Wednesday, July 31, 2019


This past weekend even though I didn't mow, I did manage to pull some more figs...

Fig casualty by bird
...and none too soon as the birds had scored one of them that was on the open top of the bush.  I guess the green one isn't ready for them yet, ha.  I still found a few more underneath. 

I brought them back into town...

Fresh figs
Rinsed them...

Figs with honey
...put them on a Silpat (silicone baking mat), cut them in half and drizzled them with honey...

Honey roasted figs
...and roasted them in a preheated 400 degree oven and baked them for about 20 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize (you can let them go longer if you like them more caramelized).  I sprinkled them with just a touch of flaky sea salt when I took them out.  

WOW.  Even 2nd Man (not the biggest "fig fan") tried one and said "this would be good over ice cream".

Of course we didn't have any ice cream.

So I ate them.  


Monday, July 29, 2019


Recently, I took a break to process the garlic.  I'm afraid I might have left it to dry a little too long.   I checked last year and it was about a month earlier when I did it.  This all happened a couple of weeks ago, we forgot to post about it.

I might have left the garlic to dry a little longer than last year.  It was a bit separated but hey, it's still edible, that's all that matters.  This is it after I cut it down from the rafters in the barn.

A few weeks prior, I was at HEB (a Texas grocery chain) and saw these bags.  They are reusable mesh produce bags and I decided they would be great for putting the garlic in.

I sat on the porch (in the shade of course) and cut off the stems and peeled off the outer few dirt covered layers.  Some of the heads had shrunken a bit too much and were pulling apart into individual cloves but again it tastes like yummy garlic so it's all good in the long run, ha. 

The mess at my feet when I was done but it was easy to sweep off the porch...

...and here is the final harvest, I forgot to count the heads, but the weight was 5.1 lbs of garlic!

I'm just storing this in a cool, dark spot but we've already been using it.  It's great to have so much garlic for whatever we want to use it for.  But we do need to find some good new ways to use large quantities of garlic.

EDIT: I had set this to post automatically last night before bed.  Awoke this morning to the news of yet another mass shooting, this time at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.  So sad to things like that.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Have always loved this quote...and of course this image has it with Texas Bluebonnets so that makes it even better, ha.

Today as this posts I'll be at the farm, hopefully not having to mow, just watering.  We have not had any measurable rain in two weeks.  The forecast above for the upcoming week about sums it up:  The air you can wear and a chance of rain.

It's just too hot.  Yesterday 2nd Man and I went on a day trip (part fun and part information gathering mission for our future farm planning) and so today I have to go early, do what I need to do and get back to where it's cool before the peak heat of the day.

Friday, July 26, 2019


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 an age old debate about a sandwich staple and a debate that will probably be argued about for the rest of time.

Some people like their peanut butter smooth and creamy...and others like it crunchy with little bits of chopped up peanuts.

For a change, our household is in agreement:
We both like creamy peanut butter.  Don't get me wrong, if all that was available was crunchy, I'd gladly make a sandwich with that.  But when I go to the store to buy it for us, it's smooth all the way.

So..which do you prefer?
Smooth and creamy or crunchy?

Thursday, July 25, 2019


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!

In a perfect world, in our dream future, THIS is what I'd want the yard around the farmhouse to look like. This reminds me in many ways of my Grandparents house. A cottage garden.  A place to wander around and create and dream.

We know, it's a lot of work getting there and work keeping it looking nice, but oh how it would be worth it in the end.  Hey, that's what this is for, to daydream and plan.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


This is the fig tree that we have...

Texas Everbearing Fig bush
...well, it's more like a fig bush.  It was planted a few years ago but always struggled.  Now all of a sudden this year, it's finally covered in small figs!

Figs on the tree
It is a "Texas Everbearing Fig" or also known as a "Brown Turkey Fig".  They actually say they look best when left as a bush but can be trained into a tree.  We think we'll leave it as a bush.  I just need to clean it up a bit when the time of year is right of course.

Fresh figs
The first "harvest" was this: EIGHT oops SEVEN figs.  I may or may not have eaten one right off the bush, ha.  They are so good.  2nd Man is not a huge fig fan but I intend to convert him.

Expensive figs
And at $6 for NINE at the local grocery store, yeah, we're gonna eat these figs!

Anyone with fig experience?
Growing and/or eating?

Monday, July 22, 2019


We (like most of the country) were under a heat advisory warning.  The City of Houston sent out alerts telling people to stay inside where it's cool, do no strenuous activity outside, drink lots of water, etc.  

So we knew it was that time of year...the time when we have to do the least possible at the farm.

 2nd Man stayed in town.  My only mission was to mow and water the fruit trees.

About the usual length of time I mow.  I really should have used the weed whacker but seriously it was just too hot.  Dangerously hot.

While I was mowing I notice that this pear tree has several pieces of fruit on it.  This is not one of the ones behind the house in the "orchard".  This is one of the random trees planted and ignored a few years ago.  We guess nature found a way.

There is even one way up high.  I need to read up on how to prune it correctly when the time comes.  It seems like it's growing too straight and tall and I need to make it branch out.  But hey, this means that we'll have even more pears someday so we're OK with that.  Pear preserves, here we come, ha!

I stayed about 2 1/2 hours and then decided it was too hot and too dangerous to keep doing stuff outside.  While this wasn't our actual temperature, this was after the car sat in the sun for a couple of hours (extremal temp of course).  I think our actual high was 97 with high humidity.

The grass is not growing much and the ground is starting to dry...

...and crack.  You'd think with as much rain as we sometimes get it would last and keep things green but it doesn't last long does it?

While I was mowing I saw some more lantana growing wild.  The pops of orange are nice to see amongst the green.  And hey, at least the lantana is drought tolerant!

Hope you had a good weekend and stayed cool!

Sunday, July 21, 2019


It's so hot here, something we share with the rest of the country this weekend.  There was not much done.  More of an update tomorrow.

Hope you are staying cool wherever you are.  This is dangerous heat, stay safe!

Have a smoothie!
(but not a tomato smoothie, ha)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 19, 2019


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


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.


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.


Monday, July 15, 2019


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!