Saturday, July 31, 2010
(an oval one)
i want it for the no knead bread
for roasting meats
i am planning on a 5.75 or a 6 quart size
(and i am watching for a good sale too)
bernie likes the grenadine color which is a wine color
i like that but i also like the matte black which looks like plain cast iron
i actually like both but i was thinking that the matte black will never look dated..
anyway i am planning this purchase within i hope the next two months
as i continue to watch for a good sale on them...
but could you all tell me which color you would get and why?
the grenadine is very shiny and the matte is well........ matte!!!
i am dying for this cocotte- i bought the cheapo ones from sam's club (china) and while i love them i want something with a decent warrenty on them
because we are really starting to use them constantly
anyway, please everyone
please let me know what you all think? and help me make up my mind (if they were 30 bucks i would get one of each hahahahaha)
Friday, July 30, 2010
i may even do chicken pens today,
i have one tiny area of the babies day pen to do then i have to decide how to reconfigure it
i am still trying to tame those babies down. yesterday afternoon, thumbprint greeted me at the day pen gate with a tail wag and the characteristic muscovy head bobbing........ i was thrilled,
as that one and bigfoot who is definitely a girl.....are both staying.
and the one boy who i know is a boy i am seriously trying to tame
he will replace falstaff (who is older then fossils in duck terms) when the big guy goes
(and i will miss that madly infuriating drake when he does eventually die, although most of the time i want to strangle him myself)
when i get that little boy out of the flock i find them much more tractable. there are three that are really difficult but i think they will come around. one of those three is a boy i believe
and now i am thinking i got two boys and all the rest may possibly be girls.....although thumbprint could go either way but thumbprint is smart....and likes mommy
ok last nights supper was a HUGE success... roasted chicken with creamy leek sauced rice
such a huge success that i am going to make it into a soup or a casserole for the winter
i used pink pepper corns too
i roasted the chicken with a bit of butter (like half a teaspoon! really just to grease the bottom of the enameled cast iron pot), some garlic, salt and pink peppercorns, then took the drippings mixed that with flour to make a roux, then the leeks and a bit of milk, and added leftover cooked rice...
it was simple and fantastic
i also cooked this in an enameled cast iron 'french oven' (this one was from sam's club and is made in china, it's a 3.5 quart one) i heated it on the stove for about 5 minutes, melted that tiny bit of butter in there, put the chicken in, threw some garlic granules and some fresh crushed pink peppercorns, covered it and put it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
took it out on a plate while i added flour to the pan drippings and the 'dried' leeks
i used dried leeks reconstituted in about 1/2 cup or so of hot water (these are the last of my home dried leeks)
then added some milk to thin it down, (stirring the whole time with a wooden spoon)
added the rice, stirred again, over low heat.....put the lid back on for like 3 minutes or so
we basically licked the pot.
i am slowly introducing bernie to foods that i haven't had in a while, but that i either have grown or want to start growing, (stuff he wouldn't eat before)
my discussion with him goes something like 'we need to do this, for not only our health, and our money, but also, you know...... this stuff has been revered by cultured gastronomes for thousands of years- and you got it FRESH---- it doesn't GET any better then this, and money CAN'T BUY IT
you have to grow it
it's true though, and it is slowly converting him
he does eat really really well, he always has. ( hey i ain't italian for anything you know.....)
both his sister's have high BP and high cholesterol, he doesn't.
i can only think that the reason he doesn't is that i make sure he eats well
the way my people have eaten for hundreds/thousands of years
and besides that i really like going out the back door and walking back in after 3 minutes with supper in my hands (just like MOM did- i remember her digging dandelions, which i intend on putting in NEXT spring)
oh my the THINGS i get up to
i am still thinking about solar.......(yes dorothy i haven't forgotten, it's always back there in my mind) i am still wondering about a closed sort of hoop house tilapia/salad green thing too...
and no i haven't stopped drawing totally, but i will be doing more closer to winter when i am actually in the house more, as raising ducklings as you can see, is for me a full time job.
but now you all know why lilli and phoebe are so tame, and the babies i imagine will be as well
ok off i got today, it looks to be a nice day so i hope you all have a good time
Thursday, July 29, 2010
i did the babies night crate, the duck room floor, and part of the outside pen
i need to go and get a bale of hay but the van has a dead battery.... hahahahahaha
i finally think about going to town and the van can't!
