Monday, September 27, 2010
For starters, everyone was late for work. For different reasons but still...
One truck had a flat tire. Another truck had a dead battery. 3 seperate people all had legitimate need for the one remaining truck still road worthy. Draw straws?
Bad storms blew in this morning around 10 or so, just after the tire got fixed and the battery charger got hooked up.
A power pole was down across the main road which made the grain truck late which meant breakfast was running late for about 100 cows who didnt see the humor in any of it and kept glaring at us saying "wheres my cereal?"
My neighbors hot tub cover was thrown agianst my fence and my cooler was jammed against it. Cushions from my newly refurbished deck were all over the yard and the chickens were huddled against the door seeking asylum.
This is just the noon update. We will see how the rest of this Monday goes!
High Noon at the "not OK" corral
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sitting at a table eating coconut shrimp and looking at an azure tide
There was a wedding going on in the courtyard.
Warm and uncrowded, everyone just soaking up the last bits of summer
Saw a jelly fish (dead)
and a mermaid (live)
brought one home with us and left the other...
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This is my absolute favorite time of year and to celebrate its coming, I decided to make my deck a more comfortable place to sit out and enjoy the crisper days and chilly nights.
It was time.
The deck is probably the most "abused" functioning part of the house. Blistering hot summers, rainy puddles, chicken unmentionables, dogs, kids rollerblading, spilled ice cream and sand. Lots and lots of sand from boots trekking back and forth.
The flooring had long since been worn bare of its former green stain and the railings weren't far behind.
nothing to write home about, that's for sure.
found a great candle holder
went all the way back to town because I forgot a candle...
a little herb garden, with some mint and oregano. One of these pots is mint chocolate and that is exactly what you smell when you crush its leaves. yummy
Had to try out that candle since I had made a special trip back to town just to get it. Incredible spicy fall smell that candle manages to have - perfect.
Not even the finest candle was any match for the almost (tomorrow) full moon above.
Pretty stiff competition...
How do you welcome fall where you live?
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Two little heifers that have just finished drinking a gallon of milk out of their buckets then decide to lick each others faces and suck each others noses.
Hey! In my world we call this cute~
Calves do this a lot but this is the first time I ever took a picture of it.
even if it was with my cell phone
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We are sure that they can hardly concentrate on having fun what with worrying about the farm and all...
so to relieve their concern, the following post has been written by those in a position to do so.
Dear Handsome Son, Dilly and Littlest Princess,
Hope you are enjoying your vacation!
Here are a few updates on the farm in case you are homesick....
Your Dad was hauled away by the Feds yesterday...
the charge was "Producing Too Much Methane". We tried in a brilliant legal maneuver, to prove it was the cows that produce methane but they insisted that their technology indicates it is him alone.
Next we tried to bail him out of those awful jail conditions...
but he fought us off valiantly.
He said he will try to "cope" with doing his time in the pen...
air conditioning, free cable TV, a "rec room" and lights out at 9 p.m.
He seems disturbingly happy.
We are sure it is a symptom of his captivity. Given the fact that most days he gets up before dawn and labors away for 12 to 14 hours in the heavy sun, why wouldn't he want to get out of jail and get back to that? It makes no sense really.
All of this has left your mom to do the heavy lifting, which isn't quite how things worked out, as today she got jumped by a 700 pound steer while her back was turned, slamming her into the ground which fortunately was very soft due to a recent rain and the fact that this is a "dumping" ground of manure for the grass fed steers.
After she got up and spat out a lot of questionable stuff she seemed OK...her T shirt looked cool on the back with two huge hoof prints trailing down it. Gives new meaning to the phrase
"Eat **** and DIE! doesn't it? She did one but not the other,
Given all the upheaval, the day to day running of the farm has been turned over to Rosie Red Princess and Robot Boy who made an executive decision to move the whole thing from reality world to the virtual world.
You can now find the family farm on Farmville at Facebook where the farming is finally going ever so much better!
In terms of the practical day to day matters an executive decision has been made in your absence and Dixie Dawg and Turkey Lurkey have been appointed to oversee matters in the interim until your return.
We hope you are finding your vacation satisfactory and as you can see...
no need to worry here!
We have everything under control....
