My wife has an addiction. Our mailman is not helping matters. Several times a week I open our giant mailbox to find more and more of it. I call it her seed porn.
I have to admit, all these heirloom seed catalogs are pretty exciting. Last night we had an impromptu dinner party, and while we ate dessert we all flipped through the glossiest of her catalogs and oohed and aahed over the colorful photos of vegetables. Even the names are enticing. Violet Jasper tomatoes? Yellow Monster peppers? Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon? Yes please. Our eyes are bigger than our bellies, and although we are tripling the size of our garden this year we are trying to carefully pick what to grow. The biggest challenge last year was eating everything. We had too much of the same stuff all at once, so this year we hope to grow a bigger variety and find some people to trade produce with when our garden is overflowing with say, 500 pounds of heirloom tomatoes. Oh, and you can add learning how to preserve to our long list of things to learn in 2010.
Enough garden talk, let’s talk about chocolate cake.
This is a Chocolate Stout Cake. I was very indecisive about what to make for dinner last night. Dessert was another matter. I knew it had to be chocolate, so I opened up my browser, went to epicurious.com, typed “chocolate” in the search bar, and clicked on this recipe. It was the second result. It had stout and strong coffee in it. The frosting was made with melted bittersweet chocolate. In other words, it had my name written all over it.
It was also a perfect excuse to buy Buffalo Bill’s Blueberry Oatmeal Stout, which inspired me to try to find blueberry ice cream to go on the side. I had to settle for huckleberry. Jess declared this a very grown up dessert. If this is what being a grown up is like, I am all for it. Although thankfully our friends were willing to take half of the leftovers home.
We are slowly settling into our smaller living space. Our kitchen is plenty big, but the cupboards and counters are awkward. The kitchen is going to be by far the priciest house project on the horizon for us. I want a vintage gas stove, a new sink, cupboards, and countertops. It is also by far the ugliest room in our house: wretched gold cabinet pulls with strange wood beads in the middle, yellowish 80’s patterned vinyl floors. We are going to project the hell out of that kitchen, but due to the price tag I had been wanting to put it off. Then we found this cheap and charming buffet that fits perfectly under our kitchen window, and it has added much needed storage for our many kitchen tools.
(I love technology – watching Desperate Housewives on the internet while baking a cake.)
We’re still figuring out what to put on top, but it has inspired me to get cracking on the kitchen. Maybe we can put in the linoleum or marmoleum squares we’ve been talking about sooner rather than later? And perhaps we should get new knobs for those cabinets even though ultimately we won’t be keeping these cupboards. And maybe I can take a section of them down and put in some open shelving.
I want our house to be full of old furniture with a history. This piece is full of imperfections that make me think it is handmade, but how perfect are these hand carved drawers?
Breakfast nook? Craft nook? Despite the size of our house, we have two tables in the main living space. It is kind of brilliant since one table always seems to get covered with homework and projects. There is always at least one clean table to sit down and have a meal together.
Oh, and remember our very first light fixture installation? We were stupidly excited to see a very similar one when we went to see The Lovely Bones.