Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Goodies.

Did I show my goodies I got whilst on vacation?

I don't think I did, dammit!

THE cutest little tea towels on the planet.

Found, uh, crap I can't even remember where we were.

Just some crappy little grocery store that we happened upon.

They were .99 each!

Weeeeeeeeeeeee.

I do remember where we got this:




Oh yea baby, a "Penguin Hot and Cold Server."

Do you have any idea how long I've been looking for one of these?

Actually, I have never seen nor heard of one before Jackdaddy spied it in this RAD thrift store we found in Durango, Co.

By the way, Durango?  THE most adorable freakin' place ever!!!

All so Colorado-y and stuff, but super liberal and hippie-like.

Yum, yum, my kinda town.

Seriously though, who could pass up a damn penguin hot/cold server?

A lot of you probably, but not meeeeeee!

FinnigantheCurious with his macabre sense of humor said that we should invite people over and tell them we made penguin soup with meat that Jack brought back from Antarctica.

So hilarious, my boy.  And weird.

What else? 

 OH!




Basket love ... found in Mammoth, CA.  at an outdoor flea market.

Now you can get these same baskets at Whole Foods for half of what I paid for it, but I really prefer to grossly overspend on my souvenirs.

Honestly, I was so excited to find this booth because I looooove these kind of baskets and have been wanting one forever.

We were in the Santa Fe Whole Foods a few weeks later and they had the same &%^$#@ things for half the price.

Jack snickered and said that the Nigerian woman I bought them from probably got them all at Whole Foods then took them up to Mammoth and sold them to dumbos like me.

Sucker.  That's me.  Me, the sucker.

I love it either way.  

I also got a tiny one that I've been using for collecting eggs and for collecting 4 baby chicks after they've had some free-range time and have to back to the safe zone.

Baby chikkins in a basket is soooooo unbearably kayoooot.

Doesn't matter if the basket was cheep or not.

GROAN.

PS  Don't forget to say, "Jackrabbit" when you wake up in the morning for good luck.  If you forget, my mama will call and remind you - she always does.  She is a good, good mama in all ways, but especially for reminding me of important things like saying Jackrabbit on the first day of the month.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekending

AKK, sorry for the late start!

It was "one of those" Sundays and I had a hard time getting going this morning.

Look what we got on Friday!!!!!


Squeeeeallll!

Four new chickies!!  

Two Americaunas and two Barre Rocks.

So far they are Claudia, named after Jack's friend who died recently; Jo Ellen Pickering, to replace the last Jo Ellen Pickering who was named after my mama's old friend; Margie Smith, who was my mama's best friend and a dear friend of mine as well.

No name for the last one yet, but it will come, I'm sure.

Finn is lobbying for Apollo Creed (he just saw Rocky for the first time.)

I'm ignoring him.

OH! But maybe Adrian would be a good name.

Interestingly, our older ladies just ADORE them!  Usually the old hens give the new babies a hard time, but everyone is clucking around, showing them the food, chasing off the evil cat.

Good, sweet chikkins.

Speaking of sweet ...

Jackdaddy had a birthday so there was chocolate!




Homemade brownies!

Holy hell they were amazing.

We made homemade pizza too because man cannot live by chocolate alone.

(So not true.)



MMMmmmmm.

And I wonder why I can't get that last 5 lbs off.

How was your weekend, love bug?

Delicious, I hope!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Food

At last!  A real Friday Food!

Well, sorta.

It's Friday Frosty Beverage.

This is the time of year when you find yourself with semi-rotting melons sitting on the counter drawing flies.

This situation is no bueno and calls for quick thinking.

God/Goddess bless the folks south of the border 'cuz they came up with the world's best summer drink (other than a mojito, but I'm talking sober drinking here).

Agua Frescas = Fresh Waters and it is sooooo easy squeezy to make that you'll be out on the veranda in no time.

Now, there's all kinds of fancy ways to do this, but  I just wabi-sabi it on up and there's no discernible difference between mine and the fancy stuff.

You can make it sweeter or less sweet.

You can use melons of any kind or peaches or whatever.

You can add booze, or not.

You can mix it with club soda or sparking water or just water.

But here's the basic ho-down:

Melon Agua Frescas

You'll need one blender full of cut up fruit with no skin on it.  (We had honeydew.)
1 1/2 cups water (regular water)
1 tablespoon of lime juice
pinch of salt
some simple syrup
Sparkling water to taste

Blend all the melon and the regular water in the blender until to.ta.lly liquified.

