Monday, July 25, 2011

Giving Up.

One of my very favorite things about Austin is the plethora of Farmers' Markets we have.  I've got markets close enough to bike to on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday!  I am a staunch supporter of independent farmers and, besides all that what I believe bruhaha, I just love going to them.  There is something so magical about meeting the person who grows your food...shaking his/her hand...listening to them talk about the food...meeting the families.  I love the faces of all these young people who are going back to the farm to get in touch with something that has been lost.  I love people-watching while I'm there.  The most interesting looking folks go to the markets!  I love all the children running amok.  Most of the markets here in Austin also have live music and that lends yet another element of sweetness to them.  I love gathering my mishmash of canvas bags, climbing on our bikes, making sure we have lemonade money and heading out.  It's a ritual that our family really looks forward to.  I swear I get all teary when I think that part of my child's memories will be these market jaunts.  (I don't get so teary when we're on our way to Chuck E. Cheese, but I'm sure those are good memories for him too!)

So, all this pontificating is leading to my telling you (and myself... again!) that I am giving up on a damn summer garden.  It's absolutely ridiculous for me to use so much water and spend so much time in this  heat when I can hop on my bike with my family and support my local farmer who really, really needs me.  My garden this year was just a disaster and I think, perhaps, deep down inside I am glad because I'm ready to give this up for good.  Fall garden? Oh, yes, indeed!  I could eat lettuce and spinach allll day long and I am looking SO forward to the cool temps of fall and winter and the bounty that that season gives us.  (Woah, that sounded really smarmy. Let me try again.)  Dude, I am so all about fall gardens and totally over this summer crap. 

Look at my poor tomatillos

The ones that stayed green never got bigger than large acorns and the ones that plumped up turned brown instantly. 

The tomatoes got hit early by bugs and squirrels.  There was a small crop of cherry tomatoes, but, my god, I had to water 17 times a day to keep them alive.  I'm not a fall tomato grower so ... I'm about to pull them.  It's too sad to watch them die of thirst.  I'd rather just Boleyn them.

Tangled mass of half-dead, half-alive cherry tomatoes.  I need a Miracle Max pill as they are mostly dead.

WTF, right?  Strawberries once lived in here.

Maybe I'll go into the sunflower market!  I have so many bird feeders in my yard that the sunflowers are about taking over.  Bird eats seed. Bird poops seed. Flower grows. Miracle!

Look at that sweet faced thing.  Isn't she so pretty?

We go to The Triangle Farmers' Market on Wednesday, the Burnet Road Market on Thursdays or Saturdays and sometimes the HOPE Market on Sunday.

Come and support your local grower...they'll really truly appreciate your business.  Don't forget your lemonade money!style="border:none;

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Food

I'm not sure what you were expecting, but I'll bet it wasn't this.  

Isn't this just hilare?  

Finn's favorite breakfast these days...  iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing, a dry biscuit and a home made smoothie.  

Hope you have a delicious weekend, my lovelies!

PS Yes, we do use silverware.  One thing at a time, you know.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wimberley, TX.

 My, my how things change.  "Back in the day" there was just an old dirt road to The Blue Hole along with lots of mud and muck.  No that that would deter one from going there.  The Blue Hole has always been one of the best swimming holes ever in the history of the planet times a million.  We took a day trip there yesterday and I was absolutely thrilled to find that they've done some serious gussying up over there in sweet, sweet Wimberley.

Apparently, some folks called Friends of the Blue Hole got inspired, got some money and got busy.  There was a master plan led by The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center that was implemented and, boy, does it show.  The lovely natural look that comes from using local products combined with Earth-saving tools give The Blue Hole a wonderfully updated and environmentally sound facelift.  Beautiful work, y'all!

A modern entrance flanked with a big ole' honkin' cistern lets you know something special is just around the corner.  It's that wonderful, "I'm about to get down into someplace special where man and nature have agreed to work together" feeling that I so love.

The Hole itself has not changed much though, thank goodness.  Still cold spring water fed by Jacob's Well.  Still ropes in the trees to swing from.  Still incredible trees in the water to cling to.  I hugged me some trees and told them thank you for all joy they've provided.

Cold water is usually not my thing.  I'm a Gulf Coast girl...I like my water tepid, preferably downright warm, but I girded up my loins and made the plunge.  Lordy it was fun jumping in and screaming with shock and delight. 

Also fun to get out and have some lunch and do a little reading on the grassy knoll.

Oh the joy of having a  reading child.  I read one page, he reads the next.  We're all wrapped up in Treasure Island right now.  Pirates! Treasure! One-legged men! Swimming hole!  What more could a boy want?

We took the ubiquitous stroll around the town.  I was totally smitten by that stained glass window with a lady in it!  How clever is that? I think I'll have one of those someday.

 Beverages at Sip on The Square.

 Um, yes, please! I know just the place for this at The Wabi-Sabi House.

 This airplane was a big hit with my flight-loving boys.

It was hard to let go of such a lovely, care-free day.  How grateful I am that Jackdaddy is able to steal away from work now and then for special days like this. 
P.S. OH! We brought that tiny bit of rain to you, you know.  Because we packed up and went to a swimming hole, it rained!  We got deluged up there, which was really fun.  Not so much here, I don't think, but it was something, right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Sometimes I'm slow about things.  A citrus squeezer, for example.

