My basil plants are dry as a bone. It's time to harvest some seeds from them.
Basil seeds are tiny and black. After cutting the dry stalks, I rub the flowers roughly between my hands to loosen the seeds. They drop through a sieve into a bowl.
I enjoy saving seeds. Seeds generally should be kept in the freezer or frig, not in a warm place.
Recently I heard a strange noise outside, next to the house. It sounded like someone was out there breaking sticks. Pop!! Pop, pop!!
We couldn't discern its source then, but yesterday I heard it again and traced it ... here:
Our central heat/AC unit was running, but the fan wasn't turning. It was making that noise. Honestly, Adam and I have talked before about the certain death of our heat/AC unit, which was installed in 1996. Last night we tried our plan: heating with small oil heaters like this:
We have three small DeLonghi oil heaters that plug in the wall, plus one small DeLonghi electric heater. Our house is small (1100 square feet), and we can close off two rooms. Last night this arrangement worked fine, but it only went down to 40 degrees. The space heaters were set low, and we only used two of them.
Where we live, winters are mild but summers are severe. We will buy two window AC units before summer arrives and see how things go from there. We hope to save a good bit of money not using the old, non-economical central unit.
I made Henny Penny's F.R.O.G. jam!!
This is actually Henny's sister's recipe, I believe. No frogs were injured in the making of this jam, haha!
I'm so glad I had a bag of our figs in the freezer from last summer. Here's the recipe as I followed it:
6 cups chopped figs (I had a bit less.)
3 cups frozen raspberries
(I added some frozen strawberries to make up for
a lack of raspberries.)
5 cups sugar
zest from one orange
juice from one orange
3 tsp. finely grated ginger root
(I should have used more.)
Combine all ingredients in a heavy non-aluminum pot and bring to a boil over medium/med. high heat. Stir often and cook like this for 45 minutes, until jam thickens and turns darker.
Process in sterilized jars in whatever method
you're accustomed to.
Makes 4 pints.
It's a yummy jam. I think next time I'll use all strawberries, which I prefer to raspberries, plus they're easier to find frozen in their own bag. And more ginger. I'm so very excited to have a use for my figs, rather than just fig preservers, which neither of us like.
Look what Adam made for me!That's a hackle. Didn't he do a nice job, especially on that wooden base? It works well. My problem is not my spinning tools; my problem is a lack of experience and skill. So now I need to get after it and learn HOW to spin. I tried a little:
I can tell it's over spun, and all different thicknesses. But it's a beginning!
Adam bought a bag of mixed beans at the store to make this for lunch:
Warm and bubbly. Winter comfort food.
Life on the farm is quiet, beautiful, peaceful. The chickens and dogs are happy. The sunlight slants across the pasture and through the trees, and I can hardly get enough of standing there, watching.
We should probably be doing more with our garden in the winter, as some of you are doing. Maybe another year. I've put my onion bed under some straw. Soon all these bedraggled plants will disappear back into the soil for the winter, and go to sleep.