Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Green Gate Farms

 FinnigantheCurious and I go out to Green Gate Farms every other Friday to pick up our milk and cheese order.   I just love this place. You wanna see how real people make a living farming?  Head on out there and meet Erin and Skip and the gang.  Not so romantic in real life.  Well, it is romantic, but it's hard-ass work (so is romance, now that I think about it.)  I've talked about Green Gate before, but I don't have anything else to talk about today so I'll talk about them again.  Actually, I'll just show you some pictures.  That's really where it's "at" with Green Gate - the visuals.

It's a fine place to slow down and mosey. Someday I'm gonna come out here without the boy and find a place to hunker down and take a nap. 

Boo on the left and Buddy on the right.  I want a Newfoundland dog sooooo badly.  Buddy will give you some old-fashioned Newfie love...I mean, just about all the doglove  you can take is what he'll give you.  But ... Boo gives more if you can believe it AND Boo smiles.  Big as day, he does.  Just walk up and start baby-talking him and he'll grin from ear to ear.  Melts my heart every time.  (My dog Luna smiles too.)

Cool crap everywhere.

Glad it was cold on Friday as I got sidetracked by the animals and left my damn stuff sitting out like a dumb-dumb. The barn was built in 1902 and it's still standing! Finn loves this barn as there is a pool (or maybe foosball?) table upstairs.  It's kind of a kids only zone.  It's got gaping holes here and there and millions of barn cats and Erin always just calls out, "Watch your step!"  I love that free-range attitude and the unspoken idea that kids can take of themselves.  I mean no one wants to fall through a hole in the floor, right? So far, so good.

Horse + carrot. (We saw the "Do Not Feed the Horse" sign too late. Sorry!)  
And, now, are you ready for the best thing EVER? ....

BABY FREAKING PIGS, y'all.  BABY PIIIIIIGGGGGGSSSSS! Look at that FACE.  LOOK at that face.  I'll never eat bacon again. Baby piiiiigggggggg.
The farm stand is closed right now, but when we go out to pick up milk they always have some good stuff for sale:  eggs, carrots, kale, lettuce, um, can't remember but more stuff than that.  Maybe call 'em and see when you can come or just check the website/blog thing.  It really is a great place to see where your food comes from.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Food

 You have to stop what you're doing and order THIS BOOK right now.   I can't remember where I saw it or heard about it, but my sweet mama saw it on my Amazon Wish List and sent it to me.   Lemme just say that I was originally quite skeptical about "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day."  Sounded like a gimmick, too good to be true, a hornswaggle, etc..  But I read the reviews and they were good...really, really good. So good that it was sold out when I looked for it.  WELL, I am here to tell you that this book is CRAZY fabulous and we have had homemade bread (really good homemade bread) every day since I got it.  (OK, actually, not since I got it, but since I cracked it open and started using it.)  Miraculous, y'all.
The idea is that you make this big batch of very wet dough, then store it in the fridge and cut off parts of it to use whenever you want.  ALSO, you put the dough, yeast and water in a big container and STIR it.  No kneading. NO KNEADING. You just mix it up  in that same container, let it rise for 2 hours, then it's ready to go.  Make a loaf right then, put the rest in the fridge and take it out whenever you like!! You have to let the ball (loaf) sit for about 40 minutes after you take it out of the fridge, but, hey, it takes me that long to boil water these days. (If you have small children and houseful of animals, you know what I mean by this. If you don't, don't say a thing and just enjoy another glass of wine, OK?) Once the food is cooking then you just pop it in the  oven for 30 minutes. Seriously, this is just the sh*%bomb of all time.

 I got this big plastic thing at HEB. It's 7600 ML. The book says you need the container to be 5 quarts. I have no idea  how big 7600 ML is except to say it's big enough. It came with a gajillion baby plastic containers inside as well. (I gave those away as I am already drowning in a living hell of random storage containers.)  Can I just say again that you mix it all in one container?!?!?  And you DO NOT KNEAD it. I don't have any kind of fancy mixer so I just use a wooden spoon.  Honestly, I actually have no mixer at all right now. I had my grandma's, but it finally died. Boo hoo. Then I got one from the vortex that is my MIL's garage, but it died too. Why am I talking about mixers? Wooden spoon works just great. I did invest in a Pizza Peel. Fancy, huh? That is a big, wooden paddle thing like you see them use at pizza parlours to get the pizza in and out.  I got mine at Zinger's for $16.99.  (You can probably get them at Target for $4.99, but then you don't get to go to Zinger's.)

