Some nice things about losing power for 8 days

Just for balance, let’s start with one of the not-so-nice things: when you have well water, like us, no electricity means no water, because it’s pumped out of the ground via electric pump.

You can imagine how that goes. No bathing, no washing, no cooking, no flushing toilets. No water means your house is basically just a giant tent. A deluxe one, but still.

So when our electric went out during the nutso midwest windstorms, we found ourselves camping.

It wasn’t all bad, though. For one thing, my in-laws were gracious enough to let us move in with them when we tired of our wilderness experience. They were happy to have us (or at least acted that way quite convincingly). They watched our kids and our dog, and fed us. My mother-in-law even gave us clean towels every day,¬† just like a luxury hotel.

Seeing our community come together was a pretty amazing thing also. A giant tree fell across our street just past our house, blocking  the residents at the end from coming or going. The storm had barely even stopped before everyone in the neighborhood (hubs included) was out with his chainsaw, cutting the trunk into manageable chunks.

Our neighbor has a generator, and so kept our freezer items in his freezer, keeping them from spoiling. In turn, hubs cleared that same neighbor’s lawn of fallen branches and leaves. People and businesses all over town put up signs thanking AEP for restoring power.

We had a fairly tall tree fall down in our back yard, but out of that, we got some firewood (for when our electric goes out this winter of course) and some cute new stepping stones.

All in all, when you have a nice family and a nice community, losing power for 8 days isn’t so bad. (9 might have pushed me over the edge.)


CSA 7/11/12

Little stuff (clockwise from left): Snap peas, okra, tomatoes, Thai basil, blackberries

Bigger stuff: Chard, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, potatoes

I’m not feeling particularly creative in the kitchen this week, so most of this will probably be sauteed, roasted, or eaten raw. But if you need real ideas about what to do with your produce, check out the link party over at In Her Chucks.


New digs

We’ve been in our house almost a month now, and I kind of love it.

I love the quiet street and the wooded lot. It makes eating (or just sitting) outside lovely.

One thing that I am still getting used to is the bugs. They are big and they are everywhere.

They keep getting in the house. I do not want them there.

Apparently, as my son said last night in reference to this issue, “living in nature has its price.”

We’ll happily pay it. At least until we can figure out how to keep the bugs out.

CSA 6/28/12

Another week of glorious CSA goods.

  • Kale – the 6 yo eats kale in the form of chips, I will make kale chips (again)
  • Spinach – Roasted in the oven with just a bit of garam masala sprinkled on top
  • Cilantro – combined with the tomatoes below for some salsa
  • Tomatoes – Roasted and made into salsa (see Cilantro)
  • Potatoes – I think I’ll use these in this month’s secret Recipe Club recipe, so I can’t tell you yet (it’s a secret)
  • Cucumbers – These delights have already become a batch of the Homesick Texan‘s Mustard pickles

  • Snap peas – these guys are for snack time

Also pictured above: two ice skating ducks (not for consumption)



Bok Choy and Hamburger

Bok Choy and Hamburger

Based on my Aunt Susie’s recipe, this one brings back happy memories of afternoons spent with cousins.

– 1 pound ground beef
– 1 bunch bok choy, chopped, leaves separated from stalks
– 2 T olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 C beef broth
– 1/4 C water
– 1 T corn starch
– Soy sauce, to taste


Brown ground beef. Drain, then set aside.

Add olive oil to saute pan, and add bok choy stems. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes, until getting tender. Add garlic, then leaves. Stir fry for 2 minutes more, until leaves are starting to wilt. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer all veggies until tender. While simmering, mix corn starch and water with a fork. Add beef and cornstarch mixture to veggies, and stir. Sauce should thicken. If there isn’t enough sauce, add 1/4 C-1/2 more water.

Serve over rice.

Meet Buster

Since she was born, our daughter has wanted a dog. It’s a move toward her career goal of being a teacher-artist-veterinarian.

We got Buster from a rescue operation, that also works to save these guys.

It was a hard choice, as Buster had several adorable brothers and sisters as well. I even called hubs to ask if we could have two (we couldn’t).

He’d been living in a stall at Bob Evans Farms for a few weeks, and he was literally the most flea ridden animal I have ever seen. I was kind of grossed out by it, but the 6yo was happy to pick fleas from him as he slept. (Note the 11yo, sitting idly by, eating popcorn.)

We took him to a party that day, where he was a big hit (although he was kicked outside when it was found his fur was seething with fleas).

We have no idea what type of dog he is. They say maybe his mom had a little Jack Russel Terrier in her, but nobody knows who the dad is.

He is as lovable as can be.

I think perhaps even the cats will like him in time. So far they aren’t quite sure what to make of him. I hope to show pictures of them all cuddling up, asleep, soon (one can hope).

Cross your fingers that we’ll figure out this house-breaking thing. Any tips?