Sunday, October 31, 2010

Journal - In-laws for dinner - cleaned up new bed - giant praying mantises

Journal for Friday, 10/29/10

We definitely got a killing freeze. I haven't toured yet to see what got wiped out. I do know most of the things I was wanting didn't get to the mature seed stage.

The sun is shining and it is a perfectly glorious fall day; just cold.

Have a whole frozen chick in boiling now. I will be making a chicken pot pie for dinner. I do it the easy way with just adding the veggies and topping with biscuits.

I am using the last of my pie crust from the freezer to make an apricot cobbler. I think it may be my favorite. This was the first really nice crop we have ever had from our tree.

I will be making the recipe of crust again to freeze. DH is wanting fried pies and I think this crust would work OK for that. I may just fry a couple and bake the rest like tarts or turnovers.

I am currently heating the oven for the pie and taking advantage of that to re-season my cast iron skillet. I am using grapeseed oil this time as suggested on another forum.

I may have the in-laws out if I can get the chicken done soon will be an impromptu meal and invite.
Chicken pot pie with a side of chunky homemade applesauce
Apricot Cobbler

Well, I did have them out. They had a doctor's appointment, but we just delayed the meal for a short while.

I tested the baked pie tart with Nathan's crust and used my plum jam as a filling. It worked beautifully. I made DH share it with me.

I thought the chicken pie was a little dry; normally I don't thicken my broth and won't the next time either!

Saturday, 10/30/10

Put the halter on the ornery calf...Milked

Then I spent a good two hours sawing down the very tall weeds in the 'new bed' outside the kitchen and patio area. Now all that is left is close raking and cleaning which I probably won't even do. I think I have a before picture from a day or two ago when showing the hoop house. It is the bed in the foreground.

This is one bed I plan on reducing greatly by mowing out the center part next season. I will leave the narrow, rock edged border because it has mums, peonies and iris in it and a couple of roses and a buddleia.

That is a seedling peach tree that I plan to top in December when the tree is fully dormant and see what happens. I dumped my peelings and pits a few years ago and decided to let this one grow on.

I saw two of these giant mantises and had to take a picture. They are the largest ones I have ever seen, 4-5 inches long and in fall camouflage. I saw lots of egg cases on the weeds I cut down, but there are lots of others on other plants so I should be set for hatch next spring.
From insects


  1. The menu sounds delicious, especially that apricot cobbler..definately my favorite too! Mom used to make apricot fried pies when I was a kid. They would be a dangerous thing for me to have around as I couldn't control myself! When we lived in NC I came across a recipe for a chicken pot pie that was made without thickening the broth too, just chicken and veges in a rich crust. Kingswood church made them for fundraisers and they printed the recipe in the paper. It was so good, I'll have to find that recipe and make it this week. Thanks for jogging my mind into working gear!

  2. Dinner sounds delish, and so do the pies, I'm like Joycee, a dangerous thing to have around, I would eat it myself, only, I have a very upset tummy today, and I don't think that it would sit very good.
    You grow big mantis, I have a lot of mantis, but yours are pretty big, I did not have the mantis I usually have because of the late cold and wet weather we had this spring, but I am hoping for more next year.
    Enjoy your Sunday,

  3. Lucky you on the mantis! I found a grasshopper out in my garden that was about that big. Not so good.

    I had planted some beans that I only had a few seed for, hoping to grow extra seed for next spring. A couple of them went to seed fairly quickly but one didn't. I was really afraid I wasn't going to get seed from the Lazy Housewives, but they finally made seed, after hanging on the vine for weeks. That's a good thing for green beans because you know you can grow them to pretty good size and they will still be tender and meaty. But if you want to produce seed it can be a problem.

    Gardening is always such a crap-shoot. Heh.

    Hugs, Ilene