Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Moment Like This

All Winter long.  We can go ahead and include Spring and Fall.  My mouth waits a long time for a moment like this... a taste like this. 

It doesn't need fancy bread or cheese shop cheese.  Good ole white bread, lightly toasted, and sandwich cheese, preferably "processed cheese food."  I like the Nice and Cheesy from the K-Rogers.  And let's not forget the bacon.  Good, greasy bacon.  I fried three extra pieces for this meal alone! 

Now, there's something special about a tomato grown in Tennessee.  Some say it is the red clay, some say it's the acid in the soil.  Whatever it is... it does it just right.  You just cannot buy this at the store, not ANY time of the year.  And those "hot house" guys, well they can keep on trying.  They'll do in February but not in July!

lightly toasted bread
                                                              TN homegrown tomato

NOW, you're speakin' my language.

If y'all could only hear me singing "Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this,"
well....you'd probably tell me to hush!

Lighter for the Mister.
 Oscar Mayer.... it's the best.
Although sometimes expensive, I have always been happy with the results.
 cheese food
is what i said
 Wish you were here.
But then there'd be no bacon for you.
Unless you brought your own.
p.s. All food groups are properly represented here.
fat, processed, cheap and homegrown!
 Now this is how Shaun likes his. 
Adding lettuce, mayo and the pickles I make for him.
Good boy.

I just could not resist sharing supper with you.  That's supper, not dinner.  Dinner is lunch.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Produce Coming Out of My Ears

Dear blog readers, it's been four days since my last confession... of blogging.  And I promise I will never say the phrase "coming out of my ears again."  It's become a habit and even I cringe when I say it because it just comes right out.  "I have got squash coming out of my ears."  I am not however tired of actually having that much squash, or cukes, or zuc, although the zucchini is playing out.  But the cucumbers are not!

We have two cucumber plants and thanks to the recent rain last week, amidst the terrific lightening storm that almost wiped out our corn, I have picked enough cucumbers over the last week that I am now on my fourth batch of Shaun's favorite pickles. 

I had a thought and in checking my canning journal.  It shows that in 2009 I canned nine batches of 3 day lime pickles.  In 2010, two batches.  In 2011, two batches.  The supply in the basement is beginning to get low.  The lack of canning in 2010 and 2011 was not because we had so many still in stock.  Well maybe partially, because I could have gotten the cukes from somewhere, but, I do recall in 2010 our crop of cucumbers was not so good.  It was dry and we had a lot of hollow cucumbers.  Then last year the crop again was not so good.  So my thought is, can all I can.  You never know what the next couple of year's garden may prove.  If I only put up two or three batches, housing five or six pints each, we will run out.  Not a huge big deal, but he eats these pickles on every sandwich he makes.  I don't want him to not have something he treasures so much.  So I will can all that these two plants will produce.  There's just no sense in not doing so in my eyes.  We planted it, the Lord is providing a good crop, I should do my best with it.  What is that called?

I don't even waste the bigger ones.  They would almost cover the whole hamburger.
 Cuckes soaking in lime.
 One batch down and one in the pot to go.
 A feat of beauty.... fair worthy.
 This is what the kitchen looks like after picking the garden.
And the tomatoes are on the porch.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Indian Hats - Kiddo Craft

These are more of head-dresses, at least I think that's what they are called.  But around here it has pretty much been hat week since the hats in the big kid room were discovered.  So yesterday we made our own version of a "hat" in the form of a simple head band. 

It is amazing how quickly attentions can be gathered at a small table when you sit down with colored paper and a glue stick.  Which, by the way, I got glue sticks four to a pack at WalMart for twenty five cents each the other day.  I have been waiting on school supply sales to come out since January!  Next on my list is construction paper.  Who doesn't have enough of that?!?!

So, our simple hats went like this.  Cut long strips of paper, glue them together for the headband length.  Next, cut out shapes such as feathers and circles.  It doesn't have to be elaborate or even make sense really.  Next glue the shapes on to the head band.  I put the glue on these shapes and the kids smashed them on.  They didn't have a problem with that although sometimes they do want to use the glue sticks.  Finally, wrap the head band around their kiddo heads for a good fit.   Hold the paper then glue it together and really smash the paper together with glue in between.  The good thing about glue sticks is they seem to dry quicker. 

