Saturday, October 31, 2009


It started as a simple song about a pig...

And turned into a wild and crazy song about "Roosta Boosta"...

And I just have no idea what it all means.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Once I decided that my blog needed some changes, I was almost obsessive about it and I've been tinkering with it all day, in spite of my sleep-deprived haze.

And I think I'm satisfied... for now. I even got rid of that pesky Blogger navbar at the top!

I have it in my head to do a complete, from-scratch makeover, but it would be a big project and I really have other projects I should work on. So this will do for now.

Also, I may not continue with the monthly mastheads. Not that I don't like them-- I love them! I just... I don't know. Maybe I'll take a break and see how it goes. Maybe I'll just do seasonal updates instead of monthly. I guess I shouldn't quit altogether because then I would never have any design exercise! So we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, tell me what you think! How does it look on your end? Is everything readable? How does the right edge look? I know it will be different on different size monitors, and I don't know if I should make the masthead longer so that it will be more likely to stretch to the edge of bigger monitors, or leave it as it is.

Showing Off Pearly Whites, or Growling?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cliffs of Insanity

Yeah, sorry about that last post. I was just making sure you all are paying attention!


Anyway, maybe I've been feeling a little insane lately. It's partly because winter is coming, and by now I'm sure you all know very well how I feel about that. And it's partly hormonal insanity, but let's not go there. It's also partly insomnia insanity. (Astonishing alliteration, anyone?) Because not sleeping much makes people insane.

Yes. Yes it does.

It's actually been ever since my surgery. It's like my sympathetic nervous system went into high freak-out and I can't seem to be able to tell it to stand down already. So I toss and turn all night, and frequently wake up in panic mode, except that all I'm actually thinking about is that I need to remember to wash my jeans. Or how much I'll want a cup of tea at 10:30 later that morning. So I fidget and think, except I can't seem to think in a straight line, and try to will myself to go back to sleep and then my brain goes "BZZZOT! I need to refill the salt shaker! Hey, and where is the phone book, anyway?"

Frankly, it's exhausting.

Maybe I should look into getting that fixed.

Oh, and speaking of things that cause insanity (because that's what we were speaking of, wasn't it?), I have one single, solitary appliance in my house with power to bring down all semblance of lucidity.

One thing that resides in our creepy, old basement that can single-handedly (single-pipedly?) rule my days.

I wrote about it once before. Maybe twice, I don't know.

It's the water softener. The jewel of house-hold function and yet bane of my existence. When it decides to go on the blink, I will put off doing laundry for days or weeks --long past running out of clean underwear-- in hopes that maybe this time it will come back on and I won't have to fill the machine halfway with vinegar in order to ensure that the clothes and towels don't turn orange. It has power to make me ashamed of my sinks and toilet, not because I haven't cleaned them, but because the Evil Appliance makes it appear quite convincingly that I haven't cleaned them. And that's all to say nothing of my hair. You could probably mine iron ore from my scalp.

Usually, Nathan can sweet-talk the water-softener into compliance. Other times, he just gives it a swift kick in the rusty under-parts. But I'm thinking we need to get psychological about it. Make it want to work. Natural consequences and all that. Unplug it, unplumb it, and let it sit there and think about it's misdeeds. Maybe we'll carry it out to sit in the rain a while as well and let the chickens poop on it. And no matter how much it pleads for the Culligan Man, we'll just laugh our evil cackle and ask how powerful it feels now, punk?

Hm. Wonder what I'll wake up panicking about tonight?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We do not celebrate Halloween. We celebrate Reformation Day instead, but that's not what this post is about. I does not bother me that we don't celebrate Halloween. I'm so not into it. Nothing about it has been even remotely appealing to me.

Until today. This cracked me up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Because it's a gloomy Tuesday morning (whatever happened to Indian summer, anyway?), I thought I'd show you what my life is really like. No, really.

I was going about my business, putting dishes away after breakfast. Yes, dishes from last night. Because, while I do make sure to wash dishes twice each day, I do not dry and put them away promptly. I do put them away, but only after they've air dried. Because frankly, I have better things to do that dry all the dishes myself. Soon, I will have a child capable of drying and putting away dishes, but until then, forget it. Better things to do.

