Friday, July 19, 2019

BROWNIE EDGE OR CENTER FRIDAY FOOD DEBATE

It's time for the "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some of the burning questions of the culinary world...LOL!

This week, the burning question is:



Here is a VERY polarizing debate and once again a divided household here.  The only thing better than the aroma of brownies while they are baking is eating them when they come out still warm and moist.  You carefully slice them and then you are ready to dive in and enjoy.  Which piece do you grab?

The edge that has the blend of crunchy and moist?  Or the center piece where it's all moist and soft?  

I prefer the center.  2nd Man prefers the edge.  I guess in a two person household that works out best when he bakes a pan of brownies, ha.  But if you're at a party or a gathering and there is a big tray of brownies, you better grab the piece you like best before someone else does!

SO...which one do you prefer?
Edge or center?


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

SLOW COOKER MEMPHIS STYLE WET RIBS RECIPE

I made these ribs back on the 4th of July weekend.  I had done them in a slower cooker before but this was a different process and came out wonderfully.

While this is more of a recipe for a rub and sauce to give a specific flavor, it's also a great technique.  This recipe was adapted from one via Cook's Country.


These are the ingredients for the rub.  The amounts will be listed in the recipe at the bottom of this post.


Mix them all together and reserve 1 TBSP for later use in the sauce.


It is important to use the St. Louis style pork spareribs.  About 3 lbs, I bought two packages that were a little over 1 1/2 lbs each.  Cut each rack in half and pat them all dry with paper towels.


Rub them with the rub (well that IS why they call it that, ha) generously on each side.


Arrange them in the slow cooker, thick ends pointed DOWN and meaty sides against the wall of the of the slow cooker.  That's it for this step.  There is NO liquid added.  The meat will give off plenty of liquid during the cooking process.


Do not lift the lid while it is cooking.  Cook 5 to 6 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.  We used low and let it go overnight.  Let me tell you, that was a great smell to wake up to, ha.  


Make the BBQ sauce in a pan on the stove top.  Again, ingredient amounts listed below.


Stir all together and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let it thicken and reduce to about one cup of sauce.  This takes about 10 minutes or so.

This step is where you could just use your own favorite BBQ sauce.


Take the pork ribs out of the slow cooker.  Let them rest for about 10 minutes on an oven proof wire rack (meaty side up) over a baking sheet to allow their surface to dry out.

This helps the sauce stick in the next step.


Generously coat them with about half the sauce...


...and put them in the oven with the rack about 3" from the broiler.  Broil on high for about 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to char (you want them to be like they were grilled, that char is flavor).


Remove them from the oven and brush again with remaining sauce...


...then tent with foil and allow them to rest for about 20 minutes. 


Remove the foil, cut between each rib and serve!


We had ours with some potato salad and a couple of slices of white bread (to sop up the sauce on the plate of course, ha).  They were SO good! 

2nd Man was amazed that the flavor was so much like they had been grilled for hours.  They were tender, the bones just pulled out and they tasted great.  Super easy way to get the same great flavor.

Ingredients:

Rub (or use your own)

  • 2 TBSP dried onion
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP kosher salt
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar

3 lbs +/- St Louis style pork spareribs

Sauce (or use your own)

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 3/4 cup ketchup

For step by step, as usual see the above instructions under each photo.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2019

HOT DRY WEEKEND

Well thankfully we dodged the bullet with Hurricane Barry.  Of course our thoughts are with Louisiana as they deal with the flooding that we are all too familiar with.


It has not rained here, at least at the farm.  The ground is parched and cracked in a few spots.  The upside is that I didn't have to mow in the heat.  I watered all the fruit trees and other plants around the house and that was it.


2nd Man made some biscuits for breakfast and we had them for lunch with bacon and cheese.


There was beauty flying around in the skies overhead...


...and after dinner we splurged with some Blue Bell ice cream.  It IS Summer after all...

Hope your weekend was good!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

GARDENING IS MEDICINE

No truer words...


I have so much fun when I'm out in the yard whether it is planting or watering or mowing or pulling weeds I agree with this 100%.  

However, I would say that during the Summer in our part of the country there IS a limit on dosage.  Perhaps take the garden medicine once every four hours, LOL!