 Look at this cute little loaf! (I made the first one kinda tiny. I have no idea why.)  Oh, you do need a stone thingee to cook the bread on.  We have a pizza stone and it works great. If I didn't already have one, I would probably not buy one.  I would just Google, "what to use instead of pizza stone" and see what the Oracle says. (My friend Michael calls the Internet, The Oracle. Isn't that hilarious?) If you do want one, I'm sure you can get them at Target or any such place.
Course, you're gonna need some food to go with your delicious bread so, you next have to wander over to the glorious 101 Cookbooks site.  Your cooking life will never be the same, I'm telling you.  Now, when I first went over there, I was put off by the fancy ingredients.  She lives in San Francisco. Nuff said. Hahhaha. No, really, I just mean that she has access to about 458 farmers' markets every week.  And, of course, it's California, where anything and everything grows like gangbusters.  But don' t let that freak you out like it did me.  Just wabi-sabi it on up.  Like, if she says, "Oh, the heritage purple fava beans are sooo divine with the organic leeks!" then you just crack open a can of whatever beans you have and add an onion or some shallots. Really! I do this alllll the time with her recipes and everything is marvelous. I've gotten a little braver since I've been cooking her food and now I do sometimes use the fancier stuff, but you don't have to, promise.  (I will say that I am soooo addicted to shallots now. I cannot believe I never used them before!)

 This was a combo of the leftover Lemony Chickpea thingee from her site and some black eyed peas poured over homegrown lettuce.  You put that in a pan with some butter, crack open a good beer and slather up that hot bread...girl, girl, girl. It's crack. Food crack.
Let me know if you buy the book and what you think.  I know what you'll think, I just wanna hear it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Want A Boy...

That just about sums it up, right?

(I found this over at  I am officially obsessed with this site.)

I'm telling ya, you can keep your jewels and your fancy cars and your second homes, I want a man who can build stuff.  Course, Jackdaddy can do all kinds of things, but building is the thing I like best (well, you know). 

(If the zombie apocalypse hits, The Wabi-Sabi House is the place to be because Jackdaddy can do everything...every damn thing, y'all.  Except dance. If we decide to dance to the apocalypse, I'll be leading that activity.)

Um, so, bookshelves.  Right. We had bookshelves.  Lots of them. 

Then we got a piano. Piano in, bookshelves...reconfigured into bookshelf hell. HELL, I tell you.  

Some were split up and put here and there, others were loaned out and the books went, oh, everyfreapkinuuutiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (kill the kitty) everyfreakinwhere; in boxes, on the floor, on the dressers, on the table, oh awfulness everywhere.


I have been living with various states of this book disarray for longer than I care to admit.  

Oh, we got bids on built-ins (oh, glorious built-ins...someday), and we looked at this and that.  

Then I ran across a post on The Brick House . Well, that link is not to the post, but you will LOVE that website and spend hours and hours there and you can find the bookshelves yourself. Oh, crap, all-right, here's the real link:  
Anyway, I loved them!  I let my man look at them and he loved them too so he built some.  Just like that, he builds them. Sigh. That is just soooo dreamy, right? Look at this...

So clean. So modern. So industrial.  So cheap!

 Geek shot #1

Geek shot #2
Wanna see them again?

Ta Da!  
We decide to go with the original silver finish (read - no  spray painting) and we stained the shelves to match the floor.  We hemmed and hawed about all this, but I really like the result and am glad we went the way we did.  

That big counter top is from IKEA.  $30 bucks, y'all.  

The file cabinets are from one of my secret thrifting spots.  I painted them white.  I strongly suggest you never do this as it was hell.  Spray painting filing cabinets is hell, hell, HELL.
The only "problem" we see so far is that we need more.  More room for books, always more room for books.  I can't help it, I love them.  I cannot live without them...lots of them...everywhere.  

