Spaghetti Sauce, September 16 Version (with apple!)

This most recent in my series of spaghetti sauce recipes is good for “Guess the Mystery Ingredient” if you like to play that game.  I added the apple, and added it early in the cooking process, because I was concerned that the mostly-green pepper would give this sauce a sharp, tangy flavor.  I have disliked green peppers since my first pregnancy (when they invariably gave me stomachaches) because of that sharpness, so when we get a green pepper in our farm share I set it out at room temperature and hope it ripens to another, sweeter color.  Sometimes they do; sometimes they just start to shrivel up and need to be used.  This one got about halfway.  Cooking green pepper for a good long time, especially in oil, also helps to mellow its flavor and acidity.

But the apple really did the trick!  I think this is my tastiest sauce in a while.  The onion, pepper, apple, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, and basil all came from the farm, so this is a seasonal Pennsylvania recipe!  (The kale also was from the farm, actually, back in June, when we froze some of it to use later.)

Here are the instructions/ingredients/method for approximately reproducing this batch of sauce: Read more…

Clothesline Hangers for Basement or Porch

In my article on line-drying laundry, I verbally described these handy clothesline hangers that can be made out of scrap lumber and installed in any place that has exposed rafters/joists in the ceiling.  I finally decided to share some photos of them, since this is the kind of thing that really is easier to understand if you can see what I’m talking about–particularly if you never saw one before.  (I am sorry about the poor lighting–our basement is dim, and I made this post on a sudden inspiration, using my iPad which has no flash–but I think they’re better than no photos at all!)

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The way to make these is Read more…

Living on the Flip Side

The sky is so blue today.  The sun is so bright, the leaves are still green, and the birds are singing.  It’s a beautiful day, just like the eleventh of this month eleven years ago.

I remember walking home after my office closed early on September 11, 2001, thinking how impossibly wrong it felt that something so horrible could happen on such a nice day.  I am one of the lucky people who easily survived the terrorist attacks and didn’t know anyone who was directly affected.  But of course we were all emotionally affected, and for me the moment when it really became a day of horror was when I saw (replayed on television) the sickeningly rapid, thundering, smoldering collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

And I thought, Oh, no, no, no–WE ARE ON THE RED SIDE OF THE CARD!!! Read more…