Biweekly Menu Planning Form (Free Downloadable)

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This year, with my son in preschool, mornings are spent shooing two kids along and getting everyone out the door on time. The AM has to be far more regimented, and fast breakfasts and easy, (often make-ahead) lunches are essential. We are also doing a lot more freezer-meal cooking to streamline dinner these days and [Continue Reading...]

How To Right-Size Your Lawn: In Defense Of (A Little) Turf

How To Right-Size Your Lawn

Something amazing has happened. I no longer loathe my lawn. For nearly ten years, I have hated my lawn, and muttered curses at the landscaper who insisted that, “with small kids, grass really is the easiest thing to maintain,” before hydroseeding everything in sight. Lies, damn lies. I am no shirker. In fact, I like physical work. [Continue Reading...]

Buying An All American 30 Quart Pressure Canner: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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If you are part of the NW Edible community on Facebook, then you may already know about the pressure canner that brought me to tears. I had some birthday money, you see. Visions of pantry-ready, home-canned stock danced in my head. And so, after some research, I look the plunge into pressure canners. It was a [Continue Reading...]

Don’t Buy These 5 Williams-Sonoma Agrarian Products

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Last week Williams-Sonoma branched out from French dishwear, excellent knives and seasonal high-end cocoa mix into urban homesteading gear. With the launch of their Agrarian line, Williams-Sonoma now sells gardening gear, chicken and bee keeping supplies, seeds, edible plants, fruit trees and preserving supplies. Some people in the hardcore DIY community (you know who you [Continue Reading...]

A Tour Of The Indoor Seed Starting Rack

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My seed-starting set-up is pretty well equipped, which makes it a lot easier to manage the fairly aggressive seed-starting schedule I keep. When we moved into our current home, I commandeered a corner of the garage as my indoor garden and seed-starting area. Having a dedicated area to grow out seedlings is a luxury, but one I would sacrifice [Continue Reading...]

The Finnish Potato Masher I Can’t Live Without

A fellow personal chef friend of mine who is married to a Finnish man gave me this…uh…suggestive kitchen tool a few years back. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what it was (Scandinavian modern sculpture? World’s biggest muddler? Minimalist bishop from an oversize chess set?) or what to do with it, though several inappropriate [Continue Reading...]

The Essential Apple Peeler Gizmo

This is my apple peeler gadget: I don’t know if this thing has a proper name. It seems like something you’d find in the back of a barn somewhere to crank start machinery that no one uses anymore. And in truth it probably was invented 160 years ago and hasn’t changed since. But don’t let the [Continue Reading...]

Palm Your Tater: Exfoliating Gloves Clean Root Vegetables

A while back I realized that the cheap scrubbing-mitts I kept in the shower might do for root veggies what they do for my post-garden-work-Hobbit feet: get the dirt off. I bought a pair for kitchen use and put them to work. Here’s how they fared against purple potatoes and sunchokes fresh out of the [Continue Reading...]

Is It Cookware, Or Is It A Blunt Object? Re-Seasoning Cast Iron

I’m partial to cast iron cookware. I also use stainless-clad aluminum pots and pans for soups and blanching vegetables and making oatmeal, but my daily-use pans are a set of five Lodge Cast Iron Skillets.  I say ‘set’ like I went down one day to my local Williams-Sonoma and got a deal for buying the [Continue Reading...]

Homebrew Husband Hacks

Back when I was in college, I worked for a while with the support team for a big physics lab. The guys I worked with were a bunch of old Navy and Air Force radar technicians, so when the microwave in the lunch room stopped working, they didn’t go out and buy a new one. [Continue Reading...]