Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bathroom Demo?

We came home today to find a little demo action done on the bathroom.

Notice what is amiss?

The damage

The mess - I think we'll throw those tooth brushes out.

So some work was being done on the exterior of the house, around the deck. Some wood was being removed and apparently that is when the bang job happened.

With every job done on the house, always expect it to take on a life of its own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The grass (sod) has been laid. I'm a little worried about the timing. It was laid yesterday just a couple days before thanksgiving. I've heard mixed reviews on the success of such a move. Right now Seattle is suffering from record breaking rain fall so hopefully it doesn't drown.

We also had a wind storm that knocked down the remaining leaves from the neighbors huge tree. As soon as the rain stops (never?) it'll be time for raking.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage

I was pondering what I should make for dinner while I surfed facebook aimlessly. I came across a scary clown guy's post with a tasty sounding recipe. So here you have it.

The sage is fresh from my garden. How's that for fresh?
Being that I live in Seattle, the lemon is obviously not from my garden.

Bacon? Yes please. The sage smelled wonderful.
I love butternut squash. What I don't like? Peeling it. PITA. 
Simmering in sagey bacony goodess.

I didn't have scallions on hand but my organic delivery box came with green onions. I used those instead. Plus more sage, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, as per the directions.

Add the chicken broth...

Garnished with the almonds and a little more Parmesan. Because I like it.

Seriously tasty meal that happens to be vegetarian with the added salad. Assuming you ignore the bacon, of course.

Ingredients -
  • 4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon minced (see note)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 scallions, sliced thin (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound penne or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions -
  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add whole sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, reserving bacon fat and bacon-sage mixture separately.
  2. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (adding olive oil if necessary) and heat until shimmering. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook until squash is tender, 1 to 3 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and transfer back to Dutch oven.
  4. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve, passing almonds and Parmesan separately.
The above recipe can be found here - I cannot take credit for it, of course.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back Yard Landscape Project Update

A lot has happened in the back yard - it is very very muddy and the girls get lots of baths.

Before - 2008 when we first moved in. Also known as the time before dogs.

Current photos of the back yard

We still have a long way to go but thankfully a good amount of progress is being made. The flagstone still needs to be set, sod laid, plants planted. The deck is about 90% done.

If you want to see the photos taken of the project as it has come along so far, pics are found here: