(Well, past couple weeks— but who's counting?)
Zach and I have been married seven years now, which kind of boggles my mind! We took a mini road trip (in our electric car!) which involved hiking during peak leaf season as well as visiting Cahokia Mounds, the largest ancient earthenworks in North America (I'd only visited once when I was a kid, and was not impressed— coming here as an adult, I was completely blown away!).
|Pere Marquette State Park|
|Monk's Mound at Cahokia|
|View from Monk's Mound: see the St. Louis skyline in the distance?|
Dismantling the compost pile
After two years of "cooking," our compost pile was ready to be taken apart so we could get some of the goodness inside. We pulled apart the pallets, raked off the woody stuff, and excavated more than a cubic yard of beautiful black soil! We hauled this to our front yard and covered half of it with a new layer of compost, into which we seeded some winter rye. The rye didn't get a chance to sprout, though, because sub-freezing nights and then an inch of snow hit soon afterward— crazy weather for this time of year! (We also harvested like three sunchoke plants and already had more tubers than we knew what to do with.)
|Zach trimming our 15-foot-tall sunchokes|
|Getting started on the front yard!|
|First sunchoke haul of the year|
|Sunchokes pickling (bottom right) next to some daikon and carrot (bottom left), and sauerkraut and pickled beets up top|
We got a new fermented pet— water kefir, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that feeds on sugar water, and with some care can produce a sweet carbonated drink. I'll write a more detailed post on it later, but suffice it to say that it tastes like soda with a fraction of the sugar, so Zach is very happy to be working with it!
|The "grains" we got in the mail|
Homemade pasta and experimental lentils
I'd been wanting to try pasta-making for quite a while, and in the past couple weeks I've tried it out three different times, with success! My favorite recipe is this one because it doesn't require eggs (meaning I'm more likely to have the ingredients on hand to make it), although I used an egg-noodle recipe to make pierogis. Other kitchen adventures included lentil burgers and lentil loaf (like meatloaf), both of which turned out pretty well. We have a ton of lentils in our pantry for some reason, so I'm looking for ways to use them up!
What have you been up to this week?
|Pierogis: mashed potatoes, cheese and sauerkraut tucked into a pasta wrapper and boiled, then fried in butter. YUM.|
(May I also draw your attention to that delicious red-cabbage-apple-beet-ginger sauerkraut. Also yum.)
|Lentil loaf with sweet chile sauce, quinoa, and sauerkraut|