Monday, July 17, 2017

Relatives, Permaculture, and Hot Dogs

We went to visit Uncle Ron and Aunt Elena on a little trip.  They spoiled us.  We sat up late on their cozy front porch, talking, and made delicious food together (apparently Phoebe was sitting up on the counter licking the cake batter bowl, but I was out on a bike ride and didn't see it).  We visited the SteelStacks together, a lively place with fascinating history.

One of the books I had along to read was Gaia's Garden, recommended by Amanda Soule. I like the idea of permaculture, and this second edition has a chapter on urban permaculture which is making me think and consider. I think I also understand why my dear friend was looking for stacks of newspapers when she started her garden (to mulch!  mulch everything!).

I have a lot to learn in gardening, so I was especially fascinated by Aunt Elena's gardens.  She mixed veggies and herbs in with her flowers.  She composts her scraps in one of the ways Gaia's Garden mentions:  just put the stuff in the ground and let it go.  Her soil sample tested beautifully last year.  And she has little broken bits of china here and there in the sweetest way. I adore the mix of order and whimsy in her garden:  not perfect and prissy, but definitely cared for, definitely abundant and happy.

On the drive home, we stopped at Yocco's Hot Dogs.  My hot dog quest continues! I wasn't seeking out a hot dog joint - we just needed somewhere fast to get food that hopefully wasn't a chain and hopefully before the toddler lost her mind.  My husband remembered that foodie friends had worshiped at the Yocco's shrine, so we wanted to check it out.  The hot dogs were fine - good, sure - but my attention was caught by their steamed buns. I had never heard of steamed buns before a commenter on my Patagonian hot dog post mentioned Chicago-style hot dogs, and I went googling off to do some research.

Yocco's clearly is an institution and has a loyal following.  I always love when people make a fuss about food - it immediately becomes a goal of mine to track down the food and taste it.


Lana said...

We have hot dog joints all over here in the Upstate of SC and we have tried none of them after 23 years. Most are only open for lunch and many only on weekdays so it is not a time we generally eat out. The most famous one is probably Skins in Clemson but just that name makes me feel squeamish for some reason. We are always in for trying a new BBQ though and there are some fantastic ones in our area. We have no problem with driving an hour to try a new BBQ if it has great reviews. Most good BBQ joints are only open TR, FR and ST so it takes planning. Our current favorite is the Smokin' Pig in Pendleton where the meat is so delicious that we skip putting sauce on it. In the summer they often have live bluegrass in the parking lot for while you wait for a table.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Sonic has pretty decent Chicago dogs. We use green compost as well in our Gardens as well as some other permaculture philosophies

Little Homestead In Boise said...

And I LOVE that corner sink! I haven't seen one of those for decades!!!

Margo said...

Little Homestead, isn't that sink great!? I could barely get a photo because the bathroom is tucked in a corner beside a closet, but I tried. Aunt Elena said they had the sink recoated (re-enameled? not sure) and it's such a charming little bathroom. I'm guessing their house is early 20th century and that the sink is original to the house.

Hazel said...

I love Gaia's Garden. It's a book I re-read regularly. My garden is a a bit of a mixture of permaculture and Charles Dowding's no-dig.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Margo, I have read quite a bit on Permaculture. Good website here and lots on Youtube as well. Most libraries will have quite a bit of books too. Bill Mollinson really got the movement going... Nancy

Becky said...

I love her garden! Thank you for sharing it in your photos! How whimsical and sweet.


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