A (Wo)man, a Plan

I am SO excited about summer, I can hardly contain myself. I have plans. And ideas. Lots of plans & ideas. I got started on two of them this weekend.

First of all, I made my first attempt at selling my food to the general public. This was daunting for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I have always given my little creations away, and always to friends and family. Friends & family are supposed to be nice, and forgiving, so the other thing I was worried about was whether anyone would actually like it, and then pay me for more of it. So I started in familiar territory: a community yard sale at the school where I work. I have to say it was a success! I didn’t quite make my expenses back to break even but I handed out enough samples and business cards to feel confident about doing it again soon. Now I just have to figure out where and when.

I also started my summer gardening project today. Last summer I grew just a few handy herbs, but this year’s garden includes basil, mint, Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cherry tomatoes, and shallot, all growing in my bedroom window. It’s my first time growing the vegetables indoors, so I’m hoping they do well. I’m growing the tomatoes from a seedling, and the shallot from bulbs. If the shallot does well for the first few weeks I might also plant some garlic.

photo 1 (4)photo 3 (3)

Finally (for now), my best friend Lisa and I are planning to make an attempt at home brewing. Naturally, I have felt it necessary to drink more beer than usual (haha) in order to figure out what we ought to brew, and right now I’m leaning toward amber ale. I tried the Appalachian Amber Ale by Thomas Creek this weekend and it’s pretty yummy. I also was in the vicinity of a Trader Joe’s today and picked up a few single bottles of other amber ales to try. We’re going to a class at a local home brewing supply store, but if anyone out there has any suggestions or advice on home brewing for beginners, I’d greatly appreciate it!

So it’s shaping up to be an eventful summer – I simply can’t wait until my days consist of little more than not waking to an alarm, visiting farmers markets and cooking & writing.


5 responses to “A (Wo)man, a Plan

  • Lisa Mortenson

    Can’t wait to start! It’s going to be a delicious summer 🙂

  • Mika

    You never had anything to worry about when the time came to share your food with strangers. Your friends, regardless of our duty to be forgiving, are honest. Your food is superb and you, my dear, are on the verge of greatness. Now, can a sista get some more soda bread?

  • Cathy

    Yay brewing! We haven’t made a batch in far too long. There’s a store near us that specializes in home brewing equipment and ingredients – and they post recipes on their website: https://www.beerbrew.com/?path=Recipes
    We haven’t gone wrong with those. They include some “Clones” of commercial beer as well as other basic recipes.
    The biggest thing is sanitization. Everything that touches the beer post-boiling needs to be sanitized. We’ve used an iodine solution.
    For steeping the grains, make a giant tea bag out of cheesecloth. Easier to just yank them out when it’s time to add the malt.
    Also, when it comes time, bottling in 12-ounce bottles is kind of a pain (more bottles to clean and sanitize and more opportunities for spillage). If you can stock up on larger bottles, that’s the way to go.

    • kpeeples

      Thank you so much for the advice, Cathy! We’ve heard the advice about sanitation & the iodine solution. We’re buying our recipe/equipment this weekend, I think – there’s a pretty decent home brew supply store here in Greensboro, believe it or not. I will check out your local shop’s website too. Much appreciated, hope you guys are doing well!

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