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Friday Favorite: New Recipes

April 20th, 2018

I’m a lover of food and a lover of cooking. There’s not much I enjoy more than a new cookbook and making recipes from it. This past winter, I got Nigel Slater’s A Kitchen Diary and read through it. Every recipe sounded delicious as I was reading through (his books are not just cookbooks with recipes, but more books about food & cooking with recipes sprinkled in).

Last week, I made pumpkin dal from it and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I still have pumpkins coming out my ears from last summer’s harvest, I’m always looking for good recipes that can use up some pumpkin. The 24 carat brownie recipe from this book is also fantastic. The recipes are pretty simple, which is something I really appreciate. They highlight good quality ingredients with minimal fussiness in cooking or preparation. I’m looking forward to more and more recipes from this book.

Are you a fan of cooking or just more a fan of eating?

The Sweets

April 19th, 2018

If you remember from many years ago, a feral mama moved her kittens into our garage. A series of unfortunate events, led to most of the kittens not making it, but one did, with an amazing story.

When we moved from Ohio to Maine, we trapped her and brought her with us. We’ve been able to slightly tame her throughout the years, but she’s still pretty wild, and mostly nocturnal. There are times when she’s gone for a month, out and about in the woods I suppose, hunting and doing things cats love to do.

She’s still a great garden companion, often coming out in the late afternoons when I’m working in the main vegetable garden behind the garage. She meows at me and hangs out nearby. Every now and then I get lucky and she lets me pet her. Since she’s and outdoor cat, her coat is super thick and lush to keep her warm in the winters. This past week, she’s been out following me around as I clean up the main vegetable plot. It’s nice having her around, she’s a great hunter and a valuable member of the team here.

Do you have any great garden companions?

Soaking up Some Sun

April 18th, 2018

This time of year, I carry my flats of seedlings in and out so they can get some real sun. Like gardeners, they do much better when able to spend lots of time outside. Eventually, I’ll have a small greenhouse, then I won’t have to do this chore.

Typically, I’m already transplanting seedlings in the garden, but this year spring is taking a long time to arrive. That’s OK with me, it gives me more time to get some of the other necessary chores out of the way. Though I must say, space under the grow lights is becoming very limited!

How do you harden off seedlings?

Oh, The Weather Outside if Frightful…

April 17th, 2018

Yesterday was a super yucky day weather wise here in Maine. We had all manner of freezing precipitation, the sleet nailing me with 30mph winds while I was getting mail was actually a bit painful. At least the weather indoors is delightful as are the greens in the edible indoor garden.

I have many things that can be transplanted outside, should the weather actually warm up. Until then, we’re eating greens grown under grow lights and thinnings from flats of things that are on deck to be planted out as soon as I can work the soil.

What’s the weather like in your garden?

Spring Cleanup

April 16th, 2018

Now that the snow has melted (for the most part) and the ground is starting to thaw, the means spring cleanup is in full swing. By far, the biggest chore in the spring is raking all the gravel out of the lawn. Plowing all the snow we get, results in loads and loads of gravel being deposited in the lawn. It’s hard graft raking it out, but it needs done as early as possible in the spring so as to not smother the grass.

This winter was especially bad because we had a few thaws in the middle of winter. That means the driveway gets soft and more of it is scooped up and left in the lawn with the piles of snow.

It’s a big chore, typically it takes me 8-10 hours to get it finished. I usually work on it for an a hour a day or so until it’s finished. This week, I was able to dedicate 4-5 hours to it, so I’m really close to finishing it up. Once this chore is done, it’s time to move on to cleaning out the gardens of all the dead plant material. I will also be adding layers of compost & mulch to most of the garden.

What’s your biggest spring cleanup chore?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Berkey Water Filter

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.