Garden · Life

A Week or Two in Pictures (3/27-4/10)

I’m starting this post out with a picture of my lovely girls enjoying a treat block. That block sure didn’t last long but we had fun watching them attack it! I like to give them a treat every now and then. Usually we just let them feast on the scraps we throw out from our chicken (ends of cucumber, carrot peels, etc) in addition to the layer pellets/corn we toss out.

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I planted an Ichiban eggplant in my garden bed. I love eggplant though and hope to pick up at least another variety to add to my bed. A great way to use up eggplant is to make Baba Ghanoush – it is delicious!

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My pineberries are looking good in my garden bed. Thankfully the recent burst of cold weather did not phase them as I see little berries forming! I’m awaiting on some Old North Sea strawberry plants to arrive from Baker Creek seeds any day.

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We potted up a bunch of plants for the front porch. One contains herbs I started last year (lemongrass, chives, thyme, parsley), one contains violas, two contain a mixture of Rainbow Chard and Brussels Sprouts. There’s a rosemary lurking in the back (along with my Belle watching me from inside the house, she’s never far from me). The red pot and the pot in the middle contain shallots that I got from my grandfather’s house – apparently they’ve been passed down for a few generations!

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On these pretty evenings, we’ve been working with the dogs a lot more than usual. It helps Belle run off some energy and it helps Jake (Robb’s dog) stay in shape for when duck hunting season rolls around.
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The peach tree (located within our chicken coop) is doing fabulous. I’m glad that the cold weather didn’t damage it either. I love a fresh, juicy peach picked while still warm from the sun.

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My comfrey is rocking it! I like to use it in products that I make for The Southern Belle’s Garden. In fact, most of the herbs I use I actually grow myself.

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We went for a walk on Sunday. Robb wanted to check on a couple of potential turkey hunting spots. Though he really didn’t see what he was looking for, we did spook up a couple of deer and I found my first ever shed antler! Okay, so really Robb found it but only because he was walking in front of me!

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All in all, it’s been a good couple of weeks! The next few weeks will fly by though and I don’t know how many pictures I’ll be able to snag! I enjoy letting you all have these little peeks into my life (plus it helps me remember to jot down information in my garden journal) and I hope you enjoy them as well!

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Food · Garden · Life · Uncategorized

A Week or Two in Pictures (3/12 – 3/27)

We started the week off with a gorgeous – HUGE – full moon.

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After a bout of cool weather, Spring hit and the temperatures have been lurking somewhere about the 50-60° range. It’s been so warm that I’ve moved my seedlings outside along with my citrus trees.

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One of my lemon trees has been doing especially well and is covered with sweet smelling blooms. I attempted to hand pollinate some of the blooms but after moving it outside, I’m hoping that the bees will take over the job for me. I just realized yesterday that I had an orange tree. My citruses were all left at mom’s for the year or so I was transitioning to Robb’s house and included a lime tree. One tree died and I was so certain it was the orange. I was sad to discover that it was my lime!

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Robb and I went down to the beach last weekend and had a great time, depsite the rain. We ate at Two Roads Tavern, picked up donuts from Duck Donuts, and had a fun time at the Manteo Aquarium. For more of a recap and a review of Two Roads Tavern, visit The Edible Coast.

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This past Sunday was a great day for outside chores. We messed with the chicken coop (the chickens received new straw under the coop and new pine shavings inside of the coop), planted Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts, and generally enjoyed the good weather.

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Our newest chicken, Ipsy, is the chicken on the left hand side (below photo). She is a Silver Laced Wyandotte and as you can see, she is missing quite a few feathers on her backside from an overzealous rooster. Since I’ve brought her home, she has already put on a little more weight and I can see feathers starting to grow back.

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The straw from the chicken coop gets put into the garden to give the plants an extra boost.

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We officially listed our house for sale! We are going by the route of “for sale by owner” and I am confident that I can get the house sold. We are determined to move forward with finding a place with more space so we can grow our homestead.

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I tried to get a nice picture with Belle as we were all relaxing on Sunday, this is the one that came out the best. She saw the camera and just started acting like a diva.

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I decided to make fish tacos on Sunday, so I made a fresh pico de gallo. Unfortunately none of the produce was from our garden but hopefully the next time I make it – it will have all homegrown items (except for lime… sadly).

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Our delicious Alaskan halibut tacos with cilantro, pico de gallo, coleslaw, and a lime crema. What a great end to a busy weekend!

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Garden · Life · Uncategorized

A Week or Two in Pictures (3/4 – 3/12)

The past couple of weeks have been busy! The weather has been halfway decent (up until this week) so Robb and I were able to get out in the yard. In between our yard work and housework, we made it a point to go see “Logan” in theaters (review) and I was able to make a pie in honor of Pi Day (recipe).

Since I love looking at pictures more than reading text sometimes, I thought I would make this primarily a photo post!

