Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Do I Do This?

I just had to share this article from The Ethicurean: All Work= Delicious Play.

It struck a chord with me because this is exactly how I'm feeling lately.

Coming off of a weekend of non-stop planting, weeding, irrigating, harvesting, and storing, I finally reached one of those exhausting peaks where I asked myself, “Why do I do this?”

And the answer:

I know this food, real food, was nurtured. No pesticides or chemicals applied here. The seeds are organic; the soil replenished last year with a cover crop. The fruits were harvested with care and stored to save the full value of the food. The distance traveled from field to fork is about as far as I can throw an heirloom tomato.

Yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet and Sour


Tart Cherry Jam!

aaaaand...


...my laundry room threw up on my couch.

Can't. Wait.

I just saw this preview. I HAVE TO see this movie. Maybe even in the theater. (Gasp!)









I mean, wow. Nora Ephron? Meryl Streep as Julia Child? YES. Just yes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

To the Tune of Loch Lomond



Oh, you'll pick the high ones...







And I'll pick the low ones...




But I'll have my buk't filled afoooooore yeeee!




But me and my true love
Will be eating cherry piiiiiieeee...




Once we pick out all the bugs from the cheeeeerries!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunshine

See what I found in my kitchen when I got up this morning?




My sweet husband had gone for a walk in the field and picked a bucket-full of wildflowers for me!

Isn't he wonderful?

(Aside: I do have to admit that this is the first time he's gotten me flowers since before we were married... So that was what... seven years ago? But that makes it even more special, right? Rrrrright?)




Not that my floral arrangement (or floral photography) skills are much to speak of, but hey... I have flowers in my kitchen!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Atrophy



All day, I've been thinking about a blog post. It's been rattling around in my head, but I haven't quite been able to formulate anything concrete.

I'm having a lot of trouble posting here lately. A dry period, I guess. It happens from time to time. Drought. Sooner or later, the rains are bound to come again.

But it doesn't make for keeping readers around, now, does it?



This blog is supposed to be bits from my daily life, right? But I really don't lead a very interesting life. It's actually quite... um... zzzzz...

What was I saying?





Oh, yes. Dull. My life is dull. So I really have to exercise some creativity some days. I don't have cattle ranch excitement. Or freakish imagination excitement. Or world-traveling excitement. I just have monotonous country life. Not that I would have it any other way, really. But we pretty much do a lot of the same stuff day in, day out around here. I try to avoid dry reports along the lines of "...and den... and den... aaaaand deeeen... AND DEN! And den and den and den!" (Name that movie)

But my creative muscles are feeling a little atrophied these days. I don't get in touch with my right brain nearly as often as I used to. It's kinda sad... really.




Soooo... where am I going with this? I think maybe... I don't think. Not enough, anyway. I'm busy, doing things all the time. I read a lot, but I don't always take the time to digest what I read. My thinking and creating side is getting a little lazy. Besides that, summer is giving me a bit of a butt-whoopin', so maybe I'm just moving too fast to slow down enough to notice the details that I would normally post here. And to take the time to upload a photo or five...

Maybe I should tell some stories. I'm kinda young and don't really have a lot of stories. Besides, I seem to have hit a flush button somewhere and things don't stay in my head very well. I guess those things are all just filed away for some other time.

What do I want to be on this blog, anyway? Funny, definitely funny-- feble though my funny may be. It's a lofty goal, however. Introspective? Sure... I have lots of introspections. Just not sure I want to pontificate on them here... Also-- too lazy to put them into coherent words. Yeah... Opinionated? My veiwpoints are so radically non-mainstream and un-PC that I'm a little afraid to show them around this very public place. Sometimes. Sometimes, I guess I do.

And then there're times like these where I get so behind and behinder that I'm not sure where to pick up. I just have to write a ramble to get the ball rolling again. Momentum. It's all about momentum.


A little of everything around here I guess. This'n'that. And that includes this post that isn't really a post where I'm not even sure exactly what I just said that I'm going to publish anyway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trying to Keep Up...


I've been trying to write a post here all day.

And yesterday, too.



But I've been busy.

And hot. Very hot.

Actually, it's not the heat so much as it's the sauna that goes with it.

Cuz I can take heat. Dry heat. But this drippyness is getting to be a bit much.



Yes, summer has hit me in all it's sweaty, butt-busting glory.

I get up as soon as I can crack my eyelids in the morning and I fall into bed at night when they start insistently slamming shut. It doesn't seem like very much time goes by in between those parts of the day.

I'm really still catching up from my vacation --weeding and mulching-- as well as doing the usual work for the season-- late planting, picking, canning, herb-collecting, household damage control...

Some days, I admit, I feel almost on the verge of despair because I am only one person and can't seem to complete everything. But then I sit on the front porch for a few minutes to cool off with a glass of iced tea, and I realize that I don't care if everything doesn't get done. It'll all be there tomorrow, and I'm glad for it.




But summer is still my favorite part of the year.

I love the sheer abundance of it.

And the tastyness, too!



There's something indescribable about going out to the garden each evening to pick some supper. About seeing everything grow like crazy. About being so deliciously sun-soaked.

Not so much on the "sweat-soaked" part, but I'll get along alright.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Food

I like to make my sweet husband special food. You know, "the way to a man's heart" and all that. Just keepin' the pathway open... Yeah. Anyway, I've very fortunate to have a man who likes everything I make and is more than happy to eat all my experiments.


So for Father's Day yesterday, I decided to try my good basic white sourdough as a pizza crust. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I just never think ahead enough to get the dough going. But this time, I actually thought to feed the starter on Saturday and then I got up a little earlier Sunday morning and mixed dough so that it could be rising while we were at church. After church, I stretched it onto my pizza stones and let it rise all afternoon.