I grew up in the most rad, 60's house and we had floor-to-ceiling books.  I mean, reallyreally floor-to-ceiling, and it was an A-frame! 
I love to walk into a home and see books all over the place. 
Oh, how I love that.  
Do you know that quote from John Waters about making books cool again?  
I'd like to just post it, but y'all might get miffed since it's rather, um, salty. 
Here you go:  John Waters Book Quote. (There are so many, but you know the one of which I speak.)
Now I'm in the middle of the glorious and laborious task of arranging the books on the shelves. 
I really love/hate this process.  
I've started stacking them up all over the house by genre.  That's what I usually do.  
I'm just gonna let it roll like it rolls...they somehow have a way of arranging themselves.  
Really, they kinda do. 

This shindig is going to serve as our whole desk/media/book area.  
Hopefully, this will open up this room (we're ditching the big IKEA desk set-up) so that we can put in a small seating/lounging area off the side of the kitchen.  
I'm too lazy right now to find pictures of the set-up, but I'll do it next time. 
I lovelovelove a cozy seating area right in the kitchen. Mmmmm. As much as I like to talk, I really need friends to sit close while I cook.  
Cooking and talking...BINGO!
I wonder if my new Kindle will help curb the book collecting issue...somehow I doubt it.
I'll give you an update as soon as I trick it all out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thrift Love and Oilcloth

 I was supposed to have a fancy, new blog for you according to my extensive list of resolutions, but, um, I don't.  I'm just lazy and kind of busy.  (Mostly just lazy.)  So, here we are - new year, old blog. Oh, well.  So it goes, right?  I am going to do it though.  Probably. I want to, if that counts for anything.   But, for now, I've been busy thrifting and playing and I just have not had time to get on that particular resolution (the others are going well, by the way).
The first thing I want to show you is the UH.DOR.ABLE table I found that now lives in FinnigantheCurious' room.  I bought it for a client, but it was too small. (Oh darn.)  It's sooooo precious and it was already painted that charming blue color. Can you believe it?!  I would show it to you in the boy's room, but you know what little boys' rooms look like, don't you? Uh-huh.  Maybe I'll talk him into letting me straighten it up and then I can show you how cute it is.

That BLUE! Oh, lucky me.
My dear friend, Stacy, gifted me some cuteashell wooden spools.  I've seen those bigass ones and thought they could be cool somethings, but, oh, these tiny ones! weeeee. I was going to turn this one into a hose reel per some DIY book that she gave me, but that project seemed like work. Blech. I like fun projects, not work projects. (This is why my kitchen cabinets are still leaning against the garage wall, still painted white, not olive green.  Sigh.) Um, where was I? Oh, spool.  Well, here's the little cutie spooly...

Kinda cute just as it is, huh? However, I just discovered that Zinger's Hardware sells oilcloth for $1.99 per foot. That is crazy-ass cheap, y'all.  Another (unnamed) trendy Austin store sells it for $10.99 a yard (boo).  And, ooo, they have it on these big roller things on the wall and you get to choose your pattern then they roooooollll it out and cut it. Kinda fun if you're in to that kind of thing.

LOOK at that cuteness.  Really, isn't that just so fun?  Now, what the hell did I do with all those little kid chairs I had?  I think I gave them away.  Dang.  Oh well, more thrifting needed. Poor me.  These (I have 2, no idea why I didn't take a picture of the other one; it's blue.) make the best little tables.  Finn and his buddies immediately pulled them up to the trampoline and that's where they deposit the various contents of their pockets, uneaten snack residue, swords, shoes, clothes, etc..
And, for a total non sequitur...

I want this. Oh, lordy, I really, really want this.  Spotted over in Bouldin Creek.  I was thinking of waiting until spring, but then I realized I could probably make one and put some of that swanky winter grass in it.  I may, in fact, go overboard with this particular trend. I've seen it before and I'm not sure why it didn't appeal to me before. Perhaps the multi-gazillion dollar PERFECT house that these live at had something to do with it.  Who knows? Anyway, I'm gonna do it. So there.