Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday....not so Bittyful

I'm in big trouble !!!!!!!!
Remember Hobbits' Christmas egg that she loved so dearly? I found it.It was way back in a letter file on her desk. I bet she didn't even know it was missing.

Somehow I don't think she was too thrilled when I tried to bring it to her........she's not talking to me right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Drying food,is it worth the effort?

Have you tried drying fruits or veggies yet?Many moons ago my son Michael gave me a dehydrator and I was trilled thinking I'd have little bags of dried fruits and veggies in my pantry that would keep me cooking all through the winter months.That wasn't going to happen. When something doesn't work for me I usually abandon the project for a few years then come back with a determination to make it work,by golly .

So here we go again.First,I tried bananas. Half I dipped in a lemon and water solution and the other half in a honey and water solution.
Here they are all good to go! From this batch I was made aware that you might want to spray a little pam or even a quick swipe with vegetable or olive oil might stop the fruit from sticking to the tray.

Here are the itty-bitty bags with the bounty of my efforts.I thought the lemon dipped would maintain their color but all is a fall brown hue. I tried blueberries and strawberries. This is where the write the time down lesson was acquired. While the bananas stayed soft and pliable the berries bring the expression croque-monsieur to mind. Just a little crunchy if you know what I mean. I put them in the granola mix but,I'm not calling the berries a success story at this time.

Next attempt was my cherry tomatoes. Cut in half ,dried for 10 hrs and rotated every 3 .See I'm learning as we speak. I'm quite pleased with them. I used a handful in my breadcrumbs when I made meatballs this morning. That and a handful of parmesan should make for a tasty surprise.

After stressing out withe the dehydrator I had to relax with a batch of my homemade burger buns. Now this is heaven............................said the hobbit

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a Bittyful Friday

We are on vacation here.Staying home just vegging with our is good!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moving on

Well ,now that I've got that Tuttle business of my chest I'll be working at getting back to normal around here. So the barn is on the back burner for now and I promise not to mention it for at least 2 weeks.Well if something worthy of repeating happens You'll be the first to know.

Aaron was sharing his garden wisdom with me recently and suggested a fall garden. Have any of you ever done a fall garden? He gave me his best argument on the subject and It's under serious consideration.
I gave Nasturtiums a try this year,but with that ongoing battle with those 5 pesky groundhogs they were outnumbered. I don't usually do flowers I think of a garden in more of a what will I need this winter. As it turns out flowers are a great distraction to a struggling garden. So they will be allowed back in next spring.
I didn't think you could get too many cherry tomatoes,but,I seem to be getting close to crying uncle.
So we finally agreed to beets,kale ,more broccoli squash and another batch of basil. Of course Aaron informed me he'd be too busy with day-care to help with the work but would be more than willing to do the taste testing. Just give me a holla.....................said the hobbit

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuttle's Red Barn, is it the end?

I have struggled many weeks with the words I would chose to tell you about the farm.As always there are many sides to this story. It breaks my heart to see the farm leave the hands of the Tuttle family,but, it's a decision that has been in the making for many years. For 384 years the Tuttle's have been re-inventing themselves to continue on a course chosen by their forefathers. I'm sure it was rarely an easy road ,but it was done successfully time and time again. The energy and imagination that was needed to do it one more time did not exist.The fact that the farm was very much needed as a leader in the growing Eat Local community was not of any concern to the decision makers at the farm.The farm has been passed down from father to son and that was never to change. In the 80's Will Tuttle was called to step forward and accept the task. Being the only son,pickings were a little slim for the right person to take the helm in this monumental task. Perhaps it would have been the proper time to change the rules but this was not to be. This article from the Yankee magazine, dated March 1981,brings to light the feelings of the last generation to be running the farm.
The love of the land was unable to tether these children as it had so many times before. The almost zen-like chore of working the soil in the open greenhouses was not a thing of joy for Will Tuttle. Pictured here is Lucy Tuttle and other farm workers slowly raking the soil in preparation for seeding spring plantings. However,as always, my emotional state can not change history's march forward.We will have to see what comes of all this. I know the farm deserves to be nurtured and made useful. There is an easement that prevents housing development so we will just have to be patient and see what the future brings.
And now I must stop complaining and remind myself of the good things the farm has brought to me.This is my good friend Lucy Tuttle. We were at the farmers market in Union Square in N.Y. city. That's Rick of Rick's Picks.He is an active promoter of local food with an office right in the heart of Manhattan. Lucy would take me to the city every year and together we discovered new and exciting products that we thought the people in our area might find appealing. We started at the Fancy Food show at the Javits Center on the Hudson and worked our way to the Farmers Market.We managed to make the task last about 5 days. She introduced me to the city itself,always setting aside time to walk The Park, where we would come up with wonderful ideas to improve the barn when we returned.
The friends that join me every Tuesday for Stitch and Bitch started in the back room at the barn. Donna was the first to say "Will you guys teach me to knit?",and that's how it all started. Great times,good friends,for this I am so grateful. I will miss the barn as it use to be and look forward to its rebirth in the future. When I'm in need of a little assurance that all will be well I will read the poem. It helps,one should always look forward and never forget the past.....................said the hobbit

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's a Bittyful Friday

I have to be very quiet ! The Hobbit is quite upset.

You see,the farm is for sale and she doesn't like it one bit.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's a Bittyful day

Ah, a little tinkling of the ivories.

Just the thing to put me in the mood for my yoga class.