Maxie asked yesterday whether those of you not in Alabama can sign the petitions I linked to, since they’re an Alabama thing. The answer is that I don’t know if your signatures will count, but they certainly won’t hurt!
Sights from around Crooked Acres.
I finally got around to putting feed bags (empty feed bags that once held chicken and pig feed) around the butternut and acorn squash, and putting dried grass clippings around each plant (to block weeds). I only got a little more than half the row done before I ran out of grass, though. When Fred got home yesterday, he went around the lawn with the sweeper and got me another big pile of grass clippings, so I should be able to finish up the row.
This volunteer tomato plant grew on the fenceline to the back forty. It keeps trying to die, but then it rains, and the plant comes back to life. Note that there are no tomatoes at all on the side of the fence the chickens can get to!
Four years ago, all this foliage (except for the tree branches hanging down) was completely gone. Every summer I cut less and less of it back, and this summer I haven’t cut any of it back. The cats really like hanging out in there – though I guess it would behoove me to cut it back a bit so that when Tommy’s being difficult and doesn’t want to come in at night, we can reach him. You’ll note that the purple blooms in the middle of the picture are the Rose of Sharon flowers. That thing’s over six feet tall now.
I finally got enough tomatoes (thank you, Katherine!) to peel and (mostly) deseed, chop, and slow-roast them with onion and garlic for three hours. I used the pastry cutter to chop the whole mess up, and then used it as a base for spaghetti sauce. It was DIVINE.
Left to right, cayenne powder made from our own peppers, tomato powder made from our own tomatoes, and dehydrated bell peppers. (I use the tomato powder to make tomato paste – basically, add water to tomato powder until you have as much paste as you need.)
That green tomato, with just a blush of red on it, is how I harvest my tomatoes. Then I leave them on the counter and let them ripen (if I have a lot of tomatoes that need to ripen, I put them all in a box. They ripen faster that way, and don’t clutter up my counter). If I try to let them ripen on the vine, the STUPID birds and squirrels take a single bite and leave the tomato there for me to find and gnash my teeth over.
Bhut Jolokia (Ghost) Peppers, starting to ripen. “What are you going to do with the Ghost peppers?” I said to Fred. Apparently what Fred was planning to do with them was expect me to make jams with them. Who on earth is going to buy Ghost Pepper jam? Only a sucker for punishment, I think. (He’s also planning to make a hot sauce. I’m letting him handle that one all on his own.)
Not a great picture, but I’ve been making a lot of blueberry cake lately (I’ll post the recipe if I remember). The recipe comes from a Marjorie Standish cook book my mother gave me 20+ years ago. If I could only pick one cook book to carry out of a burning building, that would be the one. (Oh wait, this is the recipe right here. DO NOT cook it for 50 – 60 minutes, or you’ll end up with an overcooked cake. Start checking it with a toothpick at 40 minutes, but 45 minutes is what works for me.)
I love this spoon rest; I used a plate hanger to hang it between the windows over the sink. I keep hoping to find something else to hang there with it, but haven’t found anything that’s the right size yet.
These okra pods were too long to use (if they get too long, they get tough and woody), so I dehydrated them for the cats. Cats think okra pods are THE BOMB, and once they’re dry enough, the seeds rattle around in the pod. I think I still have pods floating around the house from two summers ago.
Across the way, there’s a perfectly good waller located in the shade. The last two sets of pigs have refused to set hoof in that one, and I have no idea why. Maybe the Loch Ness monster has relocated to the Crooked Acres Waller.
After I wrote about Sally Peppers being such a scaredy cat, yesterday I went into the guest bedroom to hang out with the kittens, who were all snoozing on the cat tree. Sally Peppers immediately jumped from the cat tree to the bed where I was laying, and snuggled with me with not the slightest hint of cringing or cowering. Harlan’s still a bit cringe-y, and none of them like it if you’re standing up and reach down to pick them up, but they’re a million times less scared than they were two weeks ago, for sure.
Last night, after we’d put Ciara, Clove, Cori and Cilantro in the foster room, one of them (I suspect Cilantro) began meowing sadly at the door. Instead of ignoring it as we usually do, we decided to let them back out and see how it went.
I did not sleep well, is how it went. If I wasn’t woken up by Cilantro vigorously licking my feet, I was awakened by Clove chasing her tail or Cori attacking my feet. I haven’t decided if we’ll give it a try again tonight, or just ignore the sad meowing. Mama needs her sleep, you know.
Edited to add: I just got the word – there’s room at Petsmart for Ciara and the Spice Girls. They’ll be going Friday morning!
2010: He meows, stretches, then goes down the cat tree, meowing the entire way.
2009: Have I mentioned that Sam is a back climber?
2008: Kara & babies.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Yesterday afternoon Rambo and Jodie were snuggled up on the cat bed on my desk, and she sat up and stretched, and then there was this ::fwoomp!::, and she was gone.