Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Best of 2012

So, 2012 hasn't been my most successful year, blogwise. In 2011, I had 65 posts! This year I will have 30. That is super pitiful. I know. However, I can chalk that up to actually being busy volunteering and then taking many camping vacations this summer. What I am trying to say is that I apologize BUT while you were left checking my page to notice that no, I hadn't posted anything, I was having fun and enjoying the last year of my 20's. That's a pretty good excuse if you ask me.

To wrap up the year though I am going to do a FVW "best of" (voted on by me when nessecary, naturally):

Best Recipe: Vegetarian Etouffee

Best Post: Miss Bronco

Best 2012 Adventure: The Olympic Peninsula Vanagon Trip

Best New Nephew: Buddy Boy

Most Viewed Post in 2012: Vegan Tom Yum Soup (it made it on Pinterest)

Best Picture: Simon the Snow Kitten

Best Picture Not Posted: I love me some waterskiing!

Best Picture of My Mom Not Posted: This isn't news to Mah, but she sometimes has trouble with pictures. It isn't that she isn't a beautiful woman, she really is and people tell me how young she looks all the time. The thing is that she can't really smile well on cue. I have the same problem. But there was a great picture taken of us this year. Notice my smile is lacking but Mah's looks great.

Best In-Law Pic Not Posted: This was taken during my bro and sis in-laws wedding weekend. I love this picture.

Best Thing That Happened I Didn't Tell You About: My 4th of July was pretty tubular. Sissy and Lil Bear came up from Cali to visit and we had a helluva time playing games, watching fireworks, setting grass on fire, going to a ball game, and eating fro yo.

Brotherly Love

Sissy and I making fun of Mr Peps for stuffing his face

It's always a good time in the Vanagon


Sunday, December 9, 2012

FVW Holiday Gift Guide

I have a feeling that the following information and ideas will not help anyone this holiday season but if you have a friend/relative that is, well, like me, I have some great gift ideas for you. So really, if you have someone that is either a wife, hippy, cook, farmer, or/and poor, you may want to keep reading. Below are some of the items in my life that I couldn't live without, hopefully they help in your quest for the perfect gift for someone else.

The Farmer's Veggie Wife Holiday Gift Guide

For the Wife:

1) The Hammer/Screwdriver Pack: My mother couldn't live without hers when I was young, now I can't live without mine. It is a hammer with 3 different sized screwdrivers in the handle. Genius! My mother had one that wasn't so ridiculously decorated though. True Value Hardware: $8.99

2) Extension Cord: So, your friend/relative is married. That means her husband hoards all the extension cords and most likely has lost them somewhere. She needs her own. You could even tape her name to it. True Value Hardware: $3.99

3) Amateur Art: Go ahead and buy a canvas. Paint something. Get some ideas off pinterest. Frame it all nice. I am starting an amateur art wall in my house. My collection includes some local person who used to volunteer at my work and my uncle. Hopefully Mr Pep's work will be included soon. Yourself (the best gift): $ however much a canvas and frame cost. The latter is probably a pretty good price depending on what you go with.

For the Hippy Dippy:

1) Bio Bags: These can be used for produce, dog poop, compost bags, and so much more! These puppies biodegrade, which is nice. Stocking stuffer? Grocery Store: $6-9

2) Goodwill Gift Card: You can get a lot of good shit at goodwill. If it grosses you out, you obviously haven't found vintage mason jars, pyrex, sweet lamps, etc. Your hippy will definitely use it, even if it is for bras. Goodwill: whatever amount you please

3) Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon: This is the ultimate awesome cookbook. It has traditional ways of cooking things that include butter, chicken liver, fermented vegetables, and so on and so forth. Definitely a good choice. Bookstore/Amazon: $20

For the Cook:

1) Pyrex: I LOVE my pyrex. I love my vintage pyrex bowls and I love my glass pyrex with lids. Can't go wrong with pyrex. That's my motto. Amazon/Macy's/Penney's: $5-30

2) Kitchen Scale: I didn't know I needed one of these until I had one and I use it all the time. Mine is an old scale that I love the look of but you can get electronic ones nowadays for the more modern people. Home-type Store/Online: $20-50

3) Knives: You may use your knife set that you got on Black Friday three years ago from Penney's but a real cook should really have a good set of knives. Like knives that cost $100 for one. My loving husband bought me good knives years ago and they are still amazing (and will be for many more years)! Totally worth it. My knives are called Global and originate in Japan. You can research other brands but I can tell you mine are awesome. Amazon: $50-250