Hey, speaking of doing dishes, and this is a total aside, but I just thought of this story. The Amish in our neighborhood are preparing for a wedding, to be held on Thursday just down the road from here. The Amish hold weddings in the fall (one can only speculate as to why, and I do have some theories!) and the weddings are generally held at the home of the bride.

Yesterday evening, a sister of the bride came to my kitchen to make frosting for the big wedding cake (which, I'm informed they do not decorate). She brought butter, sh-sh-shortening (actually Nathan had stopped at the store on his way home and bought the shortening for them. Pretty sure that's the only time Nathan has, or will ever buy shortening), powdered sugar and a recipe.

And why did she need me?

Because I have an electric mixer. It's much easier to make an ice-cream-bucket full of frosting with an electric mixer than by elbow-power. Much. And it turns out fluffier that way as well.

So we made a giant batch of frosting! In my kitchen! And it was fun!

And here's the part of the story that I was getting to; the part that made me think of telling you this story in the first place.

She washed up afterwards.


She just went right to the sink and proceeded to wash the dishes we had used and wipe off the counter while I put things away.

Wasn't that sweet of her? I love that.

'Course, I pretty much always love when other people clean my kitchen. (Like my Mother-in-law. She always washes all my dishes when she's here. Hey... only a few more weeks until she comes for Thanksgiving...)

Okay, so that was not why I started this post, although, in a minute, you might wish it were. You'll be begging me to just end it right here.

But I'm not going to.

Now where was I? Oh yes, putting away the supper dishes I had washed last night after supper (but before the frosting episode).

So I got to this big bowl:

I love big bowls.

Anyway, I noticed something odd about it...

No, not my distorted reflection, though that is a little odd. I'm talking about something creepy crawly.

A broccoli worm. Yes, crawling around inside my big bowl. Yes, I know how it got in here- on the broccoli, of course. How it survived the salt-water bath I gave the broccoli, I'll never know. How it managed to find it's way into my big bowl is more of a mystery still. But there it was, and my poor camera just had no idea what to focus on, and you can count your blessings that I could not take a closer shot.

Because I totally would have.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's in a Name?

I read Jonah his Bible story before bed tonight. We use the My Good Shepard Bible Storybook-- the same book that Dad used to read stories to my siblings and me when we were little. It has great illustrations and wonderfully written stories. Lately, Jonah has taken to requesting specific stories, and rather than let him leaf through the entire book to find it, he tells us about it and we can usually find it quickly.

Tonight he said he wanted to read "The one where Mary laughed by a tree."


So I looked at every story with Mary in it... he didn't agree to any. I had to ask for clarification. "What else happened in that story?"

"They wanted to have a baby!"

Ooooohhh. Sarah laughed in her tent when told she would have a baby in her old age.

Yes. Now we're on to something. Sure enough, that was the one he was thinking of.

Indian Summer

I guess this is it.

Our Indian Summer. Looks like sun and warmth for this week and then the cold and rain will set in-- for good most likely.

We're making the best we can of it.

"Outside every possible minute" is the rule around here.

After that, this little boy:

Yeah, the goat-rider...

The grubby dirty one...

He will have to stay inside a lot more.

And nobody's looking forward to that.

Now Fermenting

I have become maybe more than a little obsessive about fermenting lately. It's just so much fun and I just keep thinking of more yummy things to try! Today, I mixed up some of this:

Spicy sauerkraut! It contains a mix of Chinese and green cabbages (I don't much care for Chinese cabbage by itself because it gets really soft and watery, but a combination is wonderful!) along with carrots, garlic, big flakes of cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, cilantro flakes (which are not actually anything like fresh cilantro-- much to the disappointment of my cilantro-loving palate), a little soy sauce and lemon juice. Mmmmm... can't wait to try it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Says "Fall" to Me

This is one of my favorite, simple fall dishes. Root vegetables-- drizzled with melted lard and sprinkled with sage and salt and pepper. Roasted till tender and caramelized ever so slightly, it's completely delicious and so satisfying on a chilly, rainy day.

Friday, October 23, 2009


We opened a bottle of our homemade beer the other day (we needed it after all the chicken-butchering that day...). And it was-- good! Bubbly, smooth, bitter, yeasty, tasty! Not award-winning, but totally drinkable. Success! Room for growth, but success nonetheless.

