Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The weekend revisited.

Savoy cabbage bought at the Farmers Market.
Isn't it beautiful?
Such a chaotic weekend - I was thither and yon both days.  So was the weather.  Mostly thither, I think.  Saturday I had a long list to work through at my parents', then had to race back to get the barn re-reorganized for my 100 bales of hay (oh, yeah!!!)  My farmer/neighbor picked me up in his new-to-him 1978 truck with a box body and we clacked, clanged, chugged and alternately screeched, jerked and shimmied up the mountain to get the hay.  The engine/exhaust system was so loud we had to yell at each other.  But we made it.  Thankfully, the rain held off long enough for us to toss the bales into the truck, then shimmy, etc. down the mountain, where we stacked all those lovely bales floor-to-ceiling.  I kept opening the door and looking in.  I had to pinch myself!  There is nothing like a nice stock of hay to make the world seem brighter.  And thank goodness I had help stacking.  I am good to stack four-high, but the farmer can heft those babies up six-high!  Even the little goats were appreciative of the added warmth a barnful of hay bale provides.  They have their little Dogloo to sleep in, but the hay helps temper the noise of rain on the metal roof.

While I was waiting to be picked up for the hay ride, I got two raised beds weeded, hoed and raked - ready for garlic planting.  I also started on the mat of weeds that had overtaken my tomato/herb bed.  I left the parsley plants because they were so healthy, although I might have to cover the bed if the temps drop as they are forecast to do later this week.  I squeezed garlic-planting in on Sunday morning - with my high-tech, surefired planting method - broomstick marked at 3".  I still have room, so I am on the look-out for more seed garlic.  So far, I've planted seed garlic from Marianne (it was so big, it was mistaken for Elephant garlic - llama beans!!!), my saved seed garlic from this year's crop, Keeper from The Garlic Store, and Susanville (how could I NOT plant that?), also from The Garlic Store.  Susanville is a softneck variety, while the others are all hardneck.  I'd like to plant the rest of the bed and another third of the second, leaving the rest of the second bed for onions.  I still have to mulch it and I wanted to plant spinach, but ran out of time, light and opportunity. 

On Sunday, I drove up to Melanie's, where she had generously offered to help me fill buckets full of apple drops from their trees for the sheep (and me).  She has had an amazing apple crop!  I love her sheep.  She let them out into the field where we were picking and they rocketed out - leaping and running!  It was wonderful to watch.  They are beautiful Shetlands.  I brought whey for her friendly Tamworth pig, and I always love to watch the amazing array of poultry free ranging around their farm.  It's a little piece of heaven.  Marianne joined us and we had a nice get-together.  I left with the back of the Ford filled with apples and the nice, warm feeling I always have after spending time with the Ms.  I stopped on my way home to make two visits, as I am trying not to do nothing but work all weekend.  They were short but sweet (the visits, that is), and one visit resulted in my gleaning three large, sweet red peppers!  By the time I got home, it started to rain off and on.  I let the sheep out into the back fenced area and got a wire enclosure around one of my two apple trees.  I would love to let them graze without supervision, but Hoosier is way too fond of my little apple trees.  I have one more to protect, then my one surviving cherry.  Then they can have a ball.

Faced with a very small amount of flour remaining in my stash, I had a challenge coming up with something to bake for the barn crew on Sunday morning.  I ended up with Fudge Drops, from the KAF Bakers Companion - one of my favorites.  It only used 3/4C of flour.  Which I had.  Just.  It also calls for 2C of semi-sweet chocolate bits.  The mixture is very much like brownie batter - just a little thicker.  The cookies bake into crackly molten chocolate disks.  They smelled wonderful!  The dogs and I dropped them off at the milking parlor on our morning walk.  They got a five thumbs up!  Now that I am flourless, I am backed to the wall - the next thing I bake MUST be gluten free!

