Monday, August 14, 2017

Food, Fun, Fotos and Bon Voyage, Lacy.

 The weekend started off with a gathering (all too rare now) of the Girlz Night girlz.  There are three of us and we used to get together once a month, rotating between houses.  It was fun and the only time I partake in a martini (I'm a light-weight).  Then lives got busy and complicated and one of the three bought a second house on Cape Cod.  That was not, obviously, me.  It has fizzled down to maybe once a season, so this was a nice surprise.  The other thing that has changed quite a bit is the length of the gathering.  We start at 6 and we used to carry-on until almost 10.  Now, we were out the door and in our cars at 8.  N's local house is on the market and soon it will be two.  Sigh.

Saturday was an interesting day, as I am now making myself open to whatever happens and not beating myself about the head and shoulders over not focusing on my list(s).  I had a good start - four loads of laundry done, sea salt & dark chocolate granola made, refrigerator pickles tucked in the new fridge, water buckets cleaned and refilled, weeds wacked, when I chanced on a Freecycle listing for kombucha scobys.  Woot!  My poor scoby, which I had so carefully dried to keep it on hand, did not rehydrate well.  The offer was limited to that day, so I bundled the dogs into the car and off we went.  I am so glad we did!  The woman's house was in Vermont, down a gravel road to a dirt road to the dead end.  The only house on the road, up in the mountains.  It was like driving into Eden.  She gave me the largest, most healthy-looking scoby I have every seen.  She was in the middle of canning, but took the time to share her vast kombucha knowledge.  She was great!  It was also great that she didn't have chickens, as I took along a dozen fresh eggs as a thank you gift.

Everything was put aside as I rushed home to brew up some sweet tea.  I now have a half-gallon burbling on the counter, with the other half of the scoby in a scoby 'hotel'.  That took a large chunk out of the middle of my day, so I settled for steam cleaning the living room rug (Sylvie's coming!) and cleaned bathrooms, counters and swept mounds of orange fuzz.  Speaking of orange fuzz, Bertie, aka The Yam, will most likely be going to his new mom this coming weekend.  I have, not surprisingly, conflicting emotions about it.  But it is definitely for the best, as he deserves a good home with someone who will love him without reserve.

For Mama Pea - my new
fridge in all it's packed-solid glory.
Saturday night, I tried a new recipe that is definitely a keeper!  I love all things zucchini, so when I saw the recipe for zucchini ravioli, it went to the top of the heap.  I managed to get it in the oven before the fireworks started (severe storm warnings were beeping on my phone from 6P on) and I ended up eating dinner with Slimby curled in a quivering ball on my lap.  Not an easy maneuver.

The recipe is from Half-Baked Harvest and turned out wonderfully, even with my ever-present alterations.  I did not have feta so used ricotta and shredded Pepper Jack, and I added some cooked corn to the filling.  I also got to use my new favorite baking dish, purchased for an amazingly low price while shopping with my sister in NH.  And it is NOT made in China!

My grape tomatoes and basil, Marianne's heirloom
tomatoes.  In my beautiful dish.

Zucchini ravioli on their way into the

Zucchini ravioli on their way into me!

I also found a recipe for zucchini pizza crust, which is next on my list.  Right after the zucchini fritters.  And zucchini bread.

Sunday I made scones for National Scone Week and took them to the barn crew with my homemade blueberry jam.  They are now scone converts, having never had a scone before.  Speaking of my homemade jam, I have now begun the Great Purge.

Part two (of many) of the Great Purge
So far, I have jettisoned sixteen pints of assorted unidentified jamish type of things, two years' worth of non-jellied currant jelly - you get the picture.  Above, there are pickled blueberries (why? why?) and more currant jelly-that-isn't.  And rhubarb chutney from 2009.  Obviously, I do not eat chutney, nor does anyone else in my circle of family and friends.  Hopefully, the chickens will enjoy it.  If not - compost!  I tremble at the thought of what else is lurking in the dark shelves of my canning cabinet...

Sunday was also the day we celebrated my dad's and my second dad's (my neighbors) birthday.  Dad will officially be 95 on Wednesday, while Ray was 93 the previous Wednesday.  My sister's house was the perfect venue (I love her house) and most of our family gathered - we were only missing my nephew from NH and his family, but they were there in our hearts.  A local woman and friend provided live music and it was a very nice get-together.  Martha is a very accomplished violin and fiddle player and has a wide circle of musician friends that she can call on for small gatherings.  This time she was joined by a delightful and talented young man who played the flute.  At my sister's birthday, three years ago (!!) she was accompanied by a keyboard.  It was wonderful!
Tuning up on the beautiful
L-R My Aunt Josie (Mom's sister), Bea (Mom#2,
Mom, Dad, my youngest sister.  Foreground:
our fourth sister, Barb, my nephew, Austin and his
lovely new bride, Rachel.

On the right:  my dog-nephew, Jasper, with my BIL,
and Dad2 in the hat.

BFFs, Bea and my mom

The old cutie, Dad, with his loot.
I made a few stops on my way home, and then let the dogs out and made a quick pass through my garden.  OMG.  I have an actual tomato harvest:

I had to laugh - I have been stalking that tomato for days, waiting for it to turn red.  It is an orange tomato.  LOL!

