Friday, February 12, 2010

A Fine Friday

I enjoy Fridays immensely. It would be painful to resume working 40 hours at the University.

The day began with the discovery of white specks on a new potted plant. Last winter we battled infestations of fungus gnats and white flies. This winter more cautious watering and installation of an oscillating fan on a timer had kept us bug free until today. I saw about five fungus gnats (or one gnat five times) as we ate breakfast. I checked other plants and found nothing so I sprayed the one plant with neem oil.

White specks.
White specks that caught my attention and sent me for a magnifyiedng glass.

Julie's plans for the day included making Red Beet Rolls. The recipe required three cups of shredded raw beets. The dough is supposed to chill for 24 hours after rising but Julie baked a few for supper. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Dough for Red Beet Rolls.
Mixing the dough for Red Beet Rolls.

Warm Red Beet Rolls.
Warm Red Beet Rolls.

The day was sunny with a high of 52 degrees. Julie decided the cats needed to be locked outside for the day. Max and Maggie were easy to evict. Pick them up. Macy is too suspicious. We can't pick her up or call her to any location other than the kitchen. I began planning a cat roudup but Julie suggested another solution. Julie convinced her to leave the house by getting the vacuum. Macy always leaves the house when Julie vacuums.

Julie and Max resting.
Julie and Max resting while rolls bake in the oven.

Max, the stray male cat, has been with us for almost two weeks. No one responded to a sign Julie posted by the mail boxes so I guess he's here to stay. He solved the mystery of the cat door in six days. We woke one morning and discovered him in the house. He disappeared for two nights last week but returned one evening shortly after we got home from work. I like this cat. I was working outside with power equipment while he slept a few feet away. When he heard a saw cutting into lumber he would look up a little annoyed but not run in fright like the females.

I checked the covered bed in the garden last week and again today. I could tell a difference in one week. Onions, garlic, beets and parsnips are growing through the mulch. I planted the onions and garlic in the fall. I left a few beets and parsnips from last season. The plastic cover did well. It withstood strong winds and a foot of snow. It sagged some under the weight of the snow but returned to it's original shape after the snow melted. I'm going to cover another bed and begin planting next weekend.

Today I worked on a cabinet to enclose the water pump and pressure tank that I installed in a corner of the new utility room. Originally I installed a pump near my large building which is several feet west of the house. I want the pump in the utility room for three reasons. I won't have any concerns about it freezing in cold weather and it is more convenient to check the water meter that I installed with the pump. The third reason is most important. I can hear the pump. I generally know when Julie is using water so if the pump engages at odd times or runs continuously for too long then I'll know I have a problem. Being able to hear the pump is a benefit for water conservation.

That was our Friday.


Blogger graceonline said...

Mmmmmm. And might you share the recipe for those rolls? They look scrumptious. We love the whole organic beets we get at our local fresh produce store. They almost always do the trick when we begin craving meat, which I don't care to eat, but sometimes crave for the iron and B vitamins.

2/12/2010 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


The recipe comes from the book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by authors Jeff Hertzberg, MD, and Zoe Francois. Please email me (paul at and I'll send the recipe to you. I'm hesitant to post copyrighted material on the web.

Julie baked more today and this batch was better than the first! I hope you find them enjoyable.

2/14/2010 07:15:00 PM  

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