"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonderful Holiday Season

Since Thanksgiving its been so very busy for me like everyone. And I'm way behind on Plant Camp : (. I'll get er started back up the New Year. So let me share some updates here in the woods.
Snow, not deep but wonderful snow.

I hope it stays and more added for Christmas. I love the stuff.

Thanksgiving was great, for the first time I didn't cook it. DD made a wonderful dinner with so much goodies. This trading homesteads is working out very well. I get more time with the kiddies and really enjoy that valuable time with them and eat good to boot : ).

Putting up the Christmas tree and bringing out all the sentimental ornaments, decorating the cabin, the smell of pine and on the woodstove a pot of cinnamon simmering. Hot cocoa and candy canes. Christmas programs and family gatherings. An sitting back and watching the woods for a critter to walk through and lots of different birds. Yes its a wonderful season.

Hubby and I celebrated our 31 Anniversary this month, wow it seems like yesterday when we met , actually in the woods. I was living in the woods at the time, in a little cabin I built next to a creek. The main cabin where my folks, sister and our workroom was up on the hill. I loved it but still I wanted a family.
You know it was hard to find good men or any man for that matter : / in the sticks so I did the best thing, I prayed for a mate and sure enough God provided one for me and my future husband came walking through the woods. We dated a couple of times with some neighbor friends and in a couple of months we knocked on the preachers door and wed. I was 27 and he was 32.
We were blessed with three beautiful children of strong faith and now our basket is overflowing with beautiful healthy grandkiddes. A homestead to raise our family that continues to grow.
I loved my little cabin in the woods by the creek and low and behold I have once again a cabin by the creek.
My prayers were answered way more then I prayed for. Thank you Lord Jesus for all your Blessings and many more to come.
The Christmas Season is here and like always I'm behind in the shopping. Its hard when one does not like to shop , so I do this when I can squeeze in some time in town between client appointments. Kiddies will be the most important to shop for, clothes mostly and we'll have a very small gift exchange with us older folks. It will be a game of sort with seeing and taking. Theres a limit of $5 or $10, we haven't decided yet. The cheaper ones seem to be the most fun.

So this Christmas it will be over the river and through the woods to grandkiddies house we go. So different but so wonderful .

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Many Blessings to you all

tc linda

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dutch Oven Cook'n

Last weekend I tried out my newly season camp ovens/Dutch ovens. They are the ones that have three legs and a lid that you put coals on top for an even bake in the fire pit.

I've been building up the garden with compost and also bits of chard wood. Its very good for your garden, along with ash but not to much ash. Chard wood does a whole new thing to your garden. I first heard about the ancient ways of gardening called Terra Preta, its adding biochar as an amendment to your garden soil;

Get some time check this out http://www.philipcoppens.com/terrapreta.html.

So in my garden I'm making little burn spots , cook my food cover the fire with soil to burn out and not have to move it from firepit to garden. So I also started two biochar as well as cook our meal .

I made two dishes one a chicken in wine and another is ,oh boy peach cobbler.

I don't drink wine mostly because it makes my nose numb and I get really sleepy but I've been hearing how good it is to cook with so I gave it a shot and yum yum was the chicken tasty. Such a different flavor this wine gave the chicken.

Here is the cheap bottle of wine I got , I'm sure not a wine connoisseur so I just went by the pretty label, thought it looked good with all the leaves falling.

Well they say to cook with wine that you like so hubby and I had a sip

I didn't care for it but hubby did. I like coffee :)

So cooking the chicken in the pot tell brown, I only used half a chicken breast b/c I didn't know how this was going to go.

Then the chopped onions cooked a little. I cooked both the chicken and the onions using the chicken skin for fat , then removed . Worked out good.

After adding the chicken back into the oven w/ the onions I added the wine and pulled off the fire to simmer with just a few coals underneath of the oven.

No need for putting coals ontop of this dish. Simmering in the garden

I checked and tasted and knew this was going to be good.

Now while the chicken was cooking I worked on the peach cobbler and had that on another little firepit.

Peach cobbler cooking, almost done

On this dish I put coals on the top to make it more like a oven ad get that nice brown on top.

Ta Da!! Its done, a little to brown on the bottom , but not to bad for first time, yum

I also tossed on a couple of potatoes and an onion wrapped in foil. Slice those taters in almost half and pry open and tuck in some butter, sprinkle with pepper. The onion quartered, add sugar and butter. Oh these have a smell that will make the wood critters go crazy. Yum good! Just toss em in the coals and check with fork.