For the Farmer/Gardener:

1) Hori Hori: This is another Japanese wonder that is amazing. This is a weeding tool that makes weeding not so horrible (if that's really possible). Any American weeding tool doesn't even compare with these babies. Amazon: $30

2) Muck Boots: I don't actually have muck boots yet but I want a pair. Mr Pepperworth has them. He has the big ones that weigh about 50lbs each. I prefer the mid-calf ones that don't make me feel like Bigfoot. Garden Store: $60-80

3) Garden Gloves: I may have 3 pair of garden gloves but a good pair is very important! I like gloves that serve different purposes. I have my gloves lined in cloth for the colder days. My thin gloves by Atlas for the warmer days when I don't want my hands to sweat. And, my leather gloves for pulling up those bitchy blackberries and sticker weeds. An assortment is definitely important. Garden Store: $10-30

For the Poor Person:

1) Restaurant Gift Card: Your poor friend doesn't get to go out to eat much, at least not to some place nice. They probably frequent your Subway or Mickey D's when they venture for a meal. Get them a gift card to a nice place. Somewhere they can't wear their sweatpants. Be nice go for $50+.

2) iTunes Gift Card: Hopefully your poor friend has an iPod/iPhone (but not an iPad, unless they won it in a contest or something). They need music and apps to pass the time away. Get them a gift card. $25 would be thoughtful.

3) American Apparel Gift Card: Your friend probably shops at Target a lot. Hey, that's cool, I like too. But give them something new. Give them a taste of American made clothing, not those Chinese garments. American Apparel is edgy but they have some practical things and amazing t-shirts. Give your friend/relative a taste of America. American Apparel: $40-75.

There you have it. The FVW 2012 Holiday Guide. Now go out and get something for someone else. Don't buy anything for yourself today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Glass Cleaner

Last year I was out of glass cleaner so I decided to look on the internets to see if a homemade glass cleaner "recipe" existed. I wanted to make my own because a) I didn't want to drive to the store b) I figured a hippy cleaner would fit well in my cupboard (along with the Simple Green and Ballard Organics cleaner, the latter of which is so great but apparently went out of business last year, no!).

My research led me to many different vinegar concoctions but one mixture stood out by getting the best reviews on many websites. I tried it out and it honestly works really well! At first it looks like it is going to be streaky but when it dries it is way better than regular glass cleaner. I spray it on and use a coffee filter as a "rag" and my mirrors look great. It even gets off all the yuckies on mirrors like toothpaste and water splashes.

Don't worry these streaks will go away once it is all dry
Then it will look like this (ignore the cat hair fleece I am wearing)
Here is the recipe (I put mine in an old window cleaner bottle):
1/4c rubbing alcohol
1/4c white vinegar
1T cornstarch
2c warm water

Mix together in your spray bottle and shake well. You will need to shake it well every time you use so you mix in all that cornstarch that will collect at the bottom.

Not to mention this is way cheaper than store-bought-should-wear-gloves-streaky window cleaner. Just try it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Picture Ketchup

I am semi lazy because the weather is colder and it gets dark earlier and I watch too many library dvds when I get home (which I want to own Dirty Dancing, btw, I could watch that shit overandoverandover).

And because I haven't posted many pictures, I would like to do a life catch up by posting pictures we have taken lately and explain how it relates to my life because we all know I am super entertaining (but not so much lately, sorry).

All my cousins. We are a good looking bunch! (minus Sissy, she wasn't able to make it/we may have forgot to tell her)

Mr. got two loads of doo doo from a coworker. There is doo doo everywhere!

What a handsome dog in the fall trees

GF Blackberry Cobbler made from stolen blackberries off of the property of abandoned house down the road

I fermented everything I could get my hands on this summer. These carrots and salsa are to die for!!

I made a double fudge cake for the first time for my gramma's memorial. It was quite good!

I harvested the last of the non-nasty tomatoes the other morning in the freezing cold instead of going running.

Isn't this just the cutest?!
So there you have it. Food, animals, family, and poop. That pretty much sums me about up in perfect detail.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October Phone Message

Argh, it is November and I forgot to put up the phone message from my childhood for October.

I still have to do it though because it was really good.

