Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Icing Debacle

I am so incandescently tired.

Every once in a while I hunt for Snipe.  You know, that game where your friends dump you in a graveyard and tell you to find Snipe, you have to hold very very still before you can see the Snipe.  Then they abandon you and leave you. (Not Harry Potter Snipe; this Snipe)


In a graveyard.

Freaking out.

It's fun really, at least for your friends.

So I went Snipe hunting.  I went on a crusade for something that didn't exist: The Perfect Sugar-freehealthyforyourdogandcheaptomake icing.  Like Snipe in a graveyard, evidently it doesn't exist.

I am like a dog with a bone sometimes.  I will gnaw and gnaw at something until I *&$^$##ing figure it out!!!

Except this time.  This time I caved, and that's ok because really, it's that streak of perfectionism that makes me try the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

insanityFrom Latin īnsānus (unsound in mind; mad, insane), from in- + sānus (sound, sane): doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (I claim artistic license here!)

But there was ONE TIME when I blended cornstarch and water and voila! Got icing! Maybe the planets were aligned! Maybe I knocked on wood! Maybe I was standing on one foot while thumbing my nose at the sky!

Nevertheless, it could not be recreated.

Do you think anyone from Wikipedia will care I stole their photo of a Snipe?

Finally I found an icing that works, it DOES have sugar but reading up I find that sugar is ok in very small quantities for doggies.  So I will go with this.  And be ok with it.  Even though it isn't perfect.

It's ok.  I'm going to go ice some treats now.  

Guess they turned out ok.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Cheese Dance; ode to Frithe

My husband used to describe the 'cheese dance' to me over the phone when we would talk, before I had been to his house and met his dog Frithe.  Frithe was an amazing dog, the perfect mixture of sweetness, zest and obedience and she LOVED cheese.

Every once in a while, for a special treat, he would sprinkle a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on the floor for Frithe to lick up.  She would look up at him adoringly, smiling, and hop from front paw to paw until he sprinkled the cheese down.  I saw it once and not much later, that sweet doggie died.  

So this is in honor of Frithe.  I finally, without a doubt, made CHEESE.


Frithe would be so proud.

It has to age but come mid-July I get to give it a taste.  

And yes, I would have shared it with her.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Patch of Earth

Welcome to my Garden
I thought it was time for a little update on the veggie garden.  Oh how this garden has been a mixed blessing!  But mostly a blessing really.

Ok so I may be a horticulturist but I really didn't know that if I put straw down in my garden for mulch, it would sprout.  And sprout a LOT!  Silly me. Guess this is pretty standard according to my veggie gardening expert friend.  The last week and a half have been spent ripping out wheat.  I did want to grow some grains in the garden but by choice, not by accident.  I left the wheat to grow among the sweetcorn.  Figure it won't do much harm there and maybe I'll have a few seed heads to process and grind in my mill.  Oh that would be so awesome.

The ponatoes are doing well and growing so thick there are no weeds!

And I must say I've never seen marigolds quite so pretty as mine.  I love deadheading them, tossing the spent flower heads on the path and walking on them.  The smell of marigolds reminds me of the ones my mother grew in a raised bed next to the sidewalk that went from the house to the garage in the back yard of the first house we lived in after moving from California.  I think one year I buried the spent flower heads in the soil and they sprouted.  I was maybe in 3rd or 4th grade.  I've alllllways been a plant geek see?

And talk about geek, remember my chicken boots I was so happy about?  Well they are too small.  :-(  Oh well.  They weren't terribly practical and I've learned the hard way that practicality always wins out with me. So I thought: "I'll do some toe ups or something and firm up my calves!  Then I can fit in my chicken boots!"  Eegads.  What's that quote about if you can laugh at yourself you will always be amused?  They went back to the company and they are sending me a comfy pair of gardening clogs instead. Chicken boots just aren't worth that much!

I planted 11 tomatoes.  Yes, I know I'm crazy.  But honestly I didn't plant too many of anything else.....well...maybe a few too many onions (omyums for any Pooh-bears that might be reading) but really that's gotta be it.  I should be able to keep up with that right?   

Well, I did plant 4 more tomatoes's late I know but I started them from seed and as you can see from this post on my problem with propagationaholicism (Google the term; I have the distinct satisfaction of being the ONLY thing that pops up when you do!  Ha!) I couldn't just toss the baby tomatoes.  So in the ground they went.

Mortgage Lifter Tomato flower ^

Another reminder of mom is this statice or Limonium it's also called.  Lovely, dainty stuff.  One year she grew it her veggie patch.  The flowers dry extremely well and the plant doesn't take up much room.

It ain't hard to figure out where my love of gardening came from eh?

How's your garden growing?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A (small) Business is Born

And Fearless Farmgirl is on a mission.

I started making dog treats a while back; I posted about it here.  It's been great fun.  I fudged the recipe a bit, added a bit of this, removed a bit of that and came up with a peanut butter treat that doggies love.  Seriously.  Sam, my dog, will sit there and rivers of drool will come flowing down when I hold up one of these treats.

I posted them on Etsy, nothing happened.  (though my brother did buy a bag, how sweet) I took some in to work and told people about them, not much happened.

Finally I told my friend Susanna I was selling dog treats and a week or so later she said: "Why don't you sell them at my place?" (Hedgeapple Row Farm; doggie daycare) and then all the activity started!

I've been baking about 3lbs of treats a week to keep up with sales and the fact that Susanna now only gives the dogs at her daycare my homemade treats!  I enlisted Mom to be my backup if I get behind.  She's on call......

These are the same people (her and her husband Henry) who gave me the veggie garden.  I helped Henry build the fence so I would know how.  These people are amazing.  I am so blessed to have such supportive friends.

I made a photo story for their wall:
Yup, it's sideways, sorry for the crick in your neck

I decorated the shelf and stocked it:

I got business cards!

And then I dug out my BIG mixing bowls so I can start making double (ahem; triple!)  batches.

Bought large quantities of peanut butter;

Then my friend Susanna says: "Well why dontcha sell your jam here too?"

Whooboy....I'm gonna need a bigger kitchen!