Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RIP Chicken!

Woke up this morning to see one of the chickens not moving. I went out to check, and she was most certainly dead. Not attacked by an animal, just dead. They're only a year old, so a little young to be dying, but apparently it happens sometimes. Heart attack, fatty liver issues, cancer - they're small and cheap for a reason. I'm pretty sad about it, but that's how life goes, I guess.

bawk x3

I miss you, whichever one you were! I think it was Marge, the one on the left - she was the whitest.

Maybe we'll replace her with either a new chicken or a pair of small bantams (3ish lbs, lay tiny itty bitty eggs).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nice Day to Dry Diapers

Seriously! It was so pretty today! I am a cheapskate, so I cloth diaper the baby and use the dryer as little as possible. And why not, when it gets you outside in the sun?


Nathan had a blast opening and closing the screen door.



Fettuccine Alfredoface!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because We Totally Needed More Bikes.


A few weeks ago, Mike and I took a ride to a bike shop up in Ipswich that posted on Craiglist that it was throwing out some bikes. We picked up two, and some spare accessories. This is one, a French bike from the 60's. It needed some new parts, some of which we already had lying around. Mike wants to keep it, but he already has two bikes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo and Fresh Bread with Herbed Butter

Sorry I've been away, not like a lot of people read this anyway. The Tea Party counterprotest has been demanding a lot of my time.

Despite the time suck, I decided today that I *needed* to make homemade bread, herbed butter, and fettucini alfredo with homemade sauce.

See, I've always been the type to either buy crappy cheap jarred alfredo, or expensive still kind of crappy stuff. I never made it myself because for some reason I thought it was hard. IT WAS NOT. I ASSURE YOU IT IS THE EASIEST THING EVER.


1lb package fettuccine
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cloves (minced) or 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
2 1/2 cups light cream
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (shred it yourself from a block to save money and have tastier cheese)

1. Boil the fettucini in a big pot of water with salt. Make sure the pot is huge or they'll get stuck together and that's the opposite of fun.

2. While you're waiting on that, melt the stick of butter in a decent sized saucepan on med/lo heat. After the butter's melted, either sautee the minced garlic cloves for a minute or so, or do the easy thing like I did and throw in the granulated garlic. Then add 1 1/2 cups of the cream, stir it for 3-4 minutes until it's hot.

3. When the fettuccine is done, drain and add to the alfredo sauce. Immediately add the last cup of cream and all the parmesan cheese, a little salt and pepper to taste, and stir. It thickens up after a minute or so.



So, the bread. In all honesty, it's too lengthy to reproduce the recipe here, so go to Artisan Bread in Five. I haven't conquered it perfectly, but I made a damn decent loaf on my first attempt.

And for the herbed butter which I don't have a picture of because I'm a very subpar blogger:

1. Let a stick of butter soften at room temperature.
2. Get some fresh parsley and chop it up super small. No smaller. No smaller than that. I just eyed it, but I'd say 1/2-1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley altogether.
3. Mix butter, parsley, and another 1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic with a mixer on super high speed.

Easy. Super easy. And my god, is it ever good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good neighbors, bad neighbors.

On Sunday, we finally met the neighbors across the street and down a few houses. I've seen them walk by a lot, they're about our age with a little girl Nathan's age. They seem like they're Midwestern transplants from their bumper stickers. We once returned their dog to them when he'd gotten out of their yard, but they weren't home and the person who rents the other half of their house took care of it instead.

We met him because he was cycling down the street, then stopped, and backed up and asked about a bike frame we'd put out to the curb. He's apparently starting to find bikes locally in the transfer stations or at yard sales, fixing them up, and putting them on Craigslist. Nice.

Of course, the coolness of meeting someone somewhat like us was mitigated by another neighbor. This morning I looked out the window and saw something piled on top of our recycling. It was 2 fridge crisper bins and the plastic front panel of an air conditioner. While walking to the store yesterday, I saw these items in another neighbor's trash/recycling. We pay to throw trash away here, and those items are too big for regular bags, so as soon as everything's collected it will be left on the curb. I'd just go toss it back but the neighbor is quite mean and possibly insane. My current plan is just to leave it on our curb until armageddon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More from the Backyard

One of the upsides of global warming is that we've had some wonderful early spring weather the last few years. Today it was a decent mid-60s day up here. It was even hotter in Boston, but since we're on the water it's usually about 8-10 degrees cooler up here. We sold our air conditioner years ago and never looked back.

I took advantage of the day and took some pictures outside, as well as planted two rows of spinach.


The garden presently, after I used bricks we had lying around to make a path down the middle, and enclosed it all with chicken wire. Now the garden has spinach, peas, broccoli, and radishes already down - all can withstand a late frost. I'll plant the rest in about a month.


The garden's froggy overlord.

caged chickens

Requisite intentionally out of focus arty shot of the chickens.


My helper. I dare say, he might be cute. Just a little.

Backyard Forsythia


Friday, April 2, 2010

Tea Party!

So, an interesting thing happened. On another blogging forum I'm on, someone I know mentioned that there should be a counterprotest to the upcoming Tea Party rally with Sarah Palin on Boston Common on April 14th. He asked for ideas, and I tossed out the idea that we should all get together in frilly dresses and nice linens and have a real tea party on the common.

Now, I try not to get too political (especially on this blog that my family reads), but sometimes that fails. I respect people whose political opinions differ from mine - I have some friends with very well-researched and well-thought out views on the Conservative side of things. But this tea party movement is not based on anything but anger, fear, and thinly veiled racism. Where were these people when Bush turned the biggest surplus in history into the biggest deficit in history? Where were they when the USA PATRIOT act was passed? That's what irritates me the most. We've had a democrat in office for a year and they think America is sliding into armageddon because of that? Please.

But my silly idea? Caught on. I sort of inadvertently started a counterprotest. A few people I know took the ball and ran with it, put together some wonderful and hilarious ground rules and even made a facebook event for it. It's hit Universal Hub. It's hit Bostonist. I have a feeling it will hit other media outlets as well. It's got almost twice as many confirmed guests as the official facebook event for the actual Tea Party rally. Someone's bringing a violin. People are bringing their children. There won't be any nasty signs, just a nice, civilized cup of tea on the common. People who have never protested a thing in their life will be coming out of the woodwork to get together and have a fun time, and that's the best part. '

Lately I've been momming it up and been stuck at home so much. Without working it's tough to keep up your self-worth, but this is a great shot in the arm for that. Sure, the idea wasn't anything amazingly original, but I'm getting a huge kick out of the fact that people really like it.

So needless to say, I'll be showing up for this in a nice dress, and Baby Gloucesterite in his argyle sweater vest and corduroy slacks.