A Birthdate Day

img_2512It all started with that long leisurely coffee kinda morning I love so much. It segued into a short drive to Chloride where we found ourselves climbing the impassable road to the murals of Roy Purcell on a big rock facing. It is rare that I make a trip to Arizona without a visit to the murals. We passed by a few people in 4 wheel drives and a lone jogger/walker who made the jaunt daily she said.

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It was well worth the climb and Gene enjoyed sharing one of my favorite spots on the planet.

We had lunch back in Kingman at the small “The Taco Place” where I ordered a chili verde burritos and Gene had two tacos, one fish and one adobado. They make every single thing from scratch at this taco stand from the menudo to the rice pudding including the fillings, sauces and salsas, and even the corn and flour tortillas. The food was heavenly. Do not expect atmosphere. Unless you enjoy a cold stiff breeze in the shade on a chill February afternoon. After all it is designed with the idea of shielding diners from the summer sun. We might go back again today for more tacos and rice pudding.

We drove around marvelling at the massive growth like that of most desert towns on the main drag of the USA on I-40. Then past the home of my late childhood.

A late afternoon nap refreshed us and we went out with my sister (hi Pam!) for guess what!!? Wait for it… MORE Mexican food. And margaritas!! Yum!!

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Brief visits with two of my three lovely nieces rounded the day out.

We brought home leftovers because you know, way too much food. Those leftovers will magically turn into tonight’s dinner. Which I WILL photograph before we eat it up.

A happy day indeed.

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Rummaging Around the Garden

We had a warm spell over the last few days and I rummaged around the garden this morning to see what was happening. You may remember my noise about total fail of the fall garden. But as you can see there was enough to make a mighty fine stir fry for lunch.

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Summer dreams

Summer dreams

I found a mess of pak choy about to go to seed from the too warm weather, a handful of radishes with nice greens on top, took a handful of parsnip tops, a bunch of baby kale, an onion, a leek, an immature shallot and a fistful of garlic chives along with several stems of cilantro. There was lettuce enough for taco salad but that will be for tomorrow.

I rinsed and dried all the leafy matter and chopped everything small to make an allium and greens stir fry. There was already cooked rice in the fridge and I opened a jar of chicken broth for a sauce.

To the 2 cups of broth I added a 1/2 cup water, 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch, a pinch of brown sugar, turmeric, a splash of Braggs Liquid Aminos, a dollop of bean paste, some ginger, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 heaping tablespoons of my Thai pepper sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. It was stirred until bubbly then a small drizzle of fish sauce to top it off. Gene was busy shelling peanuts to top the whole mess with.

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cucumber flowers

I heated a glug of peanut oil in a hot wok and threw in the alliums, kale and sliced radishes. Cooked that for one minute then added the remaining greens and cooked for one more minute only. The sauce was poured over it all and the heat was turned off.

We put the rice in flat bowls, divided the stir fry with sauce between the two of us and topped it with the cilantro, chopped peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

Ohmagosh! It was delish! So delish that I failed to take a photo. I am so sorry!! It was reallyreally good – you know that first greens of the spring kinda good.

I’m having a difficult time getting excited about the garden this year but have to keep reminding myself it isn’t even Valentines Day yet! Yes we have potatoes and peas in and yes there seems to be lettuce and a few little bits of this and that but it is EARLY still. So I will read seed catalogs a while longer and make more allium and greens stir fry while I wait for high summer.

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Adieu,

signature, Sarah

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We. Are. Gardening.

img_0511Yes we are (gardening) and people may say we are crazy and maybe we are but the long term weather reports look GOOOD. So good that we have put in the potatoes, a row of snow peas and expect to plant English peas and onions soon.

The potatoes have been planted in a sunny protected bed on the south side of a slope and mounded with plenty of loose straw. With just a tiny bit of luck we can keep them from freezing and will have early early potatoes (yes I said early early). I know not what variety they are as we bought this huge bag of seconds from our local grocery last fall for a song and the leftovers have so beautifully sprouted I cannot believe they were irradiated. So. Not organic but not radioactive either.

