Sunday, March 27, 2011

Progress on Outside Projects: gates, beds, and new fence

Made progress on getting the vegetable boxes full of dirt, installing the newly constructed gates, mulching, and building fence on the N. side of our house.  Here are some progress photos.  Enjoy!

Above is the newly constructed vegetable beds full of dirt.  We will let the dirt rest for a few weeks and compact with the rain, and then top them off again.  

Above are the newly installed gates dividing the back yard from the storage and potting areas behind the shed and garage.  The hinges, latch and door handles are from Van Dykes.  Ignore the HORRIBLY stark paint colors on the garage (left) and shed (right).  They will be painted to match the house this summer.

Above is the newly installed fence section that divides the front and back yards on the N. side of the house.  The new fence section matches the style we've used elsewhere on our property.  Next, we need to install the fence trim, and then construct and install the gate.

Above, we installed a new bed in the potager area by trimming with brick and raising with dirt.  Then, we laid cardboard to hold back the weeds and topped with bark mulch.  In the next 3-4 weeks we'll be planting blueberries and currants in this area.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Projects: garden gates and raised vegetable beds

The weather hasn't exactly been great here in the Pacific-Northwest, but spring is definitely in the air.  Many trees are fully budded, and some are even in bloom.

We've got a couple of outdoor projects in the works.  First, we constructed this pair of garden gates that separate our backyard from the garage storage/work area.  We frequently store items back behind this area for future projects, etc.  It can be quite an eye sore.  This pair of gates will break the line of sight, and will add some architectural detail.  Eventually, the garage (to the left) and the shed (to the right) will be painted to match the house colors.  That will certainly help make the structures less noticeable.  I ordered gate hinges and latches from Van Dyke's, so once they arrive we can complete the installation.  I'll post a picture of the finished installed project soon.

In addition to building gates, we're moving 5 cubic yards of mushroom/compost mix we had hauled in to fill the raised beds we built in our potager.  It's been somewhat slow going since it rains all the time.  Weather says little rain tomorrow, so with any luck at all, we'll be able to make good progress this weekend!  I can't wait to start planting seeds and get our first harvest.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kitchen Oven Cabinet

We're continuing to make progress on the kitchen cabinetry. The last couple of weeks we deconstructed an oven cabinet box we salvaged from Second Use Building Materials and rebuilt it to fit our space. The double oven was an addition to our original design, so the existing  cabinets had to be modified to make room.

The bottom section will house the double oven, the middle section will house the built-in microwave, and the top contains vertical storage, which will be great for sheet pan storage, etc.

It'll be awhile before we can install the new ovens.  Our plan is to use the existing electrical service for the double ovens, and to install a gas 36" cooking range.  To accomplish that, we have to install gas lines.  Natural gas isn't available in our area, so it'll require us to bring in propane.

Next step is to face all the cabinet boxes, and to begin painting them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rosemary Giardiniera
french toasty omelette

I happened on a loaf of Essential Baking Company's Rosemary Diamante yesterday while grocery shopping. When we lived in Seattle this was our favorite bread, rustic fresh loaves jammed with rosemary. Ive never seen it here in Tacoma before so I grabbed it.

This morning I was about to make a quick scramble with Brenda Lee's Hot Giardiniera (an amazing serrano, olive, veg condiment) and I saw the rosemary bread calling out to me to be included.

I fried a slice of the bread in Butter and some oil from the Giardiniera til it had a nice golden crust.

Then I pulled it out of the pan and ran it through my egg mix (3 eggs, S & P, dollop of 1/2 n 1/2 and a tsp of Giardiniera mix scrambled)

I laid the (now frenchified) toast back in the pan and poured the rest of the scramble on top, cooked thru, flipped once. I pulled the pan off the heat and let it rest covered for a few minutes to let the center finish without overcooking the outside.

Plated it up with another dollop of Giardiniera on top. Amazing