Friday, April 11, 2014

Off Again

Looks like it might be another good year for apricots.

It's turned into the most satisfying month at the ranch. Oh, sure, there were days when I felt…a bit off, especially when my routine was disturbed with other work, visitors or Big Dog. But with everything looking so wonderful and healthy, I couldn't help but be Very Happy. Plus, there has been a wealth of yummy things to harvest: asparagus, artichokes, cardoons, greens, salad stuff, carrots, wild garlic, lemons, oranges, radishes, leeks… (No mushrooms, however, despite a bit more rain last week.) There's even some tobacco growing out of the ground in our greenhouse!

Big Dog was completely distracted with RV matters, trying to get the vehicle in shape, finally. Turned out it didn't have a spare tire, nor did it have a sewer connection/hose. Some lights were out. Some warning lights were on. We finally flushed out the antifreeze so we could use the water system. And he was obsessed with Where To Go Next.

He wanted to leave at the beginning of April but it's one thing to drive 6000 miles without a spare tire when you don't even know that it's not there and quite a different thing to be foolhardy enough to take off without one. The wheel had to be found online. Then there was the wait as it traveled from Minnesota or Missouri or some other far-away state.
We drove through this...
And this...
And this, all without a spare tire.
It finally arrived yesterday so it looks like we are taking off again. Today, I will go around the property, making sure everyone will be okay during our absence. I'll pick what I can of the fava beans (I'll miss the major harvest but hopefully that will give me plenty of seeds,) make sure everyone will get enough water, say goodbye to my furry friends…

New grass at the ranch!

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Food Porn

You know how much I love talking about, thinking about, and playing with food. Now, I have another venue for this passion.

The website ( where I wrote farm and ranch profiles last year is now posting my articles on different kinds of produce. The first one was on persimmons, now long gone from my orchard.

I've been busy with pieces on napa cabbage and brussels sprouts but I might have missed that season already. The fields that were packed with giant growing brussels sprouts have been cleared and are getting ready to be planted with something else.
This is the way Brussels sprouts grow.

Napa is an elegant lady...
 In between the many recent guests we've had, I experimented with different recipes, as well as food photography. I can see that I'm better at taking photos of the actual produce. Or maybe it's a problem of food styling rather than photo techniques. And I am learning that some recipes sound so good but either don't come out tasting as good as they sound, or they turn out less photogenic than desired.
I need food styling lessons.

Some bloggers are so good at food porn.

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