Cottage Gardening forum: Piggy Party Time #25

 
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Mindy03
Jan 24, 2012 8:17 AM CST
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Morning Everyone.
Ella no worries about my box being late. It will get here just when I need it. Going through a bit of a rough patch right now.

Setting the piggies free to fly was a wonderful story as always Ella.

Now everyone better be getting their seed beds ready or they are going to have some upset seeds. They like to take naps and settle in their new homes don't you know?
Imagejoseph
Jan 24, 2012 8:59 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
starlight1153 wrote:Hey Joseph, was watching The Bachelor last night and they was all at think it was called State Park or maybe it was Park State Utah. Boy that was some lovely country. All those beautiful mountains covered in green and beautiful streams or small rivers. You anywhere near the place?


That type of terrain is always close by: About a mile horizontally and a mile vertically!!! So it takes about 10-20 miles to engineer a gentle enough slope to get a vehicle into those areas. That's where our irrigation water comes from.

To show you what I mean, here is a photo taken by my friends house. This was taken just at the end of our spring rains. All the green in the lower elevations will be burned up within 2 weeks and the stream will sink into the ground high up in the mountains before reaching the waterfall which only runs about 10 days each spring. I'm guessing the green you saw comes from the area near the red arrow.

Thumb of 2012-01-24/joseph/3e6b68
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
[Last edited Jan 24, 2012 9:08 AM CST]
Quote | Post #819596 (2)
ImageDayjillymo
Jan 24, 2012 9:22 AM CST
Name: Jill
NW Missouri
So glad to hear you are well and happy after the storms down your way Ella.

Your piggy pictorial recording the piggy boxes on their way to the Post Office was wonderful! Thanks for all the extra effort just to keep us piggies happy! My little piggy tail is twisted up into a knot trying to be patient waiting to see what is in my box. What a fun time this has been. I'm so glad I found this place! Group hug Hilarious!
Imagechelle
Jan 24, 2012 10:15 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
I had made this into a page to share, so it's kinda long.....but here ya go!


Herbed Vinegars


Making flavored vinegars from herbs harvested from your own garden is very easy, and so very tasty!

The best vinegars to use are -

Red wine vinegar - Attractive color; mildly gusty.

White wine vinegar - Nearly clear; very delicate flavor.

Rice vinegar - Very subtle flavor.

Champagne vinegar - I haven't found this one locally here, but it's touted to be similar to white wine vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar - Pretty, light brown coloring; strong flavor of apples.

Malt vinegar - I haven't made an herbal vinegar with this one yet, but I like it on fish and chips! Very powerful scent and strong flavor.

White distilled vinegar should be reserved for very strong or hot compositions as its flavor can be a bit overpowering to your final product.

If you are planning on giving some of your flavored vinegars away as gifts or you place high emphasis on a visually pleasing end product you'll want to boil your chosen vinegar for just about three minutes to sterilize it. If you skip this step, your vinegar may appear cloudy after a few months in storage.



Herbs

------ Please practice safety first! ------Never harvest and consume any plant unless you know it's safe to eat! ------


You can use fresh or dried herbs, but by far the better choice is fresh from your garden. Choose a day after a rain or rinse the chosen herbs the day before you plan to harvest them. Rinsing them after they're picked will lessen their flavor content. Pick them in the late morning when they are dry, but preferably before they get hot from the sun.

Pull pieces of leaves off of them stems and add them to whatever jar you've decided to use. You can recycle old mayonnaise and mustard jars, use jelly jars or do what I like to do and use the bottles the vinegars are packaged in.

Pour vinegar over the herbs and cover. You may begin checking the flavor after a few days. However, I just let mine sit for at least three weeks before using to allow the flavors enough time to slowly steep from the herbs. I like mine strong, but if you like a more delicate flavor simply remove the herbs from the bottle once the desired taste is reached. Pouring this mix over a bit of cheesecloth is helpful if you'd like to strain out all of your steeping herbs.
If giving as a gift - after straining, add a whole sprig of the herb to the jar for increased visual appeal.

Mix and match your own concoctions of herbs and spices - whatever sounds good to you.

One of my favorites is Rosemary, Tarragon & Chives - with a Nasturtium flower for added color.

