So much has changed since I last posted! I've been a busy girl. In November we moved to a gorgeous new home in Topanga. We are so happy and busy here! My kids are now 3.5 and 1.5 years old and keep me on my toes. We also adopted 2 beautiful new cats to combat the mice we inherited with the house. They've done a mediocre job at best, but we love them anyway.
In the yard of our new home we have a persimmon tree, several pomegranate trees and a plum tree. I look forward to plum season and I hope to be able to can several jars of plum jam. We have a huge grassy yard that is fully fenced in (not something super common in Topanga). We've been hard at work clearing spots for planting veggies and flowers. Unfortunately our yard has horrible drainage. We are in the lower canyon and surrounded by the creek on both sides. I planted some peas in the ground and have been battling both the birds stealing the sprouts and monkey #2 trampling them. I planted some wild flower seeds in another spot, but I think the birds got most of them.
We are currently building our first raised bed. It's about 4.5' by 8' or something like that. We used cinder blocks, but man are those suckers heavy! We put two layers of chicken wire in the bottom to prevent the gophers from stealing our veggies and then a layer of straw, followed by a layer of composted horse poop from our neighbor (I LOVE living in Topanga!!!) and then the most divine smelling organic soil/compost combo we purchased from a dirt place. We just got our dirt delivery yesterday and the best I could do, while battling whiny and trouble-making monkeys, was 3 wheelbarrow loads. I have a lot more to do today to get the bed full so I can start planting! I have loads of seeds for carrots, onions, green onions, spinach, arugula and much more. I can't wait to get it all planted!
Yesterday was quite a day. Monkey #2 was troublesome as always, finding a very intricate escape route that took him all the way around our house, through our wood pile and past the creek bed (yikes) and was on his way up our driveway to the street when I found him. It's incredible how fast they can move! Later in the day he tried to pick up a bee and was stung. It's the first time either of my kids have been stung and I felt very unprepared first aid-wise. He's a trooper and was back to his normal mischievous self in no time flat. Shortly after the bee sting incident I found a hummingbird trapped in the boys toy room, otherwise known as the "glass room". Half the room is windows from the top to bottom, including the ceiling, so you can imagine the poor bird's confusion. It took forever to get the tiny bird to go low enough to go out the window I had removed the screen from. I wish I'd gotten some pictures, it was quite an intimate look at a hummingbird!
I've still been cooking, but not as much as I'd like and I have rarely remembered to take pictures. I have 2 unfinished posts, one on a great goat cheese and sorrel quiche and the other on roasted veggies...One of these days!
Last Friday I got the most incredible salad bag from the Vital Zuman stand at the farmer's market. I don't often buy stuff from them as their prices can be a bit steep, but I just couldn't help buying this funky bag of greens and edible blossoms. I wish they had included a little sheet explaining what each green was and which parts of the greens were ideal for eating raw. I just winged it and discarded any stems that seemed a bit tough for eating. I used all the funky greens in my salad, as well as the blossoms. It also came with a baby garlic, which I thinly sliced and a baby beet, which I microplaned. It was dressed simply with hazelnut oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh ground pepper. I served it with a huge chunk of filet mignon we got at Henry's. It was so good!