How to Build a Garden Bed in the High Desert

Growing vegetables is a big part of our spring and summer around here.  We like to grow our own food as much as we can.  Once you start you get spoiled.  The produce in the grocery store, while it looks good, pales in comparison when it comes to flavor and freshness.   We just had green beans last night from the store.  They looked great.  The taste?….Meh…..

Don’t get me started on Whole Foods Paycheck either.  You don’t really save money gardening unless you happen to shop there.  I don’t know why they have all those buttons on their cash registers since it seems that they simply take the number of items you picked out and multiply it by $20.

Back to gardening… » » »

A Little Help From our Friends

 

show and tell post

Sometimes you’re cruising along through life and you see someone else doing something so appropriate that it makes you pause and rethink things.  I’m not talking about suddenly changing religions or switching from a carnivore to a vegan but more like you just got a gentle nudge that may send you off in an unexpected direction.

A big part of what Molly and I have been focusing on in the past couple years is really trying to shed our preconceptions of how one is supposed to live.  Exploring crazy ideas rather than shooting them down because they don’t match the templates for success that we hold them up to.  Doing our various challenges are ways we can buck our trends and pop out of some ruts we were so used to that we didn’t even see them anymore.  Embracing the uncertain because that’s where our rudders are guiding us. » » »

How to Make a Soil Blocker

It’s seed starting season.  Yea!!

You can start seeds in any variety of containers.  People use everything from empty egg shells to the plastic six packs last years plants came in to just about any container laying around.  There comes a point at the beginning of the season when you have a lot of plants going and containers can get scarce.  Imagine if you didn’t have to deal with storing mounds of little plastic pots and just did without containers all together!  Well you can and the answer to your prayers is the soil blocker.  It compresses soil into…well…blocks.

Now you can buy a soil block maker.  They cost about 30 bucks from Johnny’s seeds but what’s the fun in that?   I decided to make my own.
You can too .
It’s not that hard. » » »

Homemade Sausage Stuffer

sausage and stuffer

Making sausage is easy and delicious.  Making it yourself comes with all the advantages of any homemade food.  You know what’s going in to it (what do you think goes into industrial sausage?) and you can adjust the flavors to your taste.  It’s also relatively inexpensive even with high quality ingredients.  All you need to make sausage is meat, fat, spices and a knife.  That’s all anyone needed for centuries.  Everything else makes it more convenient but isn’t necessary.

A meat grinder will definitely make your life easier.  I use an attachment that goes on the front of our Kitchenaid mixer.  You can also get an inexpensive hand cranked one that does the job just fine. » » »

How to Make Steamed Buns

Steamed buns are delicious, Rea-LLy delicious.  When Molly’s cousin Corey and his girlfriend Terumi were out here this winter they showed us how to make steamed buns.  Molly’s sister Lise was visiting too and she got in on the action.  Molly shot a great video tutorial of Lise and Corey on how to make steamed buns.  We’ve got it down below after the recipes.  Don’t miss it.  It’s hilarious.

Bao in Hand » » »

The Snaptastic Room Divider

Snaptastic Room Divider

The Snaptastic Room Divider is an attractive modular wall made up of an array of panels that are fit together with slotted connectors to make a large freestanding room divider.  It can be expanded or reduced to fit the space it’s being used in.

It’s always tempting to put up a project and only show the ‘straight line’ from concept to result-  Get these materials, do these steps and voilà a finshed project!  I don’t know about you, but my path is usually a little more meandering.  I thought I’d share the design process and some of the mess-ups on the way because it’s interesting. » » »

St. Patrick’s Day and Hot Cocoa

Today we have Eileen from The Joy of Caking joining us.  She’s one of our favorite food bloggers and Molly’s been an avid follower of hers for several years.  (Could it be because she hooked Molly up with the genesis of the greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie eVeR recipe?)  After you read this go and check her out.  She does great stand-bys like her white cake recipe.  When she ventures into cooking she  makes yummy things like asparagus soup.

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and I although I’m not sure if I even have an ounce of Irish blood in my body I have always secretly wished I was Irish. » » »

Craisen Love Bars

Molly and I are super busy trying to launch a  new niche site.  As we hustle over the next couple weeks to put it together we’re going to pull out some oldie but goodies and lean on some friends for guest posts to fill in around the edges.   This one is a re-post from my first blog- Stuff I Made This Year.

I like Crasins fine, wouldn’t say I loooove them but we’ll get to that later. I didn’t plan on posting so much about food when I decided to start this blog.  I thought I’d be posting about machines and other constructed stuff.  It turns out that making food is a great way to scratch the project making itch for me. Cooking neatly contains all the components I want in a project:

Inspiration- I used to have an hour and twenty minute commute to work each way.  If I didn’t have podcasts to listen to I would go insane.  Lately,  most of my favorites are food related.  Often when I hear someone describing a recipe or dish that sounds delicious I jot it down to try later. » » »

How To Make An Apron (Reversible!)

I enjoy sewing.

I enjoy making little drawings.

………………………..THE PATTERN…………………………

Apron pattern » » »

Seed Starting Flats

Back in the day nurseries used wooden trays to start their plants.  Rather than having plastic six packs with a cell for each seedling, seeds were sown in the tray and allowed to germinate.  Soon after the seedlings appeared the plants were separated and replanted into individual pots or transferred to a garden bed.

The idea of using durable reusable trays rather than flimsy disposable plastic pots appealed to me.  I wanted to try it out so I decided to make my own set of planting flats.

Scrap Wood

The scrap wood pile is always a good place to start for a project like this.  I happened to have a pile of short boards that our weird neighbor gave me. (I consulted with Molly and she agrees he totally goes into the ‘weird’ category). » » »