Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mini Fairy Cakes

During my recent sojourn to the great Emerald City, Mr. Grumpy Groom and his BTB (bride-to-be, for those *not* in the know) came by for a visit.  His lovely BTB brought me 6 mini cupcakes, or as the Brits call them: Fairy Cakes!   They were from a marvelous bakery called The Chocolate Box.  We stumbled upon it a few days late when we wandered Belltown and almost moved in.  Immediately.  It was awesome.  You have to go there. 

And the BTB didn't even know that we are serving Fairy Cakes for our wedding!  She is soooo good. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grump Revealed

Here in Seattle, the Grumpy Groom and his BTB (Bride-to-Be, for those *not* in the know) live.  We are blogging friends, though I know the Groom from his past DC life.  It was lovely to have the Groom and Hurst Street meet too.  Ahh, the interwebs.  You bring people together.  

(I do note that it was a bitter sweet night for the Groom and his BTB, as you can see their team, ah, did not advance to the Final 8.  Sorry, Mr. Groom and Ms. BTB.  At least your team made the tournament. )

Seriously, We Must Be Stopped

We May Have A Problem Here

So, we rented a condo for our conference in Seattle instead of staying at the conference hotel--having a baby requires a kitchen.  It is in the middle of Belltown, a super cute area of Seattle and so conveniently located near Pike Place Market, a cutey store called the Endless Knot, and on the free bus line.   

But more importantly, the building in which we are staying is located directly above Macrina's Bakery and we *may* have a problem here.  

We have so far purchased: 9 large cups of coffee, 2 pieces of quiche, 2 scones, 1 pastry, 1 apple tart, 4 loaves of bread, and 1 small bag of coffee.  And that was only from Thursday through Friday....  It is all delicious and tasty and we (and our full tummys) recommend anything in there. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Jania!

I'm coming to give you a big ol' birthday SMOOCH!  

New Roommate

I have a new roommate... though it is a temporary situation at this time.  We are in the Emerald City!  Hurst Street has joined me in Seattle for a history conference.  So far, we have discussed not a single historical fact, but instead the closest coffee shop, which way to the fresh fish, and how far does the free bus route go? 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Expanded Raspberries

Our golden raspberry was lonely.  Very lonely.  So, we bought him friends: two red raspberries.  We expanded the raspberry box in the Victory Garden and now we have raspberry bushes again.  With the box, *someone* won't step on the them and break them either when they mow the grass.  Course, we solved that problem too by removing the grass...

Monday, March 23, 2009


What is the plural of Trellis anyway? Trellisi? Trellises? 

Anyway, Will and I had a productive Sunday in the garden, as it was finally sunny and warm.  We planted our potatoes (see the black mounds in the photo) and then we made pea and bean trellises in the Victory Garden.  We had to get these made so we could plant all 32412 beans and peas plants that we started indoors.  They are about 12-14 inches long and needing to be in the ground soon so they can start climbing!

I am sure our neighbors think us strange.  And yet they will want to have any of the fruit and  veg we produce. 

The idea with the trellis is that the beans and peas grow up it and they create shade.  In between the trellises we can put plants that need a bit a shade: lettuces, spinach, potatoes.  Also, the potato bug gets confused by the beans and so doesn't eat the potatoes, and we don't have to spray!  We will add in some marigolds and sweet asylum as well as they will draw good bugs, like bees, to the garden but confuse bad bugs, like the potato bug, and protect our plants.  It's companion gardening at its best!

And isn't that a lovely star magnolia in bloom? Currently the Victory Garden looks more Zen Garden, but just you wait!  We have big, delicious, fruity plans. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tiny Friend

Will reassembled our rain barrel today and in doing so, found a tiny friend in the drain pipe.  He popped his head out to say hello, asked about this season's plantings, and then continued on his way...  

A Lovely Time Had By All

Thank you Jen, Lydia, James, and Rex for a lovely lovely engagement party.  It was so wonderful and special.  William & I were really touched that people came out to celebrate.  

Thank you to everyone who came. We have some spectacularly brilliant friends.  

Here are a few photos of the celebration.  More here

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fagiolo Rampicante.

