Friday, May 27, 2016

Dinner is Ready and other Daily Doings.

At last a decent nights sleep in my bed!  Who knows why but I do appreciate  it when it rarely happens.

We have 2 inches of rain so far and more on the way.

We dashed out yesterday morning and mowed the yard (again) before the rains came. Max mowed the east side and out back with his larger (refurbished) mower and I did the house yard with my favorite Gravely (that needs refurbishing).

I am showing this unattractive view so you can see the mole damage we are dealing with (may they all drown in their nests). I guess I will buy grass seed once again and cross my fingers.

Part of my Daily Doings is my Yard Walk About, daily unless it is storming.

This is looking southwest.  Note porch screen is in hot sun/rainy day position.

I realized after getting cushions wet and suffering the 90° sun that I could just lower the blind.  Worked very well.

Just one more picture or two and I will save the rest for another time (poppies in particular).

My gardening is all about hardy self-seeders and here is one I love for color and contrast:

Lychnis coronaria or rose campion.  This is in the humming bird bed.

Cooking or Food (don't remember which I called it last)

Dinner is ready.  MIL is back in hospital so we never know our schedules and I like Max to have a good lunch before he has to go to town.  I go sometimes; sometimes I don't.

 The chicken livers are for me.  I don't think he has ever so much as touched one.  You can see I am old school; no pink livers for me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Story Behind a Rose and other Everyday things

We just got a very nice rain and I don't think it is finished.

I knew it was coming so about 6:30 AM I dashed out and planted some zinnias, cosmos and some very old cleome seeds. I had prepped the beds yesterday so I was ready to go.  I even finished in time for my daughter's morning call.  She calls most mornings on the way to work and  I don't feel like my day goes forward as well as days she doesn't call.

I also got two kinds of pole beans planted yesterday and the lettuce bed cleaned out.

The above is a close up of an heirloom lettuce that is a first for me, Grandpa Admire.  I love it and will be planting it again.  The first red is Beaulah Rose and the other just called red romaine.  Love them both.

A Rose Story

We moved to the country way back in 1976.  That first year or so my paternal grandmother gave me a cutting of a rose.  She didn't know the name, just knew it was a good one.  It was.  It grew to about 5 feet tall with a gorgeous double, very fragrant bloom. I kept it for a very long time and researched it and decided  it was the rose Aloha.  I am very confident in that identity.

I took cuttings.....moved a couple to the new farm back in 1992.  It grew well and bloomed  for me for many years....I took cuttings and gave to my Iowa Sis.  Then disaster hit  the rose.  Rose Rosette Disease.    Thankfully my Sis took some cuttings for me and two years ago I planted them in the garden fence border.  This is year it has really taken off.  I will be taking cuttings again just to be on the safe side.  So I have  had this rose in its many lives since 1976.....

Since I took this photo, the cutting on the left (I have two) has shot up about 36 inches.  I am a happy gardener.  I wish you could smell it.


I made bread yesterday and Max made a strange request.  He wanted it all in bun shapes.  I thought what the heck!  So I made it up in various  thickness and sizes.  So far  so good.  We eat one half toasted for breakfast and it is slightly smaller than a regular slice of bread so that is a good thing.

I made a quick and easy lunch using them.  Barbecued wieners on a bun: ( I suspect that is a redneck lunch!)

What else is new?  I know, I bought a long-handled scrubber for the shower and tubs.  It is almost impossible  for me to get down on my knees now and this works well.  No more excuses for not keeping pristine bathing facilities!

Finished on morning of 5/25.  Happy to report 1.75  inches of a nice steady rain,  no storms at all.  Now, please, it can stop!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Another Rainy Day

Another good night.  I cheated and took a Tylenol PM.

 It is another cool and drizzly day here.  So much so that our worker didn't show.  I think he was going to do some bush-hogging....too wet for that.  The other was going to replace the carburetor on the old truck that he is taking off our hands so that will be delayed.

