Thursday, June 20, 2024

CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP FOR THE HEART AND SOUL

2nd Man loves to make a hearty chicken soup loaded with vegetables.  With us eating healthy, he is making more and more soups like this where we can control the ingredients we use (or not use, ha).


He usually tells me to just pick up whatever vegetables you want to have in it.  Onions, corn, green beans, mushrooms, greens...


Butternut squash, celery, carrots...


Yellow squash, zucchini, garlic and little potatoes.


2nd Man roasted some chicken, no salt, just pepper and some seasonings, spritz of olive oil spray on each one.  After the roasting is done, he removes the skin and throws it away.  We did some research and found leaving the skin on adds flavor not fat, as long as you remove it before eating.  


No sodium homemade chicken broth and water, cooking all the veggies until done...


To serve, we put chunks of chicken in the bottom...


...and then ladle in the broth and vegetables.

So good and so filling and so satisfying.  Definitely healthy for the heart AND the soul.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

MOWING BEFORE THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT

 Saturday was mowing day...before our weather takes a turn for the worse.  More on that in a moment.

It was a clear day but hot.  I fired up the mower, full tank of gas, my headphones and key, it was go time.  Or is that "mow time"?  Ha!

I got most of it done, but it was still a mess from last weekend and the really tall grass.


Back to normal mowing of about an hour and a half or thereabouts.  I worked on the orchard area and got it about 75% done...but then it was just so hot.


When I left at about 2:30, it was 99 with a feels like of 108.  But I'm glad I got it done because...


There is a tropical storm brewing South of us.  That may seem like a long way off and we won't have much bad weather but that's not the way these things work.


Even if it's so far South, it funnels massive amounts of moisture into the areas NE of the center.  Our only hope is that it goes in FURTHER South than projected so that we're just out of the rainfall area.


Here are our estimates (at this point).
We shall see!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 Sunday is here and it is hot.  HOT.  Ugh.  But we're expecting heavy rains all weeks so we better enjoy the sunshine while we can.  Time for some good food and of course, some Hobart!


Here is a wonderful breakfast...oven roasted potatoes and onions (just a spray of olive oil) and then mixed in with 2 whole eggs and a small carton of egg whites.  Sprinkled with some fresh green onions, it was so good and filling.  And heart healthy as potatoes, when not deep fried, are full of potassium and rich in fiber.  Also, only two eggs total so we had one each and the rest were egg whites.  Delicious!


Hobart was sleeping on his quilt on the table behind the couch and the sun was shining on him.  I tried to get a quick picture and as I did, he decided to get up (hence not looking at the camera).  I left him alone since he was apparently not wanting to be photographed that day.  Because...

#notspoiled

Friday, June 14, 2024

REUSABLE CANNING JAR LIDS

 Remember last year I found some reusable lids from Ball on clearance?  Well, we love them and use them all the time.  The other day at lunch, I was in Walmart and found that they have their own as well.

Now you don't can with these, they aren't for sealing, they are for turning the ubiquitous jars into other uses.


The ones we got the last time were black and of course these are white (the only color available).  They are BPA free, food safe and perfect to use on our jars.


They fit wide mouth and standard so they work on big jars or little jars.  They are pretty cool to have on hand as they turn any jar into instant easy storage in the pantry, for leftovers in the refrigerator, and so many other things.  2nd Man loves them because he uses the jars to make salad dressing and these make it easy to put the lid on and shake it vigorously.  No leaks and works perfect!  I also use one for my quick pickled red onions and have taken stuff to work for lunch in a jar with one of these lids.

They work great for being reusable and not having to deal with rings and lids (save those for canning).


 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

CRAWFISH BARGAINS

We have always enjoyed a good crawfish boil.  I'm not sure if it's the crawfish (which are wonderful) though, we kind of feel it's more the fellowship and camaraderie of a gathering of friends and family...


Once we have the farm set up for family and friend gatherings, one thing we'd like to do is host a wonderful crawfish boil like above.

Unfortunately, not sure how many of you have followed it, but there is a huge shortage this year.  The sustained drought and warmer temperatures are affecting the production of crawfish.  In fact, here in Houston, there are several 'crawfish centric' restaurants that have now gone out of business.  We're hopeful it will bounce back with a Summer of good rain.

The stores that have stocked up on crawfish boil merchandise are starting to mark them down since no one is buying. We figured we'd pick up a few things? 
 

