Which herbs to plant in an apartment
My wife and I took advantage of the unfortunate COVID-19 lockdown to use our mini vertical planter to cultivate edible herbs. This adds some flavor to the stay-at-home "activity" especially the herbs can be used as condiments in many food preparations and salads as explained further below...
We bought for a ridiculous sum, crops for some herbs that can survive an apartment atmosphere with moderate light.
We planted two kinds of basil, the one with small leaves and the one with larger leaves.
Both emanate a delicious basil flavor immediately upon touching them.
Their leaves are much appreciated in a tomato based salad or with pasta preparations.
A taste of Italy on your wall and then in your dish!
A Mediterranean herb used in Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines like the Lebanese. Oregano is similar to thyme in taste and can be either dried and used as a condiment or tasted as green leaves to replace thyme in a fresh Lebanese salad.
Milder than Oregano and thyme, use it to garnish any of your meat, soup or salad.
A main ingredient of the Lebanese cuisine tasted as is in a fresh salad with onions and tomatoes or dried as a condiment or soaked in olive oil and salted to create the famous "Zaatar" that flavors the also famous "mankouché" or thyme pizza if you prefer.
This herb aromate has many uses like macerating it in olive oil prior to seasoning a salmon steak with it!
Whatever herbs you chose, it remains quite fun to cultivate them at home and a added pleasure when using their leaves in your preferred recipes.
My friend's event organizing skills...
The terrace bar
It's an emergency!
The family gathering was decided at M's unfinished home within a short notice!
M had to create in no time and out of nothing a minimum of furniture and infrastructure; the terrace was to be converted in a seating and serving area in a matter of 72 hours.
M managed to collect a few wood planks and unused pallets.
This is how the terrace bar was born: the raw unfinished wood planks were used to create the bar sides, top and front. It took M only a few nails and a good hammer to build it.
The terrace bar was big enough to accommodate the necessary bottles and cups and to seat a few family members.
At first attempt, the pallets were converted into bottle shelves and fixed inside the bar, but then, the result was a bit bulky and after all, it's a shame to hide the beautiful wine bottles...
The wood pallets are now fixed to the wall with a touch of color, a kind of improvised and last-minute wall ornaments. M had now moved to the next level: taking a break, looking at his creation from a distance, and adding the art-deco touch that was missing!
That's exactly what DIY is about.
The bar front is now perfect and stylish.
Other wood pallets have been piled up to create tables and the remaining wood planks placed over masonry stone blocks as seating benches.
One can already imagine the family gathering in this DIY-out-of-nowhere bar-restaurant, the talks, the laughs, the cheers, the hubbub...
The terrace sink
Now there was another problem to be solved: no wash basin or sink for the invitees to wash their hands and for washing the dishes.
It was time to use another natural material: the stone.
No time for building this outdoor sink to a final finish and to fit a basin mixer tap.
Leftovers of natural stone panels and cladding were built in a manner to create an free-standing terrace sink. Silicone compound ensured the water tightness and held all parts together.
A drilled hole in the wall allowed to connect the water inlet and another tube served as a drainage pipe straight to the garden.
The sink design is quite simple: an oblique mounted stone panel sends the water down to the drainage while the wall behind is waterproofed with another stone panel used as a one-piece cladding. That's it!
M did the job within the given deadline and with N (M's wife), they were able to organize the family gathering and enjoy their summer house despite being still under construction.
Thanks for reading, DIY ideas never dry up and are worth giving them a try.
@ M&N, keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your photos.
LEGO vs. MECCANO
Lego and Meccano are amongst the most reknown model construction systems for children of ages 6 to 14 and up to 16 years old. They drastically differ however since Lego bricks require no tools to be assembled while Meccano relies on the use of a screwdriver and a wrench to fix together the various parts with bolts and nuts.
If you're hesitating between them for your kid's birthday especially they both sell at incredibly high prices, here's how they compare:
The below creature was made out of a 13 year old boy's imagination out of various Lego parts. many being from the model pictured to the right. The relative easiness of dismantling and re-assembling models encourages kids to create their own robots, superheroes, vehicles, etc.
The various Lego parts and bricks of several models can end-up being mixed all together in compartment boxes and sorted by type, size, color, etc. before being re-assembled into any shape and model. The educational level of Lego is obviously increased in this case compared to the construction of the exact given model and its step-by-step instruction manual.
This miniature Eiffel tower requires a higher dexterity to be assembled compared to bricks construction as it involves holding a tool with each hand, handling small nuts, working on both sides of a model, making adjustments to the metal parts prior to tightening the bolts, etc.
Dismantling it for building another model out of free imagination could not be as obvious as in the case of bricks, but requires higher skills and a lot of willingness which is of a higher educational value. The method of assembly is similar or identical to real life construction activities.
I'm an owner of a niche DIY website and like to share my experience with others.