I have done a bit of housekeeping and have a chicken thawing for chicken pot pie  for lunch....may use pie crust this time instead of  my usual biscuit topping.

I still haven't planted my warm weather garden....mainly because we haven't had much warm weather and then the 3-inch rain made the garden too wet.

Max took several (77) pictures of the farm recently.  I always love seeing them since I don't tour the farm much these days.
The camera was malfunctioning part of the time due, no doubt, to my dropping it.  I have told him to turn it off and on a few times to get the lens fully extended.  Its life may be limited. He developing a good eye for shots I think.  I will show a few.

Farm Pictures by Max

If you click on the picture, you can see an enlarged version (I hope)

I added that last ugly thing just for fun!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Another Step toward getting the yard in Shape

Good morning!  Yesterday was a very good day for me.  I was worried those days might be gone....

I mowed around the house proper.  and then used the new trimmer for  about an hour.  I got that front part of the yard mostly trimmed (still need to do the corner of the drive).  The blasted cheat grass had already laid over and was mostly dead...the dust from that really bothered me but I persisted.

Trimming makes all the difference  in the finished product!  I  created a little extra work for myself while trimming under the  birch tree.  I hit a buried plastic bag that I couldn't see in the grass and blew tiny bits all across the front yard!  I will have to find my homemade handle with a nail in it.  I would pass out  from all the bending to get the bits  up.

Lunch was a quick one.  I did a stir-fry of peppers, onions and that new sausage that has no preservatives in it.  This time I used the beef one.  I added cooked macaroni and a small can of tomato sauce, tossed in some spices I like and lunch was reading in about 30 minutes.  We had reheated cornbread and a glass of milk with it.  Dessert was a new recipe of oatmeal cookies.  I like  it.  It is from Ina Garten on Food network.  I believe she also has a gluten free version.


1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins
Add Checked Items To Grocery ListDirections
Watch how to make this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool. Chop very coarsely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins, and pecans and mix just until combined.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved

Read more at:

I just baked about half the recipe and made out the rest even down to flattening them.  Flash froze on parchment paper and then bagged. I bake at normal temperature without thawing just adjusting the time until they are as brown as you like.

I like cookies from the frozen dough better than frozen baked cookies.  They seem fresher to me.

Today will be hamburgers (our new beef), home-made 40 minute buns (made Friday when our son came down) and home fries.  May have a cookie left but I doubt it.

I plan to do Mama Pea's tomato soup tomorrow if I have all the ingredients on hand.

Random Pictures

This is an heirloom rose (the name escapes me once again).  It looked very bad at the beginning of the season so I don't know if it is the rain or a insect that caused the buds to not open properly on lots of blooms.  It is very fragrant.  I have fed and used a systemic granule hoping to get it to bounce back.

This is what heavy rain does to double flowered peonies.  Bless them.  I think I got two days enjoyment before it rained this year.

It did bloom at the same time as the flag iris.

I sent Max out with his camera and he took  a few shots for me....not exactly what I was after.  I think he took it again this morning.  I enjoy them since these are scenes I rarely see these days.

We have two ponds one on either side of a fence we call the twin ponds.  The one is in the above photo with the cow and calf.

The one in the background has an overflow pipe and drains into what is normally a dry creek bed.  Bet there is water in it today.  Maybe I will get to see it.......

This is one of the hay fields after the will come back upright  once we get more sunshine and, hopefully, some
warmer weather.

FYI:  I don't do much Facebook  but my Sis talked (browbeat) me into joining a 7-day nature picture  thing.  I am just doing a photo, not nominating a person each day to join.  I do enjoy sharing the photos.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Rainy Day in the Ozarks

Finally a forecast came true.  It was raining lightly when I got up at 3:30 AM and has steadily increased until I can see it coming off the porch roof.  I  have barely stuck my head out...except for a  dash to the  meat freezer in the garage to get meat for lunch.

