Saturday, March 10, 2012

taxes and topsoil

Today is all about taxes and topsoil. I'm driving up to Rutland to file my 2011 taxes with Hurley, my accountant. I learned the hard way that taxes for a small business, a full time job, and author require someone who actually can do math. I will take all my personal records, forms, paypal donations information, expenses and such and Hurley will work his magic. I never get a huge tax refund, but I usually get a little something. And as we all know, every little bit helps. It'll be a relief to have it over with, and I am glad this man and his business are in my life.

When I'm home I plan on heading down to the stables to ride Merlin and after that, come home to start about 150 seedlings for the garden. My early spring garden will include peas, spinach, arugula, kale, lettuces, kale, broc, kale, carrots, kale and kale. If I have 15 fat chickens going into my freezer I'll be damned if I aint roasting them over some kale! I think chicken, carrots, and kale are a trio of majesty. You get a nice chicken, rub it down with olive oil and chicken herbs (garlic, paprika, sage, whatever), and set it on a thick bed of kale sprinkled with olive oil (so it doesn't burn to a crisp) on a roasting rack (a cheap and important kitchen tool to keep the greens out of the fats and oils and turning into goo) and line the bottom of the pan with oiled and herb-rubbed roots like taters, turnips, and carrots and you have a sunday kitchen that smells so good you will cancel your matinee plans.

What do you have in store this weekend?

jasper profile by tim bronson


Blogger kbrow said...

I am taking on your chicken n' kale roasting technique. Now do you put the kale on the rack, too? So it's like a layer thing - roots in the pan, under the rack, then kale on the rack, and chicken on top of the kale? Sounds excellent, and then I can smush all the leftovers into a sumptuous, biscuit-topped pot pie.

Have a great weekend. Give Merlin a big smoochy kiss for me.

March 10, 2012 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Planting, cleaning, research, writing and 24/7 caregiving. The pattern is full!

March 10, 2012 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

so I take out a roasting pan and fill it with cut up taters and carrots and turnips and onions and whatever else grows in the dirt you want to roast. Then, drizzle olive oil all over them so they have a light coating and sprinkle your chicken herbs over them.

Then, set your roasting rack on top. I have a curved, basket type on I love, and fill it with kale. more kale the better. Get your hands olive oily and rub down that lettuce too. if it is dry it'll just singe and taste like garbage.

THEN! rub your chicken with either butter or oil, herbs, and set it on top of the kale on the rack. Then set your over to 415 and roast it for 20 minutes at that high heat. Then turn it down to 360 and cover the bird with some tin foil to discourage over browning. cook until your meat thermometer is 185 at the breasts and the meat is white when you slice into them, and the juice runs clear and the joints are loose. Takes about 2+ hours for a big bird!

set your bird on top of the oven to "finish" another 20 minutes before serving. A room-temp bird is STILL COOKING and settling into itself. Slice up the meat with a side of veggies and be glad!!

March 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

that chicken recipe just made this blog worth it!

March 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

that chicken recipe just made this blog worth it!

March 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Ordering some more orchard trees from Vernon Barnes nursery, very highly rated on the Dave's Garden site, also very local to me. Newsprint catalog, no website, have to write your order by hand and mail it in or fax to them. Old school. Apples, cherries, hazelnuts, chestnuts, paw paws, persimmons. Native plants (last 2)are an instant winner on the farm.

Going to pick up some comfrey plants from a local gal for $3 each.

Big plans for that medicinal & culinary herb garden just outside my kitchen doorstep.

Itching for spring.

Bees are flying today. Its a warm day with maples blooming and the workers are coming back with full saddle bags of pollen, yellow, orange and red. Time to work the bee yard too.

March 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

Staying in this weekend and making pictures around and about the place for photo class. It's all gray and gloomy. Have a chicken thawed and waiting to be cooked. I do it differently than you do. I slow roast at 325 for about 2.5 hours for about a 4 to 5 pound store bird. Seems to work so far. I might even throw in a peach cobbler.

March 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Today—building a red worm compost home since my 500 red wigglers finally shipped!, transplanting some of my started-from-seed plants into the garden, moving my berry bushes so they have more room to grow, clean the rabbit homes, fertilize the lemon tree and garden, and give the dogs a bath.

@Becca, peach cobbler sounds heavenly. I slow roast chicken like you too, but then crank the heat up at the end after removing the covering to let it crisp up—like comparing and contrasting so I think next time I’ll try it backwards at Jenna’s temps. Love the sound of the kale, Jenna. Always load carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions in the bottom, and now as soon as my kale is edible it’s going under a chicken.