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2019

CHICKEN WING FRIDAY FOOD DEBATE

It's time for the "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some of the burning questions of the culinary world...LOL!

This week, the burning question is:



When you dive into a big bowl of chicken wings, whether they be be buffalo, BBQ, smoked, fried or glazed, do you have a favorite you reach for first?  The little mini "chicken leg" looking piece called the drumette or do you reach for the flat wingette piece?

We're divided again here, well, divided in the sense that 2nd Man doesn't really have a favorite but I do.  I love the drumette.  Apparently some informal polling at various places puts the drumette in the lead but the flat piece is not far behind... 



Meanwhile, God these look so good, I would eat them all no matter which piece it is, ha.

So...which one are you?
Drumette or wingette?



Thursday, July 11, 2019

BIRD FEEDING STATION 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 someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!



A couple of weekends ago, there were birds all over the farm while we were there, including some that we had never seen before.  We realized then that there were some fun observations to be had in our future and I told 2nd Man we should put up some bird feeders.  Then he reminded me that our trees are far from the house and not in an easily visible spot from just sitting on the front porch.  I was looking online for ideas and saw this.  

This is a professional one piece set up but it would be pretty simple to accomplish...a post set in the ground with some quickcrete, some hooks around the top and some bird feeders.  And as a bonus...FLOWERS, around the base ha!

Be inspired!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ALL EYES ON THE GULF

So now we wait for this...


Gulf of Mexico weather: Disturbance has 80 percent chance of development; models shift West

Above is what the weather people call a "Spaghetti Model".  It's what we have as "predictions" for tropical activity as it develops.  Weather computers are fed the data and they spit out a track of what they predict will happen.  Each computer model uses different algorithms to calculate the end result and that's why they meander around.  As a storm gets closer to landfall the models all come into alignment due to the shorter forecast.  

Right now this is an upper level disturbance that is IN the United States but will move out into the Gulf.  After that, the forecasts show it strengthening into a tropical disturbance of some sort and moving in this general direction.  You can see the models do end over several different locations but at this point we are supposed to look at the "general trends" to see what they agree on.  Seems they agree that it will be moving more toward the West with each passing run.

The forecast doesn't yet say if it will just be a tropical depression or a storm.  Seems most likely to just be a minor tropical storm at worst.  But those can bring a lot of rain and if it does make it here, it will arrive Saturday afternoon/evening.

Doubtful it could become a hurricane this quickly, though we did have one hit here in 1983. Hurricane Alicia, which started as just a few thunderstorms in the Gulf, quickly spun up into a dangerous Cat 3 hurricane and hit a few days later. There is precedent. They don't all come off the coast of Africa.

I may need to make sure I mow Saturday just in case we have 10 inches of rain on Sunday.

We're always ready, whatever it brings!


Monday, July 8, 2019

SICK BUT BETTER UPDATE

Sorry for absence, I've been under the weather but feeling much better as this posts.  Neither of us has been sick in a couple of years.  Not sure if I had some sort of quick cold or what.  I can always tell when I'm getting sick because the roof of my mouth gets sore.  Then I get stuffy.  Then the sore throat, etc.  Well the instant I felt the roof of my mouth getting sore I started taking Vitamin C and Zinc.  Then I took a couple of aspirin at night and lots of rest.  It helped that we were off on the 4th and then on Friday I worked a half day and came home and slept.  I knocked it almost out.  I did get some daytime/nighttime medicine to help with symptoms but I only took them a couple of days.  


On Saturday I debated going to the farm or resting.  But suddenly our weather forecast shows a possible tropical storm (or even hurricane) in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week moving in this general direction.  I couldn't take a chance that I'd go another two or three weeks without mowing.  It's just too hard especially this HOT time of year.  So I went with the promise to 2nd Man I'd only mow and come right back.

Plus I figured the sweating would be good for me, ha.


I did take time to stop and smell look at the flowers. I LOVE when these appear every year about this time.  I call them our "Horton Hears a Who" flowers.  They are a weed of some sort but I can't help it, they make me smile and they pop up all over the trails that I mow around.