We had smothered round steak with mashed potatoes, steamed  broccoli and peach cobbler for dessert. I flour and brown the steak pieces in butter and olive  oil until they are nicely browned on both sides and then spread a can of cream of mushroom soup and cover and  cook slowly for an hour.  Very tasty.

I thawed two packages of peaches in the maslin pan.  I took out enough for a small cobbler with a frozen pie crust just over the top.  The leftover peaches were to be  cooked down into preserves.............I set right in the kitchen and let  them burn.....should have put that pan on the simmer burner and didn't.  I won't make that mistake again.  What a waste.  Shame on me and I wasn't even on the computer which is how I usually burn things.

I found another large bag of frozen  cheese peppers in the outside (garage) freezer which made me happy.  I just had a couple of tiny ones left in the kitchen freezer.

Our son came down this weekend and got his share of meat so that helped some with the space issue.  He couldn't take it  all because his freezer was too full to handle it.  He may have inherited my hoarding  instincts.

The  neighbor came  down to get his share of a small  fencing project we shared.....I hope that is the last.  Max says it is!  He always stays and has coffee and visits so that took care of a couple of afternoon hours.

The day is over for cooking evening meals....we each just get something on our own.  I figure two meals a day is enough cooking.

I will use some of the leftover steak for gravy to go with biscuits in the morning, a favorite of ours.

Note:  I give credit to a guest photographer for the new header picture.  It struck my fancy and I used it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Another Normal Day on the Farm

Up at 4:30 AM this morning.  DH had  coffee made so I enjoyed my morning coffee while reading.  We both need some time to 'wake up' before chatting or me cooking breakfast. 

This was a biscuit morning; not really diet food but we do limit  ourselves and that with our good country eggs is one of our favorite breakfasts.

We got a little shower so grass is very wet and I am taking a day off from outside work.  We have some cooler weather ahead and I will take advantage of that.

I did buy a new Stihl trimmer and it truly is EZ start!  We left the other in the shop.  That seems to be what works best for us.
Have two of all tools because one is invariably in the shop.

Lunch is thawing.  I am making stir fried chicken with peppers, onions and carrots served over rice cooked with turmeric and a light sauce.  I have been making Caesar salad using our garden lettuce but may skip that today.  I like the simplicity of  the salad and I do not use raw egg!  I use a recipe for the dressing our of Joy of Cooking but modify it to taste.  It is just
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, l tablespoon of lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,  salt and pepper, crushed or diced garlic, whisk all.  It is just enough for our two salads.  I also have croutons.  I want to try the ones in Joy of Cooking next.  They add ground hot pepper to the croutons before toasting. 

Yesterday was a busy day for Max.  He shipped some heavier calves and then drove in to the sale barn  to pick up the check (always a fun thing to do!)  Then our neighbor borrowed our trailer to take his calves in and Max got involved in that and went down to help him load them.....we told  him that we just have someone haul for us.  It is easier for us in the long run....and that is important these days.  He was pretty tired by the end of the day.
He is getting a haircut today so at least he will be sitting and gossiping!  It is a small country barber shop.  Need I say more.....

Sis called.  She is making bread and I explained  my new technique to her.  I hope she will  follow it....not my recipe but that doesn't matter. She doesn't bake bread regularly as I do.  Max refuses to eat 'store' bread these days.  Bless him; each time  I bake bread, we slice one immediately to test it....and he always says it is the best I have ever made....keeps me baking.

My other secret is I always use King Arthur Flour because of the protein content which is much higher than listed on the bread sack.  I called them and asked whether they used glyphosphate to quickly make the wheat go to seed and make more seed and they vowed none of their growers used that method and told me about the protein content.  If I bought a food mill, I would be happy with using wheat berries but I have no space left for another large appliance. 

We kid about needing a house that is more wheelchair friendly.....if it does come  to that, I will make allowance for my favorite things in the kitchen and also have a dedicated baking center. 

