Weekend




inside the big tent at the Adirondack Museum








This weekend was hot.  H-O-T.  Actually, Saturday wasn't nearly as bad as we expected but Sunday....yikes.  The temp's were in the low 90's but with humidity factored in, it is said to have felt like 100 degrees.  All I know is thank goodness for the very small and inconsistent breeze that helped me get through the day at the farmer's market.

We've been on the go since 4a.m. Saturday morning and finally stopped about 4p.m. Sunday evening.  Saturday we participated in a Craft show at the Adirondack Museum.  We loved it.  It is such a beautiful setting and the event was extremely well organized particularly factoring in the large size of the show and that this was only their second year.  The show was filled with such talented people that I couldn't help but do a little shopping while I was there including this loon decoy and this canvasback duck decoy.  I adore them as much as I adore the artist, Bob.  He and his wife were truly lovely people.

It was actually the Adirondacks that brought us to upstate New York.  We had never been here before and we were trying to figure out where to move after J retired from the Coast Guard when I saw the Adirondacks featured on tv.  I told him it felt like Washington State to me {my home state} and I wanted to visit.  We visited and liked it.  Next thing you knew we were moving to NY.

Sunday we were at the farmer's market and it was slow and hot.  We certainly expected it to be slow, I mean who would want to shop at an outdoor market on a day like that?  It was a day you should be at the beach or at least in the pool.  Not at the market.  And last night there was a flash flood and tornado warning but they passed without damage.

The garden is becoming overrun with weeds again which means I must take time over the next day or two {or three....} to give it the attention it needs.  My broccoli plants and lettuce are getting a tad bit hard to see.

The two red squirrels hanging around our property have been stealing more and more goodies from the Coop girls.  Those very naughty albeit cute critters sit and wait for us to give the girls their daily treat and then they sneak in to grab a bite or two.  If the girls get any bread, it usually takes them the better part of the day to eat it.  They peck at it bit by bit, or at least they used to.  Now, the squirrels try to steal any bread from the coop by forcing it through the fencing.  It's actually very funny to watch.

Hoping you had a lovely weekend!






Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend




two very tired boys





Happy Monday!  It was a beautiful weekend in our neck of the woods, albeit a bit toasty, but no rain!!  The veggies in the garden finally have a nice chance at ripening.

My sister-in-law came up to give us a hand and my mom stopped in to help package products because we have a busy week ahead.  We have a show up at the Adirondack Museum in addition to the market.  If you're going to be in the area, it looks like a phenomenal event.  The museum will be open as usual and, in addition, there will be more than 60 vendors selling their handmade products.  Stop by and say hello if you come.

We started off Saturday with a visit to Eagle's View U-Pick Farm.  We had picked 24 pounds of blueberries in just over an hour.  It's a spectacular place with HUGE berries.  Typically, we use some of the blueberries for jam but I don't think we'll have the opportunity to can this year.  So instead we have dreams of pancakes, scones, topping for oatmeal, muffins, blueberry-maple syrup {super simple recipe coming soon} for waffles, fresh blueberry pie, frozen blueberry pie for later, SCRUMPTIOUS blueberry tart, individual berry cobbler, berry vanilla yogurt pudding {a great quick snack}, fruit & yogurt popsicles, roasted blueberry ice cream, mixed berry lemonade {throw a handful of crushed berries in it}, infused water, and smoothies.  Those that get frozen for use later are washed, dried, spread out on a freezer paper lined cookie sheet and placed in the freezer.  I then transfer them to a freezer-safe container for use later.  They don't stick to each other and make it very easy to use as little or as many as we want.  Plus, the dogs love them frozen {Jack likes to chase them around the house before the dogs eat them}.

My garden is doing ok.  It's not getting the attention it deserves and it shows.  We'll likely be buying much more veggies this year than we would typically need to buy.  I also meant to plant more blueberry bushes and 2 more Asian pear trees but, well, that hasn't happened yet.  We've been able to enjoy a few tomatoes right off the vine, but most are still green.  The peppers and eggplant are coming along slowly and the zucchini and green bean picking will begin this week.  Asparagus has run it's course.  I have to re-plant carrots and beets since some little critter has enjoyed the nice young morsels.  The broccoli, kohlrabi and cauliflower were moved to a new spot this year and I fear they may be in too much shade.  They are growing but very slowly.  The cucumber plants look like they are not enjoying the amount of rain we've received.  Hopefully they'll pull out of it.  A squirrel or chipmunk feasted on most of my melon plants early on, so the 4 plants remaining {out of the 18 planted} will hopefully produce a couple of melons each. 

