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Next Day Popcorn

February 26th, 2019

We all have a few weird things we like, things other people think we’re crazy for preferring. One of my weird like is next day popcorn. We always make a bit extra so I can eat it the next day for lunch or a snack.

I’m not sure exactly what I like about it, perhaps it’s the slight staleness. Oddly enough, I have another friend who also prefers next day popcorn to freshly made, I guess I’m not that weird after all.

Do you have any likes/preferences other people see as a bit odd?

Lemon Vanilla Sugar

February 25th, 2019

In my efforts to clean out the freezer, last week I made a strawberry rhubarb cobbler (recipe from Sweet & Tart), it was delicious. Not only did the recipe have lots of lemon juice and zest, instead of regular sugar I used up my stock of lemon vanilla sugar. Whenever I need lemon juice but not the zest, I either freeze the zest or mix in with sugar (or salt) to preserve it for future use. When I use a vanilla bean, I rinse it off and add it to the container as well. That way, I have a delicious lemon vanilla sugar to use when making scones, pies, or other sweet treats.

All you have to do it mix the zest in with sugar (or salt if you’d like lemon salt for chicken/fish), stir, and let sit. I add vanilla beans as well, as I use them.

It’s the perfect way to make the most of the ingredients I’m buying and it makes things taste better. A hint of lemon, with a bit of bitterness from the peel, always enhances the flavor of whatever you add it to. I’ve used up my supply of sugar now, which is perfect timing because citrus is coming into season and I’ll be ordering a box of lemons soon.

What great tips do you have for making the most of the ingredients you buy?

Friday Favorite: Renee’s Garden Seeds

February 22nd, 2019

If you’ve been reading here for a while you know how much I like Renee’s Garden Seeds. Not only does Renee do lots of wonderful things to encourage gardening (like donating seeds to school gardens), her seeds are specifically chosen for the small home gardener.

One of my favorite things about Renee’s is that you can get individual packets of seeds that contain several different varieties of vegetables. This is such a money saver for the home gardener, not to mention it limits the amount of seed you have to store from year to year. You can find a wide variety of options with multiple varieties in each packet. I’ve grown her multi-packs of: beans, zucchini, beets, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, scallions, and carrots.

I’m in the process of figuring out just which items I’m going to be ordering from Renee’s, I’m thinking radishes and beets for sure. The ‘Catalina’ spinach is also a favorite of mine.

Do you like to grow multiple varieties of each type of vegetable?


February 21st, 2019

We have a pair of cedar Adirondack chairs that we put in the garden during the summer months. We sit in them often, enjoying supper, drinks, or just a bit of rest. The cats use them frequently as well, in fact, I think more than we do! Usually, they are put away in the garage in the fall, this year we neglected to move them.

The other day I noticed them in the snow, at that point it had just snowed so there was snow on the arms and along all the flat areas. They looked like they were just waiting for someone to sit down.

I’m kind of glad that we didn’t take them in. Every time I come home, I see them sitting there in the snow waiting, waiting for the snow to melt, spring to come, and the weather to warm. Waiting to be used once again.

Do have seating areas in the garden?

New Houseplants

February 20th, 2019

Even though I have plans of “not buying any new plants this year” I break that each and every year. This year I lasted until mid-February until I saw this cyclamen at a local store. I thought it would be the perfect addition to the house to add some color. Growing up, my mom had the house filled with houseplant, typically ones that bloomed with big, colorful blossoms.

I also got an African violet with beautiful leaves. It had one slightly wilted flower, which was stunning. That made it into the my cart as well, I’ll post photos when the bud opens up. I’ve always wanted to add cyclamens to the outdoor garden, I’ve just never gotten around to it. Will this year be the year? If not I have one in the house to enjoy!

Are you a houseplant person? What’s your favorite houseplant? Does it bloom?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.