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Homegrown Goodness

February 10th, 2015

The other day I noticed that I have oodles of winter squash still sitting in the pantry. I hit my cookbooks and the internet for recipes and came across loads with squash and sausage – perfect! Last night I made butternut squash puree topped with sausage and onions. It was quite tasty, though we both agreed that it needed something texture wise, perhaps sage croutons or something crispy.
butternut harvest
I always grow loads of winter squash, mostly because it’s so easy to store. As long as you cure them properly they will keep for almost a year in a cool room (some will keep for more, I’ve had squash last for 2 years before). It’s awfully nice to lessen the preservation chores come autumn, no canning/cutting/blanching/freezing needed for winter squash!
I also have a recipe for butternut squash and sausage frittata that sounds wonderful, along with various soups and other goodies. I think next week I might make shepherd’s pie with squash puree on top.
My favorite use for squash is in this Butternut Squash and Chipotle Soup. I try other recipes and keep coming back to this one when I have squash on hand. That doesn’t stop me from trying to find a new favorite, I’m always happy to find new flavor combinations.

Do you have any great squash recipe to share?

Cat Bomb

February 9th, 2015

Here at Chiot’s Run this is known as a “cat bomb”. It cracks me up every time.
cat bomb
It’s not often that all the cats are in one place at the same time, but they all retreat to the safety of the bed when the vacuum cleaner comes out. Safety in numbers I guess!

Do you have any funny phrases you use to describe things that happen at your place?

Quote of the Day: Willa Cather

February 8th, 2015

“There’s no good reason Mrs Shimerda couldn’t have got hens from her neighbours last fall and had a hen-house going by now. I reckon she was confused and didn’t know where to begin. I’ve come strange to a new country myself, but I never forgot hens are a good thing to have, no matter what you don’t have.”.

Willa Cather – My Antonia

chickens 1
chickens 2
bowl of eggs
This is so true, it’s great having hen in the coop laying eggs. If we get snowed in we always have eggs from the coop and potatoes from the root cellar.

Do you have chickens? Would you like to have chickens?

Friday Favorite: Icicles

February 6th, 2015

I’ve always loved icicles, they’re such wondrous things in winter. I love the way they catch the sun and how they drip and grow long on sunny days. Yesterday I wanted these icicles outside of our living room window grow from about a foot long to four feet long.
icicles 1
icicles 2
We never had a ton of icicles on our home in Ohio, it was newer and well insulated. I’ll enjoy them while I can.

What’s your favorite winter wonder?

Somewhere Under There

February 5th, 2015

I had to laugh when looked out the window last week, the trellis in the potager is almost covered.
potager (2)
Somewhere underneath all that snow are a few boxwood balls, stone edging, a few cloches over tiny lettuce plants…
potager (1)
After I took the top photo we received another foot of snow and it was snowing again last night with around 6 more inches forecasted. The top ring is no longer visibly and pretty soon my trellis will be completely covered with snow.
The wonderful thing about all this snow is that it’s providing a warm winter blanket to protect all my roses, hydrangeas, strawberries, and boxwood. As it melts it will provide nitrogen for the flush of spring growth. I’m not in any hurry for the snow to melt, I have so many books on my reading list thanks to all your recommendations yesterday!

What does your garden look like right now?

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Tropical Traditions

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.