So, for future Seda Bolsa Farm Crawfish Boils, here are some items I picked up on steep clearance.  Two packages of plastic bibs (a dozen in each), some sturdy plastic plates (12 total) and three sets of seafood tools.  They are usually scattered around the table so people can use them as needed.


Also found these two tablecloths that are vinyl so they are washable.  It might be a fun gathering of friends and family, but it can be messy, ha!

Remember the wine crates that I've found?  I save them because I know there will be a good use for them.  So I was thinking, how about holiday hosting boxes?  We figured they would be cool stored on a shelf and each one could contain items for hosting different gatherings.  All the stuff for a crawfish/crab boil in one.  All the stuff for a something else in another.

Working on that next!

Monday, June 10, 2024

ALMOST TOO HOT TO MOW

 So you probably saw that Saturday we had an appointment so this weekend we had to switch the farm visit to Sunday.  Drove out yesterday.  Should have gotten a 'before' photo but the grass was crazy tall.


Not the best mowing job I've ever done...but at least it's normal again.  For now anyway, ha.


A bit messy with the extra grass clippings but this time next week or the week after, it will be gone, blown away in the wind or decomposed into the grass.

Check this out:


TWO HOURS (and nine minutes!) and I drove 8.1 miles!  I think that might be a new record, ha.  It's because in many spots, I had to mow an area once with the deck up so I could get through the grass without getting bogged down, then I had to mow over it again with the mower deck down (set at 3 inches, up from 2.5) and then in some places I drover it all just to disperse the clipping a bit.

I REALLY needed to work in the orchard area, I did mow parts but it's out of control.  But it was just TOO oppressively hot and I'm not risking my health for an aesthetic gain, ha.  It'll be there next week, ha.

Check this out:


Here is the temp when we decided to call it a day.  95° with a feels like of 111°.  Yikes!  It's going to be a long, hot Summer, that's for sure!  Hoping for a little less rain, we're good for a little while anyway.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SATURDAY

Switching things around today as we have another important appointment.  We're going on that today and tomorrow will be the farm visit.  So here on Saturday, is what we usually post on Sunday.  Tomorrow will be mowing.  Here is some good food and of course Hobart.

The other night we had some grilled salmon over a bed of brown rice, corn and jalapeños.  The salmon was topped with some of our leftover homemade bbq sauce.  A large salad on the side and it was a perfect meal.

Is there any cat in the world that WON'T sleep in a box?  We received a package in the mail, put the box on the floor and in about 1 minute, it was occupied.  And of course, there it sat for several days until he lost interest in it. Because...

#notspoiled


Thursday, June 6, 2024

RETAIL THERAPY IS GOOD FOR THE HEART

Recently, 2nd Man and I enjoyed a fun day out shopping after an appointment.  It was mostly window shopping and daydreaming but we found a few fun things.

Love these signs.   Yes, we will have bees again and these will go by my desk at the farm to remind me.

We are suckers for candles and accessories.  We found these and figured probably if we only had one, it would be somewhere else when we needed it most.  This doubles our odds of finding it, ha.  A candle snuffer and a wick dipper.  We already have a wick trimmer that we regularly use, so these will have a place in the candle storage drawer.

2nd Man saw these and fell in love with them.  I must admit, I love them too!  Heavy glass carafes, with honeycomb design all around them and a bee motif in a circle right in the middle.


And these...wait, am I'm sensing a bee theme on this shopping trip?  Funny how that worked out, ha!

Sometimes, a little retail therapy is a good thing.


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

GROWING PERSIAN SWEET LEMON FROM SEED

A couple of months back, we posted HERE about our discovery of sweet lemons.  They were wonderful and have been buying them regularly.

We did a ton of research and only found a few available to ship BUT, they don't ship to Texas (and California and Florida...FDA guidelines on citrus).  We'd have to find one here that sold within Texas.  We tried and couldn't find any, so after that same research, we found out that they will grow true from seed and should produce fruit, as opposed to some regular store-bought lemons that are hybrids.  Hey, it's worth a try, right?


We bought another one and cut it open to get to the seeds and sort through them.


We got four good ones and two that were a bit misshapen and flat, needed to test them.


I had read that the best way to get them started was to soak them for about an hour in water.  Also, any non-viable seeds will float to the top.  I tested that by dropping those two in there and sure enough, they floated and the others sank to the bottom.  


