It has been a little while since I have mentioned anything about Casper the Perfect Cat and I guess Casper has quit the following. People have stopped in to see Casper and see what busy things he has been up to and I have received e-mails asking about him. After all he is a sweet little guy. So I thought I would give you the low down on his busy life. Often times we have gardening classes at our place and Casper likes to get involved in the learning. Getting ready for winter I covered my garden with protective row cover, of course, Casper came to the rescue and he became a row cover weight as he quickly makes a bed with the soft lettuce below. Big Day! Out in the sunshine keeping the crops warm. Hard life for a cat on the farm! He has been helping me type out a blogs….As you can see in the picture he quickly fell asleep, but it was the thought that counted. Over worked and never enough treats! Another occasion, he spent many an hours sewing, or at least on the sewing table adjusting himself only once during the day when I seemed to bother him when I reached for the scissors he was laying on. And to think, we thought he would be a good mouser. HA! One word that often comes from my husbands mouth is, “Worthless”. He just doesn’t fully understand Casper. Casper has always liked baskets, high, low, inside, outside, or where ever they are he always seems to find them. Maybe he is pursuing a career in basket weaving. He is just taking his time studying the weaves of the baskets. Anyway Casper is still plugging along, with his many (or not so many) tasks of the day, ever so spoiled and getting his beauty sleep. This March Casper turns 13. I can’t really say he has slowed down when he was always taking he time, or should I say “taking a nap”. Enjoy his pictures and stop in and say hi to the ‘Perfect’ cat, Casper. He will win your heart over!
Ahhh Fall! What’s not to enjoy? Isn’t this the best season of all? I enjoy fall time as the leaves begin to turn, weather becomes cool and pleasant, mornings are crisp and the fall rains start to moisten the ground. Gardening chores are at a low roar. Casper the Cat enjoys when I start to slow down and spend more time writing my blogs, studying gardening books and planning next years garden as he settles in to add some assistance by either sleeping on the keyboard or in the middle of the my book. The hummingbirds are gone except an Annas hummingbird that stays over winter here on our little farm. The chicken egg production is almost up to 100 percent. Fall crops are just starting to set and just a few weeks out for fresh new greens. It’s time to harvest the sweet potato crop before it freezes. Garlic, leeks and shallots will be planted this month. Pretty pansies, snaps and chrysanthemums are blooming. Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins……. And the smell and sounds of fall! Wouldn’t you agree? This has to be the best time of year!
This is the time of year I love to cook and create foods that make you feel good inside. Pumpkins are abundant during autumn and I love to decorate with them as well as cook with them. Heirloom pumpkins are really just a pretty squash that taste great. If you didn’t grow any this year check out your local farmers market and grab a dozen or so! They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and they last for several months in cool temps.
Here is a simple and great side dish perfect for fall!
Crusted Pumpkin Wedges
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs pumpkin, 1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 T dried breadcrumbs, 6 T finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme, grated zest of 2 large lemons, 2 large garlic cloves crushed, salt, white pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 T chopped dill.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut pumpkin into 3/8 inch thick slices and lay them flat on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Mix together parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, garlic, and a small amount of salt and pepper. Brush pumpkin with the olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix making sure to cover all the pumpkin. Pat the mix down to hold it in place. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. If crust darkens too much you can tent with foil. Mix sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve pumpkin warm with a sprinkle of remaining lemon zest and a dollop of sour cream on the side.
Several people have come to the garden this week asking about Casper. Where he is and what he is doing. Not far off I can point him out, on the patio table, in the flower-pot, in the goat manger. This loveable, lazy creature has touched many people’s heart. Some days when feeling his oats (not often) you know he has been into something. At my cottage retail store I have multiple herbs for sale. A few months ago I was experiencing problems with the lemon catnip being drug all over the place. Mind you! Not just a few feet away, but I would find the little root balls from the front of the store to the back, to the orchard and other various places. I know cats like catnip, but really! dragging it all over the yard. These poor little plants were mutilated to the point of no return. Casper does have his own catnip garden but he prefers the little white potted lemon catnip plants! When getting in several flats of new herbs today, I see Casper enjoying a new flavor! Sweet Grass! Soon after his indulgence he became frisky rolling around in the planter boxes for a few short moments before he fell fast asleep.
Meet Casper our cat. We brought him home in May, 12 years ago. Casper isn’t your average mouse hunter, or for that matter any kind of hunter. I’m right sure he thinks he is human….you know, the hunt is done by us, the, well owners? Or servants? Most times you will find him in a basket, bucket, pot, or in the new box of bulbs that just arrived at the store. He requires 23 hours of sleep (and that’s a full day of work) and wastes no time exhausting himself chasing birds. This leaves him with 60 minutes to care for what he finds important. Likely for grooming, eating, grooming and eating. I do believe he is a bit of a snotty cat. If you do see him under the bird feeders it’s only a short time of entertainment to only get excited and then quickly fall fast asleep with never making one movement towards a bird. He has been known multiple times to be a foster mother to little chicks, letting them snuggle right into his fur while grooming their little down bodies. Does he mind or think umm, lunch? Nope! If you have ever heard of a an animal that wouldn’t hurt a fly…..It had to be Casper. Follow up on Casper adventures (sleeping) in the garden.