TBHITW and I spent a wonderful weekend on our land.
First we took a tour of the mill that will make the logs for our home. We were very impressed with the craftsmanship, attention to detail and out and out LOVE of what they were doing. When they are milling the logs for our home, it is our home and only our home that they are building. They work on one home at a time. Then, once everything is milled, the house is actually built. Each log is marked in a complicated system of letters and numbers, then the house is disassembled and shipped to the building site. It boggles the mind. Or at least my mind, which can easily be boggled.
After the mill tour we met with our sales representative, Joan. We spent the better part of the afternoon discussing designs, options, wants versus needs and pricing. Joan is incredibly knowledgeable about the building process. She also gave us tons of good advice regarding design, function and livability of a log home. So many choices, further boggling of the mind.
We stayed overnight in a lovely old hotel on a trout stream and the next morning headed out early to our property.
The best part of the weekend was once again walking the land. Every time we drive up here we pinch ourselves and ask, "Is this really ours?".. We feel incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to be stewards of this lovely piece of land.
The first thing we did was clear a small patch of meadow and plant some pumpkin seeds.
A very small pumpkin patch in the center of a four acre meadow.
I planted some sunflowers too.
It felt good to put something into the earth. The ground was rich and brown and warm.
Then we walked to the stream to get some water.
We really like having a stream.
It is beautiful.
Later in the day we met with a local contractor and made arrangements for the driveway to be built. It's a lonnnnggg driveway. About 380 feet. Lots of stone. The driveway is one of the first things that needs to go in. It will accommodate the heavy equipment needed for building. It will also allow us better access to the land.
In the late afternoon, with the waning sun, we drove home, stopping on the way at what we are convinced will become one of our favorite watering holes; Buffalo Zach's. Really good food, reasonably priced and staffed with happy people.
It was a lovely way to spend the weekend and I am looking forward to so many, many more.
Tomatoes won't ripen for another two months around here but I am already craving a meaty, zesty tomato sandwich. In times like this, when I just can't wait another few weeks for the real thing I roast up a batch of Roma tomatoes. Unlike other brands of greenhouse tomatoes Romas are surprisingly flavorful and juicy, year round.
I know, I know, this goes against all my locavore beliefs. But sometimes a girl just needs a good tomato, you know?
10 ripe roma tomatoes
olive oil - about a tablespoon or two
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice off the stem end and slice in half the long way. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet. Very lightly drizzle olive oil on the tomato halves and using your hands, toss around to coat. Arrange tomatoes cut side up on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt (about a teaspoon).
Roast in the oven, undisturbed, for about 4 hours or until edges are curled and middles are still juicy.
Remove from oven.
Serve a few tomato halves with a round of herbed goat cheese and slices of crusty baguette.
Or rounds of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.
My favorite sandwich:
Roasted Roma halves
Fresh mozzarella round
a few slices of ripe avocado
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of salt
On fresh baguette.
Yum. I can't wait for summer.
A Cook's Notes: Store your roasted romas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The tomatoes will actually taste even better after a day or two and will keep up to 4 days.