Friday, April 16, 2010

First Project of the Season

This time of year, my wheels get to rolling and I think up way more projects than I'm ever able to accomplish. There's just something about spring. I suppose it evokes thoughts of new beginnings, rejuvenation, and new life. Well, in addition to preparing my garden soil for new life I've also given new life this week to an old step stool that has been in my parent's garage since my grandmother died in 2004.

This is what it looked like when I started:

The tag on the bottom says "Cosco Product." I suspect that it was made somewhere around the late 1940s. I found an image for a Better Homes and Gardens ad for one on this Flickr site. The stool was originally red but as you can see it's been painted many colors since then. All through my childhood I remember it looking pretty much like this. At my grandparent's house, it served as my chair at the dinner table up until I was about 7 or 8 years old. I loved to sit in it. I suppose I thought it was special because it was different from everyone else's chair. (In reality, it was probably my chair so that my head would reach up over the dinner table.) When my mother was in high school she used it to paint her room a blinding blue for a home ec project. Before I painted it you could still see little specks of the blue paint.

After pouring over paint colors at Home Depot, I finally settled on "Green Apple." Here's the result:

My plan is to adorn it with little plant specimens in all sorts of non-traditional containers - i.e. tins, colanders, old tea pots, things of that sort. For now there's just this lonely little Pothos. It was once a glorious plant, bushy and trailing as far as 5 feet. However, at the end of last season I left it outside too long at it got bitten by a hard frost. There was one little sprig that I thought I could salvage so I clipped it and brought it inside where it's been rooting all winter in my front window. I've had this plant for 13 years so I knew I had to at least try and save it.

What's been on the menu this week? I was inspired by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution to make this stir fry dish:

Unfortunately, I have no recipe to post. I used this one as a loose guide but I never strictly follow stir fry recipes. It's very much a "dash of this, dash of that" type of dish for me. Therefore, I never really make the same one twice. For this one, I stir-fried the beef (3/4 lb. top sirloin) in a mixture of vegetable and sesame oil with a little soy sauce, fresh sliced ginger, and garlic. Then I removed it from the wok and added red peppers and mung bean sprouts (also with a generous splash of soy sauce). Once they were tender I added the beef back into the mix and sauteed it for a few more minutes to ensure that everything was heated thoroughly. I served the mix over Japanese noodles.


  1. How special to have all those memories tied to the stool! The apple green looks so good with the yellow house.
    Love the stir-fry too!

  2. Thank you for commenting on my sustainable fish post. Such an incredibly important issue. I did not see that documentary but a few fellow bloggers mentioned it so I will watch it. You're so right about long maturing fish.

    The fish marketed as Chilean Sea Bass, which really does not exist. The real name of that species is Patagonian Toothfish. That fish takes 30 years to mature. It is being fished into extinction.

    Sorry for the long post. I am a glad people like yourself actually care about such an important topic. Have a wonderful weekend. Cheers!

  3. I love the apple green against the yellow wall. It is a citrus lovers color palate and I really love the combination. I also like your quick stir fry. I don't think any of us can have too many quick recipes. Quick and delicious is even better. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. My grandmother also had a step stool just like that. Seeing it brings back happy memories!

  5. I love that step stool. The color is fabulous

  6. I am so impressed that you took yoru grandmother's stool and created something new and beautiful. She would really like it's new look. The green apple color is really nice and it will be perfect to adorn with pots and plants. Love it!