Friday, December 2, 2016

ALOE VERA BLOOMING

I posted a couple of months ago about how well the aloe vera was doing since we got it.  Then, when we were at the farm last week, we saw this:

Aloe Vera plant
A spike shooting up with what we can only assume will be a flower!  It wasn't there from one week to the next, talk about fast!!

Aloe flower
We've both been around aloe plants on and off throughout t our lives, as people often do, seems someone always had one growing somewhere, parents, grandparents, etc.  We've never seen a bloom.  I honestly didn't even KNOW they bloomed.  We can't wait to see what this turns out to be.  Not sure what color it will be but I guess we'll see soon enough.  

Have you ever had an aloe bloom?  
Any advice?


Thursday, December 1, 2016

LAVENDER COLOR SCHEME, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Purple flowers and chair, image courtesy of Davesgarden.com
We've saved this photo for a couple of years.  We would have never thought about this but how neat is it to put furniture that is the same color as the flowers around it?  This is just stunning. Not sure what the flowers are.  Lupines maybe?  I'd have to find some flowers that would grow for us here and then whatever color THOSE are, work around that.  

Can you imagine yellow flowers with a pale yellow chair in the middle? Or red roses with a red bench?  

Be inspired!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS CASSEROLE RECIPE

OK, so here is how 2nd Man used up the bulk of our Thanksgiving dinner leftovers (and for those that missed the pics of dinner, CLICK HERE).

Leftover Dressing
First thing he did was get out the large rectangle baking dish.  He lined the bottom with dressing sort of pushing down so it sticks together...

Leftover Potatoes
Then a layer of leftover mashed potatoes on top of that...

Leftover Giblet Gravy
On top of the potatoes what else but giblet gravy.  The gravy was cold from the fridge so it was easy to spread around on top of the potatoes...

Leftover Brussels Sprouts
Then he put some of the leftover roasted Brussels sprouts as the next layer...along with some of the bacon pieces.  Here you could use any vegetable you had left over, asparagus, peas, greens, etc...

Leftover Turkey
Then came the meat...leftover pieces of turkey, dark and white meat, it can be chunky or torn or sliced, whatever you have, just cover up the veggies...


And lastly, seal it all up with more stuffing. Just put it on top and push it down a bit to seal things up.  I missed the oven pictures but after this, 2nd Man covered it in foil and baked it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees with the foil on...


Then he took the foil off and baked for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is browned.  Remember, everything is fully cooked already, it's just coming from the cold fridge and needs to heat up and become more like a casserole.

Thanksgiving Casserole
And here it is...I guess you can say it's a Thanksgiving Dinner Mash-Up and boy, was it ever good!  One thing we totally forgot was to put some of the cranberry sauce inside, so we had some on the side.  

A delicious, somewhat different, great way to use up those leftovers!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WE HAVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES

Hard to see the leaves in this picture as they blend in to the grass, but these are the latest additions to our edible stock.  

They are blueberry bushes!  

Legacy Blueberries
They are a Southern Highbush variety, called "Legacy".  It's described by our local gardening group as a vigorous, upright variety especially suited for the Southern U.S.  The plants are high yielding and consistent every year with sweet, medium-sized fruit rated the highest blueberry flavor overall.

Found them the other day at lunch while roaming around a garden center that is having an end of season 70% off sale.  They were originally $16 each...that made them about $5 each.  All four for $20.

Fresh blueberries
We can't put them in our soil, blueberries need very specific soil conditions and try as we might, we'll never have that but containers and/or raised beds are a good solution.  We're contemplating either whisky barrels or large clay pots.  We already have some really large clay pots we brought from the house in town so for now, we might use them and transplant later into even bigger containers.  

We'll keep them inside the garden for animal protection and water access (we'll worry about birds when they start blooming).  They say a healthy plant, even in a large container, can produce up to 15 lbs of fruit in a season.  I'm not sure we'd get that much but if we get even a 1/4 of that, it would be amazing.

