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Quote of the Day

September 21st, 2008

I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable in order to feed me. If I am going to eat meat. I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade. And I am getting almost as fussy about food plants.

Wendell Berry (What Are People For)

An article on feedlots for your reading disgust by Sprol.

Eat Wild has a lot of information on pastured meat & dairy.

Mr Chiots and I eat mainly venison (thanks to my hunting dad) and pastured meat, chickens, eggs, turkeys and dairy from pastured cows (raw milk directly from Robert’s Farm). Anyone else out there on the pastured bandwagon?

Picking Pecks of Pears

September 20th, 2008

On the 7th of this month Mr Chiots and I headed over to my parents’s house to pick pears. They have 2 pear trees that were just loaded with pears this year.

Since they didn’t want them, they told us we could have them. So we spent an afternoon picking Barlet & Bosc pears. I picked all the low ones while Mr Chiots scaled the ladder and got the high ones.

So how many pears did we end up with?

We picked 116 lbs of pears. Not bad for FREE (hm, I wonder how much 116 lbs of organic pears would cost me elsewhere). Our table was covered with pears for a week while we waited for them to ripen.

We actually should have picked them a week earlier, they were already pretty ripe and some of them had fallen off the tree. I guess the deer & other critters will enjoy those. I’ll have to mark the first of September on my calendar for picking pears next year.

So what am I doing with these pears. Well, this is what we were canning on Sunday when the lights went out. I dried some (super delicious you should try it), I made a batch of gingerbread pear butter and I also made 1 quart of spiced pickled whole pears for Thanksgiving.

Anyone else out there enjoying the delicious pears this season?

For Your Reading Pleasure

September 19th, 2008

I read an article at the SF Chronicle featuring Barbara Kingsolver (author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) about Canning tomatoes feed the souls, the body. Read on.

When Life Gives You a Wind Storm

September 18th, 2008

When life gives you a wind storm, build a fire with the fallen branches. Chiot’s Run is surrounded on 3 sides by mature woods with towering trees.

When strong winds blow, sticks litter our yard. On Sunday evening, we were hoping just sticks would be littering our yard and not whole trees. We did lose a huge branch from an old oak tree, fortunately the wind was coming from a different direction than normal, so it fell into the woods and not on our garage!

On Monday morning, we went out and picked up sticks all around the yard. We decided since it was cool, it would be the perfect day for a campfire.

I remembered all those poblano peppers I bought at the farmer’s market. I was going to grill them but I decided fire roasting them would be much tastier.

We found 2 old cinderblocks and an old grill grate and fashioned a grill over the fire. The peppers were neatly lined up shoulder to shoulder over the fire.

I grilled several batches (I bought 4 quarts of them at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday). Poblano peppers have a great flavor to begin with and when grilled they’re fantastic. These peppers fire roasted will add that perfect smoky flavor to anything we put them in.

After grilling, I trimmed them and they were neatly stowed away in freezer containers. I can hardly wait to make up a pizza or a batch of chili.

What kinds of veggies do you grill with success?

We’re Back!

September 17th, 2008

We’re back on-line after a few days sans electricity. Mr Chiots and I had a great time. When you live your life working in front of a computer all day, it’s a welcome reprieve to have to take a few days off. Since we had a generator to keep our fridge & freezer cool we didn’t have much to worry about. We felt like we were on vacation! So what happened around here over the last couple days? Here goes Sunday.

We lost our power on Sunday evening. What were we doing at the time? Canning of course. We were canning pears we got from my mom’s (more photos of that later). So we had to finish canning by candlelight, not as easy as it sounds (not that it sounds easy).

Mr Chiots came out and helped me since he could no longer work in the office. It’s a bit harder to peel pears but we managed to get the batch finished. It was a romantic evening of canning by candlelight together, not necessarily romantic, but we had fun.

Seven quarts of delicious pears were labeled: Lights Out Pears 9.14.08. Every time we open a jar we’ll have a good laugh about the event.

Sometimes you can find beauty in anything.

More adventures to come tomorrow.


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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.