Monday, June 26, 2017

Snap Crackle Creak

We're on a roll.

Saturday, my DS and I went on the next of our 'adventures'.  This one involved a whole lotta driving with swag at the end.  She had never seen one of my lists, so was quite taken aback to see the size of it.  I did have to confess that Everything was included on that list - sort of a stream of unconsciousness listing.  In order, we:

Hit my local Trader Joe's (local in less than two hours away).
Hit Marshalls, where we did some damage.
Hit JoAnn Fabrics, where I did some damage.
Hit the Asian Supermarket, where we spent way too much time, wandering the aisles, oohing and aahing.

L-R oyster mushrooms, fresh rice vermicelli, GF soy
sauce, toasted sesame oil, baby bok choi, Asian sweet potato
It was dangerous, going into that market - we hadn't had time for lunch.  They have a wide a dazzling array of fresh produce, a lot of which I have never heard.  I couldn't resist a pound of fresh oyster mushrooms for 4.49/lb and a pound of baby bok choi for 2.29!  We vowed to make a separate trip back.

By the time I had dropped her off and driven home from VT, I was bushed!  I managed to do chores and make dinner, and pick two more gallons of strawberries!

Up to 4.5 gallons picked
I was too tired to do much with them, other than wash them.  On Sunday moring, springing (snap, crackle, creak) out of bed at the crack of dawn, I made a grain-free fruit crisp with fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries.  I then hard-boiled a dozen duck eggs because, well, because.  I'm going to have to get more creative with eggs.  The ducks had been off laying in another hidden nest - which I can't find, for the life of me! - so I have been putting them under lock and key in their own yard.  They are not happy about it, but it beats stumbling upon a nest with six dozen eggs at some point at the end of summer!

I made some sun tea and put it in my new dispenser (part of my Marshall's haul)!  Which turned out to be a piece of junk - at least the spout is.  I wondered why it was so cheap.... Luckily, I found a replacement tap online, so I am hoping that it works and that I can actually use it.

The only thing I like right now,
is that it is a good size - 1 gal.
I also fed the farm cats and visited with my Jasmine, dropped of baked goods and shared gossip with the farmer.  And trotted home with a milk can of fresh milk!  This is a perfect size - it holds exactly one gallon and one quart.  That was enough for two batches of Mama Pea's cottage cheese and a quart of yogurt.

While the cheese was 'cheesing', I went outside and tackled a few of the items on The List.  Laundry was washed and hung on the line.  I started to re-sink the posts on the ducks' enclosure, but I kept hitting rock.  I am going to have to reconfigure the fencing.  I also 'hilled' the potatoes, meaning I added another tire and filled it with compost.  I was one tire short, so I had to improvise on the last one with a length of plastic fencing.  We'll see how it does.  I moved my small, short bird bath into the front garden, and exchanged it for a larger, graceful one that I got for an outrageously low price from my friend, Nancy.  She had a vintage/antique business for years and is now in the process of drastic downsizing so they can sell their house and move to Cape Cod. 

 I did some weeding, but there is so much still to do.  Before I collapsed, I took a few shots of the garden - weeds and all.  There's much more to do, but we are making progress. 

Red currants are coming!

Beans - note spotty germination.  But, really,
how many bean plants does one
person need?

Onions.  I planted them closer than
usual, because I use every other one for

Two-tier-tire potato plants in foreground,
with jerry-rigged extension in
background.  Bintjas.

Weedy pepper bed with volunteer


Three kinds of squash
Things are coming along.  The trouble is, everything needs weeding and I don't have the focus to stay with one bed until it's finished.  This results is the chicken-without-a-head approach that doesn't do much good.  I have been working on the two beds in the front of the house, as it dawned on me that my entryway looks like crap, to be blunt.  I had pulled out the barberry bushes, covered it with weed cloth, and put just enough wood mulch on it to hold it down.  Then promptly forgot it existed.  Which is no easy task, as I have to walk by it at least twice a day.  I started to develop the raised bed on the parallel side of the front walk.  It is about half done.  You can see where this is heading - then there is the flower bed in the back, which is about one-third done, and the old herb bed which is completely taken over by mint.  I'd clone myself, if it wouldn't be unfair to the world to have two of me in it.  There always seems to be some interruption...

Last night, as I was taking down my laundry and heading in to make dinner, there was a big barney in the hoop house.  As I glanced over, I saw the big, bully rooster chasing a slightly smaller rooster out of the door and into the fence.  Which zapped the poor guy.  Who then lost his pea-sized mind and started racing from corner to corner, bully in close pursuit, getting zapped at every turn.  I high-tailed it down, rescued the reeling roo and then turned the stink eye on the bully.  He shot out of the fence and I managed to corral him and get him by one leg.  I then heaved him over the fence, where he landed with a splat on the ground.  That knocked the starch out of him for quite a while.  By the time I was ready to close them up for the night, he had recovered and was sidling back inside.  Hah, I thought.

This morning, he was at it again, so I grabbed him by two legs and hauled him into the duck yard and into the isolation unit.  Where he will stay until he goes off to Freezer Camp next Saturday.  Honestly.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Freezer Camp" LOL! That is quite the euphemism! I love bok choy stirfried with thinly-sliced carrots and minced garlic.

