Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Colors of Autumn

I've had the dyepot out again.  This time, it was marigolds. Our first frost is predicted tonight, so I'll be gathering herbs, vegetables, and the last flower bouquet of the season.  J & I are using up the last of the red tomatoes- there are still a few green ones we can look forward to- along with tomatillos, onions, garlic, herbs, to can up some salsa today. Wishing you a most lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's a Mystery**

Recently, I came across some very tall fruiting shrubs on this land. They were just covered in fruit.

I would say the one in the pictures is close to 12 feet tall.

There are many of them here, most much smaller. I'm wondering if they are related to the blueberry, but my wild plant books, and an online search have not helped me with identification.

The fruits are small, about 1/4" diameter. Perhaps not so wisely, I did end up tasting them. They have a slightly sweet, somewhat "berry-ish" taste, though the flesh is quite dry and mealy. Any ideas?

Last night, I made Rhonda's Impossible Quiche. This quiche has no crust, which simplifies things. I made a vegetarian version, which turned out wonderfully.  I couldn't find hers to link to, so here's my version-

Impossible Quiche

Place the following in a frying pan and cook, then put to one side.
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 small sweet red pepper, diced
approx. 1/4 cup mushrooms (I used some I canned)
handful of lambs quarters, chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup kefir (hers called for cream)
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup grated tasty cheese (I used 2/3 Robusto & 1/3 sharp cheddar)
handful of chopped basil- use the herbs you like
salt and pepper to taste

Add the fried vegetables to the egg mixture and pour into a greased quiche dish or shallow pie pan.  Cook at 375 degrees until golden brown and set in the middle, approx. 30 mins.

**Note-  Thanks to Mrs. Mac's comment, which sent me off on another tangent, I discovered these plants are Vaccinium arboreum aka sparkleberry aka farkleberry- don't you love that name?!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Green Machine

                  It's been an exciting week for New Earth Fabrication.

  Joseph and Rick took delivery of a 21,000 lb. press brake (aka brake press).

It arrived on a flatbed and was moved to the shop with a large crane. 

                           That was something to see! 

                    The machine has a lot of history, as you can see.

By sundown yesterday, they had made some adjustments and had it running to suit them. 

     They can now bend 10 foot pieces of metal into a myriad of shapes. 

     The possibilities are endless, and some pretty wonderful ones are being discussed.

 My Mom and Frank were on hand for the adventure.  Though they'll likely paint it, I thought it was pretty neat that it already matched the shop's paint color.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

There couldn't have been a more gorgeous day for Saturday's kiln opening. Or a nicer bunch of folks that came out to enjoy it.  Music was provided by Eck McCanless, who is both a talented musician and potter.  I was set up next to the lovely Bonnie Burns, another wonderful local potter.

On the other side of me was Nick and Suzie, from StarWorks Glass.  I'm sorry I did not get a good picture of their gorgeous pumpkins, bowls, tumblers and jewelry.  You can catch a glimpse of their work behind the bouquet and basket in my booth.
I was gifted with some green tomatoes, and decided to fry them up last night.  A bit of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and Joseph's hot pepper sauce.  Then dredge in a mix of flour and cornmeal, and into the frypan.  I only fry food once or twice a year, but boy, were they good!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Handmade Holidays

All you crafty folks have just a little while longer to apply to the Lark Artists Handmade Holiday Art Show.  There are just a few slots left, so apply now if you'd like to be considered.  And just a reminder, I'll be here tomorrow.  Come on out and see us!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plant Magic

Early yesterday morning while donning my scrubs, a Green Anole lizard jumped out of the folded clothing.  I saw, then felt it land with a thud on my bare foot.  Light was just beginning to break outside, but you can bet I was now fully awake.  I requested a Most Benevolent Outcome that I would be able to catch the lizard, and safely return it outside.  They're pretty fast creatures, and my finger was "bitten", but that mission was accomplished easily.  I've heard tales of people getting them to bite their ears, which doesn't hurt, and wearing them as earrings.  We have several different lizards here, as well as the colorful Five-Lined Skink.  I'm always cheered by them all, and their antics.