You can make the simple syrup while this is blending.  Put one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a sauce pan and stir it up.  Turn the heat up and bring the mix to a boil, stirring every now and then.  When they're both combined and it just looks like water, you're done.

Put a colander on top of a big DEEP bowl and line it with cheesecloth or even a thin dish towel. (Really.)
Slowly pour the melon into the towel/colander.  It will start dripping into the bowl below it right away.  Let it drip on its own for a bit and then gently lift up the towelby all four corners and squeeze that bag thing so that all the juice runs into the bowl.  Put the leftover mulch in the compost.

Stir in the lime, salt and SOME of the syrup.  Taste the mixture and see how you like it.  It will be LESS SWEET once it's frozen (isn't that weird?) so add sugar accordingly.  You do want it to be sweetish.

Put it in the fridge and chill for an hour or so.

Pour some into a big glass full of ice and top it off with the sparkling water.  Stir.

Jackdaddy and I like ours with lots of water.

Needless to say, Finniganthecurious likes his with less water.


 Isn't that pretty?


Looks like green Tang.


 Salud, y'all!

Have a delicious weekend!

PS  Today is Jackdaddy's birthday!  Hooo Hawwww! We're eating out tonight!!  That's my favorite kind of Friday Food. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Overwhelmed

I am feeling overwhelmed in every conceivable way.



I found these uncovered in the fridge this morning.  

They were supposed to be for dinner last night.





 I still need to unpack all of this.





I still need to unpack all of this.





 I still need to unpack and clean all of this.





I need to fold and put away all of this.  (Fortunately the new washer is in and they are clean.)

Of course when mama is overwhelmed, then everyone else feels cranky and anxious and, oh, overwhelmed.

I decided to just slow down a bit.

We went swimming with friends yesterday and I got in some much needed "hash it all out" time with girlfriends which was sooooo helpful.

And so, when I got home I took my time with this:

(Loving this new drain rack that helps me take care of a few dishes right away throughout the day instead of waiting for the dishwasher.)


Also took my time with this:

 And when I came back in, I found this:






A good laugh always helps.


Always, always.

Friday Food tomorrow, y'all!

Hope I can scrounge something up or you'll be getting a fabulous recipe for popcorn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From My Bookshelves

 Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer




 This was THE best book. 

I read about a gazillion urban farming books whilst I was on vacation and this one was my very favorite.

Even if you're not into urban farming you will love this book.


I just want to stop people on the street, shove this book into their hands and beg them, "Read.  Read this please."


This chick, Novella (what  a crazy, awesome name, right?) lives in inner city Oakland, CA in a dilapidated old duplex with a ... drum roll ... vacant lot next door.


You know what comes next ... yep ... girl gets her farm on!

A farm, in the ghetto, on a dead-end street, in an abandoned lot that she does not own.

Farm as in chicken, turkeys, rabbit, bees, and, yes, pigs.

Do you know how huge pigs get at full size? She ends up raising two of them on her tiny, rented, abandoned ghetto lot.


Oh my gosh, not only is she HILARIOUS, but she's really, really smart and witty and her writing style is so real and clean ... I honestly could not put it down.


I made myself half carsick reading it;  just couldn't stop.


I've read so many of these urban farm books and I can say with full confidence that this one rises to the very top of the proverbial milk jug.


She didn't write this book to make a few bucks so that she could keep farming, she wrote this book because she is a wonderful writer and also a dedicated farmer.


It's the real thing.


Real farmer.  Real writer.

Did I mention that I loooooved this book!

It's one of Oprah's recommended summer books:  
http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/Summer-Reading-List-Summer-Books_1/13 

Here's the Amazon link to buy it:  
http://www.amazon.com/Farm-City-Education-Urban-Farmer/dp/B003JTHRG4/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1343099138&sr=8-1 

I see you can get it used for $4.  FOUR bucks, dammit.

I got it on my Kindle, but I loved it so much that I ordered the hardback too.  It's a must own kinda book.


Here's her blog:  http://ghosttownfarm.wordpress.com/


I really hope you buy it.


I want her to be wildly successful in every way.


Plus, I went to her blog just to check her out, and she has a new baby!!!

Her blog is:  http://ghosttownfarm.wordpress.com/


Writer.  Farmer.  Mama.


