Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Garden

The other week I went to the grocery store just for a tomato and some other produce. After paying over $2 for one tomato, I decided to make sure my garden actually produces this year! For the past few years I have planted a few plants, but have not had much to show for it. Last year I harvested maybe 4 tomatoes and then just had a green bush growing. I also did not get any eggplant last year (after getting several the year before), and my cucumbers were bitter.

So I am determined to feed my family from my yard this year. In fact, I have been telling Nathan that we are all becoming vegans by the end of the summer! Well we would be very skinny vegans if we only ate the veggies I grow, but I do plan to have more vegetables on our plate this year.

So I had Dave build me a box. The dirt in our yard is full of clay, so my thought is that is we added good dirt in the box, then this would help our produce grow better. I don't know if this will actually work, but the box looks really nice!

And then I started a commpost pile. I have a coworker that has been telling me how to do this, so hopefully I will have lots of good dirt soon to fertilize my garden. At least it has been more fun putting bannana peels and eggshells outside in my bin instead of in the trash. In fact, I look for opportunities to peel and chop vegetables and fruit!

And I have my own sunshine for rainy days!

So that is my summer plan. Eat more veggies!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Real Thing!

Well, after trying to make a black and white, I have been craving one! So Saturday night my sister and I go on the hunt for one around 9:00. We first went to the Publix bakery in Columbia where we found out that they had some the night before, but not that night. So off to Panera bread, but they were closed. We settled for red velvet cupcakes at Publix. (yes, we went back!) The next day I was heading home to Charleston so we stopped at Atlanta Bread where Nathan said he used to get black and white cookies. But alas, they only had shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate on one half. Nathan was satisfied, but I could only satisfied with a chocolate croissant (which was yummy!). But finally, Monday afternoon on my Publix run, I spot black and whites in the deli!! What joy! About the time Nathan was to have his, he turned on Unwrapped and guess what they were talking about? Black and whites!!!

After watching the show and eating our cookies, I found out that they were reportedly first made at a bakery called Zora. And they are not really a cookie, but a cake. And you have to ice the white side first because that is how grandad did it! And they were invented because a mom had two children and one liked chocolate and one liked vanilla. Of course our cookies were not authentic because you are supposed to use NYC tap water. Maybe that was my real problem! Oh, well, authentic or not, they were delicious! And if you want to try one, try the Sam Rittenburg Publix, but don't ask me to make one!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am no pastry chef!

I like to try new things and sometimes I find out I am good at them and other times I find out that I am not so good! That is what I found out last night when I tried to make black and white cookies. The recipe seemed so easy; at least until the icing Part. Although that was not hard, it was very time consuming to ice, 2x, 3 dozen cookies. Nathan and Dave were watching a movie aNd Nathan was very anxious to get a cookie. I finally finished them and although they were really brown and white cookies, I thought they turned out okay. I took one in to each of the guys and then went back to get mine. On return I found Nathan had not finished his and although Dave had, his review was not too positive. I did finish all of mine, if for no other reason than I had spent so much time on them I was going to enjoy it!! Well, at least the icing tasted good. The cookies were not disgusting, but certainly a little on the blah side. I think I am going to blame it on the fact that I only used plain flour and not cake and plain flour. Or on the fact that I am not a pastry chef. It always looks so fun on TV!

But I will say that my blue cheese sauce and homemade potato chips were superb!!! I only wish I had more potatos to cook up tonight!