I had already started another 1-gallon batch of beer, so Nathan helped me bottle it today. I'm now out of beer ingredients, but it was cider-pressing day at our Amish neighbor's, so that provided me with a new brewing experiment. We had gotten a good deal on a nice mix of cider apples, and Nathan took them for pressing this morning (he didn't make me go in the pouring rain-- ain't he sweet?) and brought me ten gallons.

I'm going to make some lacto-fermented cider, which is non-alcoholic and totally delicious, but I decided to experiment with some hard cider and vinegar this year.

And when I say "experiment" I mean EXPERIMENT.

You know I'm just not happy unless I'm experimenting. Especially when it involves things rotting in my kitchen.

I did lots of reading about making hard cider, but found quite a number of different methods. I decided to work with what I have and brew every batch differently.

Nathan's been collecting small carboys for me, so I got them cleaned and sanitized.

Some sources say to pasteurize the cider and some say not. I, of course, would prefer it unpasteurized, but I decided that to try some that way and some raw and see what results.

I used a dry-fermenting wine yeast in four of the bottles.

And in the fifth, I got really wild and crazy. I collected the trub (sediment) from the bottom of a jug of raw cider vinegar. I was going to siphon the cider off so that I would have the nice thick stuff, but then I thought... no. A big mouthful of straight cider? No thanks. (Though I am getting better at getting the siphon going without drowning.) I decided to pour carefully. This mixed up my yeast a little bit, so I let it settle out in a jar and then sucked it off the bottom with a turkey-baster.

I added that baster-full of yeast to a jug of cider and we'll see what happens. If it's not drinkable, that will be okay as I'll just let it keep going to vinegar. I'm hoping to be able to make plenty of vinegar anyway.

I also added some lemon juice to the pasteurized cider.

To some jugs I added white sugar and to one I added Sucanat and to some I added no sugar. And I numbered the jars and wrote down what's in each one.

And I realize, of course, that I have an awful lot of variables for only five jugs. (One variable per jug? Nah. That kind of control is for sissies.) But whatever. It'll keep me guessing enough to entice me to do it again.

Due to a deficiency of airlocks, I resorted to colorful party balloons. Hey, they'll do the job-- keep air out while preventing the jugs from exploding into sticky glass shrapnel while I'm innocently washing dishes. Of course Jonah is fascinated by the balloons, and asked me what we'll do with the big balloons after the jugs blow them up...

Maybe we'll have a party.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


And that's "refuse" as in [ref-yoos]–noun 1. something that is discarded as worthless or useless; rubbish; trash; garbage rather than [ri-fyooz] to decline to accept (something offered). Thus ends your vocabulary lesson for this post.

Eh-hem. I was going to say, before getting sidetracked by communication fundaments, that my husband is the king of dumpster diving.

And I mean that in the very best way possible.

Why, just look at these wonderful things he has found for me
on the side of the road. One man's trash, and all that.

This rocker-glider (while admittedly needing a cushion update) is the most comfortable rocker-glider you will ever sit it. I promise. You should come and try it out. Once you sit, you won't want to get out of it. It had a little something-or-other broken underneath it, and the rich owners of the lake house it lived in would rather buy something new, so out to the curb it went. Just in time for Nathan to drive by and rescue it. (Pay no attention to the paper-tape-and-string thing hanging from the door-handle in that picture. It is some sort of sign made by the four-year-old who lives here and involving a comment to the effect of "It's for signs and for seasons.")

And then there was this:

He arrived upon this on a heavy-trash day soon after we moved here. We had absolutely no storage in our bathroom (not even a sink-vanity or medicine cabinet) and all the necessary bathroom items were piled in a cardboard box for months. On this particular day, I sent him out with instructions not to come home without a chest-of-drawers, and see what he found! Perfect. Needs some paint and new hardware, and maybe someday I'll get to it.

He hauled this very heavy-duty dresser home before Jonah was born and it became a fantastic place to put baby clothes, burp cloths and diapers. It was missing a drawer, but a friend made one to match the other drawers quite nicely. It to, needs paint. Someday.