March 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

We mix potatos, onions (thinly sliced) and Kale all coated in olive oil under the bird. The bits of kale that stick up become wonderfully crunchy with olive oil and chicken fat on them. Yummmm! Just so happens that my mom's 76th birthday is today and she requested this dinner! Can't wait to smell it cooking!

March 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Ah, how propitious that I am putting my garden in the same day as you. I've just come in from planting seeds--peas, carrots, radishes, beets and a couple of Asian cukes. My fall garlic is still hanging in there, and I'm leaving room for 'maters and some kind of squash.

I was mulling over a big planter pot full of kale by the shaded back door. Perhaps now I've got just the reason to go plant those seeds, too.

March 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Woke up this morning feeling like crud so I begged off helping the husband with the renovations to his house that we're hoping to finish and rent soon. Napped, took photos and am now Etsy-listing a bunch of vintage goodness I found in some boxes. All my Etsy money goes toward the garden, the chickens, and whatever other madness I can come up with. Perking up a little, so now I'm probably going out to the garden to do a little cleanup and talk to the chickens for a while.

March 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

We are going to excavate the old farmhouse foundation on the property to get bricks for our patio and cob oven.

March 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

sounds delicous! i decided to try building a cold frame from an old storm window our neighbours discarded, and try my hand at early greens this year. have you had success before with early greens?

March 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Just got back from a visit to what will be my new farm come late summer. I am over the moon! Working on my manuscript for the rest of the weekend and making some breakfast sausages with the fellow!

Have an excellent weekend, Jenna!

March 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm a HUGE fan of crispy kale - drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, roast on a baking sheet until crisp, eat like popcorn. Highly addictive, and far better than it probably sounds!

This weekend I'm in full-on nesting mode. Doing some of that hardcore deep cleaning & de-cluttering to get ready for the little one. And watching the rain. It's raining so much we can't do much else.

March 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Ditto what J.D. said! I'm trying to figure out how best to plant oats :)

March 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

The chicken and kale recipe sounds great.

I am working in the yard: mowing, cleaning our iris and lilly beds, checking the fruit trees: persimmon, heirloom cherries, apples, mulberry, and one plum. The garden is still too wet to plant and more rain expected.

The Phony Farm, in a tiny town in TN

March 10, 2012 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

You make chicken sound so good. I planted 2 really long rows of kale a few weeks ago and it's all coming up. I have chicken in the freezer too. Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

And a friend came over this morning and we sheared 3 sheep. Then I planted some cabbage. WHile doing this I am checking on one of my goats that's ready to kid. And she did later this evening. And it's a girl!!

I am pooped. A hot shower is calling my name. Have a great weekend.

March 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

We spent today stripping sod off the lawn to expand our garden from 8x8 to 12x24. Tomorrow will be spent tilling the soil by hand(gonna take a long time, but should be worth it). We're hoping to have all our early seeds in by tomorrow or Monday.

March 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Oh so funny to read this post! As a CPA, my weekend is also filled iwth taxes...and will stay that way for another 5+ weeks, LOL.

And when it come to break time (tomorrow for a bit) I will be starting some seeds for our garden too!

March 10, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Oh- that sounds so good I will make that for dinner tomorrow! I love kale and will be planting twice as much this year as last. I am loving all the Merlin pix and have spent the last day on Jon's blog. Loving it. Karen from CT

March 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Ashley DeMazza said...

Jenna we belonged to a CSA last summer and got a boat load of kale! I started making kale chips (like potato chips). My family loved them!

Ashley DeMazza
Falls Village, CT

March 11, 2012 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Ashley DeMazza said...

Jenna we belonged to a CSA last summer and got a boat load of kale! I started making kale chips (like potato chips). My family loved them!

Ashley DeMazza
Falls Village, CT

March 11, 2012 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

kale + chicken + carrot = yum. kale + sweet potatoes + black beans = super yum. do it.

March 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Two brand new raised beds made by us from reclaimed materials.
And, yes, starting many, many seeds....

March 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Jeane said...

I have never eaten kale. Or if I did, I don't remember. But I planted peas this morning, and carrots, beets and chard a few days ago. And for the first time ever this year I'm growing turnips. That scrumptious-looking chicken recipe is tempting me to try some kale, too!

March 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM  

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