The latest posts from Bacon And Eggs
Year before last we had a really early spring and had all sorts of things started that went on to do real well. Last year we were chomping at the bit and hand quite a bit planted planted around the end of March and the first part of April. It was also the year that we had one of those late frosts that surprised everyone by happening twice in the first week of May. By that time I'd already had the tomatoes set out. We were able to cover all the tomatoes by paying attention to the weather forecasts and didn't loose any. This year is yet again a different story. I'd planted 32 or so tomatoes a week ago. Up pops a freeze warning Monday night and Tuesday morning. So we drug out all the coffee cans, butter dishes, and odd and end planters to cover the tomatoes again on Monday afternoon anticipating the freeze. It must have gotten quite a bit colder than the forecast called for because we lost every single one of the tomato plants. It almost made me sick to my stomach. I had bought the tomato plants and they had been in the ground for a few days. I'm not sure which hurt worse, the loosing of the tomato plants or having felt like all that money was just wasted. Granted it was only about $12.00 but it's money that we can't spend again until the first of the month. If I don't do it though we won't have tomatoes this summer. Another thought I had was that if I want to have late summer/fall tomatoes from seed it's time to get those seed started in the greenhouse in a few days. I don't mind that since I was going to do it anyway. Learning from last year there are a few things I need to make more of and some I don't need to make nearly as much of. And of course there is always something new I'd like to try my hand at. Anyway.... it looks like I'll have to jiggle the money around and pick up some more plants after the first of the month.
Stuff happens! It's the perfect example of why I don't advocate buying those ready-made seed vaults. If you think that having one put back in your preps with the thought that if SHTF I'll just grow a garden and you've never gardened before, you are deluding yourself. First off many seeds will loose their viability after a year or two. Some may be good a bit longer but it's not something I would want to be counting on in an emergency situation. Along with that there can be quite a learning curve in growing a garden. Trust me, every year can vary wildly from the year before. The more you do it the better chance you have of having a good garden. Besides that, folks don't always think about the time from planting to harvesting averages out to at least a couple of months for many vegetables. Even then there are no guaranties that you'll have food from the garden.
So this year, if you've never tried planting a garden why not start now? Don't have a space for a garden? Why not try growing in containers? Do you like fresh salads? Pick up a cherry tomato plant to grow on your patio. Start some lettuce in a flower pot. Maybe plant a cucumber plant in a five gallon bucket. I like to call them salad gardens. Besides there is just something special about eating something you grew yourself.
Mars has been wanting Celebrity tomatoes but we could never find them here. He came home with 24 plants. I really wanted to plant some tomatoes that are indeterminate. The Celebrity's are determinate. Anyway, they are planted now. I found some indeterminate heirlooms and picked up eight of them. Got home and ready to plant them when I took the plant info stick and realized that what I thought were the heirlooms the dang things were Celebrity. *sigh* I was going to take them back and exchange them but Mars told me to go on and plant them. Not like we don't have the room for them. Long story short (yeah right) I now have 32 Celebrity tomatoes and 8 of the heirlooms in the ground. I'm sure I'll be regretting it in a couple of months.
We are now on track with the rabbits after pretty much replacing all the older ones. I can't remember if I told you about the new buck. He's a black New Zealand! I never knew they were any color than white! He's also the daddy of 6 baby bunnies!
A little while back I had put Rabbit #3 with him. He was willing and able so I walked to the other side of the barn and all the sudden there was major turmoil. I turned the corner and the doe was trying to kick his butt. Without thinking I stuck my hand in there to grab her and danged if I didn't get bit! I grabbed her and took her back to her home. It seemed like she just got really mean after that.
Well yesterday morning I went to feed and found her pulling hair. That's a real tip off that she's getting ready to have babies. It also explains why all the sudden I had a demon bunny on my hands.
I've only got one nesting box so I had to move Little Mama and her babies to another cage, cleaned it out and got up the nerve to move the Psycho Rabbit. Mars is finally going to get to eat rabbit after almost 3 years. So now we wait...
