Asparagus is awesome. Don’t you agree? I think it may be the most elegant vegetable out there. I feel fancy when I serve it and sophisticated when I eat it. And, bonus, it’s good for you, too!
When we planned our first garden last spring we knew we wanted to grow asparagus even after we discovered that our first harvest would be about a year away. Asparagus is unique among the other items we chose in that it is perennial and uses its own stored energy to grow. We planted one year old crowns, instead of seeds, to give ourselves a head start on the growing process since it takes two years for plants to yield their first crop. You can read more about how asparagus convert energy into new shoots here.
A couple weeks ago when the first new shoots sprung up in our asparagus bed we were ecstatic. We ate asparagus and eggs that first morning. It was the best asparagus I’ve ever eaten. There is nothing more satisfying than eating food grown under the care of your own hands. This year’s harvest was not very large (as was to be expected), but it gave us a taste of what is to come for the next twenty or so years (asparagus live forever!).
Even if you don’t have fresh asparagus springing up in your own garden right now, be sure to pick some up at the store or market while it’s in season. Done up in the skillet with eggs in the morning or roasted on a salad in the evening this vegetable is not to be missed!
Posted by Erin on May 5, 2013
It’s finally spring! At least, it is today. It might snow tomorrow. St. Louis weather is finicky! But, no matter what the weatherman says, I’m already preparing for spring. Our winter coats have been pushed to the back of the closet and I’m trying to decide what the best pair of flip flops for these pregnant feet will be this summer.
Here are a few products that I’m enjoying that are helping me celebrate the beginning of warmer, sunnier weather!
- Contigo Water Bottle – We bought these in a two pack at Costco and haven’t looked back. I love that this water bottle has a straw. I’ve found that having one leads to me drinking much more water throughout the day.
- LaCroix Lime – Again, purchased in a giant pack at Costco, this is a recent favorite. It’s the perfect drink to pour into a pretty glass with a slice of lime and drink on the patio after work. Since I’m off the cocktail wagon for a few more months it’s nice to have a drink that still feels fancy!
- Gentle Leader – Without the gentle leader our boys are beasts to walk. They only weigh about 20lbs each but when they aren’t being gently lead it’s hard to keep them on the path. Having one of these for each of them makes going for a quick walk a more enjoyable and frequent experience.
- Simple Human Compost Bin – Our garden is about to yield it’s first round of produce and we’re stocking up on more fresh foods at the grocery each week. As a result, the composter is back in action after a sad, slow winter. This bin is pricey, but worth every penny. We’ve used it for over a year now and I’ve never, ever, even once smelled grossness in my kitchen.
What are your favorite things this spring?
Posted by Erin on May 3, 2013
When we told my parents that we were expecting our first child this August, we also had to break the news that we’d be missing the big family vacation already planned for that month. Jokingly we told my parents that we thought they should probably skip the summer trip to North Carolina and take us to Ireland in the springtime instead. In a shocking twist they called up the siblings a few weeks later with just such an invitation! We are very lucky kids.
Because my family often flies stand-by (without actual revenue tickets) on our trips, Mr. Thirdrowseat and I decided to head overseas a few days before the rest of the family. Landing a seat on an airplane gets much simpler when there’s only two vying for those open seats rather than eleven all on one day. Bonus for us! We tacked on a couple days in London and Oxford before meeting the family in Shannon, Ireland for a week.
Posted by Erin on May 1, 2013
My packing list for our recent trip went through at least four or five iterations but I think I landed on a winning combination that was be light, comfortable, and stylish. Here’s a glimpse into my suitcase at what I wore over and over and over…
- 2 pairs of pants
- 1 pair of leggings
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 2 short sleeve t-shirts
- 1 dress
- 2 sweater/jackets
- 1 scarf
- black boots
- tennis shoes
All in all, looking back I probably could have cut another shirt and dropped the tennis shoes. Who knew that my black leather boots would be the most comfortable option. I walked for days and my feet were comfy and well supported.
Packing Lesson: Even when you think you’ve trimmed all you can from your suitcase, give it one more look. You can probably live without that extra option and you’ll be glad your case is lighter when you’re hauling it through the London Underground.
Travel Tip: Ryan Air has cheap fares for a reason. Do yourself a favor and fly Aer Lingus even if it’s a bit more expensive. Seriously.
Posted by Erin on April 29, 2013
I can rarely pass up an occasion to bake a cake and this is a cake I’ve been looking forward to making for many, many months!
We’re blessed to have most of our family in town. So we gathered them together for the big gender reveal. We let Nana cut the cake….
It’s a …
Posted by Erin on April 6, 2013
We’re getting ready to head across the pond in a few weeks. While I’m really looking forward to spending a few days in England and almost a week in Ireland, I’m a little nervous about packing well and compactly. Over the years our family has adopted the “carry-on only” rule for air travel and it is usually not a problem especially when traveling on shorter trips or domestically, but I have some packing jitters this time.
Here are my chief concerns:
- bringing clothes that fit (pregnancy has really done a number on the stability of my wardrobe)
- the weather (too warm, too cold, and not having the right clothes)
- comfort (again, this belly is growing so more attention has to be paid to comfort – especially for shoes this trip)
Do you have some tips or tricks to share? How do you pack lightly for air travel? What things can you not live without?
Posted by Erin on April 2, 2013
I ate a tomato this weekend. Granted, it was store bought, but it was ripe, firm, and juicy and all of the sudden I could barely wait for the middle of July and fresh veggies from the garden.
This weekend we did some prep work on our garden boxes from last year. We removed some old string and mixed in new compost. We loosened up the soil and added some natural fertilizers.
It didn’t take us long to come up with our plan for spring crops this year since we’d learned a lot from our experience last spring. (Our major take away – we planted too many things too close together last year.) This time around we just planted our favorites and can’t wait to see them sprout.
By the end of a quiet rainy weekend our spring crops were planted. In the next few months we’re expecting:
- Green Onions
- Swiss Chard
- Purple Plum Radishes
- Easter Egg Radishes
- Pak Choy
How are you getting ready for Springtime? What’s growing in your garden?
Posted by Erin on March 11, 2013
It is with great joy and full hearts that we announce that we are one step closer to filling up our Volvo seats. Our little family is growing!
We are thrilled that Baby McLaury will be arriving in late August. Thank you for sharing in our joy and excitement!
Posted by Erin on February 14, 2013
Two years ago today my best friend asked me to be his wife. I didn’t sleep for days because I couldn’t stop grinning.
Posted by Erin on February 4, 2013
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Let your heart be light.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
(Isaiah 9:2 ESV)
Posted by Erin on December 25, 2012