Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stuff that goes on 'round here

This year I got a new toy for Mother's Day.

You could say that it is a useful kitchen appliance, and my sister-in-law says that we'll get our money's worth out of it over the years, but that's a heckofalot of pasta I say. At about $2 per meal for bought pasta, I have to make 35 meals just to make the money back if I don't count the cost of ingredients. The wheat I grind is really cheap and healthy and the eggs are not quite free, so maybe it will pay for itself.

But that's not why I wanted it. I wanted to play.

It's like playing with playdough and even Alice can do it herself.

We made this first batch exactly as the recipe was given (3 cups of white flour, 5 eggs), but yesterday I made whole wheat spinach lasagna and spagetti using frozen kale and it worked great. Before adding tomatoes, onions, peppers or carrots to the sauce, we ate about 1 cup of kale in only the noodles. Before wilting, that's a whole lot of veggies.
Fun, fun, fun!

But life hasn't all been fun this week. This is a picture of our front yard last year in June.

It's very underwhelming and it took some time to find a picture to compare to what it looks like today.

See, isn't that better? No? Well, it will be. I removed two sad bushes and created a whole lot of veggie-growing space. However, that root ball is huge. I worked so hard out there cutting down the big bush and then working at the root with an axe that I wonder if the increased salt in the soil is going to be a problem. There's still a lot of root left, but an hour is about all the swinging I can do with that axe.
I've got more garden to prepare and seed too, but I can't seem to plan without seeing the whole picture of space. I think I might not get everything in this weekend as I'd like to.
I've toyed with the idea of getting a squash to climb over the remains of the stump, but then I'd just be putting off the root removal until next year. And I'd rather have the plants climb up than sprawl. There will be a lot of missing privacy on my little patio until trellises of some sort are erected. May always seems like such a rush to get everything done.
Besides the big root ball and stump, here is all that remains of the bush.

There weren't many blooms on the bush this year, prompting the removal. The kids might want to take note: If you don't produce around here, out you go!


cg said...

i liked the privacy of your yard, but i get it, if you need the space for veggies oh well...a trellis would work with some vine planet grow up it too. i'm excited about the pasta maker, looks like fun ; )

Anonymous said...

Who cares if the pasta maker doesn't pay back! I just got one this year, and the taste and texture of the pasta is so much better than store-bought, and now I can make sheets to make ravioli.


Evelyn in Canada said...

I know it doesn't have to pay back, but somehow I always have to justify things in my mind. If I'm cooking and gardening and sewing instead of working, I'm always trying to translate that into the dollars saved or nutrition gained. I don't know why my mind works that way and I'd like to turn it off actually.

How do you make ravioli? Do you have one of those indented trays that you roll the sheets onto?

Evelyn in Canada said...

Thanks, CG! I liked the privacy too, but I've got the wood purchased for trellises and I'll hopefully have cucumbers or beans creating that same screen of green that the big bush provided. Corn might work too. I'm still laying it all out in my head.

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried ravioli yet, but I have a plan for the sheets that I rolled out and froze. I want to make a squash, goat cheese and walnut filling that I will place dots on the pasta sheets, maybe 5 or 8 across and 2 two up and down, whatever fits. Brush with egg, cover with another sheet, press down to seal, and then cut in between. All the pre-cutting seems like too much work and unnecessary.


Evelyn in Canada said...

Deb, that sounds like it could work. Certainly the ingredients sounds great! In Aussieland, one of my favourite ravioli dishes was really just one huge ravioli made from one lasagna sheet folder over onto itself with a pumpkin filling. Yum!