Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chickens in the Pool and Buttermilk Dressing

Yes, those are chickens in a pool.  I want to get a hard shell pool for ours.

Just a few random notes today.  I am happy to say I returned my wheel chair.  4 more weeks to foot freedom, I believe.
Alien craft flying to an oven near you!

We continue to eat out of our garden.  7 different greens for nightly salads.  I made homemade buttermilk dressing, of which I will share my recipe.
Buttermilk Dressing
7 green salad with home grown tomatoes

Suzi's Buttermilk Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp.paprika
1/4 tsp.dry mustard
1/2 tsp. fresh dill (1/4 dry)
1 tsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
Whisk together, put in fridge, keeps for over a week, makes 1 1/2 cups

Bob and I are still working in the ceramics studio together.  I picked up Ethan's pots from his last visit.  Bob's latest humungous covered casserole looks a bit like an alien craft.  Of course he made a tool to make the handles EXACTLY the same.  I have included a photo before firing.
Ethan's latest pots with Elephants...naturally!

And the chickens delight me daily.  Today I spent extra quality time with I was locked in the coop for over an hour!!! Buddy the dog pushed on the gate and I heard the lock slide.  I didn't have my phone, and waited for Bob to come out to the shop to start calling.  This is my second time.  I must remember to bring my phone!  Chicken lovers and keepers keep appearing in my life.  I was sent a photo of chickens swimming in someone's pool.  Also a coop idea made out of a little trailer.

Life is so busy, but so good.
Thanks for reading. Each day is a gift. Open now!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

News From The Back 40

The Crows watch over the plums

Inspite of one brief rain, I/ we  (with our dear neighbor and friends help) continue to produce food.  Daily tomatoes ripen of the smaller varieties.  My climbing cherry on the patio gives us enough tomatoes for the two of us for salad daily.  All sorts of greens and lettuces fill our bowls and stomachs. Onions are braided in the pantry (I must get a photo), and garlic braid hangs next to the stove. I keep flat leaf parsley and chives on the patio too. Asian eggplant and strawberries were picked yesterday.
Cherry tomato on patio
Daily, we get 8-10 ripe cherry tomatoes
This year we added much more shade to the garden.  With great results, if I must say so myself.  Last year seedlings fried.  This year, few did, and many actually turned into cucumber vines, pepper plants, chard, mustard greens, rapini, basil, and the latest turnips and carrots.  3.5 sides of the garden have 6' high 50% shade cloth, which doubles as a wind break.  Lloyd and Karen have added their own pieces by using one raised bed to bury foodscraps, and worms.  For me, this worm/compost bed is a fun science experiment. 
Asian long beans
Mesculin mix that is no mix...but tasty
We are actually getting a 3rd bed behind the guest house ready to fill.  My original plan was to have 3 back there, but the overgrown vegetation had to be removed. Karen and Lloyd took care of that.  They are pulling up all the grass. Flag stones and mostly edible ornamentals will be planted between the stones.  The strawberry bed is out of control, so Karen will transplant the babies all along one side of the wall.  This will be perfect for them as it's much cooler.  I look forward to having more fruit growing. Bob actually put netting on our new peach tree today.  So we should have about a dozen peaches, bird free.  They already got a dozen with the "one bite and we're done" method.
We left one onion so we could see the pretty bloom.

more lettuce...salads abound!
Manzano plum tomatoes...I think that's their name.
Tonight we are having green chili stew that is made from tomatoes, green chili, onion, and carrots from our garden last year.  There are a few bags of chili and whole tomatoes left in the freezer.  Just in time to fill it up again. :-)   Uh, don't tell Bob...we are getting a freezer this year.  The 3 beds in the back of the guest house will be extended season growing beds.  So we will have spinach, chard, lettuce, root veggies, into late fall.  And in spring they can even be used like a cold frame if the covering is the heavy kind.  I must say that much credit this year is due to Karen and Lloyd.  I am pleased as punch to have "Co-Farmers" working our land. 
After freezing tomatoes slip out of their skins...easy.

Green chili stew...mmmmm

Green Chili Stew
4 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cut in small pieces.
1 cup green chili (hot or mild, depending on your taste)
1cup fresh tomatoes peeled and seeds removed (mine are frozen and slip out of their skins when    thawed)
1 chopped white onion
1 cup chicken/vegetable broth
1 clove garlic smashed
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
any other veggies you have left over to throw in.
Saute onion in oil until clear. Add chicken, and garlic and cook until meat is 50% cooked.
Add rest of ingredients and simmer one hour. Remove bay leaf.
Tonight I am serving this over pasta. 

Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift, open now.