Chive Blossom Vinegar

The chives we grew from seed last year came back much stronger this year - with lots of pretty chive blossoms! After seeing multiple recipes online for chive blossom vinegar, we decided we had to try making it.

Like all flavored vinegars, making chive blossom vinegar is pretty easy - we just put a big handful of chive blossoms into a quart or so of vinegar. We used regular white vinegar because we have a huge jug of it for pickling, but I bet it would be really nice with champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar.

After two weeks (and a nice chive bouquet), it was done. Don't let the pretty pink color fool you - it's too delicious not to eat! It has a really nice flavor that will be tasty in all kinds of things. And all from little seeds we planted in our garden!

thanksgiving weekend (food!)

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend! We took the opportunity to eat lots of delicious food, watch (English) football, and plant the last of our garlic in the garden. We made quite a feast for ourselves, seen above - field roast "holiday roast", roasted garlic mashed potatoes, leek and sourdough stuffing, pickled beets & cranberry sauce. Everything turned out really well, but the stuffing impressed us the most...we'd never made stuffing from scratch before!

Our pre-feast Thanksgiving lunch was a baked potato and Dungeness crab cakes (delicious).

We also made a pumpkin pie in the mini pie pan I got for a birthday gift from my mom. It's only 7" across and made a perfect-sized pie for two people! It gave us 6 slices this size, which is all that we needed.

The day after Thanksgiving, we made these vegetable squares - originally, they were supposed to be for the big feast too, but we had way too much food so we waited. They're puff pastry (made by a local bread company!) filled with carrots, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, shallots, mushrooms and roasted garlic. Probably our favorite of all the dishes we made, it's from Vegetarian Times. It took some work, but it made 8 squares - enough for four meals! Not too bad.

Now it's back to work for us (well, we technically went back to work on Friday) - soon to come: more new wedding suites and a whole boatload of new fonts for future wedding suites. Let the holiday season begin!

lavender drying

As it turns out, the $3 bundles of lavender we cut in Hood River are pretty big! We decided to dry half of them out for future use and use the other half around the house and in food (lemon lavender marmalade coming right up!).

I learned that when drying herbs, the bundles shouldn't be any thicker than your pinky finger or else they might not dry properly - so there are currently seven tiny bundles of lavender hanging in our kitchen windows right now. It smells lovely in there!

We got to use our Dead Horse Bay bottles as tiny bud vases and now there are mini-bouquets of lavender throughout the apartment. We should go flower picking more often!

Food and Future Food

Here's a food and future-food post. Our successful farmer's market trip meant a week of tasty food and here's one of the things we made, a quick late lunch of pasta with homemade pesto from farmer's market basil and asparagus!

We also decided to treat ourselves to our favorite pizza place since they were having grape and brie pizza as their nightly special - I don't think I have to say it was delicious, but it was!

Of course, we're also continuing on the growing-our-own path as well - the lettuce in our window box is finally looking lively

And we've also done a lot at our community garden plot - put up bean poles, planted a bunch of seeds, finished adding soil to all of our beds. We have two more beds to plant and then we're done with our first planting! I think we're going to put in a few tomato plants also. Our cucumber seeds are doing really well so far!

That's one on the left - they just sprouted a few days ago and are already taller than the basil. They're both early-maturing varieties so hopefully even though we started them a bit late it'll be okay! One of them is for pickling cucumbers and one is for slicing ones...it's called "spacemaster" because it doesn't take up too much room in the garden. Excited to see how it goes!

Last but certainly not least, look at what we discovered on our pepper plant yesterday:

A pepper! Imagine that! We brought this plant from Columbus when we moved last summer - it made the five day journey just fine but was only about 6" tall when we moved. It's now about 18" tall and has been flowering since about December. It's never had enough light to fruit, though, but now that the sun is blazing through the windows (and now that we stuck it under the grow light) it's ready! I pollinated it with a paintbrush a little while ago and forgot about it until yesterday. It's a Datil pepper, which is a hot pepper common around the St. Augustine area - we bought the seeds when we visited last March. We're so excited that it actually made a pepper - one is enough to satisfy us. Anything else is just a nice bonus!

Spring Is Here!

Our amazement at spring's early coming in these parts continues! It's been somewhat warmer for the past week (it hit 60 once or twice), but more importantly - it's not cold at night. In fact, our estimated last frost date is in two weeks! What surprised us the most was that all of the cherry trees are blooming already. In New York, they don't really start going until April.

Does anyone know what this pretty tree is? It looks like roses but it's more of a tree than a bush so I'm not sure if it is roses.

We found a sushi place! 'Our' sushi restaurant was one of the places we ate at most in New York and we've been looking for one since we moved. As it turned out, we didn't have to look very hard. Not surprisingly, there are a ton of really good sushi restaurants with locally-caught fishes and others.

It's kaiten-zushi! It has a conveyor belt that goes around the room with color-coded plates that correspond to prices. The place we always ate at in New York was like this and we loved it. This one is even better! It has a much higher variety on the belt - before, we had to order the non-standard kinds separately. It also has tons of veggie sushi! It's kind of hard to find good veggie sushi...although I love my raw fish, I like to mix it up with veggies and this place has lots of options - yummy marinated gourd, mountain vegetable, seaweed salad, and more. And the best thing of all? We can walk there! It's almost like we live in Manhattan again :)