Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A boy and his dog...

It's a beautiful thing!
Joel and Peaches the LGD are best buddies on Emily and Anders KY Farm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You can take the girl off the farm....

But she'll always have a soft spot for Red Wattle piglets. They are the cutest piglets ever!!
These are from my DSIL's first litter. They just discovered how nice the heat lamp is. :^)

The breakfast delemma

I think we've solved the problem of what's for breakfast when there's no time for breakfast. We took whole wheat yeast dough rolled out to about a 1/4 inch. We spread a mixture of spinach, ricotta with an egg or 2 mixed in and lots of cheese over the dough. Then we rolled it all up like  sweet rolls. Cut it into nifty fat pinwheels and popped it into the oven.

Result: Breakfast rolls with lots of protein and some veggies that taste just as good cold as hot. And it's even better dipped in ranch dressing!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another junk food success story

These lovelies are whole wheat yeast dough stuffed with chopped pepperoni mixed with ricotta, mozerella, parmesian and asiago cheeses. I like them hot or cold, plain or dipped in marinara. The only problem is we didn't make enough of them!

Inventing better "junk" food

On Thursday it snowed... and snowed... and snowed. So my DD and I spent the afternoon reinventing "junk" food. You see my husband by his one admission only cooks a bare minimum of dishes: chili, ham and beans, burgers. And he has a tendency to run down to the little market in Bean Blossom and grab a frozen pizza instead of cooking at all. We decided we could improve his eating habits if we made some grab and go "junk food" from scratch.
Lydia and I decided to tackle the problem with whole wheat yeast dough, some Red Wattle supper sausage, cream cheese and really yummy German mustard.

Lydia had already cooked the sausage. I cut the long links into about 3 inch pieces and sliced each piece nearly through lengthwise. Then Lyd's stuffed each one with cream cheese and a smear of mustard completed the ensemble. 

We rolled out pieces of dough. Then rolled each piece of sausage up in dough. These "pigs in a blanket" got 15 minutes to rise a bit then popped into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

An unbiased taste test says: DELICIOUS!! we will definitely do this again. They are good hot or cold.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My personal book club

I miss my son... and his library. Since he moved his little family to Kentucky it is much harder to borrow books from him. When I finished my last borrowed book: The Resilient Gardener, I realized I was going to have to take desperate measures. 

Yes I know I could go to the library and borrow books, but they don't often have the titles I want and they insist on having the books returned within two weeks. Soooo I looked at the budget and decided on a safe "recreational" allowance for myself. I couldn't bear to wait for a new title in the mail so I made an excursion into the closest Borders. I settled on Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Vegetable Miracle".

Why you may ask did a farm girl from way back feel compelled to read a book written about a family eating local? It's not my fault. At least once a week, someone says, :"Have you read...." "No, but that's the way we live." I would reply. And then I would explain about our food choices and how food choices affect the economy locally and globally. Which is usually followed by an incredulous stare and  the comment, "I can't believe you haven't read this book." So I read the book. So when they asked the question I could just say "yes, yes I have read it."

Not much in it that I didn't already know, but I found myself really enjoying Kingsolver's writing style and the asides by her husband and daughter. And I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

But you don't have to read the book to go local and you don't have to read the book to try the recipes. Go to to seek out local sources for seasonal foods and go to to find Kingsolver's recipes.

Go local! Become a localvore! Try some adventure eating! Eat well! Know your farmer, know your food!

Sorry there for a minute I got carried away. ;^)

I am almost finished with "Animal Vegetable Miracle". So I pulled up and ordered 3 more titles: one on breeding your own vegetable varieties, one on gardening West of the Cascades and one about gardening is less than perfect times. Now I am eagerly waiting for the mail lady each day.

Maybe I'll post book reviews!! Oh horrors! did I say that out loud? :^)

All the pretty colors!

While I was stuck on the couch  recovering from my knee and foot surgery, I took up an old pastime.

When I was about 10 years old my grandma taught my older brother and me to crochet. Looking back, I think she taught us so she could have a little piece and quiet. You see we were on a summer trip to Alaska in a pickup truck with a camper. Four of us all cozy in the truck cab for hours and hours each day. I don't think Grandma Dorothy ever got to sit by the window. She had to sit between us squirmy kids. So when the view of the Canadian prairie passing by the window couldn't hold our attention, she taught us to crochet. Nothing fancy. Basic stitches. I made sleeping bags and sheath dresses for every one of my Barbie dolls on that trip!

So there I was on the couch. Bored. Restless. So I dug some cotton ombre out of my yarn basket, took up a wooden hook and started to crochet. Dish clothes in every shape and size with pretty ruffled lacy edges, hot pads and pot handle covers and thick table protectors to put under hot dishes all blues and yellows piled up on the coffee table. My dear husband ,who is always the comic, couldn't resist noting that the pot handle covers looked like they would make nice warm cozies for something more personal.(Use your imagination! Think like a guy!)

Now my kitchen is neither blue or yellow. So I gave piles of crocheted goodies to my daughter and daughter in law for Christmas. I think they both liked them. Lydia asked for an extra long table protector. I'm still working on it. It's taking so much longer now that I'm back at work. I've got about 4 inches to go.
As soon as it's done I'm going to start on dish cloths for my kitchen in brown/green/cream ombre. Hmmm...then I think I'll try the pattern I found for kitchen towels and then...

