Monday, February 20, 2012

So many chores, so little help

Since it was a three day weekend two of the older grandsons came to work on their truck.  This truck was a pile of junk when it was given to me a couple of years ago but they are diligently working on it. The boys are going to turn 15 and 16 in the next month.  The truck won't be ready to drive although their mechanic dad said that he's going to help once summer comes and by the end of summer they will have a running truck.  No more riding their bikes to school if they have their way.  

I did tell the older boy that if he fixed the mess of fruit trees that the oldest grandson "trimmed" I'd pay him. He could earn money to buy more parts for his truck.  No.  He'd rather work on the truck and do yard work for neighbors where he lives.  Those neighbors pay the boys about $20 per hour to do yard work.  I pay much less...but I feed them well!  Of course they know they get fed well when they are here anyway. 

Adding two more mouths to the table, especially teenage boys, was only a slight challenge.  I decided I wasn't going to use any more meat than I would have for the three of us.  That meant the meals would be stretched by vegetables, rice, or pasta.  Last night's dinner was almost completely home grown and what wasn't home grown was still home made. 

I baked one of our home grown and butchered chickens in a apricot/peach sauce. The boys weren't quite sure what to make of the chicken.  After all, dark meat is really dark.  It's nothing like you get from the store.   I made noodles since we have so many eggs.  I had leftover bread from the night before.  Our vegetable was combination of potatoes, turnips, and carrots - all home grown.  The turnips are still out in the garden growing.  We have about 20 of them left from the fall.  One of the boys asked if the potatoes were home grown.  I said yes. He was just about to tell me that they tasted different when I said he's probably thinking that the turnips were potatoes.  He was.  I don't think he's ever had turnips until now.  We had pear crisp for dessert using last summers pears. Girl made lemonade.  She calls herself the lemonade pro. 

After dinner I put the chicken bones from the parts we ate and the back into the crock pot, filled it with water and set it on high until bedtime.  Then I turned it to low for overnight.  This morning I cut up the left over chicken meat, put in the left over vegetables and rice and herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme - sounds like a song...huh?) and let it cook till lunch.  I made bread dough this morning but instead of making a loaf of bread to go with the soup I made fry bread.  To make this you take your soft dough (just grab a handful, which I'm guessing is about 1/2-3/4 cup) and put it into a pile of flour.  Smash it down, flip it a couple times to coat it well with the flour.  Roll it out flat - like a tortilla but not quite that thin.  Cook it on a hot lightly oiled or buttered skillet (I use a cast iron skillet).  When it starts to brown flip it over.  When that side looks done take it off the skillet.  Fry bread is so easy to make. 

Girl dug holes out front for the raspberry plants.  I got those in the ground today.  I weeded the garden and also watered everything.  It's so strange that in the middle of winter I had to deep water the fruit trees and garden.  I took out my pots for starting this years vegetable garden.  All the blogs around here have written that they've got everything planted in their containers already.  No me.  I took the pots out of the barn.  That's as far as I got. 

Perhaps in the evening after the grand kids go to bed I can get my seeds out and start thinking about what I want to plant in the garden this year.  I want to put in more permanent plants.  Perhaps some sunchokes.  Perhaps rhubarb, although I seem to kill rhubarb.  Almost every year I get called away during the middle of the summer.  This means the garden is on its own for a couple of weeks.  Most plants survive although they aren't happy until they get that deep watering upon my return. just dies. 

I have a planter that's about 3 feet wide and 25 feet long.  It's against the house with a brick wall along the 25 foot length of the planter.  It's south facing.  Any ideas on what I can grow it in?  Plants can't hang out over the planter as that would encroach into the walkway.  I have another planter almost as long with the brick wall and it has roses in it.  They grow beautifully in that location but I'd rather put in something edible.  I've thought of a rosemary hedge.  Any other suggestions?

This week is going to be busy because I'm only going to get about 3 days in.  On Wednesday Boy gets his arm out of the sling.  Since it's a minimum day at school I'm not going to bring him to school after the appointment.  That doesn't leave much time for working so my work days will probably end up being pretty long days. 


  1. Don't you just love fry bread! Yummy! I had to water my garden this weekend...had hoped we'd get a bit of promised such luck.

  2. Maybe fill the planter with dwarf blueberries.

  3. Blueberries would fry in that box. I do have blueberries planted in the garden. They had to be moved from an area which had full sun and exposure to the elements to an area which has afternoon shade.

    It's true that the heat coming off the bricks at night would help cold sensitive plants. I just need something that can take the heat of the day with the brick wall making it even hotter than the southern exposure itself.

  4. Anonymous only b/c I don't know how to use the other options ;?

    Leave the roses - not only are they beautiful, they are edible! Use them in salads, candy, tea, jelly/jam, etc.

  5. Rosemary, thyme and sage would all do well. You could also plant sunflowers or lavender.

  6. Thanks for all the suggestions! I like the idea of rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender, and sunflowers. I have about 20 rose bushes so although that's one of the only flowers that I plant (once established they don't need water around here) I'd rather plant something else in that planter...although roses would balance the front of the house with roses on both sides of the house.