Friday, March 27, 2009

Surprise chill

I follow my local weatherman on Twitter. I just love Twitter, it's Fabulous!

Anywhoo, I just got a notice that my area may possibly get snow and/or sleet. Not enough to accumulate, mind you, but still, we'll get chilly enough for that kind of precipitation.

I am shaking my fists at the weather gods as I type this. My garden has almost All sprouted as well as my trees are finally here. Eventhough the predicted nasty weather is supposed to be North and West of me, I guess I'll be bringing in the delicates tonight.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chickpea, Cannellini Bean, and Wheatberry Soup

This is one of my favorite recipes from the magazine La Cucina Italiana. It is Incredibly Cheap to make and also just as easy. It's one of those soups that you really don't need to use measurements for and while cooking can walk away from and return just to check on things. It also freezes well and since it has zero meat or fat product in it, it keeps safely as a leftover for quite a while. Thus it's my Favorite kind of soup!

Chickpea, Cannellini Bean, and Wheatberry Soup

Start out with dried chickpeas, wheatberries, and cannellini beans (navy or great norther are also good). Soak cannellini beans in water overnight or for 8 hours. Soak chickpeas and wheatberries together in water and 1/8 tsp baking powder for the same length of time.

After soaking, bring water to boil and cook each pot around 30 min. You want the beans starting to soften, but stop before they are al dente.

See the froth in this chickpea/wheatberry pot? You want to skim All of that off the top. That's the stuff that causes a good portion of the infamous Bean Gas. Get Rid of it! So keep checking both pots to skim. You can stir after you've skimmed, don't stir before you skim. That reincorporates the gasiness into the liquid.

Once the beans are starting to soften a little, remember don't cook to al dente yet, combine both contents in the larger pot and continue to allow to boil until beans are desired softness.

Serve in in a bowl piping hot and drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, pepper, and dried herbs (I like a good Italian mix).

No more waiting, it's here!

My little Dwarf Pomegranate Tree from Gurney's that is.

This little tree is very different from the Dwarf Fig. The Fig came as a sapling sprig with a couple of leaf buds emerging. The pomegranate tree in comparison is more like a bush and is Full of leaves. It's still very tiny in comparison to an actual bush or tree, but hopefully once I get it planted and fed it'll grow like crazy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Join the Urban Garden Project

Among many of the blogs I follow, I try to keep up with other folks who are gardening in the Urban Jungle. It makes me feel like I'm less of a crazy person to see others living in situations similar to mine refusing to adhere to the hard and fast apartment living rules.

Today Urban Garden Casual posted an article about joining the Urban Garden Project. I signed on as quickly as I could fire off the e-mail, haha! So maybe my little modest garden will garner new friends and we'll receive some good advice from this network of Urban Gardeners.

Speaking of my garden, I meant to take photos of my crazy plants today. I'm going to have to get that vertical climber set up soon as those little beans/peas are growing like Crazy!!! And it looks like my sage and basil are also starting to pop up as well.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Continuing with the Spring lovliness

After yesterday's wonderful First Day of Spring surprises, this weekend has continued on with establishing a lovely and fruitful season.

Today I brought my little dormant dwarf fig tree out of the veggie crisper of the fridge and I gave her a home. I couldn't quite afford to give her a really pretty large home yet, but the helpful folks at Redenta's Garden advised me on a suitable temporary pot that can last her while she's growing. She'll get a prettier upgrade when she needs one.

So without further ado, here she is!

See how pretty her little buds are?

Yesterday I showed you pics of my first bean/pea sprouts. Here's an update on those. It just amazes me how Fast these things grow! Yesterday they were barely out of the soil and today, I can almost see leaves. Maybe tomorrow they'll unfold.

The section of the box that was just teasing me with the one teensy tinsy sprout has exploded like the original section. Those sprouts are about a day behind in development, so they look exactly like what I showed you yesterday.

Oh, remember my lavender that I planted last year that never bloomed?? This one:

Let's take another look at our little lavender.

Did you see it??? One more time.

