L Allen

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since Apr 07, 2020
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hugelkultur forest garden food preservation
I'm a long-time gardener/farm girl, short-time Northwesterner/wife. I finally dragged the hubby to a 2.5 acre wooded property (think "Green Acres" with a gender swap) and we've begun the process of becoming more self-sustaining.
Seattle burbs
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Recent posts by L Allen

Stuffing muffins and savory bread puddings! I've done both, and though I haven't tried freezing any ahead, I'm sure it would work. Maybe make them a little moister than you might normally want them, to make up for freezing and reheating.

Since my hubby started baking bread, savory bread puddings have become a staple around here. I'm partial to using mushroom and whatever fresh herbs and leftover cheese we have.
2 days ago

Jay Angler wrote:L Allen wrote:

After all the excitement died down I put in a mosaic on the back wall instead.

That's a gorgeous mosaic!
Question though - what is on the bottom of the cabinet? Installing a metal sheet, preferably with heat resistant insulation in the small gap caused by the edges of the cabinet sticking a little lower than the bottom shelf, would be something I'd seriously consider. There are codes for how close "wood" can be to a hot surface for good reasons. Under normal operations, the gap seems plenty, but if a pot caught on fire, metal could make a difference.

Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't thought of that.

I wonder if adding a layer of regular subway tile would help with fireproofing? I got a ton of it at a garage sale a couple of years ago, and part of the mosaic is made of it. I'd probably cut a sheet of decent ply to fit that space, and then tile it first and install it after it's grouted and sealed. The undercabinet is actually in really good shape, so minimizing damage to it would be a prioroty.
1 week ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:A random kitchen design flaw I just tripped over in this rental. The height of the stove hood off the top of the stove is 22 inches. I'm doing canning, and the height of my canner + a quart jar + the jar lifter + my knuckles is 24 inches at absolute minimum, 26 inches would be a MUCH better height for a hood if you are canning. Worth considering.
Trying to not drop a hot canning jar when you bark your knuckles is difficult... I haven't dropped any yet, knock on tile!

We just bought our new house this past year, and I actually had to rip the microwave/ventahood combo out completely because none of my large pots fit. I found out that my pressure canner wouldn't fit at all the day the "new" fridge went out; I dug the canner out and started frantically prepping to preserve all I could, but discovered that the lid with the pressure rocker was at least three inches too tall. Aargh!

We actually ripped that monster microwave down that day. There was already a downdraft exhaust on the stove, so that didn't matter, and the microwave was one of those overengineered jobs that was supposed to microwave, brown, toast, and who knows what but actually didn't do anything at all very well.

After all the excitement died down I put in a mosaic on the back wall instead.

1 week ago
I made one too; I couldn't resist. I used blueberries (frozen from earlier in the year) and blackberries (fresh) and the zest from half an orange I had left over from breakfast. No crust for mine, either. Making it required all of five minutes and one bowl. :-)

It's really good. Mine's a little stiffer than custard pie, but that's a good comparison.

I took this picture before it fell completely, but half an hour later, it's half-devoured and not anything like as pretty. My hubby says it would be great with whipped cream...but he'll eat whipped cream on almost anything, so your mileage may vary.

I'm totally putting this recipe in the rotation. Thanks!
1 week ago
This looks really good...and super simple! I can imagine whipping one of these up with whatever odd fruit I have lying around after canning.

Is the texture something like a souffle or a custard? Or is it more cake-like?
1 week ago
And don't be afraid to fail! For every lush, productive plant you see in a longtime gardener's garden, there were ten (maybe a hundred!) that went belly-up. You have to try things, see what works where, learn what you're good at growing in the space you're in. After gleaning some of the basics from books and guides and whatnot, experience is the very best teacher.

To paraphrase one of our NW garden gurus: "The best gardener is the one who's killed the most plants." :-)

And good luck!
We're in black bear country in the foothills of the Cascades, backed onto two state parks, and even though our 3 acres is basically suburban, we still have plenty of bears. So far our solution of having three separate composting setups is working.

The first is the main outdoor compost heap. Only yard waste, garden waste, and non-tasty kitchen waste (like old leafy greens or stalks) go on here. We don't want to attract raccoons either!

The second is an enclosed double-tumbler composter, which is then further enclosed in our ten-foot-tall wooden trash-can corral. We put regular kitchen waste in this one, though I prefer to keep meat scraps out.

The third is the vermicomposting setup, which I have in our completely enclosed garage. I have one of those tower systems, plus a modified plastic tote setup. I put questionable stuff into these, though I still try to avoid meat scraps. I've never had much of a problem with smell, though we do get fruit flies! I feed them to my mantises so at least there's one small upside. :-) In fact, I've considered setting up a vivarium down there with frogs and a wide-mesh top, though I'm sure that the fruit flies would learn to avoid the frogs and then I'd have one more set of "pets" to feed. In fact, the pet mantises were originally hatched as biological insect control, but I kept some in an old aquarium and now we're attached to them and have to feed them.

Sometimes it's like the old lady who swallowed the fly around here....

2 weeks ago
Bologna. Or more appropriately, baloney; you can't spell the cheap stuff we ate with a "g", at least not with a straight face. After turning 20 or so and getting all picky I didn't eat it for years, but recently I had a wave of nostalgia and bought a pack.

My grandfather used to make us baloney cups: he'd put four slices of baloney in a big pan with some bacon grease, start frying it, and then when it started to cup up, add a small handful of shredded cheese inside. Once everything was sufficiently melty and browned, onto a piece of mustard-smeared Wonder Bread it went. Heaven!

So I made myself and the hubs some baloney cups, and we both really liked them. Maybe they're not for every day- maybe not even for every year- but definitely worth the occasional trip down memory lane.
3 weeks ago

Kc Simmons wrote:

My starters have names, too: "Bread-y Mercury"....

Bready Mercury...love it!

Ginger bug can also be used as a starter for all sorts of home-brewed lacto-carbonated sodas. If my ginger bug gets lively enough this week, I'm going to try this recipe for watermelon soda:


3 weeks ago
Borage! The flower is completely edible and is a really pretty blue, and you can also eat the young leaves in salads. Borage likes at least partial sun, but isn't particularly picky about soil; I've grown it in both corners of the country, and it's done fine.

Be warned: once you have it, you have it. It self-sows like mad.