Friday, May 31, 2013

Chicken With Rhubarb and Maple Syrup

 Chicken With Rhubarb and Maple Syrup

This is one of those recipes to make when you don't feel like cooking, but want a decent meal. There are no set ingredient amounts, just wing it and throw it all together. Be sure to use enough maple syrup to offset the tartness of the rhubarb.

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Thyme, fresh or dried
Rhubarb, fresh (frozen would probably be fine, but we have never done this recipe with it)
Fresh, or dried ginger
Maple syrup

Place chicken in a baking dish. Sprinkle with thyme.

Cut rhubarb into 1/2" pieces and cover the chicken with them.

Add a little fresh ginger and drizzle maple syrup over the top.

Bake, covered, at 350°F until chicken  is done (about 25 minutes).

Chicken with rhubarb and maple syrup, ready to go into the oven

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Building a New Deck While Keeping the Apple Tree Happy

When we were first trying to decide where to build our house on this piece of land, we discovered an apple tree that was in the way, so we built the house around it. Since then the tree has really flourished, getting stronger and prettier and more fruitful each year.

In almost 10 years we still haven't finished the house (I think part of the problem is that we keep coming up with new ideas, really shouldn't have that home brew), but the apple tree is still one of our favorite features. Each spring we can watch the blossoms forming right from our living room, and come winter the pine grosbeaks eat the decaying apples, right outside our living room window. The view is spectacular.

We decided this Spring that we would like to have a small deck off the house near the apple tree, it's protected from the wind in the Spring and shaded from the sun in the Summer. The problem, the tree.

Since we went to so much trouble with building the house to go around the tree, cutting the tree for a deck was certainly not an option, besides the tree has become like family (did I really just say that?)

The tree got some pruning and the deck was built to compliment the tree.



Now we can enjoy the blossoms even closer, morning coffee and tea is enjoyed under part of the limbs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rhubarb Recipes: Rhubarb-ade

The perfect replacement  for lemonade during rhubarb season!
Rhubarb-ade

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rhubarb; chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Instructions

 

Simmer together rhubarb and water until the rhubarb is tender, about 25 minutes.

Strain the liquid and add honey.

Add more honey to taste if needed.

This recipe doubles, or halves easily.


Enjoy warm or cold. Is also good mixed with seltzer water.

rhubarb, simmering
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Separating Cream From Milk

We are fortunate to live close to an organic farm where we can buy raw milk (since for now we are not milking any of our cows).  And one of the added benefits is that, left to sit in the refrigerator over night, the cream will rise to the top of the milk, making it easy to separate.

We have future plans to someday get a cream separator, but for now we do it a simple way.

The container of milk is set at a higher level than an empty container.


We use a piece of plastic tubing to start a siphon and let the milk flow into the empty container, being careful to stop before siphoning the cream.

If you look closely at the top of the milk you can just make out the cream, it is a slightly darker color.

Once we get to the cream we simply remove the plastic hose to stop the flow.


The cream can then be used however you like. For us it's usually made into whipped cream, one of my all time favorite foods.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Starting Cucumber Seeds Under Plastic

For the past few years we have started our cucumbers early in the garden and covered the newly planted patch with plastic. This year we thought we'd try something new.

We've had luck with many plants in big pots, tomatoes, peppers, greens, beans. So this year we're going to try cucumbers.

I planted the seeds yesterday in a large pot and covered it with plastic like I do in the garden. 



We use concrete reinforcement wire to make tomato cages and will use one as a trellis for the cucumbers to grow up.



Hopefully this will work. I will post an update later this summer.