Saturday, November 6, 2010

first snow

We had our first snow of the season last night and no it is not out of the ordinary. Just because Georgia is close to Florida does not mean it is always warm, in fact our weather here is much more like New England state's weather than Southern US. I know, it is not a real snow but rarely do we get a real, yankee land snow so our puny 17 flakes every so often make me very happy. A little too happy according to the manthing.

Last night, before bed we went out and covered some of the lettuce beds up to keep them from getting frost bit. We left the tomatoes uncovered in hopes they would be killed off. To my surprise, this morning, they all still looked fine. I have most definitely saved seeds from the ever bearing, never dying tomato plants.

Friday, November 5, 2010

simple supper-"meatless" loaf & veggie burgers

Since we are having our first lengthy cold snap(4 days), the wood stove is fired up and I have been slow cooking meals and desserts we have not had in a while. Yesterday I made a pot of one of our favorite frugal and healthy dishes up and today I am breaking it down into other dishes. More specifically, a meatless loaf and some veggie burgers are now cooking away on the stove top and smelling mighty good. I am having a hard time deciding which we are going to have for dinner tonight.

What I really like about the lentil taco filling is that it is super cheap to prepare, several different meals from the base dish can be made with ease, and besides spices it calls for just two ingredients making it near impossible to mess up. A single recipe makes the two of us 4 dinners and two lunch meals. That is quite a few meals for under a buck. While today I am making burgers and a meat loaf, I have made salisbury steaks and meatballs too. For any recipe I make I treat the lentil mixture as I would ground beef and just replace about two cups of lentil for a pound of meat. I then follow the recipe for whatever it is that I am making. I always make sure to use a binder when making recipes. Most anything works, I have found but I tend to use oatmeal,or bread crumbs. When I make veggie burgers, I add binder, shredded veggies and any other herbs that I wish. Once the patties are made I dredge them in flour for cooking and cook with a bit of butter or oil as there is no fat as there would be with ground beef. The burgers freeze well both before or after cooking so they make a good meal for when time is short.

The meatloaf is topped with a couple fatty bacon strips to add a bit of oil and it is topped with a honey bbq sauce. The burgers have onion, summer squash, carrot and garlic in them. The manthing has decided he wants burgers tonight, so will serve them with a fresh garden salad and half baked tater wedges. Dessert will be brownies that I made last evening.

Monday, November 1, 2010

monday's mountain musings-leaves n stuff

as the dogs were eating dinner the deer were 15 foot from the door
 What a beautiful weekend we had here! Chilly nights, warm afternoons  and  the manthing was feeling spry enough to actually get out and help  for a while. I think  the one thing I miss most now that he is back to work is doing most everything all of the time on my own when for two years, he was  here to  all the time. It is not that I need him here for most things  or that we even work together when he is here, it is more a motivational factor, I think.

Since he was home and the ground had dried out enough from our rains last week, he worked on the drainage ditch, aka hillside runoff and goat poop collector. Twice a year the ditch needs to be  tilled and shoveled out. While it does provide us with some very nice easy to  extract soil, it is a tedious job.  For those thinking hillside runoff! ?! , erosion control is not something that can be remedied overnight unless you have the budget of a state highway department. It is a slow, step by step process  or a bigger mess is created in the  end.

While  manthing  played dirt remover and hauler, I worked on a few  of the beds  that needed more soil build up so that I could plant them this week. With what was removed from the ditch, we rejuvenated three beds  and made them  look pretty again.

I guess  leaf peak was here  after all last week. Many of our leaves are now falling to the ground, some trees are bare already and the colors are fading quickly. For me, it means my favorite  chore begins and raking of the forest can commence. It also means  putting beds to rest for the winter with their blankets of leaves, filling the chicken coop and goats sheds as full as I can get them  filling all the compost bins,  heaps and barrels up as well as stashing some away for winter bedding touch-ups. The goats also  love to snack on them. Our girls would rather eat a pile of dried crunchy leaves than a bale of hay any day.

Today, I will be planting garlic bulbils and doing a reseed in the green house  of the lettuce. This should keep us in enough salads for  the winter that we will be sick of them come March. Contrary to  popular belief,  lettuce and salad greens are late fall and winter food  when grown naturally. They are not summer fixings as most  lettuces do not do well in hot, dry conditions. Later this week, I will be planting some Egyptian walking onions  and begin digging holes for  the orchard trees, which we still have not gotten. Though I really wanted to go and get them  on Saturday,  I needed manthing around and able to think clearly to get his thoughts on where to plant them  and to be sure I was not getting in over my head trying to dig 20 holes on my own before it gets too cold. I think he forgets he is gone from home 60-70 hours a week and when he is home he is too tired to get out and work.  Or maybe he just forgets that I gave up my super woman  role.