Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pressed Down, Shaken Together And Running Over!

I have been amazed at how many of the gardeners in our complex have grossly neglected their garden areas.  Some of the vegetables that they have so painstakingly planted in late Fall/early Spring are literally rotting on the vines or on the ground itself.  I just shake my head every time I go down there.

I sent a note to the online forum that the gardeners set up early in the year letting them know that their food is going to waste!  What a shame...:-(.  I received a note back from some of them telling me that they didn't have time to deal with it and to please take any thing and everything we wanted!  One lady said, " I have a lot of Swiss Chard, but I don't like it!"....  My question was, well, why did you plant so much??  Her answer- "I like the way it looks! Please pull it out and use it if you like it!"  ...... haha.  So, Chris did just that!

It turns out that we had a whole bath tub full of Swiss Chard!   

 A kitchen sink full of Kale greens.......

An abundance of beets that had to be dug out from under the Swiss Chard in the bath tub.....

These are they......Unfortunately, it was a "rescue" of sorts as the beet tops had to be discarded.  They had turned yellow already.

And a lot of cooking to do since there was yet again little room in the freeze to store anything! Chris took about an hour separating the leaves of the Swiss Chard from the stalks while I stood at the kitchen sink doing the same with the Kale.

I rough chopped the stalks and divided into two bags.  One to use later in a soup or bisque and the other to use with a roast....:-).

But reserved quite a bit of the stalks and sauted' it with onions and garlic while the Kale cooked .  I later added it to the pot and dumped in the Swiss Chard.....

and Presto!  Cooked greens that taste just like Collards.....:-).  The pink stuff is ham for those of you who enjoy meat.

Our tomatoes are ripening, but not at a very quick pace.  These are a few that were pulled from the vine.  They taste so much better than the store bought kind.  I never liked tomatoes as a child because I found them to be a tasteless mess in my mouth....But these....well now; these are a different story!

Yep, I am a living witness of the truth of this principle: Giveand it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38  in the Bible is where this principle is found. 

Chris and I are big givers and we enjoy giving when we can.  I guess it was time for the principle to work in our favour.....:-).

Bon Appetit!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Lil' Rascal

There is nothing quite like taking a ride and having a good snack or meal at a very peaceful location.  I love to be surrounded by beauty.

We settled in and decided what we would have for lunch.

I snapped some of these pictures while we waited for our lunch to come to us.

They had done some improvements to the golf course since the last time we were here.  It was nicer and a lot more people seemed to be there this time.

Sweet potato fries with chicken panini and chicken strips with a plumb sauce.

This is after lunch.....hahaha

There had been much discussion about what to do with each of the bikes when we leave.  "Thing Two" in particular came into the discussion and the decision was made to sell him.  Nothing wrong with him.  He was running fine, but Chris decided to move back to a scooter.  So, after scouring the ads for a bike, we contacted a honda dealer about a direct trade.

Funny thing happens when you get around "gear heads".  Four mechanics came out of the shop to have a look at it, and without even test driving it the "ooooo's" and "aaaahhhh" started.  We had not even discussed what we wanted to do and I knew it was a done deal.

In no time flat, "Thing Two" had found a new home while Chris was out test driving another prospect.

It was kinda weird since we had just gotten him last month!  But hey, I understand as I had a bike over night once! ha

And here is the replacement.......  A 1985 Honda Elite 150.

And here is the mileage.......Not bad - eh?  Traded one classic for another.  This will be eligible collector plates next year....:-).

Now, I personally think that it's quite the strange looking scooter.  Even ugly in a cute kinda way...ha

The paperwork was done, insurance transferred and loaded him on the trailer.

Here is the proud new owner......:-)

All this excitement worked up an appetite!  I know it seems like we just ate, but that was yesterday...haha.  This is a two day posting.

Our favorite East Indian Restaurant was not very far from where we were, so we stopped there for dinner.

I am in the process of managing a recent emergency root canal and only have a temporary filling.  So, I opted for something "soft" like spinach with potatoes and basmati rice.

After returning home we took it out for a spin.  I rode "Ruby" and we named the new addition to the family "Lil' Rascal.....:-). After a good washing and a good waxing, he will be good as new.....:-).  All of the service records are up to date...:-).

This is going to be interesting.  See you on the road!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sea side, Festivals, and Veggies

The last few days have been relaxing.  Or at least I intended for them to be since we have experienced three losses in less than a seven day period.   The weather has been fabulous for the last couple of days although it was hot last week!  We venture into the big city to see what was happening.

