November 2, 2009
And they grow in my courtyard. Take a look:
It turns out that these are fly Amanitae, which = psychoactive and potentially poisonous. So, probably won’t be eating those. However, my Sweetie and I noticed a load of other mushrooms a-sprouting around the yard, not all of them spotty. What’s more, last weekend, I saw our neighbor and his main squeeze trolling the grass like truffle pigs and snapping up toadies left and right.
If that’s not living Small, I don’t know what is. Foraging in the backyard for foodstuffs? Totally fly! Any recommendations for ID’ing these funky fungi?
September 13, 2009
News to me: According to Dr. Murray Isman and his team of crack ag researchers, (organic) garden-variety pests may have stolen their last strawberries, thanks to his “killer spices.” Isman & Co. found that certain herbs — among them thyme, rosemary, clove and mint — harbor oils that are repugnant, and in some cases fatal, to invasive insects. Reports the BBC:
Some spice-based commercial products now being used by farmers have already shown success in protecting organic strawberry, spinach, and tomato crops against destructive aphids and mites. … An additional advantage is that insects are less likely to evolve resistance. … They’re also safer for farm workers, who are at high risk for pesticide exposure.
Of course, these essential oil–based pesticides aren’t as potent as their engineered brethren; they evaporate quickly, meaning farmers have to re-treat crops often; and they aren’t effective against biggie-bugs, like caterpillars and beetles.
So, while larger farms may be a few years away from minty fresh pest control, Small-time gardeners (like us!) could take a tip from Isman and protect our tomatoes with thyme.
August 25, 2009
Rather than buy buttermilk (and a buttermilk box) for those yummy-nummy pancakes my Living Small sweetheart cooks up on Sunday mornings, we use yogurtmilk, or, the watery puddle that shows up in the spoon-crater every day. It’s cheaper than buttermilk, doesn’t generate any extra waste — aside from the yogurt container, which we already have — and it adds a farm-fresh tang to baked goods. Triple win!
Here’s how to harvest: Eat some yogurt — whole milk is rich and luxurious, but nonfat works, too. Wait a day. Pour off the milk into a clean jar and store in the fridge. Repeat until you’ve got enough for your pancake (or waffle or sweet bread or whatever) recipe; substitute yogurtmilk 1-to-1 with its buttery brethren.
Awesome offshoot! As you strain out the milk, the yogurt will thicken into a Greek-style, not-that-far-from-cream-cheese treat, which you can eat on crackers or with your favorite jam or even with some chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Oh darling!
July 21, 2009
Cupcakes get the royale treatment at Cupcake Royale, Seattle’s small biz cuppycake and coffee hotspot, set to open a new Capitol Hill location — TOMORROW. I am just so excited I could eat my hat, and then a dozen of their Lemon Drop cuppies, too.
Check them out at 1111 E. Pike. They start serving at 6 a.m. (Too early for cupcakes? Perish the thought.)