Friday, June 11, 2021

June Solar Eclipse

 The Solar Eclipse yesterday happened before dawn here in Denton County, Texas.  So, we really didn't get a chance to see it.  So to get a shot I've used the Starry Night software once again.  This is just after the Eclipse, right at dawn...


Monday, May 31, 2021

Wild Brambles

 My neighbor calls this stuff Devil Weed.  Botanically they are Brambles, more info here https://northernwoodlands.org/knots_and_bolts/wild-brambles.  Brambles are wild berries that are like Blackberries, Raspberries.  OK, yeah I like berries, but not in my front lawn.  The Briar Patch comes to mind when thinking of this patch in my yard.  The Brambles attempted to take over the southwest corner of my house.  Lets call it a sticky situation.  The Brambles are covered with millions of tiny thorns.  This is much worse than Roses, which have large easily identified thorns.  Brambles have tiny thorns, that get microscopic...

The Brambles are all through the Euonymus shrub, but down the front of the house about 10 feet, and back another 10 feet.  The Brambles, like the berries, are vines, called canes, and everywhere they touch the ground they put down roots.  The only way to control this one is to get the roots out.  If you just pull the tops off they come back, stronger.  So, itz kinda of a perpetual task, and if you let it go too long it will turn into the Briar Patch.

So this task involves careful precision, and attention to detail.  If you get tangled up in the Brambles you will get all scratched up.  My forearms have scratches all over them.  I used heavy leather garden gloves which spared my hands.  You can see the difference in the last picture.  I found three Hearty Hibiscus plants in there.  Several saplings were also in there, one Live Oak, one Pecan, one Pistache, and a Bradford Pear which sprouted by a Rhizome from a close tree.  What a mess...  I'm still clearing out some dead wood from the Artic Blast last winter, and at least I am getting to clean up the front beds really well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Super Blood Flower Moon

 The Lunar Eclipse is happening right now. But, the Moon is over the horizon, I can't see it. That makes it difficult to take a picture. With the Starry Night software I can change my viewing location. So, I took a quick trip to Honolulu, Hawaii to look at the Full Moon, and Lunar Eclipse. The eclipse is simulated in the Starry Night software, and appears red like the eclipsed moon should. That is why it is called a Blood Moon...

It is a Super Moon because the Moon is at the Perigee of its orbit, appears larger.  It is a Blood Moon because it is a Full Lunar Eclipse.  Then it is a Flower Moon because it is May, and the Flowers are blossoming...

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Carne Guisada

 OK, think somewhere between Pot Roast, and Chili.  Carne Guisada is slow simmered Beef, and Vegetables, but with Southwestern Spices.  If you go looking for recipes you'll find a hundred, and they'll all be different.  That makes me believe that this recipe is open to interpretation.  So this is Carne Guisada ala Z.Monkey.

I started with a Pot Roast trimmed well, and then large diced.  That will brown in some Butter while we prepare the vegetationz.  It's a Pot Roast so I'm gonna put in the usual Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions.  I am not adding Flour to coat the Beef, something you find an a normal Pot Roast Recipe.  The Chili spices will thicken the liquids, and make a Chili Gravy.

Here where the deviation starts to occur.  I'm adding a couple fine diced Jalapenos.  Now we heading into The Chili Realm.  Add a 16 oz. Can of whole, peeled Tomatoes chopped cruda with the Tomato water.  Add a 8 oz. can of Tomato Sauce.  I also added about 2 tsp of Cumin, 2 tbsp of Chili Powder, and 1 tbsp of Paprika for the Chili Spices.  You'll also need to add a little water to cover the Beef, and Vegetationz.

Then stir the Guidasa up really well, cover it, and simmer at a really low heat for a couple hours.  Once the Guisada is simmered down it is very tender, a lot like Pot Roast, but you have the Chili flavors, and a little heat.  It's good rainy day comfort food...


Friday, May 21, 2021

Mid Spring Brussels Sprouts

 We have had relatively cool temperatures, and a lot of rain.  The Brussels Sprouts are looking really nice.  I have been on the lookout for those white moths, and have the sprayer ready.  They are really neat plants, and I'm looking forward to trying them.  Another couple months...

Monday, March 22, 2021

2021 Garden Start

 I already had a small start this year with some Brussels Sprouts, and Onions that have been growing over the winter.  We actually got a decent amount of snow this year, and it knocked the garden back all the way.  I planted the Brussels Sprouts, and Onions after the Arctic Blast in mid February.  Then this past weekend I planted a whole bunch of seeds.  Here is most of them...

Then I also had some Cilantro, and ornamental Pumpkin seeds.  So it doesn't look like much now, but in a couple weeks I should have sprouts everywhere.  After I got the seeds planted I had a little rain come through the area.  It's always good to have some natural water when sprouting seeds.

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

 On St. Patrick Day I made Corned Beef.  It was kind of small for a Brisket, only 3 pounds, so it didn't last long.  But I did have some leftovers, and decided to use it to make this Corned Beef Hash, and Eggs.  There are cans of Corned Beef Hash to be had, but those pale in comparison to this.  I'm going to cube the Corned Beef, and Potatoes.

Then we'll fry them in a little too much butter.  You gotta get that crispy brownness on the Potatoes, and having a little crust on the Corned Beef doesn't hurt.  There is a huge difference between this, and what comes in the can.

Then once the Potatoes, and Corned Beef get a little brownness, add some whole Eggs right on top, and cover.  A tight fitting lid helps get the eggs perfect.  The steam will cook the top of the Eggs.

Once the Eggs have got the desired doneness slide the whole mixture on to a plate, add a little Black Pepper, and maybe some hot sauce.  Corned Beef Hash, and Eggs is something I ate  a lot when I was a kid, and I don't remember liking it very much.  That is probably because of that can.  This one is a lot better.