-Two sprigs of Rosemary
-Two sprigs of Tarragon
-As much chopped Chives as will fill about half of your container - they have a subtle flavor in vinegar.
-One Nasturtium bloom, pick a color that goes well with your chosen vinegar's color.

Remember that any added ingredient is entirely optional - if you're short on Nasturtium blooms or Chives, simply leave them out. Add Peppercorns or Garlic cloves, whatever you'd like!

Have fun with these easy, and yummy treats! Your flavored vinegars will keep indefinitely - I prefer to store mine out of direct sunlight so the colors don't fade.


chelle

September 7, 2010.
Imagesassafrass
Jan 24, 2012 10:21 AM CST
Name: Sass
up North, just yonder a ways
A Charley's Gal, YES I BE !!
I hate to ask but feel I must... what do you use these types of vinegars for? The only vinegars I've ever used were Apple Cider & White distilled... Blinking please help me I feel there is a whole new world out there I need to be enlightened on Whistling
ImageJonnaSudenius
Jan 24, 2012 10:24 AM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Star, your ride to the PO was a pleasure to read and see!
ImageSorellina
Jan 24, 2012 10:32 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao Ella-

Thank you so much for your wondeful Piggy Box to the Post Office Story with all of the great photos. That takes some time to put together. I don't think there's a person who participates in this wonderful swap you've created who doesn't feel the huge amount of love you have for us all. Thank you so very much and I'm very glad to know that you took precautions and are all safe and sound at home now. I'm sure it's a load off your mind that the parcels are out the door, but now the waiting starts. For me, I know I'll be one of the very last to get my parcel, but it's a good practice in patience.

I guess now is a time to relax for a couple seconds, have that coffee and then make a plan for reclaiming your house!

Group hug
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagechelle
Jan 24, 2012 10:54 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Sass,

You can use these in any way you'd normally use a vinegar.

Food uses -

They're great as a meat and vegetable marinade.

Wonderful on otherwise blah, wintertime green salads.

Pasta salads are especially yummy with herbed vinegars.

Fried or baked potatoes are enhanced with an herbal vinegar and perhaps a splash of olive oil. (Back in the days when I was overweight, I lost almost 50 pounds eating as many baked potatoes and veggies flavored this way as I could eat!)


Non-food uses -

Skin toner

Bath additive to normalize skin PH.

Scalp and hair tonic, used as a rinse.

Furred house pets, as a rinse for dry, itchy skin.

Natural laundry softener.


I'm sure there's a lot more uses that I've missed here, but this'll give you an idea. Smiling


ImageSorellina
Jan 24, 2012 11:04 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao Chelle-

The one vinegar base you left out was White Balsamic. I use this one with herbs combined with fruit - one of our favourites is Blackberry and Lemon Thyme. We have a huge Oregon Thornless Blackberry hedge that is hugely prolific in a good year. Last year, we got heat and drought at the time it should have been setting fruit, so we didn't get tubs and tubs and tubs, but enough for baking and canning.

I use the more savoury vinegars like Nasturtium and Tarragon with potato salad or coleslaw made without mayonnaise. I use Lime Basil Vinegar extensively with Asian dressings and Mexican marinades like for fajitas. Oregano Vinegar is used for Greek Salad and Thyme Vinegar for fresh green salad dressings. Duane is the green salad dressing concoctor and he puts some of my homemade jams and jellies sometimes, sometimes a little bit of his hot pepper powders, and the herbal vinegars. Pretty much the only thing not from the garden is the oil. Sadly, olive trees don't grow in my zone. Thumbs down

On a side note, when making flower infusions like the Nasturtium Vinegar, watch what happens when you pour the hot vinegar over the flower petals. All of the pigments are extracted into the vinegar and the petals that are strained out have no colour at all. It's kitchen magic! It would be a fun chemistry introduction for young kids. I know Tristan loved that kind of stuff, still does.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagechelle
Jan 24, 2012 11:23 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Thanks, Julianna!

