Well-constructed

Instant cold frame

My husband is a genius. This particular manifestation of his genius came about because I didn’t think ahead. I had the brilliant (!) idea of planting romaine lettuce in the cold frame. We could start it very early, I figured, and have our first crop in May, before some of our other plants are even […]

Taking the plunge

They come loose eventually

One day last fall, as we were coming off the clamming grounds at Bay Street in Osterville with a peck of quahogs, we saw two guys loading their pickup with two full baskets of steamers. Steamers, as all you clammers know, are generally harder to come by than quahogs. They bury themselves much deeper than […]

Throw me a bone …

Inexpertly butchered rabbit braising in beer and stock

… and I’ll make stock. A year into Starving, the waste-not mentality has taken root, and it makes me look at everything differently. If I see a downed branch, I think firewood. Bacon fat gets turned into chicken feed. Fish guts? Lobster bait! It’s gotten to the point where not only do I want to […]

Doomed from the start

This is what's left of barley after the beer's taken out

Back in the spring, we embarked on our first mushroom-growing venture. So far, it’s yielded exactly one shiitake mushroom, but we have high hopes for a crop in the spring. This is how you grow shiitakes: drill a bunch of holes in some oak logs; hammer in dowels infused with shiitake spawn (which you buy […]

Garbage into eggs

The 1889 Henry Justice Ford version of Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin got a bad rap. Remember the story? An ordinary miller has aspirations for his daughter, so he tells the king she can spin straw into gold. The king, understandably curious about a girl with such a skill, takes the rather radical step of locking her in a turret for three days with some straw […]