Archive | Darling Homemaking

Join The Reusable Revolution: My Collaboration with Bee Eco Wraps!

Did you know that “littering” wasn’t a thing until corporations started blaming consumers for the messes they created? I know. When I first heard about this, it blew my mind.

Why do we package our most perishable items with materials that take centuries to biodegrade? It’s not enough to rinse and sort and recycle our garbage. We are still making so much waste that the countries who used to process it for us have started turning us away.

So what can we do? (more…)

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The dishwasher was the first thing to break. I told myself that I’d rip it out of the wall, use the nook for muddy boots and yard supplies. The truth was I couldn’t afford to replace it or fix it.

I saw an ad on craigslist where a handyman would exchange household work for women’s panties, preferably unwashed ones. How desperate would someone be to make that choice? I never want to be in that position. I realize I need to make more money, find a reliable handyman. Money is freedom. (more…)

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Video: How To Paint With Kids, Episode 2

Plan vs Free Form

In this week’s video we answer the following question from Clair:

I would just love to know if you guys have a general idea of what you are going to do or whether you just free form it. We tend to do a theme…like a city or mountains, and then we wing it from there but I’m curious to see how others do it!

Pull your kiddo up into your lap, watch the video, and join us as we make art together!


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Week 52 – 52 Weeks Gone By

ekwetzel thinkingWow. Is it really over? A whole year has passed, and what do I have to show for it?

Well, I skipped a lot of blog posts. Especially recently! But, I kept taking pictures, so that has to count for something, right?

My life changed drastically over the past year: bought a house, lost a job, got pregnant and had a baby. I never expected any of these things.

When I started this blog series a year ago, I thought that eating local, organic, sustainably produced food was such an important and monumental task that I’d have plenty of material to blog about for a whole year. Supporting my local farm was “important business” in my mind. Everyone needed to know how it affected our family. I hoped my blog would incite others to eat locally and love fresh farm food. I expected to have these Big Important Ideas that I would share with you. I expected to write something that cut to the heart of the matter.

But, ya know what? Eating farm food is easy. And it’s simple, once you make the change of habit. Eating seasonally makes sense, and it just becomes a way of life. Yeah, there’s a period of transition when everything is new and exciting and a little difficult, but once you’re over that hump, eating is as simple as…well…eating!

phoebe and erin wetzelThere has been a lot of chaos and change in our lives over the last year, and you know what has been one of our constants? The farm food. I drive to the farm once a week and pick up our share of the crop. The farm food is consistently fresh and tasty. The farm food is consistently high quality and organic. I don’t have to check labels and wonder where it came from. I know: it’s local, it’s seasonal, it’s sustainably produced in those fields right out there.

I didn’t expect this. I expected to be ethereal and philosophical about food. But food is real; it’s tangible; it’s tactile. Food is rooted in reality. And my food is real food. I don’t need any labels to tell me that. I don’t need anyone to wax my apples or wax poetic about my pears. I don’t need a fancy box and an advertising campaign to convince me what to eat. I take my silent, simple food for what it is, and I carry on with my life.

csa pnw local harvest organic Week 52

Rainier Cherries
Snow Peas
Spring Salad Mix
Butter Head Lettuce

By ekwetzel

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Week 49 – Summer in the Raw

salad cheese chickenMy favorite thing about summertime food is how easy it is. Everything is fresh and abundant. Flavors abound everywhere. People get excited about real foods, raw foods and local foods in their most natural states.

And dinnertime gets easier.

Take, for instance this delicious chicken salad we had with our CSA lettuce. Hardly filling in the month of December, but fits perfectly into the context of warm June evenings.

csa terry's berries organic summer produceWEEK 49

Garlic Greens
Unknown lettuce-like greens
Bok Choi
Bag of Spinach
2 MASSIVE heads of Lettuce!

By ekwetzel

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Week 48 – Things Don’t Stay the Same

bumbo countertop baby newbornIt’s almost been a year since I started blogging about eating food from our CSA, and a lot has happened. We bought a house. We got pregnant and had our first baby. I got laid off and my unemployment checks ran out. And now our baby girl is almost 2 months old.

