Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring is here!

Spring = flowers, doesn't it?

The light of spring is beautiful. Life is bursting out all over.

We have been enjoying soft spring weather. Warm, but not too warm, a few clouds, but not too many, soft orange, pink sunsets and happy animals.
Our sweet pup, Callebaut, aka elder statesman, got into a tussle with our little guy, Tasso, and ended up with a hurt pad on his foot. Does it slow him down, or make him cranky or keep him from being his normal cheerful self? NO. He is our darling sweet boy.

Little Tasso has been under house arrest ever since he began, um, "marking" in the house. He is a very willful little guy. He gets to run and bark and do dog stuff while outside, but once inside, he is carefully watched!

Miz India, on the other hand, is a good little girl and does not require close supervision. The kids have all been happy to have Chicken Mama home (while she recovers from sinus surgery) and India takes full advantage by climbing up on the nap couch with a stuffed toy, and zonking out!

Whilst walking back from locking up the chickens one night, I saw a really fat earthworm on the path. My mom taught me that earthworms are invaluable and if you ever see one on the sidewalk after the rain, pick it up and move it back to soil. I was following this advice and as my hand reached for the big worm, I noticed the slightest flick of a tongue. HM...this is NOT a worm, but instead, a baby snake! I called friends of mine with little boys, thinking it would be a fun thing for them to see, but then we all agreed it may be in the snakes best interest, and let it go.

Our hens have been most generous lately! We are getting anywhere between 18 and 24 eggs per day! Thank heavens for spring. I am happiest of all to report that Tyner, our little Ameraucana hen with the scissor beak, is now laying eggs! Hers are the tiny green ones. Farmer Chef Jeff has just changed the menu at the restaurant to reflect Spring and has a warm Asparagus Salad with House Bacon in Sherry Vinaigrette, Eastside Farms "Sunny Side Up" Parmesan Baked Egg.

Julian likes to help dad to wash eggs. He is also hoping for a light green salad to appear on his salad plate. The cat is a nut. He loves his salads.

The sweet, darling of the house, Miz Chloe, poses for her close up.

Ginger declined to be photographed for this blog. Something about not getting the right amenities in her dressing room. Princesses!

PS: Happy Spring!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Giada's Weekend Getaway at Zin airs TONIGHT!

After great anticipation, the show featuring Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar, Giada's Weekend Getaway to Napa/Somona, is airing TONIGHT!

Here is the description from the Food Network for the show:
Host Giada DeLaurentiis raises her glass to the perfect food filled weekend in northern California's wine country. From a food and wine mecca in Napa to an uplifting balloon ride over the entire valley, Giada has a bountiful weekend booked with olive oil tasting in St. Helena, a Zinfandel obsessed restaurant in Healdsburg, (That would be ZIN!!!) and biking to wine tasting along the country roads of Sonoma. It's wine and dine in the place that's made it famous, California wine country.

The show will air tonight at 9:30 pm both Eastern and Pacific time (which leads me to believe it will start at 6:30 pm pacific time and show again 3 hours later), then again at 12:30 am, both Eastern and Pacific time) and then again on April 1st at 2 pm both Eastern and Pacific time.

The food network site is also featuring the Zinfandel Glazed BBQ Beef Short Ribs recipe. While at Zin, Giada ordered "off the menu", meaning that the kitchen had no idea what she was going to order for her appetizer or entree. She had the tomato, tomato, tomato salad, which featured tomatoes from our Eastside Farm Garden: fried green tomatoes with an El Rancho dressing, tiny tomatoes heated with house cured bacon and tossed with frissee and a warm basil vinaigrette and then slices of fabulously ripe/just picked tomatoes with a little of the basil dressing.

Her next course was the Zinfandel Glazed BBQ Beef Short Ribs served with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes (to die for!)

Her last course were the now famous Warm Zinfandel Grape Jelly filled Donuts. This is the dish that just makes me swell with pride over the lengths to which my honey, Farmer Chef Jeff, will go to "do something right". We grew the Zinfandel grapes at Eastside Farm. When they were perfectly ripe, he picked them and then hand crushed them, letting the juice sit on the skins just the right amount of time (he consulted with his life long friend, Ted Coleman, who is an incredible wine maker at Little Vineyards of Glen Ellen) and then created a small batch of simply fabulous Zinfandel grape jelly. This is the jelly that was used in Giada's donuts!

The next batch of grape jelly was much larger and the grapes were actually the last pick of the harvest from Little Vineard's "old vine clones" of Monte Rosa zinfandel grapes. Farmer Chef Jeff went out to the vineyard, picked all of the grapes himself, crushed them all himself and then took advantage of his high level of energy after the Fall time change, and went to work at 6 am every morning until all of the juice was made into jelly.

Once this batch of jelly is out, we will all have to wait patiently for the next grape harvest. Sigh! Please do watch the show and come to visit us at Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar

Monday, March 12, 2007

Time Change!

We, on the farm, are tickled to have the time change! This means more eggs, more time in the evening to work on stuff, the dogs will be waking Farmer Jeff up closer to the time he would like to rise, and more fun seems to take place in the hours of daylight!

Celebrate the time change and do something fun! Last night we grilled dinner outside. Why does food always taste better cooked outside? Enjoy!