Saturday, February 4, 2012

And let the planting begin....

It's February in the DFW area and we've seen more days above 65F then below it seems like.  And, with that kind of weather all I want to do is start planting.  The good news?  I can start planting, at least some seeds....

On another point, we've put the house up for sale.  We're finally making the jump toward actually acreage (anyone want to buy a house and help us out?), so I'm trying to be conservative about what and how much I plant.  If we don't move anytime soon, then we'll still have a garden to pull from this spring, but... if we do I don't want to have put all my funds into a garden I can use anymore. 

So, what did we plant on Friday?

What's cool?  I'm trying out one of these growing bags for the potatoes.  Not sure how it will turn out, but we'll have fun waiting to see.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Phenomenal French Toast

So, a girl that I work with has chickens.  Actually, several people I work with have chickens.  I grew up in this area, and I never knew anyone with chickens, but now I know at least 3!  How times have changed!?!
Hopefully someday I'll have my own chickens.
What's interesting about that statement is I don't like eggs.  I've tried then 10 different ways, and I don't like the "egginess" of them.  And, as I've heard, "fresh" eggs have more "egginess" than market eggs. So, why would I want chickens?  I keep thinking, if I keep trying I'll finally figure out how to cook eggs so I like it.
But, that's not really the reason for this post, just the beginning of it! :)
This girl I work with gave my DH and I 2 dozen eggs!  What was I to do with 2 dozen eggs?  So, I've been trying to find new ways to add the eggs into our (really my) diet.
When I was a kid, I disliked french toast, it was too "eggy."  Pancakes, Waffles, wonderful but French Toast, yuk!
So, Sunday I was watching recorded TV and someone was making French Toast and I thought - hmmm. that looks yummy.  So, tonight we tried this recipe for dinner and it was phenomenal!  I could have eaten an entire loaf!  Like the plate AND we got to use some of those great farm fresh eggs.

So, I'll share with you where I found that great recipe  - pass it on..

And, now I have a reason for my own chickens....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

12 Months of Gardening

So, they say in North Texas that you can garden 12 months of the year.  Unlike in the North, where the growing season is short and everything is planted together, we have "two" growing seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall.  Last year was my first attempt at broadening gardening across these two seasons with some successes.
But, in the end I didn't have quite the "stamina" to garden through the holidays.  So, after a break, we're prepping the garden and getting ready for spring.  First step is getting rid of the old (sounds like a new year's resolution)...

This year, since we are looking at moving (more land is the goal), we decided to go "small" and not plant too much in case we do move.  Although I don't mind sharing the vegetables of my labor; I don't want to hand over a full garden to someone else. :)
So, recently we went seed shopping...And the result:

Uh, yeah.. I can see the "small garden's" not going to be my plan this year - these are just the seeds, they don't even include the planned tomato, potato, and pepper transplants. :)

And so, we're ready (or almost ) -  just need February  to arrive and let the planting begin!  Oh, and I decided to take a class this past weekend on spring gardens, so more on that later.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Traveling... and a dream

So I was traveling this week for work, and interestingly enough ended up on the fringes of wine country in California.  So with an hour and half drive, I had time to think and admire the view (when there was one).

Although this wasn't exactly what I saw (I didn't remember their was a camera on my phone) it represents well.  It's that time of year in California where the grapes have not begun to grow but you can see the promise in them.  I really love the look of these evenly spaced rows!

I also saw a large dairy farm.  I'd never seen so many cows! (again no camera)

There were hundreds of them.  Really crazy (and stinky).  I love those black and white cows.
So after a long day of traveling and an even longer night of working, I went to sleep and here's where the dream part comes in.

I dreamt of cows that made wine and vineyards that made milk!  Can you imagine why I only slept 3 hours?!  Not the best combination.

Have a great week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Comfort food...or not

I find as the weather turns, and it gets cooler outside that I turn more and more to comfort food.  Whether that be soups, stews, casseroles, or just hearty warm fare.  I always love settling into the kitchen during the winter.

Unfortunately, all though last winter I could have cooked forever, this year the weather is not cooperating with my need to bring on the soup!  Do you know today it was 72 - It's MLK, the middle of January and it was 72!  This is not winter, this is torture.  One of the best ways to "enjoy" the blazing hot summers around here is to have a little bit of cold to balance it with.  I don't need a week of ice, but come on!

 back to cooking my green chicken chili...let's hope for some cooler weather.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finally.. Fall Gardening Season

Well, it's been a long, HOT summer...  70 days over 100F HOT...  Like, we beat multiple records in the state of Texas HOT...And my garden has suffered some because of it.  Though, there has been some bright spots.

My basil has gone crazy and I'm handing it out left and right.

As well the sage has done much better than I anticipated. 

Not only that, but some of the butternut squash not only survived the spring production and the summer but is producing again.

In addition, during all that insane heat, we began planting for the Fall and hoping that some day we would see "lows" below 86F and that everything would begin to perk up again!
 And it has...

One of the gardens is almost overrun with jalapenos, Hatch chili, eggplant, and other various pepper plants.  All which survived the brutality of summer.  (Can you tell summer was really miserable?)

The potted plants, because I could provide them some shade, also did well.
In addition, we planted a lot of new produce for the fall potential.

 Corn!  My first try at this and so far I'm surprised at how quickly they've grown.  These were seeds merely a month ago.

Ohh.  and more butternut squash as well as some pumpkins and gourds!
And, soon, I will hopefully be able to show the collard greens, carrots, radishes, and tomatoes as they begin to grow/produce.  So hopefully I'll have more to tell soon.

Ohh, had to add these.  Not really liking them as edible eggplant, but thought they were really pretty!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Garden Refresh

July is just around the corner and in Texas that means summer is in full swing.  Over the past few weeks, we've had an overabundance of crop to fill our kitchen.  I've had great dinners, given some away, canned alot, stocked, freezer and the frig.  But, now that we are going into constant 100F days, it's time to "start" the fall crop.  Neil Sperry said in a recent FB post, ..."(whether) carrying spring plants over makes any sense. (It seldom does make sense.)" and I've decided that he has a point.  Last year, we nursed a tomato plant to no avail, so this year, we're starting over.

Spring/Summer Garden

 And this weekend, the beginnings of the Summer/Fall garden!  I've removed about 10 tomato bushes that are done with their crop and have 2-3 more to go.  I've added 4 new tomato plants for fall production as well as butternut squash seeds. This is the first real Fall garden (usually I'm too late), so I'm pretty excited.  Wish me luck!