Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We had a great time with friends and family, but it's time to get back to work now.

Rather than pictures of bloated bodies tripped out on turkey tryptophan, how about some pictures of the progress made on the apartment?

Tom and Charles have gotten most of the tin ceiling up.

And they've sheetrocked one side of each wall.

We're going to have a cellulose insulation blown into the walls between the studs, hence only one side of the walls.  After the insulation is blown in, they'll put of the rest of the sheetrock.

While waiting on the ordered tin to arrive, Tom spent some time making these steps for Meagan's trailer so we don't risk life and limb going in and out on those tiny steps that came with the trailer.

Harry Potter Week

Harry Potter rolled into town along with the Death Eaters.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Tom is away for the evening.  It's cold in the house.  Why don't I start a fire?  I can do that.  This time I'll remember to open the flue (flew? floo? flu?) unlike last year when I started a fire not remembering to open it, then not having anything to open it with, but finally getting it open with the little ash shovel after the house was full of smoke.

OK, move firescreen, wad up newspaper, put little twigs on, then small branches; light the paper.  Fire is starting to blaze; put bigger logs on.  Aaaah!  Cozy fire, blessed heat.

Wait...weird smell.  Hmmm.  Oh well, I'll get ready for bed while the fire heats up the living room, then I can watch my shows and eat popcorn.  Funny hiss...run back in the living room to see if embers have popped out onto the floor; inspect fire.  All is well.  Now go get ready for bed.

Come back to enjoy fire. Stand in front of the fire.  Soak up the heat.  Gaze into the flames.  **gasp**  There is a fire extinguisher IN the fireplace.  Right there at the front corner where I stowed it after cleaning up the hearth, after the last fire last spring.  Grab fire extinguisher.  Ouch, too hot!  Get Tom's heavy glove, thankfully right next to the fireplace, grab extinguisher, rush it outside before it explodes.

The label reads, "Do not incinerate.  Contents under pressure."

Really, Tom should not trust me with the fireplace.  I'm a danger to myself and others.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bring It On

Winter, that is.  It's almost time for hot cups of cocoa by the cozy fire.

I spent the morning hauling firewood up to the house and filling this new wood rack up.  Last winter we constantly had a mess all over the back porch because of the firewood stacked on the floor between two stands.  I thought this might keep it neater and I should be able to use the blower to just blow out dirt and debris from underneath it. 

Nice, huh?

It was just 99 bucks and they had a coupon code on the main page that I used for free shipping.  It took less than a week to arrive.  I put it together this morning and it seems sturdy enough.  We'll see how it holds up through the winter.  That little space underneath for kindling is a good idea in theory, but in reality it is rather hard to get the kindling in there and it will probably all pull out in a wad.  I think we'll use a bucket like we did last year for kindling and use that space for smaller logs/sticks.

Thunderstorms a' Comin'

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cooking Punkin'

Probably everybody already knows how to cook pumpkin in preparation for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but it's new to me, so I'll blog it.  I saw these pumpkins at Brookshires, had a moment of feeling all domestic and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be great to make pumpkin pies from real pumpkins instead of from a can?"  So, I bought them and let them sit in the breezeway for weeks while they accused me of being a fraud every time I walked by them...which was several times a day.

Pffft.  Who wants to go to all the trouble of cooking a pumpkin when you can buy perfectly good pumpkin in a can?  What was I thinking?  But, I bought them, so I must use them and today was the day.

I sat down and googled "cooking pumpkin".  Amazingly, or not, many sites already tell us how to cook pumpkins, so nobody really needs me to tell them how.  I do, however, have a couple of recommendations at the end.  These sites also tell us that, "Once you go fresh, you'll never go back to canned". 

So, here we go...goin' fresh.

I cut the pumpkins in half and scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff.

Reserved the seeds for roasting later.  Yum.

I found instructions for boiling, steaming, or roasting.  I didn't know which was better, but I thought that if I boiled them, the pumpkins would soak up water resulting in runny pumpkin mash.  So I decided on steaming one and roasting the other.

To roast, just cover with foil and pop into a 375 degree oven for about an hour and half or until soft.  I didn't put mine on a pan, but would recommend it because it did drip some juice onto the oven floor.

I left the pumpkin in the oven until it cooled off, then took it out and scooped the pulp out of the skin.  I mashed the pulp with a potato masher.

To steam the other pumpkin, I cut it into slices, then peeled it.  I used my steamer basket in my large stock pot, tossed all the pieces in there and let it steam for about an hour.  When it cooled, I mashed it with a potato masher.

NOTE:  When peeling the pumpkin, I thought the skin was very thick, so I peeled away quite a bit, maybe an eighth of an inch or so.  But after scooping the pulp out of the roasted pumpkin, I discovered that the skin is not nearly as thick as I thought.  So, when peeling the pumpkin, peeling it as if peeling a potato should be sufficient.

I put all the pumpkin into containers, labeled them and put them in the freezer.

What I learned:  Roasting is way easier.  It was a pain in the neck and took a long time to slice and peel the pumpkin as compared to simply popping it into the oven and the result was the same.

Next up...canning jalapenos.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Apartment Pics

While I was gone to my sister's house, Tom and Charles were very busy.

They put up some of the rough cedar siding and built the stairs to the storage/hay loft.

Please excuse the junk.

Electric wires have been run.

And plumbing has been installed.

The large closet under the stais has been enclosed.

The double sink vanity has been bought.  I'm keeping it in the box to keep it from damage and dirt, but there's a little picture of it there on the box.

The decision on the ceiling has been made - tin.

Garden Woes

I thought the garden was done for the season, but when I happened out there yesterday morning, I found that the bell peppers and jalapeno plants were so laden with peppers that the branches were breaking.  So I picked the biggest ones and have a dehydrator full of bell peppers now.  I dried jalapenos earlier this season, but I think I'm going to try to can this latest batch.  I could use a good recipe that doesn't include pressure cooking with the scary canner. 

And the tomatoes...

now they start producing.  These are the cherry tomatoes, growing like clusters of grapes, tons of them.  And the other tomatoes are producing, too.  Of course, none of them will ripen on the vine.  I've picked a bunch and have them ripening under newspaper. 

All summer...nothing, maybe three tomatoes that were edible.  I thought maybe my soil was lacking, but that can't be it if they'll produce now.  I need some help.  What am I doing wrong?  There were tons of blooms, but they hardly made any tomatoes.  The ones that did grow either had rotten spots (not blossom end rot), gouges, or splits in them.

And the green beans that actually did put on a bunch of little green beans that didn't grow for months, have now lost all their leaves, but have actual mature beans on them.  They're probably tough now.