Saturday in the Garden: 02/13/2016

Today I spent quite most of the day working in the garden.  Most of my day was building another raised garden bed.  It the last of the beds that I plan to build for this growing season.  Rather then build two small beds, I built one large bed.  It is 15 feet long and just over 4 feet wide.  Like the other beds it is built out of concrete block because that is the best combination of price and durability for me.

Starting to put dirt in place to level the area where the bed is going.
A big stack of blocks

I am pleased with how this bed turned out.  It isn’t totally straight, but it is much better then my last attempt.  The large wood pieces in the bed are rotten tree stumps that were at the house when we bought it.  I am going to break them up and line the bottom of the bed with the pieces of wood.  Eventually, they will decompose and provide nutrients to the plants in the bed.

I also took a few pictures of the yard, and I had Lynn take some for me with her nicer camera.

I was suprised at how much my cabbage and kale seedlings look alike.  I think the one on the left is cabbage and the other is kale.  Now I don’t remember which pictures is which and can’t tell the difference.


My Tom Thumb Pea seedlings are sprouting nicely


Our little Almond tree has begun to flower
Onion flowers
The pomegranate tree is begining to leaf out

The plants are really starting to grow.  Our weather has been unseasonably warm with several days in the low to mid 90s.  All that warm weather has made for some very happy plants, and I can’t wait to see how they grow and eat the food that comes from them.





Sourdough Pizza Crust – 3rd time!

I had two bowls of sourdough starter taking up space in my fridge, plus it is Friday! So what do I decide to make? Sourdough pizza crust using one bowl of sourdough starter!

Number one, I probably will not do this again when my oldest son has band practice (he plays the flute). It was at the wrong time of afternoon and I had to put off getting the crust into the pans because of it. Dinner ended up being at 6:30! That’s a little too late for us.

Number two, I don’t know why, but my family ate this crust up. There were no leftovers! The last time I made this crust there were leftovers.

I used the same recipe I did the last time: King Arthur Flour Sourdough Pizza Crust.

The things I changed:

  1. I used my own Pizza Dough seasoning.
  2. I doubled the recipe.

Pizza Dough seasoning

Pizza Dough Seasoning

Note: I used Penzey’s spices.

2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle

1/4 Tbsp roasted garlic seasoning

1/4 Tbsp toasted granulated onion

1/4 Tbsp Tuscan Sunset


This is my happy sourdough starter. I had an extra bowl of it in the fridge for when I wanted to make pizza crust again. I have to double the recipe for the pizza crust to feed all of us and that takes 2 cups of starter. If I used my main starter for this, I would have no starter left!


Because of the larger amount of pizza dough, I wasn’t able to use my KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough for me. I ended up kneading the dough by hand for about 15 minutes. I’m still not sure that was long enough either! It probably could have used another 5-10 minutes. I got a good arm workout today.


My pizza dough proofed for a VERY long time. Probably too long! I just was not able to get the dough into the pan when I wanted to. I started the dough around 10 and had it in the bowl to rise by about 11. I was going to try and get the dough into the pan around 2:45 to 3 but that didn’t work out (band practice was at 2:15). I had to wait until almost 4 to prepare the pans.


One of the pans of pizza dough ready to be baked. I pre-baked the crust for 8 minutes at 450 degrees F after brushing it with olive oil.

pizzaslice pizzawhole

After the pre-bake, I put the toppings on: pizza sauce, bacon, salami, provolone, mozzarella, and purple kale. Yes, kale! The pizza needed some green (and some purple too!) and that was all the green I had in the fridge that would work.

My suspicions on why these pizzas disappeared and my last ones didn’t:

  1. Everything tastes better with bacon. This is a fact.
  2. The kale? No, that can’t be it.
  3. The pizza dough seasoning?

I think I might have gone overboard with the garlic. The roasted garlic seasoning I used is VERY strong. I probably could have used half what I did.

The crust didn’t rise in the pans as much as I would have liked, but that’s okay. Since there were no leftovers, I guess the crust was good!

I was REALLY surprised that there were no complaints about the kale. At least, no complaints that I heard. My youngest son did ask “what are these black things?” though. He did eat it even after picking it off. I actually liked the kale on the pizza. It provided some leafy crispiness.

My pizza must always have bacon on it from now on. Always.


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