Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IDC- a little late

I've got the day off work today. The original plan was to spend time with our friend last night so I would have time to recover this morning- but he didn't surface. Hopefully we'll hear from him today. Most likely he was tired after an 8 hour drive and fell asleep. But, I still have a day off and it's supposed to be a lovely day- warm and sunny- a perfect day to get a few more outside chores done.
But first, a slightly late IDC update:
1. Plant something- more flowers and herbs, including the Black Pearl Peppers. Transplanted broccoli, cabbage and tomatoes.
2. Harvest something- only a few chives from the windowsill.
3. Preserve something- Froze several containers of squash for later use.
4. Waste not- Hmmm- nothing much too exciting here. We're still trying to decide how to repurpose the old fence rails. Most likely some will be used for a new bridge.
5. Want not- Umm- I haven't had enough coffee to think straight yet. I'm sure there is something I stockpiled but I can't think of it.
6. Community food systems- Oh, we had a letter from the nice Amish farmer that we purchased our beef from last year. He is offering a 10% discount on grassfed beef for orders placed in March- so we placed an order. It's funny- we had just been talking about contacting him because we are getting low on beef. We'll have to see when we pick it up this time. Then I'll have to reorganize the freezer again. Good thing I've got room. We've been eating out of the freezer and pantry all winter so there is more room now than there was when we picked up our beef last January.
7. Eat the food- Working on the last of our beef- we have probably 15-20 lbs left. Once we figure out when we pick up our new purchase we'll be planning menus to use the last of what we have.
Gotta go now- I have WAAAY more things planned today than I can possibly accomplish. But what are days off for?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Transplants and fences

Today was a busy day. I managed to get quite a few of my little seedlings transplanted:
I got all of the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage into their own pots. Once they have stabilized a bit after transplanting, I will start hardening them off with hopes to set them out in the garden soon. Woo Hoo! It's almost April. Almost time for starting the early garden.
J15 and I took out more fence this afternoon. We are going to change the fence line for the garden area. We took out the section just south of the shop and will tie the remaining garden fence to the southwest corner of the shop. I know you can't visualize it- but it is a good thing.
Now, I'm tired. We are planning to watch a movie tonight for family movie night and tomorrow is another busy day. It's Palm Sunday and J15 has to acolyte at church. Then, after lunch, we have the annual CROP walk. I12 is required to walk as part of his confirmation curriculum- But we would probably walk anyway. I've been walking or running these since I was young. I just hope it doesn't rain. It just isn't warm enough yet for a walk in the rain to be enjoyable. I usually end up walking with Sharon who is my friend Roger's wife. (For those of you who don't remember. Roger is my best friend. We've known each other since I was 18 and we shared a garden space for over 10 years until we moved last year and I had a garden space of my own.)
I've also got to clean tomorrow since we are expecting Mike on Monday. Goodness. things are crazy around here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good news/bad news

Well, not really that bad. The engineer came out this afternoon to do the inspection for the new septic. It turns out that we will not be able to put in a traditional system (even though that is what is in place now). Our options will, of course, be more expensive. We can put in a mound system or put in a sand filter with an engineered wetland. We're leaning toward the wetland solution- especially since it fits so well into the 'look' of our property. We would use cattails, bullrushes or even iris for the final processing stage. We've even got what the engineer described as 'the perfect spot' for it and the wetland could also be used to filter/control some of the run-off from the highway. The nice part of this is that it would preserve the top of the meadow for the orchard/food forest but I would need to relocate my herb/tea garden. This is one of the reasons I insisted that we get the septic done before things started to arrive this spring and need planted. I would hate to plant my apple trees only to find that I need to move them. Now we need to make our final decision and let her (the engineer) know and she will do the design for us. She even recommended two firms to do the installation for us.
In other news, V heard from our friend Mike. He will be in town the beginning of next week which will be fun. We haven't seen him for over a year and it will be great to see him. I'm going to see if I can get a day off early next week so we can spend time, up late, doing grown-up talking, without having to worry about getting up at 530 am to go to work.
And that reminds me, I need to send an email to my coworkers before I forget.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday IDC