There is still one row in the upper garden to weed and all of the lower garden to do. So if you don't hear from me for awhile I've probably keeled over in the garden. Face down and covered with weeds!
We are so happy for y'all. Thought you should feast to celebrate. (Just add your favorite whatever ;).
Love y'all, Mom and Sandy"
Now you tell me wasn't that one of the most thoughtful things in the world to do? So we feasted on grilled Filet Mignon, stuffed baked potato's, salad and homemade 30 minute rolls. Nice, very nice.
I've been saying I was going to make these rolls for over a year now and never did get around to it until yesterday. I'll definitely be making them again. My friend from West Virginia had given the recipe to me and told me just how easy (not to mention good) they are to make. I don't know where she had originally seen the recipe and it wasn't on the copy of the recipe. I tried searching it and came up with several the were pretty much the same so... Thanks to whoever you are for originally sharing this recipe. These are fast and really easy!
30 Minute Rolls
1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1/3 C oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C bread flour (seems to work better but all purpose flour will also work)
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)
Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.
And there you have it. There are only a couple of things I would probably do differently. There was enough dough that I easily made 14 instead of 12 rolls. I also had to cook these about 17 minutes but I'm sure that's because of the oven and it's little "ticks".
In any case I'll be sure to make these again. Try them. You might be really surprised at just how yummy (not to mention easy) these rolls are.
A perfect accompaniment to an awesome steak dinner.
Between the weather and tight finances this past month try as we might we are seemingly running behind with the garden. We got potatoes and a few onion sets planted. Every effort in the greenhouse failed and so I'll be trying again this week. Heck it's almost time to just start seedlings in the ground. It's all due to not having heat in there yet. Honestly I just haven't felt worth a darn lately. I won't go into it because really who wants to hear someone whining?
Anyway.... We need to order some parts for the watering system. Splicers and stuff. That's on the list for this month. Most of it will have to be done before we can actually plant in some of the rows. I've been studying the gardening guide for our area again and realized that even if we miss some of the planting this spring we still have another shot at it for fall garden. Of course that is all depending on the weather. It seems like its been a crap shoot with it. It seems like every year we've been here the weather has been nuts.
It's also time for the lawnmower to come out of the barn for some maintenance. Things are starting to green up. And every year it seems like something needs to be worked on and parts ordered. I've got my fingers crossed it won't need a new battery. Gas is needed for it and the tiller. Every year we go through this. It's to be expected and its a good thing that Mars is quite handy with that sort of thing. As a matter of fact he's really handy with a ton of things. Bless his heart, I hate that I can't help much.
The little red hen went broody last week. I caught her off the nest this morning and got to count nine eggs. Not bad! Last year I had two hens sitting on one nest. It was kind of funny in a way because once the chicks hatched they kind of shared them.
One of the sweetest of my rabbits had seven baby bunnies last week. FINALLY! Don't let anyone tell you all rabbits will breed like...well... rabbits. What I ended up doing was pretty much start all over. I gave Bucky another chance at breeding. Nothing, nada, zilch. I figure he's sterile. I'm getting him fattened up before we send him off to the freezer. The new buck is now proven. I don't remember if I told you about The Rabbit Lady giving me back the doe I traded off. So I've ended up now with four does. I'll probably make some rabbit stew with at least one of them. There's really no need for having that many does at the moment. It just not worth the feed bill. We'll see how things work out though.
So that's about all of the news around here right now. It's finally time to get up and out of the house. Now if the weather would just try and cooperate.
Well, guess what came in the mail this week! We officially own our place. I am feeling like I'm on the top of the world every since we got the deed.. Even my back problems seem small today! I walk outside and look all around me and still think "Wow, this is OURS" No one can take it from us. A lifelong dream has been realized. I've wanted a place to call home for most of my life. No renting no mortgages. A place that was mine, that no one could ever take away. I walked around the property today in between rain showers and everything looks so different to me now.We owe nothing to anyone. And we did it on $11,000 a year and the preps we brought from Austin. We are officially LAND OWNERS!
