Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring has sprung!

How do I know?

-Well first of all, bluebonnets are starting to grace the landscape, which if you're a Texan is a BIG deal!

-Beautiful moths and butterflies are emerging!

-The garden is flourishing! (Especially since I have recently installed my anti-dog fence!)

-The local news just reported that Lake Travis is finally back to normal levels due to all of this luscious rain we've been receiving!
-I haven't mopped my floor in over a month due to the rain and the muddy dog and kid feet! (Seriously, why bother?!?)
-The Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo is in full swing!

But the number one telltale sign that spring has sprung???? My calendar looks like this for the next 3 months!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Knight in Shining Armor

These kids are growing up SO fast! It's like I blink and they're a foot taller. And maybe I'm just bit more sentimental at the moment. We have been transferring photos into another program and I've been perusing a lot of the old pics, reminiscing about things from a lifetime ago that feel like yesterday! I've always heard folks say, "Enjoy them while they're young, cuz they grow up fast!" I always thought this was such a load of crap! I mean it takes 18 years for a child to reach adulthood, that's like FOREVER! Wrong. I went from looking into the eyes of my beautiful, helpless, blue-eyed infant son to looking into the eyes of a clever, self-reliant, 8 year-old in what seems like no time at all! How is that even fair? And my sweet Piggy has gone from a tiny baby to a chattering pre-schooler overnight and sadly she's going to be a teenager before I know it! I keep wondering who hit the fast-forward button? And really what a pity. I mean if there were any part of my life I'd like to slow down and enjoy more, it would be this part. For someone who never planned on having kids, I sure got sucked into the whole parent thing, hook, line and sinker! And I've never enjoyed anything more in my life!

That being said, I'd like to give a shout out to my Big Daddy! I mean obviously without his, well shall we say "input", we'd still be running around free, traveling, partying, having fun with lots of extra income, but I would have never found what made me truly whole. He is the one who gets up everyday, hits the pavement, deals with a shitload of stress and brings home a steady paycheck and an insurance plan. And yeah, we could totally use the extra income that I could bring in if I had a full-time job, but even in the hardest of times, he says, "Ain't no thing but a chicken wing, Baby" (which, by the way, instantly makes me feel better)! He insists that not only are the lives of the children better because I stay home, but his life is better as well. He would rather give up my income to have happy, home-schooled kids, a relatively clean house, clean laundry, home-cooked meals, and on occasion some free time (regardless of how infrequent!) It's his sacrifices that allow me to spend my days doing what I love the most, which is raising, schooling and playing with my rugrats. I have had the unbelievable good fortune to witness every milestone of both of my children and for that I am forever grateful.

So in closing, I'd like to address the man himself, my very own knight in shining armor--
I appreciate all that you do, you are my partner, my best friend and my soulmate! I couldn't imagine sharing this crazy adventure we call life with anyone else. You have truly given me two of the greatest gifts. Our children. And the ability to stay home with them. I know it's hard as hell at times for both of us, but I wouldn't change it for the world. You totally rock and you truly are my lobster! ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green is beautiful!

Finally! I have been patiently waiting for my collards to reach a harvest-able maturity. In the meantime, I've eaten a lot of turnip greens, which to my delight, have been marvelous. But there is just something about a big mess of collard greens that can't be rivaled! Today was the day! The leaves are big (but not too big) and a most magnificent color of green! I've heard you can harvest a whole plant or pick off the leaves much like I do my lettuce and spinach, so opted for that route. A continual harvest is always my preference. I can't wait to prepare them! Sadly, my immediate family is not that into collard greens or turnip greens or mustard greens. They'll eat lettuce and spinach no problem, but they turn their noses up at greens. It's too bad that my mom doesn't live closer. I'd invite her over and we'd make a pan of cornbread and a mess of greens and call it GOOD! You just can't get much better! But thankfully I have a father-in-law who also appreciates the culinary delight of collard greens, so I see another family dinner in my near future! Steaks and collards? Or maybe brisket? My aunt in Kentucky makes tamales with collard greens, maybe I could get my family to eat them that way?

Monday, March 1, 2010

What's on the Menu? Pork tenderloin and root veggies

As you know from the previous post, I had a pretty healthy harvest of turnips. So I of course had to figure out something to do with said turnips! I didn't have enough to make mashed turnips, so I thought maybe if I roasted some other root veggies with them, I'd have enough for a full dish. So I went online looking for some sort of recipe for roasted veggies and lo and behold, Paula Deen came to the rescue! She had a marinated pork tenderloin with root vegetables that looked easy and yummy! So I thought what the hell? For the recipe, please click... Paula Deen's Pork Tenderloin with Root Vegetables. The only thing I did different was substitute rutabagas (which I didn't have) with more turnips and sweet potatoes. And just as an FYI, the sweet potatoes rocked! The whole meal was SUPER easy to prepare and it was absolutely delicious. I complemented the root veggies and tenderloin with the turnip greens (you have to LOVE a vegetable that you can eat the root AND the leaves!) I prepared the greens with a little dijon mustard mixed into the broth and it was stellar! And as if that wasn't enough good food, I finished the meal off with a warm, down-home, apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. Scrumptious! Don't believe me? Then judge for yourself!

Main course


Turnips... It's what's for dinner!

Literally. The Monkey Man and I harvested our first batch of turnips yesterday! Now, I've harvested some of the greens when I was thinning the crop, but these are the first honest-to-goodness TURNIPS! Here they are, fresh from the ground, aren't they beautiful?!?

I chopped the tops off and washed and rinsed and rinsed and washed as we have had some interesting little guests on some of the veggies this year!

I plan to make a lovely pork tenderloin with roasted root veggies (turnips, parsnips, carrots) and a nice batch of turnip greens to accompany! YUMMY! I am definitely looking forward to dinner tonight!