Chris's bookshelf: read

Sandman SlimCodexThe Night CircusMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenThe Dragon's ToothGraveminder

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Our go-to bread salad...

Once again, we recently made our favorite bread salad.  We got the recipe from the 2010 edition of America's Test Kitchen's "Cooking for Two," and it once again turned out great:

Grill one small red onion, one red bell pepper, one zucchini, and 2-3 slices of rustic bread.  The dressing is 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs fresh basil, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1 clove garlic and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard.  Chop up the roasted vegies, mix with the dressing and add 2 ounces of soft goat cheese.

Goes great with grilled fish...


EarthTainer progress report

The EarthTainer is fully assembled:


All that's needed is growth media and plants...

And we still need to decide what to plant for our fall garden.


My next project

This summer, I tried my hand at something that has traditionally baffled and confused me: gardening. Don't get me wrong, I understand the mechanics of gardening, but unlike my mother, I've never had a green thumb. All of my previous attempts at gardening have ended with me staring at a poor, withered plant, wondering where I went wrong. This year, Nattiebug and I planted basil, mint, rosemary and tomatoes. The first two have done well, but the other two have not been so lucky (assuming cherry tomato plants are supposed to produce more than six fruits). While I should probably count the fact that the plants are still upright as a minor victory, I feel I can do better. During a recent visit to a friend's house we noticed, a little jealously, that they were able to grow a bounty of nice, ripe tomatoes using a strange device, possibly from the future...

Enter the EarthTainer:

The EarthTainer

As many tomato growers know (and wikipedia is eager to inform me), most vegetable plants, including tomatoes, are very sensitive to over-watering. A creation of Ray Newstead, the EarthTainer is designed to provide the plants with only the amount of water they need through wicking and capillary action; and possibly magic:


I have decided that in order to prove my manliness I can either a) make fire or b) successfully grow food. The first would be frowned upon at our home, so I'm determined to build this magic vegatable-growing device and plant a fall garden, or winter garden, depending on how much I procrastinate.

Updates will hopefully follow...


$3.00 meal (sauce and rice not included)

Baby bok choy - $1.54

Tofu - $1.39

The rice was probably pretty cheap, too. And the rest was soy sauce, garlic, and the like.

All of it was delicious.

Feeling healthy AND frugal...



Staring contest!


I'm not sure if the fact that he's missing a head is an advantage or not... He totally started it, by the way.