Monday, September 13, 2010
This post is just about how to make a one dish meal that tastes good and looks like you worked hard on it when in reality it only takes abouut 30 minutes of your time.
I call it Rustic Pork Casserole because adding the word rustic makes it more charming. I guess one could up the ante even more by calling it Cassoulet which is ever so much more delectable sounding, while still meaning "meat and beans cooked in a crockery pot that has been rubbed with garlic."
Since I am replacing beans with potatoes and dont speak French, I will go with rustic instead!
Rustic Pork Casserole
Use as many pork chops as you like, just add the same amount of potatoes.
I used 8 of each. The pork chops are the cheaper "blade" cut porkchops which were on sale as "buy one get one free", thus explaining why I got 8!
Blot your porkchops so they will brown better.
Plug your crockpot in to warm up while you brown your chops in a heavy skillet. You are not trying to cook them, just brown them. A sandwhich press helps increase the surface contact for better browining if you have one.
place your browned pork chops on a plate and brown the remainder of them. A minute or two in a hot skillet gives a nice amount of browning.
While they are browning throw some celery in the bottom of your heating crockpot.
tip: cut the ends of the celery on an angle and they will fit perfectly in your round or oval crockpot.
While your chops are browning, scrub as many potatoes aas you have porkchopsand prick them with a fork. Microwave them for one minute each. This is the equivelent of "parboiling" and helps move this dish along faster.
Slice them in thick slices which will hold up better...
Chop some garlic...
for 8 chops and 8 potatoes I used 4 TBSP but you can use less if you are afraid of garlic OR you can trust me that it wont taste over garlicky and just go ahead...
The spices (easy and simple)Lawry's and Sage.
Layer the porkchops on the celery and the potatoes on the pork chops. Add your seasonings and finish each potato layer with some additional pepper.
Meanwhile back to your hot skillet the porkchops browned in... add some water to the drippings and bits...
also add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire
and a squeeze of lemon
this would have been a perfect time to add some fresh chopped mushrooms but I didnt have any - I did add some canned ones later.
Pour the pan drippings over the contents of the crockpot, cover and cook on high for one hour or on low for several hours. This dish is very forgiving and the flavors wont intensify too much, so its really up to you how long you cook it. In the last 30 minutes before serving, add some frozen peas and 1/2 cup of cream (not milk).
The cream thickens and pulls all the flavors together really well and the peas add some crispness and color.
I served mine with salad (beets, feta, romaine and red onion) and some flat bread I happened to have. Corn bread muffins or rolls would have been even better.
The prep time in this dish is only 30 monutes at the beginning. Then throwing in the peas and cream at the end. It makes your house smell yummy and makes all your hungry mouths happy. Not bad for 30 minutes!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
A mid morning shot that perfectly captures the Florida mood this time of year. The abundance of heat and rain and over growth of August is all around us. But the wind has picked up and it is drying out. A farmer friend told me she can "smell the fall coming"
May she please be right!
So goodby August with your heavy rain and 100 degree days. Now we get to leave the greenhouse effect behind and move into the fall and winter that makes Florida a paradise to live in.
Happy September to you all~
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
As far as we can tell his bigger than life heart must have just given out as he walked up the dirt road from the barn to the house. Handsome Son had just come up from the barn and remembered something he needed and turned around. He found Blue laying in the road already gone. Very fast. No pain.
He has left a very big hole in the fabric around here.
Here are a few things that we loved and will miss about Blue:
He looked like a big horse when he walked across the hayfield. Sometimes I would see him ambling his way up from the barn to the house and think a cow had gotten lose but no it was just big ole Blue...
Blue loved to lay on the picnic table, yes he did.
and play with "his" basketball
Guard dog on duty
Blue in love...
other things Blue "loved"
hitching rides right to his guard post at the front door
sleeping on the cool wood floor during the day
and his lambswool bed at night
But the BIGGEST love of Blues life was....
the cattle trailer!
He loved all the mysterious odors clinging to it, the clanging creak of metal against metal. He loved it with cows in it or out of it. He loved it best when HE got to ride in it. It was the closest his "jowls" ever came to smiling.
We buried him at the foot of Blackberry Hill. The most beautiful spot on the farm and the inspiration for naming this blog.
There he rests under a tree with a view of the whole farm spreading out in every direction.
He would have liked that.