Wow it’s February the romance month. It’s been a cold one around here, the snowiest winter in a long time. We have four foot high berms all along the driveway where the plow has thrown the snow. And for the past two days it has been sunny and warming, the driveway has turned to an ice rink. We have half a mile of solid wet ice to get to the road, a slippery mess for sure.
We tried our hand at brewing a little pale ale this year. It was ready for tasting just in time for Super Bowl Sunday. I believe that Steven added a little bit too much sugar to the recipe. We ended up with fountain beer. The only way to drink this, was to set the bottle in a larger container before popping the top.
I received this recipe in the mail the other day from the Mayo clinic newsletter. Decided to give it a try. It’s easy to get in a rut with your cooking and just keep making the same recipes all the time. This one was a good one to break out of the routine with.
I substituted canned coconut milk for the evaporated milk, and I used a frozen salmon filet from Costco instead of canned salmon. The corn with some of our canned corn from this year and the potatoes were also from the garden.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups frozen country-style hash browns with green pepper and onion
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
6 ounces pouched or canned pink salmon (bones removed)
1 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
1 can (14 3/4 ounces) no-salt-added, cream-style corn
In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil and celery for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add the chicken broth, hash browns, peas and carrots, dill and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are done but not overcooked.
Add the salmon, separating it into pieces with a fork. Stir in the evaporated milk and corn and cook until heated through.
Santa came a bit early this year, bringing a cute little puppy. Karli is a cowdog, a mix between Australian Shephard, blue healer and corgi. She is the cutest little thing, wide eyed and very playful and inquisitive. Will be a nice addition to the family. https://www.facebook.com/becca.rapelje/videos/1325152727529564/
We have also been busy getting ready for the holidays around here. Making fudge, decorating and shopping.
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My traveling buddy and I took off on a Thursday morning, drove to Thermopolis Wyoming in search of hot springs. We found them alright. The town appropriately named has two large pool buildings and one smaller free bath house. All are heated by the thermal springs running underground. Not far from town is a Petroglyph site with cave writings a long a rock wall. It was no wonder that thousands of years ago people settled here with the hot springs so close. It was a fun place to hike and enjoy the minerals baths.
The next day it was forward ho as we traveled down to Golden Colorado. Taking a ride through the mountains on the Georgetown Loop steam train. And touring through the Lebanon Silver Mine.
We love our salsa, the flavor is wonderful. Becca likes to add smoked-paprika and plenty of different kinds of peppers.
She will put-up 40 or so quarts this year, we add salsa into much of our cooking throughout the year. Yukon Gold Potatoes, we grew a bunch this year, they’re big and they’re delicious. Just about wore me out with all the scrubbing though. This year the entire garden did great. We have been working the same garden spot for many years. Weeding has become easier by never letting any weeds go to seed. So that part was a breeze. Our apple trees are the last to ripen and they are looking good. The apples seem just about ripe, but I’m not sure how to tell for sure. Something about the seeds turn black maybe. I think we’re just days away from fresh apple pie. Oh Yes, Apple Pie!
The chickens are growing nicely, we plan to keep 10 hens and have enough eggs to supply us and another family. That leaves about 20 extra chickens for the freezer. We let the chickens roam around in an acre we have fenced and feed them all our extra zucchini and fruit that grows here. I don’t know if it makes the meat sweeter or the eggs sweeter or just happier chickens.
My sister is coming for a visit, so we made up some nice pottery pieces for us to paint while she’s here. Gonna be a Hoot! She likes to come over and spend the week in the pottery studio painting, makes it one relaxing week for all. Becca is then heading out for Thermopolis Wyoming the next week to visit the hot springs there and hike around the petroglyphs in their state park, then on to Colorado to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
The thriving mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon. To connect them, the railroad’s builders designed a “corkscrew” route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. It included horseshoe curves, grades of up to 4%, and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil’s Gate High Bridge. A wonderful way to view the fall colors, we hear.
This is such a nice time of year. The winds are blowing and the air has a crisp coolness to it. The sounds of the wind chimes can be heard throughout the yard. I just love that sound, something about it brings a little peace to my day.
I also received from a friend of ours a wonderful recipe for refrigerator pickles. They stayed nice and crisp, with just the perfect combination of spices. Ready to eat in 24 hours and stays good in the refrigerator, unopened, for about 4 months.
I have a girl friend that grows the most beautiful dahlia garden. We were invited over to share in the beauty and take a few photos. The day was sunny with just a slight breeze. Makes it a bit harder to get the perfect shots when the flowers will not stand still. There were dinner plate sized flowers all the way down to what they call the u2, which is a tiny flower under 2 inches.
We have several shows here in the valley each year, where they compete for different categories. You can enter an individual flower that you have grown or a flower arrangement. The emphasis for the arrangements is how unique you can make them, and what themes you can come up with. This year she borrowed a few of our pottery pieces to incorporate into the arrangements, hoping to win the ribbon.
I was invited to tour Bibler Gardens with a few a friends from Central School Museum. We took alot of pictures and a little bit of video. I have to admit my heart is really in the still shots. Capturing the moments in time. Sure you can get a good video sometimes, however you really never catch those once in a lifetime moments on video. Enjoy the slideshow of the gardens and if you get a chance to visit the gardens you will not be disappointed.
We have our daughter and granddaughters here for a couple of weeks. Life is busy, they talked me into downloading an app on my phone that keeps track of my steps. I thought that I was keeping track of them pretty well up until now, instead of making me walk more, it just reminds me that I am not walking as much as I should. Not sure it is a good thing or not.
I am enjoying having them around for awhile though. We’re heading over to WA. state for a family reunion next week. Will see a few of the sites, do a little hiking and then back home for a well deserved rest, I will need it by then. The girls are in high school now, both have their cars and not easy to keep up with them. I remember the days when I had teenagers, just was not enough time in the day to get everything done.
The cherries are hanging from the trees, the cauliflower looks like it had a bit too much fertilizer (It’s huge!!!!), and the chicks are growing like weeds. Life is good on the farm. We haven’t heard the guinea hens get overly loud yet, but everyone says it’s coming. I think that I am kinda looking forward to it, ever since losing the dog, it’s just too quiet around here. We have been kicking around the idea of getting a Britney or a blue tick hound dog, they both look like they would fit right into our life style. The Britney is a little smaller, making it a good dog for being in the house with us, and the hound just has that lazy look and feeling like she would fit right in also. What kind do you like?
You don’t have to see them or talk to them every day,
To know that God has sent them in His own special way.