A very satisfied dude!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Giggle Box Garden

Giggle Box garden update!  Well folks, our little garden at the day care is growing!  The corn has tousled, squash and zucchini are coming in, and the watermelon vines are out of control!  No sign of watermelons as of yet, but we haven't gone is and searched real hard either.  We do know our zinnias are getting covered up by the vines and our poor marigolds are sight unseen for all the tomato vines!  We planted Black Cherry tomatoes that we grew from seed and they do tend to vine also. 

We eat squash and zucchini for lunch that we bake in the oven.  It is so easy and oh so good!  Soon we will be able to try out the corn and tomatoes too! 

 Still more squash to come!
Thanks for the pollination little bee!
 The tops of the corn look so whimsy blowing in the wind.
 Corn silks.
 Zinnias peeking through the watermelon vines.
The whole garden.  Just our size!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Drool Time!

I haven't done one of these in a while, although I have been book drooling. 
I skipped June.  Well... this one will make up for it.  Trust me. 
I included my comments after the pretty books pics this time.  Just for fun.
If you are interested in more information about the books mentioned please just click on them and you will be happily transported via a different window.

 For the Mobile Artisan in us all. 
 Seriously, they have an excerpt from the book that I am doing. 
Or something close to it.  So cute.

 What The?!?!  I'm shocked... yet intrigued.
Not that I eat pot... but I'd like to be asked.
The gardener and cook in me is crying out.

I don't know what this is, but I'm interested.

 Now I LOVE  me a good "look book." 
I feel this one has lots of pictures and inspiration.
A "Must See!"

Everyone needs a little inspiration... and a bag of weed apparently.
I just quoted a rap song there.  Did you catch it?  Kid Rock?
Still stuck on the cook cook.  Stunned actually.
But seriously, I think if the cover of this book were facing me, by my bed each morning when I woke, I would smile at it and say "yep."

Go visit Chronicle Books.  They just have the neatest collection of rare books.

They should pay me for this.  Or at least let me rent the pot cook book.
Medicinal marijuana just got healthier.
Sorry.. I had to.

Learning to Sew

My niece Kristen has been helping out a lot at the day care this summer.  Last week she asked if I would teach her how to sew.  I felt that it would be good to start out small using basic stitches and my favorite of all... felt.  I am in a Felt Club your know... part owner in it.  Really it's just my sister Mary Evelyn and my club, but you can be in it if you want to.  Kristen is in it now.  Here are some pictures of what we made.  Simple little finger puppets using chain stitching and whatever the other stitch is called.  I am more of a doer and shower than an exact-namer.  Kind of like when I give driving directions.  I can tell you how to get there but the street names may be a little off.  Turn left by the cycle shop then three blocks make a right by the brick house with the fenced in yard type stuff.

 Little Dinos.
A Carrot.

And she made the cutest elephant!

I also made a french fry and ketchup but apparently did not take a picture.  Maybe there will be more.  These were so fun to do!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pressure Canning Tips

I did some canning yesterday.  Squash and Zucchini were the the stars of the stage.  Thirty five squash made ten pint jars and five zucchini, of various sizes, made seven pint jars.  I add in "various sizes" for I purposely used the zuc that had gotten a little out of hand.  You see, here in Tennessee, we had very high temps for a few weeks then rain, rain, rain.  The rain caused a few zucs to grow wild and out of control and the garden was too muddy to pick.  I am happy I took time on a Sunday morning to spend a few hours puttin up.  I will appreciate my efforts more when winter rolls around and I have ready-to-go squash and zuc for my minestrone soup!

While canning, I devised some tips for canning veggies.  Especially listed for pressure canning. 

Tip #1  soak rubber gasket in canner while heating up water.  this will allow it to make an easy fit and quicker seal.  this is only needed before the first batch.  after that it is already swollen.

Tip #2  splash a tablespoon of white vinegar into the pressure canner while heating water.  this will prevent your jars from becoming cloudy while cooking.

Tip #3  heat jars in microwave.  fill halfway with water and heat off and on until ready to use.  then use the boiling water in the jars to fill jars again once you put the hot veggies in.  brill.

Tip #4  loosely hold dish rag around canner to catch water until seal has formed.  it can make a big mess with an older canner.

Tip #5  you don't want your canner to constantly rattle.  when rattling begins, turn the heat down a touch until it regulates again.