When I get finished potting up these new semp babies, I'll add it. What do you usually put in with it - mint, maybe? Have you ever tried lemon zest in a vinegar?
ImageSorellina
Jan 24, 2012 11:38 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
The White Balsamic? I put Lemon Thyme and Blackberries, that's it. When I make vinegars, I heat the vinegar (just until small bubbles form - you're making an infusion, not a decoction, which is way stronger) and then pour over the herbs. With the blackberries, though, I add them with the vinegar because I typically use ones that I've frozen first. I strain the blackberries out after macerating them in the vinegar to extract as much fruit as possible. I've never put lemon zest in. The Lemon Thyme has quite a strong lemony flavour all on its own.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 24, 2012 11:47 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Well, I'll be. Lots of new things to learn today. Gonna have to try and make some of these vinegars. They sound interesting.

If your adding things like the blackberries or such , how long are they good for?

IMPORTANT!!!!!!

Andi and Mindy.. I heaqding to Po in about an hour. They closed for lunch right now. In a minute will send you your confirmation numbers. Again, I apologize for missing ya.


Sorellina.. Nope you may be one of the last piggies to arrive, but I the very last one. I don't get mine til everybody else has their's. Seems rude like eating before offering your company something first, so I just wait. Hopefully the service will be quick for you and the other two long haulers.
ImageRickCorey
Jan 24, 2012 12:19 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
Sandy and Alana:

I'll be right there! I just have pick up a few more cases of these good PNW beers ...

I love the piggy-bar photo. Hope you don;t mind if I save it for next year.

Ella, I can't imagine having my oinks in front of me and not looking! You have some great will power there.

I'm already thinking ahead to coming home from work The Day The Box Arrives. My cat will go crazy if I don't feed him right away, but once I get my snout into the box, I won't come up for air for hours. Do I have enough mental fortitude to hold off on opening the box for two whole minutes??



Thumb of 2012-01-24/RickCorey/452fd2 Thumb of 2012-01-24/RickCorey/2ea1f2 Thumb of 2012-01-24/RickCorey/bcda5a
ImageSorellina
Jan 24, 2012 12:36 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao Ella-

Because it's vinegar, the pH is low enough even with the fruit to last indefinately on the shelf. I've not had a batch go bad on me.

That's right, you're last and knowing that helps me with my own patience. If you can do it, so can I.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagejoseph
Jan 24, 2012 1:22 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

In addition to selecting plants that thrive with my climate, bugs, soil, etc... I am also adapting them to thrive with my personality and habits: How I weed. Plant spacing. Seeding depth. Scheduling. Tools I use for planting. How I prepare the soil. How I harvest. etc.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 24, 2012 2:03 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Joseph.... Still think it some beautiful landscape. I love big open spaces and fresh air and where the land is diverse. Where if you want mountains you can go to a mountain or if you want to relax, find even a small little stream to cool off by.

You guys are all so bad. So many things to learn and to try and just not enough hours in the day to try and do them all. Up the road from me is a wine drinker. Think the wine bottles could be used to store of of the herbal vinegars and such in and could I just cork them or would I have to find some sort of seal.

Julianna, thing of it is I get so busy with seed in my stock that by the time ya all get yours, I forget about mine until next swap comes around sometimes. Maybe I will find it come July or august so this year I starting some stuff that couldn't get to from last year.

Quoting:Corey.. Do I have enough mental fortitude to hold off on opening the box for two whole minutes??


Nope I don't think ya do. Just hope poor kitty gets feed before ya discover your box or it could be days before it sees food again. Hilarious!
Imagerisingcreek
Jan 24, 2012 2:32 PM CST
Name: kacee
southern california
chelle:
you said:
Fried or baked potatoes are enhanced with an herbal vinegar and perhaps a splash of olive oil. (Back in the days when I was overweight, I lost almost 50 pounds eating as many baked potatoes and veggies flavored this way as I could eat!)

wow, this is great ! hope it works as well for me, i have added quite a few pounds since the weather turned cold.
kc


Imagerisingcreek
Jan 24, 2012 2:34 PM CST
Name: kacee
southern california
me before the swap:


Thumb of 2012-01-24/risingcreek/a0e01d
Imagerisingcreek
Jan 24, 2012 2:35 PM CST
Name: kacee
southern california
me after the swap

:Thumb of 2012-01-24/risingcreek/e58dfa
Imagesassafrass
Jan 24, 2012 3:04 PM CST
Name: Sass
up North, just yonder a ways
A Charley's Gal, YES I BE !!
thank you for the great tips on vinegars.. will have to give them a try.

loving the porker piggy pics Lovey dubby

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