Friday, December 31, 2010
And I love putting back art on my quilts! This one is no different.
I still need to finish the binding. A great hand project for sitting next to the wood stove!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I know, we could do the whole smore's thing, but it was too cold. We could go the hot dog route, but I don't really like hot dogs, and besides, I didn't have any. Probably because I don't really like them. Go figure, huh?? My all time favorite thing to do with coals after a day of burning is potatoes. But not just any old potato. I add lots of goodies to them. Want to see how I do it?? They're really easy, and a nice variation.
For each potato you'll need: large square of heavy duty foil, a medium to large potato, 2 slices bacon, 2 slices onion, 4-6 cloves garlic, salt and pepper.
Wash and slice potatoes into quarters. You should end up with 4 slices. Place them on the foil.
Cut each slice of bacon into 3-4 pieces. Put them between each piece of potato, and on the outside edges.
Using 2 slices of onion, put about 1/2 of a slice with each bacon piece.
Chop up the garlic, sprinkle it around, and then add salt and pepper.
Now, I always twist the foil around so that the first way I wrap these brings the pieces all together. Just telling you what works for me, not that the foil police will come inspect these. Here's a little peek of my first one. Oh, it's going to be so yummy!
Then it goes outside and into the fire, with seams facing up. I take my shovel and dig/scoop out a little hole in the coals. I might mention, these coals aren't the orange'ish ones. They're more black/gray, but still the intense heat that will warm you up real nice on a chilly day. If you put them into coals that are orange, get ready for some crispy fried potatoes. I've tried it. And take my word for it, they're not good. So, here are your potatoes, all snug in their bed, and then scoop more coals on top. Cover them up good. Don't leave any part of them uncovered.
I always go inside and set the timer for 40 minutes. It's very useful to have a set of b-b-que tongs and a metal pan, or something to put the (really hot) potatoes in. I used a 9x13 pan. When digging up the foil pouches, be very careful. Today I used the back of a metal rake, but a shovel works too. I've used the pitchfork that we use when burning, and that doesn't work. That day I was too lazy to go get the shovel. Anyway, very gently, scoop out the pouches, and then pick them up with the tongs and sort of shake them to get off the coals. You can let them sit for maybe 10-15 minutes if you want, but you don't have to. Here they are, in all their glory! Enjoy!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I'm still amazed it hasn't been loved to death. Sort of like his stuffed animals. Dozer's current stuffed animal is a little orange fuzzy bear. Well, it used to be fuzzy. Now it's caked with dried slobber. And it's kind of a brownish/orange color now. With no face. And minus half of a leg. But Dozer still really, really likes it.
Yeah, it's true love. Puppy style.
After all, doesn't love make the world go 'round? Even Puppy Love.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
My father-in-law, talking about answering a complaint before he retired, whether or not to spray for mosquitoes. "Well, Ma'am, I won't be spraying. I've checked for mosquitoes, and you don't have any."
"Oh?? Well then would you tell me what these things are that keep biting me?"
"Those are midges, Ma'am, not mosquitoes."
"Aagh! They're flying, and bugging me. That makes them mosquitoes!"
Fast forward an hour, sitting at the dinner table. A little moth was flying just above my mother-in-law's plate. I bring it to her attention.
"Nedra, there's a mosquito flying in your plate!"
My father-in-law looks at it, then tells Nedra, "That's not a mosquito, that's a moth."
"No, it's flying and bugging me, that makes it a mosquito!"
"A short pencil is better than a good memory"
"What does that mean?"
"A good memory still isn't as good as just writing it down right then."
"Not necessarily, I know there are people with photographic memories! And if they memorize it, then they don't have to worry about anything happening to a piece of paper. What if they forget where they put it? Or somebody throws it away. Or the dog eats it. Or their house could burn down!"
.....fast forward, again!
"Hey Mom, I'm going to let the dogs in"
"That's fine, but you might want to pick up your dessert plate from the rocking chair." (To keep the puppy with a good nose out of trouble.)
"Oh, come on Mom, what's the worst that could happen?"
"The puppy could jump up onto the chair, knock the plate down, breaking it in the process, then he'd step onto the broken glass, cut a main artery in his paws, and bleed to death before we got to the emergency vet. And then, we'd turn around, go home, but before we got there, get into an accident, and die."
Who needs any other entertainment?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
But this particular afternoon, it wasn't hauling anything in the outdoors. It was in our driveway. Empty. And sad. And forlorn. Maybe even lonely!
Ahhh, but not for long! My kids, being the ingenious people that they are, were re-purposing this cart into an afternoon of fun. I love boys! They're so full of life. And imagination! Just think of what they can do with some spare time, a duck cart, and a nice, big, empty driveway!
