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4/8/12

Expected And Unexpected Guests. The Passive Solar Prefab House Heads Through Spring.


Not much happened in terms of passive solar off grid prefab house progress- next week electric resumes, but for now? Friends visited from Germany, and at Higher Ground, we worked on off grid solar fencing. And the chicken pen. And planted a HECK of a lot more of later-than-we-would-like potatoes.



Expected Guests
So our friends came all the way from Germany, and without apologies, this is what I served a visiting German judge and corporate lawyer guests for dinner.
Frito Pie. Ohhhh, yes.
From http://pinterest.com/pin/62487513549896109/
Okkkay, I organic-ized it, but still... You want "American-a" when you come here? You gotz it.

I made it up to them by serving this pasta alfresco the next day, with the spring garden in glorious bloom...

You might remember our guests' visit last year - a visiting European Judge and Corporate Lawyer who specifically requested, on their vacation, to attend the Businesses For Chickunz Breakfast... They were fascinated by the issue: "We Vould Never Dee-ny A Basic Food Right, Are You Not Ze Land Of Ze Free?"

What. YOU LOOKIN' AT *ME?*

As lawyers interested in the legality issue that is bequeathed most elsewhere, bemused, they asked again, a year later:
"And Vhat is Richmond doing to chickenzzzz now?"
#ShameOnYourZoningRVA

But good news! Good news! This year, Richmond city finally turned a corner, and during their visit!
We were even able to pop champagne.And joked that, returning to Europe, their friends would ask,
"And what did you see on your vacation?"
And the judge and lawyer would answer, "Zoning."

Consider forwarding your officials today's Times-Dispatch editorial discussing Richmond's Food Policy Task Force-

"...Letting residents keep a couple of chickens in the backyard is also reasonable."  

And the next day? 
Raising CHICKUNZ in Richmond is top topic :


AND THEN?
Richmond's Food Security Council and CHICKUNZ on WRIR's Open Source!
[Happy *Birthday!* Open Source! We love WRIR!]
Subjects also include the Slave Trail & Art 180, topics of great interest!
Our segment starts at 35:50. : ) ]

[I'd really rather be talkin' architecture than
having to stump for some hens...]

Finally! Now I can go back to talkin' design & architecture! 
We still have work to do to help everyone, regionally, but finally, Richmond City got it.

[We're not re-inventing the wheel; just trying to catch up to sustainable zoning every other city has already embraced.]

After the weekdays with European guests, they departed onward, and we embraced a glorious spring Virginia weekend at the passive solar modern prefab house.

We biked and hiked the High Bridge Trail... the first weekend the bridge opened!


Then we headed to lunch, and fueled, laid out ideas for fencing... see, when we arrive more permanently, soon, we will also be moving six urban chickens, a feral cat, and an old, old getting-alzheimer's-ish dog. A discreet electric fence will help keep them safe, combined with a strong pen for the hens, for when we're away- so they can access grass and soil without being eaten. Hopefully. At least that's the idea.

We placed fence posts, the puppy tried to place us...
Forget it, kiddo.

The Unexpected Guest
We encountered an Elegant Lass.
In fact, WE have a stranger in our midst.
At first, we assumed she was Of The Neighbor S's.  Knowingly, we ignored her, hard.

But her posturing, and extremely pleasing-us genteel manners led us to wonder, as dusk led to dark, as she lay down outside our glass door, leaning against it, as we continued to steadfastly IGNORE her, then knowing any dog worth salt KNEW the coyotes were already agitated now, early in the low, full moon...

She curled up, back against OUR shelter, facing the wild...
I regarded her resolute curl against the door frame with infinite blackness surrounding her, still dainty, extremely polite... and that's when I wondered, "Well, wait a minute. She is pure black, which leads me to think she might be a purebred someone is missing. She is certainly an outdoor working dog. She's GREAT with children and dogs... so mannered, without residential manners... Maybe she's not Of The Neighbor S's. "

She was clearly A Lady Without Options.
And so the door to the passive solar prefab house opened, and she gratefully entered within.


And that's how Easter Weekend started.

Copeland's Thank Goodness It's Spring Pasta For A Crowd

Ideally it would be with my first garden peas and mint, but my mint never died back this winter and my peas have not yet sprung!
  • Linguine (I used 2 boxes, I have guests to feed)
  • Garlic, minced, 3-4ish cloves
  • 2 diced 1/2" Onions
  • Lots of fresh Mint, shredded
  • Peas (I used 1 medium bag as I had no fresh)
  • Lemon juice
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesean
  • Salt & Pepper
Heat water in a pot for pasta. In another pan, sautee garlic & onions in olive oil.  If using frozen peas, add them when the onions are soft -> getting brown on the edges; if using fresh, add them just a few minutes before you want to add everything else. Add pasta to water, cook al dente WHILE...:
Turn onions / garlic / peas often so they mix well... Everything else:  Turn off the heat. By now I hope you've had a glass of wine so you are Not Afraid Of The Lemon. Glug that stuff in. It's spring! You're adding pasta! And ricotta! It will be more delicate than you think! Glug! Ok. Now fold in at least half of the ricotta. Sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Add some parmesan. Now add the pasta and you better not have overcooked it! Now add in the mint, more parmesan, a little more ricotta if it doesn't seem nice & cheesy enough (What. Like I'm supposed to know how much pasta you used.), more pepper.

Serve immediately, garnished with a mint leaf.
Go out in the garden and eat, admiring the lilacs, fruit trees, and azaleas in bloom.


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3 Comments:

At 4/9/12, 2:05 PM , Blogger Justin said...

Um, okay, so where is Dainty Farm Dawg now? Did you leave her there?

 
At 4/9/12, 4:21 PM , Blogger Copeland Casati said...

Dainty Stray Dawg is currently enrolled at Camp Casati Finishing School. : )

We posted on the local Craigslist, left signs at the two local country stores, and left a voice message for animal control with our contact information.

If, after a week, she is not reclaimed, we will rehome her.

In the meantime, she is learning new tricks and being de-ticked by Pipsqueak 1 and Pipsqueak 2!

 
At 4/23/12, 1:35 PM , Blogger Copeland Casati said...

UPDATE: Bella was adopted!!!!!!

 

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