We've had the first corn-on-the-cob of the season!!  Every single year after we eat it we say "next year we'll wait until it's been out a couple of weeks before we buy it" because they always, always, ALWAYS pick it too early.  It's ok, it's not great.  And every single year I jump the gun and buy it early.  {Sigh}......maybe next year.

The Coop Girls watch the progress of their sunflower patch daily and give me a lot of feedback.  Usually it's that they are growing way too slow.  They are not known for their patience, as you know.  But when they are finally ready, they will be feasting on over a dozen yummy sunflowers!  Yesterday I had given them the watermelon rind with some fruit and juice left in it.  It was an 86 degree day with some humidity so I thought it would be refreshing.  All girls jumped on the 4 wedges except for Lori.  She enjoyed pecking at the dry bread received earlier in the day.  She was just happy as could be.

The meat birds have been processed and are in the freezer.  We had this first batch quartered.  The next batch, which we will be picking up the end of August, will be halved with probably 10 left whole.  It's only the two of us, so I think baking half a chicken rather than whole will work out well for times we won't be making soup or casserole later in the week.  We ended up having to buy a second stand-alone freezer.  This will be mostly full of chicken so we can have space in the larger freezer for pork, beef, fish and garden bounty.

On the menu this week:  Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs with Mac & Cheese and Green Beans; Quick & Easy Chicken Parm with Pasta and Zucchini Wedges; BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Dirty Rice and Green Salad & Marinated Cucumbers; Beef Teriyaki with Creamy Orzo and Green Beans; Grilled Chicken Breast {marinated in Italian Dressing} with Rice and Fresh Tomato-Mozzarella Salad; and Grilled Soy-Ginger Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Pickled Green Beans.

Hoping you had a lovely weekend!!





Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Single-Serve Ice Cold Lemonade


Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than a tall glass of ice cold lemonade?  That's what's served at our house on days where we are working in the garden or with the animals and we need a refreshing break.  Skip the instant powdered version and make this quick and easy fresh treat!



Single-Serve Ice Cold Lemonade
Makes 1 quart of lemonade

1 large lemon
3 Tablespoons extra fine sugar {can use regular, just shake it longer}, or more to taste
Water
Ice

In a quart-size canning jar squeeze the lemon, discarding seeds.  Add sugar, water and ice.  Put the lid on the jar and make sure it's tight.  Shake, shake, shake, and shake some more.  Once the sugar is dissolved, take the lid off, add a straw and drink.

Alternatively, if you have simple syrup in your refrigerator, substitute that for the sugar and you'll just have to give it a quick stir - no shaking required.




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend



the Coop Girls enjoying a break from the rain

after the rain is the BEST time to find worms!

blueberries are here!
Oliver always lets Emerson know when he needs to be cleaned up
Happy 4th of July weekend!!  It's been wet, wet, wet.  This is not a complaint as I know that many of you live in areas that are desperately waiting for rain.  I sincerely wish I could send some your way.   If we could get a break then my tomatoes would have a chance at ripening although the rain sure is handy to water the garden!

I was able to get a bit of weeding done this weekend.   So excited about that!  I can actually see the cucumber and pepper plants again.  I was able to use the clothesline for a couple loads of laundry on Friday too before the rain set back in.

Blueberries are in season and they are delicious!!  We will be heading to our awesome local u-pick very soon.  We pick pounds and pounds to put up for use throughout the year.  Although we may not get to making jam this year, they are still delicious in pie, bread, pancakes, smoothies and yogurt.

So, we learned a valuable lesson Thursday night.  If you make soap every single night and you have a septic system, it's probably a good idea if you get your septic pumped annually.  Yup - the system was all backed up by about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.  We were extremely fortunate that both a septic guy AND a plumber were available to come Friday morning.  We got lucky.  Despite our efforts to clean the bowls and utensils we make our product with before putting it in the dish water, the oils, lye, etc. that remains has wreaked a tad bit of havoc with the natural enzymes in the septic and we ended up with a system full of sludge.  The sludge backed up into the pipes and the next thing we knew, we couldn't use any water.  So, we'll be adding enzymes and having it pumped annually.

On a better note, the Coop Girls are enjoying the amount of worms that make their way to the surface after a rain.  They actually get a bit excited when the downpour begins.  Although they are not known for their patience {they get a bit cranky if it lasts longer than a couple of hours}, they sit, anticipating the gold mine and wait and wait for the rain to let up.  The moment it starts to let up they are in the dirt digging.  Dirt is flying, chatter is happening, and the running around begins with those who find the scrumptious little worms.

Today was a busy day at the market, and tonight, with dinner, dishes and animal chores behind us, we are relaxing for a couple of hours.  I was hoping to make a peach pie with crumb topping but I'll have to add that to the "to-do" list for tomorrow.