Y'all let me know what you think!
PS  So...I'm a vegetarian, you know, right?  Well, she definitely isn't.  That's the only way I know to put it.  She raises them and she kills them so, if that stuff freaks you out, you may not want to read it, but I was able to see past that aspect.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekending

Good Morning!

How was your weekend?

Lots of work got done here, but it was all relaxed busy kind of stuff.

I've been uber-puttering all day, every day.

I looooove puttering.

And cooking.

Oh, man, have I ever been cooking, good looking.


Just a random, hilarious shot of Lanell.

I have about 5,998,087 pictures of my chikkins. 

They're so hilarious and endearing and sassy.

Let's see, what was I gonna tell you?

Oh, yea, Jackdaddy took down a dead tree ... that's always a good time.

 

He and the trusty Jeep made hay and got that poor old thing down.

I "helped" by leaving and going to the HOPE Farmers' Market

I just love, love, love that market so much.  

It's the one that has the most interesting people and you know how much I love that.

Lots of dreadlocks, tattoos, crazy clothes, and barefooted children.

Dig the bounty ...






Bow down to the bounty.

$80 bucks, y'all.  (That's including a $12 cheese splurge.)

Worth every penny and then some.

I was craving grilled okra cuz it is okra season big-time. 

Have you ever had grilled okra?

OH. MAH. GAWD.  It is the only way to have okra, trust me.

Well, I love fried too, but eeeeeekkkk, such a big, fat mess!  And eeeeekkkkk, such a big, fat ass!

Grilling is the absolute shitbomb.

All you do is marinate them in some cheapo Italian dressing. 






OR, some delicious homemade Italian dressing, hos!

Oh, yes, I did!  Not to be frugal, but because I was out.  

But, I gotta tell you, I don't think I'll ever buy the stuff again.  

This was soooo easy to make and sooooo much better than the store-bought.

OK, so then, marinate them in that for a while then throw them on a hot grill until they're crispy on the outside.

I like mine almost charred.

Sluuurrrrrp.

Even the dogs like them. 

I guess that's not saying much as my dogs will eat paint chips and be thrilled, but they are really good. 

Guess what else we did this weekend?





Had to buy a new &%*$# washing machine.

Yea, because our FIVE year old one died while we were gone.

FIVE years.  That's all they last nowadays.

And I'm swearing you, I don't even do a lot of laundry.  

At all.

We are an extremely low-wash family.

So, yea, I'll save the rant, but needless to say we had to buy another one AND, of course, this time we paid EXTRA for the %&$*$ extended warranty.  

It's not enough that it costs what it costs, but then, if the %&$*& breaks after one year, you need an extended warranty.

That's just so crappy and mean.  Mean, mean, mean General Electric. 

Grouse, grouse and more grouse. 

I tried to convince Jack to order a German one on the Internet.

Costs as much as a house, but we'll never buy another one.

Blah, blah, blah. 

On to sweeter things ...
 




My Pecos, TX. cantaloupes were about to hit the fermenting stage so I had to act quickly.

We made agua fresca and ... drum roll, please ...

Cantaloupe sorbet!  

(Thank you, dear Donna for the ice cream maker!)

Am I fancy, or whut?

Fancy and freaky, as a matter of fact. 

Wanna see something so freakin' creepy?






EEEEEE!!!!!!

That my friends, is why I'm making cantaloupe sorbet and not freezing home made tomato sauce.

LOOK at that one on the top right just staring at us!

Not even remotely afraid of me.

In fact, he looks as if he's taunting me.

And look at that stink bug getting some action too. 

It's a veritable rave!

Party on, crazy tomato ravaging bugs.  

Have a good time boys because tomorrow I'm gonna point some chikkins your way.

Mwhooohaaaaaaaaaa.






Friday, July 20, 2012

I know it's supposed to be Friday Food, and I was gonna show you my garden, but, before we move on could someone please buy this gorgeous thing?

And then give it to me?

Holy crap, Mister!  Do Not sell these.  

You'll be sorry someday.  Trust me.

Buy it here, or be square: 


Have I mentioned how much I love Thou Shall Craigslist?

I refused to let myself look at all while I was gone which means that now I can have a giant binge session.  

Which is what I did today instead of tackling a couch FULL of dirty clothes.

Did I mention that my washing machine is broken?  Really, it is.

Perfect timing, right?  Home from 2.5 months on the road and ... BOOM ... broken washer.

Tom, the washer dude comes tomorrow and then I really will have to work, but today?  Surfing!



