The Mess Hall

Rants and ramblings on all things edible, wearable, doable, or usable with a focus on Home and Health. Home is fun, easy on the wallet, and “gool” for the greatest game of tag ever (Life). Welcome to my home, the Mess Hall. Get in the Mess!

17 Apr

Pea Soup….HAMMM

Posted in General on 17.04.11 by Octopi

This video is from the other weekend but finally just got a chance to post.  You may want to turn your volume down a bit, we got pretty excited (girls + higher decibals = sorry).  Pea soup kids, straight from A’s family recipe!  Super easy, you don’t even need to measure out ingredients.  So, despite our obvious thoughts on how the soup made our place smell, you should know that it’s worth it.

Happy Pea Souping!

Ingredients (as per the video, don’t miss it!)

  • A bag of peas
  • A wad of ham
  • Handful of carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • Bay leaf
  • water (enough water to cover about 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot.  A put in 3 inches above and it was too much)
  • Bunch of pepper


Makin it Happen

  • Dump all the ingredients in the crockpot
  • Cook on low for 8-12 hours (since ours was overnight it was pretty long, but it may not need that many hours)
  • Smoosh the ingredients all up in the crockpot at the end so it gets all nice and smooth
  • Eat up!

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16 Apr

THE closet

Posted in Build or Fix, Healthy Home on 16.04.11 by Octopi

Everybody has one. THE closet. The scary one that all the ransom shit goes into but never comes out. It’s a big freaky monster and you know as you walk past it one day that monster is going to come alive, pull you in and slowly eat you over decades like that one thing in Star Wars.

This is our closet…

Don’t judge.  But hey, after a couple hours of hard-core organizing, a new shelving system and a MacGyver’d shelf in the laundry area (using some 1X4s and some leftover closet shelving), I’m pretty psyched about how easy it is to find everything and to be able to actually walk through/into the space!  Check it out….

So tis the season to get rid of stuff you don’t need and take a load off your house!  The Mess Hall already feels so much lighter.



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10 Apr

Sunstealer: Gardeners without a Garden

Posted in Urban Farming / Gardening on 10.04.11 by Octopi

Like all of you, A and I were PSYCHED to get outside today and enjoy the beautiful weather.  We’ve been talking for months about how we were going to do up our garden.  It was a Man (or woman) with a Plan, but as the saying goes about best-laid plans….

We made our spring dash to Home Depot for some gardening items and headed home.  As we open the gate to the side of our building where our above-ground garden is we see this…

Posts.  Posts that weren’t there before in our neighbors yard.  “Hmmm, posts.”  We realized that our neighbor was putting up a fence.  A fence that looks like this…

As all of this comes together in my head and I realize the full ramifications….our neighbor has stolen the sun.  We were SO proud that we figured out a way to garden in that little, narrow space last summer.  But we need the sun and his new fence will COMPLETELY block the sun from our garden space.  In those few seconds our neighbor pulled the rug out from underneath us. 

So here’s the rub.  He’s totally within rights to do this.  It’s his property, he pulled a permit to complete the work.  But it is by far the most un-neighborly thing I’ve experienced.  His property is already secured by fencing, yet he puts up more.  You’d have to know the history this neighbor has had with previous people who lived in this building to fully appreciate what’s going on here, but he apparently holds a grudge against the property itself and any new people who come in.  Who could hate a garden?  This guy. The Sunstealer.

So, lessons.

Lesson #1.  If you are looking for ways to make two women incredibly sad and upset on a beautiful spring day, this would be one.  The time and energy that went into figuring out how to build an above-ground garden seems all for nought. 

Lesson #2.  You can’t control everything.  And that sucks.  

Lesson #3.  Try to overcome.  Once A and I get past our :>( feelings, we’ll probably try to figure something out.  Just not sure what that is.  Perhaps we’ll try to find another place to use them or just give them away on Craigslist.   Right now I’m wondering how likely one of our other neighbors in the hood would be to share some of their garden space or if we can do something in the parkway (the space between the street and the sidewalk in the front of our building).  Or maybe there is a community garden nearby.  Whatever we do, we’ll keep you posted.  And if you have any suggestions for us, please let us know. 

 In the meantime, I’m gonna go pour one on the curb for our little garden.

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