There has been lots going on in the kitchen lately. But first, I don’t think I ever posted before and after photos of the garden. This was our back yard in March:

Less than inspiring, to say the least.

Here it is a few weeks ago:

We have been enjoying eating out on the patio and looking at the plants and flowers, and I’m also thoroughly enjoying my herb garden. Every week, I go out and cut the plants back, and end up with a new collection on my herb wall in the kitchen:

I don’t know what the previous tenant did with all those nails in the wall, but they’re in all the downstairs walls, and this is a perfect use for them. A week from now, the dried herbs will go into jars, and I’ll hang a new batch up to dry.

I’ve also been playing around with some fermentation experiments. My first batch of root beer fell a little flat. (Do you suppose that’s where the expression comes from?) It bubbled and fizzed, but it didn’t taste carbonated. I’ve been tweaking and poking to figure out the control parameters, and I think that I didn’t build up enough pressure in the container before stopping the yeast. Yesterday I started my second batch, with a slightly different recipe. (The half-empty bottle on the left is the old one, which is still in use as a playground and learning experience, the one on the right is the new bottle.) The new bottle is rock hard and still bubbling merrily away, so I think we might get enough pressure in there to see real carbonation this time.

Yesterday, I picked up some pickling cucumbers at the farmers’ market, and they are also bubbling quietly away in a salt brine, on their way to becoming deli sours (we hope).

And finally, I have finished up some kitchen towels from the loom. I finished the weaving months ago, but just got around to hand-sewing the hems yesterday. These aren’t for my kitchen; they’re destined to be a gift for a family friend.

That’s it for now, but I’m pretty sure that there will be new kitchen things happening soon! (I can’t wait to see how those pickles come out…)