Monday, February 28, 2011

Living on the Edge of Civilization...

or...
we are back on track with internet service
during which time...
we had plenty rain...with more rain....and more rain...
until we begun to wonder where it all was coming from.
We really didn't have a way to find out...
no radio (that broke down)...
no internet (clueless as to why)...
no television (we got rid of that)...
no newspaper to tell of anything
(except that someone on the island stole someone else's fruit from off their tree).

the rains stopped...
and last night, we had lovely skies again...
with gorgeous cotton puff clouds.

this morning, we woke up to sunshine and cool breezes...
now before you view the next photo...
please understand this goat is doing just fine...

I heard her during the wee hours of the morning...
bleating in an unusual manner.
When it was light enough to see, I went down to where she was...
and found her as you see her in the photo.
I was horrified.
She was unable to move due to the tanglement of her legs...
and her tether (I hate tethers) was wrapped tightly around a thick vine.
She had slipped down the muddy hill and due to the tether tangles around her legs, she was unable to pull herself up.
My husband took his cutless and we loosed her from her tangles...
she has a slightly swollen leg, but is happily eating the bush below our corn field (she'd eat that, too).
And, she is in a safer spot.
She belongs to our farmhand and will have kiddies soon.
I'm glad I listened and recognized a distress signal.
My boy, Shadow, below had also been missing the past couple of days...
we thought he was lost for good.
I was most concerned he may have fallen into the swollen river that was raging from the rains the night he disappeared.
Well...
it turns out, he took a trip up the mountain
(away from the river)...
to see a "lady dog". 
She was more interesting than food.
We really ought to get him neutered. 
It's not as simple as one might think on this tiny island. 

He showed up unannounced early this morning...
trotting through the gate with a
self-assured gait...
and...
 as you can see, he is contentedly napping with nary a thought...
as to my weepy concerns over his possible demise while he was gone.
May your day, or night, be lovely.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Minutes to Spare...

still in technical difficulties...
but, we are promised to soon be up and running, again.
I am borrowing time for just a few minutes online...
and will be visiting you all when we are up.
Welcome to the new visitors...
so glad you came.

A view of a northern beach on our island

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth His handwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge".
Psalms 19: 1,2

May God shed grace on you this day, or night.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foxie, the Flower Dog...

This post is simply to say...
we are experiencing technical difficulties...
and we'll be back as soon as possible
In the meantime...
Foxie wants to show you all her little flower...
and say...
Have a wonderful day, or night

Friday, February 11, 2011

When Coconut Heads get Fresh...

What do you do...?
Knock some sense into them!
or...
make some fresh coconut milk
Okay, this is another tutorial and it ain't for the faint of heart.
Here is my take on how to make one of the best and healthiest milks.
This particular coconut had a face...do you see it?
First, look for the "soft" hole at the top...
that is the part where the seed grows through...
just take something sharp like a clean, clean screwdriver...
or nail...and punch it into the hole
Let the "water" stream into a cup using a strainer and set aside...
do not discard the coconut water.
Holding the coconut in a towel in your hand...
take a hammer and tap firmly from top to bottom a few times...
Then, with some bravery on your part...
take that hammer and crack that coconut with some muster...
I find it cracks open easiest if you come down on the top where the holes are.
Do be careful...!
it is the coconut you want to hit, not your hand   
After the coconut is opened...
take anything you are comfortable with (I use a knife)...
and carefully slide it between the skin of the coconut and the outer shell...wiggle it until the meat pops off (this can take a little practice).
Rinse the coconut in water and drain.
You do not need to peel the brown skin off...
it's a saved step in time

in fact, if you make your own coconut flour ...
the brown skin will add fiber
Cut up the meat into small pieces about as big as your thumb...
and put the pieces in your blender along with the coconut water and add 1 and 1/2 cups of water.
Pulse the coconut and waters together for about 20 to 30 pulses. This will break down the meat so as not to overwork the blender.
Then, blend on high for about 2 minutes...
turn off, let set for a few minutes...
turn blender on again for another 2 minutes.
This should do the trick.
Take a pitcher, put a strainer on top...
take a clean towel and put it over the strainer...
and pour enough of the blended coconut into the towel to fill the strainer.
Squeeze the towel as you see above and let the milk strain through until it no longer streams...
the coconut meat should look and feel dry.
Continue doing this until you've used all the coconut meat.
You can discard the meat or you can use it as flour...
though it won't have the coconut taste any longer.
You will see the thicker milk rise above the water as in the photo on the left below. 
Do not worry about this. It is normal.
Just stir before using.
There you have it...
delicious, fresh from the coconut!!
I pour mine into a bottle and keep it in the fridge for using in everything from rice, oatmeal (GF for me), baking, coffee, hot cocoa, to drinking by itself...
and so much more.
Just use your imagination.
Please do...have a glass on me.
May you have a good day, or night.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flowers for You...