Let the games begin!
So there I was with all these different brands of milk sitting in the pantry.I stopped buying powdered milk and figured I can always use what I have for baking/cooking. I had broken one of the very first "rules to remember" of long term food storage. Store what you eat and eat what you store.
One day I'll have some goats (maybe. That is if I stop reading over at Carolyn's blog about her goat antics and adventures. She's my "goat guru" and has made me think
I was grocery shopping one day and saw a can of powdered milk that I recognized. I'd never tried it before but a friend stores the same brand and she uses it in her world famous biscuits. (Well in MY mind they should be world famous!) After a few times trying to get my biscuits as nice as hers always are I got to thinking maybe it's the milk that makes the difference. It turns out I was wrong about the biscuits. I still can't make them turn out as amazing as hers are but I've been practicing a lot. Anyway..... I had been on the lookout for the same brand and finally found it in a local grocery around here.
It's called Sanalac dry milk. One of the first things I thought of when I saw it was "Wow, isn't that a baby formula?" It's not but the name is close enough to make you want to double check.
I made a quart up and set it in the fridge to let it chill. I don't know about you but I can't handle milk that isn't chilled anyway. The first thing I noticed was the texture of the dried milk. It's truly a powder. Not like so many of the other brands. It was a little hard to mix up at first because it sort of clumped up in the bottom of the jar. Now I mix it up in a quart jar using a little hot water and then adding the powder. It seems to be easier to mix up like that. Once I finally got it mixed up good ( now I just shake it rather than trying to stir it)and took a smell. It didn't have that nasty smell that most powdered milk have. Once it was cold, I gave it a test run. I was craving some cornbread and milk Now if you think I just poured it into a glass before checking out the flavor, you'd be thinking wrong. No way I'm going to possibly ruin a good piece of cornbread. I took a tiny sip. Just because it didn't have a nasty smell I wasn't willing to swallow a mouthful and end up either gagging or spitting it out. (or both)
All this talk just to say I really like it. The flavor is just great. It actually tastes like whole milk. I suppose if you like 2% milk you could just decrease the amount of dry milk. All this really means is that I've found a new milk that I'll gladly be adding to my food storage.
PS This is not a paid ad, I just really think it's a good product.
We got a pretty good rain here this weekend so now we'll have to wait till it's dried up enough to be able to get out there again. So it looks like I'll not be boring you to death just yet with the garden progress report.
Free Catalog List ( heirloom/open-pollinated seeds)
Heirloom Acres Seeds
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Sandhill Preservation Center
Seeds of Change
Seed Savers Exchange
This is in no way a complete list. It's just a start. If you have some that are your favorites, please share them with us!! I just love reading them. There is something I find wonderful about being able to hold them and flip the pages... I can make notes and use a highlighter too when I come across something "cool". ( Don't tell anyone but I even "ohhh and ahhh" over some of the things I want to try)
I've also found an excellent source of seed catalogs by the state from Mother Earth News.
~~~~~~ Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~
I'll be back soon.
With so much to do to get the garden ready for spring planting I feel as though I'm far behind where I should be. The greenhouse should be full of trays by now. With no heat yet to keep the seeds warm at night it is fruitless to even try. Heat and ventilation have yet to be worked out. That's on "The List" too. It's times like these that I have to sit back and remind myself that everything has it's own time, it's own natural rhythm.
I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'll end up buying tomato plants and other early spring plants like broccoli and cabbage this year. It's ok, even if I DID want to start them from seed this year. Things could be worse. We are having a much better winter than many folks. Especially those North and East of here.
OK, now that I got my "whine" out of the way..... I have just got to share this with anyone who's not clicked that big X at the top of the page yet....