These are only a few of the trash-to-treasure finds we have around here. This list is long. (And I'm not even counting the free ads he answers! These are just things found sitting on the curb.) It's just so very satisfying to my frugal sensibilities-- especially when it's things we actually need. The common theme seems to be "free, needs work". But we don't mind work do we? Okay, so maybe I have a little trouble getting around to all the furniture-painting plans I have. Like I said, someday. Soon. Really!

All this to show-and-tell his latest find:

A headboard for our bed! I've been wanting a headboard for a long time! I've been scheming ways to re-purpose something like an old wooden door (I still love that idea, Nathan still hates it) as a headboard. But no longer! I have a lovely wooden (and red, no less!) headboard in remarkably good shape needing nothing more than a couple screws!

I'm married to such a cleaver and resourceful guy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Externally Sourced Insomnia

Nathan and I just read this blog post together and we laughed until I cried. I mean, tears. Streaming. There may have been snorting.

Anyway, go read it. If you don't then you must not like to laugh. The illustrations make all the difference, and we especially howled at the ones depicting the "child in bed" and the "spooning".

Here's the link: Good Night and Tough Luck

Monday, October 19, 2009

Common Bushes

Earth's crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes-

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

So said Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I thought it was a wonderful, deliciously pithy bit of insight when I came across that quote a few weeks ago. It keeps coming back to me as I do my best to soak up every gorgeous drop of fall before winter sets in.

I've been reading the works of Charlotte Mason, on advice from a dear homeschooling friend. So far, I've been reading what she says about teaching and guiding young children. One of the things she strongly emphasizes, especially for kids under age 10, is nature study.

She writes about how keen a child's powers of observation are, especially when they're allowed plenty of time to roam outside.

Children's minds grow so fast at this point, and they learn in a very different fashion from older children and adults. They soak up every little thing that they see and hear, and everything that they do is mainly focused on learning how the world works.

Nature study provides a rich background for this. All the material they need for learning about their environment is already present in God's creation.

Charlotte Mason's writings contain some amazing insights into directing the formation of a young child's lifelong habits, and she in no way under-emphasizes their spiritual development as well.

As adults, we often block out the details or individual sensations from our daily life. We don't need them any more, and our brains just prioritize what's most important to our task.

But to a small child, every little occurrence and impression builds on their base of learning and prepares them for the bigger lessons to come. Here a little, there a little, until everything is indelibly in place. Even periods of "masterly inactivity" serves to feed a child's developing mind.

In my opinion, these little people are an even more amazing part of God's creation than any fiery bush, and I pray I can always have the wisdom to take off my shoes.

Hi Ho Silver!

Jonah is a great help with the animal chores every morning and evening. In fact, I bet he could almost just do it all himself! He knows the routine pretty well. He can feed the chickens and cats, let the ducks out of their house, fill water buckets with the hose (well... before it started freezing at night...), and he can carry hay to the goats and spread some clean bedding for them. I always tie up Cappuccino while I milk Opal so that Izzy and Pebble can eat some grain undisturbed. He knows how to hook her to the rope, and double checks that she is untied before we leave the barn.

He's a good helper!

But what is work without a little play to sweeten it?

Yes, he rides goats.

They're just his size, and Cappuccino is so sweet and gentle that she couldn't care less that there's a kid on her back! (And she's practically the size of a pony, anyway...)

As long as Opal has some hay to eat, she doesn't care either.

Of course, if they start to walk away, he just plops off the side... but he's getting a little better at the dismount. Maybe he needs to work on his "knee grip"...

Friday, October 16, 2009

For Every Phase of Life, There is a Magazine

I feel almost like I've betrayed my childhood. My teen years, really. The years where one of my many obsessions was music. I played the flute. I played the piano. And I loved it.

I still do, of course. I just don't seem to have time to play and focus on it like I used to. When I think of it, I sigh and say, "Maybe someday."

So it feels kind of awful to have thrown this away.

In my cleaning frenzy today (throw-away tally for the day: a small stack of old phone books, and extra 2009 calendar, several extraneous preschooler art projects, a small pile of broken toys, a mountain of catalogs, and all these little scraps of paper...) I found a heap of these Flute Talk magazines. I leafed through them with a little nostalgia-- at one time in my life, I devoured every one of them, no matter that most of the articles were a little over my head. It was Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge. And I loved the flute. And yeah... part of me thought I could get better at playing by reading which is easier than practicing.

