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Aug 4, 2018

Blue Skies & Cooler, Homemade Chokecherry Syrup, 1st Home Grown Salad, Hello Fresh Delivery, New Chickens Update

Squirrel cooling off near mister in 100+ degree weather

Blue Skies and Cooler! 
Weather that was forecast a day or two ago turned out to be right! We had a nice cool front that came in off the Pacific Ocean and seem to move almost all the smoke out of the area and cool us down. Whenever I hear low pressure this time of year I do a happy dance. Low means cooler and sometimes wind which can be great in this kind of situation. We've been watering and watering to keep everything alive and the triple temperatures. Anya still loves laying in the sun, even with the heat, the weirdo-

It was a really nice to be in, and out, of the house and do little projects. Here's some random projects I tackled....

Dave and I wound up having the same identical eyeglasses cases from Costco, which caused some confusion. I started thinking of a way I could put something colorful on mine. I decided not to buy anything, but instead pulled out some nice blue and white French plaid ribbon. A few cuts, a little liquid nails and I can certainly tell now which one is mine!

I also made some chokecherry jelly today syrup, see below.  Hard boiled some fresh eggs in my little Egglette cups, works brilliant! Time for deviled eggs, yum. We went out to a late lunch at Kilted Kod, a food truck that has the best fish and chips I've ever had anywhere. They use big, juicy chunks of Cod, handmade and cooked to order. Very light and crunchy batter, just incredible. According to local people from the U.K. it's very authentic. After lunch we stopped at Goodwill and found an amazing gift for one of our grandchildren. While I don't think my kids usually read this blog I'm not going to post what it is until after we give it to him. But it was an amazing score!

Tonight we sat on the back porch and just enjoyed the cooler weather. We have a couple of hummingbirds that come to our feeders on a regular basis. We have two and every three to four days I mix up new hummingbird food. Basically it's three parts water and one part sugar dissolved well and cooled. We have lots of plants that are blooming now to also provide natural food. The smoke started rolling in a bit this afternoon, but at least it's cooler, breezy and the smoke is much less than it was. Forecast for some possible rain tonight! Praying for NO lightning! We have enough fires as it is.

Homemade Chokecherry Syrup-
I was thinking we would have a really nice harvest of Chokecherries this year to make more jelly with. In the past we've had a Qt or more. I have made some jelly before and it has a wonderful citrus type flavor and beautiful color. Dave picked everything off the shrub and sadly there was only about one cup total of chokecherries.

With that small amount I decided to just make a very small batch of syrup for pancakes and waffles. Basically you clean the choke cherries, cover with a little bit of water and bring to a boil and simmer until they're soft. I was lucky these chokecherries were actually very juicy!

After you boil them you pour the liquid and chokecherries through a sieve. I took a big, flat metal spoon and pushed the chokecherries and the juice through the strainer into a bowl-

I worked on that for about a good 5 to 10 minutes until there was some juice in the bottom along with some pulp. I had a little trouble deciphering how much sugar to put into such a small amount of juice. I wound up with it a little bit too sweet so I added some store-bought boysenberry syrup. I brought that to a boil as well with the sugar. Then I poured that back through the strainer another time and was able to get more chokecherry juice out of the mix. I wound up with a half small jelly batch-

It's a tart version of boysenberry syrup, but hey it does have a lot of vitamin C! We'll hope for a better harvest next year. I'm really happy at least we have lots and lots of apples and pears on the trees.
Recipe here Mennonitegirlscancook

1st Home Grown Salad- 
We had our first nice summer garden salad with homegrown tomatoes, Lemon and slicing cukes and basil, added some chunks of avocado, red wine vinegar and olive oil, above. Our daughter Angie stopped by, gifting us with three HUG yellow squash and one big cuke. We'll be eating those!

We have some small zuccini almost ready. Looking forward to more fresh tomatoes to make some salsa.

Hello Fresh Delivery-
Today I got the test order from Hello Fresh in the mail. I haven't cooked the two meals yet but here's a preview of what I got and how they shipped it-

The box came very well insulated with cellulose packing material as well as two small and two very large ice bags-

The upper two bags of food whole nice and cold-

The two meat packages were down in the bottom next to a frozen ice bag also very very cold.

There were materials inside on how to cook each of the meals as well as photos of the finished product-

Great directions if you don't know how to cook 

I'm cooking this first!

I bought these with a $50 off coupon so the total for two meals for two people was $15. $15.00 for four meals, not bad! I can cook from scratch cheaper, but this was a treat/experiement. We will definitely reuse the four ice bags, especially the two really large ones. We're going on a road trip soon and those will be great to put in the cooler since they are huge. As soon as I cook those meals I will post a review, but the ingredients look really great! Watch for more updates!

New Chickens Update-
The three new chickens are working out really. They got to free-range with the 2 big hens tonight and they all had a great time. All very healthy and curious and the flock pecking order seems to be settled in. While they do tend to run away from the two big hens, for no particular reason, probably just from sheer size. Annie, the white hen is definitely the braver of the three and seems to be the natural leader. It will be interesting over time to see if she butts heads with Rosie, the big Red Rhode Island Red. She's been the dominant hen for quite a while now, so time will tell.


Goatldi said...
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Goatldi said...

Lots of news. I too was impressed with the mail order meals. Will be interested in the outcome.

Your kitty is a ditz. My cats all become very long stretchy felines in warm weather.. Usually parking themselves on the kitchen or bathroom tile.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes so far everything looks good that came so I'll be curious how dishes taste! Yes I think too is cats get older they really love laying in the Sun and of course we are lucky to have air conditioning.

Of Goats and Greens said...

Lovely cat, lovely chickens (I have a few of each myself!) I do have hummingbirds but around my bee balm, and my cannas -- afraid of putting out a honeybird feeder, as there are bears hereabouts.