The chickens we are raising for meat are being processed this week.  This batch is really healthy which is nice to see.  And we've been fortunate to not have too extreme of temps for them.  We'll bring the next batch in the end of August to again {hopefully} avoid too much heat and humidity with them.  They just can't take it.

On the menu:  BBQ Country Pork Ribs with Mac & Cheese and Squash Stir Fry; Baked Cod and Fries with Green Salad; Smoked Chicken Quarter with Spicy Peach Glaze and Rice and Veggie Stir Fry; Beef Teriyaki Strips with Baked Potato Wedges and Roasted Broccoli; and Grilled Chicken Breast with Tortellini in Mushroom Sauce and Green Salad.

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend!






Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Rhubarb Quick Bread



This is what's cookin' in our kitchen this week!  With the plethora of rhubarb in the refrigerator, I like to make this simple and moist bread that showcases it beautifully.  A tiny bit tart, a bit sweet, very moist and a little crunchy make it an outstanding snack bread.



Rhubarb Quick Bread
Makes 1 9x5" loaf
Source:  adapted from a recipe by King Arthur Flour  

You'll need:

2 1/2 c. diced rhubarb
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 T. sparkling sugar crystals


In a covered medium size saucepan over medium heat, cook the rhubarb down to 1 1/4 cups. (If you don't quite have 1 1/4 c. rhubarb left, I have had great success with adding unsweetened applesauce to make up the difference.) Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour (or spray) a 9"x5" loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the walnuts, flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, eggs, cooled rhubarb, and vegetable oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, whisking until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the sugar crystals, and bake for 50 - 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the best flavor, wrap the bread while still slightly warm and let it sit overnight. Yum!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend










Happy Sunday!  If you live in this area of the world, you know these photos were definitely NOT taken today.  Nope.  Today was dark, rainy and a bit chilly.  I'm going to be honest.  I don't mind the cooler temps, even if it means having a rainy day.  Mid-summer is usually hot and humid and, well, I'm ok with the unexpected break.  The dogs, however, are not thrilled.  Neither are the chickens.

Saturday was spent making product for Sunday's market and for back stock.  We spend the day through about 3 making product and then the rest of the evening is usually packaging everything.

As you saw from the post before, we have a quarterly online magazine.  Woo hoo!!  I learned such a tremendous amount while putting it together and am very much looking forward to the next issue which should be out the end of September.

Our chickens we are raising for meat are now going on 6 weeks old.  Our last batch was ready for processing at 6 weeks.  This batch seems to be a bit slower in growing, so we'll wait one more week.  For more information on raising chickens for meat, you can visit my post here.

The Coop Girls are doing very well, although if you ask them, they would like more treats please.  They love to sit on their outdoor roost and chant at me as I enter the garden area.  They are convinced I grow the veggies and fruit just for them.  They do not forget anything when it comes to food.  They're kind of like dogs in that way.  They get goodies from the garden and, because they remember that, they assume everything should come their way.

This morning J had brought the Coop Girls some leftover potato salad.  When he came back up to the house, he left the empty dish on the back deck while he went to take care of the meat birds.  As he was walking back up to the deck, this little red squirrel who has been obsessed with our backyard, was upside down in the dish.  J surprised him, so he popped up out of the dish, and when he did J saw mayonnaise and eggs all over his little face.  He ran off and sat on our stone wall cleaning himself up.  J came in laughing, told me what had happened, and we sat and waited for him to return.  Sure enough, seconds later he was back up in the bowl, upside down and happily licking the bowl clean.

The garden is growing and growing.  Tomatoes are getting close to ripening, beans and cukes are growing, the squash plants are getting huge and I'm about ready to harvest eggplant and peppers.  I cannot wait to make the first BLT with homegrown fresh tomatoes and my favorite bacon from the Fresh Market.  There's nothing better than shopping in your backyard.

On the menu this week:  Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken Breast with Honey-Butter Corn; Juicy Lucy Burgers with Onion Rings and Green Salad; BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Rice; Shrimp Ceviche Fajitas with Corn, Avocado & Cilantro Salad; and Teriyaki Sirloin Tips with Zucchini Chips and Potato Wedges.

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend too!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

A Magazine At Last


I have been absent this week from the blog, facebook, etc. because I have worked all week until 11p.m. - midnight on technical issues with the new magazine but I am THRILLED to say the magazine is finally up and running!!!!

If you subscribe, you've already seen it in your inbox.  If not and you would like to view it and/or subscribe {it's free} to upcoming issues, visit Modern Farmstead Magazine and check it out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for your kind words and support as I got this little venture off the ground.  I learned a tremendous amount the last couple of months of pulling this first issue together.  So many more ideas are swirling around in my head and I am already pulling together September's issue full of homemade gift ideas for the Holidays in addition to homesteading and simple living articles.

Happy Friday!!




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.