Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first bruscheta!

Someone on a forum last night mentioned bruscheta and I asked what's that...Oh yum. I think it's Italian for pizza without the sauce :)

I put hot sausage & onions in frying pan.

Lightly toasted wheat bread.

Cut up a tomato, removing the seeds.

Cut up some fresh Mozzarella.

Drain the sausage & onions on paper towel (and tamp them).

Drizzle olive oil on the bread, put down a light layer of Feta.

Put on the rest of the ingredients

Top with fresh basil (literally just picked while the bread was toasting and sausage frying).

Bake 8 minutes @ 300º

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Saw my bats out for the first time this year...not that I'm out at dusk that often, but I hadn't seen them flying :) Let out a w00t! Oscar looked at my like I was nuts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tomato Soup 2011

The 4-3/8" of rain on Monday left me with splitting tomatoes (after the 5-3/4" the week before ended the summer dry spell).

What to do, what to do...

Had enough to fill a stock pot about 2/3rds. Medium heat to a low boil for about an hour, roughly every 20 minutes I mashed with a tater masher and took off excess liquid with ladel (putting it through the cheesecloth strainer).

Remember after I began I had thrown out my sieve because it was getting rusty and hadn't bought a new one. Had some cheesecloth though :) Stir and press with a wooden spoon, also let it sit for a ten minutes a few times between pressings till I got what was going to be easily got:

The rest of the ingredients. I didn't use the red onions or shallots after all...though I could've without any negative effect. White onions were garden fresh as in I realized I wanted more onions and didn't want to use my storage onions. The organic stock is because it was cheapest(!), and the organic celery didn't cost me any more -- it was $2.99 for a 1-1/4# of organic or $2.99 for a 2# package of conventional and I didn't need two pounds. Carrots I had in the fridge and needed to use up. The container with the tomato juice I used to measure how much I made -- filled a 1.6L container to the brim!

After the photo was taken I went out and got basil and oregano (two varieties each) from the deck pots, chopped them finely and added to the mix.

Moderate boil for, oh...an hour? Till the carrots felt right :)

Added raw milk to the mug and a garnish for the photo.

Other then the mug for dinner, the rest will get frozen for this winter. No sense adding milk or cream to the whole batch now -- besides keeping it on the plain side allows you to mix it to taste with stuff like pepper, sugar, cream, etc. when it's used this winter. May end up needing capacity in Mom's fridge...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rain rain...

Since last Sunday:

Sunday: 3-3/4"
Tuesday: 1-1/2"
Sunday-Monday: 4-3/8"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Some old family photos

My mom, aunts Madeline & Louise, and Grandma Beebee

Grandpa & Granny Kivela (Arvid & Impi)

Doyen home on Wolf Den Road


Grandfather Raymond Doyen (b. 1894), Uncle Serge (b. 1898)(and for years I thought Raymond was the youngest one looking at the photo!), and my Great-Grandparents Fernand (b. 1870) and Marie (b. 1873). They immigrated in 1905.

My Dad

And another picture of my dad.

Old Aerial Photos

Of my place and the Kivela farms:


Felt like I was a CIA Analysis looking over photos from the Cuban Missle Crisis and putting on labels to point out what I saw on them :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Are starting to come in nicely!

Brought in the onions from that had been curing in the garage; those are on the stove and I'll braid up the ones that look like good keepers after work. Some more recently harvested onions, shallots, and garlic behind the basket are currently curing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Carrots and a Birthday...

Spent Saturday morning planting a fall crop of carrots:

I haven't had good luck with carrots before, but I also didn't know they're real tough to get to germinate -- can take upwards of three weeks. Because they're planted very shallow (1/8" to 1/4" max) they're also very sensitive to moisture so one trick is to put burlap over the row and water it each day until you see the carrots germinating.

Rainbow Blend
Nantes Long 6-1/2" 70 Days
Royal Chantenay 6-1/2" 70 Days
Little Fingers 3-1/2" 65 Days

Ran out to my friend Eric's family cottage on West Island, Fairhaven that afternoon -- what a beautiful spot. While I didn't weigh it, I brought a bag that had to be a solid 15# of mixed veggies of tomatoes, potatoes, white onions, beans, squash, zukes...first really good mixed harvest of the year. Missy made the.best.clam.chowder.ever. Honest...I don't think I'll ever be able to eat it from a can or even in a restaurant ever again.

Sunday it rained -- had 3-3/4" of rain! So I spent my birthday cleaning the kitchen.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Farm Problem: 1959

Nifty series of articles from Life Magazine that shows a program in transition from first national farm policy during the New Deal, to the current framework of farm policies implemented in the early 1970s under the Nixon administration:

30 Nov 1959 (Weakest of the three articles, this is more a collection of short statements and pictures but does give some background that's good to know when reading the other two installments.)

7 Dec 1959 (A nice write up of a mid-sized, relatively diversified Iowa farm.)

14 Dec 1959 (Contains the most "wonky" details of the issues of the day.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cool Clouds!

Of course all the rain missed my house (and not by much looking at the radar).

Let Oscar out about 7pm and saw these cool "cotton balls" poking down:

Asked on the 'net and found out they're called "Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus"

Real interesting storm in that it just sat over the Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts and Connecticut, plus parts of Western Connecticut and the lower Housatonic Valley...area of Deerfield got smacked by 6" of rain in a few hours; I've seen that before and it's just not pretty:

Garden Updates

Last Thursday's dinner...ended up going all-garden vegetarian :) After I started frying up the taters, I realized I had no meat that would cook up in the same time frame, then decided I really didn't need it. Went to visit Mom in Maine the next day,

Sunday night's harvest.

Had Monday off...spent Sunday pulling weeds (between jumping in the pond). Today was another 93º day...hour in the garden, ten minutes in the pond, short break in the house, and repeat.

Planted today for the fall garden:
Tall Telephone Peas
Knight Peas
Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans (tore up what remained of my 2nd planting of bush beans; a rabbit got in and really did a wonder on the young plants)
Several different lettuces
Pak Choi
Swiss Chard
Early Prolific Yellow Squash (42 day maturity)


Durn it, I deleted the photo of the tomatoes!

Hmmm, my Better Boy(?) Tomatoes are growing WAY taller then the U-posts holding the twine. I had to buy some wooden stakes to tie them up to today. Next year I'll need some 5' or maybe 6' T-posts to use by them.

The fierce winds when a line of Thunderstorms passed through last Tuesday didn't help -- it was swirling (not swaying) the tree tops at first...with Tornado Warnings up for our area! That contributed to bending them over, so I had to straighten them carefully today.