Friday, February 24, 2012

Transplanting fruit trees....

      I decided that I wanted to  move the cherry trees, a plum and an apple tree. The three cherry trees were too close to the garden and I found myself nearly walking or running over them, half the time. So yesterday, as the wind blew and the sun shone, I dug, and dug, and dug.... you get the picture. Then I had to dig up the trees and move them to the holes that I had dug. It really was a beautiful day to do this as the temps. hovered close to eighty! My arms are kind of sunburned! The experience made me want to do the same again today, since I remembered the apricot tree and the persimmon tree that are in very hard to access places. I need to purchase another apricot tree so they can pollinate. I didn't know that when I got the first apricot tree. Now, I'm having a hard time finding one, but since this is the beginning of the growing season, I should be able to acquire one locally without ordering online. Today's weather however, was quite different! The wind is still blowing tremendously, but the temps are in the fifties! It actually feels cold after yesterday! Needless to say, I didn't move the trees. I did plant seeds inside and hope they all germinate. I mentally laid out my garden in the raised beds. I also copied a list of things to plant together, you know, companion planting. I'm going to try that this year. I'm really looking forward to this year's garden season! I hope it's very successful! Are ya'll planting a garden or putting some plants in containers? Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!
You can just barely see the three cherry trees in this photo.  They were right in the middle of everything.
The dirt here is more red.

A larger view with the garden on the other side of the composter. 

The dirt from this hole is like compost!

A larger view of the trees. They were transplanted from way up in the far right of the photo.

For some reason, the trees don't show up well in the photos.

Looking at the trees from the road.

Finally, a good photo of a tree!

The apple tree that was here...

Is now here.

A view towards the road.
Some more delicious bread from the cookbook shared in the previous post. The dough was made in the bread machine.

I won this cookbook! Can't wait to try some of the recipes!
The color of the dirt varies on the property, even in close proximity.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just a little moving around here, on the homestead.

      Saturday, before it started raining, hubby and I were outside trying to clean things up a bit. Before you know it, we had a pile of bricks moved and some limbs on a pile burning. It started to rain a little, but I was already in motion and didn't want to stop. I decided this would be the perfect time to transplant the raspberry bushes. They were very easy to dig up and move to their new home. I also brought in a blackberry transplant from the woods. It's hard for blackberries to bloom and produce fruit there, because of the shade. I'm sure at one time it wasn't as shady there. When I came inside, I poured up the chicken stock that had been cooking in the crockpot and got a couple jars to store in the freezer. I used the same bones and put on another batch to cook. The second batch didn't make as much, but the color was darker. I used some today in my Italian flavored bean soup. I also used home-canned Italian sauce made this past summer. It was delicious with the cornbread cooked in the cast iron skillet. I wouldn't make my cornbread any other way! I also made yogurt in the crockpot, but I forgot to put in the starter until too late. I salvaged some of it but the rest was too watery. I have some in the making now and this time I won't forget to add the starter at the right time! Oops! I ate the rest of the yogurt I was going to use as the starter! I'll scoop out some of the thin, just made yogurt and use that. This batch may be botched as well! I'll be using the yogurt in my homemade sour dough bread, so that way it will get used up. Plus, for individual servings, I want to mix in some of the jams and jellies I've been making. Just a couple of teaspoons will make it fruity and a little sweet. I'll use blackberry jelly and sometimes a little strawberry jam. It tastes much better than store bought, I'm sure! That is, if this batch turns out. If not, I'll be trying it again! I have some photos to share, so enjoy! Also, I'm trying to do the linky thing, so if it shows up on my sidebar, feel free to be a linky follower! Blessings from Bama!

Italian bean soup.

I could have eaten the whole skillet of cornbread!

Yogurt on the stove method, then into crockpot.

Blackberry transplant.

Blackberry transplant.

Black raspberry transplanted into raised bed.

Another raspberry moved into a raised bed.

Strawberry plants look like their doing well. Kept inside fencing or chickens can get to them.

Homemade chicken broth or stock.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate chip duck egg cookies!