One Random Flower Picture

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Daily Doings and a Bread Tip

Just a quick post before running some errands....Max's meds, a very short WM run and maybe the local hardware to look at trimmers.

As usual my latest help for yard work failed.....young man, poor as a  church mouse, has a part-time job and was going to do
some work for an old truck we let him have.....not going well.  We don't care about the truck but I did have hopes...............

I am slowly plowing along.  I have planted peppers, egg plants and a few tomatoes.  I also did some sweet corn.  I watered the strawberry row which covers the potato row too.  I never trust forecasts and do my needed watering.  We got a brief, and I do mean brief, shower in the early morning hours.  It might be enough to sprout the corn but I will be watering more heavily this afternoon after errands.

I chopped some of that blasted cheat grass, it has very shallow but very hairy roots and it takes a lot of chopping to get it loose.  Then I can pick up a large clump at one time.  I am slowly trying to get it out of the peonies and other perennials.

I have begun the mulching process and know already I am going to love it!

Several days ago I planted sugar snap peas and turnips.  I have never tried spring turnips before.
I got a nice little short row of turnips but the sugar snap peas failed completely.  I sat down yesterday afternoon and went through seed and tossed most of them.

I have a lot of saved flower seeds that I plan to just broadcast somewhere.  No loss if they all fail.

Peonies are now blooming, still some late ones to come.  One bush that was all white is now half and half pale pink and white!

This doesn't show the distinction of two colors quite so much.

This really shows:


We got the processed beef picked up and in the freezer.  It was a  tight squeeze but the kids will get most of it and will be down soon to get it. 

Tip:  As most of you know I bake bread and love to do it.  I have found a method that has never failed to produce and fine textured, soft loaf (which is what my DH wants).  It takes longer but is worth it.

This works whether you are making white bread, whole wheat, or oatmeal with added grains (I like using steel cut oats).

First:  Mix all and let autolyse (set in bowl) for 30 minutes at least.  Then begin kneading (I use a large Kitchen Aid mixer).  You may or may not need more flour.....when dough  begins to leave side of bowl, you are done.

Step 2.  Cover (I used a large plastic pail with a lid) and let raise l hour.  Punch down by pulling the sides up and to the middle deflating the rise. Cover again.

Step 3.  Let rise again until fully doubled.  This won't take as long, maybe 45 minuted.

Proceed as usual.

If you try this let me know how it works for you.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Blackberry Winter and Rhubarb Pie

We are in the middle of Blackberry Winter.  This is what the old timers call a cold snap during black berry bloom and they are fully bloomed out and it is overcast and 50°.

My morning yard tour was in the sunshine which has since disappeared.

From 5/2/16

I still find a few close enough that I can thin to about 6 inches apart.

Nepeta with iris.  There is a touch of blue on the iris....
From 5/2/16

The next is a close up of bloom on nigella damascena/Love in a Mist.  This annual self-seeds heavily in the foundation beds.  I leave all of them.  They seem to be taller this year.

This is another remaining rose that hasn't grown as it should.  I think it is a Hybrid Musk  'Felicia' and is very fragrant.  I am going to try to really take care of the few remaining roses that I have and see if I can get them to their maximum.
and another rose, in the old cistern surrounded by chive blossoms.  It is a polyantha rose from Chamblee's Roses in Texas and may be Marie Pavie or Daly.


I saw this recipe other other day and wanted to try it.  I always make my rhubarb pie the way Mom did...that means no eggs and all white  sugar.  The pie turned out great and was delicious.  I have made several of her recipes and she takes beautiful pictures of the food.  Thibault's Table. 
At first I thought mine  was as tasty but then the second day, I appreciated it more and liked the way there was no runny filling causing the bottom crust to get soft.  I might just make it  again.....if I can ever get rhubarb to grow here!  This was from my Sis's patch.

Max is even enjoying it.....maybe he is just desperate since I am not baking nearly as much these days.