Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just wanted to post this recent picture of Comanche :) He's such a sweetie! I can't wait to begin riding him, but he's only a yearling right now. This has nothing to do with herbs, or gardening, or writing, but horses are my first great passion and I couldn't resist putting his pic up here for ya'll to see.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whooo-hoooo! Today I got the news that my little grandbaby Lillie will get to go home for the first time tomorrow. She is 6 weeks old and hasn't been home yet. Her mom is so happy to finally be able to have her home and get a schedule of normalcy to both of their lives. Lillie was born with CF and was having trouble gaining weight. Now she is taking some pancreatic enzymes and hopefully all will be well from now on.

I haven't been very good at making regular blog entries, I know. But I have been writing a lot in other places, LOL. Does that count? I need to work on my websites, but my program isn't working (FrontPage) because my computer crashed and now it won't reload. I'm not good enough at HTML to make many changes without the WYSIWYG type of program and I just don't have time to learn it right now. Maybe Santa will bring me a new computer for christmas and all the stuff I need will be already loaded onto it...
Corn Bread Recipe

This recipe came about quite by accident, it was an experiment that turned out really good! It is true what they say about necessity being the mother of invention :) After I had all the flour, eggs, and other ingredients in the bowl, I discovered that my cornmeal was rancid. The only other thing I had to use was the yellow grits. This cornbread makes a nice large-crumb cake style cornbread. I like mine on the sweet side, but if you don't like yours so sweet, use less sugar. It is delicious with red beans and rice!!

2 cups coarse ground yellow grits (preferably from pawpaw's gristmill)
2 cups self rising flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 level tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs (preferably nice, dark yellow yolked ones from the hens outside)
enough milk to make a runny batter

Put all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Heat the stove to 350, oil a cast iron skillet, with enough oil to have a little extra to rise up around the batter when you pour it in, and let it get hot in the oven while you mix the cornbread ingredients. I don't have a mixer, so I just stir till all clumps are broken up and the eggs are well blended.

Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake until golden brown and the sides are pulling away from the skillet. This makes a fairly dense cornbread, so the test method of inserting a knife might not work so well.

My husband had two boxes of Jiffy mix out waiting for the failure of this recipe, haha, but we didn't need them.


This weekend I harvested the short row of green onions I had planted late this summer. My neighbor laughed because I was planting onions at this time of year, but these are not bulbing onions and they grew plenty enough for what I needed. You can use the whole onion, including the bottoms, but I cut them off at about 3" so I can replant the bottoms. This herb is essential, it is the essence, of cajun cooking! I know the hispanics use it in their dishes, too, so I can never have enough of it. It is delicious added fresh on top of chili and mexican rice, and it is delicious added fresh on top of a steaming bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo. It is delicious cooked in with crawfish stew or rabbit sauce picante, with a fresh handful added right before pulling off the fire. I just can't cook good food without them!

And I have more to say about these green onions, lol. These are special because they came from my grandpa's garden. He gave me the bulbs and now they've all divided several times over and I can plant many times more next year than I planted this year. I'll sell them at the farmer's market and through my little CSA, and I'll offer an incentive to return the bottoms to me so I can plant them again. So this is an heirloom plant and it's one I dearly love for many reasons.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wild and wild-simulated Ginseng sold for $805/lb last weekend! For those of you who would like to learn how to plant ginseng (wild-simulated) in your own woods, I'm planning a workshop out here at our property. Hunting season has interfered with the November planning. I believe it is no longer gun season on Dec. 1, though, and that's the date I'm aiming for now.

Cost will be $25/person. All materials needed will be supplied, but we'll have to take turns with the rakes and seeder. If you have a garden rake you'd like to bring, you're welcome to do so. I'll buy a few more if enough people register to warrant doing so.

Some things to keep in mind. It's a fairly good/hard hike out to the planting/growing site, so wear appropriate shoes. The hike itself is short, but it's steep until we reach the location. Bring a bag lunch and water, and make sure to bring a sack to pack out your trash. Smoking is allowed if you pack out your butts (a friend of mine who smokes has a cute little case that looks like a pocket watch, made just for this. A foil bag will work if you don't have the little gadget, though). Tick season is pretty much over, but if you're very sensitive to insect bites, make sure to bring spray. The ticks can be awful when a warm spell happens.

I have dogs, but will tie them before leaving the house, so dogs are welcome if you don't mind tying them at the horse trailer or your vehicle while we're in the woods.

The ginseng seedlings for 2008 will be ready for sale beginning in April until it gets too hot to safely transplant them. If you pick them up at the farmer's market, bare-root seedlings are $2/ea for quantities <50. For 50 or more they are $1/ea. If you will want more than a few, it is a good idea to book them now because that way I can make sure to plant enough. They always sell out by the time it gets hot.