Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Building a Boules Court

Boules Court

Building a Boules Court

Our favorite movie is Peter Mayle's “A Year in Provence”; I think we have seen it about 10 times (the only movie we have ever purchased to own). In the movie they play the game of boules, or petanque, as is is also called, and we just had to try it.

We found a great set of boules balls on ebay and decided we needed a court to play on. The big project of this year.

In our back yard, which is relatively flat, we had a flower garden that was being taken over by weeds. We figured this would be a good spot for the court. The first step was transplanting all the flowers, then cutting the weeds down with a mower. Lumber was cut with the saw mill, and a load of gravel was ordered. The court measures 13' by 38' and the bottom is covered with a weed blocking ground cloth.
The court, ready to fill
We built the frame, got it level and started hauling in gravel (a skid steer worked real well for this part). Our court took about 12 yards of gravel. After the gravel was all in place we raked it as smooth as possible. Boules court being filled with gravel
Already we have spend many hours playing boules, now we need to teach the game to a few friends!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A “What’s In the Frig?” Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad
Earlier today I was in the mood for a pasta salad, but I knew I really didn’t have a lot of ingredients on hand. I decided to scour the refrigerator to see what I could come up with.

I cooked about 3 cups of pasta and set it aside. I found walnuts and shredded some asiago cheese. Last summer I made pickled nasturtium seeds (“capers”) and pickled garlic scapes, and I knew these would be good in a salad. We recently bought some organic freshly pressed sunflower oil from a local farm. That and some of the brine from the garlic scapes would make a great dressing. From the spice drawer I decided on Italian herb blend.

Ingredients For Pasta Slad

I didn’t measure a thing. Just “a little of this, a bit of that” and tasted as I went along. I added a little extra sunflower oil at the end and mixed in all the ingredients.

It tastes great!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Easy Baking Recipes: Pumpkin Pie

Last week we cut up the last pumpkin from our garden. It was quite big, so we were able to make a lot of things with it.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

1 pie shell, 8, unbaked
1 1/2 cups pumpkin; cooked and mashed
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 large egg
1/2 cup cream (heavy)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Grease a pie plate and line with pie shell.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork.

Pour into prepared pie plate.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until filling is firm.