Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Past at a Glance

When I got married a little over two years ago I had a very short list of foods I had any confidence in preparing. I laughed with the ladies in my Bible-study that I was still trying to master Rice-a-Roni... and it was true! ("Saute the vermicelli"? It's not working with all that water in there!)

Between my milk allergy and my husband's "discerning tastes" I had a limited amount of ingredients to work with. But no matter. I forged ahead and began to bake and cook things that I never thought I would. Breads came first. I figured if I could bake bread, then Rice-a-Roni should be a snap, right?

Check out Basic Bread by S. John Ross to make loaves of your own like this:

The Internet was my oyster, and recipes were its pearl. I bookmarked pages with easy, step-by-step instuctions. If they made it sound fool-proof, I was in. The best part was, whatever I made, it was the best I'd ever done. Soon I was growing my own sprouts and baking pizzas and bagels from scratch. (And of course, baking goodies for my husband, Bryan.)

Next I decided to try Square Foot Gardening and grow my own food. Bryan constructed containers and Dad financed the fancy soil mix. (Our golden retriever, Dioji, oversaw the operation.)

I was ecstatic as the first leaves poked through! And I learned valuable lessons, such as: you aren't supposed to let broccoli flower.

But despite my ignorance the harvest has been great! Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, parsley, zucchini, peas, greenbeans, and Bryan's favorite: strawberries.

Most recently, with "back to school" upon me, I've turned my attention to healthy packed lunches for myself. The last two years I have brought mostly soup. First canned, and then homemade. But by the end of last year I was getting pretty tired of soup.

Enter: bento! An article in last week's Food Day caught my eye -- about the artistic packed lunches made by some Japanese women for their children and husbands.

After browsing numerous online bento galleries and blogs, I decided to creat a food blog of my own. This blog will contain pictures, comments, links and recipes. I'll start with my present bento craze -- and venture off into other food related topics as the whim strikes me.

Thanks for reading!


whiskyrs said...

This is such a nice first entry. i love your gardening and Christmas food pictures. Beautiful dog too! Great blog so far, I'm anxious to read more. M

Mer said...

Thanks for the compliments and encouragement! I appreciate your comments.

the gove family said...

i love your blog! yummy! and so creative! you are an inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Hi Merilee, I read you complete blog this morning and enjoyed it very much. I love your vocabulary and way of expressing yourself in writing. You certainly have mastered the art of cooking and gardening and it can only get better from here. I did make some hummus last night for my dinner. Gpa would NOT touch it so more's the pity. ^)^ Actually more for me. Not sure about the Bell Pepper but maybe you could let one grow and see how big it gets. Did you plant any pumpkins? Keep sharing. Love, Gma

Anonymous said...

When did you put the chicken wire over top of the square foot garden? After the baby plants were already well growing or immediately after you planted?

Mer said...

I put the chicken wire over the empty soil to keep the cats from using it as a litter box. When I planted seeds, I just dropped them through. When I planted transplants, I would cut a spot in the wire and lower them through.