Friday, February 20, 2015

Roasted Tomatoes and Soup


Big Red and I wish you a good morning
after nearly losing him...
I'm quite happy he is still with us
maybe next post, I'll tell you how we nearly lost him

he is looking brightly cheerful and red here after his bout



another cheerfully red view are the tomatoes in the veggie garden


they have been doing quite well this year
last year, we had some pest problems

this time, my husband used Neem oil to spray the plants as they grew...
up until they started to bud and we never had any pest problem...
insects or leaf diseases
and Neem is a natural repellent...
so we didn't have to concern ourselves with chemicals on our plants

if you google Neem, you can find info on this plant oil


our tomatoes are juicy and sweet and...
because I don't want them going to waste...


would love to have canned tomatoes at this time but...
because we will be moving soon and...
don't want to carry too many heavy jars of canned foods over the river and...
through the woods for almost a half mile, literally... 


it behooves me to think of any way I can to use them up

recently, I discovered just how much roasted tomatoes taste good
so a good many of them have been getting cut into quarters...


laid on parchment paper...
drizzled with olive oil, salted and peppered...


and roasted in a 400 degree fahrenheit (200 celsius) oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours


can't beat the taste of this yummy stuff
it would make a nice roasted tomato soup

I don't mind the skins at all...
they get eaten, too


after these were done, I couldn't help it...
just had to have a plate of roasted tomatoes topped with capers

if I hadn't run out of my homemade farm cheese...
would've put some of that on top, too


the tomatoes are also going into soup pots

2 onions, chopped and sauteed in 2 TBsp butter till soft


add cauliflower florets and young cauliflower leaves
I snip the leaves with scissors


add salt and pepper...


add a cup of tomato sauce and...
enough meat or vegetable broth to cover...
and cook at a low simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes

at the end of the simmer, I like to add minced garlic and chopped fresh basil leaves

sorry to have forgotten to take a photo for a better end view result after cooking


homemade cornbread is really good with tomato soup...
and I like lots of butter on mine


*****
here is a quick update on our new cottage
the walls were made a tad higher than they were supposed to be...
making the windows look smaller than I wanted
we may add ventilation windows above them to add some height

the paint on the cottage is a primer...
it will have a different color than white in the end
we are a way off from finished but, close enough to think about moving


May your day or night find grace in the Lord

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pharoah's Dream


These are just some of the sweet things on our homestead....


seeing my chickens happily foraging for their food...


coming out and being greeted by kid goats...


who cautiously tip toe up to me...


because although they will come to me...


what this little doe is really prudently watching is my dog who stands behind me


and although the goat doesn't know it...
my Foxie really is good around the animals

she may be a rascal at times...
but it makes me happy she is nice with the livestock


we have a bit of sugarcane growing

that grassy part in the photo below is sugarcane
it's what we eat for candy


behind the sugarcane are a few coffee trees and they are bearing well this year


a couple of weeks ago, we harvested the cocoa and sold them...


keeping enough for us

they are now drying in the sun before I will store them and use them whenever needed


of course, being the lover of God's nature...
I cannot help but notice the pretties that flourish under the cocoa trees


and there on the other side of the gate and through the coconut palm leaves...
sits our little vegetable garden


when the chicken coop door is open...
I throw a little feed to the ground to get the chickens started on breakfast...


then, they make a dash to the compost area for the grubs and worms underneath


while they are scratching around for their meat supply...
I water my potted herbs of rosemary...


and newly potted anise hyssop, a favorite of mine for making tea


in the vegetable garden...
we have cabbage which are now starting to form into their spherical shapes...


cauliflower...
and this one is more than ready to pick

today, I will be making creamed cauliflower soup per my husband's request


we also have broccoli growing
this one looks like it will be flowering soon if not picked shortly


we have strawberry growing and hopefully will do well in the near future

once we are ready to move over to the new homestead...
I will take a few cuttings from the strawberry plants and transplant in my new garden


of course, what garden does not have tomatoes in it?


