Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Baking

I am to the point in holiday planning that some of my idea/ recipe books come off the shelf.  I have recently purchased sourdough starter and have the flour flying in the kitchen.  I have started gifting loaves of bread just yesterday!  This year my daughter has a variety of high school gift exchanges and secret Santa duties and she is (finally) interested in baking, making of snacks and home made hot cocoa mix.  These books as well as many others share our favorite family recipes.  I will include a family favorite for hot coco mix for gifting.  
All ingredients well mixed in large bowl then packaged in smaller gift giving amounts perhaps with a mug, peppermint stir stick and instructions for prep.  Here goes:  1 1/2 cups mini milk chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups powdered coffee creamer, 1 1/2 cups powdered chocolate flavored drink mix. 1 1/2 cups powdered instant dry milk, and lastly 2 cups mini marshmallows.  One serving is 2 tablespoons mix with 1 cup boiling water.  Stir well to melt chocolate and enjoy.  
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Japanese Maple

This is a photo of our Japanese Maple tree.  It has so many pretty colors.  The leaves are very lacey as well.  Enjoy.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Beautiful Fall

I have decided to change the format of the blog.  I have had troubles getting posts up do these will be quick and short more of a celebration of what is happening in my life.  
Fall this year has been nice and warm with dry weather.  This is a photo of a tree we planted when we moved to the farm.  Very nice colors indeed!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rain Before the Storm

 These are a series of pictures that sum up over a week of weather.  We have had several days of clouds, drizzle and intermittent storms.  I have about had my fill and I think my livestock feels the same way.  It makes chores harder, the animals  spend less time grazing and the parasites that can harm them just love it.  I enjoy the walks out in the pasture with the animals.  In the last photo you can see some hope for better weather for today.  I will keep my fingers crossed!

Monday, August 15, 2016


We have two young peach trees and we planted them two years ago.  In spite of a few hours of below freezing temperatures in April this year, they produced the farm's first ever peaches.  That being said, one of the trees made a nice home to a nest of robins.

This is the smallest of the trees.  It started with three peaches and ended up with two.  
This last week we picked all eleven peaches from the trees.  We are them fresh-sorry no new recipes.  Maybe next harvest.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Big Beautiful Bales

Check out what has been happening on the farm-big round bales of hay.
Hay can be made economically, quickly and with less manpower than the square bales of times past.
On our farm these bales represent food for the animals and a little insurance in case of bad weather.  The weather in our area this year is turning toward a drought and having several big bales to feed the animals is like money in the bank- and is reassuring to me.
These bales are fed from big round bale feeders that are made specifically for goats.  They are set in the feeder with a tractor.  These feeders keep the bales off the ground and make it nearly impossible for goats to climb on.
As you check out these pictures think of them as rural "glamour shots".

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Today has been a busy and fun day.  Taking time to thank all the father figures in my Dad and my husband.  While they prefer to remain anonymous, I have made a meal for one complete with homemade chocolate ice cream and taken the other out to eat and made a strawberry rhubarb pie for him.  I have recipes to share as all recipes turned out very well.
 Let us start with the pie.  Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I made the recipe exactly like the instructions and it turned out fabulous!  A nice flaky crust and not too much sugar.  My Dad and I have a deal- he bought me the rhubarb plants years ago, in exchange for a yearly dessert made with rhubarb.  A definite win -win situation!

If you are a chocolate ice cream fan this Alton Brown recipe is for you

This ice cream is very smooth and creamy!  
I hope you give either of these recipes a try and share with your loved ones.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Coming Out of Hibernation

I live in the Midwest.  Our winter has been topsy turvey with some days being very cold the next few days would be above normal.  We have had a lot of wind making the temperature feel colder than normal.  The last two weekends have included the warmer weather days and even with the wind the sun felt warm.  I feel like I am coming out of hibernation and I have a little spring fever.  This excitement over warmer weather has really kicked up my creativity.  I am a knitter, spinner, gardener and shepherdess of some fantastic goats.  The kitting has taken a surge forward in that I have been queuing more patterns on Ravelry.  I have also cleaned up my favorites on Ravelry.  Craftsy has been having a sale on yarn and I have purchased yarn for very specific projects- sock yarn, two skeins for hats and two shawl quantities. I have caked up the hat yarn and should have the first hat completed today.
I have been searching Etsy and sheep breeder listings checking for shearing dates and checking out fleece.  I am looking for Blue Faced Leicester in white and a colored Romney as this point.  I have started checking the Iowa Sheep and Wool home page looking for class listings(still not posted but should be soon).  I have picked out fiber to comb and then begin spinning from fleece I have purchased in the past.  I have also chosen the next cheviot roving to turn into socks.
I have been looking through garden catalogs and discussing with my daughter and husband some tentative plans for the garden.  In addition to growing popcorn I would like to grown corn for grinding into cornmeal.  I have been looking at the options in the Seed Savers Exchange catalog.  My daughter takes a section of the garden and donates all the food that her area produces.  It is funny I could barely get her to weed a section for our consumption, and yet she had a good time working for the benefit of the food pantry.
This past week the baby goats have started to arrive.  We have decided to name the nubian babies sweet treats.  We have Ginger Snap, Oreo and Toffee so far.  The angora babies will be named after characters in Greek mythology.  The angora babies are coming in lots of colors we have white, taupe, brown and black curly coated babies that need to be named.  Who needs a dog when you can pet one of these curly coated babies?  Well it is time to go do another barn check talk to you soon!