Friday, August 31, 2012

A few photos...

This beautiful lady has nested around our cabin for the last 5 or 6 years.   It has been a pleasure watching her raise her little ones.  I don't mind losing the occasional bird.  She really keeps my chipmunk population in check. 
 I have gone from one chipmunk to quite a few.  Ella tries to keep them at bay, but they manage to keep out of her reach.  They are fun to watch.
The birds have really enjoyed the feeders this summer.  I have enjoyed watching a mother nuthatch with her 3 little ones this year.  They are one of my favorite birds. 
The fawns are bolder now and we have the joy of watching them in the backyard every evening.   This is why we built a cabin in the woods.  It is much easier to relax after a stressful day at work, when you have images like this to come home to.  
This is the last photo of my hummingbird.  I hope she started on her journey home and has not met her demise. 

Just a few August photos.  I hope you enjoy.  I am not good at nighttime pictures, but I think I will meander outside and try to get a few shots of the blue moon in honor of Neil Armstrong. 
"I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It's by the nature of his deep inner soul... we're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream. Neil Armstrong

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Something old is new again with pallets...

I've had pallets on the mind for quite some time.  First, I saw Alicia at Happily Married to the Cows use them for a compost bin ( 

Then The Unusual Farm Chick had two tempting posts...

Inspired by my blogging friends in the heat of summer, I wander behind the garage and start digging pallets out of the grass and logs.   My goal was to make a compost pile that Ella couldn't raid.  Voila, with a little help from my husband that is accomplished.  I put hog wire in front. To keep my little hog, I mean dog, out. 

I still have one solid pallet left.  I'm looking at the Farm Chick's blog for ideas.  Stay tuned for future pallet productions.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I haven't done a food post forever.  Mainly because it has been too dang hot to be in the kitchen.  Some where this week I was struck by inspiration and a comedy of errors that put 3 bottles of ranch dressing in my refrigerator.  Kelly and I decided to make something different and that was buffalo chicken pizza.  This something completely out of the ordinary for us.  We started with my Mom's Pizza crust.  This recipe can be found at my Very Venison part two post...

After making the crust and baking it until browned, spread ranch dressing like you would pizza sauce.

Next add a little Franks Hot Sauce, or any hot sauce you like.  Spread some Mozzarella cheese on top.

We then added cooked and shredded chicken that was soaked in 2 Tablespoons of butter and 3/4 cup of hot sauce. My fast moving hand model is the blur you see. 

I added huge chunks of tomato fresh from the garden on my side.

Bake until ready.  It was delicious!  I especially loved the tomatoes.  If you don't like hot sauce I still recommend ranch dressing, shredded chicken, and tomatoes.  My husband was very happy with the buffalo chicken and ranch dressing.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did.  It pays to try something different now and again.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Buffalo Berries...

These little devils are like rubies to me.  They are buffalo berries.  Hard to find, hard to pick, and easy to ruin.   I have so many stories related to these tiny little berries.  Once you have had them you are hooked.
The most important thing to note about the buffalo berry it the hidden thorn that protects the berry cluster.  I learned to knock on doors with my left hand because for years I had a buffalo berry thorn in my right knuckle.  When you are picking your fingers become covered with this sticky black substance, but it works in your favor because it stops the bleeding from the thorns.  This isn't work for the faint of heart.

I am lucky to have a friend who has tons of buffalo berry bushes.  She allows me to pick until my heart is content.  This year I picked two milk pails full.   I apologize for no photos.  I get so excited when go picking that I forget everything except milk pails.

Right now 3 lbs of berries are fermenting.  Hopefully, I won't ruin the "Tantalizing Tatanka" this time.  I cannot wait to use the pulp to make jelly.  Historically, I ruin more buffalo berry creations then I am successful.   I added too much sugar to the wine last year. I did save it in the end by making some killer jelly out of the leftover pulp.  I'm not always so lucky. I've made buffalo berry candy instead of jam.  I am the queen of re-boiling buffalo berry jelly, because it didn't set.  I think it is because I so love buffalo berries that I am so apt to mess them up.  I have 3 bags this year (about 11lbs) so there is hope that something turns out.  

That is my little lesson on buffalo berries.  I would like to know if you have buffalo berries.  If so do you have any recipes? 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A rainy day in the cabin kitchen...

The heirloom tomatoes are producing tomatoes right and left.  Last year I tried salsa.  This year I tried tomato sauce.  The brown beans are soup beans; calico if I remember correctly.   It is a tight fit in the greenhouse. The green tomatos were knocked off during picking. 
We were pretty happy with the tomato sauce, but it seemed a bit acidic.  If anyone knows how to fix that I would appreciate advice.  I used the recipe from the Ball Canning Cookbook.

This is the final tally after a rainy day spent in the kitchen. 
*Four bottles of raspberry vinegar.
*6 pints of tomato sauce (tried one).
*6 jars of raspberry jam.
*7 jars of Sassy Saskatoon jelly. (Made from left over wine pulp)
*5 jars of raspberry/current jelly.
*Started some Tantalizing Tatanka wine.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy surprises...

I am so happy.  I have a hummingbird.  My first year here we had about 5 all summer.  Then number slowly dwindled to zilch.  I've had three sad years of nothing.  A glimpse in the spring and another in the fall.  That was it.  Lo and behold, this year I have one and it is staying.  It is skittish and doesn't sit long, but I'm not complaining. 

The other day to my surprise I looked to my left and there was a cedar waxwing.  I've only seen a flock of them one other time here.  He was a pretty dapper looking fellow.  I do have a bad feeling he is competing with me when it comes to berry picking.

It was a wonderful birding week here.  Hope everyone else had a pleasant week.