Tip #6  store pressure canner weight, the little round thing that regulates pressure, wrapped in a paper towel to prevent rusting. 

Tip #7  when using a pressure canner for the first time, involve a friend.  assure them that they won't get hurt.  sometimes an extra dose of confidence is all you need.  plus canning is more fun with a friend!
Aren't these beautiful!? 

Every time I can there is always at least one or two jars that I look at and say "Oh, you're going to the Fair!"  And I am not kidding.  I take canned items to the Robertson County Fair every summer.  And canned squash as beautiful as this is surely a winner! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Worm in the henhouse

It is 419 am and I am up confessing to my readers that there is a worming in the hen house about to take place.  Not actually right now or this morning as I don't have the dewormer as of yet.  And I hope to goodness that the vet doesn't ask me to bring a chicken in to be evaluated because, well, that's not going to happen. 

I noticed something moving in some runny chicken poo a couple of weeks ago.  I asked the guy at TSC if he may know what it was, since he was loudly telling another customer about the 200+ chickens he raises.  He didn't know what I was talking about which leads me to believe that he could have a worm infestation and not know it.  So, yesterday I was giving the chickens their daily snack outside then hen house and little Pepper jumped on my lap, which is a weird feeling on it's own.  Chicken feet are hot and grippy feeling and eventually lead to, pardon my language, being shit on.  Which happened.  I didn't panic but asked Shaun to promptly hook up the hose pipe.  She got down and I washed off.  During the 10-12 seconds of waiting period there I noticed, once again, something moving in the poo.  A worm.  Which has now woken me up in the middle of the night wondering.

I have looked up online if it is safe to eat the eggs, which come from a different area of the body but in my mind... a parasite is a parasite.  Is this why my nose and sinuses won't clear up?  Does the dog have them? Do the cats have them?  Do I need to clean the entire chicken coop?  Should I just kill the two hens that have been ganging up on the laying hens that think they are roosters all of a sudden or are their bellies just upset because they have worms and they are taking it out on the others?  Do I need an antibiotic just in case?

This is the same way I overreacted when my cat got fleas.  Just get the medicine and take care of it and go back to bed.  Or make coffee and get on with my day.  Sometimes you learn things when you get shit on.  Other times you ignore it when you shouldn't.

My friend Nutmeg here is getting picked on by the roosterette gang pretty hard because she is so pretty.   Which leads me to want to kill both of the butches.  They are probably only doing what their "hormones" are telling them.  But you're picking on my egg source here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

4 Fanciful Things

1.  i love love love these dream catchers i found on everydayemma!  i know i have a shawl in the attic somewhere that i can use on this craft project.  i will update with pics soon.  2.  wicked by gregory maguire.  my summer reading from the library has been put on hold this summer for lack of interest on my part.  hopefully this one will help.  3.  my supplies ordered from layer cake shop, are currently in the mail to me.  i am so excited.  mainly about the twist ties.  i love having an excuse to order them.
4.  while working on the dove book, i came across this site.  it generates new photos into old looking photos.  so cool.  and free.  don't be afraid, if the website comes up in japanese just hit the button to translate into english at the top.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Busy Bee

Lately, I have had a whole lot of doing and not a lot of sharing!  I have had many days of work at the day care (thank goodness!) and after work it is on to watering, chicken feeding, husband feeding, working on the dove hunt magazine and gardening.  By the time I sit down it is time to turn on Sanford and Son and call in the dogs. 

Today I thought I would take a quick minute to share some pics of our garden.  All the hard work shows I think!  And finally I noticed this morning that my egg gourds are finally coming up.   After three tries, with apparently old seeds, I bought some new seeds on Etsy and planted egg gourds for the fourth time.  Now we will have eggs to decorate next Easter that won't go bad!  I can't wait.  All I have left to plant for now are pumpkins.  Maybe I'll do that tomorrow night since the seeds need to be soaked.

Dill reminds me of fireworks.

Green beans and black beans.  Laurie... you've got some canning to do!

My husband, showing how tall the trees have gotten that were plated a couple of winters ago.

This picture was taken a week or more ago.  We strawed our tomatoes this year to help with the weeds and water.

Volunteer Zinnias.  Came back from last year, along with volunteer basil, dill, and sunflowers.