I also saw this tree/bush blooming with these white flowers.  Neither of us has ever seen it before.  Could be a seed dropped by a bird once upon a time and now it's growing up out of the brush.  They had a light scent, vaguely sweet.


Here is a closeup (as always, click any picture to enlarge).  Any ideas?


2nd Man made some wonderful homemade chicken flautas (also called rolled tacos or taquitos).  They are topped with guacamole, lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa and cotija cheese.  It's not chicken soup but it was good for my soul, ha. 

Hope you all had a good weekend, I promise to catch up on all your wonderful comments this week.  I feel I have neglected you all. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

FELINE FRIDAY

Being as I'm still under the weather, no Friday Food Debate post today.

Here's a picture of Hobart...if you can see him, ha. 


We had a box leftover from the last move that had some paper in it.  We needed the box but not the paper so we took it out and threw it on the floor while we put stuff in the box.  I turned around to pick up the paper and yep, there's a cat hiding in there.  

We let him sleep there until we were sure he was done having fun playing and sleeping in it.  

Hope you had a safe 4th of July! 

Did anyone do anything fun?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

4TH OF JULY 2019

We hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July.


We're both off today but being in the middle of the week, we both have to go back to work tomorrow morning.  Next year it's on a Saturday so we'll probably be off Friday and have a three day weekend.  I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, so we're not doing anything exciting.

Just enjoying a day off in the middle of the week.  We're hoping we can see the city's firework display from our apartment balcony since the move.  

Be safe, eat lots of good food and remember today that we're all in this together!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

THE MYSTERY FRUIT

OK, here is the "mystery fruit" that we are growing.  It's supposed to be a Flordaking peach tree.
  
The deer or birds got the fruit that had developed but we snagged this one before that.  We put it in a paper bag for a few days so it would speed ripen.


It had a very small amount of fuzz but not much like a peach would.  It smelled very "peachy" though...


We sliced it open.  The flesh was a pale orange, almost white.  There were bits of red around the edges like you'd normally see in a peach.  

The pit also looks exactly like a peach pit.

Mystery fruit
We sliced it up and ate it.  Delicious for sure!  VERY strong peach flavor, sweet and, as you can see above, juicy.  We loved it.  Now we wait until next Spring for a bigger and better crop.  But now comes the big question:

Is it a peach or a nectarine?

Monday, July 1, 2019

ANOTHER TYPICAL WEEKEND PLUS CHICKENS

This was another typical Summer weekend.  It was hot and then pop up thunderstorms appeared.  When we got to the farm it was hot.  About 90 degrees.  Then I got an alert on my phone that said "weather heads up, thunderstorms moving into the area".

I figured I better start mowing.


I stopped to take a picture when I was almost done.  This is the area behind the barn and shed.  That tree is the random pear tree I planted a few years back.  It was about 2 feet tall at the time. I figured it would die since the other one near it did so I stopped watering it.  Now it looks like this (and even has some fruit on it).  Anyway, you can see the height of the grass.  It was taller in other areas.  It's almost three weeks since the last mow.

Plus it was wet.  We had a late Friday rainstorm.


This was the longest mow of the season and the longest mow I've done since I've been recording my times on the app.  This was just over two hours.  Normal time is about 1 hr 20 min.


While I was mowing down toward 2nd Family's driveway I suddenly had some visitors.  Look closely in the picture above...


A few of their chickens came running over to where I was mowing.  They loved the grass I was throwing out and of course I'm sure I was stirring up all sorts of bugs and things to eat.  At one point about six of them were running around, following me. 

Remember I asked about honeysuckle?  I had grand plans...bought some cheesecloth for straining, made sure my jars were ready...


...and here is the same hedge that was covered in honeysuckle flowers just a week ago.  Almost completely gone.  A few hardy ones left but no even remotely close to 6 cups worth.

Mental note, next year PLAN AHEAD.

Q

This was the sky when we got ready to leave.  Sure enough, a heavy rain quickly followed this.  2nd Family said we had quite a few lightning strikes nearby, some wind and probably an inch of rain.

Sunday was a day of rest.  It's just so unbearably hot and humid.  Those in cooler parts of the world just don't understand how draining it is.  You walk outside and almost instantly start sweating.

Hope you had a great weekend!