Friday, September 28, 2007

Garden Photos

Yellow tomato... isn't it interesting? I planted five different colors this year. Both the purples haven't produced a single purple tomato. The pink has given off a couple, but the yellow has been my most prolific tomato of them all... out producing the three reds easily at every turn (although with only one yellow and three reds I have been using the more traditional color in the food most often).

Sunflowers. They are a joy every single year. I couldn't imagine why I wanted them in my first garden, but I got free red sunflower seeds and now, 5 years later, I just can't imagine my garden without a slew of these 7 ft tall beauties every summer.

This is my first Pineapple Sage flower. A couple years ago I decorated the Thanksgiving table with them. They are just stunning when they start to pop out... beautiful red trumpets. I always thought that these would attract butterflies, but alas, it blooms too late in the season.

Garlic Chive flowers. Arn't they pretty.

And my best garden friend... the Mason Bee. They polinate 5 times more than the average honey bee and therefore they make my garden very happy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Harvest Moon

Cyan and I planned a Harvest Moon party this year.

We had our closest friends over, sat around the fire, drank hot cider, and read Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher by the moonlight. It was wonderful! And this morning, I wake to see that my friend Shalena had taken this stunning picture of the moon as it hung over our party and we howled and laughed and drank cider around the fire.

The beauty of the night was pretty spectacular. All day, I was thinking that we would end up sitting in the house with all the gloom outside and the wet dampness of the day. Just around 4pm the sky cleared completely, and it opened up with this brilliant blue that I haven't seen in weeks. Nothing by wispy clouds stayed behind as our Harvest Moon this year rose in the sky. But because of the clouds insulation throughout the day, it wasn't bitter cold on this night... But beautiful, just beautiful!

I love sharing moments like that with my children and my friends.

Monday, September 24, 2007

OUR FIRST EGGS!

The kids are SO excited!

...on an aside... look at my daughter in this picture and then the shot of me in the side bar. wow!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lilo Tell Pudge to send us some Sun will ya?

So for while I have no batteries...

To keep my 4 fans enlivened by my constant and vigilant posts... I give you:

Time Managment for Anarchists

I guess I just don't know what to do with out my camera.

That and I have some nasty cold virus that is keeping me up all night and my nose is sore and swollen... I have meds I can take work, but they make my stomach sick. So I am up at 4 am, reading strange and abscure passages in between blowing my nose and iching my right eyeball. Joy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Enough apples, but no batteries...

So with 3 bushels of apples and pears from Freecycle, I can now post what I was planning on... but alas, still no pictures... because I have to wait to get batteries.

PopOvers

Oven 400*

1 Tbs Canola oil for oiling the muffin tins
2 beaten eggs
1 c milk
1 Tbs cooking oil
1 c sifted WW flour
Greese the bottom of the muffin tins.
Use a wire whisk to beat eggs, milk, and oil until combined.
Add sifted flour (yes the sifting is sort important when wanting to get something light and fluffy from WW flour) to the mix and a pinch of salt, and beat until smooth.
Fill muffin tins 1/2 with batter, and place in HOT oven (needs to be completely preheated... can't skip this step either).
When they are golden brown on top and puffed out of the muffin tins (about 12 minutes) then take them out and prick them with a fork to allow the air in the center to be released.
Let them cool for about 10 minutes before you add the filling with the pastry bag through the fork hole.
Serve warm and with a dish like Pepper Lime Chicken. YUM!

Filling

4oz (1/2 small package) cream cheese
1/2 cup (8 spears) broccoli steamed before hand (if you take the spears, rince them, and put them in a bowl in your microwave for 2 minutes or so, they steam themselves)
1 Tbs Feta cheese
1 clove garlic
Waxed paper or the like for a pastry bag
Add all these ingredients to a mason jar and blend with a stick blender (or a regular blender will do). Add a Tbs of Olive Oil if it is too thick. Put into a pastry bag and fill the popovers once they have cooled a bit.

Pictures will have to wait till next time... they are long gone... but they were GOOD!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hard Days Work

Applesauce... a huge part of our winter diet. I didn't have a bumper crop this year on the tree... so we only have a 15 quarts so far. I am putting up on Freecycle for more. I am sure someone has a tree around here I can pick for some applesauce. On the left, strawberry applesauce, on the right, just plain. The baby has eaten it for three days... I think I need to vary his diet. But he LOVES the stuff... and I love him loving it.

After canning for two days strait, I needed a break. I put all the canning stuff in the garage and Logan and I sat and read Blueberries for Sal from the library. I love that book.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nostalgia

It all started one day when my mom came home with a goat in the back of her car...
Me walking through my mothers garden. I was about 4 years old here. It was morning... I don't remember that particular day, but I can imagine the feel of everything about it. It was the same every June. My mother would plant, and I would watch it all grow.