We finished taking down the fence this evening. Well, mostly. There are still a few sections standing near the apple tree that will come down eventually and the upright posts are still there (except for 2 that we pulled). I really like the open look that it gives. V heard from the engineering firm and will contact them tomorrow to schedule a time for them to come out and do the analysis that we need for the application to replace the septic. It seems that this firm also specializes in wetlands so we may try to get a little free advice while they are here.
But, it's Monday, and time for my IDC update.
1. Plant something- Lets see, a few more tomatoes, sweet peppers, herbs, wildflowers and some flowers for the Goth Garden.. So far I've got the tomatoes, marjoram and summer savory up from this latest batch.
2. Harvest something- just a few chives.
3. Preserve something- no
4. Waste not- cooked up the huge hubbard from Mom. I had some for lunch today and it was tasty! I'm going to need to freeze some of it for later use since I'm sure we won't eat all of it. We are planning to repurpose the rails from the fence for something around here but we're not sure what yet.
5. Want not- I got my grain mill. Woot! Now we can grind out own grains. That's a definite prep item, especially since it came with the hand crank. Now we can grind our own flour during the zombie apocalypse!
6. Eat the food- Let's see, a grass fed beef roast with veggies and a bottle of local wine last night. This evening we had pasta with a homemade creamy pesto sauce. Mmmm...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grain mill- first use!

I tried my new toy --er, tool-- this evening. I was hoping to make cornbread for dinner but ran out of time. Not any fault of the grain mill but mine for not having my waterfowl aligned properly (for those of you who are caffeine (or alcohol) deprived- I didn't have my ducks in a row!) But now I have cornmeal ground for tomorrow night.
The new machine worked like a dream! I opted to use the electric base to start out. The heirloom corn we grew last year (Bloody Butcher) is really hard and I was a bit nervous about grinding it. The instructions state that you can't grind popcorn or anything that is "rock hard" such as tapioca pearls or saw palmetto berries (not that I would have considered grinding any of those). It does say to grind flint or dent corn in two passes so that is what I did.
Ready to rock and roll!
From this...
after the first, coarse grind
The machine in action- not much to see.
The end product.
I think that next time I may grind it one setting finer for the second grind for a finer texture. But, this is about the same texture that I was getting with the old coffee grinder.
Clean up was easy. It disassembles and reassembles quickly.
The only concern was that it was kind of scary grinding hard corn for the first test. As it got down to the end of the hopper it flung a few kernels of corn out across the kitchen and it made terrible noises on occasion. I'm looking forward to using it for wheat and it also says that it will grind flax seed (and Mom gave me some!) So be on the lookout for new experiments.
I didn't opt for the flaker attachment that lets you make your own oatmeal or other rolled grains. I'm not that much of a hard core- yet.
Oh, and before you ask about the bandaid... yes, I hurt myself taking down the fence this afternoon. A miscalculation with the wire cutters resulted in a huge blood blister that popped. Ick and ouch.
All in all, I give the Family Grain Mill a thumbs up after the first use. It was pricey- $259- but currently they are throwing in the hand crank base for free- and I figure that it will be something that I will be using for years to come and is a great prep purchase. Now, to see if I can find a good source of wheat. The wheat berries I have now I got from Dad who went out with a bucket while the neighbors were unloading the combine. But, I guess you can't get much more local than that.

It was time...

For this...
to become this!
Last fall Mom gave us a huge Hubbard squash that has been sitting down in the basement all winter. Today, I cooked it. YUM!! It made probably 4 quarts of squash puree. I'll most likely have to freeze some but I'm seeing squash soup in the near future. Mmmm..
After the snow of yesterday, today was a beautiful day. A great day to work outside getting started on one of my goals for the year: removing the fence that separates the yard from the meadow. First, I really dislike that old fence and it is made from treated timbers that I'd rather not have around. Also, we will be having the septic system replaced this spring and the fence has to be removed before that can happen so the septic guys can get their equipment in and so they can run the new leach field lines out into the meadow. I need to ask them what we can plant over the leach field but I'm hoping to plant wildflowers and my "tea garden" over the leach field. That would keep down the mower traffic and would look fabulous.
V twisted his knee yesterday as he and the boys were moving a log from a tree that he had cut down a while ago. So, he sat on the bench and supervised (and manned the camera) while the rest of us worked.
J15 and I taking out the top row of timbers.
Then the boys wanted to help!
Taking the "rabbit fence" from the lower part of the fence.
It never deterred the rabbits!
Boys and sledgehammers!!
Getting there- an unobstructed view.
Removing the fence is the first step of our permaculture plan. We got about half of it removed today except for the uprights. Now, what to do with old treated timbers. Definitely NOT raised beds. They're all about 6 feet long but not in very good shape.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm still here...

