All-Raw Eggnog

There was a raccoon raid on the chicken coop last night. We had seen the scoundrel lurking around the barn earlier in the evening,  and in retrospect we should have dispatched him then.  But everyone was tired and chilled, and Ethan felt really ill.  Much later,  long after the restless teenager had ceased to flick…

Radish Salad With Roselle Dressing

 Radishes are one of my favorite things to grow,  although they weren’t always.  They are very easy and reliable,  some years the only vegetable we could manage to grow in the early years of gardening,  before we had cows and goats to enrich the land.  I’ve pickled them, served them with butter,  chopped the roots up for salad, …

Misty Mornings

In the summer time I always try to wake up early to finish the chores before the heat of the day sets in.  This season the beauty of the early mornings has drawn me outside into the pearly air and dew-drenched grass.  Mists have crept out of the forest and settled in the low places…

Hallows Eve

I love celebrating,  and Halloween is especially fun with costumes and carving pumpkins.  But this year the everyday work of keeping a farmstead going and homeschooling three children alone while Ethan is far away working crushed all hopes of a leisurely celebration.  There were pumpkins carved,  and costumes made,  but these celebrations were done mostly…

Callaloo Curry With Flatbread

The cold weather is here at last! Sweet-smelling woolens have been taken out of the cedar chest to air in the beautiful dry air, and we are enjoying the last of the summer garden’s offerings…. spinach-like amaranth greens. Amaranth is really more of a weed than a garden plant; indeed,  the spiny, weedy amaranth torments…

Roselle Sour Gummy Candies

The cooler weather that has drifted through lately has found us gathering in the kitchen around our old woodstove we call Calcifer. Calcifer is old and finicky,  and the seals need replaced. He billows smoke at us when the logs start to burn,  and the oven temperature can vary wildly.  But on chilly mornings and…

Pigeon Pea, The Elusive Chicken

A few months ago our neighbor unloaded five defective chickens on us.  His old mother had gotten them as a bunch of straight run laying chicks,  and they had already unloaded the dozen roosters they had ended up with on us the year before.   Now she was going on vacation and the five chickens were getting…

Dried And Frozen Persimmon Treats

Glowing orange and as sweet as candy, the cultivated persimmons are ripe and abundant right now.  They are one of the delicious treats early fall has to offer, along with sweet potatoes, roselle, and pumpkins. These cultivated persimmons seem huge and mild compared to the wild persimmons we have already enjoyed. This was the first year we…

Roselle Soda

The garden is behind.  With Ethan out of town it has been hard to get things going when i had wanted to,  but I’m not too worried.  Those fall greens grow so quickly,  and the roselle is in its fall glory,  laden with deep red pods waiting to be picked. This,  I know from experience,…

Hurricane Days

        This season always brings uncertainty and shifts in weather,  and with that,  the hurricanes.  Here in the North and the middle of the peninsula, we are usually sheltered from the worst of the winds that devastate the coasts.  The last really intense hurricane season I’ve experienced was the fall and late…

Sam’s Shrimp And Roselle Leaf Curry

  Roselle is a large, beautiful hibiscus relative that bears fleshy red calyxes that can be cooked or dried and made into sauces, jellies, desserts, tea, etc.  It is also called the Florida Cranberry for it’s cranberry-like flavor.  I have almost always grown roselle in my garden.  It becomes a large, beautiful plant, over my…