Since it’ll soon be Labor Day and the end of the summer calendar, I thought I’d share some pictures of the past few months.
We started things off with a small ship cruise amongst the glaciers of Alaska. This was our first of many spectacular glaciers. See the rest of the photos here.
The berries of spring!
Some of the berries made it into jams.
Keith built us a spectacular chicken run! The permanent coop is still being designed and will be built later, but Dorie, Alton and Julia love it and we no longer have chicken curfew. We can stay out after dark like real grownups! 😉
We did a little tooling around despite the boggling price of gas. Luckily this has a very small tank since it wants to sip premium.
Another summer project also got completed, here’s the pumphouse before.
Now it’s clean and ready to be used as a root cellar! The floor will also be repainted when the pressure tank is replaced later.
We got involved with the Skagit Citizens for Electric Authority which is a PAC organized to promote the ballot measure to grant the Skagit County PUD the authority provide county residents with electric service. Read all about the issue and the PUD’s position.
Dorie? What are you hiding?
The sneaky hens hid a dozen off in the Oregon grape until we made a few changes to the nesting box.
We drove over the pass for a weekend in the Wild West with my mom. We stayed at our favorite place just blocks from town.
Winkled out some new potatoes. These were all last year’s volunteers so it was all potluck! There were a couple of Ozettes even. I plan on growing them again next year.
We got away for a few days of sailing too! Ours is the blue boat rafted up with our friends’ boat at Matia Island in the San Juans. We had a special treat and saw our state’s tall ships, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, on the morning of our departure.
Of course we went to the fair! We spent some of the time promoting the electric authority ballot measure and the rest of the time enjoying the animals and events.
I’ve been putting up produce from the garden too. I’ve frozen several pounds of berries, kale, chard and beans. I hope to get to the corn over this long weekend!
Then there was also a large fest! It was fun and we had a great turnout despite the 85F weather.
For the party (and the freezer), I smoked the 26 pound turkey we got for Thanksgiving last year. It didn’t fit into the oven so we saved it. I got this huge bird from Tall Tree Exotics. Thanks for facilitating, Laura!
We also picked up 32 pounds of pork butt at Silvana Meats. This was the best pulled pork that I’ve ever made! Fortunately we now have several packages of it in the freezer for winter.
We also took our annual birthday trip up to Vancouver, BC for Bard on the Beach. This year we saw [Artistic Director] Christopher Gaze starring in Tait’s version of King Lear. The weather didn’t favor us, but we had a great time and discovered a Kits gem for a reasonably-priced and delicious diner, Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe. Something for everyone and many vegetarian choices too.
Finally, I battled and beat the fearsome pressure cooker! After timidly boiling some water, I dove right in with a pot of dried hominy. Since it was still a bit toothy after a whole hour at pressure, I was glad that I used the pressure cooker. I can’t imagine how many days it would have taken in the crock pot. It went into a big batch of pozole which mostly went into the freezer for later meals.
Next I cooked up nearly a pound of garbanzos. It took only 30 minutes and they were perfectly done and not a mushy mess! Usually it takes a day of soaking and at least 12 hours in the crock pot. No, I didn’t even soak. I’m stoked and imagining the energy savings since we eat a lot of beans and they’re so much better cooked from dried beans rather than canned. Yay!
Now what of the crock pot? Well, it proved to be quite a worthy vessel for fermenting some sauerkraut! Since I only fairly recently started liking it having tasted some lovely fresh kraut from Pleasant Valley Farms in LaConner. Canned sauerkraut just doesn’t evoke or inspire so it’s just always been off my menu. Who knew it could be so good?
And who knew it could be so easy? I fermented it on the counter for a few days short of a week and then plunked it into jars and the refrigerator for safe-keeping.
I guess I won’t have to pay $8/lb. for it at the co-op’s deli case anymore which will leave that much more budget for Peppadews! Okay, not local, but oh so delicious.
Well, time to get ready for a Downriver trip and the Skagit Citizens for Electric Authority meeting tonight at the Burlington Public Library at 5pm. Hopefully I’ll have local corn to report on tomorrow!