Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm Back...Kinda

I hate making a liar out of myself. One of the hard things about chronicling my thoughts and very boring life is the fact that my written words are immortalized. Okay, I realize that this is pretty dramatic, but do you remember when I said I wanted to houseclean my house before the end of school? Do you remember when I told you I hate the word "busy", as in the context of, "I'm so busy"? Well, I lied on both accounts. I've been "busy". And, I'm not done housecleaning my house yet. I'm sure none of your lives have been disrupted at all by my lack of posting, but I feel a twinge of guilt every time I open my mozilla icon and see that same picture of chocolate pudding pie.

So, here goes - I've been kinda busy these last few weeks. I did tackle some projects around the house. We decided to move some furniture around, giving the girls our dresser, giving their dressers away and inheriting a dresser from my mom's house [for our bedroom]. I also cleaned our bedrooms rather thoroughly and generally de-cluttered the house. I have thrown away bags and bags of things we don't use anymore. As an aside, there are few things in life I love more than throwing things away. With each bag of garbage my mind clears [a little more]. Honestly. I cannot think clearly with clutter.

Here are the results for the girls' room

Here is Josh's room

How do you like this vignette of an 11-yr old's room? Ammunition, football, and the American flag!

I've also been busy cooking [for other people]. I have prepared food for two brunches, a graduation reception, and will be preparing food for a Christening tomorrow. Next week we'll have family visiting and I am planning to prepare food for the four days they will be here. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my work, but some projects were much more relaxed than others.

Here are some pictures from one of the brunches I prepared for:

Yesterday I cooked at my mother-in-law's house for their graduation reception. I fed approximately 180 people. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

I usually don't feel stressed in cooking for other people because I methodically plan each and every minute of the preparation and serving. I think (okay, I know) that I completely underestimated how many people that actually is. And how much food 180 people can actually eat. The food was disappearing at alarming rates. Really. I'd say all in all the day was a success, but I wasn't prepared for the emotional response I'd have to the panic I felt. I was sure we were going to not have enough food. At the end, we had some leftovers and my overall impression was one of accomplishment - but I'm just not used to being so frantic. And, I realize that I need to accept help. To think I can successfully feed so many people in such a short time with little help is delusional. I cook because I enjoy it and to keep the joy in my work is to realize that I need help. And the worst part? I was too frantic to take pictures.

I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but here is what I made:

for 150-

bacon-wrapped scallops
broccoli and cheddar mini quiches
asparagus and red pepper mini quiches
chicken salad croissant sandwiches
roast beef sandwiches with horseradish mayo, cheddar, and spinach
veggie tray
spinach and artichoke dip
fruit tray
cheese and cracker tray
mini key lime pies
sugar cakes
cowboy cookies
molasses cookies
coconut macaroons
chocolate mint brownies

additional food for 30:

grilled soy-lime ginger shrimp
crab-stuffed mushrooms
pasta salad

Lastly, I planted a garden! I have been thinking about having a garden for quite a long time. For some reason, I find a sustainable lifestyle so romantic. I picture Rob and I spending our retirement on a farm in rural Iowa and simply working the land. I sincerely hope that at the end of this growing season I still want to do that.


Fig Tree


My Herb Pot (Chives, lavender, basil and parsley to appear...hopefully)

Mint and Tomato Plants

Our official garden: carrots, green beans, beets, sugar snaps


I also planted lettuce and swiss chard, but I have yet to see evidence of it. I think our local bunnies have discovered the tender leaves sprouting up in our "main garden" so I made a fence with chicken wire and posts. I keep having visions of Peter Rabbit and Mr McGregor. I'll keep you posted with the results of our plants and if I can successfully keep the bunnies away!


  1. Oh my goodness Kirsten! You're amazing! I can't even imagine what it would take to feed so many people so many different dishes! I love reading about it and seeing the pictures, even though this isn't something I have a gift for, because to read about it and see your pictures satisfies the creative side of myself. You've got a gift! And keep us posted on how your garden progresses. I just came back from buying tomatoes plants, different peppers, sweet onions, some kind of pretty lettuce, and some flowers. I hope I don't kill them. And I forgot about Peter rabbit. I'll have my bb gun hunter look out for him!

  2. We, too, have a great bbgun hunter...Josh earns $5 for every chipmunk. I just don't know if I could stomach killing Peter Rabbit...maybe as long as I don't have to see the dead bunny - chipmunks are much more detestable to me - I hate rodents!
    And, really, you wouldn't have been too amazed yesterday, I'm sure I looked very frazzled!

  3. Alrighty, all is forgiven since you have been very busy.

    Love that you've started up your edible garden. I keep saying I'm going to and don't. And your food does look fabulous. As do your bedrooms.

    Come back when you can. I always look forward to seeing what you're cooking and what you're getting up to.

  4. Yikes. Yeah. I haven't posted in forever either but I have really no excuse except that I am in Texas right now and worked at Starbucks/subbing in schools all last week :) Your productiveness has me jealous!

  5. I'm looking forward to some delicious food this coming weekend but I certainly hope the cook has time to visit with the guests! :) I'll be happy for a family-oriented mini-break. I'm up to my eyeballs in Haiti-prep and house cleaning for an open house tomorrow. Eric is on a fishing trip. Sigh.

  6. Abbie-
    congrats on your job at SBUX! do you like it? I hope you have a great time in Texas- no need to be jealous, our house looks like a wreck every evening, no matter how much work I put into it :)

    you dear much to do, so little time! To say I hope you can relax in Haiti is probably a little wishful thinking! I'm planning on doing my cooking for this weekend ahead of time so that I can enjoy the fam!
    Can't wait to see you in a couple of days- wish it could be longer, but here's hoping that you get a few minutes of relaxing!

  7. Mrs P-
    I'll keep you posted on the garden! Last year our raspberries did tremendously, and I'm hoping for a bountiful harvest from all my other things as well. My neighbors have a fig tree and she said she's give me a recipe for fig jam and a fig and ricotta tart. Yum.
    Stay warm under your electric blanket...have you discovered flannel sheets? I just took ours off on Saturday-

  8. we just put in a garden this year too! in years past i've just done tomatoes, but we finally tilled up grass and got to plant lots of goodies. i want to try doing it from seeds next year instead of plants.