Well, not much!  we were too early.  But we could see how all of the vendors had their booths set up and ready to roll when the time came.

the beach was quiet.  The perfect place to be for now......:-)

 Chris made us a beach seat while we were waiting for the tide to come in.  If you look closely, you can see it at the edge of the water....:-)

We spent quite some time there before things started to get busy around the booths.  Right across from the booths were the community gardens......:-).

the vendors were finally open and people began to fill the promenade.

The gardens were very pretty with all manner of things growing.  Here you can see some petunias and in the very front some basil.

There were different things growing in each bed which made for a beautiful display of color.

There were several tent areas set up, but we found a place by the fence that seemed to be looking for us!

And before you knew it, it was dinner time!  Not a very wise choice, but there weren't that many choices.  The cup if filled with "signature meatballs".  That's what they called them anyway.  I'm glad I didn't know whose signature it was!  They needed a lot of help!

After filling our bellies, we headed back to the beach and used our beach mat for the first time that I could remember on the sand.

After another hour or so of that, we headed home and stopped at the forest and picked some wild blackberries....:-).

The next day we headed for the border.  We were going to spend some time in Seattle...

It was a grueling wait at the border even with having Nexus passes.  I think we crawled along for a good 40 minutes before we finally reached it.  Home sweet home!

We spent a day in Seattle taking care of some business and then headed to the river to sit and watch the boats go back and forth.  This was a party boat of some sort.

I don't know how long we stayed at this stop before deciding it was time to go.  I think the mosquitos may have had something to do with our decision, though!

I know it seems that we are always eating.  That's because we are full on foodies and enjoy sampling different food from different places.  This was a typical fish and chips meal.  Actually, it wasn't that great.:-(.

After spending some time in Seattle, we traveled back home and stopped at the garden to check on things.

These are Hot Banana Peppers. Some of them had gotten to be about 3 inches long.
I took three of the larges ones to use for dinner that night or the next.
I planted the marigold flowers from seed earlier in the season to encourage pollination from the bees and to attract lady bugs and other beneficial insects.

The bell peppers that we planted where said not to be ripe until they turned orange.  These are on their way since they are turning orange although slowly.  They are also smaller than the ones you see in the grocery store.  But I have found that growing organic sometimes means that the product is smaller but chemical free.

This is my basil which seems to be doing a lot better since I moved it out of direct sun light.  Time to harvest some again.

We have harvested so many green beans that I cannot keep count but it was time to get some more off of the vines.

The carrots were starting to protrude out of the top of the soil.  But we decided to just add a little more soil and let them be since the others while the tops were great, the root was very small.

Some one had given us a cucumber plant.  We had a choice of which plant and I chose the sick one to see if
I could get it to survive!

Behold... it liveth!!

A fellow gardener informed us that we should take as much Swiss chard as we like since she didn't like it.  We were puzzled as to why she was growing it in the first place.  She said " I just like the way it looks, but I don't eat it!".....ok then!

Our tomatoes seems to be slow in the ripening process, but they are coming along.  The cherry tomatoes are great!  The Champion tomato seems to have a much tougher skin and I think would work best for drying or roasting.

Well, we gathered our stuff and after a thorough watering we headed back to the house.

We gave everything a good cold wash and a soak in a mild vinegar and water solution.

This was the swiss chard that we harvested getting a bath.

Here are the greens beans that have been bathed.  We decided that instead of eating all of these, I would blanch and freeze them instead.

 Chris removed the ends and assisted in getting them ready for the freezer.

 After clearing the seeds out of the peppers, I decided to roast them.

I don't know how we found ourselves back at the beach, but somewhere in there we made that happen.

Chris was building another "grand construction".

The next day, we decided to go for a ride.  I took Raspberry since she hadn't been out in a while.....
I have found that my airhawk works much better with the bike than going "bare saddle" you might say.

Ain't she cute!

Chris decided to ride "Thing two" this time instead of Ruby.  Thing Two seems to be running fine....:-)

We talked about how the corn that we had seen the day before seemed to be just about ready for harvest, but since we had never grown corn before, we decided to take the leap and harvest two ears.

Chris washed them and I wrapped them to save them for dinner the next day.

Well, the next day came today.  I was anxious to see how the corn would turn out.  We had salmon steaks as the meat dish.  The salmon had been caught by a friend who is a serious fisherman....:-).  I marinated it in my own special sauce.

and the corn was SUPERB!!  who knew home grown food could be so much better than the grocery store!?  Only those who have done it......:-).

See you next time!