Chickens and pitas

The dinner came out great
However, last night's dinner- not so great
I put WAY too much baking soda in the biscuits and they were vile, salty and hard as rocks
That is too bad
Kyle's onion soup was delicious, as usual, as were Heather's oatmeal scones
I'm still not so sure about squash

What do you know about greywater?
I got a book about it at Powell's the other day but it is a pretty complex technical manual. So I don't really feel like reading it yet. I have a cold.
What if we just ran a hose from the back of the washing machine out of the basement-level window right above it, around the side of the house and into a barrel? In the barrel we could have some healthy pond-scum-loving-water-filtering plantsl, and then a tap at the bottom. The tap connects to another hose which is perforated to form a rudimentary drip-irrigation system through the tomato beds! If we were very careful about using only PH balanced, cholorine-free detergent (which we do anyway) it seems pretty simple and easy to me! Obviously I know where the water-out-of-washer valve is, as that is what caused the flooding (see earlier)

Anyway I think I'll try that. Thoughts?

Why can't we have stupid ol' chickens here in Salem? I want some chickens. Hens specifically- little tiny buff banty ones. Here are some reasons:
They are cute
They lay eggs, which are good to eat
They eat lots of bugs in the yard and they poop out fertilizer
If one dies, you can eat it
They are quiet (different from roosters)
I know how to build one of those move-able coops, it's pretty easy
Here is why the city of Salem thinks I cannot have a chicken:
They are noisy
No they are not! Chickens are almost totally silent! Have you ever hung out with a chicken, city of Salem? They are very docile compared to say, turkeys, or dogs, both of which you can have in Salem. Also you can have pigs and goats. What the hell?
As it says on this very excellent blog Salem is currently allowing a for-profit to run a private helicopter school complete with landing pad within Salem city limits. How is this not noisier than a fucking chicken?
I was talking to the Rafns about this recently and they promised to put me in contact with people who are interesting in guerilla chicken-ing and chicken activism.

Pretty soon Kyle is going to get his greenhouse! It is just over on 14th and Chemeketa which is let's see about 10 blocks away. It is too big to fit in the back of my baby pickup truck but he and Matt think they can just stand inside of it and carry it over here. He built it himself. The top part is glass and the sides are plastic. We think it will fit along the back of the garage, next to the big vegetable bed. It is one foot shy of requiring a permit. Pictures of this greenhouse will surely be uploaded. Yes.


The basement flooded!

Jesus Christ! The basement flooded!
I knew we should not have bought the $40 washing machine on Craigslist sight-unseen
Matt thinks he has fixed it, he says some pipe had come loose and he glued it back into place, and it does seem to be working now
But the water was a few inches deep in some places and it went into Kyle's room under his brand-new carpet and all that
Thankfully it didn't get into the music room and onto the amps and the organ
We mopped it up with towels, ringing them out into a stock pot
All of this while I have stuff in the oven and am stressed out about the party today, anyway! What a ridiculous time to have something like this happen. Sometimes I feel like I live in a James Thurber story.
Last time I tried to have a party at my parents house, the septic tank backed up.
I think I am just not very good at this yet. Sometimes I feel more like Amy Sedaris than James Thurber. It's about 50/50 I think.
Gonna make the same mistake twice....
I'm getting me a "yeah you can crash here once if you really need to but don't make a habit out of it" spare bed, to prevent moochers and schmoozers, boozers, users and losers from moving in. Yes, we have a spare room. No, that does not mean you can move in for free. That is not how a spare room works. It is a touchy situation involving a lot of tact and meaningful glances. I have a lot of friends who do not have their shit together on an even superficial level.
Anyway the spanacopeda and the tart came out just fine. Matt is doing the mountain of dishes I created in the process for me right now so I can start on the soup. Literally every surface in the kitchen is covered in flung bits of cream cheese from using an electric mixer for the filling of the tart but i couldn't find the beaters, just the whisk

Katie and Chad are bringing baby Elliot to the party tonight! They're bringing him and his walker so he can dick around in the kitchen or the dining room on the tile. Katie says he has been very happy, crawly and climby lately so he will be both entertaining and a handful. I covered the outlets at floor level, hid small choke-able items, and put away the blowtorches and DDT. The enormous pile of rusty steak knives and hantavirus-tinged razor blades in the center of the living room floor may be a poor plan, too.


On food...

Here at the 14th St Farm we have been cooking a lot of food. If you were to look into our refrigerator you would see a lot of food. Maybe I will go take a picture. Yes I definitely will do that.

Here is the inside of the big pantry in the hall.

