Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cream Cheese Pound Cake


Each month our local rural electric cooperative publishes a magazine. Yes, this is the same rural cooperative that had me reading the meter each month so they didn't have to send anyone out.......   In it you will find articles on Kentucky authors, places to visit, local oddities across the state, and exceptional recipes.  Recently the food editor passed away and her family decided to honor her by sharing her secret recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  Delicious, dense, and moist, it has an excellent flavor that can be enhanced with fruit.  

I made it this weekend and was not disappointed in the results.  I hope you will give it a try. 


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
fresh fruit or whipping cream for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large tube or Bundt pan.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until light in color and very fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat one minute between each egg.  Stir flour and baking powder together, then gradually add it to the mixture with a rubber spatula. 

Once incorporated, beat for 5 seconds and check for lumps.  Bake in pan for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  You may want to place aluminum foil on top of the cake during the last 1/2 hour of baking so the cake doesn't brown too much.  The top of the cake should be golden brown and may even crack a bit.  Cool for 10 minutes and run a knife around the edges of the pan, then turn out onto a cake rack.  Cool completely before slicing. 

I baked mine in a Bundt pan, but will use a tube pan the next time.  It was a bit difficult to get out of the Bundt pan.  Mine did brown a bit more than I wanted, but the flavor was still excellent. 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

You Never Quite Know What You are Going to Get

I think I have mentioned that hunting season is almost upon us.  If I am not mistaken, bow season is mere days away.  We use trail cams on our farm to track and document the deer population.  Usually we get some really interesting photos.  Not only of deer, but skunks, raccoons, and once a hawk. 


When Secret Agent Man and The Deerslayer went to check the camera recently they found a unique photograph. 



Yes, a few of our cows found the camera.  

Not the picture they were hoping for, but it gave us a chuckle anyway.  If you want to see some serious trail cam pics I suggest you check out Joe.  His captures are fantastic. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Go Big Green!

Sweat, grass stains, smelly uniforms, and cleats are the signs of fall at our house.  The Deerslayer participates in the time honored tradition of football in Smalltownland. 


It also means a crazy  practice schedule, scrimmage games and freshman football games during the week.  I am tired, but likely not as tired as The Deerslayer.  I tried to help him out when, after washing his practice pants, I tried to put the pads back in for him.  The words, "hot mess", come to mind. 



The team is showing promise as the season has been warming up with bowl games and another one on the schedule for this weekend. 


We will be out in force supporting our own home team of green and gold.  

After the purchase of a new padded seat for those bleachers....

GO BIG GREEN!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Say Fast Time, You Say Slow Time....Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Once upon a time, long ago in blog land, when I first started this endeavor I mentioned that I live near the central/eastern time line.  This may seem like a trivial notion to some of you out there, until you know just how we folks around here deal with this situation. 


First, let's clarify the vocabulary.  Around these parts we have fast time and slow time.  Colloquial terms for certain, but if you want to function in Smalltownland these words are vital to your existence.  Fast time is the local speak for eastern time and slow time is known as central time.  This is all well and good until you realize that about half of our county population lives in the slow time zone and works in the fast time zone.  
This means you have to make a CHOICE about what time you want to use in your daily life.  Confused yet?  Just you wait!  


All of the aforementioned language is relevant to the fact that some churches, and a few businesses, choose not to change their clocks when we all spring forward and fall back.  Yes....that's right.......half of the year they are on slow time and the other half they are on fast time.  If you are still confused, please review the vocabulary in the previous paragraph. 


Thus, when you make a doctor's appointment, or anything else as such, you must clarify the time as being fast or slow.  Please don't even utilize the words, eastern or central.  There are folks around here who won't even know what you are talking about.  I learned that lesson when I first moved here....fast and slow are the correct words no matter how strange you think they are. 

I have a friend who, when she visits her parent's home here in Smalltownland, watches her cell phone time change as she walks into a different room in their house.
As for me?  Well, I work in the central/slow time zone.  But, Secret Agent Man works in the eastern/fast time zone.  Typically our household clocks are set to eastern/fast time.  

Perpetual confusion will keep you on your toes.......


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bow and Arrow

Bow season is almost upon us and this was quite obvious when I came home from work on Friday to find this resting on the bed. 



I asked Secret Agent Man just what this was about and then he proudly opened the case to reveal his hunting accouterments. 


He touched the pieces lovingly and then closed the case.  I then asked if he could put it away.  He said he would put it under the bed.  

Totally not what I had in mind. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Haphazard Rambling

With things so busy during the week, my brain is totally fried by Friday.  Kids, work, and busy schedules make for a hectic, but good, life.  At the rate I am going, every Friday might be full of rambling. 


Shall we get started?  

First off, how about this vehicle?!  I could totally drive to work in this....on good weather days only.  It is both rustic and stylish.  Be still my heart.  

I think I am in love with the mule on this farm. It seems that he likes breath mints and his name is Jack. A manly name AND fresh breath....double bonus.   

I wish this lady was my neighbor so she would share her cooking/baking projects with me.  Yum. 