Sissy and I would do it together and it went like this,

"Zis is zee Haunted House of the H(last name)'s
Vee vant to suck your blood
So leave your name and a message
Or we'll find you in your sleeP (emphasis on the P, like spitting emphasis)"

It may not look as good on paper but damn, we really made it scary and poetic.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Girl Has Got to Eat

I like to eat. I like to cook too, which goes well with liking to eat. I have never really told you how I go about eating/making my weekly dinners though. I have quite a system.

Every weekend I make a menu on a self created calendar. I put what days I will be home on time and what days I will be late. Usually on the late days I will use my freaking awesome 70's crock pot (mah and pah's wedding gift?) and Mr Peps will have a meal waiting so he doesn't have to wait and eat until 8pm. I do all my grocery shopping on the weekend and get everything I will need for my weekly plan.

I really like to plan.

Anywho, here is an example of what we will be eating this week:

 Monday (home at 7:45) - Crockpot mashed potatoes, peas, and steak
Tuesday (home at 8:45) - Crockpot Chili 
Wednesday - Mushroom Somethingorother with Rice
Thursday (home at 7:45) - Crockpot Taco Soup with Chips
Friday - Potato Salad and Arepas

Mind you, I use the recipes listed above but I change the ingredients to either a) use in season b) not be from a can, eg. beans c) make gluten free or vegetarian.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the potato salad Friday will all be new recipes so hopefully they taste good. For me, winter is all about trying new recipes. Sometimes Mr Peps isn't too impressed with my new experiments. Whatever, he can always eat a peanut butter and grape jelly sammich.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bukowski Bukaroo Bonsai Dew Drops in the Morning

Just seconds ago, my annoying loving puppers was sticking his head in my lap as I checked facebook. He was saying (in a Cockney accent because he is an English Pointer but not civilized enough to have a regular English accent), "I'm so bored. Give meh food, love, o' take meh to the bloody dog park gov'na." I said back to him, "Buky, it's really raining outside and I'm sorry but we will not be going to the dog park." Then I gave him a little love as he already ate breakfast.

I then realized that Buk hasn't really gotten much attention on this here blog. His cuddly brothers have gotten more attention because, well, they usually are more precious and cute. I mean look at what this dog looks like sometimes.

Anywho, Buky is a whopping six years old now and he is starting to turn white in his once bright orange spots. He is still incredibly energetic though and will out run anyone at the dog park. Most people ask how old he is thinking I'll say 9 months. He can be a little out of control sometimes. But, even with his bounding around and limbs flying every which way, I get told that he is a beautiful dog at least once when we go places. He really is.

While he still can't control himself at the park, Buk has calmed down a lot at home. He can lay down and be chill most of the day. We don't usually have to worry about him chewing up shit anymore. Now he just gets into the crap the cats get into first and he finishes up the job.

Buk is loving and cuddly and wants to be on the bed all.the.time. But, he can't because he sheds his white hair like a polar bear in Hawaii (I don't know, I just made that up. I'm sure those bears totally shed in Hawaii). I also am incredibly allergic to Buk. When he licks my arm (he doesn't lick faces, thank goodness), I instantly break out in hives. But, it's hard not to let him lick because he is being so loving.

But, there are some bad habits that Bukaroo has too. I won't discuss them because they are actually really gross. Let's just say that when Buk gets bored, he likes to entertain himself.

Mr Peps and I have talked about getting Buk a sister or brother but that probably won't happen until he is older and we are really in need of a replacement dog. We want Buk to teach a new puppy about the ways of our household. He already did a pretty good job with his younger cousin. But, no dog will ever replace Buky for real. He is a goofy, loving boy in his own way and he will always be our first doggie and Mr Pepperworth's first best friend.

Plus, no dog will ever be as silly as this....

And yes, the title is Buk's real name. It has to be fancy for when he is entered into the dog shows.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

You Know...

You know you are a farmer, or are married to one, when:

1. When you hear the word "deer" or "dear", you think of "deere". As in John. But then you always think of how crappy John really is, or at least that "Kubota" or "Farmall" are really better. Because, that is what your husband says.

2. You want a vacation so you don't have to weed for a week.

3. You find yourself whistling "Field of Opportunity" while watering the flowers.

4. You LOVE summer but by Septemeber 15, you just want it to snow. Or, at least be Thanksgiving and then snow the next weekend.

5. You keep any stray animal that wonders into your yard, whether it be a cat or a rooster. But you are really hoping a goat will wonder in.

6. You  know the difference between fermented and pickled food and your pantry smells like farts because of all the fermenting veggies. (This also makes you a hippy.)

