Photo Friday: garden promises

I apologize up front for using my flash on most of these photos.  It had just stopped raining and it was very overcast and dark outside.  I still don’t have a tripod, and I need one, to allow me a slower shutter speed and clarity.

But hey!  The excitement of watching all my hard work showing signs of paying off was too much to resist…

Why two poultry fences?  One to keep the geese in…

and one to keep them OUT!  😉

It’s small you say? It’s a zucchini just give it a day!

Color me RED!

Furry cantaloupe vines thriving in the heat and rain.

This is going to take a long time!  Can you guess what it is?

My little fig tree was frozen to the ground and left for dead… Then it suddenly sprouted and grew up like a weed!  It is now over five foot tall and full of (soon to be) luscious fruits!  Hearty tree!

This one has a role to play in tonight’s stir fry!

A prolific and hearty seedless variety of cucumber will provide salad fare and pickles this winter.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of all the things growing here on the Farmlet.  But before I leave you…

My handsome kitty Claus would like you to know that he has been on patrol day and night ridding the garden of voles and moles!

Kitchen *Kitbash: Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

There are many things that come in packages and are Gluten Free (GF) these days, but not all are necessarily delicious right out of the box.  Such is the case with Betty Crocker‘s GF Brownie Mix.  Overly sweet, and very gooey they are simply not the best brownies out there.

Now I won’t buy these for myself, but I have twice been gifted these same brownies and honestly appreciate the kindness of both friends to go out of their way and do this for me!  That said, I desired to see if I could make them a bit more palatable by doctoring them up.

Here’s what I did…


1 box Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

1 extra egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped *almonds (mine happened to be smoke house style)

I added the above to the mix in addition to the called for ingredients.  Mixed and baked per the instructions on the box, and I believe they came out to be superior to the just as directed version.

They were not gooey and a bit lighter in crumb.  I asked Bob what he thought of the changes and he said:  “Oh, I don’t know.  I think I will have to eat another one to be sure.”

That is a very good sign!

Should you try this at home I would be interested in knowing what you think of the changes I made.

*kitbash:  “The practice of modifying a model…  [no longer limited to model railroad or] toy action figures, to achieve [a] result other than that intended by the manufacturer.”  Paraphrased from the Urban Dictionary and term applied loosely to the process of modifying a box baking mix.   🙂

**I used almonds because that is what was on hand, but I am sure that walnuts or pecans would be equally good!

A very happy loaf of bread

I don’t usually post twice in one day, but this just never happens, not in my kitchen anyway…

I baked a loaf of Gluten Free bread today from a mix by Bob’s Red Mill called “Homemade Wonderful Bread.”  But, as per usual I doctored it up.

To the mix I added the following:

1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbs. pure honey

6 guinea hen eggs ~~~ (BTW, 2 GHE = 1 XLHE of course, you can use three hen’s eggs, but you won’t get the beautiful golden “egg bread” color)

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free quick cooking oats

1/2 to 1 cup golden raisins (use to your taste)

Note:  I subbed in organic soy milk per amount asked for in recipe

I followed the directions on the bag for preparation, but proofed my yeast in the warmed milk and honey.

The bread rose, and rose, AND ROSE!  Here’s what happened!

It was supposed rise for a whole hour, but looked really fine in about 4o minutes.  So I took it out of the oven and then heated to 375 degrees.  I placed the loaf back into the heated oven, closed the door and came back to take a quick peek about one half hour later.

SHOCK!  When baking bread you expect it to rise some more with baking, but this was doubling in size once again! The loaf finished baking in only 47 minutes so I removed it from the oven.

So here you see my VERY HAPPY LOAF of

GF Oatmeal Golden Raisin Bread

So how happy is homemade GF Oatmeal Golden Raisin Bread?  Well I cut off a slice and found that it was…

THIS happy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Things that need doin’ today

tornado watch

Image by bella lago via Flickr

Things to do today:

  1. Make “Bone Soup” from the carcass and breast meat of last nights chicken.  Today’s version will feature a Southwestern theme using Rotel, a bit of rice, a few black beans for color, some fresh cilantro from the hoop house, and a splash of fresh lemon juice in the bowl.  But of course as we all know, this will be tomorrows dinner because soup always tastes better the next day… so why not wait?
  2. Peruse my seeds to decide which need starting this week. I am very much looking forward to this year’s growing season!
  3. Hunker down for a Tornado watch till about 2PM today. Funny what you can get used to.  I grew up with earthquakes in California and never really thought much about them, they came and they went.  “Hey, that was a good ride, Yee-Haa!  Hang on folks!”  Of course Alabama is not immune to them, they’ve had a few doosies .  But tornadoes? They just get me all a quiver.  They send my off the deep end.   They’ve  passed all around us in few short years we’ve lived here and so far we have been untouched. (Thank you God!)
  4. Watch for HAWKS because they seem to like hunting my yard on gloomy days. Best scare tactic so far has been my trusty metal trash can lid.  I have an old oak stirring paddle that I use to bang the lid as I point it in the direction of the hawks.  This seems to aim the sound in their direction and they either turn around or keep on going without coming any closer to my girls!  Whew!

So what is on your agenda for this Monday, the last day of February?  Or, this first week of March?