Monthly Archives: August 2014

Toady

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I have seen mushrooms in the yard, but not a red one.  Let’s a-go!

What are you doing?

Sometimes when my mom calls she asks that, yesterday I said everything and I wasn’t kidding.

Pepper and Onion Relsih

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Getting the chicken broth strained and put in the freezer.

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Making spaghetti  sauce

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And when I had 5 minutes to sit, I was knitting.  A friend is having a baby and I am knitting a blankie.  I just wanted to see what pattern I was going to do.  I think I am going to do the checker board…making each square about 16 stitches wide.  Should be cute without getting to fussy about it.

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You might think I have today to relax, but its a chicken day, so again no rest for the wicked!

The garden has seen better days

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The tomatoes are about done.  Still getting a few cherry tomatoes.  The only highlight we have now is peppers

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I am not sure about a winter garden.  I need to make that decision this week.  Other than greens up front, I might be at peace with not having a garden in the winter.  We are moving the chickens up to the other bed to clean out all the seeds.

Good Food Good Chili

While the markets last I am going to start making something from each vendor, just to spotlight what they do and who they are.  So I start with Good Food Good People .  One of the larger vendors at the Grandin Farmers market.  Who they are in their own words

Founded in 1996, Good Food – Good People (GFGP) provides locally grown and produced food to retail and wholesale buyers in Southwest Virginia. GFGP represents over 50 producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, pasture-raised frozen meats, free-range eggs, farm cheeses, breads and baked delicacies, value-added foods and lots more.

They also have a CSA, are very active at all the markets in the area,  They are clear and transparent about where the food was grown, how it is grown, low spray, no spray, Non-GMO, grass-fed.  It makes choices easier.  It also gives customers a chance to taste the difference for themselves.

For me GFGP is more like the grocery store, where I can get meat, cheese, produce, honey, jams, pasta.  I like the variety.  They also allow pre orders for bulk produce.  If I want to order a half bushel of pickling cucumbers, they will have a box ready for pick up at several locations.  It is a service that I truly appreciate.

To kickoff this recipe thing I start with chili.  My recipes are loose, and measurements are optional.

Good Food Good Chili

As you can see I bought a pound of ground beef, three onions, and a few peppers.

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Then with a little butter sauteed the chopped veggies

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I added canned tomatoes from the garden and tossed in some of my jalapeno peppers. I browned up with beef, added garlic, salt and chili powder.  I cooked on low for a couple hours.  You could let it cook down in the crock pot too.  Not sure why, but we have gotten away from beans in the chili, but you can add whatever you want.

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I like to make enough for a couple meals.  Madigan and I do a Cincinnati style chili, over pasta with cheese.  Boomer just wants a spoon and some Tabasco. And with all chili, it’s better the second day, so I park it in the fridge over night, then reheat the next day.

 

Two weeks per year

I have two bad weeks a year.  And this is the start of the first bad week.  For the most part, I am happy, jokey, laughy kind of person.  The week after the birthday celebrations coincides with the start of school.  I am not the “can’t wait for the kids to go back to school mom”.  I wish summer was longer, I like the unstructured, easy pace, sleeping in.  Bedtimes are flexible, treats are plenty and we have extra time together.

I am in a melancholy trough (great band name).  If I think too much about first days of school, or life before school, or what is to come after high school, I get weepy.  She was a baby a couple weeks ago right. It is going by too fast.  Seeing a friends 2 year old, hearing her talking, in the cutest 2 year old way, makes me miss the under 5 times.  Hanging out with Jack, who is still super helpful, likes to put on costumes and show off his legos makes me miss the under 10 times.  Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about the 12 1/2 year old times, even the eye rolls and her tone when pointing out I don’t know what I am talking about.  It is just another reminder that we are a handful of years away from her being an adult.

There is no way to stop the march of time, so I will do what I do.  Make her favorite foods, get extra hugs when I can, while I can and wait till I am in the car to let the tears flow.  She hates it when I cry and I really don’t want to make her feel badly or have my emotions control her actions.

The stress of the first few days of school, who will she sit with at lunch, will she have a friend she can trust, what if she doesn’t, what if she hates her teachers, what if…Usually about the time we start getting stuff together for our beach trip, life settles in, the trough goes away.  The wave of relief washes the melancholy away.  I am aware enough to know it’s not the end of the world, and know it will pass.  It still doesn’t change how I feel.

For now, I need to get a box of tissues in the car.

CORN!

When your friend calls you and says she has access to a bushel of corn with no pesticides or chemicals, you say Yes please!  I was able to get to process it today. First I sorted out the ones I thought were most likely to look good for us and the folks at work I was sharing with.  The basket of the good ones.

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And then the not so pretty ones.

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I got myself set up on the porch, to start the long process of shucking.

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I love sharing my love of locally sourced food with anyone interested. I feel if people can taste the different they might be inclined to try and shop at a farmers market.  But I also know people don’t want to deal with the reality of no pesticides and chemicals, which means bugs and with corn, worms.  So they got corn that looked like this.

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Then I was in the kitchen blanching all the rest.

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That is my water bath canner, full of corn.  So how much corn does that end up being?

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3 cups in each bag, so 18 cups.  One bag of little cobettes for Madigan to enjoy.  There are a couple bags that are more like creamed corn, where the ones on the right are mostly kernels.

I know people like to argue about time, or money and how preserving foods for later is what a grocery store is all about.  I like making the effort to provide food for my family that I know how and were it was grown.