Monday, May 11, 2009

Alone Time Musings

Sometimes the writing bug hits me hard, and then there are times like this.....blank. I started about 5 different entries today. I saved them for later on. They just didn't feel right. I took a nap. Let the dogs in the bed with me, Curt is on vacation in Contadora. The dogs and I deserve the treat of togetherness. They are German Shepards, brother and sister, Argos and Shiva, our kids. I had to change the sheets afterwards... not too smelly...but I felt a little itchy.

They are good watch dogs, not just for the house and property, but there are many times at night I know that Shiva, my girl-dog, is chasing critters away from the vegetables. They also let me know when the local cows have decided to come up the hill and have an attempted luncheon visit on my veggies.

Wish the dogs could chase out the flea beetles and powdery mildew. Now that would be a well trained dog!

So after the nap, since the hubby is gone, I got going onto other things. On the computer I began to organize my lists, shopping lists for sauce ingredients, putting my recipes down so that I have more consistency, checking out the seed banks. Googled a few things that I am finding in between the garden rows for identification. Volunteer weeds or something good.....hum.....Junk or Gems? Took a walk in the garden to see if anything new is ready to offer, damn, not enough tomatillos for salsa verde this week.

Poured myself a Ron Abuelo and put Ben Webster on the stereo. He is an amazing jazz tenor saxophonist from the 40's and 50's. Talk about sexy, fun and romantic yet with a cool groove. Getting back to the garden....

By now I am sure that you know that I am a hot pepper freak. LOVE the hot stuff. So I just created a new hot sauce called Fire in the Tropics, Curt hates the name. I am so bored of the vapid so called hot sauce offerings that are in the stores...yawn. This one is really good, unstrained with mango and Rum Abuelo, fruity, rich and hot. The alcohol of the rum is cooked out, oh well. I wanted to call it "I'm Killin' Curt Sauce" but Lilli over in Bocas already has a title like that.

For next week, I am thinking of maybe a Basil Balsamic Salad dressing and a Hamburger-Sandwich relish. Who knows...

We have more fruit on the way. We have a huge row of passionfruit and I actually have 2 cantelopes almost ready. Now, that is good. I do have a testing period introducing new crops on the farm. I am not going to give a whole lot of space and time to something that is just not gonna work out here. I have a new bush bean that just passed the test with amazing results. They were long strait, stringless and delicious beans... and lots of them. I saved most of them for seed.

For those of you who are not familiar with seed saving, the benefits of producing a strain that is perfect for your exact soils and climate are well worth the effort. It saves a lot of time in the end will give a superior product....if it works out. Otherwise its a chucker.

So I have 2 new garden beds going. My 2 workers have finally seen the results of double digging. You know they really think I am crazy when I ask them to do stuff like double digging. I just nod and say "Uds. tienen que tener confienza en mi". My Spanish is still ugly for almost 4 years here in Panama. Que feo.

Also what is new is that I have dug out my 2 food dehydrators. So I will soon will be on my way to dried herbs and herb mixes and maybe some dried bananas and other things for hiking and birding!

So enough. I am off to make dinner for myself. Here is what I am making for myself tonight!

Angel Hair Chicken Pasta Salad

Nice on a warm afternoon or evening. Leftovers are good too. This makes enough for 2-4 servings.

Ingredients and directions:
1 pound of Thin Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta, cooked till al dente and cooled to room temperature.
Meanwhile prep:
1 cup Chicken, cubed - roasted, poached, canned whatever, just cooked and cooled.
1 cup tomato, diced or cherry tomatoes, halved.
1/4 Red Onion or Panamanian National Onion (they are sweeter than the imported), diced
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoons of small capers with a little juice, big ones are fine, just chop 'em up a little.

Toss all of the above together in a large bowl. Then gently fold in:
2 Tablespoons of chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons of chopped Fresh Oregano
Juice of 1-2 Fresh Lemons
1/4 cup of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss above with the pasta and arrange on plates.

Garnish with all or none of the following:
Red Onion slices
Kalamata Olives, pitted and halved
Chervil, fresh and slightly chopped
a drizzle of Olive Oil
Freshly ground Black Pepper


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