Dinner, hubby and I ate outside, it was a beautiful fall day and dinner was delis

Cup of peach cobbler, oh this was good

Thoughts on camp cooking and cooking with wine. I loved it. Food is always good cookedoutside.

I did do a little over cooking aka burnt on taters and cobbler, but still was able to eat.

I would do a cooking in wine again using different wines. I love cooked onions and the onions did not have a good flavor but the chicken was excellent. So its experimenting with this dish.

I used a simple cobbler recipe and very easy . If you need recipe let me know , most your cookbooks have cobbler recipes. So nothing fancy with this one , just turn out very good.

I thought I'd do a cookout this weekend but my workshop has been going non stop, getting out some Thanksgiving rush jobs out. I'll get a left over turkey recipe and make a dish , oh turkey pot pie in the Dutch oven sounds good to me.

I would like to hear your thoughts on cooking with wine. Got a good dish to share.

Doesn't need to have wine, so share those Dutch Oven recipes.

Thanks for stopping by , have a great week coming up !

tc linda

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plant Camp Monday's

I'm still working decorating with the orange colors. I don't know but as soon as the spooky holiday is over all the beautiful fall decorations are piled in a cart and ready to get rid of. Seems our wonderful Thanksgiving holiday is getting skipped over more and more.

I want this holiday to stretch out for a long time. I'm not ready for Red and Green yet , I still want orange, corn stalks, mums and pumpkins.

I also like to take the long country roads home and drive slow and see if I can find an ol fence loaded with bittersweet. Love to take clippings. Haven't done that for a long time sense there's bittersweet growing in the woods over at our other homestead.

Heres a pic of some I gather a couple of Autumns ago for decorations

The berries are reddish orange and then when cut they open to a beautiful bright orange very pretty.

I had heard somewhere that you can drink a tea made form them but also heard they are poisonous, so I'll just use as a decoration for now.

Heres some other pictures and also a link for some info on the plant. I haven't thoroughly read all the link so it might have some info on making a tea from the plant or some medical uses.



So do you have this growing on your homestead? Are you like me and want the Fall colors to stay around longer : )

Have a great week and thanks for dropping by the camp.

tc linda

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seasoning the Irons

Last weekend while out burning brush and doing some garden cleaning and harvesting I decided I need to get those two camp ovens season, some call them Dutch Ovens. I have both types, two with legs and about three w/out legs. And oh my cast iron skillets. I love cooking from them and they have had years of seasoning.

One is a big 20 inch skillet that has been on many a fishing camp trips. And I still use when I', fix'n a big dinner for the family. I remember when we first moved to the woods that I made my uncle a pancake right out on the campfire.

He was expecting several pancakes and he's a big fellow and I thought I'll be cooking all day to fill him up. So I poured and poured the batter while he was watching and filled the skillet full to the edges. I was surprised myself when it was time to flip over, I made it, all in tack. Served him up on a much smaller plate with a flapjack over flow. He still remembers to this day and will bring it up once in awhile

On our last trip I took along a smaller skillet and we made our breakfast out on the firepit. All so good and jsut adds more seasoning plus it still has the smell of our last camp trip. I love that smell.

Now these camp stoves this weekend I was thinking of jsut using the oven inside to season and you can do that but I wanted to see how tossing them in the firepit would work. It worked out perfect and they both seasoned out nice for the first time.

These camp ovens are ready for the peach cobbler that I'll be making this weekend. And maybe do another dish as well. You place the oven in the coals and put coals on top of the lid so it gets good and baked.
I'm going to go ahead and do a Camp Oven cooking on my blog with pictures and recipes. I have this Camp Cooking Book 100 years , recipes from the Forest Service. Lots of ol time pictures and great little short stories. I'll add a few little stories as well. Plus it will get me some good training in cooking in these camp ovens and Dutch Ovens.

Theres nothing like cooking outdoors. The smells and the food is just wonderful. It brings families together around the campfire and even in the winter with snow on the ground you can still make a fire and start cooking. So if you like cooking in your irons follow along because these irons are jsut as nice cooking inside and I do that all the time too.

Share some recipes of your own as well. We'll have fun on this camp cuz theres food : )
I'm home today , planning on heading into my workshop soon, but I'm so enjoying the leaves falling, hearing the squirrels running on the metal cabin roof gathering the falling acorns. Birds busy getting the little acorns and finding bugs before they head underground.
Garden is slowly going into a rest but still have fall cold crops hanging on.

