Sunday, October 16, 2016

That's NOT your spot...

Dear Bella,

I understand that 8oz of Blue Faced Leicester and silk blend that has been painstakingly stripped down and rewound into little bitty random bits for some crazy spinning looks like a pillow made just for you.  Let me clear up the confusion.

That's NOT your spot!

Move along Miss Priss...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Giving you the raspberries...

Not really.  I'm going to hoard them all in the freezer for myself.  Then, in the dead of winter when I have nothing else to do, heavenly bits of berry sweetness will transform into jars of jam.

The garden has basically died off.  Can't say that I am terribly saddened by that.  The pantry has been filled to bursting with the fruits of said garden and will keep our bellies filled with summery goodness until next year.  Popcorn is hanging to dry from the rafters in the garage.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are waiting to be dug.  Sadly, my Fall crop of peas is pitiful.  Chickens are molting and egg production is decreased temporarily as a result.  The sheep are fluffing up and are beginning to resemble white, tawny and black clouds with legs.  The grape vines are in a holding pattern. The bees are busily working filling out the last super that was added (you know you have strong hives when you can smell the beeswax/propolis/honey from many feet away...some people find this to be an offensive smell, but to me it is earthy and a reminder of everything good that they are building).

And then there are the raspberries.  We planted 40+ canes early in the Spring, but they did not make it.  Fortunately, I was able to source local heirloom canes and obtained replacements.  They went into the ground and have been thriving.  We did not expect to get any fruit from them this year.  Happily, they did not get that memo.  It's kind of late in the season for them to be producing to this degree, but it has been a weird weather year, so who am I to complain?

Every single plant is fairly dripping with berries.  The bees are having a wonderful time buzzing about.  In the afternoons, we pick the ripened jewels and inspect for the next day's anticipated bounty. The sheer volume is astounding.  Yay for berries!

Friday, August 26, 2016

It's getting krauted in here...

Heads are rolling.  Cabbage heads that is.

Growing up, I never liked sauerkraut.  Wow, what a taste explosion I was missing.  Homemade/canned takes it to another plane.

Last year our cabbage production was more than enough to keep us supplied with coleslaw and extra for making kraut.  According to my husband, 18 pints is not enough.

This year we planted six plants with the intention of sharing most of the cabbages with our neighbor that is no longer able to put in his own garden.  He took most of them, leaving me with two heads to deal with.  Instead of making slaw, because honestly, I'm the only one that really likes it, the most prudent decision was to make more sauerkraut.

Easy peasy.  And now it sits in the dark in my basement perking away for several weeks until it reaches the ideal level of krautiness, at which point it will take a little soak in the water bath canner and join the ranks of canned goods in my "grocery store".  

In other sort of related news...only because it involves food memories from my childhood...another recipe experiment was also conducted this past week.  Besides sauerkraut, as a child, I detested meatloaf, stuffed bell peppers, La Choy Chop Suey and chili made from those frozen orange blocks of nastiness that were chili only because that's what the label said.  As an adult, sauerkraut and meatloaf have made it into my personal recipe repertoire.  This year's garden has also blessed us with far more bell peppers than we can eat or I can chop and freeze for use in a timely manner (there's still peppers in the freezer from three years ago!!!!...relax, they do just fine in sauces and MY chili).  But what else to do with them?  Stuffed bell peppers.  Yeah, I went there.

I called my father to see if he knew where my mother's recipe was, but he was not sure where it might be.  My sister wasn't sure if she had it and a dear friend did not have a recipe either.  A search of my cookbooks turned up nothing.  It was not even in my recipe box of favorite family recipes.  Although, since I hated the suckers, I can't even begin to imagine why I would have written it down all those years ago.  Finally, my sister located the recipe and I got to cooking.  

The result:  they were every bit as nasty as I remembered.  It's possible that the recipe could be tweaked, but not likely that it's going to happen.

Now if only the tomatoes would hurry up and do their thing.  I have travel plans coming up and would bet a dollar that the bulk of them will ripen while I am gone!


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