Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last Day of March Already???

It seems as though time is flying by entirely too fast these days. While I feel like every individual day creeps along I can see by the date on the calender that the year is speeding by. The other observation that I am continuing to make is that I'm tired. Granted I'm not one that sleeps a bunch and my work schedule is such that I flip flop between working days and working nights which can't be good for my sleep in general but still I don't think I should be as tired as I feel. By the time I come home, be it in the morning or in the evening, both my body and mind are exhausted and I'm not sure why. I'm still forcing myself to do other stuff in the course of my day because it seems like the right thing to do but really I think I need about a 36 hour nap.

Aside from that there isn't a whole lot going on with me right now. I've started all my vegetable plants for my garden and am hoping to be able to take them out of the greenhouse and plant them by mid April (if the weather keeps cooperating). My pumpkin plant is already 2 feet long and sprouting new leaves like crazy. I had to put it in a big 5 gallon pot so that the roots didn't get sick from lack of space. I'm still hoping that I'll end up with a 700 lb gourd this year. Mace and I are going to build a hoop house for it out in his garden so that even if we have some cold nights the plant wont freeze. While I'm glad we started it earlier there are some tricks to it that we have to take into consideration since we still can't plant it for another couple weeks.

On a side note? Does anyone have a really good recipe for shortbread cookies? I tried one that I found the other day online and I just wasn't that happy with it. I want something super buttery like I've had in English Shortbreads over the years. I know they aren't good for me but I think it would be something kind of fun to do as an Easter cookie. So if anyone knows of one feel free to let me know.

With that I think I best be getting off of here and take a shower. I still smell like moss and tree sap from work but figured I'd post something on here before getting too comfy and possibly falling asleep. Love you all and wish you a happy last day of March 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010


So for the last couple years I've been playing around with some serious baking. I've always loved doing it and I find it quite relaxing after a hectic work week. It makes me think of my mom, sister and grandma. And Mace has been very encouraging of this passion of mine. Of course he is the one that usually benifits from the goodies I make so I think he has a dual purpose. So for this reason we decided to go in 50/50 and buy some nifty kitchen gadgets that we'll both use for the rest of our lives. I'm talking some serious toys here.

I had an older Kitchenaid plain and simple stand mixer for the last couple years and while it did anything I asked of it I could tell it was starting to lose its will to survive especially when I made Divinity. Figuring I would be baking for the rest of my life in some capacity we decided to upgrade to a fancy schmancy 575 watt 6 quart professional series Kitchenaid stand mixer. All I can say is OMG!!! I've been playing with it for the past week and love it! I've made pasta, chiffon cake w/ super fluffy orange frosting, a couple batches of Divinity right after another, and pizza dough to die for. And I'm planning on using it this evening to make dinner rolls and cinamon rolls to feed 40 people for tomorrow's family bbq. I tell you its fabulous and I'm not quite sure how I lived so long without it. Mine looks just like this one --->

Before buying the monster of stand mixers, we also decided to try a Kitchenaid professional series food processor. Again OMG!!! We've been shredding potatoes for hash browns, carrots for salads, and producing fresh salsa for when we had tacos the other night. This think has everything but the kitchen sink! Two weeks ago I made a pie crust that literally melted in your mouth with this sucker and I'm never going to use a bowl and fork again to make crust. Mace has also been using this like crazy and is really finding an interest in cooking and baking as well. Its kind of fund having something to do together in the evenings. I'll have to start taking pictures of my goodies and posting them on here.

With these two gadgets I seriously think I could open up a local bakery and do well but that will be later on in life. The good news though is that these two babies will last a lifetime and hopefully I'll be able to pass them on to my daughters if I'm so blessed if/when I have kids. As if I needed extra encouragement to spend time in the kitchen. I'm like a little kid in a candy shop now and keep scouring the Food Network website for new and interesting recipes to try out. So if any of you have any suggestions let me know... I'm giddy and totally ready for some baking challenges!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forsaken Blog

My Blog my blog... why have I forsaken you? Well to put it bluntly I've had a lot of other shitake to do. But because the weather is getting nicer, I'm spending more and more time out in the field, and I actually get some form of relaxation out of writing on here I do believe I'll be a bit more vigilant about writing once again.

Those reading this blog might recall I live in a land where in most winters I get 10+ feet of snow. Not so much this year. I don't think I've had more than 2 feet total and not a single flake since about mid January. El Nino has really put a damper on my winter snow fun activities. On the positive side however, the lack of massive amounts of snow meant a much easier winter field season for me. I was able to track and tag 4 lynx this year which beats my all time best of 2 in a season the first year I worked up here. All the little kitties are happy and healthy except for the fact that they are inbreeding just a bit too much. It doesnt just happen in the South anymore.... sorry couldn't resist that dig.

Another positive side to the lack of snow is that my garden has been thawed out for a month and I've already started my seeds for this season's Giant Pumpkin. I'm getting about a 2 month jump on the sucker and am hoping that with this much time in the ground I'll be able to have a 700 lb pumpkin to take to the Portland weigh off in the Fall. I know I'm a dork but I can't help it. Growing these giants is a ton of work but they are so much fun too. So don't knock it til you have the guts to try it. This picture was taken a couple days ago when it first sprouted. Now it already has three other leaves and I need to get a hoop house built out in the garden and get it planted before it completely outgrows its pot.

Well I think this is a good start so far. It's probably best if I leave it at that for now so that I'm encouraged to write more later. Hope everyone is well and enjoying spring.