Thursday, December 27, 2012
Hello I know it's been a while. I was able to get out this afternoon and take some pictures of the Goldies in their new pen! They've been in for a few weeks and today they came out of their coop for a little fresh air. We have Mom and Dad's remaining two goldies so we are back up to four. Two of our Goldies succumbed to a mysterious illness this fall. So here is a picture taken from the side of the garage to the back forty. You can see the trail made down by me and Andrew walking back and forth to the pen.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 7:01 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Hi, this is just a quick post and no pictures (sorry) after a long and busy and fun Thanksgiving weekend. We had some family in from out of town and we got good eating, good shopping and just good company in. The weather drop is a sharp reminder that winter does eventually come though isn't it? I am raising the chickens coop door up and night to keep the cold air out and their feathers are starting to come in. I'm having to keep on chicken water-er in the garage or house over night to carry out in the morning to keep them in fresh water. The chicken pen is going along at a good clip. We have the roof pieced up, the entire pen about 3/4 chicken wired, and the door framed out. The hens are snug enough in their tractor and I'm feeding them treats like leftover rolls to keep their spirits up. Below is a recipe that is a classic holiday side around the house. For the past several years I haven't been able to have it, but with Lactaid cottage cheese and cabot aged cheddar, I can have it once again. This is screamingly simple and super delicious! Preheat oven to 350 degrees Chop up on head of cauliflower into it's florets and boil until it is fork tender. Mix: one egg (preferably free range and delicious) 3/4 cup cottage cheese 1 tablespoon of flour 8 0z of shredded cheese Drain the cauliflower and mix into your cheesy mixture. Mix until it's coated, and all kinda melted together then spread in a 9x9 glass pan and bake for 20 minutes. Yes, this is a "would you like some vegetable with your cheese?" Kind of dish and it is yummy! Disclaimer: I did not make this recipe up. I got it from my Mom, who has had this recipe for like forever. I'm sure she got it from somewhere, I don't know where. I am not claiming to have any credit for this recipe. If I knew the culinary angel who came up with this I would credit them. Give it a try and leave a comment if you do. It's just as good reheated. I'll try to post some planned projects soon. thanks for checking in! PS I wish I knew how to put spaces between all these paragraphs and lists of ingredients. Sorry if it is hard to read. If anyone knows how to but spaces between paragraphs in, please let me know. thanks
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 3:04 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012
I'm toying with the idea of cutting off a ton of dill that's cropped up in the herb garden the past couple weeks and trying a cheddar dill bread recipe. A lot will hinge on time, but it hasn't been that hurt by the frost so I am tempted to give it a shot. On Sunday the 18th the late blooming monster of a mum was a bee magnet, and well, you know how much I like taking pictures of bees.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 5:29 PM
Well, with my three potted rosemary's still lingering between life and death in the guest room, I bite the bullet a couple Sundays ago and cut off all the rest of the plants in the garden. I do still have rosemary in one tub I am going to try to over winter using a cloche and some hoop greenhouse plastic so we will see. According to the Reader's Digest Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs, Rosmarius officinalis is the wild herb most commonly found on sea cliff around the Mediterranean. There are both blue flowered and pink flowered varieties and Rosemary if kept in an appropriate place to over winter can be cut in topiary like shapes and in warmer climates, grows tall enough to use for hedging. Maybe you will notice the recently popular rosemary trees sold at grocery stores this time of year. As I write this blog I find out that two of my rosemary plants have root rot as they are browning at the tips of the leaves. My gardening friend M was right, I am over watering them (sigh) okay, no more water and we'll see if they survive. Fussy things. Maybe next year Andrew will make me a nice cute mini green house with salvaged windows and I can try to overwinter them in the garden. Rosemary is also known as "Mary's Mantle" It is said that when Mary and Joseph were fleeing from Herod's men, she draped her blue cloak over a rosemary bush to try, and the blooms, previously white, were blue when she picked her cloak up. Rosemary has also been posted on doors to prevent faeries from kidnapping infants. Rosemary has a number of culinary uses but also medicinal. It's good for stimulating the nerves (rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance) and can clear one's head and help focus after inhaling it's resinous scent because rosemary increases blood flow to the head. Rosemary is also good for circulation , fatigue and sore muscles, which is why I rely on Elder Forest's rosemary salve for the aches and pains of gardening...or too much yoga with weights and Rosemary salve is especially good for cold nights as it has a warming effect and I've found that it helps me sleep. According to RDigest, rosemary leaves and juniper berries were burned in French hospitals to kill germs. It may have also helped medical staff on less sleep perk up a bit...but that's just a guess of mine.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 5:08 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2012
It was warm enough today to hang the sheets on the line, but I didn't get into that. We had some kids swing by Saturday night and bash our mailbox in, along with a couple dozen others in the neighborhood, but other than that it was a pleasant Sunday. So what did I do, well, a few things. I finished painting the chicken pen, as it is framed up now. Andrew still has some framing to do, then some special features that will make this pen a cut above the rest, and of course there is still the chicken wire to put up but here is where we are at now.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 5:23 PM
