I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend, actually. I went through the pile of recipes on my desk (I tend to print out recipes that look good to me and then just pile them on my desk for months before I ever get around to making them) and chose three to … Continue reading “2/9/09”

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend, actually. I went through the pile of recipes on my desk (I tend to print out recipes that look good to me and then just pile them on my desk for months before I ever get around to making them) and chose three to try.

The first, Double Chocolate Caramel Turtle Treats – basically Rice Krispies Treats with chocolate, caramel and pecans added in – caught my eye because of the name. When we go to Gatlinburg, my number one favorite candy to buy are Turtles, something about the chocolate and caramel really appeals to me. So I made the Double Chocolate Caramel Turtle Treats and they were good. EXCEPT that I had made a batch of Sweet-Hot Habanero Sauce in that pot, and apparently there were still habanero oils present in the pot even though I’d diligently cleaned it, and so the Treats came out tinged with a hint of habanero. I ate a few small squares because they are JUST that good, before I gave up and let the pigs have the rest. I plan to make them again one day WITHOUT the habanero surprise, thank you.

The next, Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze were not difficult, but they were kind of time consuming. First, you have to zest a lemon, then you have to bake the cookies, THEN you have to let them cool on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes, THEN you let them cool completely, THEN you glaze them, THEN you let the glaze harden for two hours before you can put them in a container for storage. I made the cookies and Fred and I split a cookie before I put the glaze on them, and they are really, really good. Then I glazed them, and Fred LOVED the cookies – he said the glaze added just the right lemony zing. I thought the cookies were better without the glaze, honestly, but even with the glaze they’re pretty damn good. The cookies are big and soft and kind of cakey, and I think we all know how very much Fred enjoys his cakey cookies! Next time, I’ll likely make smaller cookies (these cookies are pretty big), and I’ll only glaze half of them.

The last was a recipe I printed out ages ago from Say’s Groovy Mom blog, Girlfriend’s Graham Cookies. She said in her blog that they’re reminiscent of the Girl Scouts Samoas cookies, which are my favorite Girl Scout cookies. I had a few problems, though. I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut, so I used sweetened, but the biggest problems I had were in the baking of the cookies. I think my oven might be having issues (and I need to get an oven thermometer to check on it), because I took the first sheet of cookies out at 9 minutes and they stuck to the cookie sheet. Then I tried spraying a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, only to have the cookies spread out way too thin and burn at the edges. The last sheet I put in, I used parchment paper and baked them for 8 minutes, and they came out perfectly. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the cookies and Fred said “These are very active cookies.” Truly, they have a lot going on, between the chocolate chips, the walnuts, and the coconut. The more time that goes by, though, the better I think they are. At first I thought that maybe next time I’d leave out the walnuts, but two days later I think they’re perfect the way they are.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


So I posted on Saturday that I wasn’t sure if the pigs were going to be going back or not. In the end I made my opinion clear to Fred – I thought they should go back – but told him whatever he decided would be okay with me. Sunday morning I slept in ’til after 7 (SLACKER) and when I made my way downstairs, Fred told me he’d put a hog panel around the end of the pig shelter so that they were confined to their shelter and a little bit outside their shelter. Which was going to make it easier to catch them and put them in the carrier.

(The carrier, by the way, is one we bought when we were getting George and Gracie. Either of the dogs could easily fit in the carrier even now, so there was more than enough room for the pigs. In case you were wondering. We weren’t using tiny little cat carriers.)

“So we’re taking them?” I said.

“Yeah,” Fred said.

We went out to put the pigs in the carrier, and I don’t know that it could have been any easier. Fred went into the shelter, and the pigs squealed in alarm the way they always did when he walked into their shelter, and then they ran past him. He caught one, put it in the carrier, then caught the other one and put it in the carrier. It took about a minute to get them both caught and in the carrier, if that.

We put the carrier in the back of the truck and went to take our showers.

The traffic going down the road to the flea market was heavier than we’d ever seen it before (it was in the low 70s over the weekend, so we figured the heavy traffic was due to the nice weather). We parked and then carried the carrier to the guy we’d bought the pigs from.

I managed somehow to get a smear of pig shit on my pants leg. How? I don’t know, I never came into direct contact with the pigs once they were in the carrier – I’m guessing there was pig shit on the carrier. The guy took the pigs out of the carrier and put them in the small wire cage he had all set up, he and Fred chatted for a minute, and then we carried the carrier back to the truck. After we left the carrier in the truck, we started looking at the stuff for sale, and by the time we wandered back by the pig man’s booth twenty minutes later, he’d sold the pigs.

So yes, the pigs are gone and I don’t feel guilty.