What were Mr. Wetzel and I even doing a year ago???

I feel like a different person. I feel like the past year of experiences has renewed and refined me. With a blazing fire and a strong wind. Tumultuous times build character…this is true…and chaotic times build your life story.

Life is filled with so many details. So many moments. We look at each other; we sigh; we exchange confidences and dreams. And we commemorate our lives with what we eat.

Let us sit around the dinner table and talk about our day. Let us go out to a restaurant and dream about our future over a bottle of fine wine. Let us go picking for apples and reminisce about our youth.

So much has changed this past year, but one thing that has been a constant is our CSA food. It is consistently healthy and fresh. The local farm remains season in and season out, sustaining our community of produce lovers. The fields produce yield, lie fallow, then are turned over for a new crop. Harvests come and go, and the soil remains underneath, rich dark and mysterious.

phoebe faces smile baby 2 month oldSo too lie our souls.

There is harvest in our lives. Seasons come and go and return. Things change and are renewed and wither away. But all things that define or describe us are rooted in our souls, and it is a man’s soul that remains calm and constant.

Our souls are soil. Our lives spring forth with produce to unveil the rich glories hidden within. Let the circumstances of life pour down on us, that we might drink them up like rain and yield forth a season of life as resplendent as the flowers of the field.

csa spring terry's berries organic WEEK 48

Baby Bok Choi
Garlic Greens
Braising Mix
Bok Choi

By ekwetzel

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Week 47 – The Joy of Cooking

meal spring home cooking mahi mahi

The Delicious Spread

I. Love. Cooking. And I have missed being able to cook these past few months. Between moving and being pregnant and giving birth and taking care of my newborn, I have been able to do very little cooking since I started this blog post 47 weeks ago. Well…I’ve at least not been able to do nearly as much cooking as I’d have liked.

Since the birth, however, I’ve cooked nothing. Unless you count the rhubarb cobbler from Week 46. Or the leftovers I re-heated in the toaster oven.

Until now. I was finally able to cook. A real meal. With separate dishes. I did the whole thing with a sleeping baby in my ring sling, and I felt Ah-Maz-Ing. The food was yummy, yes, but the sense of satisfaction that I held in my heart was worth far more to me. I felt like I not only accomplished something, but also like I was reclaiming a part of “the old me.” In addition, I was glad to be able to give the gift of a meal to Mr. Wetzel. Cooking is one of our favorite “love languages.”

So: here was our meal in three dishes:
– Mahi Mahi from Trader Joes
– Parmesan Asparagus, adapted from a recipe I found on
– Garlic Mashed Potatoes

yummy close up asparagus trader joes mahi mahi mashed

Mahi Mahi, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Parmesean Asparagus

How to make this meal at home…

Mahi Mahi from Trader Joes: Buy it in the frozen section. Thaw. Bake at 400 for 12ish minutes. I think. (Read the package)

Parmesan Asparagus: Pour the following into large ziplock bag: crushed garlic, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, parmesean. Add asparagus. Shmoosh it around and leave on the counter to drip and drizzle all over itself for a bit. Pour out onto cookie sheet & bake at 400 for 12ish minutes (the same as the fish! woo hoo!)

Q: Erin…how much of each ingredient should I put in the bag?
A: I dunno. Eyeball it.
(If you’re worried, look up “Parmesan Asparagus” on for a guideline. I just eyeballed it. And I put in way more Parmesan than called for. Because Wetzels love cheese.)

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Sliced potatoes & boiled them (about 40 minutes). Separately, diced up the heads to my garlic greens and heated them in copious amounts of butter in a small skillet. Once potatoes were done, I mashed them with a potato masher (you can also use a mixer). Added garlic-butter mixture, plus a little extra butter (to taste) and some milk (about 1/4 cup), to make the potatoes creamier.


week 47 ekwetzel terries berries blogWEEK 47

Baby Bok Choi
Garlic Greens
Mixed Spring Greens

By ekwetzel

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