Sunday, November 28, 2010

More cleanup

Last week, before Thanksgiving, we got out and raked the yard.  We have about 3/4 of an acre that we have to rake.  The other 1/2 acre is cover by chicken and duck pens, a guest house , and a cabinet door shop.  This took us about 4 hours to do.  "Us" would be Elijah and myself mostly.  Jeff helped to haul it to the chicken pen.  They are the best leaf shredders around.  It was tiring work and my shoulder sockets ached for a couple of days, but the main raking is finished for the year.
Just the beginning

My big helper

All work and no play makes Elijah a dull boy

Where'd he go?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Homemade Grenadine

I made some grenedine all on my own today.  If you like Tequila Sunrise, but not HFCS, then homemade grenedine is the way to go.  Originally it was made from pomegranates and sugar, boiled until slightly thick.  Now mostly what you find in the store is a blend of HFCS, coloring, and citric acid.  It gets its name from the French word for pamegranate, grenade.  The artilley is named for so because of its resemblance to the fruit.

3 large pomagranates
water to cover

Remove the seeds from the fruit.  This will be a messy job.  I cut them in half and then took the seeds out by hand.  You can use a spoon, but that tends to break many of the juice sacks, making it even messier.  Just be sure to were some food prep gloves or rubber gloves.

Put the seeds in a heavy sauce pan and add enough water to almost cover the seeds.  Bring to a boil and then simmer about 5-10 minutes.  Pour into a screen sieve.  Using a large spoon, mash the seeds to be sure to relase all juices.  Restrain back into pan and add half as much sugar as you have juice.  3 cups juice = 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Bring to a simmer and continue for 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and pour into glass container.  Keep in fridge.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mornings in the Fall

I think fall mornings are my favorite.  Some people don't like fall because everything is dormant or getting there.  The leaves change colors and while that is a beautiful sight, they do eventually dry up, turn brown, and fall to the earth below.  Here in Oklahoma, unless you have planted some rye or fescue, your lawn of Bermuda is now a crunchy brown.  If you have had a hard freeze the flowers are gone for the year and so is the veggie garden.  So far we haven't, so I have a few flowers hanging on and so are my tomatoes, still waiting for them to get ripe.  I brought my lemons, limes, and pineapples in for one night last week, but they are back outside.  I hoping we will get some much promised and much needed rain in the next couple of days. (That can also mean snow where we are going to be snowboarding in a couple of months!)

Back to fall mornings.  They are crisp and clean.  The air just smells cleaner.  You can be pretty sure when you step out into the cool air, that you are not going to have to deal with temperatures above 80, although this is Oklahoma and the upper 90's are not unheard of in October and November.  I've seen plenty of Thanksgivings at 80+.  That is another thing, you know Thanksgiving is near!  It is one of the few holidays I spend with my family and it has always been a favorite.

Here is what I will be doing in the yard for the next few weeks.  Raking!  If I have it my way, and since I am likely to be the one taking care of the job, I will actually wait another week or two so that more leave will fall and there will be fewer days of raking.  If others seem to think we need to get it done, then I imagine I will have several days throughout the next few weeks of raking and re-raking.  Right now it is way to windy to even try, but if we do get rain, then you have to let it all dry out again.  It won't happen today, I can tell you that!