Anyone ever work with growing blueberries?


Monday, November 28, 2016

LIVING ROOM TOUR

Several of you have asked for more pictures of the house and so instead of more outside pictures, we thought we'd show some inside.  Most of the decluttering was done earlier this year after we sold the house in town and moved to the apartment.  When we complete a room, or at least feel that one is more or less completed, we'll take pictures and give everyone a virtual tour. 

A few months back (for those that may have missed it) we gave a virtual tour of the guest bedroom, you can see that by CLICKING HERE.

And now, here are some more pictures of,

THE LIVING ROOM:

Farm living room
This is standing in the kitchen doorway looking into the living room.  It's small but comfortable.  Of course, the whole house is small but comfortable, but I digress ha.  Full size couch, small stand with drawers on the end to store stuff in. The coffee table we were able to repurpose from the house in town, it fit perfectly.  That long white curtain you see is the doorway to the foyer and desk area.  More on that when it's ready for its closeup.


Now I'm standing in the corner foyer entry by the white curtain I just mentioned in the previous picture. This is looking back toward the kitchen (where I was standing to take the first photo, ha).  You can see the loveseat that matches the larger couch.  It's pretty much all the sitting furniture that we have room for but it's comfortable for us and that's all that matters.


This is what we call our "farm library" ha.  

This was taken while standing by the corner where the couch and loveseat meet.  The two bookcases on the left?  Those are all COOKING related books.  The one bookcase on the right?  Those are all GARDENING/FARM books.  Yep, we have a lot of books.  The green stand with the lamp on it is actually a birdcage, my Mom found it at a thrift store once and I put it in storage.  We don't have birds but it fit that spot perfectly so that's where it will stay.  Up top, we have baskets for storage (always important in a small house) and in the corner, a small but powerful stereo for music and, since we don't have a TV at the farm, we have a satellite radio for lots of music choices and news/weather.


Now this photo was taken while standing in the corner by the three bookcases looking back toward the other corner of the living room.  We have a matching end table in the corner (also re-purposed from the move).  The windows are to the front porch (more on that in a bit).  The yellow pillows and yellow rug under the coffee table are what we bought when the realtor had us stage our house in town.  We bought with the idea that it would serve dual purpose by going to the farm afterward and adding some pops of color. 

 Yellow is a happy color for sure!


This is a closeup of the corner where I started the photo tour.  We wanted you to see the "doors".  These are the curtain doors we put up a couple of seasons ago,  CLICK HERE to read about that.  The one on the right goes into the master bedroom and the one on the left goes right into the kitchen.  They are nice for closing off rooms for privacy, for keeping rooms hot/cold, and to just give a more cozy feeling.  It's nice to close them off, and just sit on the couch and read a book.  Side note, that clock is an heirloom from 2nd Man's family, and that painting was done by "Ma" who we bought the house from.


Thought this was a fun picture, the couch is on the wall of the porch and on the other side of those windows are the two rockers we sit on while on the porch.  Couch on the inside, rocking chairs on the outside.  It's nice because we can open the windows and hear the music while on the porch.  


Thank you for visiting!    As the pillow says, welcome to the farm!
Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour. 

Don't forget, today is "Cyber Monday".

AMAZON is our go to shopping place!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

GIFT OF INDIAN GHEE SWEETS

One of 2nd Man's coworkers gave him this as a gift when she returned from visiting family in India.  It's her favorite candy and knowing 2nd Man is a "foodie" person, she wanted to share.  


They came wrapped in a beautiful paper and even the box was pretty.  These are made by a company called Balaji.  

Balaji Sweets
They are certainly impressive inside, a couple even covered in edible gold leaf.  As for the taste, well, they were different.  I really liked the one with the chocolate chips and the almond one.  2nd Man liked the gold leaf and the chocolate chip one as well.  

It's fascinating trying sweets from another country using different spices and seasonings.  It reminds me of a couple years back when sweet friend of the farm Fiona sent us a package from Australia (and it was all delicious, even the Vegemite, ha).  

