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4/11/16

Off Grid Modern Prefab House Continues Spring With Solar, Sun and Snow and Chicks!

Solar panel adjustments.
Pip 2 is taking my picture while they're doing all the hard work!

At the off grid modern prefab house, it was time to lower the solar panels for the season.
In fall, we raise the panels to best face the lower winter sun; in spring, they are lowered to better catch the rays of the sun's higher position.

The passive solar design of our off grid modern home is always easily seen, indoors, even on cloudy days: 
And so the week continued.

Good morning. Here's one way to wake up, here:
'Round these parts, you've got to stay on yer toes, because spring in Virginia can be squirrely.
Ah, spring! One minute you're mesmerized as a new Momma Hen teaches her babies to scratch...
...and the next, it's snowing.
Then it's beautiful...
...and then it hails.
Stormy...
...lovely. Geez.

With this fickle weather, we're enjoying the last of cook stove season...
And, being rural, had the occasional country traffic jam:
Here I am stuck in Mad'ville traffic AGAIN!

But it t'ain't no thang, we're all headed to the same place:
THE ANNUAL AMISH AUCTION!
Following photos by my friend C!
 
With the weekend socializing done, the remaining hours were for work.
After weeks of working on it, Handsome Husband got the new tractor to run!
What'z up with our family having ginormous dogs yet eensy tractors? All our farmer friends are amused. : )
After a walk, Pip 2 returned with fiddlehead ferns which she promptly put on the kitchen counter with an expectant look, so fiddleheads were incorporated into what I was already cooking for dinner, with great success.
Sweet potatoes, fiddleheads, steak with roasted onions, and
cucumber salad. It was a late late dinner so the
picture didn't turn out great but it was delicious!

Recipes:
  • Sweet Potatoes With Fiddleheads: Bake sweet potatoes until done, then slice 1/2" thick and lightly fry in a tasty grease like chicken grease (left over from when I made fried chicken this week!). Sautee well fiddleheads in butter, serve alongside or on top of sweet potatoes.
  • Cucumber Salad: Layer: thinly sliced cukes, drizzle with onion slices, raw sugar, rice vinegar, Amish hot relish, salt, pepper in a non-reactive container. Seal and gently toss, then let set at least 2 hours, tossing gently every now & then.
  • Another Kale Salad: The next day, shred kale, toss in any remaining sweet potato slices, now diced, a perfectly ripe avocado, and homemade thousand island. I'd even top with roughly chopped almonds or sunflower seeds if I had thought of it, but I hadn't had my coffee yet, and I'm probably the only one here that thinks this is a perfect breakfast. Homemade Thousand Island: I mix mayo, ketchup, sriracha or Amish hot relish, and lots and lots of minced Amish sweet pickles (which come with onions in them too).
  • Easy Fried Chicken: You know what's great in which to fry chicken? COCONUT OIL. So mix up a batter of eggs, salt, pepper, flour, & sriracha with enough milk until it's the right consistency, dip in chicken pieces, and fry away.

    I served it up with collards (cooked with pieces of a neighbor's ham), fresh bread, and really good butter.
Reading Club:
  • The Curse of the Bradford Pear
    "...No two Bradford pears will ever reproduce among themselves, but they do cross pollinate with every other pear tree out there, including the Cleveland Select pear trees that were meant to be the salvation of flowering pears everywhere.
    ...
    Because of the cross pollination problem, pear trees have now proliferated exponentially across our environment. And, to make matters worse, the evil offspring has reverted to the ancient Chinese Callery pears which form impenetrable thorny thickets that choke out the life out of pines, dogwoods, maples, redbuds, oaks, hickories, etc."
Hope y'all have a great week.

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