Getting Stuff Done – Well, That’s The Plan

Last weekend’s complete relaxation (doing nothing, at all) was great. But there are a lot of things I kind of wish I had gotten done. Good thing there’s another weekend starting!

I’ve got to do something about plants. For whatever reason (though not neglect this time!) my second batch of seeds refused to sprout at all too. Not a single one. I suspect our cold, damp spring wasn’t helpful. I thought starting them in the furnace closet would fix the situation, but no. Not one single seedling. Not one to admit defeat, I’m moving on to Plan C. I’ll just buy some transplants from Gethsemane. It won’t be as affordable as starting my own, and I won’t get exactly the varieties I wanted, but at least I’ll still be able to have home-grown produce this summer. Sometimes you just have to take the trade off.

Bread. I’ve been meaning to bake some more bread lately. My husband will certainly want a traditional loaf, but I’m also thinking about focaccia again – sun dried tomato and rosemary focaccia to be specific. So I plan to start a couple batches on the rise first thing tomorrow morning.

I also want to think about planning out my next few food projects. In three weeks, I’m going to show my book club ladies how to cure bacon, so I’ve got to write out an instruction sheet for that. I’ve also been wanting to work with a whole duck – confiting the legs, rendering the fat, preparing the roasted breasts and making stock from the carcass. I’m going to research technique this weekend so that next weekend (after payday gives me the extra oomph I need to purchase said duck) I’m all ready to go.

There’s a whole lot else that needs to be done as well, but I’ll keep my list (and expectations) realistic. ūüôā

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Hurry Up and Wait

I’m not good at patiently waiting for¬†exciting things to happen. Unfortunately, it seems like waiting is all I’m doing lately. Waiting for the early vegetable seeds to sprout. Waiting for it to get warm outside. Waiting for the baby. Waiting for my seed potato order to ship.

Even though some of these waiting moments are completely unbearable, I’m trying to take it in stride. Waiting also equals getting to look forward to something, and I’m certainly looking forward to all of the things that are currently keeping me in check.

And in the meantime, maybe I need to find some productive way of channeling my lack of inertia. I want to start on the quilt for the baby, but I can’t yet because we don’t know if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl. But I keep thinking about bread. This weekend I’ll make bread – some rosemary focaccia for sure, and then maybe some olive boules… after all, there is nothing like getting your hands in the dough.

Winter Hibernation

I have been woefully absent from blogland recently. We had an actual blizzard this past week in Chicago, which was an experience. Husband and I both made it home on Tuesday afternoon before the worst of it hit and hunkered down through Thursday morning. We were cozy¬†and warm indoors while the storm raged on outside. Wednesday afternoon the snow finally let up and the sun actually shone, so we took a walk out to the lake. There were drifts of snow five feet high in places, and the wind whipping along the shore was brutal. Here are some of the views from around the neighborhood –

I haven’t seen so much snow since I was a kid. It was actually kind of fun and nice, being so novel. And I don’t think the snow is going to melt for quite awhile, which is fine because most of the roads and sidewalks are clear. The city even had a ginormous front loader on our street until late last night, clearing snow into a semi trailer to be carted off somewhere. The whole experience was pretty surreal.

Interestingly enough, the obscene amount of snow didn’t make me go more stir-crazy – my cabin fever has actually abated a little bit. I’ve been pretty reclusive lately, curled up with books and a warm blanket on the couch. I haven’t really been motivated to do much of anything – no sewing (yeah, whoops), no crafting, no planting. I’m kind of in awe lately – my husband and I happily discovered a little while ago that we’re expecting our first baby! In general, I feel much more still than I thought I was capable of, so I’m going with that. Our sweet little babe is due to join us out here in the world in September and we’re very excited to welcome the newest generation of Apartment Farmer. Though we’re kind of kicking ourselves for not getting a two bedroom apartment when we moved last fall… no matter; we have enough space to make things work for the first year. So there will be lots to do to prepare for the beba’s arrival, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing a bit of that here with you all.

But I don’t intend to sit around all weekend just being pregnant. Wednesday during our snow day husband begged me to bake bread, so I did a couple of basic loaves which he’s consumed nearly single-handedly. He says I’ve figured out how to make good bread (at last!). I give a lot of credit to the River Cottage Bread Handbook as well as using bread flour instead of all-purpose. And the bread knife he got me for Christmas is seriously one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten – it just slices through the loaf like butter! Since he’s eaten the other two loaves, I’ve got to bake some more. And I’ve been thinking about focaccia too, so I might do up a pan of that, maybe with a little fresh rosemary and cracked olives.

Food in general is a bit of a tricky subject for me lately, what with the “morning” sickness (which actually means – whatever time of day, random sickness) and my growing list of food aversions, which currently includes eggs, chicken, tomato juice (after a brief, intense love affair with it), and bacon. Breakfasts have been tricky too. I had a few weeks where all I wanted was lady apples and apple juice. Then it was oatmeal, and shamefully – chocolate chip cookies (yeah, I know – not optimal nutritionally, but it was the only thing I could choke down for a few days there). Baked goods and pasta¬†as well as most beef dishes seem to be my friend. So for breakfast, I need to expand my repertoire – I’ve been thinking of looking up a recipe for chewy molasses breakfast cookies. And pumpkin sounds good to me again, so I might do up a batch of Super Pumpkin Pumpkin Bread as mini muffins this weekend too.

And then, there’s Valentine’s Day! I need to get in high gear crafting for that – the house is looking a bit bare in the holiday decor department. I only have a Valentine’s Day Snoopy window sticky in the living room and a red-glittered “love” wood block on the bar. I’ve got three fairly simple things I’d like to put together this weekend to spruce up the apartment – paper “conversation heart” plant stakes, a paper “Be Mine” garland, and a glittered heart wall hanging – I’m going to cut three hearts out of stiff cardboard in varying sizes (small, medium, large) and mount them vertically on a length of pretty ribbon. So stay tuned for photos and basic notes on how I’ll put those together. And then there are the all-important cards. For my nieces, I’m going to make the¬†I Love ‘Ewe’ Valentines¬†I saw on Craft Gossip¬†(one of my all-time favorite craft sites). They’re just too cute to pass up! I’m going to make mine on colored cardstock and maybe do stamped lettering. I also picked up a few mini Peanuts Valentine’s Sticker Tablets at Walgreens to send them – two for a dollar! The¬†girls like¬†“stickys” (as¬†they call them). And I still have to come up with an awesome design¬†for this year’s card to husband. We plan on a low-key Valentine’s Day at home this year. We’ll be making a romantic dinner together and staying in. ¬†

Oh, and I’ve got make up my seed starting chart this weekend, and hassle, I mean – remind – husband that he needs to get the glass inserts put into my awesome red windowsill greenhouse so it’s all ready to go. It’ll be time to get the seeds in some dirt before I know it – I also to need to make a list of new planters I’ll need to acquire or convince husband to build¬†so I actually have a place to put all my wonderful little seedlings.

So, happy weekend to me!