Saturday, October 03, 2015

Pumpkin Time

At work.  At the bakery.  At the coffee shops.  Even at the smoothie shops.

Even at my house.  The second time making the Pumpkin Whoopee Pies will be tomorrow.  On my first of two back to back days off (yippie), I will be baking those delicious little pumpkin cakes and then frosting them and watching G eat his way through them.  I won't be eating them.

The tree work continues.  The front yard is still littered with debris and logs.  I will feel compelled to rake up the grass if I go out there.

We missed the boat on a very cool idea.  A gardening friend visited me at work and when I mentioned the pine trees being cut---she said she had seen the most amazing thing.  A rather large chunk of tree (as tall as it is wide) was chipped away into a "ball" shape with a chain saw.  The wood must be "wet" in order for this to work.

You cut and cut and roll and cut until the chunk resembles a ball.  Roundish.  Then let it sit and dry out.  Takes awhile.  While it dries it cracks.  And turns into something she says is "magnificent".

Now our tree trunk was larger than 7 feet around, so if we had know about this "crafty idea" earlier in the day, we could have had the makings for a few giant round objects.  The neighbors would have been impressed, huh?

We do have a few smaller chunks and G can make some in 12 inch diameter.

If he uses the chain saw, I'll have the tourniquet kit at the ready.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

And Then It Stopped Raining

Temps in the low 60's but some sunshine.  The tree guys are here and the front yard looks like a tornado whipped through.  Two very fat, tall white pines are going down.  Two red pines.  And a set of oak "twins".  A few other, smaller trees were collateral "damage" to get at the two white pines safely.

The guy across the street said "I can see your house".


I think there will be enough chipped wood to mulch the woods (and the auxiliary road) on the side of the house.  I think it will be a vast improvement.  G thinks there might be "too much light".

The trees, perennials and the squirrels will just have to get used to a "new normal" as will G and I. It's been a long time in the shade of those huge trees.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's Raining-- A Lot

I spent the day in my raincoat.  

And I was inside the greenhouse.

The rain was just pounding down on the glass roof and leaking in through all the places that leak in a glass greenhouse.  Maine needed a good rain as wells in the northern section of our state were going dry.  So--keep the rain coming.  We need it.

I am having trouble getting the upper hand with my allergies.  The itching eyes.  The sneezing.  All the usual allergy symptoms.  The Zyrtec makes me sleepy.  So, at work yesterday, I was sort of zombie-like.  Today, not so much.  But still not really alert.

I did have a good lunch both days.  It's amazing how the quality of my work day improves with a "good lunch".

I am going to share the pasta sauce recipe I have been making for G lately.  One chopped onion sauteed in olive oil, then add a package of Jimmy Dean's precooked sausage crumbles, a shake or two of red pepper flakes (if you can't find the spicy crumbles).  While that works, clean and slice a package of button mushrooms (or open a can of sliced mushrooms).  Add the mushrooms to the pan.  Let it fry--get some of that brown stuff going on the bottom of the pan.  Add a can of Trader Joe's marinara sauce (28 oz).  Simmer while the water comes to a boil for the pasta and you cook the pasta.

Easy and G says it's delicious.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Eating Simple Things

Like avocado mixed with lime and red onion.

Like an enormous pot of soup---over ripe tomatoes, cabbage, kale, overgrown carrots, potato and onion, summer squashes.  All but the potato and cabbage was from my garden.  The cabbage was a leftover chunk from the pot roast dinner's cole slaw.

G's soup was tomato with homemade soup dumplings.  I did them correctly this time and beat the dickens out of the dough.  G said they were wonderful.  Chewy.

I think it's cool enough now for baked potatoes.  Sweet or White.  Butter soaked with sour cream and chives.

I also think it's cool enough for a weekend pot of beans.  Every weekend.  I have the most interesting beans in the cupboard -- white and tan yelloweyes.  I think they are popular beans for Maine baked beans.  New to me.  Last winter it was chili beans and all of the variations were very good.

And there are still the beets in the garden and the chard.  I will bake the beets and saute the chard (mixed with ricotta) to fill tortelloni.  Larger relatives of the tortellini.

I am still carrying 5 to 10 pounds of vegetables from the garden when I have time to go out and pick.
I have already decided which things I will NOT be planting next summer.  I will finally give up on fennel (it never makes a bulb) and jalapeƱos (I have few reasons to eat them).

I may try growing potatoes again.  I like the way they taste and am missing them this year.