I made dinner tonight. I got a cooking twinge last night and decided I needed to make soup using as much of our own produce as possible. When I pulled carrots, I was disappointed at how small they all were, but I did get one nice one.
This morning I grabbed a bag of dried beans (16 bean mix) that has been sitting in the cupboard for a few years. Seriously, we've never cooked with dried beans that I can recall, but I picked up a few bags to use as seeds to plant our own. I read the package instructions, sorted through the beans (though I'm still not sure what it is I was looking for), rinsed them, put them in a pot of water, boiled them for a couple minutes, and then let the pot sit (covered) for a couple more hours. I drained and rinsed the beans and set them aside. In the big pot I chopped up a few of our very tiny onions, and put some soy sauce in the bottom of the pan so they wouldn't burn. I assume this is sauteed, but I didn't use oil. Once they were lightly brown (I'm not sure if that's from cooking or from the soy sauce, but they were softer), I cut up one small radish (from the garden), the small handful of carrots our garden gave up, and a stick of celery (from the store, chopped up). I added one can of Swanson Chicken Broth, the beans, and the spice packet that came with the beans, then I put it on low heat while I prepared and added the rest of the ingredients. I added a few fresh beans, a single pea pod, and a handful of small yellow tomatoes (I believe they were Blondkopfchen, Lemon Drop and Snow White), all cut into bite-sized pieces. As I added the Champion collard greens, and Red Russian Kale, I realized there wasn't enough liquid, so I added a can of Cream of Chicken soup. I added in a few fresh mint leaves and a few sprigs of parsley (both from the garden). I left it at medium heat for a while. Tony noticed it was condensing down, so I added another can of Cream of Chicken soup. About the time Mabel was attracted to the pot, the carrots were soft and we sat down to eat. Fortunately, it tasted a lot better than it looked. It was actually pretty good. Just #2 didn't care for it and made himself some left overs for dinner instead. Tony, #3 and #4 all asked for seconds! No leftovers at all from this recipe. I may double it next time and cook in two pots, but I'll need more from my garden (which is quickly failing this year).
In a rarely seen show of tolerance, I found our entire feline family curled up on the couch today. Yes, that's right - all six, peacefully lounging! Of course I had to snap a photo. Mocha and (Nether)Quartz will be looking for new homes soon. Mocha isn't doing well with Roland in the house and would be better suited to a home where there isn't a canine bully (even if he thinks he's just playing). For those who didn't read previous blog posts, Floki is the daughter of Henry and Mabel. Trinket and (Nether)Quartz are the daughter and son of Henry and Mocha. Floki, Trinket, and (Nether)Quartz are pretty special. We lost three from each litter, making them survivors. Mocha is spayed now (after emergency c-section and $300+ vet bill), and (Nether)Quartz will be neutered 10/4 (at 11 weeks old). Mocha will be available to a new home anytime after the kittens are weaned (they'll be 8 weeks old 9/13), and (Nether)Quartz will be ready to go anytime after his neuter. Asking $150 each for them to approved homes if anyone is interested.
The bunnies are nearing adult size now. This is the hoard whenever I open the cage to check on them. They rush to greet me, and are always happy if I bring them handfuls of kitchen scraps or grass and dandelions. I'm going to have to thin them out soon. I can't keep seven bucks in one cage, and I am not keeping seven bucks (in addition to my breeding buck, Bennett - their dad). I may drop the asking price to $15 each and give it a week or two, but then I have to start slaughtering. :( Sad because they're really pretty rabbits. I think if they don't find homes, one or two of my favorites might "escape" out at my parents' house. Now that all the big dogs have passed away (and the last one moved away with my brother), there's nobody to chase them.
The garden provided us with another yellow tomato (I believe this one is Snow White, despite it being more yellow than the Lemon Drop tomatoes I've been picking). The one on the right is my first Large Barred Boar tomato. It's a little deformed, but that's because this one grew wedged between the stem and another branch that was twisted around the support pole. It cracked and I figured it was time to pull it. It's not completely ripe yet, but I'll leave it with the other two I've got set aside to ripen indoors.
Amanda's blog about everything, important and trivial.