Sunday, September 25, 2011

Annual Rotary Flea

Last weekend I went to the annual South Eastern Rotary Flea Market. I have gone almost every year since I was a little girl. It is held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds and you can find anything there. Including something you have been looking for months or years for. You just have to look hard enough. One stall had the light up wise men from a lawn manger scene. Three rows over were Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. I really hope someone reunited them.

I spent three hours there and walked through twice. Something cool could have been missed the first time. I’m a big collector of cake plates and have been ever since my first apartment. There are strict rules to the cake plate collection. No cake plate over $20 and even that much needs to be special. I didn’t find any to add to the collection this time around, but it was still a very successful day and all for under $20 total.

Egg Scale woo!

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I finally found an affordable egg scale! The search has seemed endless. They are always so expensive on ebay and even at Brimfield in the spring someone wanted $32 for the one I found and it was much rustier. This one…….$7. She wanted $10. It would’ve been a good price then, but you have to haggle a little.

Pyrex Butterprint 401

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Yep. I’m a turquoise pyrex collector. Butterprint, Snowflakes, solid Turquoise. As long as they are in good condition and within budget, they usually come home with me. Cost $4 marked $5.

My last purchase was a wooden crate used for cranberries for Ocean Spray. It was perfect for keeping firewood in next to the fireplace and had a local touch. Cranberries are a big crop in southeastern MA. I used to love to visit cranberry world in Plymouth when I was a kid. The crate is much better than the cardboard box we were using. $6 she wanted $8.

All in all a successful flea!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Roaming the Backyard Jungle

Our backyard is not the perfect manicured dream of most. It is a jungle of mostly wild flowers and moss. The chickens love it and it’s low maintenance. They had a great time this afternoon. The goddesses were the most photogenic. Doris, Betty, and the baby were not co-operating. I really love how everyone is feathering out. Athena has the prettiest lacing coming in. Aphrodite is getting one blue silver feather in her tail. The rest is all white. They are all 23 weeks now. No eggs. We are getting one from Doris every other day or so. Good thing there are only two of us.

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Nike’s muff is always seems to be messy. You should’ve seen her feet feathers from the mud.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wandering Wednesday

Not to worry. Been a little busy. For Wandering Wednesday today we present Bergen, Norway and their old shipping quarter.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fashion Really?

Ok. I am wandering from the norm around here. Just this once. I do not claim to be a fashionista in any way shape or form. My fashion statement is more classic lines. Comfort yet not frumpy. Moderately modest. So, from this point of view I do not understand the appeal of the zigzaggy Missoni patterns they debuted at Target today. They make me dizzy.

I have actually known about Missoni for a long time as a crazy patterned Italian sweater designer. It takes a lot for me not to like something Italian. They have so much taste. How did this happen?

Anywho, it seems there was a full on stampede for these crazy looking designs. The Target website has crashed and the items flew from the racks in a flurry at breakneck speeds once the doors opened. Below is a picture from the Target in South Bay Plaza which is in Dorchester. I didn’t take it and had no desire to be there. For pic credit here. Look at the cart on the right! Yes that’s a cart. I have read elsewhere that a lot of these hoarding buyers are actually buying to resell on Ebay. I just don’t get it. It’s not pretty people.

78vm

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chunky Apple Sauce

Thursday night I made applesauce. We love applesauce. It goes great with pork, ham, and lamb. It starts with 8 lbs of apples on my ancient rusty kitchen scale.
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My favorite combo for applesauce is the McIntosh and the Macoun. It’s a little early for Macouns, so we picked Gravensteins this time. I like to have a mushier apple and a chunkier, more solid apple for texture. Both also need to have a good flavorful taste when cooked.
p1020193 (2) The most work of this recipe is the peeling and the chopping. It has to be done quickly to avoid as much browning as possible. I put the cut pieces in bowls with the lemon rinds from the juice for the sauce to keep them as fresh as possible. Then cook and jar.
P1020195 Notice favorite wooden spatula at work again :)
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Peach Jam

Peaches are so perishable. Tuesday I made jam and a lot of them already had large bad spots. I think it had to do with the bag they give you for picking and the heat generated sitting in the bag on the ride home. Husband had been very careful about handling them. I think we will rethink peach picking that far from home again and stick with our local tiny peaches. A lot more work, but less waste.

P1020177 Starting in the pot. With my favorite wooden spatula.

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Finished product.

The jam came out a little soft and not as jelled as I like. I think that had to do with it being a rainy day. It’s hard to cook out all the moisture when it’s so humid out. I haven’t decided if I am going to recook it. I leave you today with a new picture of the still only child chick.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Miracle of Life

Betty has hatched one chick so far. She is still sitting and I hope at least one more hatches. We don’t want the single chick syndrome again. I got one picture. It’s been raining for days. She (we are hopeful here) is a Lavender Orpington. 

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wandering Wednesday

Husband and I love Rome and we have spent a lot of time there. If you have seen previous Wandering Wednesdays you’ll see a theme that I like old ruins. Today, something different. The monthly market at the Parioli district just northeast of the Galleria Borghese. They sell everything here from antiques to salumi. A short Wandering Wednesday today. I heard peeping under Betty this morning.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going a picking

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Husband and I spent the day yesterday at the Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, MA. It was a warm day but the sun stayed away which was good since I forgot my sunbrella and I am so fair skinned. We started the day picking apples. We were sent by the elder of the farm to the farthest orchard called the Bog Orchard. Probably because we looked like young people that could handle the walk. It was great we were the only ones out there. We picked Macintoshes and Gravensteins. I love the Mac but it was still a little early and the apples didn’t want to leave the trees. The proper way to pick an apple is to give it a little tug. If it is ripe it will go home with you happily, if it is not it will want to stay and you should let it. We did find enough though. We got over 20 pounds of apples. I forgot the camera in the car. Picture a lovely hillside small orchard that hasn’t been mowed all summer and filled with wild mint so walking through the apple trees in the tall grass looking for apples all you can smell is the mixing aromas of apples and mint. aaahhhhh

After apple picking we lugged the apples back the car and hit the barbeque pit for burgers and cream sodas.

p1020172 (2) After lunch we went peach picking. This time I remembered my camera. The peaches were beautiful, but you have to be careful picking them. Peaches bruise so easily.