We have beans. Ready to go into the ground, if it were warm enough outside.  The most exciting beans we have are from Harry at KJL's Nursery: 

In Italian: Fagiolo Rampicante.
In England: Scarlet Runner Beans. 
 In France: Climbing French Bean. 
In Our Garden: Delicious. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

These Boots...

It's time to wear my gardening boots again! Can you hear that? Andy Williams...."it's the most wonderful time of the year....."  Yeah, so what if the rest of the song is about Christmas.  I have co-opted the chorus and am using it as my springtime theme song.... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brightness on a Blah Day

Today has already been a blah day: overcast, cold, rainy, majorly delayed public transport, and I missed the elephants' annual parade.  So, here is a bright spot in my day and in our front garden. 

Monday, March 16, 2009


Yes, it is vegetable that begins with a vowel.... but I *might* have developed a taste for avocados with olive oil & balsamic vinegar because when it is fresh and organic and you are absolutely starving, it is quite tasty....

Clint Eastwood Is So Proud

You can hear the Wild West Music, can't you? Baby Kitty and the Squirrel face off in the back yard.  The air was tense and not a bird chirped in the sky, wanting to know to who would make the first move: the Squirrel, turning and running, or Jackie, running full steam ahead to attack the birdseed thief.  

Yeah, you can *just* imagine what happened next....to spare the bloody details, I will say this. All squirrels are no longer in our yard.... though, it really has nothing to do with this cat.  It has everything to do that we didn't refill the feeders this weekend after they had emptied them.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Update: One Week In

In one week, we have sprouting: baby's breathe, beans,  brussels sprouts, celery, kale, lettuce, marigolds, mesclun, peas, radishes, rockett, salad mix, sunflowers, swiss chard, tarragon, and watermelons. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gardener's Journal

We are getting down to serious gardening business with the 5-year gardener's journal.  Now we can keep track of what we plant, when, and what pokes through first.  And it has pretty photos of plants and flowers on every page.... 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last year when Will and I planted our seeds, we had wooden markers with non-waterproof ink on them indicating what seeds where what in our starter pots.  The result: all the non-waterproof ink wore off and we weren't sure which plants we were actually planting.  For example, we had two similar looking plants and I knew that one was broccoli and the other was brussels sprouts.   Well, when we were preparing our Victory Garden, we were able to identify one of the plants from last year: Brussels Sprouts! 

We neglected them all winter long and we finally noticed that not only did they grow tall (we have about 4 plants), some have little nubbins of sprouts!  We are hoping that they will continue to grow and be delicious, now that we are no longer neglecting them....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Victory WILL BE Ours

This is our lower garden. Yes, our yard in DC is so large that we have an upper garden-- where most of the planting is done; the main garden, where we fight off the crab grass and play a very strangely laid out course of Croquet; and the lower garden, where nothing much happens except complaints when we have to mow that little bit of grass.

We have roses and tiger lilies on one side. The other side: the herb garden, the rhubarb, and the golden raspberry bush. In between, clover.

And so we have begun the process of starting a(nother) Victory Garden. We spent the weekend digging up the grass and putting compost and ash down on the space. We have now more than doubled our planting area. We will add more more top soil next weekend and then rototill it. We'll lay out beds and walkways once we start planting--which should be in another month.

We figure that it has only been asked to produce grass and clover for over 40 years and so we should get some good crops.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ready for Planting! Ready for Growing!

 Ready, Set, Grow!

My Seeds are Smarter Than Your Honor Student

We planted our seeds this weekend. All of them.  8 types of tomatoes, 4 types of carrots, 4 beans, brussel sprouts, leeks, chives, sunflowers, marigolds, radishes, baby's breathe, broccoli, zucchinis, squashes,  herbs with a "h", and even eggplant-- hey, it was a free seed packet.  What you going to do? The list goes on and on....The best was how we planted them. 

Kelly gave Will for Christmas a paper pot maker

 You make seeding pots out of biodegradable paper-- we choose The Financial Times.  
Our seeds will be soooo smart.
The paper is wrapped around the top.
Then, fold the bottom around the top...

...and then smash the top into the bottom.

When you slide off the paper, you have a little pot:

Then you can fill the little pots with dirt:

And then you have pots in which you can fill whatever seeds you want to grow!

It is a bit messy, with the newsprint coming off on your hands.  
Still, endless pots for endless amount of seeds!