lately my boss has been giving me the weekends off, which happens to match up with the boyfriend’s schedule too. this means that aside from hanging out and having fun we are also able to get a ton of stuff done at our new little house.
first and foremost, a new oven! this was actually moved in last weekend, but seems fitting with this whole home improvement weekend theme. when we moved into this little house a month ago there were a few issues: no garage for the boyfriend, only a little garden space for girly, no fridge or stove in the kitchen and the bathroom is outside– in a mini room, but outside nonetheless. but we thought it was so charming that we took it and just made it a project to make the house into our home. first on the list was making the kitchen into a real kitchen for some real cooking- the mini fridge and the tabletop burner was just not going to work. from craigslist we got a full-sized gas stove, which is such a relief after cooking on a junk electric stove for the past six months at our other house! we are still looking for a full-sized fridge, because having a mini-fridge with mega-appetites is not working out well.
first thing saturday morning: our first visit to the pukalani farmers market. without complaining too much, let’s just say that the highlight was finding sixty dollars on the ground (subsequently used for garden supplies). there were only a handful of vendors, and everyone has some version of the starfruit/tangerine/passion fruit/coconut combination, not bad, but we really wanted some upcountry bounty: kales, cabbage, beets, onions, etc. we left with only a small bunch of golden beets, cassava, starfruits, and some of the first persimmons of the season.
next errand: wormies! we have been talking about getting a worm bin for months, and we finally found a good one on craigslist, and then another man selling the worms. altogether it was $150, but after a few months we can start harvesting the castings (the worm poop) which is an excellent organic fertilizer for our garden. and those little worms will eat veggie food scraps, white paper and cardboard, and coffee/tea leftovers- and we have a lot of each here. for the rest of the food waste- stale or moldy fruit, funky grains, peelings, and all the fallen leaves from the mango tree, the boyfriend made a compost pile! whittling down the waste stream is priceless.
and then we worked on the garden! there is limitied space in the yard, as we are on the side of the gulch, so i am taking up the container gardening project that i’ve worked with in almost every other house i’ve lived in for the past years. we headed to the our local organic garden store where we purchased some packaged worm castings, some potting mix and other soil amendments to make a good mix. we also rescued some transplants that they were killing- red cabbage and collards (which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be cauliflower and broccoli, not a bad mistake!). after mixing a healthy potting mix, i transplanted most of the cabbage, the cauliflower, and started a bunch of seeds: gobo (burdock), red kale, winter kale, lacinato kale, collards, sunflowers, squash, and more cauliflower.
and i finally hung pretty curtains in our bathroom: i really wanted to forage for the bamboo for the rods, but we found them at the garden store for only twenty cents each- kind of a no-brainer. this beautiful fabric has had multiple incarnations: bedroom curtains at my mokihana house, a full-sized shower curtain at the manoa house, and then a smaller shower curtain at my kakela house. and here they are again. i only had to buy the hooks to hang them (and ask the boyfriend for drilling help), which means prettiness in the bathroom for less than ten dollars. and i use the term bathroom lightly, because this room has no sink nor toilet- but has a fantastic steam room. yes, a steam room!
oh yes, and we ate great food too! on saturday the boyfriend slow-cooked the cassava with onions and the last of our greens for a totally hearty and delicious lunch. on sunday i cooked up some chickpea cutlets for the first time in a long time. i read the new and improved post punk kitchen site, and found that isa made some tweaks to her recipe from veganomicon. she recommends using store bought breadcrumbs for the cutlets, so i reluctantly obliged her and purchased some from whole foods. but, it’s true, it makes a huge difference in binding and texture of the cutlets. they were delish served with roasted squash (from the neighbor) and the aforementioned golden beets, plus some locally grown peas.