Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not Your Mom's Ashtray

So I had this herb garden that I built completely out of recycled wood and word got out about it and some friends of mine asked me to included it in an art show. Sweet, I thought. No one's ever asked me to put anything in an art show. Andrew and Val even offered to pick it up and transport it in their truck. On the way there it fell apart in the back of the truck. Bummer, right?

Well Andrew offered to let me rebuild it at their studio, since I had enough recycled wood to re-create another herb garden. Here are some of the photos from that day.

Since I had more of everything, in a sense, plus the proper space to build in, the new box came out wayyy better. By the time this happened I had accumulated much more wood to start with. Plus it was better quality. The first box was made of plywood and brads. Not strong, plus it was poorly designed. Thanks Andrew for the screws! I had some of my own, but this contribution came in really handy.

Funny story about the paint. Back in June of 2009, Mel and I were packing up to move. To find boxes, we drove around a couple of times a week behind big stores and strip malls. One Saturday morning we scoped out this huge Asian shopping area on the corner of Story and McLaughlin. It felt weird to me, so I drove and made Mel go into the dumpster compounds looking for boxes. After the second one I asked, "so did you get any boxes?" "Nope but I got some paint!" So anything that needs to get painted, gets painted with this paint. Would you believe that it matches our house? It's a little darker, but our house is orange with green trim.

The original herb garden box started off with "Not Your Mom's ASHTRAY" painted on one side. I did this because Mel and I are always making "your mom" jokes and because I didn't want people who might be partying at our house to put their cigarettes out in our herb garden. On another side I painted "TASTE ME". On the front I painted "Herbage" and on the back, Mel's idea, "Spice Up Your Food With Love, Add Me".

One of the problems I had was with the soil and unfortunately that carried over into the exhibit. Around the time that I built this box, a friend of mine dug out some of his basement. I didn't realize at the time that, duh! this dirt is mostly clay. I had some major drainage problems. Plus another friend had over watered it while we had been on a road trip a couple of weeks earlier. The exhibit lasted for 2 or 3 weeks. When I Mel and I put the dirt back in while setting up the box at the gallery, we put a layer of rocks and tried to take out chunks of clay, while mixing in dry, fertile soil. Still no bueno. Most of our herbs made it through the show and made it through the replanting of the box. After the show, I took out all the dirt again and put it back in small layers in order to let the soil dry out.

Since then, only the Italian flat leaf parsley and the chives managed to survive. The tarragon, sage, pepper plants, garlic chives and thyme all passed. However I have since replanted other herbs and plants. Right now I have spinach coming up and looking good. The drainage issues seemed to be resolved and recently with the storms that have moved through the bay area, have had a healthy amount of water.

Dairy Queen/Physco Donuts Ride

Around the beginning of the month, we went on a ride and one of the places we stopped was Dairy Queen, in Campbell. One our good friends works there and that day she hooked all of us up with some phat meals for little dinero. Awesome! DQ Rocks! That day we had a really good ride. We started at State St. and rode through one of our old school back routes (through Stone Ave, by the old Stone Manor) to Curtner. After DQ we continued on to our original destsination of Pyscho Donuts (Winchester & Campbell Ave). Next time we go, we've gotta go earlier cause, there wasn't much left at 4 in the afternoon. Here's some more pics of our adventure:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I made these two cheese-less pizzas a couple of weeks ago. The one on top is an Arugula Pesto (ok there's parmesean cheese in the pesto, but not much) with sausage, tomato and tofutti, on a sourdough thin crust. The second pizza is sun-dried tomato, red onion (sauted in white wine until very tender), olive, tomato and tofutti pizza on sourdough crust. Both of these pizzas turned out absolutey delicious!! I always keep my sourdough starter fed, so that I can whip out a pizza crust on a whim because it doesn't take much to put a pizza together, especially without cheese. The sun-dried tomatoes I got from my Grandpa. Often I gather ingreidents from friends and relatives for a totally "from scratch" approach.

Turkey Sliders

I made these sliders Sunday night. These are sourdough rolls I made a couple of days earlier. The ground turkey was donated by Mel's mom and I added minced onions, jalepenos, garlic to it. I also made a spicy chipotle aioli and a minced onion jalepeno compote for these sliders. Mel made the salads with fried tortilla strips and a tasty dressing.

The "M" Loaf

After taking a second look at my Aunt's Blog, I've decided that it was finally time to start my own blog, Sourdough Living. I baked this loaf last night, I call it the "M" Loaf. This morning I made sausage and egg sandwiches for Mel and her mom, with this bread. Just a few minutes ago I ate the heel with some chicken salad. Great!