Monday, June 26, 2017

Farm Adventures... Sunny...cooler

Mrs. Hopeful's Plight
Last Saturday evening I had muted the T.V. while on the phone. As I
hung up I heard a little meow at the screen door. At first I thought
of Lonesome, for all his 20 pounds he has a small voice. But something
wasn't quite right, and sure enough when I got to the door I saw a
kitty I didn't know. She left, but only went a few feet and sat under
a bush. I got the flashlight and went outside watching all the while
for copperheads. Anytime after 8:30 p.m. is official copperhead
appearance hour. She waited right where she was and let me pick her
up. Now what do I do?????  I carried her back inside, and while
holding her and the flashlight managed to get some food and water. We
then went out to the goat barn where the large pet carrier was and
made an overnight motel for her. The whole time of being carried, she
never once wiggled or scratched. While handling her I got the distinct
apprehension that her stomach was disproportionally large. In the
morning she was more interested in getting to know me and be petted
than fed. What a sweetheart she is. Not a stray for sure, but no doubt
dumped when her condition was realized. We live so FAR from only one
other home, she couldn't have been theirs. Well all day Sunday I tried
to think of where I could put her. Monday, I took the kids out to see
her mid-afternoon and look what we found! Tuesday I renovated and made
raccoon, possum and snake safe, a large wooded dog house. Now begins
the task of finding good homes for she and the little ones. I am still
in the dog (make that cat) house for keeping Butterscotch's 4,
nine years ago.
So her staying here permanently is not an option. 
Anybody want a very sweet kitty that I have named Mrs. Hopeful?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... Sunny...warm

"What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge on it."
Charles Dudley Warner

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Blueberry Dessert... summer is finally here

Blueberry Dessert
1 package white cake mix

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts ( I use pecans )

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

2 1/2 cups  fresh blueberry pie filling (see note) 
(21 OZ. can  pie filling can be substituted)

1 cup sour cream (see note)

1 egg

Combine 1st 4 ingredients until crumbly. Save 1 1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining mix into buttered 9"x13" pan. Spread with pie filling. Mix sour cream and egg and pour over filling. Sprinkle saved crumbs over top  and bake at 350 30-40 minutes until top is golden.
Let cool completely  before serving.
*NOTE: to make pie filling from fresh blueberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
 bring to a boil
in small bowl, whisk together
1/4 cup Clear Jell or Cornstarch
6 T. water
till smooth, add to boiling mixture and whisk till smooth and thickened
crush one cup of blueberries, stir into above mixture then fold in one cup whole blueberries  remove from heat and allow to cool.
*NOTE: For a lower fat version that tastes equally as good substitute 1 cup fat-free yogurt cheese for sour cream, see how to make it HERE

Monday, June 19, 2017

Two Summer Tales ( Or Don't Count On Things) Sunny...less humid!

Bossy Britches has had a very bad summer!!!!
Her first clutch of eggs did not hatch, even though she did her best. When all hope was lost,
her owner gave her some other eggs since their
sitter had given up. They did not hatch either, but diligent little
mother that she is, she didn't quit. So in hopes of getting some
bantam chicks, the owner left her sitting until a few eggs bantam eggs could be
gathered. When there were 5--(this took a few days as the bantams are old and don't lay daily!)
 a switcheroo was done. BB didn't object and continued to sit ANOTHER 21 days. For a total of 76 days on the nest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All five hatched, Hooray!!!
We all have heard not to count your chicks before they hatch, right?
Well don't count them AFTER they've hatched either!
Two days later a snake invaded the hen house and took 3 of the chicks.
Just when we thought after 7 years of never a snake in this building this wouldn't happen!
Yes, Bossy Britches has had a very bad summer!

The owner has never had such beautiful tomato plants. Only 4, but theywere loaded with early tomatoes, 42 at last count. Overnight a swarm
of Aphids came by and look what happened. I guess one shouldn't count

her tomatoes before they're ripen either!Reminds me of the words of Irving Petite in his book
 The Best Time of the Year"Nature doesn't always give  warning of what is to come, and herviolence's must be taken as they arrive: the human sojourner in life must roll with nature's occasional punch."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... Summer's a comin'

 No price is set on lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.