Its a beautiful day.

tc linda

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Plant Camp Monday's

We are heading into one of my favorite holidays this month. Thanksgiving with family and friends. Lots of food and wonderful smells from the kitchen. My favorite is those orange dishes, pumpkin pie and candy yams. But lets talk about those pumpkins. I have a couple on my porch. I don't get into the spooky holiday and carve them but I do love the Autumn Harvest and leave them whole. They make a great decoration until I'm ready to open them up and roast the seeds, can even cook up the pumpkin too.

Heres a pic of some pears I picked and the pumpkins in the background.

I didn't grow pumpkins this year but planning on next season. Sis and I for the last couple of years have a pumpkin growing contest. See who grows the biggest pumpkin. Her idea the first year, I won, she forgot to plant the seeds. Last year she won, I forgot to plant my pumpkin seeds and this year nobody won we both forgot to plant. But wait tell next year : )

Heres some pic's from the pumpkins over at the old homestead.

The grandkiddies love the seeds roasted and my sister loves to make pumpkin bread. I like it all , the orange colors in the Autumn from all those pumpkin patches to the stacks of pumpkins at the grocery stores.

Heres a cute little pumpkin that we seen at Powells Gardens , a botanical garden that we live close by. We went on their pumpkin walk a week or so ago and seen all the artistic carved pumpkins all lit up. No spooky stuff just a nice walk in the dark.

This is a baby pumpkin thats potty trained.

So what do you do with your pumpkins after the spooky holiday?

Thanks for stopping by the camp , cool weather setting and we may have to light up the campfire. See ya next week.

tc linda

Monday, October 25, 2010

Plant Camp Monday's

Oh a little late getting back into the Plant Camp. But I'll get it started with all the beautiful fall colors of Chrysanthemum's also called Mums.

I love these beauties and each year and I can't wait tell they are along roadside stands, garden centers and even the grocery stores saying take me home. I always plant them along the gardens after the flowers are spent and see if they will grow back next spring and most the time they do. I'll pinch back the foliage until July to make sure I'll have a little fall color in fall.

Heres some Mum's I picked up this last weekend to give the porch a warm feeling and say fall is here.

The ones I got are garden mums and here's a link to how to grow.


Also some more Mum pictures , they are beautiful!

Mum Pictures

Chrysanthemum is from the Greek, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower).
The Chrysanthemum flower symbolizes fidelity, optimism, joy and long life.A red chrysanthemum conveys love
A white chrysanthemum symbolizes truth and loyal love
A yellow chrysanthemum symbolizes slighted love

Heres more interesting facts,
Chrysanthemum Facts

A Bit of Interesting "Mum" History, quoted :"It was way back in the year 1798 that chrysanthemums were first introduced to North America from Europe. After the official Chrysanthemum Society of America was founded, their first exhibition of mums was held in 1902. Research shows that mums were prevalent at least 2,500 years ago, and that mum festivals are still celebrated every fall in Japan. A chrysanthemum festival highlighting the arts and culture of Japan was held at the famous Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1999. Longwood's gardeners grew and trained more than 20,000 mums inside this spectacular conservatory. During that festival, Japanese artisans demonstrated the art of making life-size dolls using the chrysanthemums grown in the Longwood conservatory. It is also notable that of more than 160 different species of mums, most of them are native to China, Japan, and Europe. "

So I hope you have a porch full of Mum's for your fall look. Its always great if the weather stays nice to carry the colors into Thanksgiving but sometimes thats pushing it. And sometime you just gotta buy that look alike that you never have to water or plant and can bring it out every year for the holiday seasons. I got a couple of fake decorations but I so love the real ones the best : )

Happy Fall at the Plant Camp

tc linda

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back From Trip

We got back first of the week and its so nice to be home. We had a super good time traveling some 11 states , seeing our new grandson, camping out next to alligators and bears , swimming in the Gulf of Mexico to climbing the mountains of the Great Smokey Mountains. It was great.

Started our road trip close to our neck of the woods, Missouri Ozarks, then further down south to Arkansas, Louisiana,Mississippi, Alabama, Pensacola Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,Illinois, and back home to Missouri.

Heres just a few of the close to 3000 pictures sis and I took. It was just three of us traveling on this trip, my hubby ,sister and I. Sis's hubby stayed home to turkey hunt , oh well he missed a good trip.

First the reason for our trip our sweet little grandson , he makes our 7th. This is our son's first baby and was so happy he was home from Afghanistan to see the birth. Our son is so cute to see him take care of his wife, our daughter in love and their little son. It was hard to leave but I', already planning another trip : ).

