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Picnicking Birds

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Bixby Diaries: Four Years and Counting

Working hard from the boss’ chair.

Facebook popped the top picture up this a.m. and started a flood of memories. I picked him up four years ago yesterday. Crazy. This was his first day at work with me, before I went full-time with my own business.

This was the car ride home that first day.  You can see why it was love at first sight. He still loves a squirt bottle and thwarts any effort to use it as a deterrent.

Those wrinkles (he’s kept many of them).

Tired puppy. He kept that dog until he was much, much bigger than it. We still have a few unstuffed pieces for tug.

Just…aaaawwww.

And I walked into the living room this morning to see this.  ❤ ❤ That’s his new baby.

I couldn’t do that for very long. LOL

For more Bixby Diaries, click here.



Thwarted? Hah!

Ribs

I usually take a couple of different shots of a spread and then choose among them for the most pleasing.I tend to go with the full frame closeup.  This is because I’m lazy.  Like, I mean, the area of table space I need to clean is greatly reduced.

Garden Fresh: Jalapeno Relish and Easy Salsa

My garden was hit with both hail and an infestation of earwigs. I managed to get a small crop of tomatoes, jalapenos and potatoes despite the destruction. The ducks have been great at keeping the rest of the pests at bay, but earwigs are nocturnal, so they managed to escape the duck patrol.

My dad and youngest brother sent home cucumbers and jalapenos on my last trip, so I decided it was time to put everything to good use before they went bad on my counter.

First up, Easy Salsa, recipe here.

I love pickled jalapenos, so I wanted to pickle some this summer. I have had plenty, but I thought if I was going to do that, it wouldn’t hurt to have extra from my brother. Add my dad’s huge English cucumbers and I got a fresh, spicy combo that is terrific on everything, especially grilled hot dogs. Yum.

Pickled Jalapeno-Cucumber Relish

  • 10 large jalapenos
  • 1 large cucumber (or two medium)
  • 2 tsp fresh dill (opt)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar

jars, blender, saucepan

You can rough chop all the vegetables, since this will be run through either a food processor or blender. If you want to tone down the spice – remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos. I did not peel the cucumber because it was garden fresh.

I added just a touch of dill – because I thought the cucumbers would need it. It’s not overwhelming and it could easily be omitted.

In the saucepan combine water, vinegars, sugar and salt. Bring to a low boil

In the blender or food processor, add jalapenos, cucumbers, herbs and garlic and just enough water to cover. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. Add to boiling mixture, bring back to a boil, reduced heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding to sterilized glass jars.

I did not can this recipe – jars will last about two weeks in the refrigerator. I froze several of the jars and they should last a good six months.

As a side note – those are grapes from my vines. I have one red vine and one concord vine. Last year they were barren, the year before they tasted like concord grapes, this year the vines are overflowing and taste sweet and are almost seedless. This fall I’m going to espalier them to create a screen and hopefully keep the dogs out of them. It’s been a challenge this year. Bixby loves to pick them off the vines and grapes are not good for dogs.



 

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Tidbits

Ginger Boy, thwarted.Here’s another view of that fritillary at the pond.Ham and cheese muffin with an egg and that red pepper jelly.  It’s a little too runny, more like pepper syrup.  Tasty, nonetheless.Those tabasco peppers are slowly ripening.It doesn’t get much more comfortable than mashed potatoes and gravyI brought in enough peppers to make a nice slaw.Cheeseburger pr0nI like pie.