lo and behold, a pair of tiny finches decided to build a nest in one of the plants
there are now two wee bitty babies in this nest

but, this nest almost fell the other day and I had to prop it up with my shovel and pick handles
I think it will stay alright now
I check on it every now and then to make sure it stays strong

it will only take a few couple of weeks for those babies to fledge


and I still get my tomatoes harvested just fine


I made a tomato soup the other day which my husband really liked
I did, too


my rose bushes are now blooming and I get a whiff of their fragrance now and then
so nice


and because ornamental plants do add a prettiness to a homestead...
or any home...
we do grow a few of those near the front gate


the Lord has graciously sent us, on Pilgrim's Farm, a goodly garden of eats...
we are not in famine time here

which brings me to my post title, Pharoah's Dream...

do you know the story in Genesis 41 in the Bible of Pharoah's dream of feast and famine?
Joseph told Pharoah that sovereign God sent him the dream as it says in verse 28:
"This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharoah:
What God is about to do He sheweth unto Pharoah."

God sent Pharoah the dream to warn him of the 7 year plenty followed by a 7 year famine

both the feast and famine years were not of any doing except by God's decree
and this is known by verses 29 - 32:
"Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
and there shall arise after them seven years of famine;
and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt;
and the famine shall consume the land;
and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following;
for it shall be very grievous.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharoah twice;
it is because the thing is established by God, 
and God will shortly bring it to pass."

God sent Pharoah the two dreams that were actually one in order to make it known...
that the feast and famine times were of His decree

you can read more about it in the book of Genesis, chapter 41

so what is my point in telling this?
while we often see events and happenings in the world as men's choices in actions...
God says...

"I have seen all the works that are done under the sun:
and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight:
and that which is wanting cannot be numbered."
Ecclesiastes 1:14,15

for...

"Consider the work of God:
for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful,
but in the day of adversity consider:
God also hath set the one over against the other,
to the end that man should find nothing after him."
Ecclesiastes 7:13,14

whether in feast or famine, I can find comfort in the sovereignty of the Lord...
knowing that all His ways are perfect in all His doings

"And all inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing:
and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven,
and among the inhabitants of the earth:
and none can stay His hand,
or say unto Him,
what doest Thou?"
Daniel 4:35

May your day or night find solace in the comfort of the Lord's sovereign grace.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Something New


Our time lately has been taken up moving forward on a decision...
finding space for Pilgrim's Farm animals

after searching for a couple of years...
several months ago...
we seemed to have found it

while we were searching for a bit more grazing space...
we downsized by a few animals to make our current space situation better

however...
recently we lost the fields we were grazing our livestock on
the owners, who were kind to let our animals on the land while not in use...
are now leasing it out to someone who is farming it

we knew it would happen someday...
which is why we started searching for our own pasture lands

after all, our animals do need to eat, too...
and because on this island, most animals feed on what is natural for them...
there is next to nothing in the way of animal feed for sale on this island...
except for gmo and soy filled chicken and goat feed...
that is not an option

we pasture feed our animals for healthy milk, eggs and meat...
the way the Lord God created it

while we downsized to fewer animals...
most of our property supports crops and little grazing areas for the livestock
therefore, if we are to keep them...
they must have grazing grounds for feed


so, if you are interested in our next big project for Pilgrim's Farm...
please do, come along


our first thing to do was to get our cottage started
we will hopefully, Lord willing, be moving into it next month of March

just a little wooden cottage of a total 875 square feet...
and that includes a center courtyard of 300 sq ft
nothing big, nothing fancy...
it is just a temporal home on earth as long as the Lord keeps us here

once we can get into the cottage...
we can get the chicken coop up and a milking shed for the goats and cow

later, if you are interested, I will take you on a tour of the cottage...
when it is finished

we will be off-grid mostly by choice...
but also because there is no grid close enough at this time
we plan on solar panels and we will be collecting rain water...
and using the spring creek for house water

we will need to park by the main road and walk 1/3 of a mile...
over the river and through the woods, literally...
until we can get our bridge built

while I realize that until we get our bridge...
this could get old after a while...
yet, we feel having our own pasture lands for the animals will be well worth it

basically, we are starting all over again...
almost

I say!
we are in for a little adventure...
are you game?


while this property will be new to us...
I think about the newness of the Lord's mercies on us everyday

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is Thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion,
saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in Him.
Lamentations 3:22-24

What a wonderful God!

