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!

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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.

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