Friday, June 27, 2008

Ferro-Cement, Part 2

We had a big day on our ferro-cement project yesterday, nearly finishing all the plaster. We would have kept going, but we ran out of cement! We did manage to finish the final coat on the part that faces the patio, and thus were able to move ahead to laying our concrete pavers! Oh what a charismatic task! We sort of leveled the area (not as much as we should, but hey), put down weed blocker fabric, and then the pavers, and then filled the cracks with washed sand. Finally, we put gravel around the slightly irregular edges. By the mid afternoon, we had a patio! We even began backfilling some areas with dirt. It feels so nice to move forward with projects and move them toward completion. We wasted no time in moving the BBQ and some chairs into the area to enjoy it!

The wind finally shifted last evening, and now we are suffering from dramatic smoky haze from the recent wildfires all over northern California. The closest one is in Shelter Cove, called the Paradise Fire, about 25 miles south. I can barely see Shenanigan Ridge today, which is only about 2 miles away, as the crow flies. Now that the north wind stopped, I kind of wish it would start again! Geez, never happy!

This morning, Ella and I went to pick up our CSA share in the bike and bike trailer combo. We stopped to do some swinging on the way at the Mattole Elementary playground, and then collected our veggies for the week: fresh carrots, snow peas, lettuce, onions, kale, beets, and broccoli. Ella and I were so hungry, we sat right down and ate our whole bag of peas right there! We are sharing our box halfsies with another family since we have a garden with all the same stuff. I passed on the beets today, because I have a lot ready in our own garden. When we got home, I harvested seven of them, so that I could make a Lillie family favorite, pickled beets. YUM!

Pickled Beets

1 bunch beets
4-6 cloves garlic, halved
Dill, or thyme, or whatever herbs you like
2 tbsp olive oil
Apple cider vinegar (we have homemade from last year!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice and steam your beets. Don't forget to use your greens for dinner that night!
Pack them into a quart sized mason jar, add a few tbsp. olive oil, several cloves of garlic, some herbs, and fill the rest of the way with apple cider vinegar.
Keeps in the fridge for a remarkably long time!

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