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December 09, 2009

A note to my future self: when Cliff Mass says it's going to be cold, get out there and bring in the rest of the root vegetables. I spent about an hour in the p-patch this morning (two pairs of long johns under the jeans, two scarves, hat, two shirts, sweatshirt, jacket, and gardening gloves) using a shovel to pry beets and carrots out of the ground, then chipping frozen soil off them with the digging fork (since maybe the dirt should stay in the p-patch and not get washed down the kitchen sink). I filled a 15 lb butter box about 3/4 full with mostly carrots and a handful of beets.

Caitlyn was happy to go to the p-patch (before we left the house), and she played around for a while. But then she looked at her mittens and discovered that handling frozen clods of garden soil equals muddy mittens. This made them dirty and she wouldn't wear them any more. Another reason to get the roots in before the ground freezes around them: they are really hard to chip out with 40 lbs of preschooler in your lap.

I'll probably leave the carrots that are in the back yard garden right where they are for now. Prying them out of the soil is sounding less and less like fun. Besides, I can call it an experiment: what shape are carrots in after they've frozen and then thawed out again in the ground? Will I get usable carrots or will they dissolve into carroty mush?

December 08, 2009

Ok, so I've been seriously slacking on this blogging/writing front, and I'm starting to have little niggling ambitions of getting back into things. I've been perusing other blogs and I'm jealous, so we'll see how far I can capitalize on that. One thing I think I'll need to do is more actively remember that we have a camera (several, actually) and that I could take pictures of what I do and post those. Which means, of course, that we need to streamline the process of getting photos to my blog, since the process right now involves multiple computers and too many desks.

The house smells like bread right now, since there's a sandwich loaf in the oven. The top halves of my baby carrot-pecan loaves are beautiful, but since we're flippin' freezing in Seattle right now - not kidding, NOAA says it's 26 degrees outside - the loaf pans were insufficiently buttered on the bottom (because my kitchen is cold in the winter when I'm not baking), so the loaves didn't come out clean. Perhaps it won't really matter when it's time to wrap the loaves for shipping to great-grandparents. I used some of the carrots harvested earlier this year, which I've been storing in the fridge, so far successfully. There's no sign of mold, but the poor things are desperately trying to meet their carroty destiny, sprouting tiny white rootlets and sending new greens off the tops. Can't help but think that they are happier than the carrots I was storing out in the garden which are now frozen in their beds.

There's a batch of yogurt doing it's thing on the counter, and I made a batch of butter. That's actually hard to claim - I put cream in the mixer and let it go and go while I made carrot-pecan bread, and butter was the result. To say I made the butter implies I churned it or at least put the cream in a jar and shook it for 30 minutes, which I suppose isn't unreasonable for me to have done, but not this time. There's a kind of magic to butter from the mixer since you can hear when it's done, the buttermilk separates so suddenly. I'll use the buttermilk tomorrow evening for our pancake dinner.

December 07, 2009

I've had a fairly steady routine script at bedtime for the last 3 years or so. After Caitlyn's lullabies, I say, "Sweet dreams. Mama loves you. See you in the morning." For quite some time now, Caitlyn has repeated each sentence back to me in a bedtime call and response sort of thing.

Tonight's version went like this:

Me: Sweet dreams.
Her: Sweet dreams.
Me: See you in the morning. Mama loves you.
Her: Mama loves you. I mean, Caitlyn loves you.

She's just shy of four and one-half. This is the first time she's changed the subject of that sentence. Makes a mama's heart go all mushy.