Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hawks, hummingbirds, hazelnuts and a herb harvest...

This beautiful hawk has been around here for a very long time.  She was looking for chipmunks this week and spent a lot of time by the house.  I was lucky enough to get some good photos of her.  I don't mind that she is here.  I am sure she will get a bird or two from my feeder, but that is nature.
    I am very pleased with this photo of my hummingbird.  Both the hummingbird and the hawk have been super noisy.  The hawk spent all day in the tree screeching and the hummingbird spends its days in that tree chastising everything in the neighborhood.  
 The squirrels are going nuts over the wild hazelnuts.  It has been fun watching them go back and forth from the nuts to their nest.  It is obvious they think winter is coming, based on their activity.
 On the garden front I dug up the garlic and onions.  I also clipped my basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.  My garlic harvest was abysmal.   They never became big bulbs.  Instead I had a bunch of little individual cloves.  It took forever to clean them up.  My hands smell of garlic.  

 I have been dying to try this idea I've seen on pinterest for preserving herbs.  First, I chopped up my basil and oregano.  Then in an ice cube tray I put two cloves of garlic and added a teaspoon of basil, and oregano.  Finally, I poured olive oil over the top and put the tray in the freezer.  When I brown my burger or chicken, I will pop one of these little powerballs into the pan and hope for a burst of flavor.  I'll keep you updated on this project.

  I hope everyone is enjoying the wildlife around them.  Has anyone tried the olive oil and herb cubes?  I was not happy with the garlic I planted.  Does anyone have a recommendation?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Pumpkin Problem Solved...

 Every year I try to grow a giant pumpkin.  This year I started them in a greenhouse.  Inevitably, one ended up on the roof.  It started to bow in the plastic, so we had to come up with a plan. 
Haley was my able bodied assistant and we devised the perfect pumpkin holder.  She is the taller of the two helpers.  The pumpkin problem is prevented.  Now we will see if I can get it to 100 pounds. I cut all of the extra vines and have been feeding it regularly.
 I have been busy in the kitchen.  I canned mixed vegetables, raspberry jelly, and dandelion wine.  I think I made the wine correctly, as it tastes as good as my first endeavor.  I took better notes.  I was not happy today as we drove out to the prairie property and I found the hail destroyed any hopes of buffalo berries or chokecherries.   
 I have been happily been hosting two hummingbirds this year.  There was also a surprise visit from the evening grossbeak.  I don't have very good photos, as my camera's photo card is full.  I will get another tomorrow.  

What have you been canning?  Any jam or vegetables.  I'm looking at canning banana peppers.  Does anyone have a good recipe?  What do you feed your pumpkins?  Hope everyone is enjoying their harvest.