Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pilfered Peas

While at the WECSA farm today, I happened to notice that there were quite a few peas that were ready.  I did not plant them.  I don't know if the person that did plant them had a plan for them.  I do know that I was there, it was about to get dark, and the chances anybody would be coming tonight were quite slim.  Picking those peas was a public service really, as they would be bloated and yellow by tomorrow.  Or not.  But why take that chance?!?!?

Actually, I am only joking about pilfering.  We share everything out there.  Go out, do some work, harvest what you want that is ready.  That is pretty much how it works.

Now, these are shelling peas, not sugar snap peas.  Sugar snaps are edible podded, in that they have a sweet, crisp, and entirely edible pod.  You can eat them at any stage, small and skinny like a snow pea, a little fatter with tiny peas inside that pop like caviar in your mouth, or fully mature and plump with full grown peas.  Shelling peas have a plastic like lining inside the pod that makes them unpleasant to eat.  And it is a shame, since the pods really do taste good when they are fresh picked and juicy.

I have a special technique to peel that tough membrane away so that I can eat/use the pod.  Some people eat sunflower seeds or peanuts in the shell.  I peel and eat pea pods!

If you don't feel like fiddling with them, I discovered last year that chickens LOVE the hulls.  You don't even have to chop them.  A whole shopping bag full disappeared in seconds.  You could also compost them, or use them to make a sweet pea stock - which I have never ever done LOL.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wildlife encounters of the alien kind

The most wonderous things I have ever seen in our yard would be praying manti.  I don't know how we were blessed with them, but most years we see at least one or two.  It always delights me to see them when they are small, tiny things taking a run for it across the porch or patio.  You could almost mistake them for a light green snippet of grass blowing along in the breeze.  But then you spot that triangular alien head LOL!  There seem to be quite a few little ones running around right now.

There is one that seems to like one of our hanging baskets, it's about an inch long and still very light green.  I keep trying to get a picture, but he moves so fast.  It's like he knows what I am trying to do, and wants to tease me.  Tonight I was deadheading some of the flowers in that basket, and he came out and gave me a look!  When I stopped, he went back in amongst the leaves.
It's the basket on the left.  And yes, smarty pants, I am aware that my hanging baskets are not, in fact, hanging.  Right now they are SITTING baskets, and the hooks are being used to anchor them to the chairs in an effort to keep them from blowing away.  Our yard is like a wind tunnel.  We have several shepard hook type devices in our yard, but they are all in places where I cannot easily see the baskets on a daily basis.  And if these babies have any hope of ever being watered, I must be forced to bear witness to their parched and droopy cries for help as part of my regular meanderings.

We will move one of the hooks, once I decide where I want the baskets to go.  Decisions, decisions.  Of course, I have to decide before the praying mantis gets too much bigger and I am afraid to go near the thing to move it.  There is something horrifying about a bug longer than your hand that pivots his head to watch you walk by.  Never mind finding out that those suckers FLY, and have enough weight that you feel them land on you.  *momentary break in case you, like me, need a moment to shriek inwardly while doing the heebie jeebie dance*.  For now he is small, and cute, so still allowed to be located that close to the front door.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Whatchoo lookin' at?

Tee hee!  Look at that smushy, stinky pug face!

This is the look I get when I try to eat my morning toast in peace.  Ruby thinks that I am supposed to SHARE my toast.  Always.  I have a differing opinion, however.

As much as I love good toasted marble rye bread and butter with coffee in the morning, toast just does not hold me until lunch time.  Sometimes if I add melted cheese it works, but not always.  Same with a bowl of cereal - it fills me up but by 10:00am my sugar is crashing and I am ravenous and light headed.

Eggs hold well, but I don't always feel like cooking anything bright and early in the morning.  I have been thinking about making a few omellettes, maybe a quiche or an egg casserole, that sort of thing once per week.  Then I can just pop a serving in the microwave easy peasy.  Any tips?  Have you ever done something like that?  Will you come and cook me breakfast every morning?  *snort*!

Although, I can't guarantee I can avoid...........this face.