Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring is so Close!

The rain is back and the flowers are blooming! I love the rain, even when we get a lot of it. I think about all the good it brings. Sometimes the timing is inconvenient, but I love it nonetheless. It may have arrived at a critical time the first time earlier this month. Many of my fruit trees were in bloom and the rain would seriously hamper pollination. The shortage of bees is bad enough but add bad weather to it and its almost a guarantee that the summer crop will be low.
My daffodils,
violets, oxalis and nectarines
are blooming now. The lilacs and my pomegranate are leafing out. Spring is so close I can almost touch it.
I have started my tomatoes and something called Salba in my jiffy pots. Trying my hand at Cherry Tomatoes, Big Boy, Delicious, Beef Steak, and some Heirlooms.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


One of my companion animals is a Meyers parrot I have named Betelgeuse, no not after the movie Beetlejuice, after the Red Giant Star Betelgeuse.
I was going for a Science Name. I like Sci-fi and was going to name him Andromeda after a show I was following at the time I bought him, but was discouraged from doing so. After much deliberation Betelgeuse was found to be acceptable so from henceforth he was so named.
Last fall he began his usual moult, only this this year he hasn't stopped moulting. At first I noticed his legs were looking a little bare, then it is his sides. Not really noticeable as he needs to lift his wings to see the loss of feathers.

Now his chest is beginning to look "ratty" It is not barren, yet, but certainly not the smooth sea foam green it should be.
I have tried to google the condition to see if there is any information, but so far have not turned up anything. Except for the loss of feathers he is fine. Great appetite, active, no change in personality, just the loss of feathers. I can't afford to take him to the vet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brussel Sprouts, Who knew it could taste good!

Brussel Sprouts are one of those vegetables that I never thought I would say I enjoyed eating but, I can say that now. As I wrote earlier one of my egg customers brought some Organic veggies over. How could I not eat them? I had Cabbage Soup earlier this week, then I used the Broccoli in a delicious Stir Fry (I blanched all the Broccoli and froze what I did not use for later) and now I will share the Brussel Sprouts Recipe I used.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe


  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
  • 4-6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese


1 Steam brussels sprouts for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Split one open to see if it has cooked to the middle. Strain and place in a bowl of ice water to keep the color bright green. Cut into halves.

2 Sauté onions in 2-3 Tbsp of butter in a wide sauté pan until the onions are translucent. Add the brussels sprout halves and 2-3 Tbsp more of butter and cook on medium high heat for several more minutes, until the sprouts have reached your desired level of doneness. Add salt and pepper to taste while the sprouts are cooking. Whatever you do, do not over-cook, as the sprouts will be bitter.

3 Remove from heat, put into serving dish sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rain and Animals

The weatherman has threatened rain on and off for some time, but each instance brought little or not rain. Today was to be another deluge, but although cold, showed little evidence that the prediction would come to be fulfilled.
And then it happened......RAIN and lots of it!
It did not last long, but while it did it poured!
I went out to take pictures to find the rooster and one hen standing by the dog trying to get out of the rain.
Poor Sterling, he looked so unhappy. The rooster usually gives him such a hard time and now their he was right by him. Oh my, I took pity on the poor soul and shooed the rooster on his way.
I loved the way the rain dripped off of the Wisteria.
While snapping some shots I got a lovely gift, the first of the Tom Thumb Daffodils have begun to bloom.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cabbage Soup

I could not let that beautiful head of cabbage go to waste. Even though I had never made cabbage soup before, I thought I would give it a shot. I went online found three recipes, combined them and came up with this one.

Beef Cabbage Soup
Cook Time: 9 hours

1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium potato, cubed
2 ribs celery, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces ( I used dried celery leaves and seeds)
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth (can make from bouillon or base and hot water)(I make stock every time we have chicken or turkey so I had some frozen that I used)
1 steak or other meat, about 1 pound (I used elk)
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp nutmeg
coarsely ground pepper
salt to taste

Sautee’ onions until translucent remove from pan and quickly stir the meat into the hot oil to brown. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker/Crock Pot. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. Taste before serving; add salt and more pepper if necessary.
Serve with biscuits or crusty bread.
Recipe serves 4

It was surprisingly good! I had two bowls and so did Gary and he is pretty picky.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fruits of the Winter

One of my egg customers, (see my blog on Crazy Pat for more chicken news), brought me some wonderful organic veggies from her garden. I have never seen veggies like these at the store so I took some pics. Tonight I am making stir fry and I am using the Broccoli. I went ahead and blanched all of it so that I could freeze what I do not cook tonight. Tomorrow I will make Cabbage Soup and use the cabbage and the broccoli

New Life

I am trying to inject nature walks into my schedule and in doing so was amazed to discover hyacinths poking up their little heads next to my dwarf iris.
Thought I would also like to shall my narcissus. They are almost spent but still fragrant.