Was at the farm for two days, got a lot done, updates to come.  Staying in town today since it's back to work tomorrow.  Have had some great Thanksgiving leftovers, creations by 2nd Man LOL, more on that coming up too.  

Hope you are having a great weekend!  I will catch up on all of your wonderful comments later tonight.

UPDATE:  There was some sort of error with commenting so I temporarily changed the format, it's the same, it just opens in a new window instead of embedded, but after you type you comment and you click to submit, it just means you have to click on the blog name at the top of the page again to go back.  Hopefully this will just be temporary.  


Friday, November 25, 2016

THANKSGIVING DINNER 2016

Here is our dinner (for two!) in a series of pictures...

Pepperoni and cheese
We always like to have some snacks around in the morning while we're cooking, so I made a simple plate of sliced pepperoni and cheeses...


And some Ritz crackers with my cheese onion dip...

Bowls of nuts
A bowl of salted mixed nuts and a bowl of honey roasted cashews...


Then when it was all ready, we set the table with the food...


White meat turkey (2nd Man's favorite part)...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon...

Sausage Apple dressing
2nd man made his wonderful dressing with apples, sausage, pecans and herbs fresh from our garden...

Cranberry sauce
We're both fans of good old fashioned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce from a can.  Sometimes, old school is best...


Dark meat turkey (my favorite part)...

Thanksgiving Dinner
 Mashed potatoes with giblet gravy of course...

Pumpkin Pie
And homemade pumpkin pie for dessert.  And by homemade I do mean homemade, it's our oven roasted sugar pie pumpkin puree, 2nd Man made the crust and homemade whipped cream.

Needless to say we have lots of leftovers!

HOPE YOU ALL HAD A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2016

From our home to yours...


...we have much to be thankful for...each other...our health...the kitties...the farm of course...but one thing we also always include in our thanks is for each of you that come to visit us via the blog.  You are friends we just haven't met in person.  

THANK YOU ALL!

Now, let the eating begin!
(pics tomorrow)


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WILDFLOWER WEDNESDAY PRE TURKEY DAY

OK, so I know it's not Wildflower Wednesday like WAY back in April (could that really be over six months ago?) but I couldn't resist...

Texas Spring Wildflowers
...sharing another one in this cold weather.  No flowers like this  blooming now but it's a good time to see some and be reminded of the Spring to come.  

The longer weekend (for us here in the states anyway) is about to start.  We're doing our own in house Thanksgiving, photos will come later.  2nd Man is off today but I'm still not feeling 100% so we may just have a quiet holiday all by ourselves.  He will start the prep work and we can eat ourselves into oblivion tomorrow.  Happy Days!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

VACUUM SAVING FRESH CORN

This Summer, at a farmers market, we scored some great deals on ears of corn, four ears for a dollar.  25 cents each...they might be cheaper elsewhere but it seemed a good deal!

Fresh corn
This is how we preserve our corn.  


We put it in the microwave, still inside the husk, for about three minutes on high.  This par-cooks it and makes the shucking process really easy.


Next, we slice off one end, grab the husk on the other other end and pull...


...and the husks and silks just pull right off.  The steam while it microwaved makes them separate from the cob and thus they are much easier to shuck.  You might have to peel some by hand but it's so much simpler.


We cut them in half...


...and get the vacuum sealer out.  


We put six to a bag (that gives us the equivalent of 1 1/2 ears each for a meal, that's plenty for us) and tuck a bit of butter inside with them.  Since these bags can be boiled or microwaved straight from the freezer, this makes it much easier to cook later on.  You could even season them at this point.

Vacuum sealed fresh corn
And voila!  

Done...par-cooked...cut...buttered...and vacuum sealed.  I think we ended up with about ten bags like this.  If we had a bigger freezer we'd do more but this will give us a bit of fresh Summer corn in the middle of Winter and that's always a nice thing.  We'll just have to spread it out to a couple times per month.

Isn't it nice to eat Summer food in Winter?