30 April 2010

Signs of Plant Life: Adventures in Gardening

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This year is my first attempt at gardening. Since I live in the city and have no yard, I'm trying out container gardening. I'm really a novice - I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm reading a lot of blogs and books, but even these assume that you know things like how many seeds to throw in a pot. I don't. Do I put one tomato seed in a small pot? 10?

Anyway, I'll try not to be too disappointed if my fledgling garden fails to materialize any veggies or herbs. After all, even expert gardeners experience crop failures.

Here's what I'm trying to grow so far:
potatoes
onions
parsley
cilantro
tomatoes
carrots
mesculun lettuce

In the coming week or so, I will plant thyme and oregano as well.

I also made a compost bin. I drilled some holes in a bucket and its lid. Inside are shredded newspapers, cardboard, some dried leaves from my neighbors plant, and kitchen scraps. Hopefully, this will produce some compost. I'll keep you posted!

25 April 2010

Playing with Food: A mediocre attempt at a raspberry tart

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It's been a hectic two months at work, and I haven't updated the blog as I would have liked. But I've had a few culinary and shopping adventures during that time, which I will post soon. I'm getting closer and closer to my goal of making all of my meals from scratch.

To begin, I tried my hand at making a tart. The result was tasty, but not as visually appealing as I would have liked. The problem is that I didn't take the time to properly roll out the dough. I was too impatient, which resulted in a misshapen, though relatively flattened, dough. When I tried to make pizza dough, I also came away with a misshapen mess, so I still have some practicing to do. Still, I was shocked by how easy it is to make a crust from scratch.

The filling was easier -- it consisted only of raspberries mixed with just a bit of sugar. I then made my own whipped cream, which is so easy to make and so worth it (heavy cream, and a little sugar, whipped into shape).