|Thursday June 27,
The week started off, upsetting enough as usual. But I got some nice e-mails and a phone call from Illinois so they are being nice. But then the last two days we have had many things to do which have included some problems. I will only mention two of them for now.
Tuesday Pat woke me up at midnight to tell me we had no water. That is one of the disadvantages of living in the country..........When the electricity goes out the pump does not work so we lose pressure in our water system. Yesterday was a different problem with the pump.........it stopped working because it was too old. Also the electrical box and pipes in the pump house needed to be replaced. We had someone come out about 10am but it took him all day to figure all these things out. He will be back tomorrow to finish the job.
In the mean time we have been filling up the water tank with water from our irrigation pump which is in a very deep well. We are using some old hoses connected together hooked up to a valve out in the vineyard about 300 feet away. I have not tried to taste the water. Pat and I were without water from midnight until 8am when the hoses got hooked up. Then last night we lost pressure again. I forgot our sprinkler system around the house and garden was still on so the tank got too low again. So at 9pm last night I had to turn the irrigation pump ON AGAIN way down by the creek. I went out and had an adventure because I drove about 1200 feet back and forth (also backing up a lot) after consuming some tequila and wine. It was after 9 by the time I got back, getting very dark. I took a flash light which was helpful. I thought it would be easy and it was, but i had to be careful. Within 30 minutes we had water again. Pat did not know all my life threatening actions, (I was concerned at times) because she was watching our Giants lose again........
Tuesday night after midnight, so actually Wednesday morning, I got only three hours sleep. I then got up at 5:30 Am after worrying all night because I did not know at that time what the problem was. After finding out the water tank was empty I knew there was a problem in the pump house down by the creek. I then went out to sulfur after the rain we had on Monday and Tuesday, stopping briefly at the pump house where I found the bigger problems inside. During the day we had to prepare for our wine bottles which were delivered today. That involved moving close to 300 barrels around in the parking lot and in the winery. We bottle 3300 cases in ten days.......
I need a break and will go up to look at tennis, even though my favorite player is out........
We are starting a new thing on Friday and it may go into Saturday if we have few customers. We will be opening our first screwcap wines from the 2003 vintage. We have Aca Modot and Barbera and many more. Catalina is running the show.........
Friday June 28, 2013
Another problem this week that occurred Tuesday is that my weather station went out. I don't know what stopped working but I decided to order a new one after over 20 years using my old Davis Vantage Pro. I received my new Vantage pro 2 today and have it working OK now. It was a lot of trouble getting the software to communicate with the computer and then upload the data to our website. As you can see now we have a temperature of 105 today and it will be hot tomorrow also.
I have a new toy!! I have an oil-less Turkey frier. I don't plan on cooking a turkey but I have tried a whole chicken and was very happy with the results. It works on propane and infrared but uses no oil. I doubt if it will do a good job with battered chicken parts but I plan to try it tonight. With the whole chicken I just rubbed some Cajan spices on it and stuffed it with onion and herbs.....very juicy and made nice drippings that I will use for rice tonight.
We just planted 16 Coratina olive trees. I have heard Coratina olive oil is very intense.......I will have oil in a few years.
Saturday June 29, 2013
I tried my oil-less frier last night and was real impressed. Here is what I did........
I prepared my chicken the same way I have done for years when I have deep fried in peanut oil or corn oil. I first made up a slurry of two eggs, ranch dressing and white wine with of course seasonings. Last night I tried a few wings, thighs and legs. I decided to also put in some gizzards and hearts which I love because they have no fat on them. After soaking, I drain the liquid off and drop the parts in a Cajan corn flour mixture with added poultry seasoning and plenty of granulated garlic and pepper. I use a plastic bowl with a tight lid and shake vigorously. The chicken comes out drenched in a nice white paste. The oil-less frier has many different types of racks to distribute the parts. I put the bigger pieces in first and then later popped the gizzards and hearts on a rack above the other parts. I did not expect much but I was amazed at how they came out. The gizzards were the most tender I have ever had. The other parts were crispy, just like fried chicken but without the residual fried oil taste. Also I was surprised that this works so well that none of the flour mixture comes off. Everything was so crispy!! There is no oil to clean up and even the frier is easy because you just have to brush it out like a BBQ grill.
Tonight I am going to try some potatoes and pork chops. I will report on how it turned out tomorrow........
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