Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hodgepodge Hoopla of Perennial Peanuts, Delicious Datils, Cozy Cabins, and Dead Deer

Dave and Tami's log home is progressing nicely.

These photos were taken a week ago, so you can imagine that much has changed. I got there just as the sun slipped behind the very tall trees surrounding the home, so I had to use flash for these shots.

I photographed the well, because I remember how stoked I was to have my own water well, back in 1988.

It looks like Dave and Tami went with a submersible pump, which should give them great water pressure.

My next pump will be submersible, when the current above ground pump bites the dust.


When I was a kid, my Dad had a giant fig tree that covered a huge chunk of yard. It didn't grow UP so much as OUT.

I like fig newtons, so I suppose I will be searching for a fig newton recipe soon ... well, not soon, the new tree is just a baby.

My Mom made use of the abundant figs by creating a faux strawberry jam that used strawberry jello and figs as I recall.

Perennial Peanut is an agricultural forage crop down here that is used as a soil improving legume while it also provides a nutritious hay for grazing animals.

The DOT has begun using it in highway medians, which turn yellow during the peanut bloom. Now the nurseries are offering it for ground covers, so I thought I would give it a try. You don't get peanuts from this variety, just green forage and nitrogen added to your soil.

Lord knows, my sandy soil could use some improving.

Last weekend, I planted collard plants in my elevated buckets where datils and tomatoes formerly grew. I have some lettuce seeds that I will sprinkle in those buckets after the collards have a chance to get a head start.

Let me tell you how nice it was to walk into the feed store and NOT have to buy bags of Show Pig feed at 20 bucks a bag.

As much as I enjoyed each FFA pig my kids raised, I must confess that not having to buy a pig or hundreds of pounds of feed for the next 4 months, coupled with not having to worry about pig illnesses made me positively giddy as I walked out of the feed store with $3.00 worth of collard starts and a teaspoon of lettuce seeds.

I donated our pig shelter, feeder, and waterer to the school FFA program so they can loan them out to a kid who wants to raise a fair animal, but doesn't have the money for those items.

The Southern Sisters have been making lots of datil pepper sauce lately as this is their big gift basket season and they make truly wonderful gift baskets that have hand selected high quality and unique items, plus the basket REALLY is full of goodies ... unlike those store bought ones that have lots of backing and filling with a few items on top.

They have customers from last season who have requested "more of that datil stuff!".

I am proposing that we, (I am an honorary sister/slave/cook/gofer/gardener/toter of stuff) start producing the stuff commercially as a stand alone product. They have the licensed certified kitchen and I have the datil growing expertise ... plus the family recipe.

It seems like a no-brainer to me.

This is just simple datil vinegar.
Stuff a bottle with a pepper of your choice ... I chose datil ... pour vinegar over it and let it sit.
Dribble it over greens, pilau, whatever floats your boat.
Recharge with fresh vinegar ... seemingly ad infinitum.
I have some 2005 in my fridge that I used just last week.

This is different ...
In my refrigerator is a datil experiment that is meant to mimic a Tabasco type sauce using datils.

I took bright orange, ripe datils and chopped them in a food processor. Then, I combined the caustic orange goo with a little vinegar and salt.

I don't have oak barrels, so it's aging in a glass jar, but it smells wonderful when I pop the top to check it.

Months from now, I will process it again and then strain it for an orangey liquid that I hope will be amazing.

I will let you know.

If you want datil pepper seeds, I have a zillion of them right now since I save them every time we make sauce. So no need to panic or order early, unless you just want to do so. I should have plenty later in the winter when you start thinking about gardening again.

And finally, ... it seems we have another dead deer in the yard again.
Tis the season.

The buzzards told me it was there, and sure enough, they were right.

I won't be photographing the process this time, since we did that already ... remember?

Newbies can search this blog for dead deer posts.

Now if I can just keep Bear from rolling in it.


Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion here but since you don't have an oak barrel you might try some Jack Daniels Grilling chips! Thunder has tried (and succeeded) so many things using these chips. He would know more about this tho. Thanks for the pics of our home! It is finally looking like just that...a home! Thanks for the package and I will be mailing promised recipes out tomorrow.

Sayre said...

I'm gonna try the datils again next year. My plants finally sprouted, but we got no peppers. My husband is hoping my plants will last the winter and we'll get peppers next year. I don't think they're perennial, are they? I'd rather start fresh, I think. I think I waited too long to plant.

Love the log cabin. My cousin built one in North Carolina and I enjoyed his pictures of the construction.

Cathy S. said...

How nice that your legacy with FFA will live on with someone else's family. Thanks for sparing us the dead deer pictures this year.

Thunder Dave said...

To add to Lightnin's comment: I have used the oak chips in combination with a certain clear beverage that can sometimes be found in the KY/TN hills regions (wink, wink) and it works very well!
I also know someone very close to me that has a bit of knowledge in the arts of fermentation that you could tap into at any time! ;-)

roger said...

i put fresh datils in a bottle with olive oil. the peppers got mushy after a while and the oil was muy picante. we've been too long without a garden and look forward to datils this spring. my seeds are aging, but i have a lot.

Doug Taron said...

I'm saving the pepper suggestions, they sound like fun. About the deer carcass:
>I won't be photographing the process this time

Could you make an exception if it starts drawing in some cool carrion beetles?

edifice rex said...

I think packaging and selling the pepper sauce is an excellent idea. I bet it would be a hit.

Aunty Belle said...

gobble gobble...wishin' all of the folks at PFHQ a very fine Thanksgivin'!

Miz S said...

Mmmmm...the tantalizing aroma of dead deer! I predict that Bear will find a way to envelop himself in it.

Happy Turkey Day, you big turkey!

Sandcastle Momma said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family have a wonderful day!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks y'all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving also.
We broke in the newly painted PFHQ by hosting the family this year.
Mom got to relax and just be a guest, it was wonderful.
Pictures later of course.

I will check for carrion beetles, because, like God, I too am fond of beetles.

Hurricane Teen said...

I miss my datils!!!
Agh, why must I get book-learned?! :-)

Aunty Belle said...

My gracious, what a good son ya is, FC fer havin'yore Mama as a guest wif' no kitchen duties. An' kudos to Mrs FC too.

Reckon it is real purty round there after ya played "fire an' wind" to yore trees.

On that fig tree--do ya let 'em grow naturally or does they git spring prunnin'? I has a fig tree thas' 2 years old, but it is sorta spindly--but we have figs on it right now.

Sherry Stoffel said...

I'd love to have a recipe for datil pepper peanuts. Sherry in Elkton and Illinois