Just a little thank you...
to those who follow, comment, and visit...

From my own garden...to you


Have a sweet day, or night

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thorns & Thistles...

After an all night rain...
the morning brought sunshine

The doors were thrown open...
well...they are always thrown open here at the cottage...
rain or shine

After the morning breakfast...
I took a round to view what came up of the seeds that were planted two days ago.

Kale!...
and Chamomile!...
We shall see how they do in the coming days.
Other seeds had come up and so far, so good.

After the visit with the seedlings...
we went down the cornfield to do some weeding around the young citrus trees

Shadow, above, doesn't have a happy look...hummm...
I have a feeling he still misses the old home...
he hasn't seemed himself lately...but,
he eats well enough...so I don't think he's sick.

 God said in Genesis 3:17...
"...cursed is the ground for thy sake;  in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of they life..."
for thy sake... something to ponder.
"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread..."

Yes...the sweat surely ran off my face as I weeded.
Foxie was her usual useless self as she watched me struggle with the thorns and thistles.

In the midst of life's thorns and thistles, may the Lord send some roses out of His garden of grace your way, this day, or night.
  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hanging Around...

When the bananas come of age on the trees...

it's time to cut them down...
and tie 'em up...

They are left to ripen naturally...
and one by one, two by two...
maybe more... 

We eat them as they are ready...
or, as we do just as often...
we eat some green; boiled or stewed

Please do have a great day, or night 








Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just Part of a Farm & Cottage Day's Work...

I love having animals...
they make for a more interesting life...

While I hung the laundry...
this big guy here below (90 pounds of him)...

managed to jump a 5 foot gate to the short crop area...
in other words...
he's on the wrong side of the fence!
That's my Shadow...
always looking for something interesting to do...
but, trampling on the new short crops ought not to be one of them...
he changed his mind, though and hugged the fence to get back inside the cottage compound...
so, it wasn't hard to coax him back through.
As for my potager garden...

my design for it is finished...
and the guys will get to work on it shortly...
after they cut down the bamboo for the enclosement...
it's that 90 pound dog...
who seems to like digging and laying on newly turned soil.
I am determined my garden will stay nice and pretty...
with both dogs outside of it.
By the way...
that is sugar cane growing, if you look past your's truly in the photo above...
all part of growing as much of our own food as possible.

May your day, or night be a garden of God's grace.    Gardening 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nutmeg Jam...

Pomona's Universal Pectin...
is my friend

Without it, I wouldn't be very good at jamming...
so, this past week-end, I gave nutmeg jam a try...
a first time with nutmeg for me.
Our island makes a good nutmeg jam but, it's a bit too sweet for me

The items above are the only ones used in my "recipe"...
and, surprisingly, it came out all right.
But, I know it could be better.
This recipe "tutorial" is a mini...for one small jar...
meaning, I used small amounts of the products to show how I made the jam - I made the calcium liquid from the Pomona's packet before starting the jam.
In a later post, I hope to have a better tutorial on it...
we'll just call this one a "sampling"

For one small jar, I used two nutmeg coverings of the mace...
it is the red lacy part you see on the outside of the shell.
 Brake those into small pieces...
and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated fine...
1/2 teaspoon of lemon or tangerine zest (optional)...
1/2 cup raw sugar or honey (you can use any amount or any kind of sugar with Pomona's)...
And, of course, Pomona's Pectin.

With the juice of one lemon, lime, or tangerine...
 bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.
This brings out the flavoring and helps get rid of the bitterness

 Put the nutmeg juice through a fine mesh sieve...
and put the juice back in the pot - discard what didn't go through.
The juice should look something like below.
Put 1 teaspoon of the calcium (already prepared) in with the juice...
and put the zest in if using.

Mix 1 teaspoon of Pomona's pectin powder with the sugar or sweetener.
Mix them well together...set to the side.
Bring to boil the juice and calcium...
then add the sugar/pectin mix and stir until dissolved.

Bring to boil one more time...
then take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
You can then follow jarring directions if you are planning on storing for long term.
Because we use jam up too fast to bother jarring for long term...
I just put my homemade jam in the fridge.


May your day, or night be sweeter than jam.