Hello, friends. After garden and chicken chores, Monday was spent packing up orders. Some friends came out in the evening, and picked up a large batch of pawpaws. It's wonderful to know folks who can use them, and who are excited to have them. After that, I began packing for a short adventure. My SIL and I had to cancel our March plans to visit the Downton Abbey exhibit at Biltmore, due to Covid. They reopened the exhibit a couple of months ago, and we headed to see it before it closes on Labor Day. Biltmore is doing all they can to make it a safe event. We stayed at an airbnb. We brought breakfast things, and did a variety of take out, delivery, and eating on restaurant patios for the rest of the meals. We ate very well. It was so nice to eat something other than my own cooking. On the way home, we stopped at a large antique barn with 75 vendor booths. I purchased an old large Ball jar with bail and glass lid, in perfect condition for $8. Though we were taking some risk, we felt with masks and social distancing, our trip wasn't much different than grocery shopping. It was lovely to have a good adventure. While there, my SIL gave me such a lovely gift, a photo book from the boxes of photos that were at my Mom's house.
On Monday, J moved the three youngest chickens to the other yard. The blind rooster usually has full run of this yard, but he's confined to a small yard while these other roosters are there, to keep him safe. That evening, J created a roofed area and roost for the roosters. We still don't know who laid the fairy eggs, but have decided the questionable chicken has got to be either a rooster or some strange cross, judging by it's behavior. Four roosters were just way too much testosterone for our poor hens. It's amazing how peaceful that side seems since the transition. The garden didn't get picked while I was gone, so I had some catching up to do. The noodle beans that got large were shelled, and seeds saved. I harvested more of the winter squash, as well as noodle beans, cucumbers, pears, apples, a tomato and several cherry tomatoes, figs and pawpaws. J harvested our last watermelon, besides one with a rotted end that went to the chickens.
The night I got home, I made pasta sauce using our squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and rosemary. The next day, I looked for some different recipes for pawpaws. The only way we've really liked them is fresh so far. I found a recipe for pawpaw butter that sounded different, so I tried it and tweaked it to our liking. I'm going to try making a batch soon for gifts. I celebrated another trip around the sun last week. I often requested baked ziti from my Mom for a birthday dinner, so I decided to make a half recipe, which we enjoyed with bread and a salad. A beautiful bouquet from my daughter was delivered. Laundry was done, and hung on the line. A bin of shredded paper and cardboard was added to the compost bin. For a breakfast, I used our figs and pawpaws in a fruit salad. A friend gave me a canning jar. I enjoyed our outdoor shower twice this week. The hinge on J's laptop broke. He ordered the part, and though it was finicky, repaired it himself.
J worked on cleaning up the main garden on Saturday, pulling up the tomatoes, and weed whacking. On Sunday, he prepped the barrel containers and raised beds. He had bought some collard and cabbage plants last week, to supplement our seedlings. We planted those, along with our cabbage, collard, rutabaga and broccoli seedlings. We also planted seeds of mixed greens, lettuce, and kale. I harvested the last of the beets, and weeded the carrot bed. We already have swiss chard, and plan to prep the areas and plant carrot and beet seeds on Labor Day. A batch of golden paste was made for the pups. I've been enjoying fresh figs several ways, but there are more than I can keep up with. I decided to dry them, for a cookie called cucidati my Sicilian grandmother made. I also made a salad with fresh figs, feta, greens and toasted walnuts, with leftover pear vinaigrette to dress it. With this, J grilled squash and potatoes I prepped with our herbs, onion and garlic. That was an enjoyable, mostly from the homestead meal. The weather has turned lovely, and we're again able to open windows at night. Wishing you a week of sweet late summer days.