A happy belated St Patrick's Y'all! It seems like we're falling from holiday into the other these winter-months don't we?
mostly catholic festivities come to think of it, from Halloween and
Thanksgiving, to Christmas, Epiphany, Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras),
Valentine's day and now St Patty's of course. Before we know it it will be Easter already, despite it actually being very late this year!
As usual, I made a Corned beef with
all the trimmings. In my trusty InstantPot it's done super-fast and
comes out super-delicious every time.
I also tried my hand at baking
Irish Soda bread this time, which turned out to be the easiest bread I
ever made. It's made with only 4 ingredients (for the original recipe, I
made two and added some raisins in one) and uses baking soda instead of
All the rising is done in the oven, no pre-rising time required!
has a nice hard crust, a dense, but somehow still delicate texture and
slightly sour tang. Can you say delicious? (especially with the addition
of some real 'Kerrygold Irish butter')While
all that was cooking and baking, I mashed up a few strawberries that
were getting a little too old into a quick freezer-preserve. Can you
imagine how that tasted the next morning on a slice of that toasted
bread? Swoon ...
weather has been an equal mix of sunny, cool days and grey and rainy
but a little warmer ones. Typical
spring-doesn't-know-if-it's-coming-or-going weather if you know what I
I putzt around the RV a little, cleaned up some fallen
branches from the yard and measured the area around the back to see
where I'd put the chicken coop ... wait, what whaaaat, chicken coop?
Yeah, but hold your horses, it's not going to happen after all so ..
seriously was thinking about getting some chickens, started to research
which ones, what size/kind of coop to get, asked our landlord if he was
OK with it (he was) and read through some library books about the topic ..
To make a long story short, in the end I realized it just doesn't fit in our lifestyle.
main reason .. we travel too much. There's just no way we can disappear
for a couple of months (which we're intend to do again when James is
done studying and has his license) when we have a flock of chickens.
Oh well, I love the idea, it's a nice idea, but not for us (yet).
I wouldn't be me if I didn't come up with something else .. of course,
so I switched my focus (once again) on vegetable gardening.
My, not entirely successful, experimenting last year with some self watering
plant-boxes at least taught me one thing ... I need larger boxes .. or maybe I should look into something better/different.
I don't know if you remember, but last summer we build an outside
patio-floor in front of the RV from a bunch of old pallets our landlord
(who is a roofer) was getting rid of.
Wait, pallets? Didn't I see something about using pallets for raised beds?
and behold, a quick google search came up with hundreds of brilliant
ideas how to create raised-beds from .. yup, pallets! Like this:
next time I spoke to the landlord I informed him I nixed the chickens
(which I think he was secretly relieved about), "but by the way .. could
I have some more pallets and place some on the sunny side of the RV to
use for planters?"
He thought that was totally OK, so I've exchanged
my library books for some that deal with vegetable gardens and of
course I've already started to make drawings and lists and what-not.
As you can see, never a dull moment in that head of mine ..
Moving onto a totally different topic, I bought us our first gun!
just kiddin' of course ... but I splurged and bought myself two
contraptions that hopefully will help my aching butt/leg muscle and
still painful foot/heel.
First up, a massage gun! Finally, a good gun!
It's one of those things you wished you had done a lot sooner because OMG, this feels soooooo good!
Especially on the large butt muscles, but I'm not going to show that here.
A foot is a little bonier of course but the soft percussive
motion feels really good on that heel. The hope is to break up some
scar tissue and to get blood flowing better through those dense heel
Next up .. a Tens unit. Huh? I've
used a much smaller and cheaper unit before for back pain and it worked
almost every time so, since my other unit died, I'll give this (better)
one a try.
TENS unit works by delivering small electrical impulses through
electrodes that have adhesive pads to attach them to a person's skin."
This sort of works like an internal massage which stimulates tendon repair due to increased blood flow and relieves both muscle and nerve pain.
God knows I've tried everything else!
Oh, this week's Wednesday-night we went out for dinner to Thai-the-knot,
a Thai restaurant on the main drag here in Newberg.
some take-out from them last summer (for our anniversary), which we
weren't too impressed with, and beside that James seemed to remember
they were a little expensive, but we decided to give it a second try, so
.. in we went.
you can see, there's not much of an atmosphere and the wait for our
dinner was a little long but when it arrived (Roasted Duck curry and Chicken & Shrimp Crispy Basil) we were pleasant surprised!
that look good? Well, let me tell you it tasted even better, holy
mol(e)y, it was more than better, it was absolutely delicious! Even better-der, it was very affordable! OK, that's a wrap, until next week!
Needless to say, this place went on the 'approved by the Hess's' as well as the 'we'll be back' list.