It’s been an exciting week. The Man of the House mowed the lawn for the last time this year.
Our 26-year-old oven has quit working. A repair person is coming Monday to look at it. If he can’t get it going again we’ll be getting a new oven.
Because of my lack of an oven I tried making meatloaf in my bread machine. That’s not as weird as it sounds. The instruction manual says it can be done. However, it didn’t work out. The meatloaf was underdone and I had to finish it up in the crockpot.
Last weekend was supposed to be a storm for the record books. Luckily it ended up being more of a regular autumn storm. Now that we’ve been working on this for a few years we have a good storm preparation list. Here’s what we do when the storms are forecasted:
- We stop buying perishables until the storm has passed.
- The night before the storm we put sandwich condiments, cheese and ice packs into a cooler. If the power goes out we don’t open the refrigerator door. Instead we have everything we need in the cooler.
- We make sure that we have the following on hand:
- hard boiled eggs (I use this method – long-cooked eggs)
- canned milk for cereal and coffee
- canned tuna, spam and chicken for sandwiches
- fruit that doesn’t need to be refrigerated like apples, bananas or oranges
- unopened beef log (summer sausage) – these are great because they don’t need to be refrigerated until after they’re opened.
To Do List:
- Make sure all electronic items (including Kindles) are charged
- Fill car gas tanks
- Get some cash – In longer power outages we’ve seen stores open for business but only accepting cash.
- We turn the heat in the house up a few extra degrees. That way if the power goes we’re starting out with more heat.
- We turn the settings on the freezers and refrigerators to a few degrees colder. That way if the power goes the food will last a little longer.
- Freezers work more effectively when they’re full. We add plastic jugs filled with water (be sure to leave some empty room for expansion) in the freezers to help them retain their temperatures if the power goes out.
- We look around the house to see if there are items to be put away. For this storm we took the chairs, tables and grill off the deck and put the hummingbird feeders in the garage.
- Do all the laundry you can before the storm.
- Wash all the dishes you can before the storm.
- Check the batteries in the flashlights. Put the flashlights, candles and matches out where you can easily get at them.
- Clean out gutters.
- Our water system needs power to fill the water tank. It takes some time for the tank to run dry and we do have a generator system for it. Nonetheless, we like to have a few gallons of clean water just in case.
2016 Garlic Harvest
We grow a hardneck garlic with a small number of large cloves – four to six per head is typical. I love them for their flavor and that they’re easy to peel and chop.
But we got bigger heads this year! Only one had four cloves, a lot had six, and some had eight. The cloves were just as big and easy to peel; we just got a lot more of them.
I planted 14 cloves on 9/9/2015, and harvested 14 head on 7/12/2016. Fertilized in the spring with Osmocote Plus. Watered as needed.
Looking to next year, I want to plant more on or around August 15.
Things have been so hectic that I haven’t had a chance to write about this yet. This happened in early May. Here are our two lovely golden chain (Laburnum) trees.
They were in full bloom when I took this photo. The blooms were beautiful! And the fragrance . . . wonderful.
As I said, they were in full bloom. I mention that because it’s one of the only things that I can think of to explain what happened next.
We got some rain during the night and when we looked out the window the next morning there was just one tree. The other broke off at the ground and fell. We couldn’t see any rot. Maybe the rain water on those magnificent blooms was too much weight for the trunk of the tree?
We quickly cleaned everything up.
We also saved some of the wood to use in crafts.
I’m so glad that I took photos the day that I did. I hope that our remaining golden chain tree lives for a long, long time.
For Memorial Day we had potato salad and pub-style burgers. Yum! Here’s the recipe that we used for the potato salad.
Potato Salad Recipe
3 eggs – hard boiled and then chopped or sliced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup pickle relish (sweet is best, but other kinds work too)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I used sweet hot mustard to give it some zing!)
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Peal potatoes and then cook them in a large pot of salted water until they’re tender, but not mushy. This will take about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop into bite-sized chunks.
In a large bowl combine everything and gently stir. As my mother cautions, do not stir too much. This is potato salad, not mashed potato salad! Refrigerate until chilled.