Time, time, time. Yeah, everyone asks me that all the time. There are a lot of factors. 1) longer days mean more daylight = more energy and feeling like I have time. I think I'm pretty much solar powered. I can already feel myself slowing down, watching a little more tv, and delegating things to do over a couple/three days. It's good, we all need to rest, but don't worry I'll still post my baking experiments, news on the chicken front, and of course maybe some photos from the archives this winter. 2) I don't watch a lot of tv. I think I've watched more tv (the presidential debates) in the last three weeks than I have since April. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and I listen to NPR and music of course, but with the exception of the Amazing Race on Sunday nights and watching dvds when I am sick, that's pretty much it. 3) I do what I am in the mood for. Honest to God, I think I've only made one batch of basic chocolate chip cookies in the last month. When I get in a mood to do something, I do a lot of it, until something else comes around. It makes for some variety. Speaking of cookies, I just got the best cookie book ever at the library so stay tuned. 4) Andrew does a lot of stuff too. All of the canning this summer was done by Andrew, I just post it. A big home project by Andrew is coming soon...it may have to do with the chickens. 5) This is the biggie. We don't have kids. No games to go to, to parent's nights to schlep in at 7 p.m. no dinner for three or four to cook and way less to do in the way of, well everything when you have little folks in the house. It also means peace and quiet to putter about and a flexible schedule. 6) Even though I have a pretty flexible routine at home, it is still a routine so when I come home from work, my night is set up basically by three factors: the weather and my blood sugar and is Andrew home and what is he doing? Do I need to eat dinner now or can it wait an hour or two hours? Do I still need to take care of chickens for the day? Does the weather dictate I stay inside or would I be a fool not to be outside when it's so beautiful out? I mean, if it's 98 degrees outside, why not stay inside and make a lemon bundt cake right? Sometimes when Andrew is home he has a delicious food network recipe'd dinner waiting for me, sometimes he's chin deep in his own projects. It just depends. And you know, there's things I want to do that I haven't gotten to. I have two refinishing projects in the garage that will have to wait till spring. I still haven't tried out my jam maker I got for my birthday and that's high on my list. But that's okay, having things like that don't overwhelm me, they give me something to look forward too. That's the upside of being hyper, I am rarely ever bored!
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 5:21 PM
Okay Wendy, thanks for writing in. I'm pretty sure you mean, "what's your favorite herb other than lavender? And I would say...rosemary of course. I love the smell, I love the shape, I love how potentially you can topiary a little rosemary plant into a tree. I love rosemary in shampoo and soap products. Rosemary is especially great for sore muscles and I always keep some rosemary salt scrub in the fridge. I love all the little rosemary plants M gave me this year for the garden. And I am trying, with very mixed results, to keep some of them over the winter. It seems like I'm always over watering one and under watering the other at best.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 4:34 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Hi, while I gather some more material (lots going on, just need a chance to get it together) I thought if any of you out there had some questions, about chickens, foxes, lavender, herbs, gardening, or country life in general, please drop me line through the comments. If I don't know the answer, I'll make something up, you won't know the difference anyway right? More news next week, Jules PS Someone delivered egg cartons to my place at work. Whoever it was, thanks, they are great!
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 8:49 AM
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Rule Number 1 Do not wear a pink tutu over your jeans. You are not whimsical. You just look crazy. Rule Number 2 Do not wear thigh high, thousand dollar english leather riding boots. You are not in England, you are not riding, you are not Martha Stewart, and you at the County Living Fair...in Ohio. Rule Number 3 If you are over 40 and you break either rule number 1 or rule number two, you should be banned from the country living fair. Rule Number 3 Do not haggle at the Country Living Fair on Friday morning. If it is 3 o clock on Sunday, haggle away, the vendor does not want to lug unsold item back home. But on Friday morning? Look, these vendors come from all over the country, they have highly reputable stores and galleries. They have paid a hefty, hefty fee to get in, and there are people from all over the country here to buy, buy buy. You want to haggle, do it at your local antique shop/auction. Okay, now, on with the fun report with pictures! So this year Andrew was off and he went to the Country Living Fair with me and my friend M. Andrew loves crowds and is continually baffled by how at this one event crowds and the heat do not bother me. He sees a hardiness in me that cannot be replicated at the state fair, the columbus arts festival, the yellow springs street fair. So what's the difference? A purpose! It's not just that I'm shopping, it's that I'm shopping for my favorite kinds of things. AND I know where all the vendors are that I like AND I know what I am looking for and it's all very targeted. The weather was breezy and cool this year, and I think it was more crowded than I have ever seen it. My big find was a couple very reasonable priced galvanized tubs. Remember the spring project where I spray painted tubs for herbs (see May, Spring Project Number One in the sidebar?) Well I found a square one (don't know if I will paint it as square ones are kinda rare) and a nice big round one that I can plant more herbs in next year. I also bought something else along those lines, but you will have to wait to see it when it's in action for this idea I have. Anyway... Andrew made two notable finds...carboys for his wine making.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 6:26 PM
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Two weeks ago we were in Brown County Indiana. The weather was fine and the food was good and the bed and breakfast we stayed at, Oak Haven was a delight. I was able to do yoga on the back deck under the stars, breakfast was good and our room was comfortable. With Bloomington only 16 miles a way, we had a good mix of things to do. So what's so special about Brown County? It is just a nice mix of beautiful scenery, art galleries and antiques, good independent restaurants and misc activity. We went to four wineries, including Oliver, and you might recognize that from the grocery store. Their best wines though were from their independent label. Their tasting room was bright, airy, lots of woodwork and wonderfully landscaped. Below are some pictures of their chambourcin grapes, right before picking. We were allowed to stop, take pictures and sample a few.
Posted by Julie & Andrew at 7:27 PM