Stripping apart bikes to build family

I recently stopped to watch my 17-year-old and 15-year-old sons strip apart some bikes to fix brake and sprocket issues.

Ball bearings were rolling across the floor as one leaned down to grab them. And later, inside, the other told me how some of the work had to be redone because, well, when they had finished, there were a few extra parts that shouldn’t have been extra.  Continue reading

Feeding the People: InstantPot Recipes my family loves, pt. 2

Now that you know how I came to have an InstantPot (affiliate link) lurking in my kitchen, and you know some of the starter recipes that began my obsession with electric pressure cooking, I’m going to share some of the recipes that I’ve tinkered with now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. One key to remember: I’m horrible about precision in culinary endeavors. I’m the person for whom the note, “to taste,” was written. My printed recipes are, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa, not rules, but more like… guidelines.

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Feeding the People: InstantPot Recipes my family loves, pt. 1

Truth: I am not a kitchen gadget girl.

First of all, I’m far too cheap to actually buy tools for things that I have already figured out a way to do with something else. Case in point: for years and years, I had no rolling pin. I used a drinking glass turned on its side, just like my Mamaw did. Then, my husband bought me a rolling pin. I used it and loved it. It didn’t make the cut to move to Nepal so… I now use a drinking glass again. And I’m fine.

Second, I prefer small kitchen, and small kitchens rarely have the kind of storage space that gadgets demand. Actually, this is one of the things I like about compact cooking spaces: If you don’t use it, you don’t need it isn’t a vague notion. It’s an in-your-face, daily reality that prevents me from acquiring or holding on to extra baggage that will eat up valuable kitchen real estate. If it doesn’t haul its own weight, by golly, it has to go.

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Feeding the People {a large family’s 2-week menu with recipe links}

The weather has finally changed here… maybe even for good! I can’t tell you how excited I am to dive headlong back in to casseroles and soups and other warm and yummy things that make my house smell amazing. Fall is my favorite time to be in the kitchen; pumpkins and apples make me ridiculously happy. And gearing up for our first Thanksgiving in our own little home? Double prizes, as Phin likes to say!

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Before breakfast

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The rhythm of life here is different at Floating Axe Farm—even though the “farm” part of that name consists, for now, solely of 16 hens smack dab in the middle of the very awkward, very ugly pullet phase.

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The distressed perspective

The whole time we lived in North Carolina, I wanted to paint the huge cabinet that anchored our family room. When the piece was unloaded from the truck that brought it to our house– part of a generous load of furniture donated by friends of friends– I saw it and was delighted. I’d always wanted a grown up cabinet like that– one made of real, heavy wood, with actual doors, and that didn’t require assembly. I wasn’t wild about the light oak finish, but I was so excited to see it in place that I decided we’d move it in, then move it out for refinishing when I’d made up my mind what it ought to look like.

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