Sunday, August 30, 2015

Division of Labor


In this house there is a certain division of labor.  I do most of the inside chores and the Farmer Man does most of the outside chores.  Yes, it is a rather antiquated system, but we end up doing things that we like.  My wine providing, high school French teacher once told her class that she and her husband divided the chores into, "water chores and non-water chores".  We are not quite that fair, but after 27 years of marriage our system works for us.  


Let's take this weekend's chores, for example.....


This guy decided to take possession of a friend's fallen Oak tree.  Though he rented a splitter to make the job easier, it has still taken three days worth of work to prep all of this wood.  



I did  11 loads of laundry instead......



"Age appears to be best in four things:  old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read."  

Francis Bacon 




Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Randoms



Yep....that's me giving Frisch's Big Boy a squeeze.  


I cannot imagine coming upon wild Orcas such as this man did, but he made a beautiful video from his experience.  Worth your time.


I wish all high school coaches had this kind of attitude.


Garden and Gun's Good Dog photo contest starts up again on September 15th.  Get those cameras ready!


Leaving you with a little Superstition today.  A masterpiece from Mr. Wonder.


Linking up today with Tanya! 




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thankful Thursday



A different kind of fence photo today for Theresa's link up.  Last weekend was spent in the great state of Indiana at a fast pitch softball tournament.  The girl of the house pitched and did a great job.  We are always so proud of her efforts.  Yes, they won the tournament :) 

Thankful today for my growing children who always seem to keep me busy.  Ball tournaments and trap shoots have filled our days.  Helping the boy child of the house navigate adult work routines and future decisions, while keeping the girl child in a new high school routine, makes for a busy life.  

Parenthood has been a challenge.....something only my Dad was honest about when my children came along.  

Busy I am and thankful I am....


Linking up today with Theresa......





Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tomato Hornworm


I found this little gem while watering some flowers.  


Though my tomatoes haven't produced well this season, the cherry tomato crop has produced fairly well.  I also have several, "volunteer", tomato plants here and there.  



Hence, this worm found a profitable home for itself.  



Its body is full of Braconid Wasp eggs, thus it won't live much longer.  Many species of this type of wasp are used as biological pest control.  



The wasps will hatch and attack any other hornworms in the vicinity.  

Slightly handsome.....but, just too destructive.  





Sunday, August 23, 2015

Curds and Whey

I finally decided to make cheese. 

 I know, I know....you can buy it in the store!  But, where is the fun in that?  The challenge, the skill building, the life experience!   


First you need some milk.  I used organic, whole milk with good results.  In a heavy pan, heat one gallon of milk to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  You will need an instant read thermometer for this, but they are readily available.  


When you reach the desired temperature, remove from heat, and pour in one cup of vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar worked for me, but regular vinegar is fine too.  



Stir mixture for 2-3 minutes, until curds begin to form.  Cover and allow mixture to sit for about 30 minutes.  



Next, line a colander with a flour sack towel and set it in a large bowl.  This will capture the whey.  


Pour mixture into the lined colander 




Allow to drain and then gently squeeze out excess liquid.  



Transfer to a bowl and add some kosher salt.  I ended up using about 1/2 teaspoon.  




Mix well and give it a taste test.  I found mine to be quite good.  A bit more in texture like ricotta cheese and with a very fresh taste.  I used mine the same day in a pan of homemade lasagna.  If not used right away, this will keep for about a week in the fridge.  



What to do with the whey?  


Well, I did read that you could drink it and I tried it.....but, I didn't care for that idea.  

Mine went to the chickens.  

Happy chickens, happy farm.  






Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Randoms



Here we have a photograph I took this week while turning off the highway toward my Smalltownland farm.  Two tobacco wagons awaiting transport to the barn.  A typical Smalltownland scene this time of year.  


Are you a fan of Whoopie Pies?  I am not, but my kids are.  I buy them at our local Amish Farmer's Market.  You can find the recipe here, but I think it is easier just to buy them from a nice Amish lady. 


 It's been a while since we have had a little Jimmy Fallon to mix up our day.  Here he is playing some Family Feud....my favorite game show.  


I finally watched this groom's epic wedding dance and I wasn't disappointed.  


Today you have your choice of some Post Modern Jukebox or some Fleetwood Mac.  Enjoy!  


Have a great Friday!!!!  



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thankful Thursday



Thankful this Thursday for good, health-related, news for my Mom.  If you have your health, you really do have everything.


"Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings." 

Pubilius Syrus






Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What a Sweet Surprise



My Morning Glories have taken over an old fence gate that rests against the side of my house.  In fact, they have also taken over the birdbath in this picture.  




While looking through the vines I found some Tennessee Spinning Gourds that had volunteered themselves this season.  I grew a batch a few years ago and not in this location.  I am sure I have the birds to thank for this.  



An heirloom seed from the 1800's, it is a treasure to have them growing around the farmette.  These small gourds were used as spinning tops for children.  

You can see them in action right here.  

You can find them for sale at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  
They have the best free catalog.....ever.  



Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bovine Beauties

We have a new herd of Bovine Beauties here on the farmette.  Arriving yesterday afternoon, they spent a snug night in the barn and were ready for some fresh, green grass this morning.  The man-child of the house is now working six, long days a week and was getting to sleep in a bit.  Taking pity on him, I went to help Secret Agent Farmer Man in the barn.  

I had to take my coffee.  



The ladies were pretty calm and proceeded to check out their new digs.  



Earrings people!
 They are essential when you are trying to achieve that down home farm kind of look.  



I was lucky that I came away from this excursion with my boots only covered in morning dew.  
A family friend who picks up/delivers cattle for us was not so lucky.  


