Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Freaking Awesome weekend!

I had a really great weekend! Went and worked at the faire this weekend, and I was a busy bee the whole time :)
Got to hang out with some really great friends. We were there on Friday to help out with the RESCU rally, and I wasn't needed so much, so I got to hang out with a friend at the bakery and sling some dough around. It was good to putter around the kitchen.
On Saturday and Sunday I got to hawk- and it was really fun! Made some sparkley to wear while out there, and it was rather grand. My bellows were probably the loudest unamplified sounds in that section in a while, lol. Every time a show broke up on the stage across from us, I would holler out. It felt rather good to do it too. And I'm happy I quit smoking at the beginning of March.
It was really cool to handle so much pewter out on the street too- I picked up and carried around some really cool pieces! Got to do parade on Saturday, I always enjoy doing that. My face is almost sore from smiling, and arms tired from super-waving, it's great. Like a super happy workout right in the middle of the day. 
Got to make a bunch of new friends too- some of it is a blur I met so many! But a lot of faces and folks I look forward to seeing again :)
I received a pair of absolutely lovely earrings as a late birthday present. They are tiny delicate blue winged hummingbirds made of pulled glass. So absolutely lovely I was stunned at first- then immediately put them in my ears, woot!
I laughed a lot this weekend... A LOT!

I sort of got a commission for some jewelry this weekend. It's sort of an artwork for artwork barter sort of thing. One of the gents I work with is a stunning artist of the drawing kind. I asked him to draw a killer bee for me to hang in my living room. And he said yes, just because he's cool like that. Later on that night, he was able to get a beaded spider he absolutely loved- and I understood his happy because of my happy over beaded spiders. So I offered him to do a beaded pin mount for him in return for him drawing up my bee artwork.

So... on to Grobox Hill....
The whole garden has done wonderfully while I was gone! Apparently we got in a nice couple hour long gentle soaking rain early this morning. I checked all the plants. Radish and dill seed are popping up. Albino beet and Little Gem lettuce are not. Rainbow Lights swiss chard is regrowing back really well. Early Contender bean has most of the seed spots sprouting up really well. The peas not so much.
I have several ball squashes to pick, and a few Roughwood Golden Plum tomatoes.
In general, need to do a lot of picking, picking up, and such to do.

Unfortunately, while I was gone this weekend.. Someone came onto the back 40, and cut down many branches along our back corner. It created a full sized vehicle tunnel in our tree path. Not sure who it was, but we know who it likely is. So tomorrow my sis and I will get back there and stack up the cut down branches in the gate spot, and string up a no trespassing sign. And a sign that the new property is under new ownership, please contact us. I'm hoping that we can have a friendly conversation about it. I'm not too opposed to horses and four wheelers coming through. But full sized vehicle path is a no. And folks cutting down like that on my property without permission is a no as well.

The lawn needs a serious mowing as well. It was lovely to pull in and see all the little yellow flowers, but the yard is looking pretty shaggy as well. The first five hardy hibiscus plants are doing really well in their bigger pots. I'm looking forward to planting them in next spring, and starting new seeds for their plant in. I think I want to plant them in along the easement side of the street line. We still have my sisters lovely purple smoke tree to plant in, and I think I want to cultivate in that front corner quite a bit to go along with that. Depending on what we got going on for lilies in the bins, I would love to plant some of those around the smoke tree. I still haven't planted in the 5 two year lavenders, and those might switch back down to the trimmed cedar again. Set those in with another set of bin lillies.

Another day, another entry :)
It's Tuesday, weather is in the 60's and it's been drizzling on and off all day. A nice watering in sort of day for the plants. It stopped dripping for long enough to get out and pick some veggies that needed picking.

That's a big collendar full of squashes! The littlest ones are the size I'm supposed to pick the ball squash at. But I had a few grow like crazy while I was gone.

The first pickings of the Juane Flamme tomato. They are a lovely orange.

Not much for bean pickings yet- only 4 plants are producing. About a third of this is what I picked before I left for the weekend, the other two thirds I picked today. This batch is now in the fridge in a greenie bag.

I also set up five trays of the dehydrator with all four batches of banana peppers I've picked. I gotta say, I love the greenie bags, they really do store the veggies much longer than they would probably last otherwise.

Last week we smoked a bone in ham, it was about 10 pounds, at $1.29 a pound. I like to make every penny count if I can- and fortuantely I can use up every last scrap of the whole thing. We had a dinner for four the night we smoked the ham, and mom had a ham sandwich with it while I was gone. Today I broke down what was left.

On the left is three pounds of chunked ham. I will package it up in pound bags for later eating. On the right is the ham bone, it's a pound and a half. This will be getting made into pork stock tomorrow. I typically get three pints plus of pork stock out of a good ham bone. I'm glad I got dried celery on the shelf- I will for sure be using it to make stock tomorrow.

The is the fat scraps from two hams. I froze the scraps from the last ham I made, and I figured I had enough with two hams to render a nice batch of fat. This is raw, right at the beginning of cooking. I used about a cup or so of water in the bottom of the crock pot to help prevent sticking or burning till enough fat has rendered out so it self cooks. I started it around 2:00, and should take a few hours.at 5 PM, they were only half rendered down and really starting to burble up.

Made up a batch of chicken stock the other day. Today I peeled off the fat layer and dropped it into the chicken fat bin in the freezer. Ended up with seven 2 cup bags of stock for the freezer, yay! A packet of chicken meat from the roasted chicken ended up in the freezer too- this was after a dinner for four.

Since I had so many ball squash, I decided to try a freezer experiment. Seared summer squash packets. I sliced the balls about 3/4 of an inch thick, seasoned them with Italian herb mix, salt, and pepper, then seared them off in olive oil. Then they got laid on a drip rack to cool off. Sliced up an onion and a handful of banana peppers. Dotted the bottom of the stack with butter. Stacked together six slices, tucked the onion under and on the slices, then laid out the pepper bits on top. A goodly sprinkle of minced garlic on top. then folded up the packets. Now they are labeled and in the freezer, and in a bit we will pull them out and see how they cook up. They are kind of bulky as individual packets- but if they are good I will put them into the camping/cookout file- and then see if I get good results making a solid family sized packet.

Apparently I saved this entry instead of publishing it.. oops.... Publishing now :)

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