First things first... Since Russ and I felt like ships passing in the night, we decided to spend the night downtown at the Charleston Place Hotel. Fancy! We've always wanted to take a rickshaw ride, so we finally did, to and from the restaurant we ate at! We loved it! The only problem is that it was way too short. :) Anyway. I have such a great husband and it was so nice to spend some quality time together.

Mommy's bed is still sooooooo fun!
We have a nephew! Melissa & Dylan had Baby Micah on Saturday, May 15th! He is so sweet and tiny!
Noa's new thing is carrying the stool around and turning the lights on and off constantly. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy, but whatever, it keeps her busy for a long time.

Ruthie had her first time in the swing! What a big girl!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberry Picking: Round 2

So, we braved the heat again, however, this adventure was much hotter and harder than the first one. The kids and the mommies got pooped out. But we had fun, got some strawberries, and had a great little lunch in the shade. Thanks Katie, for these pictures!
Noa with her buds. Look at those red cheeks! I passed that on to her. Bummer. Sorry Noa. And that's her friend Gracie sitting next to her. Notice how long Noa's hair is compared to hers! Growing like a weed!!

Sweet Ruthers! Posing with her chubby legs!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer's Here!

We decided to blow up Noa's kiddie pool that Uncle Dan bought her last year (I was way too lazy to mess with it last year) and someone is happy as a lark! Noa just smiled and smiled and looked so cute in her new swim suit. She kept calling it, "the poop," and kept saying, "in-a poop. In-a poop. Mommy poop. Daddy poop. Baby poop." We are working on our L's. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010


So, today in our vegetable co-op thing (they choose what veggies you get), we received some turnips. I wasn't sure what to make for dinner anyway, so I thought, 'why don't I try some turnip soup?' Out of curiosity, I googled "what do turnips taste like?" and found out all sorts of things about them. One of the articles was telling you how to properly cook them to avoid that "turnipy taste" that everyone hates. I thought the comment was pretty dated, actually, because I don't think anyone in my generation has even had a turip, much less associate any flavor with it - good or bad. But, I still set out not to make dinner too "turnipy."

I read some more articles from "lay people" (if you will) that described a turnip as being like a cross between a potato and a carrot. I disagree. I think it is just its own thing. While cutting it up, it smelled like cabbage to me (and it is of the cabbage family), but the taste wasn't anything familiar to me. Maybe the consistency was potato-y. I'm going on and on.

Anyway. Our soup was SO GOOD I just had pass this recipe on - even though it isn't my own - just incase there are those of you out there who are buying turnips like crazy without any use for them. I'm sure the audience for this post is small...

Puree of Turnip Soup
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 lb. white turnips (about 4 medium)
1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, pelled and roughly chopped (I used 1 1/2)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (I used 2)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 c chicken stock
Kosher sale to taste
Black pepper to taste
  1. Cut turnips into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Don't worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.

  2. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the turnips.

  3. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat.

  4. Add the onion, garlic and turnips and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.

  5. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.

  6. Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the turnips and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don't let them get mushy, though.

  7. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.

    Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.

  8. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.

  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.

  10. Garnish with a toasted crouton and serve right away.
Makes about 1½ quarts (6 8-oz. servings) of soup.

Optional: Stir ¼ cup hot cream into the soup just before serving.

We also used the turnip greens in our salad (healthy!!) and I had some bread that was drying out, so decided to make croutons. EASY! If you've never done it, just:

- Cut up the bread into crouton-size chunks, dry them out in the oven (350 for 15 minutes or so).
- Heat a little butter and olive oil on low, add some minced garlic, and whatever minced herbs you like to the oil (heat releases the flavors) I used chives, thyme and parsley from the garden.
- When the bread is done, toss it with the mixture and add garlic salt and pepper. I added a little more olive oil too.

ANYWAY - Yummy! So good with the soup and the salad we had. Thank you Lord, for turnips. What inspiration they provided tonight!