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P1020169 We picked almost 23 pounds of peaches of which I have already started the water to make peach preserves and of course I will share that with you when it’s finished. We were quite sticky from peach picking and hit the wash up sink and checked out the farm animals before heading home. The chickens were shy this time around and no one wanted their pictures taken. It was a long day, but we got so much fruit. Now to get to work using it.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chicken Chat

Betty, my broody girl, is doing great. Her 21st day will be Thursday. I am so “eggcited”. I know groan. Had to do it :) I have felt movement in an egg or two by reaching under her. We will see though. If anyone is going to hatch I expect there will be pipping Tuesday or Wednesday. She tends to be a day early or so. From what I have read that is pretty typical with hatching using a broody. I will certainly share any updates. It was cloudy this morning and the flash went off she was not happy with me. Good thing I did the egg check first. Oh if stinkeye could kill.

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  Aphrodite and Athena turn 20 weeks this weekend. Yay! Maybe I will get some eggs soon. Their combs and their faces under the feathers are starting to turn red, Easter Eggers don’t have wattles, at least mine don’t. There has been no squatting yet. Someone has been investigating the extra nest box, I have been finding little “gifts” in there. Not the ones I am looking for. I expect they won’t realize not to poop in there until they lay an egg. Aphrodite did a little egg song the other morning. It was a good practice song. It got me very excited and I came running to see nothing.

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Aphrodite & Athena

Nike the little Faverolle is about 2 weeks behind the other two. Her comb is also starting to get redder. I don’t expect eggs from her for a while. Faverolles are usually later starters. Light salmon coloring is starting to show up in her feathers, which is understandable considering that her parents were salmon as far as I know. I wonder how much it will take over her pretty white feathers. She was not being very cooperative this morning for pictures but, I did get a nice back view. She also has a hard time seeing you coming with her big fluffy muff.

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Doris is fine just being Doris. She laid two double yolkers this week and also a couple of singles. The big ones look so painful. I hope this doesn’t become a regular thing and she develops any complications. She’s a good dependable layer and I don’t want anything to happen to her. No picture of Doris this week. She was too fast for me. For a big waddling chicken she can move fast when she wants too.

The flock is coping well with the absence of Gaia. It took a couple of days, and some tussling to figure out the new sleeping arrangements. Gaia always slept closest to the window. I don’t know if they want to sleep close to the window or not. Doris always grabs the wall end since she started roosting randomly. It now looks like Aphrodite gets window for now. It will all change when the chicks hatch or, if they don’t, when Betty returns to the roost. 

We are going on our first apple picking adventure of the season Monday. I also hope to pick some late season peaches and some early pears. Let’s cross our fingers for a nice day.   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Irene’s effects

Irene did not blow too much of a gale here. But, her effects are starting to show.

- The leaves are starting to shrivel on the trees from the stress of the wind. I feel we will not have a very pretty fall. Our fall is not much of a sight anyway, scrub oak turns dark brown.

- When walking on the shore the other day I saw a lot of seed scallops….shells. They had been blown ashore and the seagulls had eaten them. These are the scallops to harvest for next winter. I feel it won’t be a good year now. That’s too bad. I love bay scallops. This winter is supposed to be good from the seed last year. They are adults now and stay a little deeper. There were only a few of them on the shore. I hope this doesn’t throw the harvest off for a long time. I’ll share the bay scallop season with you in October when it starts. It’s one of my favorite island things.

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- The beachplum bushes have suffered. I went to my final always dependable tons of bushes spot today. They were all brown from the blowing salt water and there was not a berry to be seen. The  shore had been eaten away in the saltwater pond and some of them had been washed away too. >sigh<

- On the bright side the rugosa rose hips are looking great. The ones closest to the shore were also battered and are starting to shrivel but, I can find enough for one or two batches of jelly. Does anyone have any good recipes for rosehips? They are very high in vitamin C.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Glasswort aka “chicken claws”

p1020138 (2) Can you see the resemblance to chicken feet?

Glasswort Salicornia grows along the high tide lines of marshes. Around the same level as the sea heather which is what I was looking for when I found it. The sea heather was all brown and sad a side effect of Irene I think. (There were a lot of nature related side effects to Irene, but that is another post) Back to glasswort. If you don’t see it first, you will hear it as it crunches under your feet.

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It is a succulent type plant. According to Euell Gibbons it is a relative of the beet, spinach, and swiss chard. It looks nothing like any of these. Like most edible algae it is high in vitamin content. The best way to eat is to pick the top couple of inches that are tender and serve raw in salads and as a garnish for fish. Or to chew just to chew on as you walk on the beach. It has a clean salty taste. It can be found from spring to the last frost of fall. Always make sure your marsh is clean before you glean.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sadness

We lost little Gaia. She was a sweet little girl and we will all miss her. Aphrodite wouldn’t go in tonight. She was running around the yard making little peeps. Searching under bushes. I think she was looking for her. She kept looking at me. We buried Gaia next to her friend Buckbeak. I understand it’s a part of life, but that doesn’t make it easier. 

Belated Wandering Wednesday

Ephesus, Turkey

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