Rainbow Trout, the Wood Shed is Dismantled, and Daylilies are Popping!

Rainbow Trout, the Wood Shed is Dismantled, and Daylilies Are Popping!

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary Vol. 1

Week 25: June 25, 2021

I was able to persuade Sam to take Monday off this week. He’s been working steadily on dismantling the wood shed and other maintenance projects without much of a break and we had heard that the local lakes had been stocked with fish: rainbow trout!

This week, the photos speak for themselves. Come along and enjoy!

wood shed is dismantled

Crowbar in hand, Sam dismantles the very old wood shed, piece by piece. The roof was ruined, but much of the wood is salvageable, with trimming.

The old wood shed is officially dismantled. The floor of the wood shed was made of pallets to elevate firewood, keeping it dry. Those have been pulled up and Sam has placed the posts for the “new” wood shed, which is rotating from its original footprint to face the garden.

One of three piles of wood salvaged from the old wood shed, which will be used to build the “new” wood shed. Lots of nail pulling and trimming will be needed. Sam’s goal is to build the shed without buying anything.

Hard work deserves a reward, doesn’t it? A morning spent fishing at Medco Ponds was just what we needed. Going on a Monday meant we had the pond to ourselves.

Sam cast his line and within 2 minutes he pulled in the first rainbow trout!

In a short time, Sam had caught his limit: 5 rainbow trout.

Meanwhile, I walked along the edge of the pond trying to identify all the plants and trees that I could name, to the music of frog song. This is a type of horsetail, a useful plant in the world of herbal medicine.

I pocketed a sizable lump of pine resin. Well, not literally because it’s too sticky to put in a pocket. I use pine resin in salves and for making beeswax wraps. A petrified lump such as this is what I prefer because it is easy to shatter into slivers with a hammer, whereas fresh sap is sticky and more difficult to work with.

Back home, the daylilies are popping. This is one of three islands of daylilies at Chocolate Box Cottage.

The daylily flowers are smaller this year than in years past, but still vivid and cheerful. And delicious! Note the strappy leaves. This is an identifying characteristic of daylilies. Other types of lilies, such as Tiger lilies and Asiatic lilies are not edible.

The rainbow trout Sam hooked inspired me to create a special dish to accompany them. These edible and unsprayed daylilies are stuffed with ricotta cheese which I flavored with chopped fresh herbs (oregano, marjoram, parsley, sage, and lemon zest).

Fresh-caught rainbow trout, stuffed daylilies, and popcorn okra made a very special lunch for day-after-Father’s Day.

I’m loving all the shades of green along the greywater stream at Chocolate Box Cottage. Yellow dock, mint, and cattails feature prominently.

Toby, our grumpy Maine coon cat, takes a midday siesta in the heat.

Moth mullein blooms in the bee yard, mixed with St. John’s wort and Himalayan blackberries.

Close-up of moth mullein with its pretty purple centers. These are popular with florists.

I keep a salt shaker and small paring knife in my gardening basket. There’s nothing like a freshly pulled radish, rinsed under a garden hose, sprinkled with salt, and eaten on the spot!

Plans for a medicinal and tea herb garden are formulating in my mind for this underutilized fenced garden area above the vegetable garden. Currently fennel, garlic, pumpkins, and a few stray raspberry bushes grow on the right side and on the left, just out of view, are violet artichokes and an isolation bed of a tomato variety I developed that bears small, orange, pumpkin-shaped fruit.

Inspiration for my herb garden.

I call this ledge my water bottle shelf. Pearl calls it a look-out perch.

The view framed by the greenhouse window changes with the season. Now the sheep pasture is browning in the sun-exposed patches.

I was delighted when this swallowtail butterfly allowed me to capture it with my cellphone camera amid the rose campion.

A generous basketful of greens picked for supper. I chose kale as the main ingredient and added smaller amounts of Swiss chard plus an assortment of wild greens: borage, plantain, pigweed, prunella vulgaris, and radish leaves. The fennel and lemon balm on the chair to the left of the basket will be chopped and added over fish.

Sam and I call this a $30 dinner: sautéed rockfish from the Oregon Coast (thank you, Margaret!) over boiled greens with preserved lemon and lemon wedge.

A thoughtful gift from a friend this week: artichokes and a cookbook! She also delivered a handful of her homegrown shiitake mushrooms, and 3 raspberry plants from her garden! Thank you, Jenna.

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