It's a bloom!!!!! I'm shocked. Seriously, I'm shocked. The Only thing I did different is that I threw some of the dead branches of my basil plant in the pot hoping that the decomposition of those branches would help out a little. It seems I Could have been right about that. But now I also have some food/fertilizer for flowering plants and vegetables that I was told to get for the fig tree and I think I'm gonna put some of that in the pot tomorrow and see what happens.

Here's the whole garden collection all together.

I was planning on doing some square foot gardening this year, but now I'm thinking that I should stick with what I have now as I also still have my pomegranate tree coming. This is my first year to container garden any veggies, much less fruit trees and this many herbs, so I'm a little afraid that I will get overwhelmed and drop the ball. I'm thinking it may be a better idea to get this system established before I expand more.

Yesterday I also showed you a patch of crazy dandelions. Now here's the pretty pre-wish version. There are still a few of these left around the yard.

Miss Maizy Loo loves Spring too.

Nabisco wishes she could be outside gardening with Maizy and I.

But this is about as far as she's gonna get unless she can prove to me that she can behave outside, as in come back in when she's told to.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More than one sign of Spring

Today is the first day of Spring. Spring is a favorite season for many. For me it is because you can see so many wonderful miracles of Nature happening right before your eyes. Well, that and all the bright green colors everywhere. But mostly I am a huge fan of Nature's rebirth after the hibernation of Winter.

At my home today, I got to witness not one but Two signs of the beauty of Spring happening right outside my front door.

The first thing that I noticed was that the pair of birds who nest in my front Catalpa tree are back. And they're busy making their nest again in one of the holes in the trunk. I haven't identified the birds yet, but I want to try to figure out what kind they are. I'm pretty sure it is the same pair as last year.

This is the little male guarding the nest. Their nest hole is just to the right of the new leaf growth in the center there.
He's a bitty little guy. He's mostly black with a few brown flecks and his neck feathers can fluff out quite a bit. He's very talkative when I'm out there. Protecting his nest, I imagine.
And here he is with his mate. I had Just Missed them both waltzing down the sidewalk picking up paper for the nest. I wouldn't have noticed it if the piece of paper hadn't been so Big, haha! I need a zoom lens. You can sort of see that his mate on the left is brown.

The other sign of Spring that happened at my home this morning was that as I was goggling at the sheer numbers and height of the dandelions in the yard, I looked down and noticed that I have Sprouts!!! I can't remember which ones these are. I planted 4 different kinds of climbing beans/peas in this long planter. There's one other one which is starting to sprout as well, but it's so tiny, you can barely tell it from the soil, so I didn't include that picture. I'm so excited, aren't they beautiful! Dang, I need a macro lens too!

Here's the envelopes for what I planted in that long box. I still can't remember what order they're in, but I guess we'll find out when they all mature.

Here's that Dandelion patch I mentioned. Crazy huh? Yes, my apartment's management really needs to get back on the stick with the mowing. Eventhough it's really just the Dandelions which are growing like crazy.

Hey remember that Oregano I worried about killing???? Here it is today!

My neighbor finally came out to do something with it. He gave it a "haircut" as he calls it and it seems like that was exactly what it needed to start really filling out. I think I may give my oregano and my basil a haircut now and see what happens!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fig Tree happiness.

She's here! I'm so excited. She's even got some green sprouts on her. I can't wait to get her into a pot and watch her grow! I may stop by Redenta's at lunch today since I'm going home for lunch and pick up a pot and some good soil.

Eeeee! I'm doing the happy dance!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Prepping for All-Con

Less than 24 hours until I get to enjoy the fabulousness that is All-Con! I'm excited and anxious all at once.

I'll be photographing the con from the DFW Costumers Guild table and uploading my pics to Flickr under the tag allcon2009dfwcg. I'm also going to try to blog throughout the day at

If you're at the con, come say hi!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sneak Peek at new costume

I'll be wearing this one to All-Con. I'm not gonna say what it is just yet. But you can guess. It's my version of a favorite fandom.