Hawaiian begonia blossoming!

Blossoms for the first time in over a decade.

One of the begonias in the wall has masses of blossoms. The light, the warm water temps and the consistent nutrition are really pumping out the flowers. Now the Ricinifolia Immense is joining the gang. It’s put out a blossom stalk for the first time in over a decade.

One egg, two yolks

Big yolk in the big end and a slightly smaller yolk in the small end.

Here's a two-yolker split in half lengthwise. Yummy!

I bought a flat of jumbo brown eggs for hard boiling.  If you’ve never tried to peel a freshly laid hard boiled egg, you just wouldn’t understand.  The shell does not come off.  When hard boiled eggs are needed, and you want some sort of expectation that the eggs can be cleanly peeled, you have to start with old eggs.  Ours never last long enough to be old enough for hard boiling.

I was having a hard boiled egg and a bit of sharp cheddar snack yesterday.  I cut the egg in 4 lengthwise and was surprised to see two yolks!  Then today I was peeling eggs for egg salad and ran into another!  Wow!

My favorite recipe for egg salad is minced sweet onion, small diced kosher dill and mayo.  Mix the mayo with the egg yolks until all the egg yolk lumps are gone, then stir in the diced whites, pickles and onions.  Yummy.

Plant wall new year

Lots of new growth

I took a picture of the plant wall last night.  It’s really growing nicely.  I’m still waiting on the gutter.  It must be time to nag them again.  I ordered the new aquarium light.  It should be here next week.  I can’t build the new aquarium cover until I’ve mounted the new gutter and got the new light, so it’s wait . . . wait . . . wait.

The yoyo loaches are keeping the snail population in check and they’re fun to watch, but I doubt I’ll have any new babies while they’re in the tank.  They’re like short fat eels who will eat anything that will fit in their mouth.  They dive into the foliage, wiggling their way through to find buried goodies which is just what’s needed to get the snails and their eggs.  Fortunately it takes them a while to get up a head of steam in open water and the other fish have plenty of time to shift out of the way.  It’s amusing to see our sole head and tail light getting harassed when he has always been the one  harassing others. Payback, gotta love it.

Winter wonderland

Our winter wonderland from the deck
Boopy Girl all dressed in winter white
The arrow marks the spot - that's 1/3 of the way to the county road. The drive goes to the left around the south-east pasture and along the barely visible tree line to the arrow where the pasture meets the trees. It then hangs a left and goes another 400 feet down a hill and around a sharp corner before hitting the maybe-plowed county road.

I think we can safely say winter is here, don’t you?

I had plans for today but with the depth of the snow, the length of our driveway, the fact that it’s still snowing and projected to continue snowing all day, I think those plans are officially toast.

If anybody in the neighborhood is going to the store, I need some stuff.  Call me.  <grin>

A hamburger worth the time

We’ve got a quarter of beef in the freezer which means we have a lot of hamburger to eat.  That’s not a bad thing but it’s pushing me to expand my hamburger recipe repertoire.  Yesterday I came up with a stellar hamburger.

Mince peppers, red and green, and onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent.  In a bowl mix the hamburger with crushed rosemary, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper and the sautéed vegetables.  Form patties and fry in the pan you sautée’d the veges in.  I put a piece of Havarti cheese on mine but I think it would be just as good with pepper jack, Swiss or whatever.  AWESOME burger.  Even Wadly gave it lots of stars.

The other fish

Simmering to perfection

I’m making fish stock (soupe de poisson) to use in clam chowder.  I make it and store it in the freezer so it’s available when needed.

I scored a mess of half-off frozen fish at Shop n Kart yesterday including but not limited to ling cod, smelt, tilapia, head on prawns and some seafood mix which includes calamari and fake crab (pollack).  I ended up with enough fishy bits to make two batches of stock, so I divided it up and stuck half back in the freezer.  I don’t have a large enough stock pot to make two batches at once.

In this batch I have some whole fish, minus the gills and headed/gutted fish and prawn heads and fish parts simmering with parsley, onions, leeks, shallot, garlic, tomato, bay leaf, orange peel, celery, saffron, thyme and whole coriander.  I don’t think I left anything out . . . Hmm.  Maybe I should go throw in a couple rough chopped carrots.  Once this has simmered for four hours I will strained out the solids.  If there was somewhere I could put that stuff where the chickens could pick it over without the dogs getting into the bones, that would be a plus.  Hmm.  Time to ask Wadly for a temporary pen.

The last time I made bouillabaisse (chunks of fish, in-shell little neck clams, shrimp and scallops cooked in the above fish stock) I had some orange roughy in the mix of fish.  That is the most lovely tasting fish.  Mmm.  Maybe I can sweet talk my brother into grabbing me some the next time he comes for a visit.  He’s got a huge Japanese market where he lives and the orange roughy is fresh!