The work here flows now that the tasks that make it more comfortable are well under way. It is relatively clean now for a 117 year old farm house, the bugs have almost stopped coming out the wood work, and for the first time the mouse traps were empty upon our return. I called and made an appointment for Moscow Builders Supply to come and give us an estimate for insulating the walls and the attic space. There is not one bit of it anywhere and the wood we burn, heats the out of doors too.
Today we finished the window wall in the kitchen. One last coat of paint and Rick found perfect boards of pine and some cedar for the open shelves. The all white dishes and vintage glassware show off nicely. While it is gratifying to see what taking down layers of old wall coverings glued to the ship lap are, we have 5 more walls in the kitchen alone, along with the lowered and tiled ceilings. Eventually all the wallboard, layers of wallpaper, will be removed to the lovely wood underneath. This will be quite and undertaking, as the layers come down, so too does the accumulated dust and mouse droppings. We have been waiting all day for a promised snow plow to remove the very thick snow accumulation on our road. The freezing and thawing has made it impossible to get the car up to the house. It sits in the middle of the road waiting rescue.
As it turned out, our mistake in not having the plow out at first snow fall. The freeze and thaw made a very thick layer of ice under the heavy subsequent snow layers. What should have been a quick job for Christian Vance from Palouse Plowing, ended up taking hours and rescue from a friend to unstuck his plow truck. At the same time, we were expecting friends from Moscow for dinner. A long walk up to the farm and back again at the end of the evening, makes me wonder if the dinner we served them was worth it?
Rick was able to find someone to deliver firewood as our minimal stash left to us disappeared rather quickly. This cord of wood was dumped in the middle of the road half way up our quarter mile driveway. It took Rick several hours to load up the truck with quite large pieces of tamarack. He made a nice stack across from the house. We noted a marked difference in the heat output from these new logs over the very old pieces we pulled out from stashes in the greenhouse and barn. I made our ritual crock pot roasted chicken and rice dish for dinner. See recipe.
CROCK POT ROASTED CHICKEN
Take one whole roasting chicken rinse well and place inside a large crock pot. Cover up to half with water. Add 1 cup dry white wine of your choice, 1.5 tsp sea salt, 3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 3-5 large cloves of garlic, rough chopped onion, 1.5 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp turmeric. Turn crock pot up to high for 3 hours. At that time turn the chicken over and add 1 cup brown rice, set timer for 1 hour. Cut in large chunks, 5-8 carrots, 4-6 stocks of celery, 4-6 kale. Cook until tender. Adjust taste if needed and add the juice of 1 lemon and chopped parsley. To serve put the chicken on a large platter (meat will be falling off the bone), and serve soup in large soup bowls. If you have leftovers, this makes great soup reheated for a quick lunch. Remove the chicken from the bones and stir the meat into the soup.
Let the soup cool, and put in freezer bags.
Sunday morning, we hosted our new neighbor friends, Krista and Daniel Kim, for brunch. I’m not sure who found whom first on Instagram? I loved her branding and style. The images she posts on @harvesthillfarms are styled beautifully. I sent Krista a message after following her, and asked where she was living. She replied, east of Troy in Idaho. When I asked, where east of Troy, she replied, Little Bear Ridge Road. What are the odds that we would find each other, let alone live on the same street?!
Krista brought eggs from her laying hens - much appreciated. I experimented on a recipe, trying to avoid using flour. I baked us a gluten free souffle with spinach, mushrooms, and parmesan. And tried baking it in a cast iron pan. It worked better than I expected. I served it up with a simple green salad. We toasted to new friends with a glass of champagne, and headed back to Seattle just behind them.