Friday, November 30, 2007

Fast Foods

When you're cooking from scratch you don't think so much of Fast foods but there are many basics that can create your own version of fast food.
About once a week I cook a crock pot full of black beans. These are my favorites others may choose another basic bean. I cook a big pot of boiled potatoes and about 2 cups of brown rice. With these in the frig some very good meals are quick to fix. One boiled potato goes in the micro wave while you take a scoup or two of black beans and place them in a pot. Add half a can of Hatch chopped tomatoes with green chili's and heat. When the potato is hot quarter it and pour the beans over the potato, add a little grated cheese and green onion and whalla there is a great meal. I love black bean burritoes with shredded green cabbage, onion and grated cheese. I also make a mushroom gravy with green sauce that I put over my brown rice. Very fast if it's all in the frig. Take a scoup of cooked brown rice in a bowl, add gravy and into the micro wave. Yum. Fried rice, potato fritata, potato soup, egg drop soup, egg foo yung all can be made very quickly with your basices. I also steam slices of sweet potato and find that when I need a snack I just slide the skin off of a cold cooked slice I have a very healthy quick snack.
Another quick food is take a package of ramon noodles and put in a fry pan with cover with water. Add a 1# package of frozen mixed vegitables. and cook together. Filling and good for you.
Home made bisquits are so quick and easy to do. I make whole wheat bisquits in the toaster oven and love to dunk them in coffee or cocoa or even hot milk.
These are some of the fast foods I keep on hand and meals are easily put together with little mess.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Watermelons are in the gourd family and for some reason this watermelon plant grew melons in gourd shapes. I haven't opened any of these yet to see what the meat is like but I may save the seeds .

I picked a fresh watermelon this morning and am eating some with my breakfast. I'm thinking as it gets colder maybe I should pick them and store them in the garage before the frost ruins them. The vines have died back. I still have eggplants, green tomatoes, swiss chard, green beans and small cantaloupes in the garden. My brocolli and cabbage are just starting out and there are a few late sunflowers just starting to bloom. I've been getting a few figs and the trees are all doing well. Now, I'm starting to prepare the soil for next years garden and hope to have a much bigger garden. I want to plant more sunflowers and millet for the chickens. Any patches of bermuda grass that are coming up I'm going to nurture for pasture grazing for the chickens.

There was an old wisdom that if you had some land and planted nut trees you could pay property taxes with the cash crop. I can remember when I was younger I knew several people who had either fruit or nut trees and I was envious when they got their crops. I plant my trees with hope that they will provide well for me. I would like to get more pomegranates planted as currently they are selling for around $2.00 a piece in the markets. There is a home in Kingman that has maybe 100 pomegranate trees surrounding their property. I'm guessing that on a good year they get about 100 fruits from each mature tree @ $1.00 a fruit that's $10,000. That is pretty good tax money and pomegranates are not fragile like some fruits. They are good keepers.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Leah, my grand daughter and her three with grandma Heidi, Kevin in the background. Too many shadows. The children had the small pumpkins they picked in their baskets which they carried around all day. Their mom said they were still carrying the pumpkins around when they got home.
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Yesterday we had a family day and gave thanks. It was pretty casual , we ate outdoors as the day was warm and welcoming. Heidi brought a turkey and I made mashed potato's and gravy plus an apple salad and cauliflower salad ( two different salads ) pickles and olives and celery sticks and steamed vegies.

Here is Neo, in the forfront, Amy and Dethin. Dethin, gave us a surprise when he practiced what he learned at school, calling 911. We were out feeding the horse when the sheriff drove in to our surprise. The sheriff had to search my house and get id because he was afraid we were hiding someone calling for help. Funny. He saw a lot of dirty dishes. The children really loved running here and there all over the property and through the house. Love having children in grandma's house, on grandma's little farm. We gathered eggs, picked watermelons and after dinner was over we made them a little worm farm to take home in a small ice chest. They picked the pumpkins they planted earlier this year and carried them around in baskets all day, full of imagination and fun.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

This is my brocolli in an old refrigerator growing with protection. I'm hoping to get another old refrigerator on Thursday. I harvested my baby worms this past week and they were about 1" long. They are now in with the adult worms and the vermi compost is planted with cabbage. Those plants will be transplanted when they are big enough and I will plant the vermi compost again.

We are still having very nice weather here. This week I took my great grand children and grand daughter to a wild life preserve that I had read about in the newspaper. I will say it was such a treat as they had moved from a scuzzy desert area and were now in this beautiful mountain area. Lots of room for the animals and it's clean and well planned. What an asset it is. I'm addicted. I could easily go there weekly to see the animals and the mountain area. It is 32 miles from Kingman in a little area called Valentine. There are many cats but there is one special tiger there that is like this beautiful huge kitty cat. It rolls over like it wants to have it's tummy rubbed. Monkey's, cats, (all kinds) wolves, ostriches, emus, deer, tortoises, llama's, coti mundi's , racoon's, and more all in this most beautiful setting where you can walk or take a safari tour through. With the tour adults are $21 and children are $16. Walking it is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Well worth it.
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Monday, November 5, 2007

Full view of the porch swing I purchased. I'm going to clean it up and paint it. I don't know where I'll hang it yet but come this Spring I hope to have it up.
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An old freezer that I'm using to grow lettuces. You can see the seedlings just coming up. I put rock rubble at the bottom, then straw and then dirt. I will be taking more pictures as they grow. Hope to have some nice salad greens.
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Saturday I went off to yard sales to pick up some more ice chests for my earthworms. People love to talk about raising earthworms. I got some good tips and so yesterday I harvested my red worms. I sorted out all the adult worms from the verma compost and left the eggs and babies in the verma compost. The adults went into new bedding of shredded paper and peatmoss. The babies were fed cornmeal and ground up chicken scratch. Then I planted in the verma compost. When the plants are ready for transplanting I think the babies will be ready to harvest and start in new bedding. I decided this is a good way to start my plants. This morning I put my euro worms in new bedding and a larger ice chest. They were packed in and most of the bedding was already digested. I will harvest the verma compost and eggs sometime after the 15th of the month. The verma compost that I harvested awhile back with all the eggs has quit a few babies in it. I put it in a larger bin too and then I planted in it as well. I really enjoy working with earthworms. I can hardly wait till I have lots of good soil to plant in.
I also picked up a great porch swing and a complete electric fence with charger at the yard sales. Lots of fun, meeting my neighbors and finding treasures.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Small Harvest

A small harvest for dinner from the garden. Some green beans planted way last Spring are just now starting to produce and eggplant. The tomatoes are putting on lots of tomatoes now and slowly ripening. I have a second crop of watermelons and a new crop of many cantaloupes. There's swiss chard under crates that is leafing out nicely after the chickens ate them to the ground. I'm off to yard sales and the swap meet to see if I can find some more ice chests for raising earthworms.
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Friday, November 2, 2007

Purchased plants

Here are the plants I purchased at 50% off in Hendersen, Nevada. They look like a little tropical oasis and the chickens and peacocks love them. Nice tall palms.
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