Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Saying goodbye to Nova








 

She was twelve or thirteen years old, a good big sweet Bluetick coonhound, stubborn, too.  A good mama, and a good companion to Esme as well through most of her life.  You can see above the day they first met.. Esme wasn't very big at all.  She passed of natural causes, on the first really warm day of Spring, 78 degrees.. curled up in leaves after a long hard cold winter.  Five years ago we were afraid we would lose her, when a neighbor ran her over with their car, breaking a leg, damaging one of her eyes and making her lose so much blood.  But, she pulled through.  

These past few winters I had tried to feed her up whenever she would get thin - that seemed to go in cycles, she'd be good and then she'd have a few bad weeks.  She just wasn't digesting her food as well anymore because she was old - but putting some milk or gravy on it helped a lot and she even came to expect that before bed at night.  This morning Mark said she went out with all the rest in the morning.  I went to town for a bit.. and while we were beginning to make supper her daughter Sweetie made a motion to Mark when he went out in the yard that something was wrong - and he found her.  Esme was sad and didn't want to believe it.  

She was the mother of Sweetie, Daphne, Spud and Minerva.. grandmother of Lucy and Freckles.  Mark says she had sort of been a mother to Melody, the blind goat, as well - and that she also knows something is wrong today.  Both of the little Manx kittens, Loki and Lyffan went to see her when we found her.. and Minion cat came and got in my lap at my computer desk after we came back in from outside.  

Sunday, February 13, 2022

more lentil soup and a digging fork

 


I look very tired - well, I have been lately.  But I power through it, usually.
Mark found this in the garage and I want to try it in the garden.  I was really glad we had one and he knew where it was!  I had half a memory that we had one - somewhere - when I read a blog about using one this week.

Made another lentil soup today based on what a Hungarian friend sent me for a recipe.  She linked to this recipe : "Hungarian Lentil Soup - Lencse Leves"
 
I had some fresh carrots to use, and frozen bok choy stems instead of celery - so I made a version like that.  I also added a few pieces of bacon from the fridge.  It was really good served alongside another experimental flatbread with five-spice seasoning and himalayan pink sea salt in it.  


I need to go through my seeds - I always feel a mixture of excitement and pre-disappointment with those.  But I'm starting to learn better ways to grow in our soil that produces results without constant vigilance... needed that years ago and didn't get it, so I would work really hard for a while, and then give up at a certain point and hope I had 'gotten enough return'.

I am also taking another go at Spanish, because our daughter will be offered that at high school next year.  Our daughter is going to high school - time really flies!  I've never done very well with Spanish - although I study Welsh, French, Japanese and now Romanian and Swedish without half the 'pound my head with a hammer' that I've had these last three days with Spanish.  Again.  Which is why I didn't learn it well the last time I tried, or the time before that.  I'm not saying anything bad about the language, just that I know there is some sort of brain-obstacle there that is hard for me specifically to overcome.  However, this time around, I'm coming at it through the dual channels of Romanian and French - which together seem to be doing more for me than before.

Friday, February 11, 2022

cooking lentils

 

Trick to lentils is to wash and drain them first which removes a lot of extra skins and such, then add to at least four times the amount of water, bring to a boil, add salt and spices and a bouillon cube if you want to. Lentils are like potatoes in that they like salt and it makes a huge difference.
 
Simmer with a lid tilted until the water is mostly absorbed, add cabbage, onions, carrots and red pepper if you wish. It may take up to forty minutes on low heat to really cook them soft - even though the bag will tell you 15-20 minutes. If your carrots are fresh and not canned that extra time will soften them as well. If you want to run it all through a blender and make it true soup it's good.
 
Point : Rice has a 1 : 2 ratio with water.  Lentils have a 1 : 4 ratio (some say 3)
 
  
rule of 1 : 4 - one cup lentils to 4 cups water

 
 
wash it like rice, rinse several times
no need to soak though



 If you are adding other vegetables, add a bit more water so it all has a good chance to merge flavors.  And don't forget the salt and/or bouillon cube, it really makes a difference.  I didn't have beef bouillon so I used salt and a little butter, pepper, celery salt and then added frozen cabbage, fresh chopped carrot and a few strips of red pepper.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

baked apple (or pear)

 

 

 

simplest thing ever

pan is about 5x7 or so

slice up one apple or pear, not too thick

cut up a tablespoon or two of butter into small bits and place it on top 

sprinkle brown sugar in between all the slices on top

sprinkle a handful of quick oats over the top

sprinkle cinnamon on top

place foil loosely on top

bake at 350 degrees for a little over an hour

 


I like knowing what ingredients are in things

it's cheaper often to cook from the ingredients instead of buy a brand thing

I eat what I cook

I love when I can 'freehand' something and not need a recipe, means I can 'whip it out' at any time I have the ingredients and not have to go track anything down.


