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Friday, September 5, 2014

My (bushel) basket overfloweth. Or how I spend my days off.

Lying around, eating bon bons, reading at the beach - they're all overrated.  Give me a day, jam-packed with sustainable activity and I am a happy camper.  (Anyone willing to come down/up/over here and intervene?  Anyone?)

Yesterday was the day the Nuggets went off to Freezer Camp.  And none too soon.  This particular batch of CornishXzombiechickens was immense!  DS Melanie arrived with her trust Subaru Baja at 7:30A and we commenced with the loading.  The first sign of trouble was that the Nuggets were too large and too many to fit in the XL dog crate we always use.  She of Incredibly Fast Thinking (that would be Melanie, not I), took one of my tarps, folded it in half, slid one half on the bed of the truck with the fold facing aft.  (Can you tell my parents were both in the Navy?)  We put up the tailgate, then hefted the Nuggets in pairs into the bed of the truck.  It was packed solid.  Then the other end of the tarp was carefully and securely battened up and over them, with plenty of space for air.

Off we went.  We picked up her husband and dropped him off at his rehab center, then headed the hour north to the processor.  It was a beautiful day for a drive and it is always so much fun to spend time with my DS.  The second mistake was giving in to a large Pumpkin Spice coffee.  This processor is out in the hinterlands - the facility is very basic.  It's for the processing of poultry.  There are no 'His and Her" restrooms.  There are no restrooms.  As we stood, waiting for the birds to cool so we could pack them up and head back, I found myself scoping out the various and sundry outbuildings as to a) blockability, b) no prickly vegetation, c) closeness of vicinity as things were getting dicey.  At the last minute, Jeff came out with our 500# of poultry (kidding - but not by much...), we quickly loaded the Baja and bumped our way to the nearest clean bathroom.  It was close.

As we stood outside talking about this and that, waiting for the process to finish, I noticed a house waaaaaay up on top of a mountain across from his farm.  Turns out the fellow who owns it has a train whistle.  Which he activates every time he wants his wife to bring him a drink.  Day and night.  Especially night.  And he drinks a lot.  So much for the peace and quiet of the country.

We picked DS' husband up from rehab, stopped at her house, got him situated, lugged the Nuggets (now nice and quiet and unstinky) into cooler places, then back into the car we went to go pick tomatoes and peppers from a local farm field.  You know that feeling you get when you spy a pepper plant laden with beautiful, ripe veges?  And you know you will have to do something with said veges besides look lovingly at them?  Well, it overtook me and I came home with this:

The bushel basket at the top is DS Melanie's.
Look at the size of the pepper in comparison to the
tomatoes!

Mine was half and half - half tomatoes, half
peppers.  And I am going back for more.

By the time we reached Melanie's house for the third time, we were dragging.  But we schlepped her bushel basket into her house, checked on her husband, fed the sheep, then schlepped the Nuggets (minus her share) back into the Baja, then back to the LLF.  I don't mind saying that I almost wept when I saw my homesweethome.  But more schlepping was in order, then a quick hello to the happy dogs, then off she went again.  I staggered in and called the Nugget shareholders to please, please, please come get them soon.  Which they did.  Then I did my shortened evening chores - no more stuffing those behemoths into the coop at night - came in and collapsed.  Pepper was collapsed on top of me with sympathy exhaustion, 'though he slept all day in front of the fan.  Even Lovey's bounce was half the normal bounciness.  I was in bed and asleep by 8:30.  What a day!

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Michelle - You took the words right out of my mouth! :)

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  2. And reading this--I am going to take a nap.
    That's a day off??????????

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    1. Sue - I tend to work harder on my days off. I think it's the need to feel like I've squeezed every last second out of it. Or I'm certifiable.

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  3. Made me want a nap too .........zzzzzzzzzzz.

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    1. TL - I think you needed a nap because it's 120 degrees in the shade! I would be a puddle. I could have used a nap, I'll tell you. Or five.

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  4. Jumbo nuggets in the freezer & fresh jumbo peppers in the sink, waiting to be processed or munched. Yum. And, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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    1. Carolyn - Is that not the biggest pepper you have ever seen? How could you NOT pick them? I will quit growing them - it's too frustrating. This farm grows the most amazing peppers. I tell you, I hit the bed like a piece of timber and slept soundly...until 2:30A.

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  5. Hummnnn...I just dehydrated 2 trays of Jalapenos....then I did the stupid thing...rubbed my eye.....it looks like I have been crying for days now! "OLE" Red eye! As in my tomato dehydrating I do peppers to....I mix them once they are dry in pint jars. Red, green, yellow, orange and purple peppers in a varied mix. I gently toss the colors until I get a color mix I like then I add 1 jalapeno [per pint of mixed color dried peppers]. These can be tossed in rice to ward the end of cooking or into stir fries. You may have to adjust the water a bit in your rice. It just takes a wee bit of experimenting.
    Okay as all of you out there can tell I am experimenting with all sorts of ways to preserve and use a "Plethora" of wonderful Garden goodness.
    There really is something irresistible about garden produce and the urge to preserve!

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous peppers! (And I'm sure the tomatoes are attractive, too!) So how many of the meat chickens do you keep for yourself? It probably takes three (or four) of our old stewing hens to equal the meat on one of your Nuggets.

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  7. OH, you did have a day, didn't you? But it felt so good (other than the exhaustion) at the end of it, didn't it? Righteously earned rest.

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  8. Wow, congrats on your non-stinky meat!!! I wish there was a real farm somewhere close to here, I've love to lad up on some peppers and tomatoes. My peppers were a total bust this year, nothing, tall and nothing. Tomatoes slow but steady...

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