OK, one more.  Could you die for this?:

My little one is too big for this now, but lawwwwdy I love it!!!


(Actually you should wait because that price has gotta come down.)




OK, just one more one more ... OMG totally, utterly, completely losing my sh*t over these:



EIGHT of them, y'all.


Eight!  Where can I put them? 

Everywhere!  That's where.

I really may have to get one for sure.

Come to the globe.  Feel the power of the globe.  

How 'bout those postcard effects on the pictures?  Fancy, huh?

Blogger has all these new tricks for editing pictures and I couldn't resist.

(Me and every other Blogger on the planet, apparently.)

Fun!

Anyway, sorry there's no recipe.

I had cantaloupe and iced tea for dinner tonight.

With a double helping of Craigslist for dessert.

Mmmmmm.

Have a great weekend.  

Don't melt.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Digging In.

Holy everything, we're home!

What a crazy, big-time, ass-kickin' trip that was.

Too much trip, really, for this homebody of all homebodies.

But I survived and am a better woman for it!

We got home on Sunday night, late.

On Monday morning we all sat around in a bit of a stupor for a while.

 I forced myself to relax, drink a couple of cups of tea, read some mags ...,

but that was all I could manage - I had to get cocooning asap.

The first thing I do when I get home from a big trip is start cleaning.

I'm like a madwoman -  Baseboards!  Cabinets! Pantry! Windows!

It's just a compulsion.  

I love nothing more than a fresh start.  For me, that means cleaning and purging.

I've got 2.5 months of luggage and shit out on the patio waiting to be unloaded, and here I am on the floor scrubbing baseboards.

weeeeee!

Also, (and here's where you're finally going to understand just how freaking insane I am) when I walked in my house after being gone for so long, it looked to me like the art supply closet for a pre-school had vomited all over my house.

Oh mah GAWD .... too much color!!!

Why didn't someone tell me?



I, quite honestly, was totally freaked out by my own house so I did what any self-respecting house freak would do:  I drove to IKEA.

HAHAHA.  I swear to god, the day I got home from my trip I drove to IKEA and bought a dark brown slipcover for the Karlstad couch.



Better, y'all.

SO much better.

Do you ever do this?  Mini freakouts of the "what was I thinking?" kind?

A part of me felt like I was insane, and the other part of me felt sooooo soothed and relived and uplifted.

Such is the madness of the woman gone too long from her anchor.

I also took every freaking thing out of the refrigerator and scrubbed it within an inch of its life.

OK, well, really Jackdaddy took all the drawers out because our fridge is squeezed so tightly up against our cabinets that you need a *%^# engineering degree to get all the drawers out.



Where does all that crap come from?

HOW does it get in there?

It's because I can't get the damn drawers and shit out because I don't have an engineering degree so, there it all collects.

Blech.

But look now, hos!



OK,well, I forgot to take an after picture, but here's a picture of me washing a drawer.

Fascinating, I know.

Oh my god, it's SOOOO clean though. 

I've also been making food up a storm.

We were all so freaking sick of eating campsite food and restaurant food so I got in there and fired up the real stuff.


Saving seeds from the Pecos, TX. cantaloupes.  (More on that later.)



Pesto with basil and garlic from my garden, and walnuts from a road side farm stand in California.




Black-eyed peas from same farm stand.

So freakin' good.



Ice tea, y'all.

Just can't tell you how happy I am to be home!!!

Scenes from the jungle, uh, garden tomorrow.

And the clean fridge.

If it's still clean, that is.  


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Snail Party

Whatever you do, do NOT vote for The Snail Party.

Apparently they will kill us.

Carlsbad is a weird effing town, y'all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Check, check, and check.

Bumf**k, Nevada

We're just coming off of several days in the middle of nowhere.

I mean, really nowhere.

I'm dying for a shower and some food cooked in a kitchen by someone other than me.

Pizza is what I'm craving.

And a giant salad.

And a cold, cold, cold beverage.

Did I mention that we've been in the uber-boonies?

HOW ├╝ber-boonie you ask?
(Don't you DARE tell him.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6

One more night here then a big old drive to Bryce Canyon and Zion.

Effing COLD at nights here, y'all.

I've been freezing my southern ass off.

I've been working hard on increasing the size of my southern ass too as you can see by the over abundance of food shots.

Canoeing today.

Wish us luck. We don't have such a great track record.

We spent the morning lakeside, playing in the sand and frolicking with other peoples' dogs.

I miss my dogs.

A lot.

And you!