Tonight’s dinner was a “soup” adapted from an Epicurious recipe for Beet and Cabbage Soup.  It read like a Mexican borscht, but turned out like a hot vegetable puree for me.

The veggie mix above is a Cylindra beet, a red onion, 3 stalks of celery, and a quarter of a very small head of cabbage.  After sauteing the veggies in vegetable oil for about ten minutes, I added a container of frozen turkey stock from the freezer, and boiled it all for an hour or so, until the veggies were soft enough to puree in the blender. The only other ingredients were lime juice, stirred in at the end, and tortilla chips to crumble into it.


The garden is in!

We constructed a 4′ by 4′ (sorry, 1.2m by 1.2m – old habits die hard, and gardening was always done with my parents in Imperial measurements) bottomless box today and set it on a former flowerbed, to become the first of our square foot gardens. The official square foot garden method says to fill the box with a mixture of peat moss, coarse vermiculite, and compost; since I’ve read that the current stores of peat moss in the world are holding as much carbon dioxide as the rain forests, it seems like a good idea to skip that and go for a closed-system approach in our backyard garden. We turned over the soil in the box and added the compost from the composter, and planted in that.garden
There’s, of course, not much that can be planted now, but we planted a square each of peas, spinach, and beets, and half a square of radishes.

Most of the point of growing vegetables is to be environmentally friendly, so we’re relying on scavenged materials.  The sides of the box are leftover siding material from the shed, and the grid strips are from old lattice I pulled apart.

You can just see the tulips coming up on the left-hand side of the picture – I hope the squirrels don’t eat them until after they bloom, this year.

Electrical usage

Our “Kill-a-watt” device has this to say about the electrical usage of my school-issued laptop, which I left on for several days as a test:
66:41 hours:minutes
1.25 kWh
max watts 99

No conclusions to draw here, just collecting data for later comparisons.