let's see, i just put up the dried leeks, 5 quart jars worth (that's a pound of dried leeks)
tonight i am going to make a sort of sauce with onions, dried leeks, pink peppercorns, garlic and a bit of the dripping from the baked chicken
i am also thinking of doing a black barley/mixed grain casserole side..... maybe baked it under the chicken? hmmmmmm
but doesn't that sound good?
i am puttering around as usual, i won that le creuset soup pot and can't get to the po to pick it up
i WANT a staub, matte black 6 quart oval cocotte, as i want to do the no knead bread, and my cheapy imitations can't handle it, plus my tiny staub is too small.... i am wanting to bake weekly or twice a week again.
a mixed grain bread that is whole grain and i can maybe also eat?
i can't afford that much soooooo we'll just have to see what we can do no?
ok i got to get back out to clean the rest of the duck floor and the night crate for the big girls
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
the babies were out and wandering around while i was doing it.
actually they were pretty good! they sort of stayed close and together so i didn't have to keep stopping and round them up.
i got it 75% done.
i left the back part as a tiny pen just so i could stop and pee or sit for a while, and still have hawk proof pen areas for them.
i have to move the tiny part down i think, and shorten up the pen, i am also going to put a second opening at the other end. (cause lilli likes to lay eggs down that end..noooooo lilli
i am anxiously waiting on that lecreuset soup pot i won on ebay, as near as i can figure, costco was the only ones that had/has that soup pot in the 4.25 quart size
i also that my staub that i have has the 'spoon rest' knob on the top....have i mentioned i love that oven? now i want more staub........and lecreuset is my second choice!
my legs have been hurting really bad. not only my knees (since that last fall) but my legs-the bones in them. i am having a lot of trouble climbing the stairs, getting in and out of bed.... stuff like that. i am also having lower back pain so maybe it's a lot from the new mattress? stuff loosening up and realigning?
my shoulders and neck aren't hurting! first time in over 7 years!
but my lower back down is enough to make me want to jump
every morning i put the ducks out and while the pond that is out in the garden pen is filling, i walk the garden itself..... i count cucumbers.
yesterday i had 4 promising ones.
with about 30 looking like a week would be enough to wait for them
i want at least 5 so that i can pickle two pints, but i would really rather have 30 or 50 to do a whole batch...... actually 20 pints worth would make me happy, and if i can do that twice i will just plotz.....
my yearly spice order came yesterday ( and if that happened, autumn can't be far behind) i order in bulk once a year. stuff i either can't grow such as cinnamon, or haven't grown enough of such as leeks...
this year the big treat was black barley, and one whole pound of wild rice!!!!!
i am thinking of a mixed grain casserole for tonight... as a side
i would love to have that with roasted turkey
anyway i was putting it all away, (except for the leeks do you have any idea how much volume a pound of dried leeks is? try 4 quart mason jars!)
anyway there is something so very satisfying to me to do these things, put up the yearly spices ( and yes i got us peppercorns and even PINK ONES)
lay in a supply of wood-which i need to call about.....
i can't imagine NOT stocking up simply as it's the rhythm of the seasons-how better to celebrate, appreciate and experience the season then to do seasonal things?
no one really wants to have a summer cold right? (ok no one wants to have a winter cold either but at least you don't mind the hot soup then)
and i am thinking woolen mittens at the beach just doesn't quite work not in august in new jersey ... see what i mean?
what else happened? oh i know, i picked every single baby up yesterday and checked them over. i made my first cull decision too. one of the big boys is just not ameniable to being held or anything. so he's first. i want to be able to handle the ones that stay, to cut nails, and primaries and give meds if i have to
falstaff desperately needs his nails trimmed, he won't let us near him to do it
i am considering taking him to the duck vet to do this
which may just stress him enough to kill him......
cull decisions aren't easy, but they are necessary.
oh and phoebe is grudgingly allowing the babies around her... but lilli still wants no part in them at all
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
and screams in the night
i work us up, the cats up, the chickens up, the budgies up and i am pretty sure the ducks and mice up
today's show is brought to you by leg pains
(yes i am drinking a gatoraide RIGHT NOW)
i also got up to a dead mouse in the trap on the stove... THAT was a good thing for me if not for the mouse
bernie has my cold from hell now
he's sick as a dog but is going to work......actually i think he's sicker then i was!
