Sunday, September 29, 2013

Crock potting away

So for years I've used a great little 1 quart crockpot Karen bought me for Christmas(or Birthday?) years ago...and that's still good for a single meal or two, or as I most often use to make my yogurt.

In winter I can slow cook stuff on the woodstove. But it'll be a couple months before I can keep a fire going all day.
So I splurged and bought an $19 or however ridiculously cheap they are crock pot at Walmart a few weeks ago. These are one of those things that prove price is not related to cost compared to how many other things I end buying that I know take a lot less materials and even time to make.

This weekend I cooked up a Pot Roast on Saturday:

And Sunday was clam I should be all set for the week (and probably need to freeze some stuff up!):

Small miracles...

One of the rare times ALL my power equipment is actually in the garage! Oh, and yes, that's a snow blower -- bought it for $350 off of Craiglist, fairly new Tecumseh motor, starts up mint. Since my truck isn't on the road again yet (brakes fixed, swaybar links fixed...then the alternator died) had to have Eric use his trailer to bring it home for me today.

Wonder what my chance of continuing the clean up and getting the whole garage neaten up and ship shape over this winter is?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dad's yearbook pic

Going through some papers and found the Plainfield High School Mermaid for 1942:

Monday, September 23, 2013

What I planted in 2013

From seed at least as I go through my packets at year end...

Cucumber Pioneer Hybrid (like all my luck with cukes, little if anything...I think I got two zukes total this year again :( )
Cucumber Sumter
Bean -- Kentucky Wonder Pole
Butternut -- Waltham
Pea -- Knight
Pumpkin -- Connecticut Field
Squash -- Scallop Blend ...meh
Spaghetti Squash -- oh most definitely!
Summer Squash -- Golden Girl Yellow Zucchini ...definitely!
Summer Squash -- Early Prolific
Zucchini Obsidian

That may be about it..cabbages, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli (bolted), and cauliflower (never flowered?!) were all from transplants. And taters of course, but darn if I can remember what varieties.

African Daisy
Alyssum Royal Carpet (don't think these came up)
Bachelor Buttons
Larkspur Giant Imperial
Lupine Russel Strain
Marigold Cracker Jack Mix
Marigold Petite
Nastrium Tall Single Mix
Snapdragon First Ladies
Zinnia Thumbelina
Zinnia Lilliput Pom Pom

Ferry Morse Perennial Wildflower Sunny Meadow Mix
Livingston Seed Wildflower Butterfly Mix

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Looks like this is the end

Hopefully next year I'll have a fall/winter garden setup.

Very few toms left, and if I see another Zucchini I'd scream. Started to clean up the garden.

Last harvest:

Dug up the tater bed to find any I had missed...some of those became dinner tonight :)

And this one I just liked the color palette on the counter:

Tonight's dinner:

Bread is homemade from my own sourdough starter...I'm still learning how to knead and bake sourdough and this as dense as it is is still my best to date.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stilt walkers of Landes

The Aquitaine region of France is one of the areas in Europe that fascinate me (they have some really cool castles).

Discovered these folks from the Landes region of Aquitaine tonight -- before 19th century reclamation projects turned the moors into pine plantations, they raised sheep but needed stilts for the people to navigate the swamps.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I am sooooo going to have to plant a special section with a boat load of these for next year -- being a winter squash they should keep well.

I've had people tell me its really good, and I don't know what I was expecting, but I sure as hell wasn't expecting to actually taste like and even feel like al dente angel hair pasta! I've really cut down my pasta eating, I pretty much don't make it anymore at home...but this would be an awesome substitute.

Along with some crock potted meat and veggies:

And some of today's haul -- gave the three nice size (not too big, not too small) zukes away before taking it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Time for Timer...

I had forgotten about these "PSAs" until they were mentioned in a you-might-be-a-Gen-Xer post...

...but holy heck, talk about undermining good nutrition. At least viewed from today's post-Michael Pollan world.

Who wrote these? I know they ran on ABC. But this is USDA propaganda at it's finest -- encourage kids to eat crackers (which will break down into sugar almost immediately) and cheese for a snack. Classic Fat, Sugar, and Salt! I'll point out in the later adds, he basically dances over fruit before suggesting just about everything else.

Hey, let's eat anything, at anytime of day -- because, you know, its quicker to make a peanut butter sandwich then to pour milk over cereal!

Hey, I'm going to dance all over a bowl full of fruit and tell you instead to freeze (presumably sweetened) juice as a snack!

The gardening continues...

By far and away, the best overall year I've ever had!

Today's pics:

And a couple days ago...still eating garden 'maters:

I also made my first bread in a while -- I've been nursing a sourdough starter from scratch for the last three weeks (after the one I tried in July failed from neglect). Mix of King Arthur bread flour and Graham Flour from Kenyon's Grist Mill. The taste and texture wasn't much different from the conventional yeast breads I've made, so I have to research a bit how to make it "fluffier."

I've also finally remembered to buy some lemons & lime -- I love the 4C flavorings, but I've been wanting to get away from the artificial sweeteners more. Picked up this pitcher for $9 and it includes a steeping tube that I put spearmint from the garden in. Plus a bit of Truvia for sweetness. Works well...usually when I pour a glass (about half of it, I use a big glass :) ) I refill. Looks like I should get two days from each half a lime/lemon...which actually would be pretty cost competitive with the 4C tubes even on sale.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Not a bad day at all...

Started off with me not really feeling like yard work, or gardening, or truck work...

So while I was going to get a coffee to see if I could put some pep in my step, I said, "Hey, it's the Hebron Fair weekend!"

So I drove a half hour to Hebron, figuring I'd drop about $20 for a couple hours entertainment ($5 parking, $12 gate).

Unfortunately, I found least this side of Wusthof knives -- and unlike Wusthof, something I could (sort of) afford to indulge in -- Chester P. Basil wooden spoons!

Which of course, got me fascinated with how they're made...which after some Youtube videos made me drive (by way of Baldwin Brook Farm since I was desperate need of milk!) out to Woodcraft of Manchester for a book on woodturning and a catalog. And since I was there over to Cabela's down the street to engage in yet another manly activity, drooling over guns.

Back to Brooklyn to put the milk in the fridge, then up to Southbridge to meet my friends Eric, Sam, Andre, and met for the first time Alex -- had a great lobster and something else pizzerita(!) at Fins and Tales and over to a total cheap place of a club to see John Valby.

So overall, it ended up being a pretty interesting day!

Friday, September 6, 2013


Cabbage I picked last Saturday (8/31) -- the red went in coleslaw for Pam's party, the white made 2-1/2# chopped up and is now in a 1/2 gallon canning jar turning into sauerkraut.

And today I picked a peck of peppers! I wonder if I should've pickled them? Ok, so its not a peck, but by far its the most peppers I've ever gotten!