My dad is one of those guys that hardly ever picks up the phone to make a call. He told me years ago that kids should call their parents and not the other way around. Of course whenever he does call, my heart skips a beat or three wondering who's died or injured. He's also not one for using the mail either. He's been telling me that he's got some seed he wants to mail to me. Much of it is seed from strains he's been growing for years. So yesterday when I received a box in the mail and I saw who it was from I knew exactly what was in it. I might have even done a little happy dance.
Seeds, seeds and more seeds. The picture is what the first layer of the box looked like. Dad saves his seeds in old medicine bottles like these, which is half the battle of keeping them in a dark place. There are two or three layers under those bottles. Baggies of all kinds of different varieties of seeds all saved by my Dad!
If I thought I was ready for spring to get here before, now I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas to finally get here. I'm trying to ignore the fact that another cold front will be moving in on us over the weekend with highs in the 20's and possible rain,sleet and snow.
Stay warm folks... this can't last forever!!
Most of us can't get ourselves motivated in the morning without a cup of coffee or three. I take mine with cream and sugar. I also really like some of the flavored creamers that are out there. Me being
A couple of things here. I tried this as written and I didn't care for it one little bit. I added more milk (Like to the rim of the jar) I used some Vanilla Coffee Syrup the first time. It was wayyy to sweet.
I should have let Mikey try it, he likes everything. (For those too young to remember - there was a commercial for Life cereal a few years ago "Let Mikey try it, he likes everything") Good grief I feel older than dirt for having to explain that one.!
Back to you Jane..... :-)
I would recommend using the vanilla extract instead of the syrup. It's much better and besides this recipe is already pretty sweet because of the condensed milk. You might even want to add more milk. I think next time I'll make my own sweetened condensed milk as it's pretty simpe to make too.
I had to make this a couple of times, playing with the measurements but for all this build-up its a recipe as easy as it gets.
Here's the original link
And here's mine
14oz sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk (any kind will do)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR Vanilla Coffee Syrup(if you like it ultra sweet try using the syrup)
1 quart mason jar
Pour it all in a mason jar and shake shake shake.
Add it to your coffee! How simple is that?
So there you have it. I can't afford to buy fancy creamers for my coffee but when I can find the condensed milk on sale I'll sure grab a couple of cans and whip up some fancy coffee creamer! You can also make a host of different flavors using this as a base. You might even want to add more milk. Or dream up your own! I think next time I'll make my own sweetened condensed milk as it's pretty simple too.
Here's a link for some ideas.
Who knows....one day I might make some ice cream too.
I got a few seeds in dirt yesterday. Mainly herbs this time. I've got it in my head that this will be the year that I'll have an herb garden. If you've been hanging out here awhile you know I say that every year. I've not had the greatest luck with most herbs, but I keep trying. I've even got a nice spot for them almost ready. For now though they are just seeds.
The onions harvested last summer are gone now. I will sometimes pick up a few at the store for fresh cut onions along the way but for the most part this time of year I'll use the onions I dehydrated just for that reason. I should have enough to last until the newly planted onions are ready.They did pretty well and I've only been having to buy onions recently. They did "ok" being braided for storage. I'd check them fairly regularly and dehydrate the ones that were getting close to going bad.
Another of the lessons I learned last year was that I need to buy my onion sets at places I trust. I made the mistake this past year and picked some up at the local grocery store. I had picked up yellow onions and they grew just fine. The problem was that they all were like double onion? Each one seemed to have two separate onions in one bulb. I don't know how to explain it. They were fine for eating but a PITA to peel.
We've got a great feed store over in Little Big Town that buys their onion sets and bulbs, potatoes and vegetable plants locally. New sets are starting to show up there and that is were I'll get my sets for this year. Last year we planted 75-80 feet of onions. We'll plant at least that much again this year. I'd like to plant some red onions and of course yellow onions. Maybe even a couple of other varieties.
