Monday, March 29, 2021

Early Spring On The Homestead

Hello, friends.  Last week, I got several of the storage butternut squash, peeled and cut them up.  Seeds were saved.  I made squash crumble, and froze bags for two more.  This winter, I was introduced to a new to me kitchen tool, a Kuhn Rikon peeler, which has made peeling winter squash considerably easier, and I no longer have to worry about cutting myself, cutting through thick skin with a knife. When it arrived, I was surprised by how small it was, but it does a fantastic job, and doesn't waste any squash, unlike my usual peeling with a knife.  I learned of it from a chef who shared his favorite kitchen tools.  The squash peelings went into the broth bag.  Butter beans were pulled from the freezer to have with it, and a broccoli salad was made.  Pretty pear and peach blossoms are opening, and the violets and pulmonaria have also begun blooming.

Soup was made using up leftovers.  J put all the partially done compost in the wheel barrow to dry out for a couple of days.  I then sifted it and got around 5 gals, which he spread in the asparagus bed.  We continue collecting warm up water, and use it for flushing and in the woodstove humidifier.  While packing orders and wrapping soap, I enjoyed listening to podcasts.  Tomato rice loaf was made, with peas and a salad.  Most of the winter greens are bolting in the garden.  I harvested the last of the cabbage, and started a small batch of sauerkraut.  The first of the tomatoes are sprouting, three Brandywines so far.  After delivering soap, I went by a thrift store, and bought a lavender cashmere sweater for $3, and a canister for $4.  I drilled holes in the canister, cut a carbon filter, and listed it in my shop.

I transplanted 14 wintersown spinach seedlings into a raised bed.  I also planted a few of the wintersown lettuce, but they came up very thick, and most were too fragile to make it.  I've left the top off the container, so they'll hopefully harden off a bit. Looking through the freezer, I noticed how many bags of grated tromboncino squash there were.  J is avoiding cheese at the moment, which made it a bit tough to find a recipe, but I found a zucchini potato bake to make.  I used the grated squash in place of sliced, and it turned out fine.  I'm beginning to see anole lizards, skinks and frogs on the homestead.  The frogs are making quite a chorus at the pond.  With the leftover squash/potato bake, I made corn on the cob I'd frozen, and we finished the broccoli salad.

J finished putting up the last of insulation and sheetrock in the workshop.  We took out all the leftover insulation and sheetrock, then I cleaned up and swept before mudding the sheetrock where needed.  J requested pasta with olives, and parsley was harvested for it.  On Sunday, my intention was to begin picking up sticks and limbs from the yard, but I started weeding first, which kept me busy for several hours.  Oh well, it all needs to happen.  After that, I cleaned the refrigerator, which sorely needed doing.  I opened a jar of home canned crowder peas, to have with jasmine rice and cauliflower for dinner.  Over the weekend, my sister and I planned an adventure in a few weeks, and I'm pretty excited about it.  It's very nice to have something to look forward to.  Wishing you a most lovely week.


daisy g said...

Another busy week.
Hitting the thrift stores is a favorite treat here too, but we haven't been venturing out too much, so we'll have something to look forward to. Glad you found some bargains.

I need a new peeler. The one we have is not easy to use, and I plan to eat a lot of butternut squash over the next few months! Thanks for the link.

My seedling are woefully lanky, as I don't have ideal growing conditions indoors, but perhaps they'll recover. I'm looking forward to direct sowing this weekend, after this last blast of cold comes through later in the week.

Spring has sprung, Laurie! Enjoy!

Laurie said...

I think you'll be very pleased with the peeler. Our conditions for growing seeds are less than ideal as well. The tool truck box as a mini greenhouse worked well last year, and hopefully will again. I do hope this will be the last below freezing temps we'll see, so we can get on with planting.

Michèle Hastings said...

I bought a Kuhn peeler this Winter as well. It is definitely a game changer for peeling butternut squash. I only bought one and plan to order a multi-pack the next time.
Can you share your tomato rice loaf recipe? I am trying to incorporate more meatless meals throughout the week.

Laurie said...

I will share the recipe. I may put it in a blog post, so I can find it if I lose it :o).

Jeannie said...

I took your advice, clicked on your link and bought the Kuhn peeler. It should arrive in a few days and I will let you know how it goes.

Laurie said...

Please do let me know. I don't get excited about many kitchen tools, but this is one of them.

Jeannie said...

The Kuhn peeler arrived and I have been having fun; well, as much fun as you can have peeling carrots and potatoes. Last night I had to give it a try and was quite impressed. It was easy to work and my fingers didn't cramp like with a paring knife. I like that the peels are thin and so saves on the amount of vegetable that is discarded. The next test will be to see how long the blade stays sharp since it can't be sharpened like my knives.
This is a winner.

Laurie said...

It sounds like you're enjoying yours as much as I am. I wondered how long they would last too, but they are quite inexpensive to replace. Next time, I'm going to get the 3-pack. Yes, I love that they don't cause any waste, unlike me with a knife.