--James Russell Lowell


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fresh Blueberry Streusel coffee cake.... partly cloudy... humid

1/2 cup Shortening
1 cup Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

mix shortening, sugar, and eggs together, beat till smooth, add remaining ingredients except blueberries, stir well then gently fold in blueberries. Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan sprinkle with streusel topping and bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes till tests done in center.

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp. lemon extract
Mix sugar and flour together, cut in butter till crumbly, add lemon extract and sprinkle over top of cake.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Quotes....Sunny... Hot

It is the month of June,The month of leaves & roses,When pleasant sights salute the eyesAnd pleasant scents the noses. 
  Nathaniel Parker Willis

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tastes of Summer..... Sun.... 80

Fresh lettuce, asparagus,  greens of all kinds, new potatoes, radishes, berries, fresh milk and eggs!!!!!! Oh my!  
Our "spring" offerings are a little late this year due to all our cool, cloudy days, but this week everything has started to come off at once it seems, we've had all of the above in varying amounts of abundance. With the hens still laying well and the baby goats weaning so we are getting more milk,  we have been using milk and eggs in (just about) everything, and the greens are coming off like they always do, (despite the cool weather other garden plants dislike), no way we can  eat them all as quickly as we pick them! So into the freezer they will go. A quick blanch in boiling water, a quick dip in cold water, drained  and packaged in a quart zip-lock they go into the freezer to await the winter time when I add them to just about every soup, or pasta sauce I make, they are a  very welcome addition to hearty winter soups (and a good way to sneak a 'green' into your supper for pickier eaters!)
Fresh greens boiled with a pinch of salt a pinch of sugar and
topped with a dab of butter and a splash of vinegar
Served with boiled and buttered new potatoes
Bumbleberry Cobbler
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup rhubarb chopped
1 cup sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1-2 T. rounded cornstarch
1 cup dry yellow cake mix
2 T. melted butter
Combine all fruit in saucepan, heat just till juice starts to flow, remove 1/2 cup juice, add sugar and lemon juice,
 continue to cook till fruit is heated through, about five minutes. Stir cornstarch into reserved juice, add to pan and cook one-two minutes or till thicker.
Pour into a 1.5 quart baking dish, sprinkle with dry cake mix and drizzle with butter. bake at 350* for 3o minutes.
Serve warm, wonderful with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Farm Life..... Cloudy...more rain likely


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... Foggy...60's

Spring being a tough act to follow,
God created June.   
Al Bernstein

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hay-Makers Switchel....

Well June has arrived, hot and humid, in spite of a long cool spring........ by now I figure most that make hay are 'in the hay' ...long hot days, and hard work.... Makes me think of all those that made hay the old fashioned way.....long before balers and Air conditioned tractors! and of course it makes me think of  Haymakers Switchel!
In the US since the 17th century, it was a traditional drink long before Gatorade or other 'sports' drinks. Back when people worked out in the heat all day every day  with out thought of air conditioning or even fans.
"Ma had sent them ginger-water. She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink till they were not thirsty. Ginger-water would not make them sick, as plain cold water would when they were so hot."
           Laura Ingalls Wilder  (The Long Winter) 
Back before Apple cider vinegar was known to have 'health benefits', and when the only ingredients available were simple and plain (no refined sugar, or over processed vinegar).
Recipes vary based on what part of the country it was made in, back east maple syrup might be used to sweeten it but in the south or plains it would most likely be sorghum or molasses.
The recipe is simple and easy to remember, adjustable to your own tastes.
 A sweetener—either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar—ginger, and cider vinegar was mixed with cold water: Of course we now know that all the ingredients happen to be sources of potassium—an electrolyte. Molasses is especially high in potassium, and vinegar has a cooling effect as well as being an 'energizer'.  
 I am pretty sure that most 'young'uns'  today have never heard of haymakers punch and if they have chances are they've never tasted it.  You don't have to be out in the hay field to enjoy it, any hot day will do (though I think you'd appreciate it more after a hard days labor in the sun!) mix up a batch and see if you like it!
 Haymakers Tea (switchel)
 2 quarts of cold water
½ cup of  molasses or sorghum
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's brand)
1 1/2 --3 tablespoons ground ginger
 up to 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar (optional, to taste)
In this picture  you can see two of our hay Mowers, in the foreground is Pocket and behind him in the
field our restored Antique John Deere sickle mower!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Quotes... Cloudy

"Preserve your memories
Keep them well, what you forget
You can never retell"        
 Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Strawberry Preserves.... Cloudy...warm

This recipe is perfect for those who prefer a softer consistency to commercial jam and like a spread that isn't overly sweet, what you taste is the fresh fruit!