Boys are made for having fun. Unfortunately, duck carts aren't.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
"Hi Mom, guess what? I just killed a deer!"
"When? Where? I didn't know you went hunting today."
"Like, not even 5 minutes ago, right here South of town, and I wasn't hunting. I was driving!"
"I wasn't hunting! I hit it with the truck! "
Oh, let me tell you, anybody with children knows the feeling I had when my son told me that he'd hit a full grown deer, broadside. But the only thing that happened, well, aside from him killing the deer, was a caved in bumper and a busted headlight.
New headlight - $20. Friends helping pull bumper back out - $0. Nothing wrong with my son - priceless.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
- I've been trying to catch raccoons for a year.
- They've eaten three dozen of my chickens.
- It makes me sad.
- Very sad.
- We put up a hot wire, and added smaller wire around the whole chicken yard, but it still wasn't good enough.
- I bought a trap.
- The only thing I ever caught was our cats.
- Our cats aren't smart. I caught each of them many times.
- This is my tripped trap I found on my way out yesterday morning.
- I thought it was one of our cats. Again.
And look what I found under the cardboard!
Finally, after a year of trying, off and on, I caught a raccoon!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Uh, that's way too high for this girl!!
On a side note, I found out that trees weren't the only things my kids climbed around here. Which really surprised me, since neither one was real big on climbing things. Who knows, maybe that's why? Pretty funny now! Anyway, you know what we found out? We can get reception! At least, after we take out a few trees that are in the way.
This one needs to come out, too.
And this one.
So until we cut down a bunch of trees, we're still dealing with our fickle internet.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Here he is with all his brothers and sisters. He's the cute little black one with the big belly, laying down. See him?
He finished the front of the hill, now he's moved on to the backside of the new hill. Oh, he's pretty fast!
Looks like the hill and the rest of the North side is done, and now he's going to the South side of our not-yet-finished cross fence. That's what will keep my goats in the front part of the property. Uh, that is, when I get goats. They're imaginary now.
He's gotten pretty good, so now it doesn't take him that long, usually less than an hour. Unless he spends lots of time under the deck, untangling what he ran over! I guess that's what he gets paid the big bucks for.
Friday, September 3, 2010
This is the first thing I see when I look out my kitchen window, or walk out my kitchen door.
Years ago, we started out with three, but now, thanks to Mother Nature, we have five. And we've transplanted another 5. We've also dug up, pulled up, sprayed, burned and stomped on a multitude of others besides these. Don't get me wrong, I love my birch trees. But the reason we have more now, is simply this:
This pile is made up of a quadzillion birch tree seeds. Yes, I counted them. I had nothing else to do, so I counted them, and came up with a quadzillion seeds. I'm quite good at math, so you can trust me on that number. Anyway, it's that time of year when my birch trees start dropping their seeds. The pile of a quadzillion seeds that I swept up today is what has fallen in three days, right outside my kitchen door. That wouldn't be so bad, except we track them into the house. They tend to stick onto the bottom of shoes. So every few days, we track about a trillion of these things into the house.
Even the cat brings them in. I haven't yet figured out how to keep the seeds out. Until I do, I will keep sweeping every few days. Mother Nature is working overtime. Anybody want some birch seeds?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Oh, what a week! The big producer this week has been the apples. I've made applesauce, and then more applesauce. I turned my back for a few minutes, and burned applesauce while it was reheating on the outside stove! That was when I decided to make tomato juice. I also picked enough zucchini to either make some more relish, or try out another few recipes. It will need to wait for a few days until I can do it after work, since school is starting, and duty calls. I still have basil that needs to be picked and made into pesto. It was on my list of things to do Sunday, but the day wasn't long enough! I got my first "real" cantaloupe. It was good with Sunday morning breakfast, and the chickens enjoyed the seeds and the rind. My cucumbers are still producing at a steady rate, and we enjoy them with almost every dinner. My beans, planted way too late, have finally flowered. The aphids discovered them, and I found myself waging war on them one morning with the soapy water in the, "No-Clog Feeder!" I checked on the status this morning, and it has done the trick, so far! Hopefully they'll stay away.
This week's pictures... just one of the many loads of apples I brought in!
Sunday's canning - 7 quarts each of applesauce and tomato juice, cooling outside by the canner.
This week's total: 127.025 lbs.
Tomatoes: 33.4 lbs.
Squash: 8 lbs.
Peppers 1.125 lbs.
Herbs: .125 lbs.
Cucumbers: 6.375 lbs.
Apples: 73.625 lbs.
Melon: 2.375 lbs.
Gourds: 2 lbs.
And here's a sneak peak at the contents!
A garden around a miniature working train. How cool is that??
I'd love a garden shed like this one.
