Sunday, December 5, 2010

a bit of blather after a long silence

jammy toast nummie nummies
 first off, the hippychick breakyfast report - homemade wholewheat honey bread toast topped with gifted raspberry jam and hippychick's very own home harvested honey - delightful!

in other news, this morning began with a bit of chatter between mr. man and i while lounging about in our jammies much much longer than our usual jumping out of bed in the wee early of the morn to ready for the day.  it the first time in a long time for such leisurely acts betwixt us two.  i liked it!  i like it a lot.

he is now off performing heroic daily bits.  his first act will include the challenging of a lawn with mower.  i have no doubt he shall tame the wild oft yard, soften it slowly until it reveals it's beautiful self for all to admire.  his other acts include tasks of equal valor and will prove quite gratifying when complete.  

my day turns a bit left to mr. man's right.  my day begins with olives.  two of my three fermentation pots readied and set for cure mode yesterday.  the third is now curing and the waiting clock begins.  below i share how easy it is to cure your own beautiful olives.  i use a no lye - brine only method. so get yourself some fresh black missions and cure cure cure!
check out page six and page seven of the following pdf - this is the document i am working from.  http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/8267.pdf

hippychick's no lye olive cure
  • i began with the cleaning and preparation of my 20 litre / 5.28 gallon fermentation pots.  i have three. 
    • wash the pots out with hot water, gave them a rinse with water and a second rinse with a bit of white vinegar.  allow the pots to air dry.
      • i do not use any kind of soap and/or bleach type products when cleaning my fermentation pots. 
  • to prepare the olives for the brine bath, i rolled the olives about a bit in order to soften them up - not too much - just itty bits - as this helps the salty brine penetrate the fruit.  
    • you do not have to work too hard with mission olives as they begin in a riper state by nature than green olives do when prepping for cure.
  • i then placed all of the olives into the fermentation pots.  
    • approximately 27 lbs of olives now reside in each pot.
  • my brine mixture is simple.
    • 1cup of pickling salt to each gallon of water.   
    • pour the brine mixture over the top then woosh all around in order to make sure that all of the curing salt is dissolved.
  • i then pour a bit of water in the pot's cover well then placed the cover the top for an airtight seal 
  • change the brine after a week.  increase the salt to 1.5 cups of pickling salt to each gallon of water.  
  • change the brine monthly using the 1.5 cups to one gallon brine mixture
  • now we must wait three weeks, three months, six months or more in order for the brine to cure the purple beauties. you may harvest when the flavor suits you. then it will be time for jarring up in more brine or in olive oil or dehydrating for storage.
in all, i have eighty pounds of black missions in process of curing - that should do for a year's eating and sharing i think, i hope.  
 where did i find the olives?  

check out the chaffin family farm site - good folks, good olives and good mandarins too.  i know as i've been eating a good number of them daily.  if you are local to their farm you can travel directly to the farm for pick up probably saving yourself a good few bucks for shipping. 
outside of that, i spent most of yesterday cleaning up the house in anticipation of family visitors for the hollydays.  i would like to say that i took a big chunk out of the cleaning list but i would only be skirting the truth as the cleaning is never finished.
i did manage to cheerfully erect each of the my three silver mylar trees up about the place.  the stockings have been hung though i am short a few as the family has grown.  it will be fun to craft the new stockings from bits and pieces of gathered goods from my wee bitty sewing stash of small bits of cloth, beloved but old worn clothing and comfy knitted bits.  the lights for trees and home are lighting all about, white lights, pink lights, multi-colored lights - it's quite nice up the stairs, down the stairs, out and all about.  

i sit now in the audience of the largest tree.
it's a simple tree mounted upon a washing bin and weighted down with bricks in hopes of discouraging the very possible combination of gravity and kitty collaboration. 

we are now up to three kitties in the hippychick universe
aside from the entertaining many more neighborhood kitty visitors in and about the yardy-farmy place.

  •  termite 
    • a.k.a. - mr. t 
    • a.k.a - teabags
    • a.k.a - bags
  • opera kitty
    • a.k.a. the steve mcqueen of kitties
    • a.k.a sweetboy
    • a.k.a. boyboy
  • bella 
    • a.k.a. pants
    • a.k.a. path of destruction
    • a.k.a. pants of destruction
 they are all quite lovely.  opera is primarily and outside fellow.  he does enjoy a soft chair and warm environment when the chill sets in but for the most part he likes to live under the open sky where he and stars collide. 

termite has been with me now for 14years.  he's my manboy and he was not too keen on the addition of his little fancy pants poofy faced sister bella.  termite will never admit it but it's quite clear he's had a slight change of heart.  he's been caught playing and chasing ms. bella in addition to napping closer and closer and closer to her furry self.  on top of that, he's playing more frequently and finding new old ways making trouble.  i'd say he's pretty darn happy.

bella jumped right into life in the hippychick universe in seconds flat.  she was a wee wee thing once upon a time who fiercely protected here small bit of dinner from others.  she now controls the place with a fresh sense of confidence and worries not where her next meal might come from.  she knows that if she demands a meal, she gets a meal.  and if it does not work out so on the first try, she only need to shred paper knock books off shelves and or romp on the big people to succeed.  smart lil' creature she is.  bella loves allllll the boys but throws them all aside for a glance of the steve mcqueen of kitties , opera.  his sterling blue eyes melt her. she's got good taste.

so with paws, fingers, wabbity and chickeny feets crossed - we hope oh how we hope the hollyday trees continue to stand tall, to defy gravity and bear the weight of wee kitty curiosity.
 
that's it for now - i have got to get myself out in the garden.  we are expecting a hard freeze tonight and i'd like to water all beds well and feed planty creatures with nourishing seaweed before the temperatures drop.  

until tomorrow... ciao!

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