Fresh Strawberry Spread
5 cups strawberries
1 1/2-2 cups sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 package pectin
2 T. strawberry Jello

coarsely crush strawberries with a potato masher
Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and pectin, bring to a boil, boil, stirring constantly for five minutes. Remove from heat add Jello and stir well.
Pour into sterilized jars and cool. store in the fridge. Makes four half pints.
Refrigerate for 24 hours before using.

Adjust sugar to your taste, and the sweetness of the fruit you are using, we like it on the tart side.
I buy pectin in bulk if you do too use a rounded 1/4 cup.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Farm Life... cloudy & cool

We have never had a cat that so many descriptive names have been given
to. "Up and Upon" would fit, as she can NEVER just sit on the plain
surface of something! You might remember last year she would climb in
the box that contained the Salton Yogurt maker while my yogurt was
incubating. I did not care to share it with her, but she never got the
point. So this year no box, and when I make it I wrap the container
with foam. Well I guess she misses her box, because she's settled for
this basket with a quilted top. It measures just 7" square! How comfortable
can that be?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Quotes... Sunny...warmer

Sweet May hath come to love us, Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;And through the blue heavens above us,
The very clouds move on.
Heinrich Heine

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Dessert .... Cloudy.. rain likely

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
Pulse graham crackers in food processor till you get even crumbs, add flour & sugar, pulse twice add butter and pulse several time till butter mixes with crumbs.
Press into a 13x9 pan, bake at 350* for 10 minutes.

1 package Neufchatel cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cool whip (from 8 oz container)
1 tsp. Almond flavoring

Combine all in food processor bowl and pulse till light and fluffy and smooth (it doesn't take long)
Spread into partially cooled crust.
4 cups fresh hulled strawberries, slice them  over the top of cheese mixture

1 (3oz. box) instant French vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
remaining cool whip from container
mix pudding mix and milk together , whip with wire whip till starts to thicken; fold in cool whip.
Spread over strawberries. Refrigerate  at least an hour before serving.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Farm Life.....SUN & WARM

Finally Bubbles and Buck got out of their pen to see the big, greenworld. To leave their barn they have to walk through a slurry patch(did we mention INCHES of rain lately?)  and Buck did not want to dirty his hooves.
However since Mom and Bubbles left he finally forced himself to do it.
Flossie saw no benefit in being tied out in the grass,
the humans' broken lawnmower not being her problem!!
She longed to go free or at least back to the barn.
But the kids had a great time
stretching their legs and having a few nibbles.
Soon Flossie broke free and browsed, making her OWN food choices.
The kids skedaddled to the safety of the barn where the gate was promptly shut and the human went back to the house
sighing all the way for the wasted effort.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... Sunny & Warm

"If it's drama that you sigh for, plant a garden
and you'll get it.
You will know the thrill of battle fighting foes that will beset it.
If you long for entertainment and for pageantry most glowing, plant a garden
and this summer spend your time
with green things growing."
Edward A. Guest, Plant a Garden

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Amazing Chicken....

Put this  chicken to brine today and you can have Amazing Chicken tomorrow!

1 whole chicken about 4 lbs
1 gallon water (or enough to just cover bird)
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika can be substituted)
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic

Place water in a large stock pot add sugar, salt and seasonings stir until all dissolved.  remove neck and gizzards ,discard. Rinse chicken. 
submerge chicken on brine mix, cover pot and place in fridge overnight.