Also,

I eat what I cook

or the dogs help


'Morning Company'
sketchbook


Tuesday, February 08, 2022

swath of bits

 

simplicity cotton yarn in a 2 x 2 basketweave (almost) with garter stitch edging


our chickens eggs on the cloth I knit - like scrambled eggs


radishes and weeds



reworking my pseudocode pattern to make myself a new pair of gloves
this needs 6 needles to finish each glove

it starts 18-18-27 on three needles
reduces to 33 inches (over 5 rows) after the 1x1 rib cuff
then continues up to the base of the thumb
pull off 5 stitches from one needle and 5 from another where they cross 
pull these stitches off onto two extra needles
cast on 8 extra stitches on the end of the working needle
join thumb as separate piece
place stitches evenly on two needles
work until long enough, then reduce and bind off with kitchener when it is 3/3 on the two working needles
join new yarn to entire hand piece, picking up stitches at base of thumb
should have 33-36 stitches (34 on these)
knit around - up to base of index finger
repeat the same type of thing across from index to pinky finger working one finger at a time - remove 5, 5, 4 and 3 stitches at a time to make each finger and add stitches in between the fingers to make enough to go all the way around 

repeat opposite to make glove for opposite hand

 


tried this recipe today:

Crude dumplings and vegetables in sauce

bulgur wheat and a small handful of green split peas <-- put through grinder until makes flour about 1/2 cup, add salt, tiny bit of baking powder, olive oil, water and a small handful of regular white flour to make a dough like yesterday's flatbread - except grainier...

let rest for 10 minutes, roll flat on board with a glass jar side

Then I looked at what kind of dough it had made and realized it was not going to cook well the way the flatbread did, it needed a steaming effect.  Since I already had something in the oven I decided to make a sauce on the stovetop this time and let it steam in the sauce.   Maybe try a 'steamed tortilla' of it another day.

break flattened dough into pieces

boil about a 1/2 of water, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and five spice powder

place the dumpling bits in the sauce mixture and cook on medium-high adding some more water if it gets dry, add vegetables and serve with a cooked egg on the side

 

 

We also baked cookies today - been working up to it for a few days.  White chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the bag.






Monday, February 07, 2022

flatbread

 How to make a flatbread

all you need is:

flour

oil

salt

water


1/4 cup flour in a bowl, make an indentation in middle

place in a small amount of salt, enough to cover the middle of your palm

place in olive oil, perhaps a tablespoon or less, poured onto flour


take a fork and mix it all together until it forms consistent small balls of dough with just stirring with the fork

Add a tiny bit of water on top

Form together into a dough, add a bit more flour and/or water alternatively until the dough forms a proper ball that can be stretched and pressed back together without being sticky or too dry.  Knead just a little bit by folding over and over.

Place dough ball back in bowl and place a cloth or paper towel on it.

Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes

 (if you want to make curried meat or vegetable mixture this is the time to do that, place it on the plate and then immediately continue to fry the bread to go with it)

Take dough ball out and roll flat on a lightly floured surface

Heat griddle or skillet with a small amount of butter or oil

when hot, put flatbread into skillet and fry on medium-high heat pressing down with a spatula and flipping so it does not burn.  I have this technique where I pick the skillet up to keep it hot but not too hot and then place it back down and press and pick it back up.  The flatbread will start to smell like toasted flour tortilla and turn lighter white with small dark spots.

serve with nut butter, jelly or with curried meat and/or vegetable mixture



Curried vegetable mixture:

cut small root vegetables like radishes or onion, pre-cooked leftover potato or other root vegetable or use canned carrots or beans (anything you like)

include some greens (radish tops, kale, turnip greens, mustard, collards or bok choy tops)  and/or green onions

heat a small amount of water to boiling and place in a curry cube 

add a few drops of olive oil or sesame oil and some soy sauce

when curry cube has dissolved, add root vegetables and/or canned vegetables

coat in sauce and cook until vegetables are softened

add greens and stir thoroughly until heated through

if sauce is still too thin, add a small amount of dehydrated potato flake

place very hot mixture onto a plate and fry bread, or wrap in premade pita or tortilla