Saturday, November 12, 2011

garden: ready for snow

This time last year, I was running around like a crazy person trying to figure out how to "get the yard ready for winter."

This year it didn't take much to convince me to hire it out. My thought process went something like this:

  1. I don't want to rake the leaves.
  2. What am I thinking, I don't have time to rake the leaves. Or mow the lawn. Or clean up the garden.
  3. You could make time if you wanted to, Lauren.
  4. No, I really couldn't -- I am traveling too much.
  5. Oh, and what's that? Another work trip to New York? Okay ...
  6. If it snows before the leaves are raked I'm going to lose all my grass to snow mold over the winter ... all the grass that didn't die in the drought this summer, that is ...
  7. What the hell is going on with my perennials? (the pictures would just have made you sad, like me)
  8. Where am I going to borrow a mulcher from this year? And an edger? Why don't I just buy a fancy lawnmower? Can't it wait until spring?
  9. This is ridiculous. I'm not dealing with this anymore. 
Best $150 I've spent all year. Thank you, Earthworm Lawn Care.

(I love the leaf line between my yard and the neighbor's!)

Believe you me, I took copious pictures of the way they hacked my perennials to the ground (i.e. last photo above) so that I can do it myself again next year. Probably. Maybe...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

house crashing: boston (part 2)

A few days before my trip to Boston, the girls emailed me a list of vegetables they had on-hand from their farm share. My job was to bring recipe ideas for a gourmet cooking event on Friday night.

The ingredients:

  • Hen of the woods mushrooms
  • Turnips
  • Shell beans
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Buttercup squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Parsley
  • Apples

And cook we did. Four recipes from Bon Appetit magazine, as a matter of fact. I think that's a personal record for one night (and not likely to happen again soon.) Totally, completely worth it, however.

The dishes:

The finished products (please excuse me forgetting to change the white balance between living room and kitchen):

The process (a box of red wine from Trader Joe's may have been involved):

Surprisingly, the potatoes might have been the biggest hit (other than the pie). But everything was delicious and these recipes are absolutely going into my regular rotation.

Also: who knew that you could (slash, should) put tapioca in a pie? I had never heard of this before, but apparently it's "a thing." My new best trick.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

house crashing: boston (part 1)

A few weekends ago, I ran away to Boston for some long-overdue R&R with dear friends Bethany, Alissa and Megan.

We've known each other for ages (I moved to their town in elementary school, and they've known each other much longer). Alissa and Bethany and I spent three months wandering around Europe about five years ago, and I still miss them every day.

The lucky three get to live together in a cute house in Boston, chock-full of personality and charming details. Here are a few of my favorite bits and pieces.

PS: The game pictured above, Bang!, is amazing. I haven't had so much fun playing a game in ages. Don't pick it up if you don't like lots of rules, though :)