This little guy sleeps all the time and his folks say he does a little possum sleeping too. Hes a good baby and I love him so, wish they lived closer. TRIP TIME!

Louisiana we stopped at a park with this boardwalk it went all over with all these huge cypress trees in the water, it sorta looked like gator territory

Heres a pic of hubby and I in Mississippi next to the river.

Down in FL sis and I played in the cold water and looked for shells. I don't know why we were holding hands, maybe scared of sharks or something we were not sure of. We would have gone crazy if something big and unknown showed up.

We had a ten man tent for the three of us, we up it up take it down and agreed not to yell at each other , it worked good when we had a plan. Most the time we would have had a yelling match getting that house up.

We cooked out on the firepit and always had coffee going. A couple of stays in the alligator camp was something else. There were gator slide tracks all over and one by our tent. Sis and I would go out with flashlights to see if we could see one but no deal. But we knew they were there and I'm sure they seen us.

This camp ground was beautiful, the hiking trails looked like snow , the sand was so white. It also had lots of boardwalks running to the bay. one could rent canoes or kayaks to run the gator river. We almost did this, next time for sure.

Heres a gator foot print, it was very big.

The gator hiking trail

Alligator river, it looks like a small Amazon River

Heres a quick breakfast in North Carolina campsite, we were heading to the Smokies. This camp had hiking to Lake Fontana;

I took tons of tree pictures but not as many as baby pictures :)

We woke up to a foggy morning and oh was that pretty

Then on to the beautiful Smokies, oh my!

And here I am at one of the Appalachian Trails , unprepared for hiking to Maine that is for sure but we did go up a 6600+ ft. mountain, mostly driving but walked up to Clingmans Dome, huffing and puffing along with the hundreds of other ppl doing the climb.

So this is a pooped out picture of me , but someday I will walk that trail all the way from Georgia to Maine.

Theres so many more beautiful pictures I took and I hope to share in another blog or two later on.

Its great to get back home and I have my little mountain (hill) to look out in the woods and when the fog comes it reminds me of the Smokies. Even tho we hit 11 states it was jsut a drop in the bucket what we seen. We did so much in our week long trip and plan to do section hiking and sightseeing as we make more trips down to see our grandson.

Thanks for dropping by, Plant Camp will start up next week so see ya soon.

tc linda

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Plant Camp Monday's

If you put out a veggie garden you just gotta have the easy to grow Zinnias. They brighten up the all green garden, very easy to grow and last tell frost. They are annuals so you need to save the seeds alto I'm sure some come up voluntary. But for a for sure show save those seeds.

Heres a few that I have growing this season, but the green one I grew at the other homestead and its a favorite of mine, sorry I don't have the name so I'll jsut call it Green Zinnia.

They make great bouquets and the more you pick the more they grow

I didn't get all my seeds from saved seeds planted this spring, I have some that look like peppermint, red and white stripes. I plan on planting all my seeds nest spring before they get to old.

Did you know that the different colors of Zinnias mean different things ! And that the meaning of Zinnia itself is a symbol of lasting love, goodness, thoughts of an absent friend, constancy and daily remembrance of good memories. Now I know why I like this flower. : )

Yellow zinnia means daily remembrance, white zinnia represents goodness,scarlet zinnia represents constancy magenta zinnia flower is a symbol of lasting love and affection, while a mixed colored zinnia means thinking of an absent friend, this taken from my research.

Also found that the first Zinnias were found in the wilderness of Mexico in the 1500's. The emperor Aztec, named the Zinnias which meant "eyesore" because they were dull and unpleasant. But the common Zinnias of today are not so dull and is called the garden Cinderella because of all that the flowers level of transformation has gone through.

Zinnia angustifolia is one of the three wild Zinnia species that most of today's many varieties and hybrid strains come from.

Heres a link to some pretty Zinnias , notice the deep purple one with specks of green , very unusual.

I hope you grow this flower, kids love to pull em them and bring them in for mommy or grandma. I have rec many from my little loves and I don't mind them picking because they just keep on growing.

Thanks for stopping by the camp this week. I'll be taking a couple of weeks off, we had a brand new Grandson born yesterday and on my Moms 84 Birthday too! Mom was so excited to have a great grandson born on her B-day.

We'll be heading down to Florida to see him and give him a whole lot of hugs and kisses.

We decided to tent camp the whole time. Camping by the ocean too! Wind our trip in the Smokies on the way home and spend a night or two camping out and hiking. I'll be taking pictures of our visit and trip so until I get back you folks have a good one and see ya at the camp in a couple of weeks.
tc linda
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