Wednesday, February 9, 2011

around the homestead-plants n stuff

All of the seeds that I planted a couple weeks ago are sprouted and growing nicely. The burley tobacco and the zucchini were the last to poke their heads through the soil. They both took almost a week longer than all of the other seeds I started. As soon as the weather breaks a bit most of the starts will be transplanted and go to the GHg until they go in the ground. Another week or so and I will need to get the tomatoes and peppers going.
The GH plants are doing quite well still. Some of the greens are going to seed and the broccoli is almost ready for harvest. Cabbages are starting to head and the peas are coming up. We continue to get carrots, turnips and various greens both from outside and the GH.
When I was out checking on the fruit trees the other day I came across a pretty weed. It is very pretty and about the same size as it is in the picture. I have been searching on the net trying to find out what it is to no avail. Does anyone know what it is by chance?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a bad buck n bouncing babies

As I went down to do morning chores I heard a baby squawling and the normally very docile buck being a bad bad boy. He was attempting to molest the tiny things and ramming them into the fence! He has always been a very well behaved buck and is very good with the babies. Recently though, he has developed an attitude and I don't much care for it. I have been around animals long enough to know that once the males begin being rough or misbehaving, it is better to get rid of them before they cause someone or something real harm. After having to run quick, jump fences (because the gate clips were frozen), grab the buck in one hand while untying rope to open the pasture fence with the other and being entirely mad for having to do all this while it was 27 degrees and very windy while in my pajamas and only having one cup of coffee in my system, I was not the happiest of campers.

After getting mister nasty out into the pasture and making sure the kids were ok, I went to do chores and didnt one of the babies slip through the gate into where his nastiness was. A few chunks of old chicken wire and some string fixed the trouble but then we had to decide what to do with him as the pasture area he was thrown into has no shelter and we still have some winter weather ahead of us. Our options were to do some repairs (several hours) to the old buck pen where there is a shed or build him a shanty in the pasture where he is. We chose the latter and threw a couple pieces of old ply wood up and a tarp. It really is quite charming at least until he decides to chew it up and it will have to do for the time being until we decide what we do with him.
By the time we got to slapping together nasty boys hut, the little girlies were enjoying the afternoon sun and bouncing around the pen. They are so cute but so hard to get good still pictures of because they are never still so I turned the camera on for a minute while watching them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

black bean chocolate cake

Yes, you read that correctly, it is a cake in fact made with black beans. The joy of this cake is that it has no gluten in it but is still decadent and rich tasting. Although it is gluten free, it by no means is a health food since it is basically a torte. The sugar in the recipe can be interchanged with whatever sweetener you prefer and does not seem to change the cake any so it can be a bit healthier and fewer calories if you so choose. A cup of flour can also be added to the mix to make it more cake like in texture, although it is then no longer gluten free. Though this is called a black bean cake, any bean can pretty much be used.

2 cups black beans (or any other bean really)
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil/butter
1 cup sugar or any combination of "Sugar"
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp water

Puree or blend 2 cups cooked beans and 6 eggs. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients then add bean and egg mixture. Blend well, pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes. Frost or serve plain.