A bit of rain here for the past couple of days.  *clap*clap*clap*

A co-worker told me that our recent days of fog are foretelling snow for the winter season.....oh dear. 

That reminds me I need a new Almanac.  

Later gators.....
 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Descent

"Every descent is for the sake of a future ascent"  
  


Never perceive a failure (descent) as an isolated event.  It's part of a learning curve.  Broaden your lens a little and you will see this temporary setback as a tiny cog in a huge engine of overall progress.

What paralyzes us the most when it comes to taking action is the fear of failure.  If you can program your brain to see everything that happens, no matter how bad it seems, as part of a process, then you can neutralize that fear.


Failure is a judgement that you make.  If you frame each "descent" (regression) in your life as a necessary phase of a future growth you will bounce out of every problem with relative ease.  

Hasidic Wisdom
Rabbi Chaim Miller 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What a Family



Last night we had the pleasure of attending a Bluegrass festival here in Smalltownland.  Put on by our local Cattleman's Association, the featured act was JD Crowe and the New South.  However a local act, known as The Lindsey Family, stole the show in my opinion.  Comprised of eleven children, (yes really), ranging in age from 18 months to 20 years, they play Gospel and Bluegrass music. 

Their talent and stage presence was truly something to see and they had the crowd on their feet.  Although this video is not of the best quality, it does showcase some of their musical talent.  If you would like to read more about them you can do so here.

*Before you watch the video link, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page and turn off the music player*


Friday, August 12, 2011

Behold the Plum Granny

When I was a girl my Grandma Bird would grow Plum Grannies in her garden every year.  At their peak of ripeness she would pick them and set them in her window sills.  With the window open, their fragrance would fill the room.   


The Plum Granny is a gourd like melon and is also known as Queen Anne's Pocket Melon.  Legend has it that Queen Anne kept a Plum Granny in her pocket as a sachet.  The history of this ornamental fruit can be traced back to the Egyptians, who also prized it for its fragrance. 


I grew them this year in a straw bale where they vined out similar to a cucumber.  When ripe they have a yellow and orange striped marking. 

The Plum Granny is also known by the names pomegranate melon, plumgranny, or vegetable peach. 

Any of you ever heard of this little gem? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dream a Little Dream......

Sometimes in life there are those things that just catch your eye.  There is no rhyme or reason to this, it just is.  Perhaps it is the color, or the location of the item.  Maybe it is the form of the object or building. 

Whatever it is you just latch onto it and can't quite let it go.  For me it is this building.  Located just off of our historic town square this building has caught my eye.  I can't say that it is beautiful or in a great location, but there is just something about it.....

So, if you would, take a moment and dream a little dream with me.  What would you do with this building, if there were no limits.....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm All Shook Up

Last night a local committee of great ladies, who accepted me as a member, saw a project to its fruition.  In years past we had events entitled, "Jammin' on the Square".  These events showcased different types of music, performed on our historic town square, for free.  The community was encouraged to bring a lawn chair and join in a fun night of music and food.  Sadly, it has been a couple of years since something like that has happened around Smalltownland.  

But then.....this committee decided to spring into action and bring back this event and last night it came back with a bang! 

People set up chairs on the town square and enjoyed a free concert of local performers and an Elvis impersonator.  Yes, I said an Elvis impersonator.  And....he was good. 



He entertained the crowd with great music and some great moves.  And as the evening wore on, he stepped it up a notch. 

Ladies and gentlemen....he broke out the Vegas jumpsuit.  Toots, bless her heart, asked me just how on earth did he put on that thing?

The ladies were swooning over him and he obliged by giving away scarves....dabbed with his sweat. 


Words escape me people.....words escape me......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Totally Random


This week the chiclets and I went back to school.  No, I am not telling a tale, as my Gran Lucille would say.  I speak the truth and getting back into the routine this week has left my brain a bit scrambled. 


Hence, a scrambled post chock full of thoughts passing through my brain......

Smoked Applewood Bacon = divine 

How can my dogs keep shedding hair, but still look like they have so much left? 

There is a lot to be said for doing nothing. 

I love Mark Twain. 

I also love Etsy.

Where is Alice from The Brady Bunch when you need her?  

Feel free to chime in......

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Confess I Have a Outdoor Bathtub

So, I have an outdoor bathtub.  Doesn't everyone?

I admit I got the idea from the publication, Coastal Living, quite a few years ago.  I saw a photograph of an old claw foot bathtub on an outdoor deck and just knew I could do that at the farmette.  Plus, I already knew there was a claw foot bathtub, original to this old house, in the barn.  

Never mind that the old tub didn't have any feet or that it was covered in manure.  Or, that the drain was plugged with tar.....I was determined.  I scraped out the manure and cleaned the tar out of the drain.  And then Secret Agent Man intervened with his magic wand grinder. 

Next it received a coat of acrylic paint and a new set of feet.  And then came Secret Agent Man's magic words of wisdom...., "Where are you going to put that thing?"  That question is usually reserved for those times when I let him know that I just purchased a very ancient piece of furniture. 



And, in case you were wondering, it is in a secluded spot.  Most definitely not next to the cow trough, mailbox, tractor parking, etc....