It always has amazed me what my mom did when we were little. She lived on one acre and bought very few things at the store. We had goats for milk and cheese (although we still enjoyed Tillamok Cheddar just like my kids), we had chickens for eggs, we had two huge apple trees, a hazelnut tree, a HUGE garden, a potato patch, blackberry bushes along the back property line, a huge patch of fall raspberries, and dogs for protection. All 5 to 6 (my brother came every few weekends) of us lived in a 24X24 ft house in the middle of all of this. And this was in the MIDDLE of Olympia, WA. Just off the freeway, across the street and down the drive way from two different car dealerships.

Kids garden.

We never bought much. My parents were dedicated to living off as little as possible. That partnership in living on less than the mean of the world income is the only thing I envy about their relationship. I think there was less than a year out of the 25 they were together that they were happy. But to me, growing up on that little goat farm, watching my mom can, and cook, and pay us a dime a day to go out and feed chickens and collect eggs... well, it was my heaven. I think that was a lot of why I wanted to have that for my kids. City or not. Because I had seen it done. It wasn't a magical existence. There was always yelling, always discord.... but there was also lots of hard work. Neither my mom or dad are put off from doing something because it will be a hard job. They produced 90% of what we used as a family. My mom made our clothes, most of our food, and some of our furniture.

My dad walled in a small back porch so we could have a bedroom, and made or traded work for the furniture we had. He also built the green house on to the little house that is behind us in the picture of my brother and I on the swings. He built a barn for the goats and made a shed (a very rickety shed) that was half chicken roost and half woodshed. The two of them slept in the living room on a red covered foam futon that doubled as a couch.

It was Extreme Simplicity at it's finest.

Here is my big brother and I harvesting the winters potatoes.

I remember a lot about that little place. I think I am the only one who remembers it fondly. My younger brother feels like he was missing something being that outside of the rest of the world. My older siblings remember a lot of fighting (they aren't wrong, I was just more oblivious being at least 8 years younger).

I remember mornings, walking through the mist, with my mom waking up to find me out of bed, and in the garden. Watching the dew dry on the leaves and picturing the bounty to come. Hiding in the raspberry bushes and making forts in the hazelnut tree. Playing in a hill of dirt and striping down to my unders because I know mom will get angry if I come home covered in dirt, again. The feel of milling fresh applesauce when I was barely old enough to turn the crank and the smell of warm goats cheese. What cheese looked like hanging above our sink in it's cheese clothe and the 'pat pat pat' of the whey dripping into the sink. How the window panes above the sink (an old, divided window) split my shadow into lines along the kitchen floor. Eating blackberries until I could burst, next to a goat grazing on a tether. Getting eggs and being SO excited when there were two yolks in one.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It paints your life so small in comparison to the things you have lived. But I hope I am creating some memories like that for my kids.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sunflower days

The sunflowers have just started to come out in force.
I can look into my garden, and see them, the volenteer sunflower that demanded to come back this year from the seeds the squirrels left behind last fall is more than ten feet tall. I am looking up taking this picture, with zoom. lol!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It is still dark here now...

Fall is coming. It is pouring rain outside, my gutters are gushing down my walls and the rain is pelting the roof. Everyone is still asleep. Asleep in that boneless way that only a cool summer morning can give you. The cat and I are awake. He demanding food and I demanding solice from the rigor of the day.

I woke this morning, completely awake. At 5 am I found myself laying in bed, wishing I wasn't awake. And then I started listening. It thunderstormed last night. Such a beautifully romantic sound. Too bad I had chosen this day to water the garden. But who would have guessed on this 80* day that we would have had a rain storm tonight, so I am at peace with the waste.

Apples are sitting on my back poarch, waiting for a moment when I am not busy to be made into something for the quiet season. Don started his weekend last night. So glad to have weekends. They are still novel, even 3 months later. They still bring joy with them every week.

The sun is starting to show her face through the grey gloom of the morning. Just a peak, here and there, thinking about showing up to push away the pelting rain.

The change from night to day.

The rain just stopped, the light is here, I can see all the way across the back yard... all of a sudden.

Like a break in a long promise of a cold winter.
Today, this morning, I am at peace.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sweet Pea Apron


I bought this apron from Dharma months ago. I had wanted to dye it for Cyan for her art and cooking that she loves to do. Well in honor of her first offical week of homeschool, I appliqued this little sweet pea on it and hand sewed the "Sweet Pea" part at the bottom. I think it turned out cute.


And that note that says "Oven" on my oven... that was our first reading lesson. There are similar notes all over my kitchen and dinning room at the moment.