May your day or night find mercies in the Lord. 

-jean

Friday, January 2, 2015

Watching The Morning Star



In the mornings, when I take the dogs for their walk up the mountain road...
I often stop to watch as the light from the rising sun plays it's rays...
among the trees in the distance along the hillsides


the trees sway along with the cool breezes of the new day...
while the sunlight dances and reflects among the leaves and branches


it's a beautiful scene and I never tire of it
this morning light reminds me of an even lovelier Light...
the Lord Jesus Christ

as we begin this new year...
I wonder...
do you watch The Light?
whose Light shines through the darkness of this present world...
That Holy Light who brings the rising of the Morning Star into the hearts of His people?


if not, think on Him...
and I pray that the Lord will graciously shine His wonderful and peaceful Light...
into your soul this new year 



"And we have something more sure,
the prophetic word,
to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
knowing this first of all,
that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 1:19-21

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about the things for the churches,
I am the root and the descendant of David,
the bright and morning star."
Revelation 22:16

-jean


Friday, November 28, 2014

Mashed Potato Hash and a Touch More


We are living green here...as in foliage green
with all the rain along with sunshine, the plants and trees cannot help it
they have no other wardrobe color to wear except chlorophyll...
which makes for pretty scenery

this area on the side of the cottage leads to the back garden
my husband put down a stone walkway to keep our feet clean of mud during rains
it works


however, what I really want to say is...
there is sunshine in my bottles
the ginger beer soda I made is temporarily bottled...
but, it won't be in them for too long
they taste too good to stay bottled

but, don't the ginger soda make for pretty views



after a few days, the soda culture turned nice and fizzy
in fact, I also want to warn you...
if you make homemade soda...
do make sure that you open the bottle lid s l o w l y...
'cause that fizz is going to turn your soda into a liquidy volcano...
if the lid is popped off too quickly
just like real soda that's been shaken
oh wait...no, no!
this is real soda, the homemade one
the other is just lots of bad sugars with chemicals with fizz thrown in to fool us
you know, the ones on the supermarket shelves

and before I forget to tell you...
the commercially made ones don't have that good-for-you probiotics...
and beneficial enzymes...
like the homemade culture does

so, do make your own sodas
it really isn't hard work and you'll wonder how you ever liked commercial soda at all



so now that you have real ginger beer to drink...
how about a mashed potato hash to go with it

for every person who will be eating this, take...
1 medium size potato (2 small ones if you have no medium size)
or more if you are bigger eaters
1 large onion, chopped
herbal seasoning of any kind you like (I'll show you mine further down)
2 Tbs of butter ( I suppose you could use another oil but, it ain't the same)

put the potatoes into a pot of water and bring to boil just until they are turning soft



once they are cooked, put them into a bowl and cool for a few minutes



with a masher or fork, mash up the potatoes, peel and all
the peels have nutrition in them, too
put some sea salt into the potatoes as you mash them, to your taste
don't over mash them, leave them a bit chunky...
it's much better that way



in a pan with the butter, saute the chopped onion till almost soft



add the mashed potatoes and stir them around with the onions just a bit



while the potatoes and onion are cooking...
add the herbal seasoning to your taste
I don't measure but, just sprinkle the seasoning over the potatoes till it looks good to me
my herbal seasoning is a combination of different herbs together into one bottle
it makes it so much easier to just pick up one bottle instead of bringing out the whole pantry
you can see on my fancy labels and lovely handwriting the combination I have
I just buy packages of the herbs (or dry them myself)...
and don't bother using measurements of each - just each package emptied into a bowl...
and thoroughly mixed together, then put into a lidded jar or large mouth bottle
it works
(sorry for the blur - I focused towards the wrong spot)



once the first side of the hash is done, I sprinkle cheese (whatever you like)...



and turn it over to crisp on the other side



voila! mashed hashed potatoes
and you can add anything else you like along the way as it cooks
please your own palate



thought I'd give you a scenic view of fluttering butterflies...
and a pretty, speckled bug on a flower (lower center)
can you see the butterflies in their lovely bright orange-red blurs?


O give thanks to the Lord;
call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8

May your day or night be praise to the Lord.