Mama Pea said...

If I ever manage to visit you, remind me to behave myself as I don't want to be flung into the isolation unit. And then be sent to Freezer Camp.

I found our first ripe strawberry today. That's about a week earlier than normal.

I've been making cottage cheese like crazy as I can't seem to get enough of it just now. Served either with raw veggies cut up in it or slices of fruit. (I'm craving the fruit version at the moment.)

I do the same thing with my onions . . . plant closely then "thin" by taking every other one for use as a scallion. Love scallions. So fresh.

Have you ever shown the garden(s) at the front of your house? Pictures, please!

Ed said...

Asian markets are great. We go to several in our area quite often. Generally they have the best produce and seafood around. We also have a Hispanic market as well that we hit up. Just a couple weeks ago, an African market opened up. I have no idea what I might find in an African market but we have been meaning to stop by and find out sometime soon.

Susan said...

That sounds good! I have quite a few, so will look forward to a bok choy sort of week.

Susan said...

Well, if that ever happens (please god), I am sure that you won't behave in a randy way and go around beating everyone up. Right? Right? :) I am currently chopping up cucumbers and mixing them in with salt and pepper. Next up, mixed with strawberries - as a matter of fact, that sounds like the perfect dinner! I will have to do a better job of photographing the front. I was a little puddle-like when I took these, so I'll try to do it before I work like a dog!

Susan said...

We have Asian and Indian markets around - I would bet we have an African market too, but I am not aware of it. I'd be interested to know what you find in yours!

Michelle said...

I got my toasted sesame oil at Trader Joe's!

Agent X, not said...

Whew - if I took a photo of my geranium pot still in bloom in June, in Texas would that count? You are amazing......

Susan said...

I would have loved to see you take down the rooster. Amazingly, here at the end of Hwy 101 where shops are few, we have a wonderful Asian store, packed to the roof with spices and roots and other mysterious things. The woman who runs it is lovely and will always help with decoding a recipe.

Theresa said...

Yikes...freezer camp.....
Family had a summer place for years in West Pawlet VT, right on the Mettowee. Still miss VT, wouldn't mind moving back at some point.

Rain said...

Hi Susan! :) I'm just like you. I have a very long organized list of places to stop, in order of driving route. When Alex comes with me he asks "how many stops do we have to make?" I usually say something like "only" 9, where he says "AS MANY AS"9??? I guess for me, it's habit now to shop around!!

Your tea dispenser is so nice! Shame about the spout, but we don't need to talk about the shabby merchandise out there do we? You got a lot done in the garden, don't sell yourself short! :) You know, I don't have peppers yet. I planted them 5 weeks ago sigh, I think it's been too cold for them. I like what you did with your taters. My garbage bin is nearly full...I can only hill them once more then wait for harvest I guess!

Susan said...

I'm amazed that anything is still blooming in your heat! Kudos!!! :)

Susan said...

I have very little patience for surly roosters - I've had too many of them in my relatively short farming career. The only downside of this market is that it is run by Asian men, who are downright rude to women. If I needed to decode a recipe, I'd be left to my own devices.

Susan said...

I bet that was a beautiful spot. I think that Vermont is my favorite state. I'm glad I'm so close to it.

Susan said...

Rain, I'll be looking forward to your tater report! It's amazing how many you can get from one bin. I've ordered a replacement spout - apparently, there are so many cheesy spouts out there, that an entire business has sprouted up to replace them. I need to know - do you map out your many stops in chronological order? I have set a limit of 8 stops on one trip. It's all I can bear.

Rain said...

Tater report will happen in the fall! :)
As you know I try to just leave the house once a month now, though it's tough with the desire for fresh fruits and veggies when they're in season!! But usually I look at flyers first and eliminate any store that doesn't have what I want on special. Then I map out my day according to my driving route. I'm fussy about gas expense too! :) I have no limits to the stops because the town where I shop has all the stores within about a 20 block radius. So if my hair stuff is on sale at pharmacy #1, it's right across the parking lot from grocery store #3, so it's not really out of my way and I save some money :)

But really, by the time I'm at the end of the day, I always think it may have been worth the extra expense to eliminate a few stores...then my common sense comes back and I push on lol! Shopping is a JOB for me!

Theresa Y said...

Your garden looks great. My garden's coming along. Although my banana peppers are just not growing(??!!?) What will you do with all that bok choy?

ElaineChicago said...

I'm hoping that both doggies get to stay with you. They look so peaceful and happy!

Sandy Livesay said...


High hoe, high to freezer camp I go...LOL!!!! You have to do what's right for the rest of your chickens...and freezer camp it is :P:P:P I have no sympathy for Mr. Bully :-) I'm sure he's trying to figure out what he's done wrong and how he can convince you to change your mind about freezer camp.

Weeds are a royal pain in the hiney, I wouldn't worry to much about them. Pull some every now and then, and just continue on. Your beds really look amazing dear friend. I'm sure you'll have some amazing harvests. Those strawberries look like they could melt in your mouth. I'm already picturing the crisp you're making. To bad there's no such thing as smell a vision!!!!

Cottage cheese....I must find that recipe. I'm the only one in the house who eats the stuff. Making cottage cheese from scratch sounds like fun.