Adventures of Mrs Pen

Musings from a Very Lucky Penny


January 2013

Diary of a Sweet Potato Garden

I’m going out on a limb in writing this post. My hope is to keep a running log of how the half of a sweet potato in my window sill right now turns into beautiful sweet potato vines that eventually produces sweet potatoes that can be eaten. However this story may abruptly end because I have a notorious black thumb. These are strawberries I was growing just a few weeks ago:

I wish I could show you a picture of them now, but they’re dead as a door nail now. Just like the tomato plant I faithfully watered and sweet-talked for months… Dead as a dead nail now.

To make matters worse, prior to executing this experiment, we went to a plant nursery and asked the botanist how to grow sweet potaters. She told us the best thing to do is just buy sweet potatoes from a grocery store like a normal American. She said sweet potatoes are labor intensive and finicky. I took her comments under advisement, yet I’m still taking a whack at growing them myself. Here we go..

December 15

A few weeks ago, I cut a sweet potato in half, and used lollipop sticks to suspend it in a jar of water.

January 15

After a month of soaking up water and sunlight, my little tater had two roots shooting out of the bottom.


January 24

Now, exactly 23 days after being “planted” in the jar of water, my little tater has a tons of roots coming out of the bottom.


All around the top of the potato, little baby potato plants are beginning to sprout. If this experiment goes as planned, each of these like sprouts will turn into its own potato plant.


Ok that’s all for now. I will continue this report when I have more to add.


PS- I accidentally called my potato plant a tomato plant for half of this post.

March 18

Dang, where has the time gone?! I blinked and I’m like way way past due for an update on my taters. Ok here’s a quick catch-up sesh:

By the end of Jan, my little guy had developed a healthy root system and was starting to get some nice little stems a’goin!


Somewhere near Valentines day, the stems were ready to go live a life of their own. So I clipped em and put each stem in an individual jar of water to develop roots.


About a month later, each stem had grown a pretty set of roots and big ol’ happy leaves. Now its ready to be planted! This is where I go rogue. I don’t know much about gardenology… So I’m making this part up y’all. If you have a suggestion, please pass it along!!

That Brings Us To Today


As the sun was setting on our little ranch, and my baby played in his playpen wearing only a t-shirt and undies ‘cuz we’re classy like that, I started pouring soil in a big ol’ barrel.


I was planning to have a big raised garden bed, but as my adorable hub started making plans to build it for me, I decided I didn’t want him to put so much effort into it if I’m really not cut out for the world of growin crap. So we decided this season, I’d grow stuff in pots. If it goes well, we’ll start a real garden next season!

Following the instructions on the miracle grow bag, I filled the barrel about 3/4 full of dirt, and then buried my little plants almost entirely, leaving about one leaf exposed to photosynthesize.

Ok y’all, there ya have it. You’re all caught up. Cross your fingers from here, we’re in uncharted territory!

Signing off,

May 14

Bad news y’all! Ok I had been watering them suckers and fertilizin them and my sweet potatoes were looking beeeeyoooteeeful! They’d turned into lovely vines that were taking over. Even a super windy day that took my tomato plants out did not harm my sweet potatoes. I was biding my time until approximately July when I was planning to dig them up and see what I got. I wish I’d taken a picture at this point.

A few days ago I was thinking how happy it makes me to see my lovely sweet potatoes every day and I went outside to water them, and they were GONE! dum dee dum dum dummmm. Apparently our local jack rabbit (which is the size of a coyote, mind you) took it upon himself to eat my whole garden. My sweet potatoes, the rest of my tomatoes, zucchinis, and cucumbers. Gone gone gone. I wish I could be mad, but he just did what jack rabbits are meant to do.

So that’s the end of my sweet potato story. We’ll try again next year! Thanks for sticking it out with me.

Mrs Pen


This is Dang Good Horchata

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

I’m not proud of the story I’m about to tell you. One time, when I was enormously pregnant, my hubby and I visited three different fast food establishments in a single trip to get dinner. Dunkin Donuts, Sonic, and a random Sonoran hotdog truck on the side of the road on our way home from Dunkin and Sonic. What can I say, the hubs had cravings that weren’t easy to satisfy.

These cravings also required a visit to a hole-in-the-wall taco stand every single day for a gigantic cup of cold horchata. If you don’t happen to live right down the street from Mexico like us, horchata is a magical cold, sweet, refreshing rice milk drink that quenches your thirst better than anything you ever had. I’m telling ya. I never had it before I was a thousand months pregnant in the middle of the summer heat, but it was the only thing I wanted. When we moved a trillion miles from that dang magical taco shop, I had to figure horchata out for myself. I’ll add that the recipe I’m about to share with you is a bit different than the ones you’ll find elsewhere, including the recipe my mother-in-law gave me, and if anyone has a true and authentic version of horchata, it’s her. However, it tastes just like the horchata at our magical taco shop, and that what we want from our horchata. Here it is:

1 1/2 Cup- Rice, uncooked
1 1/2 Cup- Milk
1 1/2 Cup- Sugar
5 Cups- Water
2 Tsp- Vanilla
Dash- Cinnamon

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

1. Put Milk and uncooked rice in a blender and blend for several minutes, until rice is gritty.

2. Let your rice and milk refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight works well)

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

3. Meanwhile, in a separate container, add sugar to 2 cups of boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves. Now put your sugar water in the fridge to chill.

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

4. After both your rice milk and sugar water have had time to refrigerate, pour the rice milk into the container of sugar water using a mesh strainer to filter out all the rice.

5. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and 3 more cups of water. Stir well.

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

6. Pour over ice into your finest mason jar and enjoy your dang good horchata!

And that’s all there is to it! Hope you love it as much as we do!


Helllllllo 2013!

Well hello people of the year 2013! So glad the Mayan’s were wrong and we get to keep on livin!

If you’ve noticed an unusual lack of posts from MrsPen, it is because we have been so so busy so far this year. This is what we’ve accomplished so far:

January 1, 2013

We kicked off the new year snuggled up on the couch watching a movie together. BEST.NEW.YEARS.EVE.evvverrr

Also, our old neighbors from when we lived downtown, Clint and Sheila, came and hung out with us. Miss Sheila taught my baby to color. Mostly he chewed on the crayons.

January 2, 2013

Some days are meant for being productive, some days are meant for making goofy faces in the camera.

January 3, 2013

Just when I kick my Starbucks addiction, they start selling Cranberry Bliss Bars again. They know how to reel me back in. They know. Anyhow, this is the last one of the season, thank The Lord.

January 4, 2013

Early morning cuddle sesh with papa. The only word my baby knows so far is Dada.

January 5, 2013

My baby gets to eat real food now. When he was going to baby school, I think he missed the class where they told him food goes in your mouth, not all over the floor. Anyways, this was his first taste of pears, and it was also the first thing he’s tried that he actually likes! He tasted every piece before he threw it on the floor.

January 6, 2013

My hubs’ best buddy from college came and visited. The two of them sat around the fire talking all night long. After they burnt all the wood, they threw in the box that the fire pit came in and burnt that too. Boys and their fire.

January 7, 2013

Lazy Monday and a family nap! God bless 2013, I hope every week is like this one!

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