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Spring Things

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Just ran outside and took a picture of the first  crocuses.  They first bloomed a few days ago, but it was raining, so no picture that day.

So it’s March.  Nearly halfway through.  I haven’t done a whole lot of interesting (to me) cooking or baking, or, more importantly, a lot of photographing of cooking and baking, so in that department…I got nuthin.

But I did start brining some brisket, transforming it into delicious corned beef.

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It has to brine for 8 days, which will take us a bit past St. Patrick’s day, but for us it’s not so much about the date or being Irish (I’m not, and if Bill is, it’s only a smidgen) – it’s about Hey!  We should make some corned beef!

A few years ago I blogged about the whole process.  We had a big Corned Beef dinner, which included both home-brined and store-bought Corned Beef, the requisite vegetables, and a couple of Irish breads, and some condiments for the meat.  I followed the whole thing up with some excellent (if I do say so myself) corned beef hash a few mornings later. 

You can read about everything that went into the meal here, and how I make corned beef hash over here.

And Bruce Aidell’s Corned Beef recipe (which is the one I followed) can be found right here.

I know it’s a bit late to get started if you want to be eating the Corned Beef dinner on the 17th, but there’s no law that says that’s the only day you can eat the meal.  If you’re feeling adventurous, give this recipe a try, and, if you’re really feeling adventurous (and hungry), get some pre-brined corned beef at the store, boil them both, and compare the flavors.  Just for fun.

What else is going on…

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That’s spinach.

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Spinach that survived outside in the winter garden and gave us these lovely leaves for a salad the other night.

Pretty cool, huh?

And speaking of gardening, Bill and the kids planted all kinds of things outside today.

Broccoli rabe in these spots:

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And in the very back garden…

Cilantro, mustard spinach, scallions, mizuna, shallots, pac choi, tatsoi, swiss chard, spinacio, wild arugula, carrots, radishes, arugula, lettuce, and marche.

Didn’t need to plant parsley – it survived the winter!

Didn’t need to plant kale – it also seems to have survived, so we’ll see.

And Bill moved the cippollini onions into one of the winter gardens for now.  They’re still in their little peat pellet things, but they’ll be a touch warmer this way, and we’re planning to leave them outside from now on.  Eventually (when we build another one or two raised beds) they’ll be separated and replanted in a more permanent spot.  But for now, they’ll hang out here.

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The broccoli is also going to stay outside now, too.

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AND, in the tray where the onions used to be, Bill’s going to start impatiens (they’re flowers that like shade) for the shaded side of our yard.  They do well there.

Indoors, the Spring Cleaning Bug bit me hard recently, along with the Green Bug.  So, instead of actually cooking anything recently, I’ve been mixing up a bunch of eco- and economically – friendly cleaning products.  The recipes I used are right here, at one of my current favorite websites, Chickens in the Road.  You should check it out.  Not just for the cleaning products, either.  There’s so much more.

And then I started cleaning.  Yesterday I cleaned the downstairs bathroom – from top to bottom, including the curtains and the shower curtain. 

By the end of two hours, that room sparkled blindingly.  Yes.  Two hours.  I sprayed and wiped and cleaned and scrubbed.  I washed the floor by hand, with a sponge.

It felt good.

Today I repeated the process with our upstairs bathroom.

And after cleaning the bathrooms so thoroughly, I just have this to say.

Men are gross.

There, I said it.  For a gender so overwhelmingly obsessed with sports (that involve, mostly, aiming at something), and shooting things, it’s amazing how out of control they are when simply aiming a short distance.

I don’t pretend to understand.

I just wish I didn’t have to clean up after it.

And that’s all I’ve got for today.

One thought on “Spring Things

  1. LOL I think they all have dreams of being firemen, and those dreams manifest themselves when they are in the bathroom. The last time Jolea was home she got so annoyed at the state of the bathroom she shared with her bother. I finally told her to face it, if she wanted it clean she’d just have to clean it… all a guy needs for a bathroom is a hole in the ground. She did leave him a little message written in Sharpie marker just above the tissue holder “the empty roll will not bite you!”

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