now in what may end up to be HUGE news, i bid and won what looks like is going to be a le creuset soup pot for me!! a big 4.25 on.
it was on ebay as le creuset but within the listing the picture and copy was of a sitram cast iron pot. i emailed them, they said no it's le creuset
so i bid 41.00 and shipping was 19.99........ which if it is actually le creuset i got a huge bargain
actually i got a huge bargain even if it's sitram but i will complain if it is
i am starting to convert to cast iron now, long and slow is something i do already (*get your minds out of the gutter- i am talking about cooking)
so cast iron works, as does pyrex, & corningware----- both of which i use in the oven as when i first got married bernie bought us a small set of some off brand glass bakeware, and i got a fireking set of casseroles (brown ones, and i loved them until they shattered)
now i am wondering how much of my cooking was influenced by the cookware i had as well as the slim budget we lived on? slow cooking was best for cheap food
now what is exactly so freeken hard about tossing a small cheapo roast in a bit of water (or red wine) with garlic and onions and putting it in the OVEN at like 200 for like 2 hours... you don't really have to do anything - that takes like NO FREEKEN time
if you scrub a couple of potatoes and prick them over and nuke them for 6 minutes then toss them in the oven for the last 15 minutes to get them crusty you got bake potatoes.....
and if you throw some frozen green beans in a small pot of boiling water for 4 minutes.....there's your veg!
add up all your prep time i think it's maybe what? 10 minutes tops?
if you need the meat faster, raise the temp to 350, then depending on how thick.....it's like 20-30 minutes
take a freeken shower while it's in the oven
( that is the other secret to my cooking... everything is timed to come out of the oven when bernie gets out of the shower)
now when i worked full time outside the house ( and sometimes two and three jobs) i did once a month cooking..... then ( a milliontwo years ago) it was called 'freezer' cooking
buy whatever was on sale... say chopmeat ( ground beef)
make up meat loafs, sauce, hambugers (not cooked, just formed) stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage..... freeze it
next month do the same with say chicken
do marinades on parts in freezer containers
then say next month pork
and keep going
before you know it you got a full freezer, and varied meals all taking less time during the week
i did it monthly and our monthly food budget was 120.00 a month
i think our monthly food budget now is about 200
and now i stock for the year
it's not hard, but it does take changing your thinking a bit.
and let's face it you would take just as long getting in the car and driving to the fast food place, placing then waiting for your order
if you got that time, you got time to make one of my fast suppers
there is no excuse
i do find it so interesting that with more and more and more cookbooks being published ......more and more people are eating OUT
during a recession that is really a depression!
ok anyway, i love to cook, just not every day so this works well for me
as we still have to EAT everyday
now back to my legs....... they hurt but i think the gator aid will help
and on to the garden
i am so insanely excited about the baby pattypan squash i can't tell you all.......and watching it makes me soooooooo happy
it's about 1/4 of an inch long
and i got 5 new BIG cuc's coming along
with what looks like hundreds of 1'' ones coming as well
i been doing little stuff around the house, as i didn't get a lot done before colleen came
(who btw, i can't get a hold of again)
Monday, July 26, 2010
i started to talk to them ( i am so bad, i talk to everyone)
the husband had just had a triple bypass ( he looked all of 45)
they were sick of eating chicken........ so they told me
i love chicken
i love having chickens and eating chicken...
so i told them about roasted sweet pepper sauce, and marinating chicken with red wine and onions/garlic
i didn't tell them about the cranberry rosemary chicken, or the orange rosemary chicken, nor did i give them the URL to this blog and then post the recipes for them
i feel a bit bad about that since it seems sooooooo many people don't seem to have a clue about cooking anymore.
i did give them a brief outline on how to make a sweet pepper sauce, and how to make a sort of veggie thing to put over the chicken, ...... i hope that helps them a bit
i also wish that instead of all the boxed and frozen crap out there that folks do start to experiment and learn how to do stuff on their own
and there are a billion cookbooks out there..... but that in itself is too much, too overwhelming
ok off the soapbox and onto the cat tree
we clipped fawn-
not totally, as i still have one side to go on her and a bit on her stomach and chest
but the good bulk of the mats on her back and butt
i am now determined that she not only gets a yearly clip, but two baths a year a least.......we been letting her slide as she doesn't enjoy them but that isn't good for her sooo two baths a year it is (she looks funny but feels better)
as to the chickens.... everyone insists on sitting on fudgie, and i am not sure why! seriously, they sit on her head!
