Monday, July 27, 2009

Homestead Work

Yesterday after church the boys, Miss R and I went to see the new Star Trek. It was fun, not too creepy and had some funny moments.
We got home in time to spot Viking Man as he felled another older ash. This one was huge, growing into a shed, 10 feet from the garden, and located between the power lines on one side and another shed. The goal was to keep everyone alive, avoid damage to the shed, miss the power line, keep the corn standing and bring the tree down.

Job well done. Viking Man had cinched it well, cut perfectly and it's down, cut and almost entirely cleared. The notsolittles were hoping to play on the felled log longer but there are 2 more trees in that area coming down soon so there'll be more opportunity.
Viking Man is working on getting wood for the winter, using a Stihl chainsaw. What a difference it makes to use equipment made for the job. They don't call dead ash ironwood for nuthin! Wood has been our primary heat source for a couple of years and, honestly, I think it's warmer than oil. It certainly doesn't have that oily smell!
Picked more beans-we've had massive bowls of green beans to eat each night for dinner- they are summer perfection. And the cukes. If you are what you eat, eat a cucumber. Light, clean, refreshing, healthy, and the smell- heaven. I'm down to the county extension today to pick up the latest times on pressure cooking, biting the bullet and canning green beans, I haven't pressure cooked on my own before and am slightly intimidated but the goal is to have enough beans put by to take us through the winter.
Drying parsley regularly. Last night added apple and chocolate mint to the oven. The apple mint leaves are beautiful- thick, lush and they dry as a leaf. Maybe we'll add dried apples to the tea and give it as gifts. The chocolate mint smells, truly, like chocolate and is very good steeping with a peppermint.
We transplanted over 20 small basil plants that were finally peeping up amongst the tomatoes. I love the Genovese Basil. Pesto made it to the table this week-end, to accompany spaghetti noodles and chicken, cooked with whatever herbs KB pulled out of the garden. I always add way more garlic than it calls for, so our pesto bites back.

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted bagettes.

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