On our walk tonight, I reached the back field before the dogs.  I saw what appeared in the distance to be a goose waddling off into the woods, something I've not seen there before.  I expect it was dining on the grass, and possibly migrating. There were also dozens of dragonflies flitting about over the field, a truly magical sight to see.  It was a warm day today, in the upper 70's, so maybe they were having their last hurrah of the season.

Last week, I experimented with dyeing fabric with plants.  I gathered large amounts of goldenrod and poke berries in the wild areas here, getting chiggers on my ankles.  But I really loved the whole process (well, not the chiggers)....from gathering, extracting the color from the plants, soaking the various fabrics, and especially fishing them out of the big enamel pots to see what I had.  Seeing the fabric all lined up on the clothesline made me smile every time I walked past.  I incorporated a couple pieces of lace into some eye pillows I made yesterday.  I'm looking forward to using the rest in other projects.   I noticed some cotton and linen fabrics did not hold the colors as well, with silk and wool felt maintaining the brightest colors.

There has been lots of creating going on, as I'm taking part in the Caldwell-Hohl kiln opening this Saturday. They have a beautiful setting, with a gorgeous, handcrafted log cabin, large pond, and a menagerie of animals.  There will be music, interesting vendors, good eats, and a gorgeous day is forecasted.  It's a great opportunity to purchase some holiday gifts, or just enjoy the lovely fall day, so come on by if you are in the area.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Fall Garden

There hasn't been a lot of posting going on here lately.  The days have been full, and I've been making a conscious effort to minimize my computer time.  The down sides are- I miss keeping up with my blogging friends and their lives, and my inbox is perpetually messy.  But there have been hours in the garden. 
There has been harvesting, cooking, shelling, and preserving.  Not near enough weeding, and no watering to speak of, but all the food I can keep up with nonetheless.  Some things are winding down, but I'm still picking tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lima beans, okra, raspberries, and squash.  I've gathered and dried lemon balm, chocolate mint, Kentucky Colonel mint, lemon verbena, catnip and passionflower for teas.  There's a batch of shiso, and one of  tummy blend- lemon balm, peppermint and catnip being made into medicinal tinctures.  A batch of nettle tincture was strained and bottled yesterday.  I've been working on cleaning a batch of red sumac for zaater.

There have been walks with the dogs most every day.

This rose, Angel Face, has the most wonderful fragrance.  We've been enjoying one on our kitchen table this week  The color seems to have shifted to a redder hue since it first flowered.
My niece, Heather, has been telling me about Pinterest.  While researching a new project this week, I came across a lovely blog that had a link.  Oh my, I can see another way I could be easily sucked into computer time.  So many wonderful things being shared there.  Have a lovely day and a wonderful weekend, friends!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Handsome Guy

Meet Hawk.  Isn't he a handsome guy?  He was given to us by some friends that had gotten chicks in the spring.  As sometimes happens, there was a rooster in the mix, and the neighbors weren't pleased.  He's fit right in here. He and the neighboring roosters crow to each other, I suppose trying to best each other.  The girls have taken to him, he and the dogs get along, and all is well on the homestead. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homestead Yard Art

This huge mushroom popped up on Thursday.  It's the biggest J or I have ever seen.  That's a nickel on top of it, and J's foot is right at a foot long. That would be several meals, if it's edible, but I haven't had time to research it, so it will remain yard art.

I haven't mentioned the pond in several months. It's been a rather painful subject.  The man who dug it said he'd be back to work on the dam, once it settled some.  Well, he never returned, and the dam has been leaking water for months.  You can see the cracks where it leaks through, and the water remains at about the 4 foot mark.  Over the past week and a half, we've gotten about 7 inches of rain, and it's been rather disheartening.  On the good side, the dogs seem to enjoy swimming in it on a regular basis, such as it is.