Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Asparagus is up...but sooooo slow

Took the pic yesterday, think I noticed Saturday or Friday it was poking up:

Monday, April 28, 2014

A meal delayed...is still awesome.

So Saturday night I had the grille heating, chopped up the Portabello mushrooms, Onions, and Peppers. Steak was marinated. And I ran out of propane. (Though I'll snag one of Ed's extra bottles this week so I shouldn't run out again :) )

So Sunday night I finally got to make this. I had experimented with pan searing the steak by heating the skillet in the grill, two minutes on a side. I had heated a pot of water on my stove so there wouldn't be thermal shock when I brought the skillet inside to saute the veggies as the steak finished grilling over medium.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Herrick Road Brush Fire

For the folks who read the blog but wouldn't notice the new photo essay on the right hand column -- some pics from the woods fire in my town this past week.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finally it makes sense -- Trolleys, Dog Parks, and Dyer Dam...

So I could never figure out why on Earth the trolley ran across country from Wauregan to Danielson, since most of it's length (like most trolleys) ran along existing highways or railroad right of ways.

Finally the answer: Where the Phaiah Dog Park in Killingly now is, along the trail, was the powerhouse for the trolley line!


Past posts...I swear I've written more but darn if I can find it...
People's Tramway
More On Trolleys

Monday, April 21, 2014

Firewood, Old Sturbridge Village, Dog Park, and New Garden Beds!

Did another hour of cutting on the rapidly diminishing log pile on Easter Sunday morning before driving the old folks up to Pat's:

Monday morning I decided to take a day off -- it was gorgeous. Little chilly in the morning, but decided to go to Old Sturbridge Village for 90 minute or so walk around to get my blood pumping for the day. So want to call this "Just Kidding" but they are lambs...

I wonder if the saw mill logs are from the 2011 tornado? Especially with how much bark is missing.

I have Cooper this week while his people are in D.C. and he was begging and pleading to go for a walk this afternoon...I gave in and took him to the Killinglyy Dog Park. There were no other "big dogs" on our side of the fence to play with, but he wore himself out running sniffing and peeing.

The land was the former Dyer Mill site at the end of Quinebaug Avenue. The mill burned about 25 years ago -- I know I was a pretty new buck at the time (and we weren't called!) Mitchell Phaiah donated money to fund it, and passed away shortly after the dedication -- it's pretty spartan right now, but very nice size.

And finally, I dug two new garden beds out of the lawn (plus a window on the old screen porch kitchen in the background I need to fix :) ).

The left one is leeks, and I think I found the best soil on the entire property. Papu must've accidentally ordered the good stuff to use on the lawn there. I still augmented it with some store-bought garden soil. I put out 28 transplants. I suck at starting stuff, of course I don't have a grow light either so when I do start stuff they always get leggy. Figured with rain and mild temps for a couple days, and some hardening off previously done, it's do or die for 'em.

On the right is Kale -- three varieties: Tuscan, Blue Scotch, Red Russian.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time to make the kindling...

I drive up to a data center in Massachusetts once a week or so to work hands-on the computers. There is a fence place just down the street that puts out scraps that are free for the taking, and some of these are too long to fit in my woodstove.

Since a pile of these long ones was blocking me from starting to clean up the garage for the spring, shorter they must be made:

The Winter That Will Not End...(and a garden update)

Sunday (4/13) I planted the following six packs:
2 x Green Cabbage
2 x Red Cabbage
2 x Broccoli
1 x Cauliflower
1 x Celery

Then on 4/16 we had snow:

Lows of 25, 25, and 27 from the 16th to 18th...but so far it looks like those transplants survived. I guess next year if I plant that early I should be prepared with some floating row covers to make sure they're protected just in case.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A saute maybe?

A saute? Not really sure that's the right word -- browned some hot sausage while I cutting up carrots and onion, threw in some mushrooms, remembered I had a half head of broccoli left, then I decided to pour in about a cup of water and about a cup of wine (whatever was left in the bottom of a cheap bottle of Merlot I had). Took about 20 minutes for the liquid to boil off and happily at that point the carrots were nicely cooked. Between the merlot, carrots, and onions there was real nice sweetness to contrast with the spicy sausage.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Like a fangirl...

"Squee"-ing is the sound that is a cross between a squeal and "wheeeeee" that fangirls will make, overcome with excitement and emotion, when watching a favorite television show or movie. It is not what one would consider masculine.

I've been reading Pride & Prejudice. The first half of the book, while not bad, was not particularly awesome. It made me question what the continued popularity of a book that was honestly difficult to read because of its archaic English. Then halfway through it became quite interesting.

Last night I'm reading in bed and I'm at the part where Miss Elizabeth is at Pemberley, and while it was clear to anyone familiar with conventions of popular entertainments of all sorts what was going to happen, when Mr. Darcy shows up a day early and twenty yards away, I let out a squee.

It was a moment that not only asks for one's man-card to be revoked but more fundamentally questions whether it was fraudulently obtained in the first place. Just shoot me. Now.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chicken Soup and Gardening are good for the Soul...

Look at this chicken broth! Roasted a chicken Friday. Cut the meat off and put the bones in the crock pot on high for most of Saturday to produce this delightful looking stock:

Made the soup that evening, turned on the crock pot on low at 11 when I went to bed. House smelled delightful in the morning! The rice I cooked in my rice cooker Sunday morning and added to it:

Tracking my gardening was the original purpose to this blog (since I kept losing my notes).

4/2/12 was the earliest I've ever planted, and my notes for that year said I could've planted two weeks earlier if I had been ready. This was the first weekend, after a very (probably record) cold March, that the ground could be worked so 4/6 wasn't bad at all.

Finally cleaned up by the house and got the cold frame that I built two years ago set up (of course, I haven't put glass in it yet!). I put a lot of mulch for worm food underneath the bagged garden soil I put on the top, it should settle. I'll have to watch the moisture I think this first year. The Baker's Dozen ice coffee cups have holes drilled in the former bottoms for ventilation; I'm experimenting to see if the cold season greens (lettuce, spinach, chard) like them or not.

Yukon Gold, Katahdin, and Red Pontiac Potatoes are in. Full row this year, I felt like I was really budgeting them last year.

Onion and Pea beds are dug. I'm letting them sit and mellow for a few days before I rake to level them then plant the peas and onions.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Intelligence is Sexy

sapiosexual: (n.) A behavior of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use.

Caernorfen Castle

Hey, one in an English speaking country! (Ignoring their habit of posting road signs in Welsh...)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

On fondling dead chickens...

I'm preparing a chicken to roast. Rinsing it off, my hand is on the breast and I'm thinking, "Gee, that's the most action I've gotten in a while."

When I suddenly dawns on me...the part down where the legs are tied up. Where the gizzards would be if this roaster included gizzards...that's the rear end.

Don't ask me why, since childhood I always just thought that was the neck end. I guess I just thought that when was I like six or whatever and watching my dad cook a turkey and somehow the anatomy of where the legs and wings and all never seemed right but I never actually tried to figure it out.

Having made that realization I held up (continued to fondle?) the chicken with my hand as if it was walking and everything sure made anatomical sense finally!