Saturday, March 23, 2013


Someone has just turned seven over here.  Well, she's been seven for a few weeks now, but we're all still getting used to it.

The theme?  Sea creatures.  Not that she particularly loves any animal that lives in the sea, but a few months ago we came across an idea to make a little terrarium in a jar, plop a plastic sea creature in there, and presto you have a mini ocean garden.

We happened to have, oh, a million extra jars around here, so this craft we could manage.

By the way, when did birthdays start having themes?  When I was a kid, the theme was cake and a few presents.  Every year.

Back to the sea creature theme.

We invited seven friends.


We had Pin the Arm/Leg on the Octopus.

Go Fishing For a Fabric Fish.


Red Pepper with Hummus Octopus.

hummus & bell pepper octopus

And Sea Creature Cupcakes.

Happy Birthday, little sea creature!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pickles, my first real attempt at wild fermentation

I should have known I was in for an adventure when I saw the book title:  Wild Fermentation.

As luck would have it, I came upon a $4 crock at a thrift store and mini cucumbers on sale at the grocery store on the same day.

So for the first time in my life, I found myself making a brine, dunking some cucumbers, garlic, and dill, and then walking away.  For 5 - 7 days.

They turned out way too salty for our tastes.  But we just soaked them in plain water for a day or so and they mellowed out nicely.  Can I try that with my dog?

Now, if my house will ever get to 70 - 80 degrees and stay there, I'd like to try making kombucha!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Another reason to visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens

We've been visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens for as long as I remember.

My mom took my brother and me as kids,

we had our firstborn's baby pictures taken there,

and now we try to go once a season.

The indoor tropical conservatory is a soothing respite from the cold, gray winter.

photo taken by Abi, age 9

And the sprawling gardens outdoors are a creative place to spend a summer morning.  They have beekeeping workshops, plant sales, and walking trails.

There are photo ops at every turn.

 And now, their gift shop is carrying My Detroit Garden!

Thanks, Matthaei, for supporting my little book!