Showing posts from July, 2011

Currants...What To Do With Them?

Call me old fashioned, but I love currants.  I have bushes of them all over my yard.  They are multipurpose; giving me both landscape appeal year round and delicious tart little antioxidant packed berries.  
Currants are amazing in so many ways.  They are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants which are both excellent for boosting your immune system.  Currants also have a cooling effect on the body.  They have been used for burns and fevers in times past.  An old remedy for sore throats was to take a tablespoon of currant jelly, dissolved hot water and then sipped slowly.  The high vitamin C and cooling effect calmed inflammation in the throat and helped to get rid of the illness.  Currants are really an asset in the garden, in so many ways.  However, they are a PAIN to pick!  They hang from the limbs of the bush in little bundles and can be a bit time consuming to pick and them de-stem.  With all things taken into consideration, I think that they are really worth the effort.  Plus the…

Staking Pole Beans

Pole beans.  I love them, and they love to be off the ground.  I have devised a very quick and easy way to keep them up, it was also really cost effective for us since we had PILES of bamboo laying around that my grandpa saved for us for years.  Even though he is gone, he is still contributing to my madness!!!  I think that he would love that we FINALLY used the bamboo.  I had Woodman cut the bamboo to 2-foot lengths and then I cross-hatched them to make a short teepee kind of shape for them to climb.  It looks so pretty.  Sometimes I catch myself staring at the farm, it is really gorgeous and I wonder how I ever had anything to do with it.
Next year I have plans...marvelous plans...involving bamboo and pole beans!!!  But I can't tell you now, it would ruin the surprise.
The beans are loving it.  They have wrapped their sweet little vines around the bamboo and are climbing away.  I am hoping to have beautiful long beans in the next few weeks!  Stay tuned...

Fresh Pea Risotto...It's Not Too Late

The season for fresh peas is upon us and almost over.  I am hoping to harvest bushels and bushels of peas next week on the farm.  I LOVE fresh peas.  We planted Sugar Snaps as opposed to English peas.  I love both and I should really plant both; I love that you can eat pod and all with the Sugar Snap Peas, although I end up shelling them to freeze the majority of the harvest.  Maybe next year I will try both types and see which is more appealing.  One thing is certain, my thumb nails will be stained green from shelling next week.  No matter how hard I scrub, it refuses to come clean.  I even have tried scrub brushes and soaps from work (I am an operating room nurse) and I still have emerald green nails.  Maybe no one will notice.  If you see me and I have green fingernails...just walk on by...really!!!

I love making fresh pea risotto with my peas.  I look forward to it all spring.  I know risotto sounds daunting and really scary; aren't only chefs supposed to know the secrets of …

Really Tasty (But a Little Ugly) Fresh Cherry Pie

My 5-year-old helped me make this beauty for the Fourth of July.  I have to say that it was soooooo good.  Because of the "experienced" help that I had, the whole thing came out just a little ugly...but my helper has talent because it was really good!
We borrowed Martha Stewart's recipe for this one and it turned out great.  Our pie crust was just a little dry, the little chef in my head said to add a little more water to the dough, but I am obstinate and just ignored the chef.  The dough was just slightly crumbly, so listen to the little chef in your head; when he says add water...DO IT!!!  I love making pie crust in the food processor, it is SO easy and you don't have to worry about heating up the butter with your hands.  You do have to be careful not to over work the flour, so don't go nuts with the "ON" button, just pulse.  Patience will get you far in the world of pie crust.  Also, I am a butter girl when it comes to pie crust.  I know that all of y…

Weeding, Raking and Ranting...

I have this dream that I plant the farm with hundreds of plants, watch them come up, weed once or twice and then reap piles of delectable fruits and veggies...HAHAHA!!!  This is more like the universe laughing at me than a dream.  It's hard work running a tiny farm, I can't imagine running a commercial sized farm.  One thing that my dad taught me is to weed when the weeds are small.  Every week (not once or twice like the dream), I take a hoe and walk through the pathways and rows and knock down all of the small weeds.  An hours worth of work every week will save you from a nightmare of never-ending toddler-sized-weed pulling.  Really, when the weeds are as big as your three-year-old, you may want to just light the whole thing on fire and plow it under.  Right now I am fighting spurge.  Spurge is a horrible weed that comes through the secondary water.  Give this bad boy an inch and he will take an acre, not kidding.  The magical thing about this little weed is that he can re-…

Lazy Summer Afternoon...

The Fourth of's one of those great days that is full of warm sunshine, All-American kids dressed in red, white and blue waving flags and eating cherry pie.  At our house, it's filled with dogs, that somehow resemble pigs, bathing in the warmth of the sun.  I want to trade places with them, just for one afternoon!

Happy Fourth from Zeus and Hercules...our "pig-dogs" and the epitome of the afternoon nap!!!