Garden and Debate Update

Posted: February 27, 2017 in Articles

dscf3779Since last we wrote about the beginnings of our garden, it’s grown considerably. We’re reaching the stage where the white plastic table will no longer be able to hold all of our plants. Thankfully, this year, we have nowhere near as many peppers and tomatoes, and we aren’t growing tomatillos at all, so we shouldn’t have to cram plants into every available space in our house like last year. Or such is the hope. All that aside, our plants are doing very well. A lot of them have their true leaves and, if our weather is consistently as warm as it’s been, we could even start moving some out to our greenhouse soon.

Also, apologies for the recent lack of posts. As I mentioned, the debate has been a lot of research and other work. And speaking of the debate, it’s been going pretty well. When I initially started researching it, I had a slightly negative view towards the topic. Over the weekend, after having read so many articles, it was starting to sound like a good idea. Today, I started reading about the negative side of it in order to strengthen my affirmative position, and I’m realizing once more that there are both positives and negatives to the argument. I’ll just have to be convincing on whichever side I’m arguing!

Learning Policy Debate

Posted: February 23, 2017 in Articles

Near the start of the 2016 school year, I began a public speaking class. Since that time, we’ve done several types of speeches like informational, demonstrative, and persuasive. Now, we’re starting on policy debates. For this particular course, the teacher will pick the topics and each student will be paired with another. One will be arguing the affirmative side, and one the negative. After each team has done one debate, the students will switch partners and sides and do another round of debates on the same topic.

So next Thursday, March 2, I’m going against my friend. I’m affirmative, and he’s negative. A couple of weeks later, I’ll be arguing the negative side of the topic against a different partner. Our topic is whether or not students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition at a community college or trade school. So far I’ve found, as the teacher warned us early on, that it’s a lot of research. For every point and sub-point you have, you need to provide evidence. It takes a lot of work to find that much evidence.

Anyway, feel free to comment on the topic of free college education. It could only help me out 🙂

Mess Up Again, Mr. Pizza Hut

Posted: February 22, 2017 in Articles

Yesterday, we ordered some pizza: sausage, mushroom, and green pepper, a Hawaiian, and regular old pepperoni.

Here’s what we got after the store messed up our order:


Honestly, it looked a little bit scary, but it actually tasted pretty good even though I could swear it tasted a little bit like pizza. We also got a $15.00 store credit.


And with our pizza, some cheap wine with a screw top 🙂 I’m sure it wasn’t suppose to be had with pizza, but I wanted to try it!

For all the people out there who want to feel their dough and who think a chicken pot pie must contain vegetables, I am here to say – a bread machine is a great way to get homemade bread in less time and that I have eaten a chicken pot pie which had zero vegetables in it – and it was very good. I write about this, because this morning, our bread machine was going and I recently read someone’s writings about how they would never, ever use a bread machine, because you have to feel your dough.

Okay. It’s true that the dough might not come out of a bread machine quite as good as if you had made it by hand. But for a busy person, a bread machine allows them to do other necessary things while the bread is happening (up through the rise), and then you just have to take the dough out, shape it, rise it again, and bake. And the bread is fresh and tastes every bit as good (in my opinion, not being a bread expert). To each their own, I suppose.


As for the chicken pot pie, here is an old family recipe. It has bits of pimiento in it, but I don’t count that as a vegetable. This pie is great with a good salad and is a good change of pace from normal pot pies.

1 (2 to 3 lb) chicken
2 c water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned salt (opt)
1/4 tsp pepper
4 stalks celery
1 med-lg onion
1/2 c light cream
14 c flour
1/2 c pimiento

Place chicken in saucepan. Add water, seasonings, celery and onion. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until chicken is tender. Remove chicken, strain stock and return to pan. Boil hard to reduce to 2 cups. Remove chicken from bones and skin; cut in medium sized pieces. Blend cream and flour until smooth and stir into stock. Cook until thickened and add chicken and pimiento. Pour into pastry lined 9-10 inch pie plate; put on top crust. Slit top crust to ventilate. Bake at 400ºF for 30 minutes. This recipe may be frozen.

Collards In The Winter

Posted: February 20, 2017 in Articles

Over the summer and fall, we had collards growing in our garden and while we didn’t actually eat a lot of collards, we did find a use for them. It turns out that, like many plants in the broccoli family, collards are very hardy plants, and they were able to survive the mild Maryland winter quite nicely. Recently, we’ve been feeding our chickens collard greens as they were lacking anything green to eat. They really enjoy it!

Given, we have had an incredibly mild winter. It’s never gotten into single digits, but if you really wanted to keep something alive to feed the chickens periodically, you could cover the collards or put them in a greenhouse. It’s certainly worth thinking about!