Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kittens and Canning (no not at the same time!)

One of the "homeless" cats that hang around here showed up about a month ago all skinny and looking poorly.  Mushroom leaves food for her cat Groucho and Miss Kitty and for the neighborhood cats out so it has been dining here regularly.  It's an interesting looking cat and is part Abyssinian and has a bob tail. It has the skinny face and the high back legs of the Abyssinian breed.  And it is such a sweet little cat. " It" just happens to be a "she" cat who we have started calling  Bobby. (because of her tail) We found out yesterday one of the reason she has been looking so poorly (other than being homeless) is because she has kittens!  Three of them in fact!  They just appeared yesterday.  I love kittens!  There are two yellow tabby looking ones and one tortoise marked one.  All three of them have bobbed tails too! They are still pretty skittish so I haven't been able to get very close to them yet, but I'm working on it.  Pictures will be coming just as soon as I can snap one.  Those little suckers (get it... suckers.. hehe)  are freaking FAST!
The little garden is still looking good.  I hate to report that the blooms that were on the cucumbers were males.  What a fake out!   It's ok though because the plants are growing great.  The spaghetti squash is starting to vine and climb up the cage but there aren't any blooms yet.  We just might have spaghetti squash yet this year.  The yellow squash, on the other hand, is starting to bloom like crazy and there are tiny little babies all over it! 
The "magic" beans  are doing great. They are climbing like crazy!  The little tomato and pepper plants are coming along but as I said before, I doubt if they are going to do much before it gets too cool.   That's ok though, we knew the odds when we started them so if  they produce it will be like a bonus and there is always hope!
The basil is doing great but it doesn't look like any of the other herbs have really taken off.  I don't know if its the seed or just my inability to grow herbs.  I think it might be the seeds though because I used the same ones this spring and out of the four (of each) all of the basil came up, one sage plant came up, and 2 of the cilantro sprouted.  The germination  rate pretty much sucks for both of them.  Nothing is coming up this time except for the basil.  It is getting big. I just love the look of the plant.  They are sooo pretty. Since it is doing so well I thought I would try my hand at making pesto.  Does anyone care to share the how-to's for making pesto?  I've never tried it before but I figure as wonderfully as it is growing I might just give it a shot.  I know, I know, I could google it but I would rather try learning how-to from folks who have actually done it before!   First hand knowledge is so much better than google  any day of the week.

HerbalPagan asked me the other day if I would share the soap recipe I used for my first batch of soap.  I really like it because it lathers up nice and rinses clean.  Oh, and did I mention how great it makes your skin feel?  I'm not going to do a tutorial about soap-making just yet though because after all, it was just my first batch!  So here's the recipe I used.

Canolive II Soap
36 ounces canola oil (or you may substitute sweet almond, corn, peanut oil, or any blend of those oils if you'd like)
36 ounces olive oil
16 ounces coconut oil
24 ounces cold water
12 ounces lye crystals

Temperatures: 90-100 degrees
This soap has a very nice texture after 24 hours (cutting stage). I used the stick blender, so don't know how it will be with hand stirring. If you are not comfortable with the low water content, you could bump it up to 28 or 32 ounces, but I like the firmer bars that don't take as long to harden up.

I found this recipe over at Miller Homemade Soaps .  It's a great site and there are several other recipes there that I want to try as well. I do feel like I need to put out a warning here.  This soap contains lye. You run a risk of seriously hurting yourself if you aren't careful.  So if you decide to do this at home kiddies be sure to take ALL the proper precautions including wearing protective gear.

I've been thinking about what someone was saying about canning meat and have decided it is high time I got off my rear and tried it. No time like the present  right? And I have incentive as  chicken quarters are on sale. Anyway, I want to pick some up see how it goes. That and  today is the last day of the sale for the ice cream I've been wanting too so I need to get over there and either 1) pick up some or 2) grab a rain-check for it.
  Oh , and Small Farm Girl?  In answer to your question left in the comments yesterday, the answer is a big resounding NO.  And Hell hasn't frozen over  yet either!! LOL

                           ~~Hey... I'm Just Sayin...~~


  1. Hey...I'm just saying....hehehehehehe

  2. Usually first flushes of flowers for squash, cukes and the like are males. Rough theory behind it is to lure pollinators before putting bigger efforts into creating the females (which if not pollinated well would still use a lot of the plant's energy but not be as efficient in their efforts to create the next generation.)

    Love handmade soaps. Used to get some from Ozark Earth Soaps.. she made this blackberry sage soap that was amazing. Had family out to visit and no joke.. the rotten jerks stole my whole stash of that soap. It sounds like an odd combo.. but wow.. it was so good. Essential oil soaps don't scent things for long.. essential oils are so volatile. Although gently wrapped they are great to scent the linen closet.

  3. http://www.cuisine.com.au/recipe/home_made_pesto
    Pesto is really very easy and so yummy. You can make lots of varieties. it is lovely with spaghetti, gnocchi, on toast with fresh tomoto, salt and pepper, in a salad sandwich, on a pizza or baked potatoes.