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.