It is mid winter and our trees are dormant. We have plenty of baby mesquite and desert willows that volunteered around our property last summer that we can now transplant. Our plan is to block out as much north-east and west sun as we can so that we can enjoy being outside during more hours during a hot summer day. Yesterday we got five little trees planted and ran some irrigation. We have many more to move.
Over the last two weeks we have noticed coyote droppings in our yard. This has never happened before and we are afraid that our cats or dog might get into trouble if we let them out at night. Our neighbor Larry loaned us a coyote trap and we have purchased some cheap cat food so tonight we are going to try and catch a coyote. I'm guessing we are going to catch a neighbors cat.
We had some of our snow bird neighbors come over and help us bottle up our latest wine. This was a kit based Beaujolais. I didn't really taste it besides what ended up in my mouth during siphoning.
This winter has been relatively wet for us. Our lettuces are coming nicely, the creosote that grows all around us is bright green (last year it was brown), and our strawberries look fantastic. I see lot's of new growth on the strawberries and I'm guessing in the next two months they will be fruiting.
Looks like our first key fob for our VW Beetle has died. I tried replacing the batteries only to discover the original cells still had plenty of juice and it was the fob itself that failed. I bought a new one off e-bay for $25 with a matching FCC ID.
Next week will be the last week that we receive raw milk that we use primarily for cheeses and a little bit of cooking. This means we switch back to nut milks and creams. Since we have a large amount of cashews on hand I went back to making cashew cream to eat with berries topped with a bit of shaved raw cacao. The recipe is simple.
- 1 c cashews
- soak overnight in fridge
- rinse nuts
- place in blender
- add 1 T honey
- add pinch of salt
- bring water level to half the height of the nuts
- run blender until smooth
- refrigerate cream
We have been searching for a source to buy whole chickens raised in a resonable environment (eg. not factory farmed). A friend turned us onto Keller's Farm store in Albuquerque which has proven to be a valuable resource. Keller's carries a variety of wild game, grass fed beef and even organic certified. This chicken was used from beginning to end. Sesame helps with the parts we don't want to eat and once shaved down the carcass become several meals worth of delicious chicken soup.
Note that waffle maker. Oddly enough I was testing out the cast iron stove top waffle maker the same time Wendy was roasting the bird. We did not actually eat chicken and waffles together, but it would have been fun.
I saw this on Make or Craft a while back. Using a cup or plastic bag to catch sheet rock dust when drilling holes. In this case I was mounting curtains and surprised at just how much sheet rock dust four anchor screws can create.
This mysteriously dark honey was delivered to us by a friend earlier this week. We love honey, but don't care for the comb to be mixed in with it. I used our crock pot + temperature controller to extract about 60% of the honey at a temperature of 118F. I was able to extract the remaining honey using a water bath temperature of 140F.
Easy enough to make and plenty good. Inspired by a neighbor who gave us a mason jar of the darkest honey I've ever seen. We ate this bread with more dark honey spread on it.
- 1 c rye flour
- 2 c white flour
- 1 c warm water
- 1 t salt
- 1 T dark honey
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 t yeast
- mix honey with 1 warm water
- add yeast
- let sit for 20 minutes
- mix all ingredients including yeast/honey/water
- let rise for 1 hour @ 88F
- punch down
- let rise in baking pan for 1 hour @ 88F
- bake in sun oven 350F for 1 hour
Mental Note. When passing a dumpster with solenoid valves hanging out of it after a significant freeze do not be the dumbass that brings them home and plugs them in. I lost two hours when I plumbed in a solenoid valve that was severely cracked. The new valve is in and working fine.
These were delivered to our home from a nearby farm today. 10lbs of carrots for $20. That is probably equivalent to the amount of carrots we managed to grow through the entire year.
Another yard sale find. I've been told that the cast iron waffle makers that sit on top of the stove are the best. I'm not sure about this model, but it looks like it will do the job.
The Dam has been closed to pedestrian traffic since 9/11. It was opened up today for the first time in over 10 years today. There was a excellent turn out with hundreds of friends and familiar faces.
I partied to a ridiculous degree on New Years Eve. My throat still hurts plus I'm coughing and sneezing almost non-stop. When I feel like I've come down with a cold I like to drink all the kombucha and eat all the kimchi we have on hand. We had plenty of kombucha so I've been chugging that. However, we are out of kimchi so I kicked off a 24 hour batch.
Wendy put some time into restocking our medicinals. She used the aeropress for creosote oil, stinging nettles tincture and ephedra tincture. She also processed some dry ephedra plant.
The far containers (darkest) are waste oil in the form that I collect it from the local restaurants. The orange colored middle containers have been gravity settled and twice filtered. The closest yellow colored containers have been chemically processed to become biodiesel with the glycerin removed.
I seeded the garden with our winter favorites arugula, cilantro and kale. I did the same thing about six weeks ago, but we were immediately bombarded with ridiculously cold temperatures that stalled the growth of these greens. Now I've increased my efforts putting a many seeds in all of our raised beds and cold frames.
I spent a little time showing our neighbors how we make a romano cheese. This particular hard cheese has turned out to be our favorite. It's fun to use our own thermophilic culture that we have kept alive for over two years. I also enjoy seeing how long we can wait before we jump in and eat the cheese. Our record so far is six months. The goal is two years.
The blurb. . .
HuDost is living proof that the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts, pulling together musical styles as diverse as the jellies in Marco Polo’s kitchen cupboard, they weave a seamless tapestry that renders tears and laughter in listeners and cultivates that nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts.
HuDost return to Truth or Consequences on