Happy Spring???
It has been a busy week and I'm feeling a bit worn out. We had snow for the beginning of Spring. But it has already mostly melted so it wasn't too traumatic. Things are definitely ramping up for the season. Seed starting has been going strong with some interesting results:
A mutant seedling- 3 cotyledons
I did have a bit of good luck:
Boxes arrived today!!!
I ordered a grain mill on Thursday night (late- like 10pm) and it arrived already today! It's a Family Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grains in NE. They are having a special where you get the hand crank base when you buy the motorized unit. I was amazed that it shipped yesterday and arrived today! Now I can grind my corn from last fall. We've been unable to grind it since the spare coffee mill we were using gave up the ghost a while ago. Now we are set! I'll let you know what I think about it once we use it.
J15 and I were out and about running errands this afternoon and picked up a bottle of local wine. We haven't opened it but it should be fun.
Ms. Behavin'- I like that name!
And now we have another project in the works- A GOTH GARDEN! I mentioned the idea at breakfast this morning (after having looked at a site for rare and unusual seeds) and it has taken off like wildfire. Even V has been making plans. We already had the black hollyhock seeds but J15 and I had fun out today seed shopping at the local shops.
All black and white flowers.
Or nearly black- there aren't any "true" black flowers. But we now have 1o varieties of flowers- either black, white, or both and J15 is in charge. She is finally really excited about gardening. Granted, it has nothing to do with sustainable living or food production but it will be fun. We plan to put it on the northwest corner of the house (west of the garage). We have even agreed to let her get the zombie statue. It should be fun. I did order a few other seeds this afternoon including a black pearl hot pepper that supposedly has black foliage. Hopefully they will ship quickly so we can get them started.
We had bad news at work. The therapist who is out on maternity leave has decided to not come back. Well- she will work for a few days to fulfill her requirements for benefits but she is essentially gone. So, we are going to be chronically short staffed until we find a replacement. sigh...
I planted a bunch of flower seeds tonight and now- it's family movie night!

Monday, March 15, 2010

IDC update- Spring is Springing!

Gorgeous!!! That's how I describe today's weather. It was sunny and right around 60 degrees- a delightful change from the cold weather. Yesterday was also beautiful but not quite so warm. Most of us at the permaculture class sat outside for lunch to enjoy the weather. Today I had to work but even though I was covering for a co-worker who was off today I managed to sneak out of work half an hour early. We fired up the grill for dinner and had some tasty pork chops and some Spanish rice. Oh, when I opened the jar of diced tomatoes for the Spanish rice it was like smelling August in a jar. Mmm....
Spring is in the air. I'm not holding my breath that it will stay warm but I did have some time this evening to work outside now that it is light for longer after I get home. Today is Monday so it's time for the weekly IDC update. I'm still running on the energy of the weekend so I'm doubly motivated to get outside and work.
Here goes my update for the second week of year 3.
1. Plant something- Yes, yes, yes!!! I planted sample pots of my saved tomato seeds to check viability and they're all up. (Hurrah!!) Let's see, I also planted eggplant and my litchi tomato seeds from Erin. Thanks Erin!! They haven't sprouted but it's early days yet. J15 and I also constructed a mini bed on the south side of the house and planted some early greens. I'll have to get out and put some chicken wire around it before it comes up or it will be a tasty snack for the bunnies in the yard. This week I plan to start the rest of my tomatoes, tomatillos, sweet peppers and the herbs/wildflowers that won't be direct seeded. Hopefully that will happen.
2. Harvest something- I did snack on a few of the chives on the windowsill. Yum! I can't wait to have little greens from the garden.
3. Preserve something- nope.
4. Waste not- Let's see. We reused some of the old cedar shingles from the porch roof to construct the sides for our mini greens bed. I just broke them into about 4 inch widths and we set them into the ground then filled in with some topsoil. I've also trying to be better about getting through the left overs in the fridge so we don't waste so much food. I also made a connection with a woman over the weekend who may want to use our old sink top and base.
5. Want not- Not much here. V did get several yard rakes and had the children out raking the gravel out of the grass where it had been flung by the snow thrower this winter. I'm probably going to be ordering my grain mill this week. We also discussed the need for a wagon to pull behind the garden tractor for hauling various items (soil, compost, wood, etc) around the property. And we've been cutting down enough trees and brush that I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to invest in a chipper/shredder for turning brush into mulch. Hmmm....
6. Build Community- Yes, Yes and Yes!!!! I made some fabulous local connections this weekend and have names and email addresses of several people. We have tentative plans to exchange seeds/plants and labor.
7. Eat the food- Mmmm... we've had wonderful local brown eggs from Kalona, local cottage cheese and yummy homemade food. Of course- we also got some Girl Scout cookies- but who can resist Thin Mints!