WHY has it taken me so long to buy a damn citrus squeezer?  I LOVE citrus.  L.O.V.E. it.  I put a squeeze of lemon on everything.  Poor Jackdaddy. His first wife used to put ginger in everything. (According to him, of course. I'm sure her story differs cuz you know how that stuff goes.)  And now he's got one who puts lemon on everything.  And all this lemony time I have never had a damn citrus squeezer (now officially called DCS so I don't have to type that all out anymore.)  HEB had them with a $2 off coupon which made me happy.  They are also (clearly) lime green which made me happyhappy and so, voila!  I cannot understand how I lived without it for so long!!  What was I thinking?  I made a little lemon juice/water/spearmint oil spray yesterday and spritzed my sheets that were out on the clothesline.  Oh. mah. gawd., y'all.  That is some goodness the likes of which you've never smelled.  

Moving on from lemons to rum. (Because I can.)

My girlfriend, Erin, recommended Treaty Oak rum to me when I was starting to get into the Mojito thing.  I don't know much about booze, really, so that sounded fine to me because it's local and I love the Treaty Oak tree (do go read about it, OK?).  But then I saw the bottle and oooooo la la, sailor!  Sign me up for that rum!  Now I have this beautiful glass jar in which I am going to concoct a homemade salad dressing.  Truth be told, I have been thinking about just buying a couple of jars of my favorite dressing (Mother's Cashew Tamari) and pouring it in there and making it look like homemade dressing.  Either way, it's all about that jar.  It's heavy, sexy and perfect in every way. (TWSS)

Last thing... MerryMerry sent me a fabulous, I mean fabulous gag gift recently...

A little coop decoration for the ladies!   Apparently this new eatery opened up where they live and put out mucho many of these yellow chikkin signs all up and down the highway.  MerryMerry was kind and clever enough to know just how much The Wabi-Sabi House would love such a thing and procured one for me.   I just adore it and I think the ladies are quite happy about it too, also, too.  I hate to even think of it as a gag gift because I really do love, love, love it!  (And yes, I do put plants in old tires.  Every coop needs a little hillbilly decorating.  I like to think of it as upcycling because those tires are naaaaasty for the landfill.)

Bok Bok!  We're off, along with every other Texan, to The Blue Hole in Wimberley.  Y'all hold down the fort, OK?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Food

This looks better than it was. 

So it goes.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Granny Holt in the house.

Oh lord, y'all.  I've totally turned into a Granny. 
I got a clothesline.

And I LOVE it.  I love and adore and worship it's little metal heart.  I need to give it a name.  Hmmm.  I always was gonna have one, but we'd just not gotten around to putting one in yet.  Then it was over 100 degrees for about 20-something (just like my age! HAR HAR) days in a row and I realized the utter insanity of using the dryer.  It takes about an hour to dry a load of towels in the dryer.  It takes about 14 seconds to dry them outside.  I have to say I felt a little silly paying money for a clothesline, but I am allll about this turning umbrella situation that can be taken down whenever I want (as if!).  Oh, man, the Zen of hanging clothes on the line is so awesome.  You know, Zen = Awesome.

I researched them quite a bit online and then bought mine locally at Zinger's Hardware.  Have we talked about Zinger's before?  Girl, girl, girl.  Walk in there and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven.  (If you get overcome by the need to buy something from them online, be sure to find the little Community Involvement thingee and buy from there.  They take proceeds from sales and give some to various non-profits.  Can I just pitch you to buy from The Mother's Milk Bank page? How cool that they support breast milk!)

I was also "forced" to buy that precious little clothespin holder.  I love it almost as much as the clothesline.
Speaking of drying stuff...

Do you have one of these?  Ziploc dryer thingee it is!  Warsh out those baggies and reuse them over an over and over.  My bff Cory had one and I coveted it for years.  Then my fine and lovely mama bought me one and I use it just about every day.  I also dry my Sigg bottles on it and my place mats fit across there just great too.

That's all I got.  I'm all dried up now.  Just like everything else in my garden.  Poor, poor Texas garden.  
Poor, poor Texas granny.  
It's fat dress and beer-thirty time!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Food

I'm running out of steam in the garden.  It's too %&*#$& HOT.  I'm just about to give up on keeping any non-edibles alive.  Shoot, I'm just about to give up on the edibles too.  Too much work and I, for one, am not a fan of too much work.  

Hopefully I'll have something (anything) to talk about next week, but I kinda doubt it.  Unless, of course, you would like to hear about this particular week when Jack is out of town and the vacuum cleaner died right before a big party and then the  toilet overflowed twice and then I almost burned the house down by putting on a pan of bacon and then getting lost in the vortex of hand watering and then how the police came to my door at 3 in the morning one night and then how some worker guys in a big truck ripped all my internet and phone lines down off my house.   
Other than that, it's been rather boring around here.

Here's a little food porn to get you through the weekend.  Hope it helps.

Lemonade.  Dear, dear homemade lemonade.  We guzzle it.  Plain, with mint, with lavender, with strawberries, with vodka.  Wait, no, I didn't mean that. Oh wait,  yes, I did.

Slutty bruschetta (slutty because I was out of everything and just plopped some crappy store-bought ricotta on top) thingees that the boys actually ate (insert heavens opening up and pouring down light), roasted potatoes with creamy avocado jalapeno sauce and spinach salad with the world's best dressing - Mother's Cashew Tamari. 
OK, this dressing.... oh. mah. gawddddddd.  You can buy it at Whole Foods and I am here to tell STARS that stuff is insane. (Thanks to Mama Christie for turning me on to it.)  Doesn't sound good, does it? Cashew Tamari...blech. It. is. so. freakin. good.
Just like lemonade with vodka.