I put on a crock pot full of butternut squash chili, based on the delicious recipe I found over at Thy Hand Hath Provided, for Saturday's dinner and my week of lunches.  I didn't have black beans so I used red beans, but used everything else (I also halved the recipe, since I am the  only one I'm serving!)  Since I was on a winter squash trend, I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Hummus that was to die for!  I brought it along to dinner Sunday at Sylvie's and it was good!  I will be making this many times this winter.  I got the recipe here.  I didn't swirl the honey on top, nor did I garnish it with chickpeas.  It is incredibly light.  I'm going to try the pumpkin cornbread next, with a non-wheat baking mix I've concocted.  Sylvie made a wonderful stew with butternut squash, apples and apple sausage.  I am still waiting for the recipe (ahem - tap, tap, tap, tap).  Such a healthy, sumptuous weekend!  I got two of my UFOs done - both the cotton tab towels.  I gave one to my mother and the other....well, the holidays are coming. 

My Meyer lemon tree is loaded with lemons and they are finally starting to ripen!  I got out her winter grow light and hung it overhead.  Nothing is too good for my lemon tree.  I also managed to get all of my laundry done and hung out.  Of course, it's still drying, thanks to the rain.  But it's supposed to be clear today and most of tomorrow, so I'm hoping everything will eventually dry on the line.  The weekend was a perfect balance of work and friends.



  2. I've grown savoy cabbage a couple of times with success. Trouble was the heads got so darn big I had a hard time using one up once I harvested it. (Terrible problem to have, eh?)

    Your weekend sounded like it was, indeed, a good one. (You sure you didn't have a crew of six in?) I know just what you mean having all that hay stacked under cover and knowing it is yours, yours, yours! Sort of like looking at a full wood shed.

  3. I is VERY satisfying to have hay stacked in the cozy.

  4. Wow! You make me tired just reading all of this. What a busy time.
    That cabbage makes me hungry..... mmmmmm.......

  5. Oh, how wonderful it is to see bales and bales of hay stacked in the barn. Bet the sheep were glad to see it too!

    One of the few veggies (hehe, veggies) that did well in this years garden were the butternut, so I'm going to have to try some of those recipes out. Not that I mind just eating them plain ol' cooked, but DH needs something more than just a half butternut and a spoon.

  6. Yes ma'am, that is one beautiful cabbage! It surely is a good feeling to have the hay all stacked in to (hopefully) last through the winter! ;-) Good thing the weekend is over so you can go back to "work" and rest! LOL!!

  7. That cabbage is lovely.
    you sound like you did a lot of work. Hi, this is Munir over here at Focus. In my sixty years of life I understood that hard work is good for us. I like the results.

  8. Wow, yummy-sounding recipes! Thanks for the links; I'll be following a couple new-to-me blogs now, too. :-)

  9. Judy - I will have to do many things with that big boy! Hummus is basically chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, garlic, tahini (sesame paste) and lemon juice. But you can make hundreds of different renditions.

    Mama Pea - I am having the same dilemma. Plus, it's so beautiful I don't want to cut it! I wish I had a crew of six - I would have plenty for them to do!

    dr momi - And I love the smell of hay. I used to, as a kid, go into the barn of an elderly couple who had a barn a walkable distance from our house and just lie in it. You had to watch out for pigeons, though.

    Judy - Once I get going, I can get a lot done. It's just that "get going" part that's hard.

  10. Carolyn - You guys are going to torture me with this veggie business, aren't you? I didn't grow butternut squash, but all my neighbors did and have tons - and they are generous!

    Candy - Isn't it amazing? Sometimes I can't wait for Mondays so I can do this so-called work.

    Munir - Hi there! There is nothing like working hard all day, then sitting down to look at all you've done. THAT is a good day's work.

    Michelle - I should post Sylvie's recipe, too. The leftovers have sustained me over two days and they just taste better and better.

  11. Gosh, you've been so busy and so productive. Would love for you to share those recipes!

  12. P.S. Congratulations on those Meyers lemons!

  13. Leigh - if you click on the links you should be taken right to the recipe. The Pumpkin Hummus is really simple - 1 can chickpeas, 1 cup cooked pumpkin, 4 T. tahini, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp. cumin, and lime juice to taste - I think I used 3 T. altogether. You know, as soon as I commented on your Meyers lemons, mine started to ripen! Karma!!