I work tomorrow and then Wednesday I'm off to Davenport for a continuing Ed class. Most definitely NOT as fun as my weekend class but necessary. The children are on Spring Break this week so V has been working them outside while the nice weather holds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


What a remarkable, inspiring day!!!!! I am so pumped right now I can hardly stand it!! I just wish it was a month later than it is so I can get into the dirt. I learned so much about permaculture and about myself. I can't wait to learn more tomorrow and in the months ahead. Today we covered the basic introduction to the concepts and principles. We actually had to do a personal niche analysis of ourselves as an organism- identifying our needs, threats to our well being, our characteristics, behaviors and our products (our value). It was very enlightening and empowering.
I also made some great local connections and had a chance to talk to the woman who is the local 'expert' on wetlands and wetland mitigation for developers. She advised me to contact the developer of the land to the west of us about our concerns for run off onto our property both during and after construction. She said that he is a great guy to work with and is one of the local developers who actually 'gets it' without being forced.
I get to go back tomorrow for another day. On tomorrow's agenda: designing resilience and learning about polyculture. I can hardly wait.

Oh, and as you can see by the picture- I did get an autograph.


Today's the day! The first day of the two day workshop on permaculture landscape design. It's called Principles and Practices of Regenerative Design and is the precursor to the series of classes that I hope to take this year. The class is being taught by Dave Jacke, the guy who, quite literally, wrote the book on permaculture design. I've got to find a notebook to take.
Do you think it would be too geeky to take my books to get them signed???

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hot stuff

I can be found today at Homemakers Who Work today with this post about stuffed hot peppers. Mmmm....

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Monday- time for IDC

It's time for my first Independence Days update of year 3. Where does the time go?
Tiny broccoli
1. Plant something- YES!!! Let's see, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and 6 varieties of hot peppers (peter- red, cayenne, alma paprika, anaheim, jalapeno and volcano- a hot hungarian wax) I've got broccoli, cauliflower and red cabbage up already. V and I didn't get the grow cabinet set up- he was trying to make it much more complicated than I needed and I needed it NOW! So I stopped in at Target where they were having a sale on wire shelving units and picked up a 5 shelf unit. It is now setting in the kitchen with lights hung and little plants under it already. I also potted up some rhubarb starts that I picked up this weekend that had already broken dormancy. They are currently in a big bucket in K10's room by the big pepper plant. I'll set it outside in a permanent location when it warms up.
2. Harvest something- not yet, although the chives on the windowsill are looking awfully tasty!
3. Preserve something- not a thing.
4. Waste not- Hmm, nothing too unusual here. We were really bad last week on wasting food, though. There were left overs that got shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten that became compost. I need to do better at this. I've got a whole drawer of fresh produce- the after effect of having to provide a relish tray for a church function- that we need to eat before it goes bad. Salads anyone???
5. Want not- This is supposed to be the category for non-food prep stuff. The only thing I can think of right now is the financial boost we had with paying off two huge debts that we had. I'm also planning to order a grain mill soon. I had been using an old coffee grinder to grind my corn but it has passed on to a greener coffee house so now I have no way to grind my corn. Anybody have any recommendations? I've been doing my research and have my opinion but I'm wondering what anyone else thinks.
6. Build community food systems- purchased some local milk and eggs. Talked to the orchard guy again about my apple trees.
7. Eat the food- Yum! Tonight it was a fabulous lasagna with home canned tomato sauce. Friday night for our celebration meal it was local grass fed steaks and our home grown potatoes. I've still got some roasted eggplant in the freezer that I need to use... I'll have to think on it. Oh, and for K10's birthday, he got to take treats into school. They are emphasizing healthy treats so I made some quite tasty oatmeal/blueberry mini-muffins (oatmeal from storage, blueberries from the freezer, local eggs). He said the children were all clamoring for more. That makes me feel good.