Rehoming Petunia

PETunia is a full grown registered Red Wattle Sow. She has been our daughter's pet and the farm's spokes- pig. She is gentle friendly and personable. She just can't go to the apartment with us or off to the college dorms with KC.

So we started  looking for a new home for PETunia. PETunia was one of the first Red Wattles we ever had on the farm. She is definitely the friendliest and smartest RW we've had. The pic is PETunia with the kids who came out to the farm from Camp Palawopec this summer. She let them pet her and touch her wattles even out in the pasture. In the evening, the barn hen and rooster use her as a perch when it's cold. She doesn't mind a bit. In the morning if you are late to let her out to pasture, she lets herself out and goes on walkabout.

KC fell in love with her and claimed her as her own. This is one of those glitches in my world. KC hates dirt and is horrified of germs. I've never ceased to marvel that of all the animals on the farm she picked a pig for her special pet. Go figure?! But fall in love with her she did and PETunia was elevated from barnyard critter to PET. So her we are re-homing her instead of sending her to the processor like a regular hog.
Petunia will be going home with her new family on Friday. Bye bye PETunia we'll miss you. :^(

Contestant number one...

My DD gave me what she says is THE best homemade brownie recipe ever: Malt Fudge Brownies
Ok. I had been promising Brian homemade brownies for about 2 weeks. My excuse for not making them... well I kept thinking I'd make them  in the evening after dinner. Problem is after dinner I am too tired and my foot/knee hurt too much to spend time working on brownies in the kitchen.

So Friday morning as soon as I got up I started making brownies. I wish I had waited until I had at least had a cup of tea!
Here is what I did:
Preheated oven to 325 degrees. Ok so far so good. The recipe said to stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3c malted milk and 1/2 tsp of salt. I didn't have any malted milk so I left that out. It will be ok, right? Set aside. Grease a 13 X9 pan. I used glass.  Seemed like a good idea and it's the only 13 X9 pan I own.
In a saucepan over medium heat put 1 cup butter, 4 oz unsweetened chocolate cut up. Heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of sugar. I forgot to stir in the sugar.

Add 4 eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon between each egg just enough to combine. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir.
This is when I realized I forgot the sugar. So I stirred it in too. 

Stir in flour mixture, 1 cup nuts (The recipe calls for walnuts but I'm allergic to walnuts and Brian doesn't eat nuts. So I left them out at this point.)

Squash up about a 1/4 cup of malted milk balls and stir those in too. This was sort of fun and a whole lot easier when I used my biggest round spatula to do the squashing.

Honey waited patiently in hopes that I would drop something
yummy on the floor. Or is that a worried look? Maybe she noticed
that I forgot the sugar?

I squashed up some more malted milk balls for the top and added a handful of pecans to one end for me. Then popped it into the oven for 35 minutes.

The recipe said to cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack. This part I did right.
So how are they? I don't think they are chocolatey enough.The finished product was pretty blonde. The texture was good and fudgey though.  Brian says they are good but "Wow! They're rich!" What did he expect from all that butter and sugar?

I think next time I will half the recipe. A 13 X 9 pan of brownies on the counter is just too much temptation and too much sugar for our middle aged selves. I think I may cut down the sugar just a bit - and remember to put it in at the right time.LOL  Also I think I will add more chocolate or maybe higher coco content chocolate. I used some organic chocolate I had in the pantry this time.

Bring on ultimate brownie recipe contestant number II!!

I'll let you know how it comes out with the tweeks just as soon as we recover from this batch!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Iron ware

I love iron skillets. They are great for frying, saute and baking. The best chicken pot pies I've ever made were made in my iron skilllets. They are great for making "Makes it's own crust Quiche" too. Plus they add small amounts of iron to your diet. What more could you ask from cookware?

Dressing for the weather

Our grandson has his own idea about the way to dress for winter weather. I made him mittens and a hat for Christmas. I think he must like them, because his mommy says he brings them to her so she'll help him put them on.
This is his favorite outfit right now: diaper, hat, gloves and boots!!

TO CUTE! :^)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bye Bye Boot!

Yesterday the Dr. said I can start phasing out the boot. YEAH!!!

Only problem is with the new shoes and the wedges and the new orthotic... I almost can't get my foot in the shoe. It's tight!

Oh well. I start Phys. Therapy next week. We're hoping the physical therapy will strengthen the knee enough that I can get rid of the knee brace too.

Now that would be something to celebrate!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In search of the perfect homemade Brownie

Brian and I agreed that when we move to the apartment we will not give up our localvore/least processed eating habits. But I have a confession. Brian loves brownies from a mix and I haven't found a recipe for homemade brownies yet that makes him happy.

So now I am on a quest for the perfect - not to dry, really chocolatey without being bitter, chewy, yummy brownie recipe.

If you have recipe suggestions please send them to me:

I think I'll review the results here.

And so a new chapter begins...

Now that the farm is officially closed, I am turning my attentions to preparations for our move to town. Today we are going to my orthotics appointment to get the wedges in my shoes so I can learn to walk correctly again and then on to see my ortho Doc to see what he thinks about the progress on my knee and foot. I'm hoping I get out of the doggone boot and to start physical therapy. 

Then it's off to Crawfordsville to check out some more apartments.

Apartments: AKA small enclosed places that make farmers pace and fidget. I am working on a game plan that will let me keep my fingers in the dirt, leave very little idle time and allow me to research new growing methods. There is no way I'll be able to sit around watching TV and eating Bon Bons!