I decided to do the wet paper towel in the baggie method, ha.  I folded them into a very wet paper towel and put them into a ziploc with some air and sealed it up. I put it in a dark place (the utility closet) and every few days for a couple of weeks, I opened it to spritz in some water with a squirt bottle.  

After about a week...


We had sprouts!  In this baggie, one didn't sprout.


And in this baggie, there was one really strong one, roots and a plant starting to come from the top.


I put in the potting soil, soaked it (and soaked the clay pots) and covered the seedlings with soil.


Look!
Little trees coming up after a few days.


Here they are a couple weeks after the other photo. They are green, vibrant and growing quickly.  One seed has produced twins (apparently common with citrus).  I need to research it to see if we can divide them after they get bigger or cut one down now.

Will they ever produce fruit?  Probably.
Will it be a few years?  Definitely.
Will it be a fun process getting there?  Absolutely!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

GOOD FOOD AND HOBART SUNDAY

 June is here!  JUNE?

Where does the time go?


Last weekend we mentioned we were having our traditional bbq rib dinner for the big race weekend.  Made pretty heart healthy.  Lean cut pork ribs cooked elevated from the bottom of the pan, super trimmed and cooked very long so that as much of the fat can render out.  Then homemade rub and homemade bbq sauce (all natural and one 1 tsp of salt for the whole batch) and broccoli coleslaw with no sugar, vegan mayo, and greek yogurt.  Pickled onions and whole wheat pita bread. Sparkling rosé wine and...


...fresh fruit for dessert!  With the approach of Summer, it was the quintessential Memorial Day weekend meal.


Hobart of course, was sleeping, as usual.  And we let him because...

#notspoiled

Friday, May 31, 2024

FOLDING TABLE USE

We know many of you like the posts of the stuff I score downstairs.  Well, we like to post updates when we use something so we can share how it worked out.  So, remember when we posted HERE about finding the folding table downstairs?


Here it is in use!

Keeping it on the porch for now (folded up in the corner so it's out of the elements) as a temporary table for gardening related things.  It was being used here when I repotted a small tree.  Also, using the stool I found downstairs a while back!  I remember a couple of seasons ago when I sat on the porch working on stringing up the garlic and several other times sorting veggies from the garden.  This will be perfect for something like that.

It was nice just with the breeze, birds chirping, the wind chimes ringing...I was in my element, using our trash to treasure finds, ha!

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

MOWING AGAIN WITH A COUPLE OF INCIDENTS

 The Zen Machine 2 is back!  They put a rush on it and even with the Derecho that struck the area, they got it done quickly and delivered it back to us on Thursday.  So, with the long weekend already here, I took off Friday so I could go out and mow.


This is where they parked it, next to the truck.  I grabbed the key and hopped on.


Here is the front yard before...sure it's lush and green but it's TOO lush, ha.  During mowing however, I did have a couple of incidents...


First I ran over what I believe to have been a purple yoga mat!  It was under this bush and since neither of us nor 2nd Family are into yoga, it was blown in by the storm last week.  The grass was blocking most of it and of course when I hit it, it came out in a hundred bits, ha.  But hey, at least the purple matches the flowers on the bush!


Then, sadly, I ran over a snake.

I have edited the photo to not show the gory other end but we wanted to see if anyone recognized this snake variety?  I say sadly, because I never want to run over and harm any creature if I can avoid it.  The grass was just so tall that I did not see it.  I used a shovel to move it over to an open area so I could get a picture of it.  If it's a dangerous one though, maybe I'll rethink my "sadly" comment, ha.


One of the trails that I use to go mow around one part of the property is now blocked.  We'll have to figure out how to get this cleared so I can get back there.  We're sure there are other trees down but they are in areas we don't need to get to at this time, so we'll let nature take care of those trees.


This is the front yard as I finished.  One thing about the farm grass, it's resilient.  Freeze, drought, flood, it just come back greener than ever.


And here it is finished.  Much neater as usual.


Because I couldn't get to a few areas, it was a bit shorter than a usual longer mow but it definitely looks better and I am relieved.  I was really worried about the mower taking longer to get back but now it's back.


This was the temp after I finished everything and was ready to leave.  Our high was 94, but because of our weather and humidity, the "feels like" was 108!   It's only getting hotter, earlier.  I decided to call it a day.  No sense in getting my heart rate up (FYI, it stayed around 102 while mowing).


Here is the mower, freshly cleaned after the mow and back in the shed where it belongs.

It is ready for the next mowing! 

Hope everyone had a great weekend.