All in all, not a bad week. It's been crazy-busy around here and with V still on the mend it's been tough to keep up. The house is a disaster area and the laundry is still a work in progress- sounds normal!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A slow Sunday

Nice for a change. J15 and I12 both sang at church this morning. I12's voice is still that lovely, angelic little boy voice- at least for a little longer- we've noticed that his voice is starting to change a little bit. sigh... he's growing up an will soon be a teenager.
The temperature has remained above freezing all night and we had a bit of a shower. I'm glad it didn't rain a lot because that, combined with the melting snow would have made things very floody! But now the sun is trying to peek out. V was feeling a bit better this afternoon so we went for a walk to check out the snow melt.
The snow is melting off the South facing slopes.
There is LOTS of run-0ff and the creeks are running full.
But I LOVE the sound of running water.
Signs of spring- a wild rose is starting to bud! (sorry for the bad focus)
The moss is bright green under the trees.
But we were still walking through snow up to 7 inches deep in some places. It is supposed to remain fairly warm this week (30's and 40's) so Spring is definitely on the way!

Oh, and my broccoli seedlings are starting to sprout!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Name change

Today was a busy day here. Errands, cooking, grocery shopping, a little laundry and then the fun stuff!
V was off and on today but at least was able to have fun with us this evening.
Spaz, the cat, was quite relaxed, stretched out on the birthday boy as they snuggled on the couch. Our big news around here: K9 is now officially K10! My little Y2K boy is growing up. He chose to have kniep for dinner. That is an old family recipe from my dad's side of the family. It's a kind of egg noodle in broth except you don't roll our the dough, you just drop it by small lumps into simmering broth- kind of like big spaetzle. Then after dinner we all went swimming. Saturdays are family swim night at the rec center in town so we all get in for one admission price. It was lots of fun. Every time we go there we remark on how much fun we are having and that we should go more often- but we still only go a few times a year.
After swimming it was time to go home for cake and presents. V and I try to have fun with the cakes we make for the children and it's a big surprise what the cake will be. This year, K got another joke cake.
Tighty Whiteys!!
That comes from a longstanding family joke about magical hats. He used to prance about with his underwear on his head singing about magical hats.
Let him eat cake!!!

I'm contemplating making a little garden bed on the south side of the house for some early greens. The ground there is thawed and not wet and J15 and I picked up a bag of topsoil today when we were out and about to mix into a little raised bed since there are lots of rocks in the soil there. I'm thinking some lettuce, spinach and maybe a little chard. I can hardly wait to get playing in the dirt. I did get some cabbage, broccoli, hot peppers and onion seeds started inside. We still need to finish the cabinet for the lights before they start popping up. I'll start the sweet peppers and tomatoes in another two weeks. Oh, also while we were out this afternoon, I picked up a rhubarb root at the local home improvement store (even though that was NOT what we were there for!). It's starting to break dormancy already so I need to get it in the ground. I'm thinking about putting it into a pot and then hardening it off and planting it out when the weather warms a little more. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Champagne all around!

We are now the proud owners of only one house!!!! Woo Hoo!!! We paid off two loans this afternoon and still have a sizable chunk of change left over. We've got lots and lots of plans but for tonight- we're having some of the last T-bone steaks from our grass fed cow and spiced fried potatoes (fried potatoes with cayenne pepper and onions) and later, we're breaking out a bottle of champagne (not even the cheap stuff!). If you're in the area, stop in! I've been walking around all afternoon with a silly grin on my face which I'm sure will be made much worse by some alcohol.

V did have his appointment with the sinus docs this morning and that was a bit frustrating. We did get to see the CT scan and the inside of his head. They did the fiber optic camera up the nose which was pretty cool to see. Unfortunately, while he does have some cysts in both maxillary sinuses, they are small and don't account for the symptoms he is having. So... he now has an appointment with a neurologist in two weeks and is scheduled for another head CT in May to follow up on the cysts they found to make sure they haven't enlarged. Bottom line- still no answers and he continues to have episodes of blinding pain in the left side of his face and intermittent vision changes in his left eye. We're really hoping that it is just nerve compression caused by the swollen tissue in his sinuses.
In other news, I did start some seeds last night. We don't have the cabinet completed yet but I figured I had a day or two to get the lights set up before they sprout. V and I plan to work on it this weekend.

