Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Home from the Land o'Biscuits

Farmer Jeff and I are home from Tennessee, the Land o'Biscuits. This is hard for someone that has really been working on a white flour free diet. Ya sure. In addition to being the land o'biscuits (and DAMN fine biscuits, at that) it is also the land of: fried chicken, barbecue, pie, cornbread, fried just about anything, ham, bacon, homemade preserves and even more food.

We have come home with jars of sorghum, really dark molasses, stone ground corn meal (which has already been used for my mom's recipe of Chile casserole cornbread!), folk music of the Appalachias and tighter pants.

I promise to write more in the next few days after I have recovered a little from all of the travels. More wonderful places to share. Gotta admit to being very surprised by the natural beauty of Tennessee and hope my descriptions can do it the justice it deserves.
The picture at the top was taken at the Loveless Cafe just outside of Nashville. The picture of the flowers was taken next to the water wheel of Falls Mill in Belvidere, TN

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tomato Time!

What is one of the many ways you can tell we are in Tomato season? The Kendall Jackson Tomato Festival is happening! That and the fact that we have been knee deep in wonderful tomatoes for close to 2 months. I have been munching on bowls of little tomatoes while at work, eaten them sliced with just salt or vinegar (or when I am REALLY bad...mayonnaise!)

Farmer Jeff and his restaurant were honored to be invited to the festival this year. I was his assistant. He fixed Warm Tomato and house made Bacon Salad over Creamy White Corn Grits. Try saying that 2500 times, 'cause that is how many tastes we served! People would ask, "Is that Polenta?" and after a while I found myself saying, "why, Yes, that IS Polenta", when I know DARN well it was grits. I have to blame it on brain overload. I can't think of any reason I was saying that!

I promise to post the recipe for the dish tomorrow. I am just too beat to do it today. You see, not only did we do the K.J. Tomato Festival yesterday, Farmer Jeff also did a cooking demo with his best friend and brilliant chef owner of Syrah, Josh Silvers. It was fun to watch them. Not only are they both great chefs, but they are great friends and you can see how much they enjoy one another. Next time they are going to cook together, I'll be sure to mention it here.

To all of you that voted for us at the Tomato Festival, we thank you. We have heard rumor that we either came in 2nd or 3rd as the over-all event favorite. Not shabby! We are happy to have made so many people happy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Time flies when you are having fun or are really busy!!!

I can't believe how busy we have been and that we are already into September. Is everyone voicing this or am I clinging to the cliche of the decade?

The garden is growing like crazy and Jeff has been picking produce every day! We have also been working like whirling dervishes on the yard and it really shows. We have put in "paths" all round the grassy area and it has made such a visual difference!

The chickens finally got the new roosting perches I have been promising them forever. It really became a necessity because of their number! We finally moved the 10 young'uns into the coop and there was no place for them to go! I have been hand feeding Tyner with the scissor beak for almost 5 weeks now and she is gaining weight. I am very happy about that! However, Ling Ling, our Chinese Langshan hen, is STILL broody!!! While she is broody, we are not getting any eggs from her!

Today's egg count was 11. We got 1 green, 1 tiny white and 9 browns. We have gotten anything from 6 - 13 eggs. It all depends on the weather because they DON'T like heat or cold. We are soon approaching the time that some of the girls will stop laying for the summer, and they are all starting to moult aka drop their feathers. The outside area of the pen looks as though it is snowing out there!

We have been having a lot of fun cooking dinner from the garden. Both of the dinners we captured...can't say on film because it is a digital camera. Anyway, we took pics. The dogs are all good. We bought them a new Nylabone and of course, they fought over them! Silly kids! Tasso couldn't find one tonight because Callebaut was hoarding them...so he chewed up my glasses instead! Little brat! Farmer Jeff thought that maybe he was having eyesight problems, but I think he just wanted something crunchy!

Chloe has been in her crate now for 5 weeks and the vet said we could let her out, 1 room at a time so she could test her leg and I could see how she was doing. I decided to let her out in the bathroom first, mainly because she flips into feral cat mode in seconds and I don't want her to hide for the rest of her life under the bed! Julian is keeping her company in the bathroom and helping her eat her food. He is getting so chubby! She is pretty wary now that she is out of the crate and flattens her ears against her head when I approach her, but begins to purr within seconds of being rubbed around her ears. I'll keep ya' posted!