Saturday, January 15, 2011

seed swappin time

Today I finally sat down and gathered all my seeds that have been scattered here there and everywhere and sorted through them. I purged a few old ones that have not germinated well, we didn't like or that had fallen out of the packets and into the bottom of my containers. They will become seed balls or planted throughout the property in super secret locations. I found five packets that had been labeled as melon. Unfortunately what sort of melon is in them is anybody's guess as the permanent marker I used was not so permanent. This year I will be sure and put papers inside the packets with the name of what is in them instead of having to play a guessing game. I do know they are either, thai golden round, piel de sapo, tigger or cantaloupe all of which are quite tasty.

Anywho, here is the list of seed that I have plenty of. All of them are heirloom even if I do not have them labeled with a particular name. Some seeds I have had long enough that I no longer remember the name. If anyone would like to trade some send me an email.

winter squash-North ga roaster, Waltham butternut, golden delicious,

beans-White rice bean, Hidatsa, edamame envy soy

peppers-Yolo wonder sweet , sweet mix, wonder, 5 color chinese, long cayenne, tam jalapeno, Hasen- something paprika

Dante ½ long carrots


Echinacea purpurea


Clemson okra,


long gr cukes,

celery (85 day)

moon and stars watermelon

white dent corn

Detroit dark red beet

Tobacco- silkleaf, nic. rustica

Tiny tom tomato

castor bean

mystery melons

Thursday, January 13, 2011

tortilla folding, so the guts don't fall out

Folding a tortilla so that its guts do not fall out is second nature to me as I have been doing it forever and I don't have to think about how to do it. When writing the chimichanga post this morning, I was going to post a link on how to fold them except there is very little information out there. I decided that I would instead fold one and take pictures of it then realized I had no tortillas and nothing that I could fill the tortilla with to demonstrate. I then decided that I would make a single tortilla and use a piece of ginger root as "the guts " so that I could post this...

Note that home made tortillas are not going to be perfectly round unless you are just that anal about things. I personally like the weird shapes that my carelessness in rolling provides. It makes rolling them up more challenging.

start with a large slightly warm tortilla. The bigger the better and lay it on a flat surface. Place your filling on the tortilla, leaving a couple inches on either end and enough room on the first flap to be able to cover the filling. Do not over fill the tortilla. If it starts oozing out the ends as you fold them in, its too full.
Fold the first side over the filling and fold in one end first and then the other end.
Once both ends are folded in, continue rolling the tortilla until there is just a small flap remaining. Make a little paste from flour and water and glue the seam together.
When baking or shallow frying always put the seam side down or it will open up in the cooking process.

simple supper- chimichangas w/ white sauce

One of my favorite not so budget minded (but not too expensive) dishes is chicken chimichangas with a white sauce. I like it because you can make it as spicy or as plain as you like them, they can be served with whatever you have on hand, they can be made ahead and frozen and are very easy to make despite the lengthy recipe. Make some refried beans or Mexican rice to serve alongside and you have a restaurant quality meal without the cost or having to leave your home. These can also be made with shredded pork, turkey, beef or rabbit. Chicken just happens to be my favorite. There are many variations of chimichangas out there and many thoughts on how they should be served. The following recipe is just the one I use when I make them for us.

When I make this recipe it takes me a couple of hours because I make everything from scratch. This also allows me to make really large tortillas. It makes the folding of them easier and one chimi will be plenty for an adult. I make refried beans from dry beans rather than buy them as it is much cheaper and healthier to do so. We prefer using our own cheese as well. In fact, the only thing we do purchase to make this is the flour. To make it a much faster meal to put together all items can be store bought, prepared ahead of time and dinner can be had in about 30 minutes time.


1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

Couple diced chiles

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

One finely chopped onion or ¼ cup green onion

salsa blanco

Two green chiles, finely minced

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup milk

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper or to taste

To build the chimichangas lay a slightly warm tortilla on flat surface, add ¼ -1/2 cup of filling on tortilla and fold. Lay the filled tortilla on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, seam side down. When all are assembled, brush with a light coat of oil or butter and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Traditionally they are deep fried rather than baked but I always had trouble with them falling apart. This method is healthier and makes it easy. I shallow fry them or half- bake on top of the wood stove. When serving I place a little puddle of white sauce on the plate, place the chimi on it and add the toppings with another good drizzle of sauce on top.

To make the sauce, mix all ingredients in small sauce pan, stir frequently over low heat until hot. Serve over chimi's.

When I make chimi’s, I use what I have on hand for the toppings. We prefer shredded cabbage over lettuce and then I top with a bit of green onion, diced tomatoes and top with a bit of queso blanco. Some folks like salsa, guacamole, lettuce, onion and olives or even green salsa on top of theirs. This recipe will make 4-6 servings.

Flour tortillas

(not my picture, my shutter didn't open when I took mine :( )

Monday, January 10, 2011

monday's mountain musings-snow, water sleds, critters n snow cream

We got us another solid nine inches of snow last night. It must have come down at a pretty good clip and would have loved to watch it. Unfortunately I couldn't talk the manthing into going to bed at 2 pm yesterday and getting up at 10 last night to watch it all.

The other day when we heard of the impending storm coming in, we decided we should construct a water totin sled. After the big snow on Christmas, we learned that although it seems a silly thing to think about in GA, a sled would help greatly for hauling water from the spring. We or manthing constructed us a sled from the cover to the air conditioning unit from the fifth wheel. It is smooth and light weight so should glide over the snow, in theory. I wanted to make it more sturdy n use it as a big old sled for myself but I have been forbidden to act like I am four because of my ol broken bones. I am sure we will be testing it for its intended purpose soon and I think I can coax the small black dog into going for a ride without too much trouble.

I don't think the goats are real amused with our winter this year.

Going to make us some snow cream and a peach cobbler for this afternoon.
While in some areas I would never suggest eating the snow, in many areas I would especially after a big snow. It is fun to make for kids of all ages especially when it is something you grew up with. This is the basic recipe that I use for making it. Remember only to use fresh, clean, snow!!

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
large bowl of snow (about a gallon)

Blend milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough snow to make snow cream to an ice cream consistency. For variations try substituting condensed milk or cream for milk for a heavier flavor. Add Nestles Quik for a chocolate snow cream, or use instant cocoa mix. Add fruits for a different flavor or blend an overripe banana in the mixture. Serve immediately.