Seasoning mix:
1 tsp. Cavenders Seasoning (or your favorite season salt)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika can be substituted)
mix together well

Remove chicken from brine, shake water out of cavity, using hand carefully separate skin from breast and rub all but one tsp of seasoning over meat under skin, push skin back down and place bird breast down in the crockpot, rub remaining seasoning over back of bird. cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

At the end of the day the chicken will be Amazingly tender, I remove from crockpot using two large slotted spoons and lifting it carefully to a large platter, cool just a bit and remove meat from bones to serve!
No need to add any other seasonings! Reserve cooking broth for an amazing soup base or to cook a pot of beans later in the week!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Farm Adventures.... Sunny... 70's

Here's a May Surprise - 2 huge snakes! 
 Lonesome has become my farm WatchCat. 
Twice today his stare has caused me to check what he's
looking at. Both times it was a snake. Once a King snake which is good
news, the other time a huge black snake. I tried to bucket him to relocate, but
failed, and later on went out to the chicken yard and found him again
with a girlfriend.  Well I'm now out of patience with all my losses
from snakes, 3 hens and 3 pigeons in the last couple of years, and
last week a clutch of 7 eggs destined to be chicks. So since the Man
with the gun was nearby, these 2 got a permanent home! 
They each  measured 6 feet long!
 Watch your step if you come over here!


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... Sunny... 70's

Hello  May, surprise me.....And then surprise me again!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt... Sunny.... 70's

1 quart Unsweetened yogurt **see note
1 can evaporated milk, undiluted
2 cups fresh strawberries
3/4--1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Place paper towel or cheesecloth in a colander or sieve dump all of yogurt in place plate on top and return to fridge for 2-3 hours.

when ready to make, crush strawberries coarsely add sugar and vanilla set aside.
Mix yogurt and evaporated milk together with a wire whisk, when well combined add strawberry mixture, pour in to ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions for your machine. ( I processes  mine for 25 minutes--then place in freezer for 3 hours before serving) 

***  You can uses whole milk, low fat or even fat free for this recipe

***adjust sugar to your taste and how sweet your berries are!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Quotes....RAIN

Spring, the time of year when you need 48 hours in every 12 daylight ones.
When everything needs to be done at once and most of it should have been done yesterday!
The time of year when housework falls into the lick and a
promise category.
A lick when you Have to, and a promise delayed until tilling,planting, mowing, & burning are done.
A time when new critter members are added to the family, requiring more of your thinly spread time!
 A promise to catch it all up before Haying,harvesting and canning time comes!

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Here in our part of  Arkansas Strawberries are often ready by Mother's Day! (where I grew up we often waited nearly till the 4th of July to enjoy them!)
'Back in the day' this county (Searcy) was the Strawberry capital of the world.
 The Flintrock Strawberry Growers Association of Searcy County reported sales of 19,500 crates in 1948.
Back then a crate held 24 quarts! The county paper reported 1956 as the peak year with 1,800 acres in production. In those days the school year was coordinated to allow children out of school (sometime in May) in order to pick. A large truck would be sent to town to pick up the children and take them to the fields, which were usually on the slope of a hill. (Remember this is the Ozarks!) They would climb the hill bent over picking their way up. One person I know said, in the late 1960's he was paid .06 cents a quart to pick!
This past week at the farmer's market in Little Rock a quart cost $7.00!
I recommend checking out Wikipedia, which had so many interesting facts about the Strawberry, going all the way back to King Charles V of France in the 1300's who had 1200 plants in his garden.
A few years ago you could find some version of this pie in almost ever small town café in our neck of the woods, this time of the year. It doesn't seem as likely now-a-days as most restaurants --even the small ones-- buy their pies ready made from some big supplier and you see the same kinds in every café, Buttermilk and Strawberry pies seem to faded into a thing of the past........................
                                                        Strawberry Pie
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
5 T. melted butter
1  8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 quart sliced strawberries
1/2-1 cup sugar*** See Note
1 cup water
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. strawberry Jello
1 tsp. Almond flavoring
Mix crumbs and sugar together, add melted butter, stir well then
press firmly into a 10” pie plate.
In medium bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with handheld mixer for
2 minutes or till light and fluffy.
Carefully spread into piecrust, place in fridge.
In medium saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch, add water and cook over medium heat until thick and clear about 2 minutes, add Jello and stir well, remove from heat and add flavoring and gently stir in berries. Spoon into crust and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Can be served with or without sweetened whipped cream on top!
**The amount of sugar you need totally depends on how sweet your fruit is!
Taste  your strawberries first and adjust as needed

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

farm life...con't from yesterday.... sunny....windy...50's

Good morning, yesterday I shared the kitties in the new box photos, well this morning we have a continuation of that... and the moral of the story "Persistence pays off" see Lonesome REALLY wanted in the new box, & Lonesome is too big to fit in the box with any of the other cats.... But Lonesome has a way of getting what Lonesome wants.............. the look on his face in the last picture.......... priceless !
Have a great day!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Farm Life....Sunny....chilly...45*

It's sunny here today, but we had a long, wet, dreary, chilly, rainy weekend..... the chores still had to be done, everyone fed and watered................ unless you are a cat..... if you're a cat you can just sleep away the rainy weekend :)

I woke her up, she is NOT amused
This box was not put here for cats to sleep in,
they disagree, they think that's exactly what it
was put here for!