Now to go fry some potatoes and throw some steaks on the grill! Oh, and I've got to bake a birthday cake.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So much

There is so much going on right now. Work has been busy and I've been busier than usual at home and taking children places since V has been sick. He is still not doing very well. Oh, he has stretches of an hour or two where he is fairly pain free but those are few and far between. He finally has an appointment with the sinus specialist on Friday morning. He is to the point where he is also having intermittent changes in his vision in his left eye due to the pressure on his optic nerve. I hope we get some answers/results on Friday morning. He's no fun to live with! And I KNOW he is more than tired of all of this.
Friday afternoon we have the closing for our house in town. Woo Hoo!!! Paying off two loans and getting things moving on a few other projects around here will be a great feeling.
And, K9 will have a name change to K10 on Saturday. Gotta get moving on gifts and cake baking!
I desperately need to get my seed starting set up going. I'm LATE! And now I find out that I'm going to need to start a few extra seedlings. The committee I serve on at our church (social justice/social ministry) is planning a plant sale for spring as a fund raiser for the community Common Fund. This is the fund that is administered by the crisis center to provide assistance for rent/heat/emergencies/etc for county residents. I figured that, since I'm going to be starting seeds anyway, I may as well start a few extras for a good cause. (that and it will give me an outlet for my extras- I have such a hard time 'thinning') Maybe tomorrow night I can work on it. We actually don't have ANYTHING on the schedule for tomorrow evening.
Sorry to be such a whiner but I'm tired and feeling a bit stressed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Challenges abound

I'm participating again this year in Sharon Astyk's Independence Day Challenge. This is her third year of hosting this challenge. I joined in quite late the first year but participated fully the second, although I have been pretty lax about posting updates this winter.
The challenge is fairly simple. You report on your progress toward Independence using 7 categories:
1. Plant something- this is pretty self explanatory.
2. Harvest something- again- pretty obvious.
3. Preserve something
4. Waste not- reducing food waste and waste of other resources
5. Want not- non-food preparations. I was pleased to find that you can even count those really good craigslist deals that you score or repurposing items.
6. Build community food systems- getting involved!
7. Eat the food- YUMMY.

I've also been meaning to post about my participation in another challenge hosted by Melinda at One Green Generation.
I'm kicking it up to the extreme edition. The rules here?
1. Grow at least 3 crops from seed- No problem here!
2. Plant the seeds in 3 other people- here for me is the real challenge. The goal is to inspire three other people to grow food from seeds. Unfortunately, most of the other people I know already garden- at least a little. I'm going to have to work at this one.
3. Share your progress in challenge check-ins.
and for the extreme edition:
4. Make it 'seed to seed'.

I was thinking about the Real Food Challenge. But that is something I already work on and I've got a lot on my plate right now so I may give it a pass this year.
Now, to just remember to report in on both of these challenges on a regular basis.

What the chipotle!

I'm going to have to make sure I plant plenty of jalapeno peppers this year. I'm nearly out of chipotles! A few years ago Roger and I had a HUGE bumper crop of peppers- that all seemed to turn red at the same time. What to do, what to do? We smoked them, of course, and made our own chipotle peppers. I've currently got a few left that I keep stored in the freezer. They are smoked and dried but I still keep them in the freezer to keep them fresher longer. They are a grand addition to chili or just about anything else that you want to have that smoky heat. YUM! Sometimes I crush it and sometimes I don't.
This time I tossed it in whole
As you can see, it's chili on the menu for dinner tonight. I was going to have this be a local meal tonight using beans that we grew but, of course, guess who forgot to soak the beans!? So I turned to the old stand-by of canned beans from the pantry. But what's this? An omen?
Hard to read but it says Best by Dec 2012
Every can of beans I had in the pantry said best by Dec 2012. Hmmm, if I were a believer in the Mayan Long Calendar hubbub about the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012 I may be worried. Otherwise, I guess it means that I've still got time to eat my beans. And if the world does end, I'll leave it with a full pantry (minus a few cans of beans)