A beautiful country kitchen, covered in roses!
So, here's the scoop. All you have to do is leave a comment. You don't have to be a follower, although I really like followers! You don't have to blog about it, or send any emails, or anything like that. All you have to do is comment. Then, on Tuesday evening, I'll pick the winner. Oh, and just so we're all on the same page (hah!!) this is NOT like winning something on Ebay. The winner is..... well..... winning it! Have fun, and Happy Birthday to my blog!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
1. I want to give goodies away tomorrow
2. I wanted them to somehow come from my garden
3. My zucchini isn't producing worth squat
4. My apples are ripe, if I pick selectively
5. I wanted something fairly easy
I came up with ....Ta Da...... Brownies! Made from a Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe. With no zucchini. And, it's not a cake. But, just the same, they turned out really good. And, they have chocolate! So, it's pretty hard to mess them up. Here they are. Beautiful, aren't they? The only thng that could make them better would be some vanilla ice cream. I'll get right on that.
Grandma K's Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. With mixer, mix butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in with spoon, vanilla and zucchini alternately with dry ingredients and milk. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done. Can use a bundt pan, but also 2 8" bread pans. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.
My changes for today:
*substituted peeled, grated apples for zucchini
*left out the milk. I didn't have any, and the apples were juicy, and I was hoping nobody would notice
*baked it in a half sheet pan (my main cookie sheet) for 28-30 minutes
*substituted the following fudge frosting for the powdered sugar glaze
Melt 1 cube butter, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup cocoa and boil - add 1 lb powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. *This will look pretty bad before all the powdered sugar is mixed in, but it will turn out fine. Mix and spread over hot cake.
Monday, August 16, 2010
My tomatoes slowed down a little this week, although I still gave lots away. I didn’t can any tomatoes this week, although I tried the Zucchini Relish that The Frugal Gardener makes. What a great use for those zucchini that I somehow miss on the vines! I ended up with 6 pints of relish, plus a little smidgeon I put in a small container in the frig. I tried it with a pepper jack cheese sandwich, and it was very good. I’m sure the next time I make this recipe, it won’t take me near as long as this first one did!
I’m enjoying the first of my cucumbers this week. It’s so nice to walk outside and grab a few to go with the tomatoes I slice for dinner. I even took some in a salad I made for a potluck on Friday. This week was also the very beginning of our apples. I can see the applesauce coming already! And I’m running out of pint jars! Geoff bought more while he was in town, so I wouldn’t have to make a special trip when I start making the stuff. Michael (our oldest) really likes applesauce, so I think I’ll can a bunch in quarts to send home with him. The quarts are much faster, and I have tons of them in the garage just waiting to be filled. I selectively picked a basketful of
The total for this week is: 44.125 pounds
Tomatoes; 22.625 lbs
Squash; 5.5 lbs
Peppers; .5 lbs
Herbs; .625 lbs
Chard; 4.375 lbs
Cucumbers; 4.5 lbs
Apples! 6.75 lbs
Monday, August 9, 2010
I got my first cucumber! Only one, but more are coming. It was really good with cut up tomatoes with dinner that night. I didn't even think to get a picture of it before I hauled it inside for dinner. Aside from my first cucumber of the year, this week was all about the tomatoes. Boy, did we have tomatoes. Good thing I'm off work for a few more weeks, because I was able to can a boatload of tomato things. I canned 6 quarts of tomato juice yesterday. Here's the before:
And here's the after! I just love looking at my filled jars!
10 quarts of chunky pasta sauce (new recipe.) This brings my total pasta sauce up to 19 quarts. That ought to be enough for the year!
And enchilada sauce! Ok, it started out as salsa, but then I was multi-tasking, and trying out two new recipes, and not really following either one, and talking on the phone, and it didn't really want to be salsa anyway, but enchilada sauce instead. So I canned the second batch in quarts instead of pints. Here it is in my pantry, just waiting for the middle of winter for me to come home from work and have some for dinner. I can just hear them saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" Aren't they pretty? I think I might look for some new, more modern shelf paper for my pantry, though! What do you think?
Oh, and the sunflowers are all starting to flower! I was able to pick 2 bouquets to bring inside this week. I have a volunteer in with the tomatoes in one of my beds, and I picked a few from that plant, along with some in a new area not planted before.
I'm happy to report that my chard is coming back from the dead. I messed up on the watering, and I thought it was being watered automatically, only to find that it was, in fact, trying it's darnedest to live on nothing! I revamped my drip system in that bed (long story, even longer bed!) and my chard can now live happily ever after. The End!
Total this week: 67.25 lbs
tomatoes 54 lbs
squash 9.25 lbs
chard 3.25 lbs
cucumber .75 lbs