He was swiped, from bottom to top, with a cow tail covered in manure.  Think of it as a paintbrush rendering a scene right on some blue jeans and a t-shirt.  Apparently he just took out his pocket knife and scraped it off his clothes.  No need to go home and change.....

That's a hardy man, right there.  





Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Randoms



What do you do when you need some potatoes for a recipe?  Why, you grab a basket and go dig them from the garden.  Plenty more await my efforts.  Pictured are Yukon Gold and a few potatoes of the purple variety.   


Most of us have suffered through the airline safety briefing.  This flight attendant makes it much more enjoyable.   


Who doesn't love Meryl Streep?  Here are a few things we can all learn from her fashion sense. 


Here are a few sports photos.  Some are guaranteed to make you look twice.  


How about another old school song for this Friday?  Kool & the Gang will be making their appearance at the Kentucky State Fair pretty soon.


Go forth and have a great Friday!!!!!!!







Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thankful Thursday



Thankful this Thursday for random spots of beauty.  Driving along a one lane country road, there appeared many areas of fence line that were obscured by wild Black Eyed Susans.  A bit of barbed wire fencing is barely visible on the right side of the photo.  All along this country road, it was the same scene over and over.  

Beautiful


"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."  

Confucius 



Linking up with Teresa today....





Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Small Town Snapshot

Our small community still holds religious meetings in tents, right on the side of the road.  



All are welcome and often the crowd is overflowing.  



Typically held in the summer months, a meeting like this can really test your heat tolerance.  



"The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."  

Mark Twain 




Sunday, August 9, 2015

Log Cabin Retreat

I have many interests.  Let's see.....photography, baking, books, cemeteries, and we can just add real estate to that list.  

In our county there is a small cabin for sale.  Built in the 1820's, it was disassembled and moved to its present location.  



Updated plumbing and electric, along with river frontage on the property, are among its exceptional qualities.  




Your neighbor to the right is a flock of sheep.  To the left, far away, is the roof of a house.  




No phone, no internet, and no formal address make it the perfect weekend get-away for me.  

At 850 square feet it is a tiny place.  I told the girl of the house not to worry.  I would save her a shelf in the kitchen for a bunk space.  




Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Randoms



A meeting of the minds....photographed through my kitchen window.  


All of us have so much to offer.  These people are featured in Rick Guidotti's photography about people with genetic differences.  


Are you a cyclist?  Secret Agent Farmer Man is a fan/participant of the sport.  Here is a list of must-ride trips.  


Here in Kentucky it is White Castle all the way, even though this map might say different.  Our neighboring college town even has the mobile White Castle van parked in a visible location on Saturdays.  What say you?  


Sending you off into the great, wild weekend with a little Dazz Band.  I know you remember them, right?  





Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thankful Thursday






Thankful this Thursday for a wonderful, whirlwind week.  I have had a great start to the new school year, the daughter had a great start to her Freshman year, the son started a new job, and the husband had a successful cattle sale.  

Whew....we have been busy.  

My photo for the Good Fences entry is really stretching it a bit, this week.  Photographed at the historic Wormsloe Plantation in Savannah, the oak lined drive is truly a thing of beauty.  









Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sunflowers

Even though we may not have a fruitful harvest,


we do have sunflowers to spread their joy and beauty around the farmette.  



It doesn't matter if their heavy heads are hanging toward the ground, 




or lifting to the sky, the bees and butterflies love them just the same.  





"The more we see the things around us - even the beautiful and wonderful things - the more they become invisible to us.  That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world:  the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds - even those we love.  Because we see things so often, we see them less and less." 


Joseph B. Wirthlin 








Sunday, August 2, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu


During my high school career I took a few years of French language classes.  I did the same during my college tenure and enjoyed these classes just as much as I did in high school.  Two fantastic instructors made all the difference.  

My high school teacher was an independent spirit who thumbed her nose at the ordinary and other people's opinions of her.  We all loved her Gloria Steinem sunglasses and the Camaro she drove around town.  

In one of my favorite memories, she allowed her French classes to take over the Home Economics room and cook a feast of French food.  She brought some recipes and the students shopped for the supplies with funding from the foreign language club funds.  This recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu is her recipe from that day.  


You will need boneless chicken breasts.  A slice of ham and Swiss cheese will be rolled inside each breast.  



Held together with a couple of toothpicks, coat the chicken roll in a flour/paprika combination.  





Brown the chicken in a little butter with olive oil.  



Turn down the heat, cover the chicken, and allow it to simmer for about thirty minutes.  



At this point you will need to deglaze the pan with some chicken stock and white wine.  My French teacher couldn't allow us to make this recipe without the wine, so she brought some in a jelly jar.  Can you imagine that happening today?  




After deglazing the pan a little cream will finish off the sauce.  
Plate and enjoy 



Chicken Cordon Bleu 

6 medium/boneless/skinless chicken breasts ((I used four just fine.) 
Swiss cheese slices
Ham slices
6 tbsp butter
Olive oil (at your discretion) 
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp paprika (I used a bit more.) 
1 tbsp cornstarch 

Spread chicken breasts flat.  Fold cheese and ham to fit on top.  Roll, fastening edges with toothpicks. Mix flour and paprika.  Coat chicken pieces in this.  In a skillet cook chicken in butter with a dash of olive oil.  Use medium heat to brown on all sides.  Add wine and stock, gently scraping the pan.  Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for about thirty minutes. 

 Remove toothpicks, at this point.  (If you can't get them out, just have your kids do it when it is finished cooking.)  

In a cup, mix cream and cornstarch, until smooth.  Gradually stir into the skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Serve sauce over chicken.  

Enjoy