i am always getting chickens off of fudge and making her get up
wonderful, i get 'unique' chickens
maybe they are just trying to calm her down by smothering her?
they need to go out again, but with the heat i haven't wanted to..... folks are losing chickens in this heat and my guys are deffinately not used to the heat.
in duckling updates, there appears to be only two ducklings that are all white!
i ordered white ducklings....i seem to have gotten 4 colored ones
they continue to crack us up... last night we let them out to graze and they saw bernie's feet
they gathered AROUND bernie's feet
he of course was confused
i told him
they are waiting for you to do that 'foot/dirt' thing...... you know for the worms
then into the pond for a bath, then off to bed
the 'off to bed' thing isn't a real thrilling idea for the babies..just like any other kids
meanwhile they are all still plopping down to eat etc..... which is such a boy thing i can't tell you
i don't ever remember ANY girls doing that and this is now my 3rd nest to raise, as well as i don't know how many ducks....
ok now a question..........
how long does it take to get used to a new mattress.... the first week was good-now i have lower back pain
so does bernie
what advise does everyone have?
ok off i go now..... the pickles are looking to come on nicely very shortly
the pattypan has babies, the spaghetti squash started to flower.......
i love my garden even if it is tiny
Saturday, July 24, 2010
we had a bunch of errands and a big list
chicken and duck food
jute twine for the garden
BT for the cabbage loopers
a waterproof mattress pad (i had a coupon for 20% off at BB&B so we got it there)
bernie needed a new book
more of those rootbeer float mugs (we got 4 more) and some glass canisters as well as a few... ahem..... skeleton garlands
and finally we stopped at shoprite for stuff on sale such as coffee, cheese, tissues (8 boxes as we go through at least two per cold....OK OK, I GO THROUGH two per cold..... bernie barely uses them)
odds and ends stuff mostly
we stopped at pier one, gees the salepeople were annoying, every freeken 5 seconds 'can i help you' (mostly asking bernie- that always cracks me up- the lady in borders with the cake samples offered it to him, looked at me and walked away!)
we stopped at arbies and had a fast brunch/lunch/snack thing.....soooo bad for me
we also got that copper 'steel' wool to seal up a hole that the mice were coming in through
then we bathed all the ducks, and i also walked the garden. i weeded a bit......got a tomato out
threw some kohlrobi and turnip seeds in...... pulled a bush bean out, tied up some squash leaves that were invading the eggplants
tied up a few eggplants that laid down.......
found a WHITE eggplant, when all i planted was purple (i love those kind of surprises)
discovered a baby pattypan squash!!!!!!!! counted two cuc's getting ready
and at least 45 of the tiny 2'' gerkin size on the vines
i tell you all, if i had a tiny bit more land, and a better house and kitchen, this would just be heaven here.....( i would have the goat and sheepies, a rooster, a milk cow, larger garden, better kitchen and STORAGE space)
the raised beds in the garden make things a lot better out there, if you don't have them and are thinking about them... DO IT
even if you have to do two beds a YEAR...... do it
you will not be sorry
it's made a huge difference in the whole health of the garden
it's also made it a pure pleasure to be out there (in spite of the heat and the fact that the garden isn't done yet!)
ok now i will upload a video for you of the babies bathing..... for me it doesn't get old, but i think most of you folks are either bored silly, or just not around
btw, i was talking to some folks in borders today, the husband had a triple bypass, and they were looking for ways with chicken, so i told them some of the stuff i do, i almost gave the wife my number and told her to call and i would tell her more ways around 'boring' chicken...all low fat, low cholesterol..... even though i do use butter etc, i also do low fat/low cholesterol too, depends on the day and what's in the house. the husband was telling me to stop talking about food as i was killing him
but he is going to make my roasted sweet pepper sauce and put it over chicken.
which reminds me, i put in the annual spice order.... i am treating us to pink peppercorns!!! hahahahaha
and a whole pound of wild rice!
ok here is the duck video......
