Home Making

Well, I didn’t get to do mushrooms preserved in oil or tomato paste this weekend. Husband went to the market later than usual while I had to work, so the mushroom guy was sold out of baby bellas, and he still wasn’t able to find Romas. Why isn’t anyone growing them? At any rate, my sister knows someone who has an overflowing garden so hopefully she can get me some. We made a vegetable soup for dinner last night that was fantastic. We had planned to make minestrone, but it turned out we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed. So our soup had a chicken stock and tomato base, with onions and garlic sautéed in a little olive oil. Then we added carrot, celery, zucchini, kidney beans and bacon and seasoned it with herbs de provence and freshly ground black pepper. At the very end, we added cooked multi-colored corkscrew noodles. It was very filling, yet light – the lavender in the herbs de provence really made it distinctive. Tonight we’re grilling burgers and sweet corn downstairs, and I might make a little potato salad to go with it.


I was pleasantly surprised this morning when watering the plants. The thyme I thought was beyond dead has begun to revive. It has one shoot with new green on it. So I’m glad I was stubborn and refused to throw it out (and continued to water it with the rest of them). Everything else is looking good, though the parsley is looking a little stunted. Still green and fragrant, but the poor plant never really attained any height. Perhaps the container is too small? I’ve got to read up on my herbs a little more – it’s the time to propagate them if I’m going to this year.


I’ve rearranged the living room a bit. Previously the sofa (huge thing that it is) was against the wall, but I’ve moved it into the center of the room, facing the picture window. The tv remains to the right of the window, and the armchair is now in the left corner. And I moved the storage trunks from under the window and put them on the wall in between the sofa and chair. It’s cozy and more suited to conversation now and it feels like a more clearly defined space. I just need a few finishing touches – the spot under the window looks a little bare. I’ve been wanting to get one of those old iron plant stands, and this will be the perfect place to put it. We went around to the antique shops yesterday trying to find one, but we were not successful. We did see one, well overpriced and with a hideous vine/flower design on it so we left it there. I’d like to find one with room for five pots, and of a branch/twig design. I was also looking for a miniature (about two inches) milk glass hen on nest. I have two in my collection currently – a large one I bought myself a few years ago (which is exactly like the one my mother had in her kitchen) and holds sugar. The second is a bit smaller (something like five inches) that my mother-in-law got me for Christmas last year, and it holds sea salt. When we were on vacation we stopped at an antique “mall” in an old town schoolhouse in Marquette, IA, and I found a miniature one for only $5.00. And I didn’t buy it! I let practicality take over – I was looking at it and looking at it, and thinking to myself “That’s so cute – but what will you put in something so small? You already have one for sugar and salt…” I am kicking myself hard now for not buying it! It’s ridiculous, but I think about it every time I look at my kitchen table – there’s a missing hen! I have to remember that sometimes it’s okay not to be practical and invest in something you love, and that sometimes the obvious use for something doesn’t make itself evident to you right away. I know I would’ve found something to put in there! Lesson learned – and I’m now I’m on a quest to find one again, at $5.00 or less. Who knows, maybe I’ll come across one for $2.00 and won’t I be excited then? I can’t wait to find it though – I have this thing about grouping things together (preferably in odd numbers) and the three hens will look better than two – two little chicks following the mother hen across the windowsill…