Sunday, November 30, 2014

Winter birds

One of the few perks of snow storms is that it is fairly easy to attract birds the day after if you clear a patch and put down some seed.
Three Blue Jays have been visiting the feeder regularly.
Nut Hatches are here often
And the doves never miss a good feed

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wet and heavy like concrete

Thanksgiving day 6.30 am looking out the kitchen window
10:30 pm last night we heard three large explosions and the power went out for good.
6 am Thursday the house is cold and I need to rig up the generator so I can fire up the furnace and get the fridge going.
But in order to do that I got to shovel my way out to the garage and clear the snow from the doors...
30 minutes later . . . we have electrons and consequently heat.
I clear out enough of the driveway and the truck, and make a run to the gas station for 15 gallons of fuel to keep the generator going for a while. I figure chances are it will be a long one. Made it home just in time to see the power company getting ready to switch the main line back on.

 Only in pictures . . . and from far away
The stuff is plain cruel. It knocked down the hedge row that shields us from the neighborhood asshole.

Four hours of work gets the rest of the driveway and the back of the house cleared.
One day we are going to move somewhere I don't have to do this
Ever try moving 30 pounds of slop at the end of a  25 foot aluminum roof rake? not fun at all

1: 30 pm I am finally done. I'm taking a nap  . . . UNTIL APRIL. . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stats, hits and food for thought.

Feast your eyes on that masterpiece.
Cilantro sauce, left over chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella. As always a great hit!!!!

A few days ago I commented on a post by John Wells at The Field Lab suggesting a possible alternative he might consider regarding a wood stove. Seems when the wood stove he bought was delivered he was disappointed and went to take a closer look at my idea leaving a nice comment for me. Yesterday John posted about the camp stove he bought mentioning his intention to try my idea and giving my stove building post a plug.

And the hits started coming in. Something close to 300 in the last 24 hours. Boosting the hit count on that one stove building post to nearly as much as my stair building post. That one post is the one that consistently gets the most hits and I suspect it may be actually linked in someones discussion group as the hits tend to come in bursts as if someone was sharing it with others. The most hits according to the Feedjit counter are consistently on the stair jig photo. Neat to think perhaps someone out there might be copying what I copied from someone else.
 I started this blog about two years ago just on a lark as I was following a few blogs and the Google "dashboard" kept telling me I did not have a blog and should start one of my own. Mostly to stop the obnoxious prompts I followed the directions (a rare thing indeed) and figured out how to put up a page and figured I might as well share some of my mundane activities with my friends. Now I never thought people other than my friends might be interested in my doings but apparently so. Nearing 33 thousand hits in the last 2 years.
Seems Jaz at Octoberfarm is a big source of all my visitors as she has me linked in her sidebar. So my thanks go out to all of you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Green Plantain Soup

It has been at least 40 years since I had this but I remember really enjoying it as a kid.
The other day they had green plantains at the supermarket so it was the perfect opportunity to try making some.
Saute one finely chopped large onion, about a cup full of finely grated carrot, a table spoon of cumin and three cloves of garlic til nice and soft.
Dice two large green plantains in to small cubes.
Add 5 cups of chicken broth, the diced plantain, three bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce flame to a simmer, cover and let it cook on low flame for about an hour. After an hour run the whole mess though the blender and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a spoon full of sour cream and some chopped cilantro or scallions. Its kind of like squash soup with a slightly different taste and quite a bit easier to make.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend chores

About twice a week we need to do a complete leaf clean up or it simply gets too deep to handle. It has been about 8 runs to the dump with the truck loaded to the gills so far in the last four weeks. The routine involves raking or blowing the leaves away from the house, fence and bushes and then mulching them with the mower. Then I set up my fifty gallon bags on the back of the mower and vacuum them up.
I usually fill about twelve of these fifty gallon bags.
On Sunday Annie ran the leaf blower which cut the job down to about three hours.
Mulched and mostly cleaned up
I can even clean up leaves that get caught on the curbing with the mower deck
Also got the snow-blower fired up and running.
Got the mud room/entry foyer ceiling insulated in preparation for drywall.
And a couple of new security lights wired and installed on the front of the house.
I had run the wires for the lights back when I rebuilt the house and boxed out the sophits, but never got around actually putting up the lights. Well its now done and we can light up the front yard nicely. I also added an outlet over the front door to plug in christmas lights.
I even changed the oil in the Jetta and got all my chores done. Takes a bit to keep it all clean and tidy but it looks good for a couple of days . . . . then we got to do it all over again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Its inevitable . . .

Winter has arrived once again.
The storm that hit the eastern states down south a day ago is now upon us.
Outside temps are just under 37 degrees F
And its spitting snow outside.
As it rained all day yesterday chores were limited to those indoors. Had a few very much under sized bell peppers that finally ripened about 3 weeks after I picked them that I had to do something with.
Chopped them up along with a large potato. Tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and in to a hot skillet.
While rummaging through the freezer in the basement a day ago I found a long forgotten package with two pork tenderloins. Liberally dusted with Goya Adobo they go on top of my mix.
And the whole mess goes in to a 500 degree F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes
When the tenderloins are just about done and still tender to the touch take them out and let them rest for about 5 minutes while we make up a gravy.
Set the pepper and potatoes aside in a bowl and de-glaze the pan with a cup of orange juice a splash of brandy, a pat or two of butter and a spoonful of orange marmalade, and reduce the whole mess to a nice gravy.
Slice up the tenderloins and serve . . . mmmm... mmmm good!!
Along with other long forgotten freezer findings were a dozen chunks of vacuum sealed cold smoked salmon. I had made this batch up two years ago and stored it as they had been a bit over salted. Well, two years in freezer has made the saltiness mellow nicely and the results are nothing short of exquisite. Good thing I found all that smoked salmon in the freezer, as this year I only made one batch that did not last too long.
Sliced on a toasted buttered English muffin ... breakfast of champions.