Here are some pictures to give you an update on how the summer raised garden is coming along. We have 30-40 tomatoes growing, one bell pepper which appears to be turning red, and some baby squash (I picked the first one too early and it was not ready). We had lots of blueberries but those were eaten soon after harvest. We can’t wait for those to mature so we can have gallons of blueberries in the summer! Until then we have veggies…
In February I made some DIY hanging mason jar candles for the backyard of our house. With daylight savings I knew we wouldn’t be putting them to good use over the summer so today I bought some impatiens at Lowes and set out to make some hanging plants for the backyard.
Off the bat I know that drainage will be an issue since I’m not drilling a hole in the jars, but the impatiens cost less than a bottle of Gatorade so it’s worth a try. In an effort to prevent a soggy jar I broke up some old concrete that I had laying around and put about two inches of rock in the bottom of the jars. On top of that I put planting soil in and created a space in the center for the impatiens to fit inside. After placing the impatiens inside I filled any remaining spaces with potting soil.
With that I converted diy lanterns into diy hanging plants.
Several years ago Martha gave me a Big Green Egg for Fathers Day. I felt unworthy then and still do now, but it’s a really amazing tool, and until this point has lived in a “nest” with fold down arms. For my 40th birthday Martha sort of gave me a new Big Green Egg table for it to live in. The reason I said sort of was because I had to call the guy and order it, go pick it up, and stain/seal it before I could use it.
A buddy of hers gave her a link on craigslist of a company in Auburn Ga that makes these unfinished cypress tables for the Big Green Egg. I pulled it up, found the one I liked on their website www.CypressGrillTables.com, and placed my order around 8:30 on a Thursday morning. It took me about 45 minutes from Buckhead to drive to their shop which is located off of Highway 316 on the way to Athens. I got there at 10:30, loaded up the table, in and out in five minutes or less.
Here is a picture of the unfinished table in my man room ready to get stained:
To get it finished I went to Ace Hardware on Roswell Road as they are all knowledgeable in the Big Green Egg arena. They pointed out everything I would need to go from what I had, to the finished product. I decided that I wanted it to be a darker color to offset the beating it will take over it’s lifetime, burn marks, dents, scratches etc. I used MINWAX Wood Finish (Special Walnut 224) which gave it a nice rich brown color. I applied one coat of that and let it dry overnight.
After the stain dried I put on the first coat of the sealer which is MINWAX Helmsman Spar Urethane. It is a clear semi-gloss water based sealant. Now this had to be applied 3 times all over the table which took a few days to get through. The can actually says 4 coats are needed for exterior use but I went with the guys recommendation at Ace and did three.
The final touch was to go to Lowes and buy some robe hooks that might go on your bathroom door. They are an oil rubbed bronze and look great with the table.
Here are a few pictures of how it turned out. I could not be any happier with the results.
Thanks for reading.
This past week I stopped by the Whitewater Creek area of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park to see how spring was coming in. Spring was in full force, the wildlife was everywhere. I crouched by the water to take a picture and a beaver popped up right in front of me checking out some wood for his fort. There were salamanders all over the place, and of course a blue heron and lots of ducks. Here is a shot looking north up the Chattahoochee. The clouds were vibrant and really made the blue sky pop.
Prints of these images are available for purchase at www.CarsonMatthewsPhotography.com
Here are some additional pictures from my walk along the Hooch:
Carson Matthews Photography
Tonight I made a beer can chicken for the first time on the Big Green Egg. I’ve been on a grilling hiatus since December 31st. For some reason that I’m not aware of I have been taking a break… Glad to be back. I used several BGE toys for the first time including the sittin’ chicken, iGrill and some of my new tools that I got for Christmas. It was pretty easy; I simply rubbed the chicken with lemon pepper from the Fresh Market, filled the sittin’ chicken with a beer, put the chicken on top and stuffed the neck with some quartered onions. I cooked it on the Big Green Egg for about an hour and a half at 375 give or take.
The iGrill was awesome and totally eliminated the need to open the egg while it was cooking. My phone went off when the temperature was 170 degrees and we were done. It was simple and the taste was amazing. I was not expecting the boys to eat it, but they devoured it! When we were done at the table they both went to the counter and picked the chicken apart until it was gone. The chicken cost $7.94 at the Fresh Market… now that’s money well spent.
This was a very simple recipe as I didn’t want to get too involved the first time through, but the flavor was right on with so little effort. There are more extravagant rubs that will probably make it even better, and you have to think a different beer could enhance the flavor as well. We shall see.