Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We've got cows.

Yesterday and today I spent the day making repairs around the house patching the holes where the foundation should be in places. That is one of the frustrations of buying an old and distressed property is that you know you will find any number of farmer fixes. Every time I dig in this place I encounter some artifact or other. Usually broken glass and old nails. In the last 2 days I removed an entire wheel barrow full of junk from the vicinity of the foundation. I removed almost more junk than dirt. But the job is finished and I am feeling pretty good about the job.
Jess offered to take me into town for dinner as a reward. On the way into town we encountered a bull standing next to the road. I made Jess turn around and we went up to the house to let them know that they had a bull loose by the road. Nobody was home so Jess and I attempted to herd the bull back into the field using the Vibe. I am pretty sure that is the first time that anyone in these parts has herded cattle from a compact hatchback.The bull decided he wanted nothing to do with the car and jumped back through the electric fence. Just then the home owner came back and we stopped up to tell them what we were doing.
Then we went to dinner, but the bull stayed at home.


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Yesterday Jess and I made a batch of Chow-Chow/ Piccalilli relish. We had a ton of green tomatoes growing on the volunteer tomato plant that came up from the compost I spread earlier in the year. I was inspired by a post on making Chow-Chow over at Musings from a Stonehead. We made it according to a recipe in the Ball Blue Book. I can't recommend that book enough, especial if you don't have a kindly mentor to show you how to can.
We ended up modifying two recipes that were close. We combined the spices found in both chow-chow and piccalilli relish. The recipie was also supposed to make 7 pints but I think we added too many green tomatos because we ended up with 12 pints.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chicken salad

Here is one little tip I have found. When I go out to the garden I bring an extra bucket. I fill the bucket with produce for the chickens. Any produce that is damaged and must be eaten soon I put in the bucket. Any dandelions I pull also go in the bucket. I then round out the bucket with a few fresh stalks of Swiss Chard and the occasional Zucchini. I also will add slugs and grasshoppers when I catch them. I bring the bucket up to the chicken yard after I finish in the garden. I find that the chickens really enjoy the treats and I know that no food is being wasted. For my trouble I get great chicken litter for use in compost and eggs as well.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rainy weekend.

It has been a rainy cool weekend. We made some spaghetti sauce from our tomatoes and had my mom down for dinner. Jess made the sauce from my grandmothers recipe . We had to make a few adjustments for roasted fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs but it turned out great. We also made another batch of plumb and raspberry sorbet. I increased the sugar a bit and the result was excellent. I added a sprig of mint to the serving and the smell was a nice addition.
I also burned some brush this weekend and brought last years spoiled straw to the garden as mulch.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Plum Sorbet

Tonight I did a bit of gardening and picked some raspberries and plums from the orchard. I found a plum sorbet recipe online. I made a small batch and man is it good. I used triple sec instead of Grand Marnier. I also added a handful of raspberries and reduced the lemon juice.
The pulp that was left over from the process went into a sauce pan with some more sugar and water. I added some pectin and made a small amount of freezer jam as well. No waste and 2 great products. I am already looking forward to making more plum jam.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Been working on a number of things lately. Jess and I have replaced a large portion of the siding on the second floor of our house. Also since we had the siding off we decided to do something crazy like adding sheathing and insulation.
In other note the tomato tribbles have begun to colonize the kitchen. Other wise we are eating up our potatoes and garlic with steaks. We didn't grow the steaks...yet.