Friday, December 9, 2022

nothing left but dirt and roots

A reminder of last post's progress on the vines.

Tuesday I did this.

Wednesday I did this.

And this.

Now I'm down to spreading out all the dirt and cutting out the roots as I come to them, way more work than just cutting back the vines. And it's hot again, in the 80s and humid.

The second bonfire was because the guy that mows the shop yard came on Tuesday and cut up a dead tree pulled down by wild grape and virginia creeper vines behind the shop that completely filled the space between the back of the shop and the fence. There's a lot of it still on the ground but at least we can mow there again. 

It was a huge pile, easily more than twice as big as the previous pile and the fire only burned the middle. Had a hard time getting it started too so I still need to torch the rest.

Thursday was SHARE and it was a food delivery day from the food bank in Victoria and fortunately we weren't too busy with clients. They sent four or five boxes of organic bananas that were so green the were almost emerald. My guess is they will go bad before they ripen. We still had one box left which we left out on a table to see if they would ripen during the next week. There'll be somebody there on Monday to check on them. Well, most the volunteers will be there on Monday for our little holiday potluck lunch.

Today I gave away two of my big plumerias and raked up leaves off the driveway and spread them around on the low spots in the yard. Tonight Is one of my nights to cook dinner and so far I have no idea what I'm going to fix (decided on pizza). But speaking of cooking, I promised to post the recipe for the stuffed acorn squash which I made last week and it was really good.

not my picture as I failed to take one

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash:
2 medium acorn squash
2 T olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Sausage filling:
1 T olive oil
1 small onion diced
10 oz Italian sausage, spicy or mild crumbled (I used mild but added 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes)
4 garlic cloves minced
1 T Italian seasoning
4 oz fresh spinach (I used pre-washed baby spinach)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cut off the top and bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base (not too deep in the bottom, my flat spot was about the size of a quarter), cut each squash in half crosswise, scoop out seeds and strings. Place cut side up on a baking sheet, drizzle cut sides with olive oil, rubbing it in, season with salt and pepper, turn cut side down and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350˚.

In a large skillet heat olive oil, add onion and cook on medium high heat about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred. Add sausage, garlic, Italian seasoning and cook about 5 minutes more until sausage is cooked through. Add spinach and cook another 5 minutes until wilted, add cranberries and pecans and mix all together. Season with more salt and pepper if desired (I didn't).

Flip roasted squash halves and fill with sausage mixture. Bake stuffed squash an additional 10 – 20 minutes until heated through (I split the difference for 15).


  1. I love roasted and baked squash of any kind. Hooray for the help you've had clearing sneaky vines intent on overtaking the property.

  2. It seems that if you turned your back on the yard, however briefly, it would completely take over everything. Your area can only be described as lush.

  3. What a sense of accomplishment you must feel!

    1. Not yet, not until I get the dirt spread out. But it is nice to see all that growth gone.

  4. That squash recipe sounds amazing - I need to give it to Mike to make for me. Ha!

  5. Wow, what a lot of work! It's looking good though.
    Thanks for the recipe. I don't *think* I've seen a stuffed squash recipe where the squash is baked first. I wonder if that's why I've never found one that I've really like yet.

    1. Everything is cooked separate and then reheated. It's really good. I can't imagine not roasting the squash first.

  6. I agree... that squash recipe sounds and looks yummy. I'd have to cut the recipe in half, though because I could never get the other half to try it! LOL And your yard is looking awesome! Lots of hard work and it shows!

  7. I always love seeing all the work you do there, even if it does remind me of what a lazy bum I am. Maybe if we had warmer temps, less wind and rain, I might go in the yard and pull some weeds.

    1. I have my lazy days but I just don't sit easily. About 30 minutes and I'm up looking for something to do.

  8. That squash recipe just went into the file. I suspect we're not far from colder days (at last!) and that's the sort of thing I really like: protein and veggies all together. You should see the yard around here. All of the bald cypress decided it was time to let go of their leaves, and there's a rust-colored blanket over everything. It's really quite pretty, but when the wind comes tonight, it'll be a couple of blocks down the street.

    1. My neighbor has a cypress tree in his yard and the same thing happened. Green one day and the next brown and the next bare. Cooler days after that storm this morning early but not by much. I'll take what I can get.

  9. That acorn squash does look delicious. I think I will try that recipe. Thanks, Ellen!

  10. Oh good, I will have to cut and paste and print that. I just bought some sausage and wanted to do something different with it. Looks like a nice dinner for guests as well.

  11. The yard is looking good! Who got your plumerias?

    1. There's a local group on FB for Wharton and a young woman posted asking where she could buy a plumeria. They had one about 2' and the dog destroyed it. Told her I would give her some. She and her husband came by and I gave them two big ones, reliable bloomers. They were thrilled! I just have too many and they are only getting bigger and harder to move around in the fall and spring.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.