Monthly Archives: September 2011

Delicata

Found this squash at the farmer’s market Saturday and remembered Allison Fishman had a recipe for it in her cookbook. Again another sign to get back to that book. I know the carrot cake was a disaster, and I have made the ribs half a dozen times, there are so many more recipes I need to get to. So back to it.

CSA Tuesday week 20

Our bag on Tuesday beets, potatoes, beans, a pepper, leek, greens and tomatoes. I feel like the potato and leek are a sign to get back to cooking through Allison Fishman’s cookbook. I have been stuck since I pooched the carrot cake (too much orange zest). I will be back in force with the Potato and leek soup.

Filed Under: CSA

No more till May

This is my chicken problem. A problem that has me crunching numbers, worrying about what I will have dinner in March. Stocking up on chicken. If I had to guess, we have been having chicken once or twice a week since we found Bramble Hollow farm. That was a sharp decrease from 4 to 5 nights a week when we were buying from the grocery store. Now that there is a “last processing date” in October for chickens and an end to the “unlimited” chicken of summer, I don’t know how to calculate how much we will need. (Not how much I want) One a week would be 24, that is a WHOLE LOT of chicken. I think I could fit them all in the freezer, some cut up. But that’s a large chunk of change, 500 bucks on chicken? I’m sure others do it, but we are on a tighter budget.

So I think we agreed to 12, that’s two a month, with me being able to get 3 meals out of each bird, not including soup, that would take care of 6 meals a month (8 with soup). Add in two nights a week vegetarian, and we are still looking at 15 meals of beef and pork. When I think about it like that, it seems like I need more chicken.

I don’t know how folks planned their meals around the seasons and availability before there were grocery stores?

Local eggs

I forgot to post this picture and was just going to add it to the other post, but wanted to share a story about being out at Bramble Hollow. My friend Tamar has a great blog that I read regularly, she is funny and her blog is smart. She has chickens and talked about a bird being all “broody” and I didn’t know what that meant. Anna didn’t seem to mind my 1,093,283 dumb farm/animal questions, so I asked her what broody meant. She explained it to me and showed me how the hen will pluck out all the feathers from her chest so she can have the most warmth for sitting on her eggs to get them to hatch. It was one of the most interesting things I had ever seen. It makes perfect sense and logical, seeing this other wise feathery bird, but when you saw her chest she looked like she was ready to go in the oven. It was so fascinating to me.

Madigan with the dozen eggs she collected.

First day of fall and we are not ready for winter.

I mean, our pantry/freezer isn’t ready for winter. I have 12 jars of canned peaches, 6 salsa, 13 of the sweet pepper and onion relish (they are small jars) and 9 canned tomatoes, some frozen corn and beans. It will not get us to spring.

I don’t have a root cellar, so I can’t store the root veggies. The farmer’s market goes thru November here, then there is a winter market on Tuesday’s that I might be able to talk Boomer into going to and picking up something local. I feel a bit frantic and nutty.

We haven’t bought meat from the grocery store since May. I shop at Kroger only when I need something I can’t get elsewhere. The produce stand down the street brings food in from NC and GA, not local, but at least it is something. I don’t know how to stock up on vegetables. Since my canning can only be high acidic items, I am limited. I want to do apple sauce but there is another gadget that needs to be purchased. If we were in Spokane I would head over to the White Elephant and pick up everything I need including a toy for Madigan, but I don’t have that here. I don’t know where to go locally to get canning supplies. People tell me this store called Wal-Mart has everything, but you know how I feel about that Corporation.

When I hear myself whining about all of this, I do point out that my/our problems are really not problems, they are inconvenient. If there were no other options, and my choice was to starve to death or shop at Wal-Mart I would walk right in and buy what I needed, but thankfully we have better choices, we have the luxury to have the kinds of problems we do. We aren’t wringing our hands over how we are going to keep the lights on or how to pay a doctor’s bill. We are fortunate to have kinds of problems we have. It does sound very trivial in the grand scheme of unemployment, low wages, high costs of healthcare, abuse, hate, war– you know real problems.

With that said, we are not ready for winter.

CSA week 19

With summer winding down (here in VA it seems like we went from summer to fall overnight) the selection in our CSA bag is changing.

This week onions, peppers, garlic, basil (used on homemade pizza), eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, cabbage, beans, mix spring greens and lettuce. Tonight we are having eggplant parm. I might use the baby celery in chicken salad. So many options.

This Sunday the CSA is doing a sweet potato harvest and we are thinking of going up and helping. There is also a pot luck. I am not what they of help we will be, but it will be nice to be around like minded people. Let Boomer see the farm and enjoy helping process some of the food.

Filed Under: CSA

My new schedule

is really cutting into my blogging time. I guess it’s a good thing, I am home more at night with my family and can make great local food, but those few hours in the morning, after Madigan left for school and before Boomer came home for lunch really allowed me the time to post everyday, take pictures and write. Now I am trying to find the time to get the pictures off the camera, time to write and time where both computers are being occupied.

Please stick with me while I adjust to the change.

bramble hollow visit

Last week we went up to Bramble Hollow Farm to see where the chicken and pigs are raised. Anna, Brent and Jack were more than happy to show us around.

Madigan and Jack walking around the chicken yard.

We brought some scraps to take to the pigs. Madigan loved feeding them.

She didn’t love the gnats.

She also got to feed the turkeys.

Madigan and Jack were asked to help wrangle two young chickens who got out of the coop.

With Jacks’s help Madigan was able to hold a chicken.

Brent let Madigan help feed the birds. The gal with the camera is Allison from the cooptimist, she was there doing a piece on the farm.

Over 200 chickens in this coop.

CSA week 18

Another Tuesday, means more fresh food in the house. Today the bag brought carrots, squash, peppers, beans, garlic, onions, basil and tomatoes. We used a pepper, the onion and the beans with dinner tonight.

Filed Under: CSA