Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roving Donkeys and Book Reviews

Peso and Riley back at home

We were out of town last weekend when we got a text from our animal sitter Nancy. She was on her way to do chores at our place when she met our trio of donkeys on the road. Apparently Riley, Cisco, and Peso decided to explore the world when they observed a dip in the barbed wire over the stream (which has totally dried up). This offered them an escape route up a steep hill and onto the gravel road.

Donkeys aren't usually so spontaneous. 

But having successfully ditched the horses (who are too tall to limbo under the barbed wire), the three headed north. I'm not sure what the travel plans were, but luckily Nancy intercepted the donkeys and walked them home. 

Doug fixed the fence this morning. We think. But if you see a trio of miniature donkeys wandering by, send me a note.

Also, So Much Sky was reviewed in a couple of nice places in July.

Kirkus Reviews said the book was "well written" and that "there’s a lot to be enjoyed and a lot to be learned from Weir-Jimerson, a Master Gardener and apt tamer of land, child and beast." 

I'm sure my kids will love that assessment of my talents, although I did sort of feel like a lion tamer when the boys were toddlers... On the Kirkus site, you can now also purchase the book through independent book stores.
The Midwest Book Review's Small Press Book Watch said this: "Far from modern civilization, one can gain a different grasp on the world. "So Much Sky" is a collection of essays and memoir from Karen Weir-Jimerson as she reflects on her life on three acres in Iowa, living with her husband their wide array of animals and livestock. Writing on gardening, rural life, and perhaps just life in general, "So Much Sky" is a fine and much recommended pick for essay collections, highly recommended."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fresh Snips of Flavor

A quick-snip of lemon thyme
Sizzling summer heat poses no problem for my herbs. They love it. I have a bevy of tangled containers on my back patio filled with my favorites. I mad-dash from the back door, snip up a fistful of flavor, then whisk back into the cool kitchen to make dinner. What's my hasty harvest? Lemon thyme (lemony and thyme-y). Basil (of course!). And flat-leafed parsley. I learned about this underused herb from my friend Renee Shepherd (owner of Renee's Garden) when I interviewed her for a story for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. She uses the flavor-filled 'Gigante' Italian parsley leaves in salads. Just snips them in. I've been trying this too--just adding fresh herb leaves mixed up with my spinach and arugula. Just do a quick toss of olive oil, sweet balsamic vinegar, and grated fresh garlic to whip up an herby summer salad. Renee has been in the gardening biz for a long time (selling heirloom and gourmet seed varieties). And she's on top of all the cool new cooking trends. Check out the article in Better Homes and Gardens, the August 2011 issue, page 90. You'll find tips for freezing your herb harvest. Do it now. You'll thank yourself for your brilliant insight in January.