Tuesday, March 26, 2024

March 2024

 With Spring and better weather, we've been fully into our spring cleaning and landscaping mode. Ron started with the excavator and was able to remove the top layer of blackberry brush, but there was still a lot of hand work to make the slope ready for more acceptable plants.

Since the ground under the blackberry vines consists of huge boulders and pit run, there was a lot of handpicking of rocks involved. Every hole we dug to place a plant involved bringing in some good dirt from elsewhere to give the plants a decent chance of survival.

Spring cleaning around here involves removing one last bank full of 100 year old blackberry bushes. Unfortunately, when we removed the blackberries, it left our propane tank standing out like an ugly sore thumb. This is what it looked like after Ron had taken the power washer to it. We've leased the same tank from Enviro Propane for about 35 years, so I decided I would risk their wrath and paint it.

While I was looking for paint in Home Depot, another customer walked by and saw the cans of spray paint in my basket and snarkly asked, "Planning on doing some tagging?" So I guess that's what you'd call painting an old propane tank that doesn't belong to you. If I was really into artwork, I'd have called my sister, Molly, who's an accomplished artist to help me. 

Meanwhile, my obsessive nature has me planting, potting, replanting, and repotting in the greenhouse. It's so wonderful to hang out there in the warmth watching things grow. I probably am overwatering but can't seem to stop myself.  

The other day, someone asked me what I thought we could expect in our screwed up world in 2024. I said "I think there'll be flowers!" They looked at me in dismay and said, "How can you say that when everything is so messed up?" My answer: "Because I'm planting flowers." 

Monday, March 11, 2024

Mid-March Cooking

A few days ago, one of the people I follow on Facebook mentioned that she was canning vegetable beef soup for her elderly (my age - yikes) parents. She had asked her Mom what they were having for dinner, and the Mom said "An egg sandwich". 

"Didn't you have that yesterday?" 

"Maybe - I don't remember." 

The daughter then said she was worried they were eating just egg sandwiches because either they weren't up to cooking, or they couldn't think of anything different to eat each day.  Well, this hit way too close to home. I absolutely do get tired of finding something new to cook each day, and there are only two of us, so the big meals I used to make when we had teenagers at home don't make much sense.  When I told this story to Ron, his response was "Egg sandwich - That sounds good." So part of my problem is I don't get much culinary creative help. This sent me scurrying back through my box of recipes, and I remembered when this dish was a big favorite, but I haven't made it for years. So here's hoping it gives someone else inspiration for dinner!

Taco Casserole 

Just a few simple ingredients:  A pound of hamburger, fried with onions and garlic. Add a can of cream of chicken soup and half a bottle of green taco sauce.  Crumble tortilla chips on the bottom of a casserole dish and then pour the hamburger mixture on and top with shredded cheese and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

And since there are just the two of us, I used two small casserole dishes and baked one and froze the other one for when we get home late from a job and need a quick meal.

And since I'm cooking today, made a batch of Indian fry bread:
2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of powdered milk solids. Stir together, then make a dent in the center and add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 cup of water. Knead and let rest for a few minutes, then roll out to about 1/4" thickness and cut into squares and fry at medium high in oil until golden brown.