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Jun 19, 2012

Free Chicken Pergola, Recipes- Graham Crackers & Marshmallows, Rhubarb Sauce, Independence Days Challenge, Garden, Staycation Ideas

Free Chicken Pergola-
I was looking thru the free Craigslist ads Sunday and had a "I know I can do something with that!" moment. It was in the neighborhood too! It was used to cover a stump, and I've seen them before in expensive catalogs. It's metal, wood, and plastic lattice. When we got it home, I said I wanted to use it for the chickens for extra shade in the veggie garden, and I thought we could elevate it on concrete blocks. Dave said, "we can take off one panel for a doorway", ta da! Chicken pergola, no blocks needed! I hosed it off, added a little perching branch inside, a waterer next to it and the girls are using it :)

Recipes- Graham Crackers& Marshmallows-
I have been wanting to make some of these for a while, so I decided to try these recipes. I love graham crackers for a low fat, low calorie snack. The marshmallows we'll save for barbecuing times, except for tonight :)

I used the following recipe for the marshmallows. I'm not a big fan of corn syrup, with that icky aftertaste, so I used this recipe.  Homemade Marshmallows W/O Corn Syrup Pretty simple for a first try. I will use some of Mary Jane's Chillover powder next time, I just need to buy some. her powder doesn't have an exact match for regular powder however. I don't make gelatin much, the kids are grown, but the M.J. stuff it might be good for some fresh fruit recipes, etc. The result was soft & fluffy! I found this a little dry so I added about 2 TBL. of ice water, worked fine after that. Recipe For Graham Crackers I cut them a little too thick, and they were more moist than crispy, I'll work on that next time. Maybe too much water?  Loved the favor though! We had s'mores, oh boy! I worked it off today  :)

Sorry for the blurry shot
Rhubarb Sauce-
For Father's Day I decided to make my hubby some rhubarb sauce (which he loved growing up) to go with the Citrus Angelfood Cake I made. My Recipe-

2 cups 1" chunks rhubarb, thawed and drained (I froze mine)
2 cups strawberries, cut in 1/2
1/4 water
1/4 - 1/2 sugar: depends on the ripeness of the berries
pinch salt
Bring to a simmer, stirring once in a while, until it starts to break down, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit. Stirs once in a while as it cools. It was great in top of the cake!
 Sauce before-

Last night I made my favorite Garden Cheddar Frittata. It's GREAT with my home grown tomatoes on top once they ripen! I left out the taters, added 1 chorizo sausage (crumbled), sun dried tomatoes on top, and used extra sharp cheese. Yummy! 

Independence Days Challenge-
1. Plant Something- Added 3 more tomatoes and peppers to the garden today. I have some crookneck squash to plant, can't decide where yet... 

2. Harvest Something- Eggs, compost, grass clipping.

3. Preserve Something- Trimmed my tree :) Too early for me to can.

 4. Store Something- Starting to inventory my pantry. Froze some cheese from the trip to the Grocery Outlet. 

5. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Got a bunch of stuff a few days ago at the Grocery Outlet. Huge blocks of feta for $3.00! I got 3.

6. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- Used leftovers for my frittata and new cheeses.

7. Build Community Food Systems- I need to go get more rhubarb next door.

8. Recycle/Re-Use- Used some more conduit for tomato stakes. Taking in leftover copper pipe to recycle.

9. Skill Up- Reading about homesteading recipes.

10. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Sold our aerobed on Craigslist!

Wha Cha Doin"?

 Garden- After a scorching 93 degree day (and windy too!) we had 2 days in the mid-70's nice break! It's 65 right now, go figure! Today I mowed, prunes and planted more veggies. Veggie starts are showing up 1/2 price or less locally, always good to fill in the bare spots. Since we took down the chicken "sun room" we got back that garden space! I still have some room since we moved our border and fence out 3'.

Staycation Ideas- I have noticed the trends for "Staycations", fun stay-at-home vacation ideas. We went to Portland for Christmas, to see my husband's family. It was fun, but I always think of real vacations as a summer thing- camping or road tripping. We camped a lot with our kids (now grown) and did a few Oregon coast budget motel see-the-light houses trips. This year we had planned on going camping over into Wyoming or Montana, but with Dave's shoulder surgery (ouch!) and gas, maybe not. So we're trying to do more stuff around town, short day trips, some here's some ideas I've had, you might be able to use too?
* Go biking, maybe to lunch, to our local state park, down by the river, or on our "green belt". Very environmentally friendly!
* Go bird watching out by the Snake River, famous for raptors, take photos 
* Go to local museums on their free days
* Visit the renovated state capitol building, just avoid the politicians!
* Just get outside somewhere!
Staying in at home and playing video games, for instance, is not my idea of intellectually satisfying or recharging my batteries time. No room for a tent in our yard.... What do you do?


Kristina said...

I love the free find! How neat! We just made those marshmallows too. Yum!

nancy said...

Yes they are rich too! 1 goes a LONG way!

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, this entire post was a treat. Love the chicken pergola! Too cute. And all the recipes. I adore graham crackers but won't buy them because of the ingredients. Marshmallows I'm not too crazy about but S'mores, yum.

nancy said...

Thanks! Longer than usual too :) Yes, the marshmallows were probably a one time deal...

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

That pergola is so cute. I bet the chickens use if for a dust bath area. Mine dig in hole they made under the coop. Very cozy I guess.

nancy said...

They seem to use it more for shade, which is good when it's hot!

Bert Ashton said...

have you domesticated hens in your garden?

garden pergolas

nancy said...

Yes Bert- I have 2 New Hampshires, a Rhode Island Red and a Barred Rock.

Linda said...

Cute percola....wonderful deal.
I know the chicken must love it. Your dessert looks mighty tasty to me. Thanks for sharing. I am your newest Google friend follower, plus Linky. I hope you visit my blog and follow along. Enjoy your week. Linda

nancy said...

Thanks Linda, and welcome!

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