It's going to be another wild week of unproductive (in list-shrinking terms) days, but I have two friends scheduled to drop by tonight - hopefully during chore time.... then my BFF is coming into town from Maine and I have taken Friday off.  Then Bertie goes home with Cynthia Saturday... then, POOF, the weekend is gone!  I do still have Sunday, but there is a big festival all weekend at the town just south of me and some of the activities are just too alluring...

Before I sign off, I would like to say a little about a wonderful chicken.  Lacy passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 10.  She was an all-around excellent hen.  Lacy was a silver-laced Wyandotte that I adopted when my dear, sweet, Rosie had to disburse her flock.  Lacy was the matriarch of the henhouse for years, until this one.  She had been demoted to the bottom, but the other hens were never hard on her.  I will miss seeing her rocket out of the coop in the morning.  I will miss her gentle burbles and clucks as she followed me around.  Bon voyage, sweet girl.


Kristina said...

Loved being able to read you post today. Sounds like you are having fun while getting things done too. I just picked a handful of grape tomatoes. I have no idea what I'll do with them yet.

Michelle said...

Another must-try recipe! Eating out of the garden is the best part of summer.

Susan said...

The recipe is brilliant! I try not to buy things made in China, in fact can become apoplectic about it, but I'm a little torn over china from China. Surely they must know how to make good china, they invented it! Then again with all the shady practices so rampant in their manufacturing system it's not worth the risk. It makes me sad a fine reputation has been lost to greed. The older craftsmen who remember when they could be proud of their work must be completely demoralized.

Susan said...

Isn't it? I love to look at whatever I harvest and try to plan a menu!

Susan said...

It's interesting about the cycle of "cheap junk". It used to be a negative when something was Made in Japan. Now it's cool. I think our throw-away society feeds so conveniently into the flood of cheap junk from China. Even the concept of china is not the same. I agree that the real craftsmen must be heartbroken to see what little regard there is for anything made with skill and fine materials. My dish is made in Portugal, which has a good reputation for earthenware/china. As far as I know, they are not filling the atmosphere with toxic chemicals and killing their workers wholesale. But....

Ed said...

The thing I really like about zucchini is that it is the only vegetable that you really don't have to try and it produces an abundant crop, many times more than you can consume. All other veggies I have to work at and care for!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, that's a niiiiice refrigerator!! I have a new recipe for zucchini pancakes that I've yet to try. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the darn things would keep (like a winter squash) so we could use them all winter long to try out all the recipes for them?

It's good the time has come for Bertie to go to his new home. Does that mean that you will remain a one-dog gal for a while now or will a companion or two be arriving for Lovey?

I, too, (she shame facedly admits) have some canned goods that need to make their way to the compost heap. How about a dozen jars of pickled beets? From 2010. Or the apple jelly daughter and I tried to make this winter that is the consistency of apple juice? That also does not have enough flavor to be used as syrup even! It's hard to toss all that hard work though, isn't it?

Good old girl Lacy. Ten years old. Wow, she made it for a good, long life. 'Tis hard to lose ones like that.

I have about 106 pounds of beans to pick and process tomorrow. Keep me in your thoughts.

Susan said...

If I have to buy foreign then I buy from Europe, I've heard Germany, in particular, has strict codes of practice.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

at this point i think i am destined to never grow zucchini. i just don't get it! at least my friends are generous. so sad about lacy but isn't that old for a chicken. my chicken knowledge is slim to none! that fair sounds tempting. if you go, take pics!

Susan said...

That's usually true, except in my case. For some reason, I am the only person I know that has trouble growing zucchini. I willingly accept any and all excess squash from friends and neighbors!

Susan said...

Yes, it will just be the three of us for a while. We (I) need a break. I find myself debating on the merits of keeping certain things because I hate to waste anything. And, yessiree! That is a LOT of hard work. So, how's those beans???

Theresa Y said...

First and foremost a Big Happy Birthday to your Dad. Secondly, Wow! That zucchini ravioli looks soooo good!

DFW said...

Sorry to hear about Lacey, but isn't 10 years a good long life for a swee hen? Also love your dish. And, happy birthday to your Dad. Great pic of him. Love the toothpick. Almost all the older men in our family keep a toothpick handy.

Rain said...

Hi Susan! :)) I'm so sorry about Lacey...and about Bertie, I can't say it would be an easy decision at all for me, but you're right...I would have reservations always in the same situation. I'm just so glad you found Bertie a good home, it'll give you some peace of mind.

Oh the fiddle! One thing on my wish list! I've always wanted to learn and I'm not counting it out just yet! :) Your dad is adorable. I'm so glad you had fun with your family! And what a great find with the scobys! You got lucky with that lady's knowledge too, that was a special treat! :)

Your ravioli looks delicious!! :)

Theresa said...

Nice fridge! So sorry about your hen. Losing any family member is tough and 10 years sounds like an awful long time for a chicken!
Here's to hoping the Yam is happy in his new home.

AnnieK said...

Would love to see a picture of Lacy !!!!