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Robb readied his part of the garden for broccoli and kale which we planted Saturday afternoon (I think).
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Broccoli plugs purchased from a local small business – they had just arrived that day and looked so nice and fresh.
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I started my pepper plants back in February – they are looking so good! I’ve never had such a high germination rate for peppers.
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My slightly messy looking beds – garlic is planted in one, onions in the other. The dogs, for some reason, like walking through my beds the most.
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Belle making sure I don’t go anywhere with her moose.
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I got up close and personal with my girls.
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I was gifted with 4 duck eggs at the Edenton Farmer’s Market. I’ve never cooked with duck eggs before but am debating a nice cake or custard maybe.

One thing not pictured is the new chicken I picked up on Saturday. She’s a Silver Laced Wyandotte (I named her Ipsy) that’s just starting to lay. She has a huge bald spot on her back from being bullied but I know that her feathers will grow back soon. She’s still checking things out in the coop but so far, everyone is getting along decently well. I’ll post of picture of her soon, once the weather warms up again and I can spend more time in the coop.

Holiday · Recipe · Uncategorized

A Pi Day Recipe: Berry Crumb Pie

It’s Pi day! Get it? March 14 – 3.14? No? Hmm.

Moving on. Pie is one of my boyfriend’s favorite desserts so what better way to celebrate Pi day than to bake him a pie? Regardless of what he might say, I am not good at making pies and often wonder why his favorite dessert couldn’t be something like brownies – a dish that I can knock out of the park.

But being that I love him, this is the 3rd pie that I’ve made for 2017. The first was a lovely berry pie with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The second was a lemon meringue pie (using fresh meyer lemons) that nearly kicked my butt.

That lemon meringue pie was a mess. My meringue fell, twice, because I got distracted when I dumped out half of my pie as I tried to readjust it in the oven (note to self: always place your pie on top of a baking sheet). I threw a hissy fit, threatened to the pie in the trash, but still continued to cook it. I never tried the pie but Robb said it was delicious.

I went simple with this pie. I have a freezer full of frozen fruit that I need to start utilizing so I decided to make him another berry pie (which I think is his favorite kind of pie) with a crumb topping. I ended up going with a mixture of red currents, strawberries, and blueberries.

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Berry Crumb Pie

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

Filling

  • 4 cups of thawed berries (drain off some of the juice)
  • ¾ cup sugar (I used Florida Crystals Organic Pure Cane Sugar)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

Topping

  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine your fruit with granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Pour into pie shell.
  2. Combine brown sugar, rolled oats, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly Spread the topping evenly over the pie filling.
  3. Place on foil-lined baking sheet in lower third of oven. Bake until fruit bubbles and crust browns, approximately 1 hour. If topping begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool.

Did you celebrate Pi day?

Food

Meal Plan in Review 02/12-02/18

Last week on my Instagram account, I posted a glimpse of my meal plan for February 12-18th. I thought that it would be fun to take a look back and see if I stuck to my meal plan or if I deviated from it.

This week's meal plan featuring @papajohns & @plated

A post shared by Emily Rena Elliott (@emielli5) on

The purpose of planning out my dinners for the week was to eliminate some of the last minute indecisiveness that leads to poor food choices,  to better utilize what it already in my pantry/freezer and to narrow down what I actually purchase from the grocery store.

Overall, we did poorly at sticking to our plan this week. Robb and I both came down with a cold that lingered (and still lingers) for days, leaving us without energy and really without an appetite.

Sunday – We ordered Papa Johns pizza on Sunday. Papa Johns is sort of our monthly treat [Canadian bacon, pineapple, roma tomatoes, and sometimes mushrooms and olives on Robb’s half]

Monday – While I ended up doing country-fried steak this day instead of chicken-fried steak, I did stick mostly to my meal plan for this day, though Robb asked if I could hold off on making the pie until he would actually be able to taste it. It’s in the oven now and smells amazing!

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Tuesday – We did end up having leftovers so this was a win!

Wednesday – Robb’s cold was kicking his butt on Wednesday. I ended up making the Plated: Mediterranean Burgers with Harissa Aioli and Carrots Fries for me but made him a simple bowl of chicken ramen with peas and carrots. [Plated is one of those meal delivery kits.]

Thursday – Wanting something warm and comforting, Robb made a stew of sorts with chicken, potatoes, onions, broth, corn, peas, and dumplings. It was the perfect thing to help combat the crud.

Friday – I didn’t use my other Plated meal. Instead we were bad. I didn’t feel like cooking, Robb didn’t feel like cooking, so we picked up sandwiches from a local restaurant, came home, and watched Netflix. It was a good night though and after dosing myself with Nyquil, I was asleep by 7:30.

Saturday – Robb had purchased Barbeque Chicken plates from a local fire department so we had those Saturday night. They were DELICIOUS! Well worth the $8 per plate and we enjoy supporting our community.

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I have my meal plan for this current week ready to go but may or may not post it as 3 days this week will be leftovers/on-your-own due to our work schedules. My main goal now is to cook as much from the freezer as we can. Doing a quick evaluation today, we have a lot of frozen produce that needs to used before this growing season starts.

Do you try to plan out your meals each week? How do you stick to your plan?