Storm Fallout

So the worst of the storm came for us yesterday.  By morning this is how much snow was on our spool in the backyard, about 6 inches.  But it was incredibly windy and our roofed back porch was covered in snow.  So there was more than 6 inches but much of it had blown away.

My car was completely embedded in snow so Tom offered to take me to work yesterday morning in our truck.  Just before we were leaving, our toilet decided to malfunction and drain water into our bathroom.  Tom drove me to work carefully as the roads were compact snow and ice and the wind was still blowing hard.  On the way back he saw two cars ahead of him go off the road and there was a doubled-trailered semi jack-knifed in the Cook road intersection.

He made it home to find that the toilet was not draining, that the pipe to the first tank was clogged.  Also the seal on the bottom of the toilet had failed.  So he cleaned up the mess and headed to the hardware store for supplies.  The weather had worsened by this point with nearly blinding snow.  Just west of us, in the Samish flats, many roads were closed, there were many cars in the ditches, and a jackknifed semi blocked Chuckanut Drive.  Tom made it to the store and back and put in a new seal.  But he couldn’t get it to drain.  So he called the septic company that had just inspected and certified our system and decided it did not need pumping (for $371!) to ask them to come out.  They cannot come until Friday.

So Tom set up our portable toilet from our camper van in the laundry room.  So these are our facilities until we can get the tank working again.  Oh, the joys of owning an older farmhouse!

toilet in laundry room

Today the snow is melting although some of the drifts on the road are still there.  It is turning into a flooded slushy mess.  The animals are all hunkered down in their shelters except the cows and the geese.  The geese are actually enjoying it.

geese in slush

Tom heard a loud crash in the windstorm last night, and this morning we figured out why.  This 2 foot diameter maple of our neighbors came crashing down our hill, taking out our fence and our 18 inch diameter maple.

fallen maple

As far as I can tell the hummingbirds and songbirds made it through with some extra feedings.  This morning I noticed some of our Eurasian collared doves enjoying the bare ground where the truck had been.  I swear when we moved here we did not have these doves.  And over the years I would hear them more and more.  Now we can see them regularly.  They are an invasive species.  Per Wikipedia, “In 1974, fewer than 50 Eurasian Collared Doves escaped captivity in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.  From the Bahamas, the species spread to Florida, and is now found in nearly every state in the US.”

doves

So Tom will be cutting some maple for firewood, and we will be using our portable toilet for a bit.  Other than some grumpy animals, we weathered this storm well so far.  We shall see how bad the flooding gets with the melt though.

P.S.  In my last blog post I forgot to include a great segment I was listening to while making turkey pies.  I listen to Tom Morton’s music shows out of Shetland regularly (especially while cleaning the house), but I listened to this podcast of his about Shetland sheep with the pies.  It was really an amazing history of the sheep so I thought I would share it.

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More Snow, Turkey Pies and Metropole

I have been worrying about the hummingbirds in this storm.  Yesterday I was concerned about this bird just sitting on a branch near the feeder.  But he did fly over to eat and acted upset if I got near him.  This morning he reappeared in the same spot, and he attacked another hummingbird who tried to eat.  So now I think he is just guarding the feeder.  Fortunately we have another feeder on the back porch.

Here is our snow fall as of this morning, about three inches.

Here is the sheep pasture this morning.

Olivia refused to come out of their shelter this morning for her usual wetted grain and alfalfa pellets.  So she had to share it with Marty today.

Here is the valley with its blanket of snow,

and the cows with snowy backs.

Tom brought a bucket of water into the barn so the chickens did not have to walk in the snow to drink.  They seemed to appreciate it.

I noticed some bird prints in the produce stand this morning too.  It looks like a bird took refuge from the storm in there.

And our cat Chloe is weathering the storm too, not leaving the front of the pellet stove much.  You can see that Orla the duck has made a recovery from her broken foot as well.

I was able to make turkey pot pies using a vintage Better Homes & Gardens recipe.

I did use the last of our rendered lard instead of shortening. I used dried parsley as our fresh parsley has died with the cold temperatures. And I do not have any diced pimentos on hand. I did put bottom and top crusts in the pies. Here they are all cooked.

As I worked in the kitchen Chloe got closer to the stove, using the bricks as a pillow.

Then I started a low carb turkey pie for me.

Here is the crust after rolling in parchment papers.

While I worked on the crusts, Chloe got even closer to the stove.

Here is the filling. I opted not to put carrots in it but used our peas. I ran out of parsley too.

And here it is cooked. The crust is difficult to get off the parchment and not pretty.

Then it was time for a pre-dinner cocktail. Today was Metropole.

Here are the ingredients.

And here is the cocktail.

It was yummy as was dinner for both of us. Now it is time to head to our wood-fired hot tub. Hopefully there will be snowflakes this time.

Posted in Farm, Recipes- farm | 2 Comments

Southwest Turkey Soup and The Cheerful Charlies

So yesterday the plan was for me to cut the meat off the turkey carcass and freeze it, make turkey broth, clean the oven and make turkey pot pies. The first two tasks I accomplished. I did not want to use the Flex Clean on the oven as last time I used it, it fried the electronics. Plus I was worried that I would create a fireball. So Tom braved the storm and purchased oven cleaner but some ingredients for the pies. I worked on cleaning the oven while he got a fire going in the hot tub. I had to use my N95 mask and rubber gloves and I cleaned the oven. But when I went to warm it smoke came billowing out. It was late enough I scratched the idea of pies and went looking for a stovetop leftover turkey recipe which was dissimilar from pie filling. I let the oven cool and recleaned it. This time when I warmed it only a small amount of smoke came out. This persisted for 1/2 hour then stopped. By now the hot tub was ready so we hopped in. I was hoping for snowflakes in the hot tub but it stopped snowing briefly then. But I thought our rubber duck looked picturesque.

Then I made the Southwest Turkey Soup recipe I had found. And it was so good!

I had wanted to make a predinner cocktail from my new cocktail book but ran out of time. So I made a postdinner one.

It was a nice dessert and paired well with Glow. So today the plan is to make turkey pies. Wish me luck.

Posted in Farm, Recipes- farm | 2 Comments