One of the things Mars has been working on (when the weather allows) is trying to clean up the area where the old house used to be. It's the last of the "clean up" of the property. We know that there was a fire here but don't know exactly how long ago it was. Mars thinks that someone had bought the place with intentions of remodeling the old house. They probably stayed in an RV while the remodel was going on. There was an old electric pole with a breaker box on it once upon a time where it was probably hooked up to. There's a newish septic tank . Mars found the original septic tank when we planted the Redbud trees. There was a place in front of the dilapidated barn that had lots and lots of drywall pieces that was probably once a big stack of sheet rock. There's a spot inside the house area that had piles and piles of glass. Some of it got so hot it sort of melded together. So far he's picked out over 7 feed bags FULL of glass. Most in one spot, which leads him to believe that there were probably new windows stacked there to install during the remodel job. The house was set on pier and beams and there's a section toward the back that looks like it was probably an addition. That's the area we plan to build on some day.
Oh HECK.!!! I just looked out the window and all the dang chickens are all out. I best go so I can find and fix their escape hatch. Later ya'll.!
Why am I sharing all this with you? OH, now I remember! People watching. I've been known to sit in a parking lot just watching folks do their thing. WalMart parking lots are especially entertaining. Parking lot People Watching isn't really all that uncommon. I've met lots of folks who do the same thing. You would be amazed at what all goes on in parking lots.
Here's where my having a confession to make comes into play. I watch folks in the grocery stores too. Not just the people themselves but I watch what they have in their grocery carts. I don't know if many folks do this too but I find it fascinating to watch what they are filling up their carts with.
I see the harried business guy/gal tired from working the daily grind with what who looks like picking a few things up after a day sitting behind a desk somewhere. There are what looks like fresh organic vegetables some 2%milk, orange juice, a bouquet flowers and grass fed beef in their cart.
Conclusion: They are watching what they eat and trying to eat healthy as well. Except for that carton of ice cream. Gotta have a snack now and then right? These are the folks that get snowed in and panic because they only have a day or two's worth of food in the pantry.
Then there's the little old lady with her small careful choices. A couple of banana's, maybe a small package of chicken breasts that have been marked down, one of those small loaves of bread, half a gallon of milk and maybe some lettuce or a little package of cheese,two or three cans of cat food and a couple of small yogurt cups.
Conclusion: She probably lives alone with her cats. and buys small portions of her groceries at a time. Not only to be frugal but it gives her an excuse to get out of the house if only for a little while. She's probably got food at home but likes to get out of the house and actually talk to someone, even if it's just the brief conversation with the cashier.
There's the 18-19 something guy who loads up on chips, Fruit Loops, and frozen burrito's. He's probably never even lit a stove.
There's the pregnant woman who can't be more than 22-23 with three small screaming ill mannered children running amuck and picking up everything in their line of sight, and running down the aisle. They scream at the top of their lungs running into folks like they were bowling pins and trying to make a strike. All the while the mother sweetly repeats over and over "No Johnny stop running, Ronnie what did I tell you about using your "indoor" voice" yet they still run wild. Her basket is filled with frozen pizza's, sweet sugary cereals, 2 liter bottles of soda, hot dogs, chips and all manner of boxed "meals" (think Hamburger/Tuna Helper) and other processed foods. I'm quite sure she has no idea that her screaming children's actions are not just a matter of bad parenting but the awful foods she feeds them regularly paid with her food stamp card.
There's the older widowed gentleman who has some milk, butter, and a half dozen eggs. I assume he know how to make breakfast but apparently that's the extent of his cooking his own food because he has a pile of TV dinners, frozen pizza and some pot pies. Maybe he never learned to cook because his late wife always took care of the meals.
There's the 30ish lady with a fist full of coupons and a list. Unfortunately her basket is full of processed foods cookies and diet sodas, because it's on sale and she has a coupon for it. I didn't mention she is obese? She stands defiantly in front of the cashier making darn sure that not only does the cashier ring up the sale price but also the corresponding coupon.
I've often wondered if grocery store clerks do the same sort of thing. I'd imagine that their focus would probably be on getting everyone in their line out of it as soon as possible. If it were me though, after hours of standing on my feet swiping item after item across the scanner I'd probably be cart watching. I bet they have all sorts of horror stories about the people that come through their lane though.