      Yes, I said duck egg! That's what I used to make my Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies! And boy, are they good! All that chocolate goodness with pecans and everything. The house still smells delicious! Our son enjoyed them hot out of the oven when he got home from school with a nice glass of milk. I can't imagine not purchasing sugar to use for occasional treats like this. I'm a Southern girl who gave up drinking sweet tea so I could cut out most of my sugar consumption. I've got to have a little now and then!
      We've been having warmer weather again this week. I just needed a light jacket when I walked, and had to take it off half way through my walk. Yesterday, It was plum warm! NO jacket at all! I worked in my raised beds yesterday planting pak choy seeds, Bibb lettuce, and spinach. Today, I noticed some green leaves in the old tomato bed and something orange poking up out of the ground. It was a carrot! It is so big and left over from the summer! I don't know if it will taste bitter or what, but I'm going to try it tomorrow. It is a Nantes half long or something like that because it's not very long. I'm glad the weather is where I can get my hands in the dirt. I really enjoy gardening! This year should be easier since  our raised beds are made and ready for planting. I still need to clean them out, but that's not very time consuming. Last year, when we put them in, it seemed like it would take forever to complete because we got started late. We built them and put dirt in them when it was hot. That was a job! I have posts about that in my archives. Got to get back at it, ya'll! Blessings from Bama!

Oriental chicken salad, oh so good!

Chocolate chip cookie dough, awaiting the oven.

Hot and fresh out of the oven!

Fresh duck and hen eggs.

Baguettes cooked on a baguette rack. (This is just foil, not the rack.)

This is our favorite bread made in the bread machine. It's the sourdough that doesn't use a starter.

I used this book for my baguette dough. It's amazing what you  can make using your bread machine!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

      I'm so glad to be back posting again! I've had a different kind of week this past week! I got to keep my little great-niece while her Mommy was out of town! My hat goes off to all of you Mommies who have a little one or two or three! When you're not used to having a two year old, then all of a sudden you have one, things change real quick! I still cooked and all but not like I normally do, and especially not with pictures. We all had a really good time, and it was kind of sad when she left, but everything is gradually getting back to normal. We were actually beginning to get into a routine with naps, bedtime, breakfast, etc. I think I could do that on a daily basis if I had to. And she has a little sister! But she stayed with my Mom and Dad. We saw them several times and she spent the day with us Friday and into that evening. That was fun, too! Hubby loves children so he was in the floor with them or reading to them when he was home. That's when I was able to cook. Sometimes I wished I had babies at home with me, but at my age, that wouldn't be fair to them or us. So I enjoy the great-nieces and one day grand-children? They are such a blessing to us and we're happy to get to be a part of their lives.
      Just hope that all you sweet people have a wonderful Valentine's Day and that your family and spouse love you as much as we love each other in our family! I'm enjoying reading your blogs even though I may not always comment. I learn so much from Ya'll! Cooking, gardening, frugal living, crafts, decorating, there's so much to read about and so much to learn! I'll try to post later this week. Blessings from Bama!
Can you tell they are really something else? They are two little characters!

Smiling for Aunt FeFe!

I made this soup last night but I forgot to photo it. So I took it out of the fridge and it has the hard fat on it. It is delicious! I'm making some dough for baguettes to dip into the soup. Yummy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is it February or March?

      Looking outside my window as I write this, it looks like February, but it feels like March! Or Even early April! The weather is so nice, as has been most days this past week. I've been outside on the days it wasn't raining, moving bricks, cleaning out a vegetable bed, planting seeds, trimming rose bushes. In the house, I've been cooking, alot! We love good food, no boxed stuff here, (except an occasional Velveeta mac and cheese for my son) and I cook mostly from scratch. I especially have been making a lot of bread from the bread machine. It just tastes so much better than store bought! Some things I even cook just for me since I know they won't eat it. Why should I not get to enjoy the things I like to eat, just because they don't eat them? Today it was frosted cauliflower with cheese. I actually steamed the cauliflower last night after I canned the strawberry pie filling. I can't wait to open a jar of that and put it in a pie! It looks just like Shoney's strawberry filling. The things that I cook may sound like a lot of trouble to go through, but to me it's a pleasure! If I worked outside the home, I doubt I'd get to make half the stuff I make. That would be sad for me. I'm not crafting at this time or working on any inside remodel or paint projects. I'm planning my garden and working outside a good bit. And of course, I'll continue to create tasty food in my beautiful kitchen! Blessings from Bama!
A nice big Amish sweet potato!

Some seeds I'll be planting in March.

Homemade parmesan breadsticks with Tammy's recipe.

The most delicious Asian cabbage soup!

Sourdough bread from the bread machine. No starter necessary!

Yummy candied sweet potatoes!

Thawed blackberries from the homestead. Made juice for jelly.

I didn't have enough cheesecloth!

So I improvised with coffee filters! Worked pretty good!  Then I poured it through a fine mesh sieve.

One of the canning books I use. See Ball Blue Book underneath?

Waterbath for the strawberry pie filling. I'm cooking a crust now to cool for the pie later.

Tortilla press purchased at a yard sale. I like the way it works.

Tortilla in iron skillet.

Strawberry pie filling.

After using the press, I rolled the tortillas even more. We like them thin.

Cauliflower in steamer basket.

Burritoes with homemade tortillas.