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
i have been so neglectful on taking still shots of the babies, getting videos for everyone but no stills for me to work off of. i have to get software that will let me capture some stills off the videos - anyone have any ideas?
meanwhile you all saw my garden, i don't know if you heard my frog voice but damn i sound bad
ok now fast updates all around
garden: we got 4 cucumbers, and i ate a ripe tomatoe from the plants in the main garden. looks like we did get hit with the vine borer but it may be ok as i have back up plants. today i have to harvest beans again, for the freezer. and it sure looks like the garden should be super productive in the limited plantings i got out there.....eggplants look nice too
duckies: they are very clingy right now, but are starting to be trained to go in and out to the day pens and the night crates, plus the grazing. the big girls are not fighting as bad, and phoebe came out to be petted the other day, SHE CAME UP TO ME.....so she's feeling better. falstaff is falstaff
house organization: i am actually getting some things done!, i did the mildew on the front door, cleaned the coffeepot, vacuumed the stairs!, i have a ton of other stuff to do but that's a start. i am also trying to reorganize the food shelves, but it's all very slow
so meanwhile i am sitting here all snotted up
i didn't sleep as the bank called while we were out, and didn't tell me it was a telemarketing call....so i was up worried all night, and i also had accidently locked myself out of my online information so i was panic-ed all night
let me get back to the green stuff coming out of my nose
Sunday, July 18, 2010
i am going to miss her
she was so sick while she was here though it's better she's home now
i got a head cold as well, that started with a sore throat thursday and got progressively worse
we also just put the NEW MATTRESS on the bed yesterday
it's awesomely awesome
i love it
i didn't think we'd get a new mattress in my lifetime.
***we got it on qvc when it was a today's special value, and paid a bit less-don't be a hater***
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
smart man that charlie as the vine borer is around but the pumpkins aren't up yet.
(although in this heat maybe they are)
i saw my first adult squash vine borer moth yesterday
so today we wash the squash plants carefully......... and we also replant them today
from now on we plant cucubits after 4th of july and use hot caps if we need them to extend the season.
i am going to reseed the spaghetti squash and the patty pans but i think that the butternut and the climbing zukes will be ok........ i can reseed them too if i have to though
maybe i'll put in a san pasquale zuke too...... or a pumpkin?
i am going to reseed the cuc's just for good measure. i put in boston pickling just in case and i think maybe i will do the other three varieties
the weather here has been brutal, 102 more or less
it's 5am and it's like 78 or 79 degrees out even now
the babies are loving it but i am stewing in my own juices
i worry about bernie at work
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
colleen missed her flight due to a mispellling of her name on her ticket and airport security wouldn't let her in
so she's coming today at 1:15pm
i am hoping that the babies will be ok... at night they sleep (so if she would have come in last night it wouldn't be a problem)
but we'll be leaving at 11 and most likely not get home until around 3 or 4
so that means the babies will be a mess
i think i am going to get bernie to bring the big duck crate up and we'll put them in there
if i can put a coop cup on the door maybe they will have water and access to food?
i am so worried about them while i am gone
we slept in the studio overnight cause i put the new sheets etc on the bedroom bed
i really like sleeping in the studio
too bad the even the 3/4 bed takes up so damn much floor space ( and we have only windows so no wall space for a murphy bed)
it's to be 90 today so getting the birds out especially the chickens may not happen
are we ready NO.
that is due to me being so lethergic and tired all the time........
if the insurance gets straightened out i have to go and get new thyroid meds
and all the blood work i am so behind on (due to the insurance)
ok i have to drink coffee now
everyone have a wonderful 4th
Saturday, July 03, 2010
however someone DID board with her MISPELLED name as delta didn't let them change her ticket as it was shown that she was already in the air
meanwhile i am exhausted
and i want to sleep
she is to come in now tomorrow............in the afternoon.......
Friday, July 02, 2010
one got out standing on my cutting board calling me, bernie found him. two had gotten out earlier that ended up in my harvest basket!
when i go to the little brooder they are in ( a laundry basket) to talk to them they allow me to pick them up and cuddle them a bit... so i do
i have a tendency NOT to handle them too much, i do handle them, but not constantly, enough to keep them tame but hopefully not to spoil them ( never mind about lilli and phoebe)
SPEAKING of lilli and phoebe, they were helping me in the garden. LILLI is having real clingy issues since she was the new babies. she follows me around ,coming for hugs and attention. phoebe is phoebe, she divides her time between being all scared of me, lilli, the universe, and finding delicious HUGE worms
i was out getting beans, weeding, and just enjoying the ducks in the garden.
ok now i have to run, as i haven't had coffee yet......i will try and post as much as i can over the next two weeks