Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today, a house on the air strip north of us had an auction.  It was unfeelingly frigid, so much so that Q and I had to retreat to the van to listen to the auction.  James purchased a tractor to use on the land.  Thus far, he's bought a pressure cooker, coat stand, and chair.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise, it's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

He Says I'm Crazy...

... but since I'm the one responsible for getting things done when it comes to growing food on the land, I requested that we make a trip to the land today to begin spading the potato bed in order to prepare it for spring.  While I only shoveled a few rows, at least there are that fewer clumps of weeds and hibernating bodies of grubs to deal with next year.

I found one more potato, not sprouted, yummy to eat.  It's James' dinner tonight.

While I was shoveling, James took the kids on a driving tour of the land.

Until next time, remember: this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

katie z.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Final Produce of 2010

On expectation of colder weather, I ventured out to the garden to pick the last fresh greens for the winter: lettuce, pea tendrils, plantain, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, green onion.

More Home Cooking...

On Tuesday, I made chili powder and bone meal.

I dried all the remaining peppers from our garden and my dad, with a result of approximately 2 cups of dried pepper strips.  It's best to use peppers like cayenne or ancho chilis, but I used what I had.  Then I toasted 2 T. cumin seeds.  Finally, the peppers, cumin, 2 T oregano, a dash of paprika (the last of the bottle, or I would have used 1 T) and 2 T garlic powder went into the blender, only to come out (after a minute to settle the powder) as a multi-colored chili powder.  Now to see how spicy it is.  Mmmm...

Bone meal contains excellent amount of phosphorus, so it's used as a fertilizer in the garden.  It's pretty easy to make, just time consuming...

After you've cooked a whole chicken, save the bones.  Simmer the bones with water and veggies (carrots, celery, onions, garlic, a bay leaf, oregano - what sounds good to you?) until it's done.  I put it all in my slow cooker on low overnight.  Then clean any remaining meat, tissue, or fat off the bones.  Spread them out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 300 degrees F for 3 hours.  I then put them in a plastic bag and ran over them with my rolling pin.  They were fairly brittle by then, so they broke easily.  Next time, I'll use something more durable than a plastic bag, but it worked for this time, and one less item ended up in the trash.

(We had another house showing yesterday, so say a prayer that we get an offer!)

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.