Happy Winter Celebration Thing

Happy Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice. The long trek from one season to another has reached it’s U-curve bottom with the shortest sunlit day of the year. There is something about the solstice, and you don’t have to be a pagan or a Wiccan or a tree-hugging nature weirdo to feel it. Communities and religions and [Continue Reading...]

The Introvert’s Christmas

Introvert Chirstmas

Hi, I’m Nick. I’m an introvert, and I’m caught smack in the middle of my least favorite time of the year. No, I’m not the Grinch, I’m not a Scrooge. I’m just your average introvert, and I wish to hell that Christmas would just shut up. “Introvert” isn’t the same thing as shy or socially [Continue Reading...]

The Hardiest Vegetables For Winter Gardening (Why I Love Overwintering Cauliflower)

Overwintering Cauliflower

Overwintering cauliflower is right up there with giant kohlrabi as one of my favorite cool-season crops. I just want to share a quick before and after to show you how my overwintering cauli’s survived the recent Seattle cold snap. Now, keep in mind I am a Zone 7 gardener – cold is relative. In my [Continue Reading...]

How To Trim A Whole Beef Tenderloin For The Holidays

Trim A Whole Beef Tenderloin

Thinking of splashing out some cash on Christmas dinner? Beef tenderloin (the cut that gives you filet mignon steaks) is a classic “wow, nice meal” choice for the omnivores. There’s no getting around it: this is a spendy cut of meat – the grass-finished tenderloins I’m hacking up here cost me $15.95 a pound. But [Continue Reading...]

Bourbon Pecan Toffee Bark

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Apparently the average American gains ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. This bourbon pecan toffee bark will be responsible for 9 of my 10 pounds, I am sure of it. I was reading my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook, and staring at the recipe for chocolate toffee bark while drinking an [Continue Reading...]

Meyer Lemon Curd, A Love Affair

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My mom used to make me a special cake on my birthday. It was a four-layer white cake, each layer filled with lemon pie filling. The cake was frosted with Seven Minute Frosting – which is basically like marshmallow fluff – and coated with sweetened shredded coconut. I loved this cake. It went down like [Continue Reading...]

{Giveaway} Permaculture Playing Cards

Permaculture Playing Cards

Periodically there are advantages to being a blogger. I fell in love with these stunning Permaculture Playing Cards and was about to buy myself a pack on Amazon when I remembered that I knew the guy who made them. So I emailed Paul Wheaton, the founder of Permies.com, and said, “Hey, before I buy these [Continue Reading...]

I Sell A Really Great Garden Planner And It’s On Sale

2014 Garden Planner & Journal

Once upon a time I went looking for a Garden Planner that was everything I wanted and it didn’t exist. So I created my own. It turned out pretty great, so I started selling a downloadable PDF of this Garden Planner so gardeners everywhere could use it and I could offset some of the money I spent [Continue Reading...]

The Freeze-Fill Line (How To Freeze Food In Mason Jars)

Freeze-fill line

Here’s a quick tip for knowing how much to fill mason jars with food for freezing. Most straight-sided mason-type jars are made with something called the Freeze-Fill Line. This line shows you how much food you can safety put into a glass jar without risking a cracked jar when the contents freeze and expand. Look [Continue Reading...]

How To Make and Use Caramelized Onions (The Pro Method)

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Let’s be clear. There is a difference between meltingly soft, slow-caramelized onions and grilled onions. If you think a caramelized onion is basically a hunk of raw onion with some char on the edges like you might find in a nasty Panda Express mall stirfry, then you are in for a very pleasant surprise. True, [Continue Reading...]

This Is An Absolutely True Timeline

alarm clock

It is Saturday December 7th. 47.80 degrees North, 122.37 degrees East. It is 22 degrees F outside temperature. This is an absolutely true timeline. 4:15 am I am awoken by Oliver standing in the bedroom door. This is the second time he’s been in tonight. He’s mumbling and twitching with the incoherence of the freshly [Continue Reading...]

How To Make DIY Really Cool Bath Bombs

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Bath bombs are so cool. Basically, you’re doing a chemistry experiment in the name of Spa Day. How could anyone not like that combo? They also make great gifts (hint! hint!) and kids love them. Since I started this Bath Bomb making experiment, my son has refused to take a bath without one. Bath Bombs [Continue Reading...]