Sunday, June 30, 2013

Calling all Blog Readers...

Google Reader is going away...

and you'll need to switch to another method of reading your favorite blogs.
I'm not sure why,
and change is hard,
but we try to go with the flow

You can read how to make the switch here.

Hope you'll make the change with me.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lovin' Lynn's Leeks

I grew up eating leeks.
Having a French mom who was also a fabulous cook,
we often ate stuff that other folks never heard of.
I'm convinced that my dislike of meat 
came from the times Mimi had us eating parts of animals 
that couldn't be seen with the naked eye.
It comes from having lived through the war in France,
when every part of the animal needed to be utilized.

But, in this case, a novel ingredient is not such a bad thing.
Leeks are in the allium family,
although I find their flavor a bit milder than some types of onions.
They can be used in any recipe calling for onions or garlic.

Faye and Lynn grow some amazing specimens.

Wouldya look at the size of these babies?
Oh, so gorgeous!

Mighty handsome looking.
And they taste as good as they look!

Here's how we go about preparing these lovelies.
Split the leek right down the middle lengthwise,
leaving the root intact.

The white part near the root is the sweetest and most tender,
but we eat some of the green too.

When you purchase them at the grocery,
they are usually loaded with dirt or sand.
These are relatively clean and just need a quick rinse.

Alternatively, some folks drop the sliced leek into a bowl of water
so that the sand or dirt sinks to the bottom.
We didn't find it necessary.

This came from only one leek!

Sauteing in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil and salt
will start you on the path to one delicious soup.
Just add water or vegetable stock to cover 
and simmer for 20 minutes.
Sometimes we add potatoes, carrots or a bit of plain rice milk
to change the taste and texture just a tad.
Soup really is one of the simplest, thriftiest recipes
that also ensures a boatload of nutrition and comfort.

Last week, 
they were sauteed with some of the banana peppers
we got from the farm.
Banana peppers are sweet, with no discernible heat.

A tortilla was loaded with the tasty mixture.
Then black beans, rice, tomatoes, salsa and a bit of cheddar
were added for a mouthful of marvelous magic.

As their growing time here is nearing its end,
we are stocking our freezer with these treasures.
I hope you'll give leeks a try.
You may even want to add them to your garden next growing season!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrifty Thursday-Jean Conversion

This was one of my favorite pairs of jeans.
So comfy, perfectly broken-in,
and lots of mileage on them.

They'd been well worn out, especially in the knees.
Somewhere along the way,
they stopped fitting.
I held onto them for a while, 
hoping that maybe someday I could wear them again,
even if just for around the garden on cooler days.
Then I gave it up.

They were too tight in the hip area, 
so cutting them into shorts wouldn't work.
I decided to repurpose them.
I cut off the legs and hand-sewed the legs closed.
 It's not professional, but I think it'll hold okay.

Know what it's for?
I'll give you a hint.
It's one of my favorite domestic duties.

It's a clothespin bag. 
I just need to add some sort of hanger,
so that I can suspend it right from the line.
I've got time to figure that out.
We can't use the clothesline during the summer.
It's just too humid to dry most things.
We use an indoor system during these hot summer days.
So glad I'll have a new solution come fall.


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bloomin' Tuesday

The temps here are in the 90's pretty much daily.
Summer is moving right through.
We are thankful for those blooms that can take the heat.

Zinnias keep the square foot garden company,
just in case anything decides to crop up.

Here's another type of caterpillar found recently 
near our rain barrels.
They had been noticed eating the plumbego.

We certainly have had our share of visits from cats of late.

These marigolds are a deep orange color with bright golden centers.
They were placed around the small potato patch.

Not only are they pleasant to the eye,
they are rumored to deter harmful bugs.

Our fascination with Black Swallowtail caterpillars continues.

We've been monitoring them daily,
sometimes several times a day, for changes.

These variations took place in just a day.
From this to...



Several of our chrysalises should be seeing some action 
over the next few days.
I'll be sure to post the video if I am able to catch the transformation.

Last week we posted the amazing work of a cat
encasing itself in its protective cocoon.

Looking forward to seeing more of nature's magic.

This trellis was found in a neighbor's recycle bin last week.
I've got just the spot for it 
where the butterfly vine was recently cut back.


gloriosa daisy bud

gloriosa daisy bloom

The thryallis is reaching for the sky
 and blooming like nobody's business.

This Florida-friendly plant is gorgeous 
and not in the least demanding.

The basil has been up for a bit,
and the parsley seeds just germinated this weekend.
We are mostly growing the latter so that we can continue to host
the Black Swallowtail butterflies.

 I see pesto in our future.

Flower seeds can be so gratifying to start.
In just a couple of weeks,
these beauties are ready to be transplanted, pot and all.

 The zinnias never disappoint.

The organic sweet potato I purchased from the grocery
has sprouted quite well.

Soon, it will be cut into pieces and planted in the back bed.
I'm a little late on this project, 
but I think we'll be able to get a harvest.

Taking time to really notice life in the garden
is one of the best ways I find to unwind after a busy day.

There is always something new.

sweet potato vine

The portulaca is making a comeback.
They aren't bothered by heat and humidity.

The nasturtium flowers are not only vibrant,
they are edible.
The leaves are pretty incredible on their own.

As the morning glories make their ascent,
the temperatures climb.
Not to worry.
There is plenty of time for this gardener in the early hours of morning
or toward the end of a well-lived day.
Enjoy all that summer brings to you.

Tuesday Garden Party

backyard farming connection hop