It was a little thicker than necessary, but I was so pleased with the bubbly dough!

I folded the edges over and brushed on some olive oil with salt and garlic powder for a crispy garlic flavored crust. Like "Hungry Howies" but waaaay better.

Add some homemade sauce...


Plenty of cheese...




Piles of toppings...




And end up with "yum".

Truely.


I really have a fondness for good, pizzeria pizza. It mainly revolves around the crust. It has to be bubbly and chewy and crispy-- artisan style. So I have a goal to be able to make crust like that. I came pretty close with this pizza. I figured out a few things that I need to try to improve, but, well, that just means I need more practice, right? Oh, darn... Practice pizza. How sad. I'll just have to make more...

I love practicing yummy food.

Nathan loves practice food, too.

For desert, I went out to the berry patch and picked a bucketful of fresh strawberries and made them into a pie. I had some trouble with the crust because it was a warm day and I didn't let it chill long enough before rolling it out because I didn't start it early enough because Nathan was taking a nap so I didn't want to run the food processor and I didn't want to do it by hand because I'm lazy.

So there. Lazy pie.

I know how to make a good pie. My mama taught me well. But she didn't quite get the laziness out of me, evidently. At least I know what I did wrong...




It was still pretty darned yummy. Especially with a pile of fresh whipped cream.

It was even better for breakfast. Is it horrible of me to eat strawberry pie for breakfast?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Once Upon a Time...



This is a story about a little Muscovy duck named Ella.





Ella was a very happy little Muscovy duck. She spent all her time with her best friends, Nina, Lena, and Dinah, and their handsome sugar-daddy beau named Elvis. They all got along happily and spent their days finding yummy things to eat in the sunny grass, napping in the shade, and taking baths in the wading pool.




But little Ella had a plan. All she really wanted was to be a Mother Duck. So she found a nice little spot for a nest, and filled it with eggs. She bade farewell to her friends and sat down on her nest to keep it warm and to wait.

She waited.

And waited.

Patiently, she sat on her nest.

Valiantly, she defended her nest from the jealous chickens whose only purpose is to eat and sleep and lay eggs which will never become babies.

Sadly, her nest was frequently disturbed by these mean-spirited chickens. Many times she found a few of her precious eggs had been broken.

Ella was very sad. Thirty-five days is a very long time for a little duck to wait without any reward at the end.

Poor little Ella stayed with her nest, even after all her eggs were gone. She still just wanted to be a Mother Duck.

Next door to her cozy little nest, some young chicks moved in. They cheeped and played in the sunshine. Ella smiled as she watched them play. She noticed that they did not have a mother. The did not have anyone to teach them how to be kind and thoughtful little ducks. She looked at her own empty nest and sighed.

Just then, she felt someone near her!



Why, it was one of the new little chicks!

This little chick seemed very sad without a mother to snuggle with, so Ella decided she would simply have to step in. She would take this little chick in hand and give it a proper upbringing and teach it ducky things so that it would not grow up to be dirty, mean and ill-tempered like the rude chickens that had disturbed her nest. She would supervise the chick at play and make sure that the chick had plenty to eat and learned how to take a bath in the wading pool. She determined to give this little one a proper upbringing.

Little Ella had to adjust her goals when she learned that this chick was no longer a baby, but rather an adolescent who liked to wander and had ideas of her own, but no matter. The child still needed a mother.




Each night as little Ella snuggles her chick under her wing to sleep, she sighs with gratitude and joy. She has finally realized her dream of becoming a mother, and she and her adopted baby have set out to find their "happily ever after...".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby Safe

This is so horrible.

But I just had to laugh.

But it's horrible.

You're been warned.

In Spanish

Jonah just loves Muzzy. He would watch it all day if I let him. What amazes me is how well he understands it. I expected some confusion at not being able to understand the Spanish, but he didn't even miss a beat. He knows the whole story, and talks about the characters and what they do. (When Nathan dug worms for our fishing trip, he named all the worms after Muzzy characters. He got really upset with I pinched El Rey in half to put him on a hook...) And he will randomly use Spanish words that he's picked up.

So, comprehension? Check.

Pronunciation, however? Well... let's just say that Rome wasn't built in a day.


video

Madd Photog Skillz



I just wanted to take some pictures of my little boy.

Cuz he's sooo cute.

I could just eat him.




But he's also wiggly.




And goofy.




Stand still? How's that?




Smile, you say?




It's all about the blur, folks.




Even when I pin him down.





...or knock him down.



And what the hey is up...



...with your pants, kid?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So Lovely, I Can't Not Share

In going through the very large stack of mail that was waiting for me when I got home from my trip "out west", I found a very pleasant surprise. (A dear friend of mine would call it "happy mail!")






Heather in MT, one of the winners in my syrup giveaway, sent a very lovely little note (by actual mail! You know, envelopes, stamps, etc...) on which she hand-painted this lovely little scene.

I immediately recognized it as coming from one of my photographs in a post about cleaning up the yard.





I like the painting far more than the photo.





Watercolor is my greatest love in painting. I love the simple freshness of it and the lovely things the paint does with water. (Sigh... this is making me want to get out my paints again... I have no excuse.)

And this little brush sketch with ink in just the right places is simply adorable!




I absolutely love it, so I just had to share it here!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fishing 101



When fishing...



...bait your hook well...






...and be patient.




Very patient.


When (and if) you get a nibble...



Reel it slowly...

...caaaaaarefullllly...




And then remove the hook.




And throw it back because it's too small.




Lather, rinse, repeat.



And throw it back because it's too small.

Throw that one back, too.

And that one.




Hold it up for a picture...



But throw it back.

Because it's. too. small.





Did you hear me?

I said it's too small. Throw it back.







And make sure to have a backup plan.