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Picture some tacky, clubby “unce unce” music coming on after reading that title, will ya? No? Not feeling it? I am. Because seriously, I think 2013 is going to be my lucky year. It’s my lucky number year, anyhow.

And I’m off to a good start. Last weekend I got out into the garden to cut back some of the roses. It’s a little early since you’re supposed to wait until you’re done getting frosts but our area never gets a hard frost so we should be fine. This weekend I’ll get around to more rose trimming, wisteria trimming/ training and then I’ll work on the two grape vines. My husband and I realize that we may have planted them too close and intend to transplant one to a new location and build a simple trellis for it this weekend. The garden doesn’t get ignored ever, even in winter! I’m still using produce including kale, limes, cilantro and some sort of ripe tomatoes that I’ve let stay on one piddly plant. I figure they’re no worse than tomatoes you buy in the store this time of year (tomatoes, are NOT in season, people!).

In my continuing quest to make edible bread (the early attempts of which I don’t believe I’ve shared in this space because they were a wee bit sad) — not to be confused with my quest to make the world’s best cheese rolls— I tried a King Arthur Flour recipe with great results. I’m going to see what I can do to make sure there’s plenty of healthy stuff in there and maybe eventually this bread, risen with both commercial yeast AND my sourdough starter, can replace store bought bread in our home? One can hope! I’ve been hearing more and more about locally grown and milled flours so that will be my next avenue in the bread world.

breadIt’s not all healthy bread baking and gardening, there’s infused vodka around these parts as well. Yuzu seems to be the new “golden” ingredient lately. It’s a citrus fruit that looks like a Mandarin orange except more yellow. It’s also quite fragrant and smells almost more like orange blossoms do than a citrus fruit. When I saw them next to the Mandarin oranges at our farmer’s market I grabbed one to try (and then the farmer “forced” a kiwi upon us that looks like three melded together, usually not sold in markets because they look funny and we devoured it). Most recipes focus on the fragrant peel of the fruit so, since I didn’t want to make a dessert infused with it, I went the easy route and peeled just the skin (leave the white pith out!) and put it in a jar of vodka. You may remember this method from my limoncello recipe. Eventually I can use the vodka as is or add simple syrup to make “yuzucello.” I’ll try and remember to make an update about how it turns out!

yuzuvodkaAnd on the home front, because gardening and making recipes aren’t all I do around here, I have a project that stares me right in the face each night. If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed my new closet obsession.

This view of our main bedroom (is it a “master” if the only difference between this bedroom and the other one is the addition of a closet?) hasn’t really been shared on the blog before. We have side-by-side standard closets that take up this entire wall despite the openings not really showing that aspect. When our house was built in 1947 I’m thinking that men and women each needed their own separate closet, no sharing! And also it was probably more cost effective to have the two smaller openings than making this some sort of larger door.

closetAs you might imagine, these dark (nope, no lights in them!) closets with a wall covering each side may be better accessed by opening the space, losing a couple of inches of wall separating them, and adding a 3-door sliding system so there’s no lost space. It would also mean we could add some closet organization stuff to make better use of the limited space. I’m trying to convince my husband this is a project I am totally capable of taking on (it’s just demo, right!?) minus the possible electrical work since there’s a plug that we had added where that small night stand is on that wall.  We will see how that goes! But since this is my lucky year, anything is possible!

That’s what’s happening around these parts. So tell me, ever taken out a wall on your own? Are you going to make some infused vodka or limoncello now that we’re in citrus season? Is your garden totally non-existent during winter in your parts or do you have some winter garden maintenance, too?

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