Celebrating

For us February is a month of celebrations. Perfect- as winter has grown old and this season’s mildness has only served to fuel our spring fever  to get out there and DO stuff. And if you can’t get out there and work well you might as well have some fun (and that means cake, of course).

First Ezra’s birthday. An amazing 3 years old! He requested blueberry cake. Luckily I had some frozen blueberries still left from last summer. So we cooked them into a sauce/filling. I recently went gluten/wheat-free so we decided to try one of those packaged GF cake mixes. Let’s just say I’m not too impressed. I mean it looks great, and the texture is right but it just tastes……. not quite right.

Then for Valentine’s Day we transplanted some apple tree seedlings. The boys have been planting the seeds from their apples in my rosemary pots. A whole bunch came up so we moved them to their own separate containers.  Of course all this enthusiastic handling by little kids and a dog who has to sit on everything means that we only have a few survivors. Still it was fun and the boys got to check out the various stages of seed sprouting and root growth.

Even Ishmael LOVED it. This boy gravitates to dirt. He can find it, scoot over and get his hands it in 5 seconds flat. That’s my boy!

photo by Noah

Then it’s Noah’s birthday. What?! 5 years old already!

He received a pirate boat kit which he studiously put together- by himself by looking at the picture on the box. Once the glue dried we had some fun painting. He painted his boat and I borrowed a little paint to make him a Batman and Robin peg clothing pin figure.

photo by struggling_along

photo by Noah

Of course another birthday requires more cake! We went more traditional this time with a Chocolate Surprise Cake. It’s an old recipe and doesn’t really give any instructions- just a list of ingredients so here’s my one layer version:

The surprise is a whipped cream filling. It’s really good. It’s like having a HUGE really good whoopee pie.

mossy_stone

linking to Seasonal Celebration Sunday @ the natural mothers network

Squash! Saving Seeds

Acorn Squash

Winter squash is now In Season! I love winter squash, particularly those of the acorn or butternut variety. And pumpkin too, of course.

Squash are awesome because 1) they grow great (and slugs don’t eat them) 2) they have a long shelf life 3) they are versatile (roast, soups, mashed,pie,pancakes….) 4) they produce a ton of seeds.

Seeds from half an acorn squash.

And seeds are awesome because not only can you roast and eat them- you can save them to plant next year. Squash seeds are super easy to save too. Basically you just need to pull them out and lay them in a single layer to dry. Removing all chunks of squash to prevent mold. You can rinse them so they’re all nice and clean but I’ve found it doesn’t make a difference. Once dry I stick them in an envelope. For longer seed life stick the envelope in the freezer.

A great book about seed saving is Seed to Seed. Gorgeous photos too.

Seed to seed: seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth

 What’s your favorite way to prepare squash?

mossy_stone

This post is shared with Traditional Tuesdays , Real Food Wednesday , Simple Lives Thursday. and Fight Back Friday