26 October 2011

Worthy Epicurean Art

tortelinisalad3[1]Whilst sojourning in the tropics a fortnight in June 2009, our family was introduced to a scrumptious dish cultivated in the melting pot called Honolulu. The developer- one Sam Chow- restaurateur and chef. Found in the local paper, Ms.TR scooped it right up and did Mister Chow's recipe well. We devoured…. er…. enjoyed the dish, so, I brought it home to the main land to share with all.

Now I need add, I’m not proud of how poorly I follow a recipe. I’m a that-looks-about-right kinda girl; sewing, gardening, housekeeping, trimming children’s bangs…mmm hmm.

Be fore warned- the only thing perfectly accurate to the Chow dish are the proportions of the tortellini filling- everything else is claimed only by this simple chef of the people: Me (she claims modestly).

Sautéed Shrimp with Goat Cheese Tortellini

Tortellini filling: mix the following well.

4oz goat cheese

1T parmesan

1tsp minced chives

1T cream

½ tsp nutmeg


Wonton wrappers (homemade pasta works great too!)

12 jumbo Skinned Shrimp (of course, this portion is always expandable!)

Golden raisins (or cranberries, or dried cherries, or...)

Pine nuts (or pecans perhaps, mmm)

Balsamic vinegar

Cut wonton wrappers into circles (I used the goat cheese package as a template-it measured 4 ½ in. dia.).

IMG_1079Fill with about a teaspoon of filling.



IMG_1081Fold in half and seal.



IMG_1088Wrap ends around finger to complete tortellini and seal.

Boil for about 5 minutes. You may also freeze them for later use.

IMG_1086Sauté Shrimp in butter and garlic (how much butter and garlic is enough? Or shrimp for that matter). Toss with boiled tortellini, raisins, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. I serve this on a bed of beet greens and spinach from the garden.

20 October 2011

Twinkies, Meet Daughters

Not a worthy introduction, I’m quite sure, but regardless, it was made (and it was fun).

With a twelve year shelf life, we could say it adds years to your life, right? Who can resist, the plasticized, cream filling, inside the soft foam rubber mold…er…cake?

America keeps Hostess in business and this week, I was a culprit.

fall2010, new calf 2011 005_thumb[2]

Possibly the exact opposite of Certified Organic, I wonder when Hostess will take a page from today’s marketing strategy playbook and make a Twinkie with organic ingredients and silly moms across the fruited plains will jump onto the bandwagon of all-things-organic-equals-nutrition. Hostess could do the same with fruit pies, Ding Dongs and other various confections! Just think of it!

I’m certainly thankful to live in a country where free men everywhere can eat Twinkies, Ho-ho’s or maybe, raspberry filled powered sugar doughnuts, in peace, if they so choose (until years later, when man, with good sense, takes a bite and says to wife, “what have you done to me? I used to like these!”)!

17 June 2011

Whoa Nelly on the Big K

For you non-scientists out there, that K stands for kalium- Latin that is, for potassium and I’ve plenty of it!

In the PNW, soils from British Columbia to the south end of the Willamette Valley are heavy on potash (alkaline) and deficient on calcium (Ca, for the closest chemists). That means, of course, I have to add it, and add I shall.

Amend at a rate of about 50lbs to 1000 square feet of garden. Good. It’s cheap stuff. Ours, purchased through Azure Standard of Dufer, Oregon, was six and some change, for a 50lb. bag. Oops, now! Don’t overdo it! More is too much and you could do damage to the tilth (healthy dirt).

Soil west of the Cascade Mountains, range from coarse loam to clay. Ours here in the Hedgerow falls smack dab in the middle at fine silt.

Though only a few feet under the surface lies clay (fine, flat particles, fitting tightly together), the fraction of clay particulate in the topsoil for balanced loam, is quite probably wanting. Did I say balanced loam? That would be redundant, silly me!

Loam is soil that is balanced. Just about equal parts sand, silt and clay (clay being the slighted fraction) and loam is what we’re aiming at.

Our garden is blooming with math and science. It’s a new classroom (without the ‘class’ or the ‘room’) everyday we’re in it! We hope yours is too.

28 March 2011

Ode To “D”

O, Vitamin D

O, D of vites

You give me strength

You give me might!


Bring forth cheer when skies are grey

In that little oily way

How can it be that you can do

So much for me and my dull mood


Here in my most NW’rn of climes,

When Spring comes slow and takes it’s time

To greet those winter weary kind

Like myself. Beam now, Sunshine!


Until the glimmer breaks through the cloud

You, my friend, will be my vow

Of good health I do pronounce!


O, Vitamin D!

10 March 2011

Big Equipment Farmer

Here's the Boss-Man farming the only way he knows how: Big equipment.

2010 04 25_0129When driving by the CAT dealership, forget any conversation you might have been engaged in... someone just lost connection...and it wasn't me. "Uh, huh," I hear, from lips on the port bow of the truck, responding absently. Give it another block or so and he'll return to the land of human relationships, and pick up the dialog with no suggestion of distraction.

Most men hook their truck up to the travel trailer to move it. This is much more efficient, Mike might tell you. Some men may scoff. But then, every farmer knows his crop.

Have a truck that no longer runs, has flat tires? Need it flipped around? Say, try the a loader bucket!

Big Equiptment-2

Need a tree stump removed where there happens to be a hive nearby? Just wear your sister's beekeeper net!


No guts, no glory- or something like that.

2010 10 03_1355

Who said the Big Guy and I couldn't work in the garden together? We both move around soil with two hands and puff exhaust. My hoe turns delicate, detailed areas around beets and rutabagas, while his D3C XL (XL? duh.) cuts through hard pan and clay, falls trees, and shapes swaths of land.

I know women who require their husbands to shower before bed or keep clean fingernails. There's no doubt that makes housekeeping easier! For that matter, I know men who have a tidier dispositions than their wives, flannel wearing or not. As for me, give me a farmer, whatever the crop, covered in dust and smelling of diesel fuel-

White sheets can always be replaced!