That nervous breakdown I was scheduling? Yeah. This is what I did. I wish every nervous breakdown of mine would have as much to show for it!
The Hobbits...with a little "encouragement"...pitched in to help haul my garden rocks over to the wall and helped me plot the placement. Dad manned the tiller over by the compost pile and dug up generous piles of pitch black soil. Everyone grabbed a shovel of some sort, pushed, pulled, and otherwise wrestled the dirt uphill and helped fill the rock well. We all stood and cheered as we baptized the raspberry canes.
This is container gardening, New England style....where there is never a shortage of rocks. This is, after all, the geography where Robert Frost wrote "Mending Wall." You know. "Good fences make good neighbors." And we have lots of "good neighbors" around here. I liked the outcome of this so well, I think I'll do it again for my asparagus that I want to start this year.
It looks like, as a family, we've moved into "project mode." Everyone has projects that they want to accomplish. Tool Guy is newly restocked with a load of wood that he is in raptures over. He and Bug--rather, mostly Bug--just completed a side table that goes beside the bed in the master bedroom. Bug walks around with an enormous sense of accomplishment as a budding carpenter apprentice. He and Tool Guy have big plans for built-ins for the house this summer.
Lots of plans for kitchen projects. Dog is still perfecting the chili recipe. With the assistance of feedback from Tool Guy, the recipe now includes significantly increased amounts of pepper. Let it be noted that this is the chili that follows Tool Guy to work each day. Ouch! Bug is polishing his reputation as The Muffin Man and is honing his technique at mastering pear butter muffins. And now Princess is clamoring for her share of the glory. Well, it is actually her share of the spoon-licking that she is clamoring for, since to the chef goes the spoils. In our house, it is the custom that the person doing the baking is the one who gets to lick the spoon, bowl, and everything else that might be batter-spattered.
My kitchen is frequently characterized by organized chaos. It all pivots around one drawer in which I shove my favorite small implements, like my everything knife, scissors, measuring spoons, and the pages that I scribble my recipes on. I've gotten a little more organized and now have a notebook filled with clear page protectors that I slip my recipes into as I perfect them. Still sometimes scraps of paper sink to the bottom of the drawer to be forgotten. Until a spring cleaning spree unearths them from the lower strata and brings them to light again. And so it was that I discovered Princess' forgotten favorite: carob muffins, scribbled onto the back of a crumpled and spotted old co-op invoice.
2 1/4 cup grain flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup carob powder
1 t baking soda
2 T cream of tartar
1 t salt
1 t guar gum
1 cup mix makes 6 muffins
Per cup of mix, add:
2 t oil
1/3 c water or juice
1 t vanilla
20-30 drops stevia
Mix thoroughly, pour into muffin forms and bake at 350* for 12 minutes or until done.
Princess is enjoying her debut into baking. Her favorite part is collecting all of the bespattered implements and licking them clean. She's still young enough to end up wearing more than she eats, but it's her specialty and she's the queen. Or rather...Princess.