Maybe because no matter what line I choose to check out from something is bound to happen to make my wait longer. It gives me time to shopping cart spy, eh? The cashier needs change or runs out of paper, someone presents a hand full of WIC vouchers, ( I didn't mention this shopper on purpose) something has been rung up at the wrong price, a manager has to do a code override, someone forgets "one little thing and I'll be right back" or it's shift change and another cashier has to tag in and take the others place. I've got a friend who I used to go shopping with that refuses to let me pick which lane to check out from. If I pick a lane, she'll just look at me and say "Seriously?" It's like that!
So I guess my question is ... Are you a people watcher? A shopping cart spy? Maybe a bit of both?
Heck I don't know why I'm telling you this.... I'm sure it's the same all over. I do know my attitude is getting worse as the grey and gloomy days go by. I'm a sun person by nature. These sunless days are starting to get to me. Heck I seem to loose all my "want to" after awhile. You would think that as much as I love reading all your blogs and messing around on the net that I would be doing more "puter time". I don't even feel like lifting the lid on the laptop most days. Which is really weird. I haven't even been to "the ultimate suck my brains out slowly all day long" site called FaceBook. This must be what they call the Winter Time Blues. Whatever you call it I want to call it OVER!
It seems none of the seeds I was trying to start did anything. I need to replant them all and try again. It's been pretty hard to keep the greenhouse at a decent temperature. There's still work that needs to be done on it. That and these grey gloomy days. I can't blame them for not wanting to sprout up into this weather!
They are promising temps actually above freezing for the weekend. I should be able to turn the water on long enough to do up the dishes, mop the floor and re-fill all the jugs. Then start all over again with another front on Monday that's supposed to bring some snow.
This has been a brutal winter for many folks. Heck even MMPaints hasn't tried to start seeds yet! If you're a regular reader of hers you KNOW it must be cold if she's not got something started by now. Speaking of MMPaints,.....Hop over to Self Sufficient Living and check out the cool raffle she's holding. Better hurry though, It'll be over soon!
It's snowing right now. I never had any idea how hard it is to capture snow falling in a picture! Picure? Did I say picture? Yes sir! My mom and dad sent me the most awesome birthday present I think I've ever received. A Canon EOS Rebel, complete with zoom lens, filters, and all the goodies. Top of the line. Pretty darn awesome. I almost cried when I opened the box and saw it. I've been messing around with it for a couple of weeks and now have NO excuse for not taking pictures. Now that it's snowing I'll actually have something to take pictures of besides naked trees!
It seems that none of the seed I planted came up. Which means I'll have to start over again. I think it might be due to not having consistent heat in the greenhouse. That's something that still needs to be worked on. It doesn't help that we've only had a few days of sunshine the past couple of weeks. Our "vacation" time should be over soon as spring is right around the corner. Sorta....
The rising cost of groceries is starting to become alarming. I know we are feeling it here. Things are getting really tight. Our grocery money is buying less and less. I'm struggling to admit it to myself but it won't be long before I'm going to have to budget more towards the grocery bill. Even with growing our own vegetables and having the chickens and the rabbits there are staples that have to be bought. Things we aren't able to produce here on the homeplace Things like coffee, tea, sugar, flour, butter and cooking oil are some of them. I'm sure you are feeling it too.
And that brings us to what is happening in California. Just the other day Gov. Brown declared the state in an extreme drought. My mom was telling me there has been hardly any snow where they are up in the northern part of the state either. Not to mention the ongoing water right feuds.This is the worst drought that California has ever seen.
Here's a partial list of the percentage of our fruits and vegetables that come from California. Click here for a full list
Head Lettuce 70%
Leaf Lettuce 85%
They also grow a healthy amount of melons. Did you know they produce half of the bell peppers in the US. One third of the fresh tomatoes and 95% of the processed ones come from the state.