Apparently if ALL of you won't fit in the box
half is better than nothing!
Have a wonderful Week!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Quotes.... cooler

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. 
 William Shakespeare

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch.... Rainy...cooler

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
10 T. melted margarine
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups raw rhubarb, diced
2 cups strawberries, cut in half
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

 Mix first 5 ingredients until crumbly. Press 1/2 into greased 9x13 pan. Cook sugar, cornstarch and water until thick and clear, add vanilla, strawberries and rhubarb, pour over crust in pan. Sprinkle rest of crumb mixture over all and pat lightly. Bake 350 for 35-40 minutes, till bubbly and lightly browned.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NEW items & a SALE ..... Partly sunny , warm

New Items listed this week in our Etsy Store & don't forget our 25% off Jewelry sale too! 
Retro Clothespin apron

Spring Jewelry sale! ALL jewelry 25% off with this coupon code: JEWELRYSALE17, just enter when you check out for your discount!
Ruffle baby hats

Set of three shabby hearts just $10.00


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Quotes

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its' wintry rest"
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lemon Thumbprint Cookie.... partly Cloudy... very warm

As with many old timey recipes, there are a lot of versions of how thumbprint cookies came about and just when they date back to. But regardless of all that, the fact remains that they are a well known cookie reminiscent  of 'the good old days' when Grandma still baked cookies with the grandkids while wearing her apron!
This recipe is quite simple, and the tender flaky cookies, show off the filling wonderfully. Traditionally thumbprints are filled with jam or jelly and though that will work beautifully in these, in springtime when we have so many eggs I love them filled with our Homemade Lemon curd recipe HERE

1 cup butter, very soft
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsps Almond extract
2 cups flour

1 cup homemade or prepared Lemon curd (cooled completely)

Mix butter and sugar together till very creamy, add extract.
Add flour and still well, it will be very crumbly at first, keep stirring, it will come together into a nice silk ball, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour (longer is fine too).
Lightly dust hands with flour and pinch off small balls of dough, roll into a ball about 1 inch in size place on ungreased cookie sheet and as you set down use your thumb to make an indentation in center of cookie. You can place them quite close together as they hardly spread at all.
When all your cookies are formed, take a teaspoon and place a dollop of lemon curd in indentation (don't overfill--about 1/2 a tsp. will do it) Bake at 350*15-18 minutes. Cookies will be slightly firm to the touch but will not brown. Remove from tray to a wire rack and cool completely.

Glaze: Mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice (about a teaspoon)  to make a glaze that is thick but will easily drizzle off the end of a spoon, glaze cookies and serve!!!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Quotes......

April, April
Laugh thy girlish laughter,
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears.         
Sir William Watson

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Pie... Sunny.... warmer

Strawberry Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 T. sugar
5 T. melted butter
1  8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 quart sliced strawberries
1/2-1 cup sugar*** See Note
1 cup water
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. strawberry Jell-O
1 tsp. Almond flavoring
Mix crumbs and sugar together, add melted butter, stir well then
press firmly into a 10” pie plate.
In medium bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with handheld mixer for
2 minutes or till light and fluffy.
Carefully spread into piecrust, place in fridge.
In medium saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch, add water and cook over medium heat until thick and clear about 2 minutes, add Jello and stir well, remove from heat and add flavoring and gently stir in berries. Spoon into crust and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Can be served with or without sweetened whipped cream on top!
**The amount of sugar you need totally depends on how sweet your fruit is!
Taste  your strawberries first and adjust as needed

Please click on 'older posts' to see all our posts! Thanks :)

The items we offer are as varied as the weather in these hills!
Hand-hammered copper jewelry, handmade wood case clocks, biscuit and rag quilts, handsewn infant gifts, handcrafted soap, & homespun tales and photos of our menagerie of four footed and feathered friends.

Copper earrings

Copper earrings