Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bike Commuter

Due to combination of rising gas prices and the fact that I drive a vehicle that sucks gasoline faster than a congressional aide sucking....(well you get the idea), I have taken to bike commuting. I had been contemplating the idea for some time and $4/gallon gas was my breaking point. Lucky for me, I have attempted such an assinine thing before in Tulsa during a summer internship, so I knew the challenges that lay ahead. My decision was also made easier by the fact that my old hardtail mountain bike had a cracked frame and a lifetime warranty. What does this mean? Take a look.

That's right, I am officially the nerd you see riding next to your car with a rack on my bike, lights so you will see me before you hit me, and bright colored clothing so I leave a mark on your car. I've put the gas saver calculator widget on my blog so you can calculate how much money you could save by being as nerdy as me (or you can see how much money I am saving = ~$21/week by riding three days a week). I am yet to ride 5 work days in a row but this has been set as my goal and the weather isnt going to get much better.

In other news, my mint is finally growing. It has flailed all summer long and now, not long before our first frost its growing like crazy. To keep the plant under control, I've been using the mint feverishly in tasty mojitos. Only problem now is that I've passed out cold the last three nights and woke up puking the next day.

Also notice how well my spinach is doing. The first set of leaves are on and growing rapidly.
Below is yesterdays harvest which included lots of cucumbers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who wants yellow squash?

I haven't spent much time in the garden lately due to the schedule around our house. I was able to get out and take some pictures of my harvest last night, lots of tomatoes are ready. I will be using most of the tomatoes for salsa making tonight. I plan to enter the salsa contest here at work, yet another fundraiser for the united way. I will be making Becca's Moms Salsa, a green salsa and mango salsa.Also getting lots of yellow squash which was expected based on my observations a few weeks ago. We also have lots of lettuce to eat around our house.

And the lettuce will continue with my last round of seeds planted which are now sprouted and beggining to grow quickly.
A picture of Gracie after eating dinner. Straight to the bath after this event.

Here I am with the kids in the life flight helicopter at a kids safety fair last weekend.

And a picture of all the hot mamas on their trip. The moms had a great time on their trip to Jackson Hole last weekend and came back fully rejuvinated but tired. Thanks for coming back so that I can return to playing in the garden.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Farmers Market

Part of working for a large coporation these days involves getting involved in the community through volunteering. Each year, we have a month of activities designed to raise money and support united way agencies. Typical activities in years past have included a golf tournament, bake sale, prize raffle, Salsa contest, and dutch oven cooking contest. This year a co-worker and fellow gardener suggested a farmers market. I had contemplated the idea last year but didnt feel up to the challenge of putting it altogether so I was really glad to hear someone else wanting to try the same. So, we both worked together and are holding a farmers market at our office each Friday morning is September. Here is my co-worker and I manning the booth the first morning.

I was quite worried that we would either not have enough produce or low sales resulting in a poor event especially since we are relying on Williams employees to dontate all the vegetable and baked goods. We are holding the market from 6:45 to 9 am since that is the busiest time for people passing by the front of the building. After getting our display set-up, we were extremely suprised by the amount of goods we had. So amazed that we started realizing how much we had to sell since most of our products couldnt be stored for next Fridays sale.
We sold most all of the produce with a few squash and tomatoes left at the end of the morning. We made a total of $350 for our first day which means we made the United Way $700 since my company matches our proceeds. So, if you are interested in a great variety of locally grown vegetables let me know so I can give you the location of our office and you can support a good cause.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I am having my best year yet in terms of bell pepper production, though don't come knocking on my door for any as we are able to use them all. Sarah made stuffed bell peppers not long ago, and they were great.
And a picture of fresh coco puffs from my garden. Not really but this should give you a laugh.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I love salsa

I love when summer rolls around and the tomatoes turn red allowing me to make salsa. After getting a great recipe last year from Becca's mom, Ive been making about a batch a week during the season. This weekend, I attempted to break out of my traditional red salsa recipe and try something new. After hearing of Alison's success using my tomatillos, I tried a batch of green salsa. I can't believe how well it turned out since it was my first go at it. I will have to post my recipe I made up at another time.
In addition to a red and green salsa, I've been itching to make a mango salsa. I have tasted many mango salsa's at restaurants the past few years with fish tacos, ahi tuna and the like. Now it was my turn to try my hand at making such a salsa. I searched the internet and found a recipe I felt matched the really good mango salsa's I've tasted lately. Here is a pictre of the final product. Looks good doesnt it? Not only is the salsa really tasty but also has a very nice look to it with all the colors together.

Based on the time this bowl lasted while having friends over for appetizers before dinner, it's a hit with all. Mango Salsa
1 cup diced mango

1 cup chopped tomatoes (seeds removed)

1 finely chopped jalapeno (seeds and veins removed)

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

This recipe is really easy, takes about 15 minutes to make. You can experiement to see what ingredient you might increase/decrease. The recipe I found said to refreigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld. I personally like it just after making as each bite seems to highlight a different strong flavor.