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Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's bare root season

In case you haven't noticed as you were walking around your home improvement store of choice, the bare root trees and roses are in. They don't look like your typical tree or bush so you may walk right past them (I did and I was even looking for them!). Look for a stick coming out of a cylinder shaped plastic bag. They will probabaly be leaning against something since they don't stand on their own very well. Once you find them, let the fun begin.

One of the key benefits of moving to Loomis was having enough space to plant trees. I had done some preliminary planning on the types of trees we wanted to plant. When I finally found the bare root trees, I at least knew the quantities we wanted of each fruit. I dove in and started moving the trees around to reach the ones in the back. I went toward the back because I caught a glimpse of a few of the more desirable varieties that had already been purchased from the front of the pile.
At the end of the day, I had purchased 10 bare root trees. Adding those to the 6 we transplanted when we moved, we have a grand total 16 trees in our fruit orchard. Here is the mix:

Fuji Apple
Granny Smith Apple
Chinese Mormon Apricot
Kadota Fig
Fantasia Nectarine (2)
Juneglo Nectarine
Frost Peach
Indian Free Peach
Giant Babcock Peach
July Elberta Peach
Shinshiki Pear
Fuyu Persimmon
Elephant Heart Plum
Santa Rosa Plum
Wonderful Pomegranate

In addition to the information tag attached to the trunk, Dave Wilson Nursey has a lot of good information about fruit trees and backyard orchards. Digging the holes for the trees was fairly easy and we were please to discover that our soil was quite good. Following the recommended planting method for the trees, we were able to get them planted within a few hours.

I captured our orchard layout in visio so we would know which trees are planted in each location. Other than being fun to look at, this will be a good reference when it comes time to spray for leaf curl and all the trees are bare.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homemade pancakes

Monday, we had the day off from work, so it was a relaxed morning. I had the idea to make pancakes for breakfast because we haven't had pancakes for a very long time. Reaching up to the top of the cabinet, I pulled down the mix. In my usual fashion, I immediately check for the sodium content. Not surprisingly, it was high. I now know why we haven't had pancakes in while.

Not to be deterred, I went online to search for a recipe. At the top of the list was the highly rated Good Old Fashion Pancakes. After checking the recipe and the pantry, I had all the ingredients or equivalents to make pancakes.

Here are the ingredients I used:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw
1 egg
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1.5 cups Silk Light Vanilla soy milk

Makes 4 plate sized pancakes

I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones in another before putting them together. I heated my frying pan with some olive oil, then scooped 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Unlike typical pancakes, the batter didn't spread out or move at all. It did brown and appear to be cooking, so I flipped it over. It was at this point I added water to the batter which was for all intents as purposes, dough. I added enough water (about 1/2 cup) so I could stir the batter and it had some fluidity to it.

Pulling my pancake biscuit out of the pan, I poured the next pancake. This one moved normally and cooked up golden brown. I put it on a plate and gave it to my husband to eat. He really liked it. After cooking the rest of the batter, I sat down with my pancake. It was quite tasty. I also ate the biscuit and thought it was good in that form too. The extra pancake I put in the fridge was a easy snack later in the day, plain without a plate.
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