Monday, June 15, 2009

Offically Offical

We are officially in escrow. This is our new home! We've had the inspection, aside from some TLC that is to be expected on any 75 year old home, it is in pretty good shape, nothing needs to be done immediately except paint the interior. As long as the appraisal goes well and the paperwork goes smoothly we should close escrow late July.

It was built in 1936. The wood floors are original and it has copious built-ins. The windows are also original, and as lovely as we find the wavy glass we do plan to replace them as they are highly energy inefficient. It also desperately needs to be better insulated, so those two projects are first on our list of more expensive to-do's as they will also save us the most in the long run. Eventually we will need to refinish the siding, but that is not pressing.

This is the site of the future main garden. The previous owners left quite a bit of stuff both inside and out which we need to sort through. Some we will keep and repurpose, such as the lovely pile of bricks. I will eventually rip out pretty much every plant in here as well as the boarders around the rest of the yard. Except for a few frivolous flowers that I love my goal is to make all our landscaping edible and/or medicinal. The front yard will be turned into our orchard. I have big plans, can you tell?! :o)

So, in sight of all this moving we've mostly ripped out the garden, including at least 25 lbs of tomatoes. There's at least another 15 pounds green, still on the plant that we managed to leave in for now. We are hoping some ripen and the rest I will likely can up into green tomato chutney or something. In the mean time I am drying some of the ripe ones. I also took out the Swiss chard - I'm guessing 25 pounds. I need to get that blanched and frozen before we leave for Chicago on Wednesday, among the myriad of packing we are trying to get done. Phew, I'm exhausted just thinking of it all!

In other news, I think I've forgotten to mention that I was accepted to and offered a fellowship for a Ph.D. program in Political Science. I'll be starting that at the end of September. It's a quarter system, which I've never before been on and I will also not be working full time for the first time in more than 5 years. I finished undergrad and completed my master's while working full time and going to school full time so this is going to be an adjustment, both financially and mentally. Any tips you may have for surviving grad school are welcome! You can email me if you don't want to leave it in the comments.

Because, you know, I'm incapable of dealing with only one "life stressor" at a time. Nope, I like to bundle them together :o)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Otherwise Occupied

West Shore - Ko Olina
Extremely busy relaxing. Be back next week.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sandwich Simplicity

I am a mayonnaise hater. There I said it. I will never understand the dipping of anything in to straight mayonnaise. However, I do tolerate it as a binder in a few things, namely various savory salads. Growing up chicken salad was one of my favorite sandwiches, but obviously I've not had it in some time. I recently ran across a vegan version using soy curls and thought "duh, why didn't I think of that?!" and immediately set out to create my own. It's similarity to the original is uncanny. I use just enough mayonnaise to bind the filling, but you can of course adjust to suit your taste.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp chicken broth concentrate 
1/2 cup dry soy curls
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 tbsp chives, minced
1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
bread and toppings of choice

Place water and broth concentrate in a microwave safe cup. Heat on high about 1 minute or until hot and broth is dissolved. Give it a good stir and add soy curls. Stir to ensure all the curls have had made contact with the broth and let stand five minutes. 

Drain curls and squeeze out (you don't want the totally dry, but they shouldn't give up liquid easily), and chop well. Add to a bowl with celery, chives, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and stir until evenly incorporated. Pile onto eating vessel of choice and dig in. I like mine on whole wheat bread with fresh sprouts. Yum!