The guy we got our first two pigs from last February has got a litter of piglets due in a couple of weeks, so unless we stumble across someone else selling pigs before then, we’ll likely be buying them from him.

We wandered around the flea market for another hour or so. Fred had hoped that the guy selling trees would be there, but he wasn’t. According to the pig man, the trees that guy sells aren’t the greatest anyway.

“They’re rejects from the nursery!” he said. “I bought (however many) trees from him and (however many minus two) died!”

“Well, we learned from those pigs about staying away from rejects!” Fred said. I waited for him to add a big “HAW! HAW! HAW!” in there, but he managed to restrain himself.

I had to practically drag Fred away from a guy who was selling Silkie eggs. “I wonder if they’re fertile!” he whispered to me. “We have brand new baby chickens right now, now is NOT the time to be hatching more. We’ll come back in a few months!” I said to him, and he finally (reluctantly) agreed.

We left the flea market buying only a few drill bits and nothing else. That might be a record for us!

Fred was pretty unhappy that the tree guy hadn’t been at the flea market, so we ended up stopping by L0we’s to see what they had in the way of fruit trees. Nothing they had was what we wanted, so we went up the road to Wal-M@rt to look at their trees.

After talking about it for a long time, we ended up buying sixteen trees – four Red Delicious, four Golden Delicious, and eight peach trees.

“Robyn,” you are saying. “What the fuck? Why so many fruit trees?”

Well, let me tell you why – because when Fred’s outside working in the summer, the son of the woman who lives next door likes to sit out on their deck. And while it might be our imagination, it sure does look like he spends all his time staring at what Fred’s doing, and Fred is not fond of the scrutiny. So the fruit trees are going to act as a fence to protect Fred’s privacy.

And if all these trees bear fruit, we’re going to be buried in apples and peaches and we very well might have to set up a fruit stand by the road.

I didn’t think we were actually going to fit all sixteen trees in the back of the truck, but we managed, and as we drove down the highway toward home with those trees and a big pig carrier crammed into the back of the truck, I felt very Clampett-like.

2009-02-09 (1)

You better bet Fred was exhausted at bedtime last night after planting sixteen trees!

2009-02-09 (01)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


So, the eggs started hatching Saturday morning, and so far we’ve got nine baby chicks out in the brooder. There are still four eggs sitting in the incubator. Fred has detected no movement or sound from those eggs, but he said that he’s heard of eggs taking up to 23 or 24 days to hatch, so we’re leaving them for now just to be sure we’re not giving up too soon.

Fred’s unimpressed with the number of chicks we got this time around. We started out with 42 eggs, after all, and 9 is not nearly as many as we hoped to get.

They’re awfully cute little things. I was thrilled that both of the Polish eggs hatched, and that Sassy’s egg hatched, too. Of the three eggs we really wanted to hatch, all three of them did, so I’m not complaining.

(In a few months we’re likely going to hatch another batch, and I guarantee you that there’ll be some of our Silkie eggs in there!)

The last egg to hatch hatched yesterday morning. When the egg cracked open and the baby spilled out, we saw first of all that he’s a tiny thing, and second of all that there appeared to be another yolk in there. Fred said that likely that egg was a double-yolker, and only one of the yolks developed. The chick is small and wobbly (wobblier than usual, I guess I should say) and tends to tumble over easily when one of the other chicks runs by. That’s usually not a good sign when it comes to chicks, but we’re keeping all our fingers crossed that this one makes it. I’ve already named him Zippy.

2009-02-09 (2)

2009-02-09 (3)
Sassy’s baby is apparently mesmerizing the other chicks with her long, long toes.

2009-02-09 (4)
Someone needs a nap.

2009-02-09 (5)
The two babies from the Crested Polish eggs. I suspect they’re going to be purty.

2009-02-09 (6)
Another shot of Sassy’s baby.

2009-02-09 (7)
Another shot of one of the Crested Polish babies.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


2009-02-09 (8)

2009-02-09 (9)
Oh, I thought I was SO smart, moving the filing cabinet over next to my desk so I could put two more beds there, because two beds were NOT enough for the cats who wanted to be closecloseclose to their Momma. Except that apparently FOUR beds is also not enough, as you can see by the fact that Miz Poo is taking up valuable real estate in front of the monitor (it makes it pretty tough to get things done when she’s RIGHT THERE where my arms go!). The only solution: I need a bigger desk!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


2008: No entry.
2007: Beach Roses (fiction).
2006: Giggling like that is EXACTLY something Fred would do.
2005: Taking the day off.
2004: I don’t believe I mentioned that the Bean has tapeworms.
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: And I yelled “Any fucking thing else?!”, addressing, I guess, God.
2000: Okay, so I don’t have much to say today.