Miss Hattie Was Missing . . Briefly

We were gone the entire afternoon and got home after dark.  That happened once before and Miss Hattie was up on the top of the run with Sally so I went out there and Sally was there but Miss Hattie wasn’t there.  I called her and called her and she was nowhere.  I came in and asked Vince to help me look for her but he was headed out to put up the other chickens so I went out and started calling her and I heard her begin to cluck and I found her.  She was planning to spend the night on one of the horizontal beams for the carport.  I was able to get her and safely put her in the coop so nothing can get her tonight.

Not only was I upset at the thought of her being left out all night, I was not wanting to have to tell all the Miss Hattie fans that she was missing.

But . . all is well.  She’s safe and we’ll be darned sure we’re home before dark from now on.

Garden Update

My garden is amazing, if I do say so myself!  :)  My neighbor cannot believe how good it looks.  When I was first telling her what all I was planting, I know she was thinking . .Poor Judy!  None of that stuff is going to grow here!  But she’s not thinking that any more.

Now that my outdoor sink is hooked up . .

. . . even though in this picture, it wasn’t hooked up yet . . I can start canning mustard greens.  It’s so easy to wash them in these big sinks.  I can swish them around with lots of water and with the bottom of the sink being white, I can see when there’s finally no grit left in the rinse water.

They still get a final wash in the kitchen sink.  I am so loving having that sink out there.  But, I’m loving even more having produce that’s needing to be washed in those big sinks.  By the way, Vince has a faucet for it but I think the water hose with the nozzle is working better.  That makes it so easy to squirt all that grit down the drain and the water flows right out into the garden to water the thirsty blueberries!  The greens in the sink were for dinner last night.

So . . here’s the garden!

The chard is doing great!  There’s a second planting that needs thinning and my neighbor is going to come over this evening and thin it out and use the baby chard to make salads.

Lettuce is doing great.  I’ve planted a second batch of lettuce too.  This little bit is from a mesclun mix packet.

Mustard greens are about to get out of control.  We’re eating them almost every day and I’ll start canning them this weekend.

The broccoli is growing like a weed.  By the end of the weekend, I should be able to see some heads beginning to form.

There are a couple dozen volunteer tomatoes that have popped up.  Yesterday I noticed some of them were blooming.  I decided to dig some of them up and put them in pots and I’ll bring them in when the temps drop too low and see if there’s a chance I can end up with a few good tomatoes!

If they don’t survive, or if they don’t produce . . nothing is lost.  If I hadn’t dug them up, they would freeze next week and I wouldn’t get anything from them anyway so . . no harm in trying.

The kale is coming along nicely.  There are beets ready to harvest.  I’ll make a roasted beet salad with some of them this weekend but if we keep munching on them a few at a time, I’m not going to have enough to make pickled beets to can.  The carrots are growing.  The garlic hasn’t sprouted yet.  I’m hoping to see green sprouts in the garlic patch by the end of the weekend.  The cauliflower is growing, though a bit slower than I had hoped.

This is one of the best fall gardens I’ve had and we’re so enjoying the fresh produce.

Springerle

There are things that I wish I’d never experienced and springerle cookies are one of those things.  I had never had them until we moved to Kentucky and The Donut Bank, a bakery in Evansville, Indiana had them every year around Christmas.

If you’ve never had them, you can read about them here.  It was easy enough to buy them when we lived in Kentucky but . . all good things come to an end and we moved away and left my beloved Donut Bank behind.  That’s when I learned to make them!

It starts with a recipe, and a Springerle pin.  Another bit of a hurdle was that I use anise oil instead of anise seed and at one point, I couldn’t find anise oil anywhere but now . . as one might guess, I have a lifetime supply.

My cookies were made yesterday and left out overnight to dry out.

Well, maybe ALL the cookies didn’t stay out all night to dry.  Maybe a few of them got baked and consumed last night.

They’re so pretty and they taste so good. I’ll make them several times between now and Christmas and then I’ll have my fill of them and will not even think about them again til next Christmas.