All posts tagged: Slider

Lighter Options ~ Buttermilk Cheese Soup

There are soups I could eat a whole bowl… and leave wanting more. There are some I stand at the cook-top eating out of the pot – never even bothering to ladle it up and at least pretend to be civilized. … and then there are those where you can just hook up a nozzle and hose me down with it.. This is one of those soups. Cheese soups are kind of the red-haired step child of the soup family – Part sauce, Part soup, Part fondue. A cheese soup really isn’t much more than cheese and cream, However, for the lactose intolerant Turtle Creek crowd, getting the proportions just right where it is the balance of richness, cheesy goodness and palatable texture takes a bit of work. You all know I have this unnatural love affair with buttermilk. And being that Cultured Whole Buttermilk is lactose free, it is the base of a lot of dairy type things I do here at the cottage.  I’m calling this a Lactose Free Soup because of the ingredients – and …

Tahini Grilled Chicken

  Yes, yes… it does day “eating allergy free” up there in the picture. But, before you go all cat lady crazy on me – let me explain. First off, I’m not calling it “All Encompassing Allergy Free” because frankly if you go that far, you’re just living off air… that’s been scrubbed… and hasn’t been anywhere near people… or farms… We, unfortunately, have a very specific set of allergens that I have to navigate in order to provide food that is tasty, appealing, and somewhat resembles foods we used to enjoy. And instead of dredging all that back up here.. just go back to The Long, Slow Train to Crazytown and catch up. The thing is.. we like peanut satays. Scratch that – we love anything with peanuts. But like the train ride tells you, it’s just another of the things I’ve had to scour out of our diet. Among the substitutions I’ve been testing in our diet, I’ve found that Jane has absolutely no issue with sesame… in any form. Lately, she’s even …

The Weekly Wildflower ~ American Beauty Berry

Say hello to Callicarpa… otherwise known as American Beauty Berry or French Mulberry. She’s a deciduous woody shrub in the Dead Nettle, or  (Lamiaceae) family.  Blooming in Early summer with rather non-descriptive flowers, the Beauty Berry show begins with – what else – the berries. Beginning in Late September, the berries begin to swell and gradually turn from milky green to violent purple. Although the berries are considered edible, the severe astringent nature of the fruit makes them unappetizing to birds and other animals – so typically you can count on the show continuing well into November. Once the berries turn, the leaves transform to a brilliant yellow just before dropping from the branches – leaving you with stark,smooth dark branches and a riot of purple. Even with the astringent berries, the fruit can be made into wine and jellies (sometimes referred to as “Autumn Berry Jam”), which can be a slightly grainy but flavorful preserve. However tasty the berries may or may not be, the Beauty Berry Shrub is best known as a mosquito …

The Weekly Wildflower ~ The “Non” Flowers

The obligatory disclaimer: I make no assertions nor assumptions that any of the fungi shown here are edible. I’m not a mycologist. The general rule of thumb when observing any wild flora and fungi is: “When in doubt – consider it poisonous.” While most people wouldn’t consider  Mushrooms and Toadstools flowers, in fact they really are. The parts we see above ground are the “flowers” of a network of fungi filaments coursing through the ground. Found in moister areas of leaf rot or decomposing forest matter, the flowering spore heads are usually triggered by periods of intense –  or slow, soaking rains where the forest floor saturates under the deluge, signaling to the fungi filaments that conditions are right for reproduction. I know a large portion of people would consider any of these blights on their property. But, since I have a relatively large, natural wooded area here at Turtle Creek… … and a considerable amount of decaying woodland as the result of high winds,  harsh Winters, and marauding Woodpeckers, I tend to let nature take …

The Barrel Hoop Walkway

On the northern side of the cottage, just before the land drops off dangerously sharp, I installed a deadfall garden and stumpery. A “Stumpery” is a collection of natural and unique..well… stumps and other forms of log and tree matter. These I’ve interspersed with perennials, grasses, rocks and birdhouses to create a minute haven for critters. (Trust me, it’s attractive.) Anyway, I’ve never been really happy with the walkway bordering the garden. Back earlier in the year, I came across a stack of rusty barrel hoops that my Dad, for some odd reason, had saved and squirreled away at the shop. Perhaps he once had something in mind for them – I’ll never know. They have just been quietly rusting away into obscurity for the past seven years. I thought it was time to either use them or haul them away. I’ve recessed the hoops about 2″ into the soil and excavated and leveled the interior circle. Each hoop holds 1 – 25# bag of pond pebbles, which I’ve tamped down to pack them into …