Sunday, December 25, 2022

Holiday 2022

Tis the season, for laughter, love, family, friends and memories.

I've been busy working, and I've been focusing on quick meals these past few months.   As with every holiday season, I try to take time and reflect.   

This year is no different.   I've posted more on Instagram instead of blogged.   I've focused on just getting through the day and looking forward to work free Saturdays, of reading a book just to read, and of course, continuing to write down and save my favorite recipes.

I started a cook book project years ago.    I add notes, print out and a rough outline.   But how do you scale back?   My mind is a maze, and I've at least 6 different books I could do!  Themes, seasons, styles, etc. 

One day I'll whittle them down, choose a direction and lay it all out.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone reading this has a Holiday filled with good food, love, and warm cheer.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

pickles are a pantry item that should never be depleted.

I told myself earlier this year, that this year would be about using up all my pantry goodies.   So I did not pickle any asparagus, didn't plan on making any berry jam or jelly, and then August came.   Hubby asked if I'd help a friend can pickles, so I said sure!   Well, that didn't pan our but as I looked in my pantry I realized that I only had one jar left.   A friend gifted me a quart and the bug was caught!   25 lb special mix box from Schuh Farms, plus some from our garden should last us the year.  
I love pickled spears, they are so tasty and I can a jar all by myself!

Cheers to home canned goodies that taste so much better than anything from a grocery store.

Timers up, last batch is done.
Enjoy the bounty of the season. 

 Next up, apples.

Monday, August 15, 2022

summer 2022

It's almost gumbo party time.  The first tomato is ripening, the leaves are starting to turn,  and the heat is staying into the wee hours of the night.

Mt favorite time of summer, the end of August.   It brings to mind harvest season,  county fairs, crisp mornings, spectacular sunrises, and the fruit in the vine.   Soon I'll be picking apples and grapes, relishing in their sweetness, all the while jotting notes on what grew well in the garden this year.

Not much.

Seriously it's been a strange year.  Too cold and wet, then some seeds didn't germinate well.   Then the heat didn't come and things were stunted.   

But that's life on the farm.   There are no guarantees,  but you must remain hopeful.  If you didn't have hope, you'd be living in a Condo somewhere in the concrete jungle.

Me?  I'm going to savor some fresh picked berries, be thankful that my time loves my greenhouse, and keep watching the corn grow.

Gumbo party is here, we can't wait to share some pictures of our event!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Reading catch up

The new Alex Kava book, Fallen Creed came out and I was super excited.   I purchased it for a nice relaxing weekend, cracked open the first chapter and went, huh??   I realized that I was missing things, so I went to my bookshelf and sure enough I didn't own Desperate Creed.    No wonder the first few pages didn't make sense!  
Now that I now have that copy, it's time to read!

It's getting harder to find time to read.    Between working more hours, chickens, dog, cats, garden, house cleaning,  and the never ending pile of laundry, it's easier to match a show on my tablet on the kitchen than just sit and read.
I crave that silent time to immerse myself into a story, picturing the words as a movie, having them come to life.   I've tried audiobooks.   My undiagnosed adhd comes out and I get distracted and then get frustrated.       
I like my kindle for its portability, and the fact that I can read some ebooks which are not in print format.  But nothing beats the feel of real printed pages.
I can't run my fingers over ebook spines and touch and remember what I read.   
Kindle unlimited only allows you to borrow a specific number of books, so I had to return half the series I've been reading.   The paperwhite is great, and it has an amazing battery life.   Except it's all black and white and it's hard to find the titles I want in black and white when they are designed in color.    I usually find them on my tablet and then send them to the paperwhite kindle.
So now I am settling down with a physical book, reading foe a few spare minutes before work and I feel my anxiety drain away.

There is just something about a book and reading a good story that relaxes me.

I hope you find a good story today.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Book review - All Day Baking

Book review All day baking.

Short answer:  Simply Amazing. 

