Early Spring Sunrise Snow on the Silo

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time to make the pesto!

The basil is doing VERY well so far this year, it is loving the wet and warm weather. I took me years to realize this, but I cannot stress enough, PICK AND USE YOUR BASIL! You will be rewarded with more and more and more basil. I used to hate the idea of cutting off my pretty plants, but once they show signs of flowering, give them a good trim and and you will be amazed at how quickly they rebound. On the other hand, if you don't harvest the plants flower and become leggy and woody with reduced production.

So I picked this HUGE colander full of leaves from my many plants.

I removed the leaves from the stems and put them in the blender with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Pine nuts are a traditional ingredient, but I'm not fond of them so I leave them out. Then I puree, adding more EVOO until I get a nice thick milkshake consistency. I like to freeze mine in old fashioned pyrex glass containers with plastic lids or half pint mason jars. Delicious on pasta, warm or cold, and I use it as a 'rub' on pork roasts. Very versatile and tasty stuff!

Made a chiffonade with the rest of the leaves and added them to fresh pasta sauce for dinner. You can also dry bunches then store the dried leaves in an airtight container away from direct light and heat where they keep their potency about six months.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Visit to Midway Village

Midway Village is a living history museum in Rockford, Illinois. On Saturday Boogie and I joined a dear friend from Chicago and got to meet her family at this lovely little facility. Our original plans were to get together at Old World Wisconsin, but as in many best laid plans, they sustained tornado damage a week ago and are closed for repairs. After some Internet searching, I found this place as an alternative. It turned out to be the perfect place for a visit, roughly half way between our respective residences. To say it was not crowded is an understatement, we practically had the place to ourselves. The museum covers the history of the Rockford area, which has quite and industrial past with mills playing a big part. The exhibit area is small, but well done with some 'hands on' displays and the biggest Sock Monkey I have ever seen!

The grounds are beautiful, with well tended buildings and gardens. Since we had three young children, we declined the 40 minute tour, which is included in the $6 adult admission fee, and explored on our own. Certainly a great place for a picnic lunch! While I wouldn't consider this to be a destination attraction, it is well worth the visit if you are in the area, particularly if you are a history buff. This would also be a wonderful place for a wedding and reception.

Debs children are awesome, so well behaved next to my little tyrant who couldn't keep out of the puddles from last nights rain. She, and her husband of course, do such a great job with them. We had wonderful weather sandwiched between early morning thunderstorms and rain again at night. Boogie was able to run to his hearts content
The aftermath, a quite drive home!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Boogies butterflies emerged from their cocoons early this morning. Unfortunately we did not get to see the process :(. I had checked them late last night after we got home from our outing to Midway Village and there had been no change but this morning after chores nine of the ten chrysalis had become Painted Lady butterflies!

Per the instructions, we are feeding them sugar water on tissue and flower blossoms, elderberry in this case.

The little guy finds them fascinating and has been remarkably gentle with his 'futterflies' and I hope he's not too upset when we release them later in the week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More of my stock portfolio

I haven't made much mention of the Pot Bellied Pigs. I have two sows and a boar and 4 piglets at the moment. The little ones are two weeks old and just beginning to eat pellets. Piggies are precocious babies and have their eyes opened and are running around at birth. Too cute!

Most of my city friends probably have never seen, or perhaps even heard of, guinea fowl. They are fairly strange looking birds that make a god-awful noise that resembles a harpy shrieking 'buckwheat, buckwheat'. On the up-side, they eat a ton of bugs and are excellent watch dogs. They hatch out of smallish weeble shaped eggs with a very hard shell.
Rebel is a 12 1/2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier. I've had her since she was whelped, also owned her parents and grand parents. She is still looking pretty good for her age she harasses the cat and bothers the occasional chicken but she has been through so many different animals coming and going, nothing really fazes her. She had a mammary tumor removed last year and so far there has been no recurrence, hopefully we nipped that in the bud. It amazes me how well she deals with Boogies antics given that she was never around a child until she was 10 years old. He can really pummel her some days.

Time to get ready for our little trip tomorrow. Old World Wisconsin was damaged by the tornadoes earlier this week so we are heading to the Midway Village Museum in Rockford, Illinois instead. The smudge faced bunny will be going to his new home as well.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some spring knitting projects

Here they are, most likely the last pair of wool shorties I'll knit for Boogie, Tiger Tail on Bluefaced Leicester wool by Wooly Wonders by Nada. We have about a dozen pairs for the summer and by fall I expect he should be house trained. Well, maybe by Christmas. Before New Year. There will be NO diapers by next summer. At least I hope not.

I have quite a few pairs of longies knitted up for fall and winter,
sized large
nough to anticipate him being taller. Then we'll be done. Rather sad, but it will be nice to have a diaper free home and actually have time to do my laundry rather than just diapers.

I just finished up this Chullo hat for my friend Peter. I made him one last winter in Paton's olives and browns and he promptly lost it skiing in Colorado. This one, in harvest colors, should be easier to spot. It was rather odd finishing up a wool hat on the first day of summer!I also just finished up two fun scarves out of eyelash yarn, the blue one is supper skinny, extra long and uber soft. The pumpkin colored one is a bit more substantial and could chase an autumn chill and still look fab-u-lous! Boogie likes to lay his head on it and says 'comfy, comfy'. Most likely I will offer them for sale on my Hyena Cart shop EUConline.
I have a bath room rug in progress and one other neon green skinny eyelash scarf on the needles (scarves are nice, simple projects to take with to play group and on car rides)
. Next, I have to pick out a cowl pattern and yarn for a swap amongst a forum group of knitters of which I am a member. I'm a bit intimidated by this since may of them are professional knitters and are fancy wool snobs (and I mean that in the best possible way). I really want to put together a nice project so as to not disappoint my swap partner. At least I have until September to obsess, er complete the item.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Update from the Farm

Here is my new strawberry bed, it's loaded with rich compost so I'm hoping for a bumper harvest next spring.
The caterpillars have become chrysalis and soon I will move them into their mesh cage. They grew very quickly and it is amazing how much they eat in such a short period of time!

Boogie and I went to Rendezvous for a bit on Friday and Saturday. The weather on Saturday was amazing and Boogie liked watching the Native American dancers. With all the dogs we have at home, he still wants to pet every single dog he sees. His doggie back pack/harness is a life saver in crowds. He didn't get the nick name Boogie for nothing.

I found him a little tool kit at a garage sale a while back and he likes to help Rob with projects. He got the
frame built for a sand box, now we just need sand.

I also found a much needed dog house and a cute toy chest at garage sales this past weekend, wish I would have had time to check out more of them.

I found a single chick down by the hen house with an injury to the right side of it's head. I had no idea what had happened to it (it had been hatched by a broody hen that is not getting a mother of the year award) and I couldn't tell if the eye was viable so I brought it up to the brooder where it has done well with the incubator chicks and guineas. The eye is fine, though it appears she will have a permanent scar, and she will eventually join the layers back in the coop.

Looking forward to the official start of summer, play group on Tuesday, an evening estate auction and a visit to Old World Wisconsin on Saturday where I will meet a dear friend that I haven't seen in a while, meet her family and she can meet Boogie too!

Hope everyone had a great Fathers Day!