7. You don't have any TV stations because a) you wouldn't have time to watch them and b) you can't afford it because you own 2 tractors, a riding lawn mower, a rototiller, and a "farm" truck that is about to die.

8. Your husband owns a banjo he doesn't know how to play. And a mandolin.

9. Going into town and back is an hours worth of driving.

10. You own carharrt pants, shorts, capris, shoes, jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear, gloves, socks, hats, high heels and so on and so forth. But really, you aren't proud of that because rednecks have really started to make carharrts a fashion thing and that obsession with the confederate flag is really ruining the brand.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Party Invitation

I’m throwing a party. It’s a pity party. Anyone is willing to join. I know you all have thrown one or joined one before.

But, this is possibly the worst week I have had in a long time. I mean, I love my life, I have it real good but sometimes things happen that make me so happy it is Friday and happy that I don’t have shit to do on the weekend. Let me explain a little but I promise not to bore you with all the juicy details.

The week started off badly with my Gramma dying. She had Alzheimer’s and it was definitely her time to go. But, it made me feel guilty for not seeing her in a long time. I mean, even if she was still alive, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see her but I never did have a final time visiting her thinking I won’t see her again. So, that is what I was feeling. Again, not super sad just the realization that people die and that sucks.

Then I had some meetings that I would rather not have had to deal with EVER in my life and the fallout from those meeting conversations is still on going so didn’t go away.

Plus, I felt like I was bitching about things all week - I mean, hello, what is going on now? - but I just really wanted to bitch. I don’t do it too often, or at least I try not to (husbands don’t count), so when I feel like I am doing it constantly, it makes me feel tired and like a badish person.

And, there were some other tid bits here and there.

And, I feel fat. Everyone does sometimes. I know.

BUT….I have to say that my family and friends have been so supportive and awesome. If it weren’t for my family, co-workers, job, and friends, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the week. (And, let’s be honest, my old Nsync cd helped too.)

I spent last weekend with family and old friends and it was so superb. Plus, my co-workers are so great. I am not just saying this because my boss, whom I love dearly, reads my blog. I honest to goodness love my job. Even if I feel stressed there (which I didn’t this week) it is a fun stress and one I like sometimes because I am accomplishing something important. Usually. I just really love my place of work. Which is good, I spend most of my time there.

And, I didn’t struggle with what to wear to work any day this week which is a feat in and of itself!

So, there was some good with the bad but really the bad won this week and this glass of wine I am downing is pretty fucking good.

And, I just made ratatouille for the first time this year. It’s probably one of my favorite dishes.

In closing, fuck you week. I am bouts to eat ratatouille made from scratch out of all the veggies in my garden.

I feel better already. I don’t think it is just the wine talking. Thanks for coming to my par-tay.

Grampa, Sissy, Me, and Gramma. May they rest in peace and sing with the angels.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stuffeda Peppa

This summer has been pretty crappy for farmers here is good ole NW WA. Our tomatoes are far behind last year which means I will be trying out many green tomato recipes! Our melons are pretty far behind too which means I won't be stuffing my face with fresh cantaloupe 24/7. But, for some reason, the bell peppers are growing super duper well. That is a good thing for me because I effing love stuffed peppers! We have been eating them pretty regularly here. They are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and are so good! If you would like to enjoy some, go ahead and make them for dinner this week. If you can't get them from a local farmer (or your very own garden), go ahead and buy them from the store. You can use any color you want, we just only happen to have green....because it isn't hot enough to turn them red. 

Stuffed Peppers
created by FVW
feeds 2 (for main dish) or 4 (as a side dish)

4 bell peppers
3/4c brown rice, cooked
1T olive oil/butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2c cheese, grate
1/2t salt

1. Remember your rice must be cooked, so you may want to do that first. Preheat the oven to 350 while you are at it too.

2. Roast the peppers. If you have a gas stove, this works super well, just place the peppers on the open flames and turn as each side blackens. If you have an electric stove, I think you will need to use the broiler in your oven (just make sure you use the shelf closest to the broiler). Remember to turn the peppers when they blacken. The entire pepper won't turn black but big spots will.

3. Put the blackened pepper in the plastic bag and let sit for 10 minutes.

4. While the peppers are sitting, go ahead and put your oil in a sauté pan. Sauté your onions for about 5 minutes or until soft.

5. Put the rice, cooked onion, tomato, cheese, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix them all up.

6. Take your bell peppers out of the bag. Use the edge of a knife to scrap off the blackened areas of the peppers. If you don't get it all off, that isn't a big deal. Just do the best you can.

