Week in Pictures

Look – my sweetheart is a root veggie celeb! Well actually, the deal is that he works in Produce and we were talking about the fact that people won’t usually buy produce that they aren’t familiar with, and I said he should really have some easy recipes out there to talk up to folks so they know how to prepare it…and so the manager agreed and here’s the final product! (Yes they misspelled “delicious” but still pretty awesome to see Dan’s face and ideas in action at the co-op!)

And of course we are in various stages of piggy projects from our fall butchery day. The first picture is of my first attempt at Canadian bacon (using THIS recipe and ignoring the hell out of the instructions to cut off the fat first – are they effing kidding?!), which is SOOOOO good. The second is not as dreamy looking but shows our little “Charcuterie Corner” in the pantry which stays at a reasonable level of cool and low humidity throughout the day, perfect for these projects. At the top is our very first prosciutto which we’ve been working on for about 6 weeks – the salting stage has been completed and today we did the vinegar rinse and hung it up where it will stay for 2-3 months before we slather it with lard and let it sit til 2020 (…perhaps we’ll keep it up there longer, to celebrate a new female President…). Anyhow, the sausages you see are our first attempt at Lap Cheong (Chinese sausage), something that husband is making at my request (I’ve not the confidence to stuff sausages so I find cool recipes and he is the maestro) after I remember having it a couple years ago at a restaurant in PDX and loving it. And the random small piece of meat that is hanging next to the sausages is our first Lomo, basically a Spanish cured loin (something I learned? “Lonzino” is often used as a synonym but while they are similar in preparation, Lomo features paprika and Lonzino does not…so one does not directly translate to the other!). This one cures for 45 days so by the time we’re back from holiday we’ll have something delicious waiting for us.

Okay and I’ve FINALLY made my own homemade almond milk!!!! It’s our (non) dairy of choice in our home (a leftover habit from my years being dairy-free that both of us got so used to we kept doing when I reintegrated other dairy back into my diet – all in preparation for our trip to France back in 2015 because, well, duh, cheese. Even though we consume dairy it’s mainly in the form of good cheese, with things like cream being reserved for special occasion desserts…even our butter consumption is minimal since we cook/bake with lard) and we go through about a half gallon a week, and I hate-hate-HATE how much waste it creates via TetraPak. Yes, these packages are technically recyclable but it is a massively unsustainable process because milk cartons (especially now that they all have plastic screwtops – WTF is with that, as if we couldn’t figure out how to open cartons before that?) are made from multiple materials. And THIS is what’s happening in Vietnam because it’s so hard to recycle. Anyhow, lots of folks will say “oh just buy almonds and make it at home!” but if you look at the cost of organic almonds, even in the bulk aisle? You’re paying about $10-12 per half gallon instead of $2.50-3.00. SO…what are we doing? I learned that you can simply put 4 tablespoons of almond butter in a blender with 4 cups of water and – bam! Almond milk. We don’t do the sweetened version but you can super-blend up dates and/or vanilla in it as well if you want more flavoring. RAD.

And we have made more progress on the master bedroom! From top left, this is the history so far: the original butt-ugly room that greeted us complete with randomly-placed closet in the middle of the room and skylights with broken handles that were bound to leak sooner or later, not to mention the “hunting lodge” tongue in groove that makes up the ceiling. After Dan had pulled out the pee-stench carpeting, I tore out the entire closet, then Dan removed the pee-stench particleboard throughout the room, then we started on getting plywood (still haven’t bought all of that due to $$ and not wanting to deal with getting it up over the back deck in the rain!) to go over the subfloor. Then Dan took on the massive task of painting the ceiling and beams – one helluva project but he was able to do it without scaffolding as our outdoor ladder was able to lean against the various beams. We LOVE it! The white gives it a shiplap look, it’s protected (we used the stainblocking Kilz low-VOC ceiling paint as recommended by our remodeler neighbor), and best of all, it brings in SO much light to the room! Last but not least, this week we finally drywalled over the slanted part of the wall where the old skylights were (which were handily removed and boarded over by our roofers in September when we did the tear-off, woo hoo!!) – and did it WITHOUT having to rent a lift! We’d bought the drywall in the fall but dreaded the project, but then after our neighbor donated an old piece of rigid foam insulation he had in his garage to fill in where the skylights were, we knew it was time. And thanks to a DIY tip online? We created supports with scrap 2×4 that we screwed into the studs on the wall below, and that allowed us to slip it on the ‘platform’ to keep the weight off me while Dan screwed the sheets in – no lift needed! Rad rad rad. These have since been mudded so all there is left to do is sanding and a final skim coat and it’s done! Then onto the floors…and the master bath…and the closet…and………(whew)……!!!

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