If those numbers don't tell you what we are in for in the coming year then I just don't know what to say. If you think things are expensive now just give it a bit. Add to that the price of meat. Beef hit a 61 year low. That will push the beef prices even higher than they are now.
If there is any way that you can stock your pantry deep you'll be ahead of the game (for awhile at least) Heck consider it an investment . What you acquire today will most assuredly be worth more in the coming months. Hedge your bets and hold onto your hat's folks. It's going to be a wild ride.
I sometimes get comments from readers who are more than happy to jump in and try to shoot holes in the way I try things. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against constructive criticism. I'm more than happy to hear from folks who have suggestions as to how I could do things better. I'm not perfect and neither are some of the methods I use from time to time.
I follow a ton of blogs and truly enjoy reading about folks adventures through this life. I feel kind of blessed that all these folks are sharing their lives with me, a virtual stranger. I also try to respect their "place". If I were in their homes I would do the same. And really, isn't blogging sort of like visiting an extension of someones home? I see comments around the blogosphere sometimes that make me just shake my head. Would those same people use the same bad manners in a person's home? These days probably so. Would I invite them back again? Probably not.
This past summer another one of the "new" things I planted was Lemon Basil. Basil's such a pretty plant. When you walk past them you can smell the lemon. It tastes exactly what it's called. Lemon(y) basil. I found that it goes real well with chicken dishes. I'm betting it would be pretty darn good on fish too. I saved a bunch of seed so I can grow this again in the spring. Have you raised Lemon Basil? Any good recipes that you'd like to share?
It's also the day I started planting seeds for the coming spring. Broccoli, Cabbage, and some cauliflower seed are now all tucked into their new dirt home. I know it's pretty early for some folks BUT .... The "garden guy" on the Saturday radio said it's time to start seed if I want plants that are ready to be set in the garden come early spring. And who am I to argue??? LOL Give me a reason to stick some seed in dirt and watch me go.
I need to get the greenhouse all "back in order" too. I've got all sorts of empty containers for seed starters setting around. I'm still not sure how I feel about the egg cartons that I used last year. They worked out for the most part. I just need to do some adjusting on them to get better water absorption. I've also been wondering how the "baggie method" would work in the greenhouse. I've got some pepper seed I might try to start like that since peppers really need a warm soil to germinate well. I might have to do an experiment and see.
It seems like a good time to take stock of what seed I have and what I might need. I've already got the Baker Creek seed catalog all dog eared. So far it's the only one that has come. It seems by this time last year I'd already received several. I'm sure they'll start coming in soon.
Oh and it's time for tomato seed to be put in some dirt as well. Like I said if I want plants that are ready to be planted outside come early spring it's time to start piddling around in the greenhouse. I might be a couple of weeks early with the tomato's but I can't see what it could hurt to get them started. Another thought is that if for some reason I don't get good germination from them then I'll still have time to start more seed and hopefully have it ready to plant when the time comes. As usual I'm pretty much playing it by ear. Last year the greenhouse wasn't quite ready for starting the tomato's and so a new learning experience begins.
When we made the land payment this month I actually had a smile on my face. Trust me when I say I don't smile while doing the bills for the most part. This month was different though. This was where I got to look at Mars and tell him that we only have ONE more payment before this place is really ours! Of course there's a balloon payment but it's not too terrible. We can pull it off. I've been trying to build up the groceries enough that we can actually go until March before having to hit the grocery store for anything more than the basics. I'll use the money to toss to the last payment. I know we can do it hands down but I've really been trying to focus on not even noticing that we went two months without a grocery shopping trip. Our preps are not what they used to be, but even so we'll do just fine. Shoot, if nothing else we have the trusty beans and rice in buckets. Good thing I like beans and rice is what I've been telling Mars. lol
So if you were wondering what's been going on around here I can truly say... Not Much. It's been cold, snowy and icy in no order at all and the wind rips around a lot of the time. I'm really really ready for spring to show up. The sooner the better!
