Author Archives: Jacy L. Young

Garden, Part 3

On Tuesday j and I undertook the big dig. Let’s just say it was a lot of hard work. And, boy do my thigh hurt from all that squatting.

Here are the results.

Stay tuned for the results of the planting!

Garden, Part 2

I’m an impatient person.

j and I have plans to dig out, and potentially plant, the garden this Tuesday. (If we run out of time on Tuesday, planting may take place on Thursday.) But I’m not that patient.

Now that we actually have plans for the garden, not to mention plants, I’ve been itching to do something back there. Then, I spent Saturday at a friend’s garden planting party. I looked out my window Sunday morning and could no longer resist. So off I went to tackle the jungle. Technically our garden plans do not involve the jungle – the beds are to be planted around this chaos – but I couldn’t take it anymore. I put on my boots and garden gloves, grabbed my garden shears (yay Dollarama!) and went at it.

The jungle was consisted of two things: a bamboo plant and vines from a neighbour that have made their way over the fence and grown unimpeded for at least several years. I managed to fairly easily cut away at the vines and pull them off the top of the bamboo plant. I also managed to pull out at least a dozen long strips of vine that had grown under the vegetation in the rest of the yard. It was actually kind of creepy to pull these things out from all the greenery. Who know they were under there!

Once the vine was taken care of, I tackled the bamboo. There was a TON of dead bamboo hiding under the nest-y canopy the vines had formed on top of the plants. I’ve salvaged a bunch of the taller pieces and am hoping they’re sturdy enough to use as staked in the vegetable garden. By the way, super impressed with my $2 garden shears. They totally tackled the vines and bamboo.

You can see where I trampled all over the plants while clearing out the vines and bamboo. Oh, well. It wasn’t the nicest vegetation to begin with. And, the garden looks SO much better cleared out.

Even though I cut back all the vines from the fence and the house, I’m more than okay with them growing back and covering the fence. I just have to keep trimming them back so they don’t take over the door to the backyard.

More garden work to come later this week. Digging and planting!

Garden, Part 1

This year j and I have decided to make a garden. Purely to satisfy the demands of our stomachs.

When the discussion about gardening this summer came up I remembered my backyard. This will be my third summer in this house and I’ve never done anything back there, partly because it’s rather terrifying, partly because I’ve gone away for July and August previous years. This year I’m around for July at least so j and I decided to go for it and tackle my jungle of a backyard. Just so you know I am not overstating the state of my backyard, here are some before shots:

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Mountains of Cookies

The other day I decided to make cookies. And, boy did I make cookies. I have a friend (ahem, let’s just call her “j”) who loves iced sugar cookies. Well, mainly the icing. In any case, I decided sugar cookies were to be made. But, I also wanted to make something else. Which led me to the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that my grandmother has been making forever. It never fails that whenever anyone heads over to visit, she’s got these cookies on hand. That, in a nutshell, is the story of how I came to make cookies. The mountains of cookies part comes in purely because I have an irrational fear of not making enough baked goods to share. So I doubled the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe and ended up choosing a sugar cookie recipe that was undoubtedly doubled at some point in the past. The end result – hundreds of cookies covering every counter surface in my kitchen.

Technically the sugar cookies were supposed to be rolled out and then cut out. Not owning a rolling pin, I usually use an empty wine bottle to roll out these kind of things. But, I had no wine bottle, empty or otherwise on hand. So, after trying and failing to roll it out with a can of tomato sauce (not a good idea. the can crushed. oops.), I opted to roll the dough into balls and then press the balls down with the bottom of a cup. The perfect solution. Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi all. j2 here joining the original j in her blogging endeavor. We’re really going to have to work on these code names.

I have a meeting in the morning and decided to bake cookies for the occasion, something that has become a regular occurrence for these meetings. My search for a chocolate chip cookie recipe led me to one of my favourite food blogs: Smitten Kitchen. Although she has a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes on her website, including chocolate chip meringue cookies (gluten free and therefore perfect for a friend of mine!), I settled on these ones. The deciding factor? I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboard. I also opted to double the recipe, thinking that the 20 cookies the original recipe was supposed to make might not be enough for the hungry hoards I’ve been known to encounter.

I took Deb from Smitten Kitchen’s suggestion and toasted my walnuts before adding them to the dough. To toast the nuts, just throw them in a frying pan and turn on the heat. Make sure to stir to avoid burnt nuts. Once they start to smell like roasted nuts they’re done. Or, if you’re me, once you loss patience with the whole nut roasting process, they’re done. Still being impatient, I then threw the still warm nuts into the cookie dough, causing the chocolate chips to melt slightly. Not a catastrophe. The cookies turned out fine. But for future reference, let your nuts cool before adding them to your dough!

These cookies are big on chocolate (and nuts) and light on cookie dough. This was slightly concerning when I began since the dough was pretty crumbly.

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