I've always preferred reading over working...

After that little walk down memory lane, I pitched them in the burn trash. I will admit to a smidge of hesitation. But only a smidge. Why was I keeping them? Would I ever read them again? No.

So I pitched them.

It made me think of other magazine piles I have around. Somewhere upstairs I have a box of the journals of the massage therapy association I belonged to when I was in massage therapy school (and for about a year or so after graduation...). My life has taken a different turn since then, but I was pretty obsessive about it at the time. So I have the magazines.

But I think I need to dig them out and pitch them, too.

I have a pile of Countryside and Small Stock Journal from more recently in my obsessive history. Technically, I'm still on that one --homesteading-- but not to where I feel the need to read the magazine. I have an ever growing stack of Family Fun to which I was given a subscription. That has lots of fun ideas that I have plans of using for Jonah, but will I really? I'm not so sure.

So it makes me wonder... What do all these magazines say about me? About my ability to follow through on things I undertake? About the constancy of my interests? About my pack-ratishness? About my hormone-induced household purging?

Hm. Now that I think about it, maybe I don't actually want the answers to those questions...

Birds on the Wires

I just had to share this. The person who made the video said:
Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What He's Been Missing

As we were finishing supper tonight, I told Jonah "Hey... I thought for a treat tonight I would make some pudding!"

Jonah looked at me, blinked, and said "What will we be putting on?"

Ba-dum bum.

Get it? Pudding? Putting? Ha.

The kid is so sheltered he doesn't even know the joys of chocolate pudding.

I Done Them In!

My lungs, that is.

Cough, cough, hack, hack, wheeeeze...

I had these peppers, see?

I took an assortment of the hottest ones (habanero, jalapeno, hungarian wax, and some teeny little things that I have not identified) and whizzed them up into a pretty little confetti.

When I opened the food processor, oh, how my lungs did burn!

So I held my breath and stirred them up with some salt and set them to age a while.

The object here is to end up with hot sauce. We'll see how that goes... Never done it before and can't find much information. However, I did learn that the McIlheny's company that makes Tabasco sauce ages their pepper mash for three years in oak barrels! Three years! Not sure mine will make it quite that long.

And because I didn't yet feel like I had done sufficient damage to my bronchials, I proceeded to slice up a big bowlful of jalapenos for pickling.

These things are hazardous to your breathing, I tell ya what. My lungs, they are a burnin'. And even though I wore rubber gloves and tried to be careful, some of the pepper oils still ended up on my face. Owwww...

Note to self: find Hazmat suit for pepper slicing.

Packing Up to Head to the Nearest Bridge

I am such a bum.

I've been neglecting my poor blog in the worst way. So much for posting every day. But don't feel bad, dear reader. I'm not only neglectful of my blog (and by extension, you), but everything else.

I have peppers that need pickling, because my dear husband bought a big bag of jalapenos for cheap and then asked me sweetly. I can't resist when he asks me sweetly.

I have a child who has all sorts of ideas about what I need to make for him out of paper and tape and string.

I have a website that needs updates and a actual paying website that needs... well everything.

My house is still greatly in need of dejunking.

Oh boy, and do I ever have potatoes to dig!a

I even have photos for a few blog posts rolling around in my camera-- but no impetus to do anything about it.

Oh yes, I have piles of things to work on and loads of good intentions.

And what am I doing?

What, I ask you?


Sitting here. Reading blogs. Eating the last of the good chocolate.


Yes, I am.

(Private to my Mom: Did you bring me some of the good stuff when you came back from gallivanting in the land of chocolate mountains?)

I wish I had something funny to say. Or sweet. Or... interesting. But to be honest with you-- I'm a little irritable. Hostile, even.

Bad tempered.





Not that I have any real reason to be. But it doesn't matter. The sun is not shining. It is cold. Those are all the reason I need.

I hate being cold.

I thought I would have some energy today for the Tackling of Things. But then I proceeded not to sleep last night. Again.

I hate not sleeping.


Need more chocolate.

And maybe a big pot of my favorite tea.

Because I like to self-medicate like that. Anything to just feel better, right?

Are you still with me? You're still here reading my ill-tempered meanderings? I have to say that is right decent of you.


