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She Sat Up!

Not like we sat her in an up right position and she stayed, but as in we laid her down and she did a sit up.

Go Techno Huskers

The littlest ember of the team

The littlest ember of the team

The Local Robotics team is in Kearney today for the regional robotics competition. They made it down safely having left early Friday to avoid the blizzard. Hopefully the trip home is as uneventful.We wish that we were going with again this year, last year was a blast. My darling husband helped coach the last two years but this year something else (small goblin child) kind of took up all his time.

Robotics is awesome. Our team is  Four-H sponsored, for kids 9-14 to learn about science and technology. They build robots out of lego’s, Then they build an obstacle course, or as they call it a thematic playing surface, also out of lego’s. They then have to program the robot to complete missions in and around the course. I am sure they can explain it much better than I at usfirst.org and firstlegoleague.org

 

Last year

Last year

Marigolds

Technically that includes a color so we are sticking with the theme.

I love marigolds. I think they are beautiful, I even like the smell. Properly called Tagetes, the common name is derived from “Marys Gold”. They are an excellent nectar source for butterfly’s, their beautiful orange color can be used for food color but most important here they are supposed to repel insects. Because of that particular attribute they are good companion plants for tomatoes and pepper as well as many others.

We had aphids on the peppers in the green house. The lady bugs were already feasting but didn’t seem to be keeping up. I had some marigold seeds that I had been planning to plant around the house. So I though I would just plant a few in between the peppers. It was so fun to watch them come up. The seedling were so healthy and vigorous. So very very vigorous. They grew and grew and grew. We rechecked the package, it did say Marigold, height 12 to 24 inches. Well that was taller than I had expected I guess I should have been more careful in selecting type.

But they kept growing. Soon they were taller than the peppers and reaching for the ceiling. I suppose we could have pulled them. Gotten rid of the problem altogether. The peppers weren’t doing much any way though and the flowers were pretty.

Micro Greens

First it was purple now green, I’m working my way through the colors.

Looking through the latest Martha Stewart Living I found an article on growing sprouts and micro greens. It may be a good magazine to replace  Glamor after all.We have been surviving without home grown greens for so long we thought we would experiment with growing these.

I don’t know what sprouts are supposed to be eaten with or on but there were a couple of recipes included in the article. I do love grilled cheese with tomato. Their suggestion of grilled cheese with bacon, apple and sprouts I don’t know about. Martha may just be to cool for me.

So, sure that we would find some use for them, we began our little experiment it will be fun to see what happens.

Purple Carrots

I have a subscription to Martha Stewart Living now. One of the kids at school was selling subscriptions and I was looking for something to replace Glamor which I am afraid I have finally out grown. The January issue had recipes for roasting vegetables. We still have vegetables from the garden. I thought “Hey, I could roast the vegetables”. It was quite the epiphany.

So I gathered some garlic, an onion, threw in a couple potatoes and we ventured out to the greenhouse to dig up some carrots. We have been sorely lax in our carrot digging this winter. Fortunately the in-laws are making good use of them. They have dug up nearly half. However upon arriving at the purple carrots they seemed unenthused. We found many large purple carrots strewn about the ground. Maybe people don’t share my enthusiasm for purple vegetables? Someday I plan to grow an entirely purple garden. I have seen purple cauliflower (not that I would ever touch the stuff), purple kohlrabi, purple asparagus, purple potatoes, even purple tomatoes. But I digress.

After washing I tossed all the vegetables in olive oil, added a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then spread the larger ones one a cookie sheet. The smaller ones I saved to add later. They roasted for a good hour. The smaller ones half that. The garlic I should of waited until even later to add.

It was scrumptious. The carrots were chewy and sweet. The garlic we added to the mushroom gravy which we poured over the potatoes and our stakes. The whole thing was delicious, it was so nice to be eating from our garden even in the middle of winter. I would like to try some squash this way too, I wish I had been more careful about bringing some inside instead of letting it freeze.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

2012-12-27 09.33.06

Not.

Twenty-seven degrees outside right now according to my computer. We got a light powdery snow last night and now the wind is howling. I understand there was a nice little ground blizzard going on on the way into town today. I suppose all the guys in town will be out plowing snow on their four wheelers.

For once there is stuff going on on the main street cam. What is the main street cam you say? Why it is a service provided by our stellar local computer store/repair shop. A live web cam showing the lively down town. Not that their is usually much to see

http://mainstreetcam.enebraska.net/

 

Happy New Year

It was one year ago today that my darling husband proposed. He popped the question on bended knee with his Grandmothers ring at the stroke of midnight  so that his words were the first I heard in the new year. It was very romantic.

My how things change.

Not that he’s not still romantic, when he gets the chance. It’s just more difficult with the small goblin child to keep us company. Last year was an extremely busy year with weddings and babies and unfortunately funerals. I think we used up the gift fund at work.

Looking back through the pictures on my camera I found lots of things that I had meant to write about but never found the time. So it looks like I will have something to write about besides poop. It will be fun to revisit summer in the dead of winter. And so I will enjoy writing about……

Seed Catalogs

I think they time the sending of the seed catalogs nicely, and purposely, to rescue us when winter gets to be to much. They start arriving as the days reach their shortest point in December and continue through the bleak blustery days of January. When the fertile soil of the garden is frozen rock solid and summer seems naught but a cruel dream, they arrive. Bright shiny pictures of vegetable plants and flowers and sun shine.

We will start to pour through them shortly. Comparing their offerings to what seeds we already have. My devoted gardener husband will chose the practical, the tried and true. I will chose multicolored tomatoes, purple carrots and grey pumpkins. With just one of every variety that looks so scrumptious in the bleak mid winter we will be planting far more than we can eat. But the excitement is at its highest point, all things seem possible during those cold dark days of dreaming.

This year, we tell ourselves, this year we will can more tomatoes and keep up with the okra. This year we will keep the weeds pulled and pickle some cucumbers. This year we will gorge our selves on sweet corn until we are sick with it. This year I will smush up the peas for baby food, for that matter I will make all our baby food fresh from the garden. We will cut our grocery bill in half by growing all our own food.

Soon it will be time. One more month. In February we will start the precious little seedlings. With careful water, heat and lighting they will  grow offering hope that spring is on its way.

Hot Chocolate

I got yet another Christmas present today! First I got a new bale feeder for the horses. One that wont rub their manes off. Then we got a new light for Ellys bed room. All my Christmas presents from everybody else, too many to count. Now from my darling husband a box of hot chocolate.

What that doesn’t sound impressive? This isn’t just any old hot chocolate. This is special ordered form California. My absolute favorite kind. Not the kind that you drink ether. It is the Firecracker, a hand crafted dark chocolate bar with hot peppers that explodes in your mouth like pop rocks of old. Or as they put it rather more eloquently, “Sultry sea salt, smoky chipotle, and popping candy exploding in dark chocolate”. He followed that with the Spicy Maya Bar, which, according to them is “the perfect mix of sweet and seductive”. Yum, I am going to be so fat. I suppose I will have to share them with my dearest husband. He is after all the founder of the feast.

It makes me wish though that I had gotten him something. Anything at all really.

Poor guy.

I was looking at their web sight and I think I found next years present for my parents!  The maple bacon bar, because “every thing is better with bacon”.  I think I will stick to chocolate with hot peppers.

http://chuaochocolatier.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/620x880/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/h/choc-bar_firecracker_1.jpg

Anatomy of a Roll