Did you know that not only is tomorrow is a New Moon but it's only the third time in 300 years that the New Moon has fallen on the first day of the new year? AND it's called a Super New Moon because it is the closest the moon will be to earth all year!
Out with the old and in with the new! I've got a feeling 2014 is going to be an interesting year. It's sure starting out that way. This is also the only time in my lifetime my birthday will be 1-14-14.
I want to wish each and every one of you a Very Happy New Year! If you go out to celebrate please find yourself a designated driver. Cops will most definitely be out and looking for any excuse to pull you over and that could get really expensive really fast. I'll have to tell you I can't remember the last time we actually went "out" on New Year's Eve. Let me parrot what my friend Jerry over at MDR... Leave it to the rookies to go out and party, we pro's stay home. (paraphrased of course)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know if I was bored or what but I felt the need to bake today.I got my bread made and then I figured there's no time like now to make banana bread. While I was searching the freezer for banana's I found some strawberries hiding in the freezer. I figured I might as well put them to good use. It turned out pretty darn good if I have to say so myself. Sorry there are no pictures but... my camera's still not working. *sigh*
Strawberry Banana Bread
3 1/2 cups of All-Purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter ( or sub 1 cup of shortening if you'd rather)
1 1/2 cups of very ripe mashed bananas
1 cup smushed strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans.
In a big bowl beat the butter and gradually add your sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in mashed banana's, strawberries and vanilla.
In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Blend into the banana/strawberry batter. If you want to add nuts, now is the time. Divide the batter between the two greased pans.
Pop it into the hot oven. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center of the loaves comes out clean.
Grab a cup of coffee and a big slice of hot goodness slathered in butter and you have.... Bliss!!
I didn't really cook anything fancy for Christmas Dinner. A baked chicken with carrots and onions, black-eyed peas from the garden, a salad and homemade bread and I called it done. Since we don't really like turkey much we'll usually have chicken in it's place. We've been known to frequently have Non-Traditional holiday dinners. Before the BP oil spill many times we'd have a nice seafood dinner. Shrimp, oysters, scallops etc. These days we've given up on seafood. It's just not worth risking eating tainted seafood. Being raised around Galveston Bay we would have seafood pretty regularly. Not these days. We've also stopped buying canned tuna for fear of contamination. I've still got a couple of cases of tuna in our food storage but once that's gone I'm not sure we'll try and replace it.
My mom is something else I tell ya. Last year she sent Mars a Kindle Fire for his birthday. Being a "real" book lover he wasn't really sure he was going to like e-books. Let's just say that I "borrowed" his Kindle A LOT and I just loved it. After a bit he slowly started using the Kindle more and more often. There are just tons of free books available. I was spending less and less time on his Kindle because he was slowly using it more and more. Well, my mom (being the great gift giver that she is) called a couple of weeks before Christmas and told me that there were packages coming in the mail. Once they got here I was instructed to wrap them both and stick them under my imaginary Christmas tree! When I opened it up I had to just start laughing. In the box was my very own Kindle Fire! She's cool like that ya know! lol
And in other news..... When we first moved out here to the homeplace there were piles and piles of debris from the house fire that needed to be disposed of. We took several truckloads of scrap metal (lots of siding too) to the recycling center. Now, most of that is all gone but there is still lots of things like brick, firebrick and cinder-block that need to be removed from where the old house stood. Much of the cinder-block isn't any good. For the most part they pretty much break into smaller pieces when picked up. Mars has used some for the parking area for the car, He also crushed up a bunch of it with a sledge hammer and used it to make walkways so we weren't walking in mud. The newest thing to do with the old cinder-block pieces is to use them to build up the corner at the front of the property. There's a pretty good slope there and that part of the land is mostly huge sandstone boulders with just a little bit of dirt and grass growing over it. So the idea is to use the cinder-blocks to build up the corner. Once that is done Mars wants to dig out the top few inches of dirt from where the old house was sitting and cover up the cinder-blocks with it. Eventually there might even be grass or something covering up that little corner.
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