Here I am on a Sunday, with a new cookbook, browsing, reading and in awe.   It all started with an Instagram story, trying to find an oat flour gallette recipe, which several hashtags later led me to All Day Baking, Savoury, not sweet by Michael and Pippa James.

Amazon purchase, delivered and WOW!  
This is such an amazing project.   The book, the paper (its not paper thin), the words of wisdom, and my new favorite line, "More is learned from mistakes than success".

That really resonates with me.   We all make them, I hope we all learn and are self aware of that fact.   But to call it out in a baking book?  It was like I was right there in a seminar.   I was hooked!

I'm not going to share the recipes, you'll have to buy the book, but if you are interested in learning more about pastry or pasty doughs and baking them, this is for you!    

I can't wait to adapt some of my local grains and flours to these.
Well done!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

It's good to just be in 2022

I took some moments for reflection this morning, much like I do every year for St. Patrick's Day.   Growing up American Irish in a family that loved to celebrate, I try and keep some of those traditions.   Unfortunately I wasn't able tto have kids of my own - but that doesn't mean I've turned into a cranky adult who wants nothing to do with fun, kids, family or laughter.  Far from it!   My immediate family consists of my hubby and I, plus our circus of pets!  The dog, cats, and chickens are enough to make me feel like a stressed out mom at times.  The difference of course is that I can leave this little monsters locked up for the day if I had to be away from the house.    I don't regret my life or my choices. They are what make me who I am today.  I get to be Dog Mom, Cat Mom, and the Crazy Chicken Lady.  Plus I'm Auntie, friend, sister, daugher, wife, cousin.   I hope to be live up to those titles over and over again until I draw my last breath, hopefully in laughter.

Back to today.   I've not yet decorated my house! I feel so far behind due to my work schedule.  I finally took a day off and it feels GREAT!  For the last two years - we've limited interactions, had no major parties, and kept to ourselves.   Was it worth it?  Was the mental anguish, the anxiety, depression and overwhelming feelings worth it?  We survived.  We never contracted C-19, and I still hope we never do.  Forever forward I will connect St. Patrick's day to the shutdown and reopening of our world.  It feels great to be planning adventures this year.  We're hosting our St. Pats feast dinner on Saturday with a few of our closest friends.   We'll revel in the moments that we've shared in the past, and raise a  Toast to one who is no longer with us.  

The Menu this weekend:

Last of the pickled beets
Irish Cheese platter
fSausage Rolls with mustard
Banger bites
Pickled Asparagus
Corned Beef with cabbage and carrots
Steamed cabbage and carrots
Irish cheesy biscuits
Apple and Pear gallette

Planning leftover meals
Irish Paddy Melts  (corned beef on rye with steamed cabbage and irish cheese)
Corned beef hash
Corned Beef Mac and Irish Cheese (it's soooooo good)
Cheesy biscuit breakfast sandwiches

Traditionally this is also the weekend I plant potatoes and get everything ready to go in the garden. With the greenhouse this year I have a head start.  
It's the last weekend of Winter.  We are going to sweep it out of our lives with a celebration of Irish heritage, the coming of the green, and the continutity of family and lots of laughter. 

Spring forth and show your blooms, your smiles, and share in the warmth yet to come.


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Where has 2022 gone?

It's just aboutt March, and I got to thinking abouot the passing of time.  Where has it gone, what has beeen wasted, what has been spent making memories, and what do I want  to focus on in the future.  It's really been almost two YEARS since I've worked in the office.  It feels like I've been hyper-aware off my surroundings and have barely had a chance to relax very much in this time.   We'll just have to reference them as the Covid Years, and in another 20 years we will just all laugh and say you'd have had to be there.

So today I'm doing some planning.  Organizing my kitchen, my thoughts, cleaning out some clutter and planning on a tropical 2023 winter vacation to shake off the winter blues.

No picture, just a quick drop by to make sure the blog stays fresh.  Lots to do!