7. Cut the top off your peppers and take out the seeds.

8. Stuff each pepper with the rice mixture. Place them each in an oven pan, I use a small one.

9. If there is leftover rice-mix, go ahead and put it on the top of all the peppers in the pan.

10. Cover with tin foil. If you are making this in advance of your meal, go ahead and cover with the foil and stick in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them, pop them in the oven for the amount of time below.

11. Bake for 20 minutes.

12. After 15 minutes, take off the foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. After that, they're ready!


Monday, September 3, 2012

The OP (Olympic Peninsula)

Gosh darnit! It is September and I just noticed that I only made one post, ONE POST, in August. Last year, I made five. I am sorry to have kept you from my good-for-nothing  witty, insightful, informative words.
What was I doing you wonder? Well, honestly, it was a lot of vacation. You may know that every summer I complain about not going camping but this year we finally made the time. First, we took a family vacay to Sun Lakes, like usual, and then we took a week long camping road trip along the Olympic Peninsula.

Mr Pepperworth and I have been talking about taking a Washington Olympic Peninsula trip for years. (That and a bike trip of the San Juans, the latter of which we still have not done.) Well, we finally did it and we took the Vanagon! It was actually very handy to have so much room and to sleep in the van on the queen size "bed". We had a great time, saw some amazing things, and we will definitely be going back, hopefully multiple times in our lifetime.

Here are some things that we did:

Day 1: We took the Port Townsend ferry and drove to Dungeness Spit in Sequim. It was a county park and costs $20/night which is a bit much, if you ask me but the view was beautiful. We did the Spit hike walk for about 2 miles. The 5 mile hike (one way) to the end of the spit didn't sound that fun really. When you have seen one mile of the spit/beach, you've seen it all.

The bluff at the end of a short trail from our site
Day 2: Drove to get our bear canister at the Port Angeles Ranger Station and then got our Recreation Pass from the Makah Tribe so we could do an overnight hike to Shi Shi Beach. The hike was only 4 miles and was perfect! Shi Shi Beach was very nice and had some pretty cool camping pits. There was a lot of garbage on the beach though. Some of it was even from Japan and Russia. So, that was slightly depressing. The sunset was beautiful though, unless you think about it as population. I didn't at the time.

The said plastic garbage pile.
Looking at the Point of Arcs from the north end of Shi Shi
Day 3: We hiked out and went to Cape Flattery on the Northwestern tip of WA. It was super cool. The water was a great color and there were puffins. Puffins are funny. Then, we changed our plans and instead of going to La Push and then to the Hoh Rain Forest, we went to Lake Ozette. I am so glad we did, it was so wonderful. It is a huge lake about 3 miles from the ocean. It seems like it is an alpine lake though because of the trees and the quite setting. There are no boats on the lake and a campground that has 15 spots. The lake was even warm enough to swim in 70ish weather.

Cape Flattery. (Somehow we didn't get a picture of the lake)
Day 4: We stayed at Lake Ozette another night. We went for a 3.3 mile hike to Cape Alava that was very nice. It had a boardwalk and the beach was rocky, a type we hadn't seen yet. We decided to run all the way back though and my van keys fell out of my bag. After about an hour we got into the van with some Ranger help. Ranger Dragon (seriously) got some blueberries and beans for his kindness.

That hill in the background is the western-most point in the lower 48.
Day 5: Drove to La Push and had lunch at Beach 1. Then we got a campsite at Mora campground. It was shaded and cold in the campsite. Honestly, we weren't really that impressed. (When we weren't at the beach, we mostly spied on the other campers who provided enough entertainment.) In the afternoon, we went to Rialto Beach for some sun where I was the only person laying on a towel in my bathing suit. I was slightly embarrassed but at least I wasn't wearing long sleeves, long pants and a back pack. I was relaxing!

Beach 1
Washington sun bathing
The van and I at Mora
Day 6: We were headed back towards Port Townsend to camp around the Elwah River but as we were about half way there, I proposed the idea of just driving all the way home. We had a good trip, a lot of fun and it would be nice to get home and tend to the house/garden. Mr Peps was all up for the idea so we headed home. Stanley and Simon were very glad we decided to come home early!

Heading home. Lake Crescent in the background.
The boys in the van as soon as we got home.
So, if you ever want to take a Olympic Peninsula trip, I recommend it. Dare I say the WA coast is just as good, if not better, than the Oregon coast?! I do dare say it, and I just did.