I'm a bum.

That is all.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pill Pusher

Jonah points some little broken toy at Nathan's mouth: "What's going on in your mouth? Open up, so I can see."

Nathan: "Ahhhhh..."

Jonah: "Yep. It's bad." He picks up his play cell phone. "Yeah... Hi. His bacteria is growing. Yep, he needs medicine. Okay. Bye." Jonah gives Nathan pretend medicine.

Jonah, to me: "Let me see. What's going on in your tummy?"

Me: "It's digesting my scones."

Jonah: "It's bad?"

Me: "No. It's perfectly fine."

Jonah: "But it hurts! Open your mouth." Looks inside. "Yep. Have some medicine."

Me: "Mm."

Jonah: "Good. Have a nice day!"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Great Carrot Taste Test

I've never been able to grow sweet carrots, it seems. If I cut them up into carrot sticks for munching, I always end up feeling like I was chewing on a bar of soap. Blech. Every year, I try different varieties, but alas-- they always taste strong.

This year, I had higher hopes because Nathan spread plenty of manure last fall, and we've built up the soil somewhat over the last few years. I planted three kinds of carrots, and some I planted in a raised bed with even better soil.

That is... I think I planted three kinds. It might have been four. And I think I know which were which... Despite my best efforts at record keeping and writing down what went where so as best to determine favorite varieties... I... well... I don't always write things down.

So I had made some notes about the carrots, but the rest I had to figure out by deductive reasoning, educated guesses, and general surmising.

I dug them all up today and put them in buckets of dirt to go into my new fancy-dancy cold storage (which has walls today! Actual walls!). I kept out some samples for a taste test.

I laid them out on the counter with super-sticky post-it notes to indicate which kind was which. Er... which kind I thought was which.

I'm really efficient that way, you know.

First we had Kuroda, some planted in the ground (that I knew for sure!) and some planted in the raised bed, but I'm not positive they were Kuroda. They could have been Tendersweet, OR they could have been something left over from last year, which I can't remember.

Oh, last year I planted "Pot O Gold" (see? Sometimes I can actually take notes). I don't recall planting Pot O Gold this year, so I'm fairly certain that these were Kuroda. I think. In any even, they were planted in the raised bed, and carrots, in my experience, seem to prefer the raised beds to the clay-based stuff in the ground.

Then we had Tendersweet, and finally St. Valery, an heirloom seed which I bought from Pinetree (I heart Pinetree!) this year.

The Tendersweet and Kuroda both came from Henry Field's with "buy-one-get-one" offers when I ordered my fruit trees. I needed a few more dollars to get to $25, so that I could get $25 worth of plants "free". So I ordered carrots to get my total up to $50 (Lost? Fergetaboudid. It's complicated. Or not.). I ended up with four packets of carrots seeds from Henry Field's, plus the St. Valery I had already gotten from Pinetree. It doesn't really matter which carrot wins this contest because I'll be planting the same kinds next year. And the year after. And... Nevermind.

Actually, I'm kinda rooting for St. Valery, because it's heirloom. I want to overwinter it and save the seeds and make cute little baby St. Valery carrots. It'll be fun!

Except I have piles of Tendersweet and Kuroda carrot seeds. I think I could save those, too, though, since I'm pretty sure they aren't hybrid. Anyway...

We set to tasting.

Jonah tasted.

I tasted.

Nathan tasted.

And in classic signature style, we didn't write anything down! No votes, no ballots, no score-cards. Just your basic, everyday "crunch-chrunch, mmmmm... yum!"

Ha! Told you I was efficient!


What, you didn't believe me?


They were all actually quite tasty! We enjoyed them, every one. They all had slightly different flavors. The Tendersweet was tender and... sweet! Actual sweet carrots grown in my garden! The Kuroda in the ground was probably the strongest and closest to "soapy" that we tasted. The St. Valery was somewhere in between, though quite a bit more dense and crunchy than the Tendersweet.

Turns out, however, that our all-around favorite is the somewhat mysterious carrot grown in the raised bed. Since I'm not sure exactly what it was (drat my record keeping skills, or lack thereof), I'm going to assume it was so tasty because of the soil it was grown in.

The takehome lesson then? Grow 'em in good dirt!

No matter which was best, all the test carrots...