Friday, June 23, 2017

Cooking Class & Other Life Lessons

This summer, we asked J to make a meal once a week.  She has risen to the challenge, and prepared 3 delicious dinners so far.  She will research recipes early in the week, and give me a shopping list, and cooks for us later in the week, which frees me up quite a bit.

The first night, she made Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice.  This was a yummy dish, substituting riced cauliflower for rice.

She prepared Spinach Ricotta Pasta last week, which was another entire meal in one pot.  She thought it needed more flavor, so next time she might add some fresh basil & parmesan, and increase the garlic.

Tonight we feasted on Chicken With Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce and green beans.  It was superb!

We are going to get spoiled with these gourmet meals once a week!

In other news, she has landed herself a summer job at the tender age of 14.  She applied to, and was accepted into a job placement program.  She will be placed at our local public library, where she has the sweet hours of 10-5, Monday through Friday, and will earn more than minimum wage.  She starts in early July, and will work for 6 weeks.  It makes her summer that much more busy, but she's pretty stoked about the chance to earn some money!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bringing in the Sheaves

The 4 of us spent a couple of hours this afternoon bringing in some hay that my Dad cut in our neighbor's field.  We use it for bedding in the chicken house.  I laid in the trailer on the way to the barn on a bed of new hay in all of its fresh smelling wonder.

The garden is doing very well.  The strawberries are almost finished, but the blueberries are going strong.  The next best thing to homemade Greek yogurt on a bowl of fresh strawberries, is the yogurt on a bed of freshly picked blueberries.


I'm also picking lots and lots of sugar snap peas.

The flower bed is becoming more colorful all the time.  I now have red, pink, and peach lilies in bloom, with Shasta Daisies from my friend, T.


In addition to the mauve, pink, peach and white Yarrow, I have red, pink, white and lavender Monarda blooming.

 
Our enormous roosters have been practicing their crows of late.  JP and I decided that it was time to harvest the broiler chickens this weekend.  We butchered the remaining 4 broilers, plus 2 of the old ladies that I had marked during the winter as non-layers.

I do not enjoy this part of sustainable living.  In fact, I felt pretty queasy during the hour and a half that we were working on butchering and cleaning the chickens.  It's part of being an omnivore, however, and I have come to terms with the not-so-nice parts.  The broilers have been either grilled for dinner, or frozen, and the stewing hens have been canned.

Honestly, I am a bit overwhelmed by chickens at the moment.  Until butchering day, we had chickens in 3 different houses, each requiring water and feed on a regular basis.  We still have 20 layers and 24 pullets, which I hope will be weaned down to about 18 good layers by Fall.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Last night JP & I got to cross an item off our "Bucket List."  We went to a U2 concert with some friends.  They are doing their Joshua Tree Reunion Tour, and happened to be in a city nearby.
 

 
I have been a huge fan since their first Joshua Tree tour, 30 years ago (as evidenced by this U2 poster in my dorm room, circa 1988.)
 



We had a fun night, but I have to admit that I'm too old to stay out until 1 AM, and then go to work the next day!
 



This amazing rainbow appeared over the stadium after we had been waiting over an hour for the band to come out:

 
I wish that I could have actually SEEN Bono & The Edge a bit closer up, and I wish the sound system didn't have so much interference, but overall, it was really good.
 
Consider that one crossed off the list!



Thursday, June 1, 2017

One Project Done, 27 More To Go!

I finally finished painting the propane tank today.  It was delayed by needing to purchase paint, and by rain on my days off.

It has gone from looking like this:

 
To looking like this:

 
Big improvement, no?  I even painted the end handles into little inch worms!


It looks like the birds were doing some decorating of their own on the lid of the rain water cistern.

 
I planted 2 more garden beds over the weekend.  Now there are only 4 to go, plus the ones L likes to plant.

Someday I will be all caught up on projects, right?