To expound a bit more, most of them are planted under that foot and a half of chipped bark we laid around the cornfield about a year ago. That stuff is really composting down nicely and there is real dirt under all of it. Hopefully it will be ready to take a garlic patch this fall. I’m all about experimenting in the garden – but never reinventing  the wheel.

The snow peas are only a week or so earlier than ever before as I usually try to plant them by Valentines Day – once even in the snow! That was a funny moment. Planting peas in the snow. Truth be told it was just flurries.

Gene is currently working on shoring up the raised beds in the cornfield in a more permanent manner and then the English peas and onions will go in. Last fall we tried English peas but it just didn’t work out. Several problems.

first successful parsnips

first successful parsnips

“What made it through the winter?” you might ask. Two out of nine Brussels sprouts plants look real promising as do seven out of ten kale. A small patch of parsnips and a smaller patch of pak choi ready to pick soon. And a patch of lettuce that we have been able to munch on through the winter.

Of course the garlic is swell. And you may remember the leeks. There are leeks ready to eat that I started from seed in the fall of 2015 (yes that is correct 2015) and the 100 +/- leek slips from Pat are doing very nicely as are the shallots. I will plant a lot more shallots next year!

We are officially naming this year 2017 the “Year of the Allium”. Last year was “Year of the Summer Squash”.

img_2335This sink was framed in for the outdoor kitchen. There are a lot of great outdoor kitchen ideas on Pinterest and you can follow my Rustic Outdoor Kitchen board here. More to come. We had our hands on a marvelous big old cast iron sink but let it slip through our fingers so this is what we ended up with from the Restore in West Plains.

And most recently Gene built this mini green house (see below) on the south wall patio. It works! The temps are quite warm inside. Maybe too warm on a sunny day. Still needs some tweaking and if it doesn’t get too warm too soon I will put some baby plants in there.

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Seed catalogs are flying into the mailbox regularly and plans are well under way for spring and summer gardening. What is your favorite garden catalog? What would you like to grow that you have never grown before?

signature, Sarah

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Turkey Surprise

img_0511Gene picked up a turkey from Peace Valley Poultry yesterday and we cut it up into manageble pieces, wrapped them well and froze them all minus the boney pieces. It is those bony pieces I want to tell you about…

Click below to read all about it at Moonmooring Grub.

Turkey Surprise

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It Could Have Happened

What I am looking for is this;

notawolfMany years ago I was visiting Sasha and Mau (some of you know them) and there was a storytelling/reading. Mau read from a book – a short story about an Eskimo (I think) man and his telling of a fantastical tale of a wolf befriending him (or something like that). The important and memorable part was the final (?) line… “It could have happened”. Or something to that effect. Ever since then I have used that line when telling a tall tale or an exaggeration or sometimes even the truth as I remember it. Because memory changes and truth is elusive.

I remember the reading vividly but not the exact details of the story and I did not think to note the authors name. I stupidly assumed Mau would always be around to tell me the name of the book if I ever really wanted to know. But no, she is gone.

I do not remember who else was present that evening either.

I had brought a story to share but stuffed the paper into my back pocket at the last minute because a man, a neighboor, joined the group of women just then and the room’s dynamics changed. I felt invaded and put on the defense for some reason. I lied and said my story was forgotten and no I could not wing it. No.

Some of you have seen that sort of thing happen. I know you have.

I do not remember who else was there that evening. Were you? Do you know of the story I speak?

signature, Sarah

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Protected: Anna and Chris – November 12, 2016

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Supermoon Chant

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In honor of the super moon tonight.

... whippoorwills chant their praise to the full moon shadow falling softly across the
lawn in long slashes of dusky blue light fireflies twinkle about in a code so ancient
and secret only Mother can decipher as I slip into the woods sucking in lungs full
of warm moist air filled with night scent and damp earth my feet caressed by soft
blades taking their own flight exhaling into the night as I walk the earth
tonight and forever how long can a moment be held …

There are no whippoorwills nor fireflies on this November night but I was reminded of this poem I wrote from long ago as I walked the woods tonight.

signature, Sarah

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