Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sunday...

I am so excited.  The weather was great and I got to work in the garden.  I was even able to plant my garlic.  It isn't quite where I had wanted to put it, but I wasn't about to shovel snow. I'm sure I have plenty of that in my future. The lazy gardener in me decided Mother Nature wanted garlic in the melted off corner.  Then I attacked the greenhouse.  I pulled out the last of the carrots and even salvaged a couple of tomatoes.  I cleaned everything out.  Hauled in 4 heaping loads of cattle compost and mixed everything together.  I then planted some lettuce, peas, spinach, and carrots.  Just to see what happens.  I also brought in my washtub, so I wouldn't have to worry about dragging it in if spring ever comes.

My next project was to the roses to bed.  This isn't the best photo, but I'm so proud of my little rose blooming despite spending weeks under 4 feet of snow.  I may have tucked them in early, but most of them suffered quite a bit of damage from the storms.  I trimmed them way back, covered them in the cattle compost, and wrapped them up tight.  I'm always unsettled when my roses aren't tucked in.
Then I heard something. A sound that brings joy to my heart.

It was the cranes.  The sound of fall.  We didn't get much of a fall, but if all I get is the cranes I will make do.

Autumn Greetings


Monday, October 21, 2013

No sense staring out the window...

To heck with the snow.  I got things done this weekend.  It was a mix of old favorites and new finds.   I love pinterest.  I can look up anything my heart desires.  Here are some of my pinterest projects...

 Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup
1 c. water
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. pumpkin puree
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
-Combine water and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and heat through (4-5 minutes).
-Stir until sugar is dissolved.
-Whisk in pumpkin puree and spices.
-Drain over a small sieve or cheesecloth.
-Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 The little white container is my attempt as making essential oil from my lavender.  Everything I read instructs me to let is soak for several weeks in olive oil.  I am skeptical.

I then tried making a pumpkin scrub from some leftover pumpkin puree. 
Brown Sugar Pumpkin Scrub
1/2 c. Pureed Pumpkin
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1 T. Olive Oil
1 t. Honey

I was very unimpressed with the scrub.  The brown sugar dissolved leaving it pretty flat.  I have since added 1 c. white sugar with hopes of improving it's texture and ability to exfoliate.

These pumpkin bars are amazing!  They are moist and pumpkinee (don't think that is a word, but it is descriptive).   I cut their recipe in half.  It is a good thing because it is too good to let go to waist, I mean waste.

Pumpkin Bars:

1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1  t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. solid-pack pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 t.  vanilla
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:2 c. confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a cake pan.  Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.  Beat the sugar and oil in a mixer until blended.  Add the pumpkin and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix well.  Pour the batter into your buttered pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges pull from the sides of the pan.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

I didn't just experiment with new recipes.  I also went back to my tried and true rolls.  I think it was my best batch ever.  The great thing about these rolls is that you can freeze them and just pull out a few for soups or steaks.  I posted the recipe long ago.

 Of course, if you are going to be socked in all winter there should be a good supply of wine to go with your bread.  I racked my crabapple, chokecherry, Saskatoon, and hard apple cider.  One more month and I will have quite a bit of wine.  Just in time for Christmas gift giving.  If you see something floating in the red bottle, they are wood chips.  I am so happy with the raspberry wine soaking in an oak barrel I am experimenting with oak wood chips to add flavor.  I will let you know how that goes. 

 I got a pleasant surprise tonight when I came home to find that the bee keeper dropped off 6 pints of honey with my husband.  The bees didn't do as well as the other two hives last year.  I'm sure as they get used to the area production will improve.
 This is very exciting for me.  The bee keeper also gave me a huge wheel of bees wax!  This is unusual, because he generally leaves the wax in the hives.  If he leaves the honeycombs, the bees don't have to go to all of the work to remake the combs.  They can just concentrate on making honey.  I am already researching all of the things I can do with this rare treasure. 

Well, that was my weekend adventures.  If anyone has any ideas for the bees wax, please, let me know.  Being creative does make the days go by faster.  Eight more months and I can get back to gardening. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

I am still here and so is the snow...

I haven't posted for a while, because there isn't much to say.  We've had two more storms after our 55 inches, another 18 inches, and a nice 3 inch topping.  I haven't been in the greenhouse.  There isn't much I could do if I got in.  I've just decided to settled into winter mode.  Lots of baking and sipping apple cider.   Maybe I'll put up the Christmas lights this weekend while it is warm.  Anyway.  Thought I'd share a few photos. 

 My husband got a kick out of this suet feeder.  I have to say it is pretty cute.  The birds seem to like it.
The robins appreciated the crabapples I left.  They weren't the only ones.  The woodpeckers, juncos, chipmunks, and turkeys all harvested the leftovers.

I promised that I would share the sunflower seed heads. 
It isn't the best photo, but he was far away.  I just thought he looked so cute with his little crabapple.

 We enjoyed watching the birds and little animals munch on the seed heads.
I have yet to dig into the greenhouse.  I'm very impressed with its strength.  I had to pop two panels back in, but that was all the damage is sustained. 
 I don't mean to be depressing.  My sister keeps asking if we still have snow.  I'd say yes we still have a bit of snow left.

It has been warm enough to sit on the porch with coffee and a blanket.  Believe it or not quite a bit has melted.  The ground still hasn't frozen, so it is melting from above and below.    That is about all I have for the week.  Besides shoveling, things have been pretty quiet.  I hope everyone is enjoying fall.  Maybe we will get one next year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh I wish...

We had 2-3 inches of rain and another 2 inches of snow.  If you don't mind, I think I will just relive some memories of our days on the Danish beach.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Final tally...

The final tally is a lot of snow.  I heard Deadwood had 48 inches.  I don't know how much we had, because I was too busy shoveling to measure.  You be the judge.

We finally made it to the garage and I got my trusty snow blower going.  Thank goodness.  Kelly got to the tractor.  It was a lifesaver.  A scoop on the front and a snow blower on the back.  We aren't to a plowed road yet, but we are getting there.
 No coffee on the porch this morning. 


 That is an unhappy Ella.  She doesn't get to ride in the tractor, so she would rather we used the plow truck.  That is the plow truck buried below.  It can't do anything anyway, because the snow is so wet and heavy.  I will start digging her out tomorrow.  Poor thing.
Thankfully, all of the snow didn't collapse my little greenhouse.  It held tough.

Well, we are safe and sound.  Hopefully, we can get to a plowed road tomorrow.  There is 3/4 of a mile to go.  We ran out of diesel, but managed to siphon some from my husband's pickup.   We should sleep good tonight.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Yes, these were taken today.  No, I don't want to talk about it.