And the aforementioned refrigerator:

See? Look at all those fucking veggies. For now, they all have to come from the store. The yard is made out of grass and himalayan blackberry vines, so it is not yeilding a lot of squash, if you get what I am saying. But very soon Kyle will have fixed all that. In the meantime we cook with things from WinCo, which have been carried to us 1000s and 1000s of miles using trucks and sometimes even airplanes, guzzling fossils fuels all the while. Our avocados are from Mexico and our asparagus is from Peru and our oranges are from Australia (?) and it is all a little bit weird.
Here are some things we have cooked:
- One hug pot of stew! It was a make-up-as-you-go-along type of affair and it ended up containing carrots, onions, barley, mushrooms and not a lot else. It was delicious.
- Some other soup! Squash soup from a carton with some red wine and some rosemary. It was not good at all. We served it with potatoes Jeff Gordon made, they were good but the soup was foul. Sorry, you guys- my bad.
- Last night we made two seperate dinners. Kyle cooked up some chicken breasts for himself and Matt in a caserole dish in the oven with some veggies. I hear it was delicious. He then tried to make some quinoa but it came out scorched. I roasted some eggplant in the oven with olive oil, onion and garlic, and then i carmelized some onion in a pan with some tofu, and I threw all that into some pita bread with some pesto. It was yummy.
all the time i am buying pita bread which i have to cut open myself with a paring knife and i can never get it just right and i always end up with big gaping holes or one side way too thin, and then when i put in the hot onions i drip oil on my hand and burn myself.
if you know where i can get some normal sized pita bread let me know.

we are having our housewarming party! Before the party I am making dinner for about 10 people. It is going to be the culinary event of the damn century, people. Here is the menu:
1) Spanicopeda. I got this recipe from my aunt. I have made it before and while it is extremely fussy and time-consuming it is not really too hard, plus it looks, smells and tastes like it should have been very hard so I can impress people with it.
2) Potato-greens soup with baked potato croutons. I have never made this before but it doesn't look too hard. It's basically a potato brocolli soup to start with, with some "croutons" which are really wedges of baked potato fried with some coarse cornmeal
3) Asparagus roasted with some capers. There is not much to say. This is a veggie. I think it will be pretty tasty. I think the best part of it will be the asparagus, also the capers.
4) Desert: A cranberry-cream cheese tart. This is really very delicious sounding. I haven't made it before but it doesn't look very hard to make- it's a graham cracker crust with swirls of cranberry and cream cheese in it. I might drizzle it with some bittersweet chocolate at the end, depending on ... I don't know, if I have time or not.
So what do you think of that?


A sense of setting...

Here are a few photographs. Sorry about the very poor quality, they were taken on my cell phone. So far the only interesting projects have been moving a piano and learning to cook asparagus. We will surely update again soon.

this is the study... not at all done. but this is where i am sitting while i type this. that bowl contains brussel sprouts.\

non fiction


this is the piano. you know how people always move pianos in cartoons and its really hard and takes a long time and everyone gets injured? well... true.

the fireplace- the deer head "buttercup" the $15 couch and chair.... estate sale coffee table that kyle glued back together for us... records and turntable etc
do you guys have built in vanity tables in your walk in closets? i bet not
this is where i sleep- cheery and sunny. i will concede that it does look like a kid's room. i do not care. i really love my stuffed animals and winnie the pooh books and refuse to part with them. i am not trying to be cutesy.
a big squishy bed- mattress and box springs $20, various crazy quilts from the bins over the years, bedframe vintage 1940s, owned by my grandparents. little red bedside table/cupboard i painted with my dad when i was like 4 years old. the brightly coloured books on the shelves are the series of unfortunate events.
strange little altar/icon space in hall- i need a fiberoptic mary de guadelupe
cute coved doorway thing to the bathtub/shower- you can't see them too well but the shower curtain hooks are brass and shaped like stars and moons, i found them in the basement when we moved in- same with the roald dahl mobile in the kitchen which you'll see later
bathroom- we save energy by leaving one lamp on, because the overhead light is two lights and a fan and it's un-necessary. the sink drips but hopefully it is getting fixed soon. the water gets nice and hot.
dining room! i think this is the best part of the house. fortunatly the (free) yellow table and chairs look okay wouldnt you agree? whew. i need to put wine on the wine rack, it looks dumb empty. those plants are very happy. the table runner is from guatemala.
yes please do!
i dont know, i just thought it was funny
hurray look at my funny little 50s kitchen! you cant see the colours too well in this picture but it is all brick red and avocado green.
thats the roald dahl mobile in the upper left . the curtains have little coffee cups printed on them

tony look! a toaster oven!

that incense pot thing smells great- its got cinnamon sticks, patchouoi, jasmine oil and orange peels in it. the burners heat up REAL fast- be careful please

As you may have noted, I have not enclosed any pictures of the downstairs, where Kyle's room, the sewing room, the music room, or any photos of the yard or garage. That is because I have not taken any. Also we are not as done with those areas. So you have to wait a few days.
Tonight we are getting a washing machine!
My aunt and uncle are letting us cut down a dead orchard on their property for firewood!
We're reading about greywater! Have you ever read Food, Not Lawns? It's pretty good.
My grandmother sold her house yesterday but she stole me some blackberry bushes and raspberry bushes and some rhubarb from the new owners. They were her property anyway so we don't feel bad at all.
Oh yay the complete discography of Crosby Stills Nash and Young just finished downloading so I am going to listen to it now goodbye.


Achtung, Baby!

We move in tomorrow!
So this blog is a bit premature! I realize this!
Stay tuned for moving pictures (exciting! boxes!) and a better manifesto! Send us seeds in the mail! Bring us some patio furniture or some beers! We will need them! Critique my punctuation, if you feel you must!
Love forever, Elizabeth