Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin scones and catching up

The other day when I did the Day in the Slow Life meme I talked about pumpkin scones...so I thought I'd show you what the big deal was about.

Scones are my new favorite baked treat - aside from pie, of course. They are quick, easy, and really versatile. Remember the perfect blueberry scones? My second favorite kind are the pumpkin scones from Starbucks. I like the spicy taste and all the pumpkin-y goodness.

And me with all these pumpkins.

So I decided to try and find a "copy cat" recipe. Which I did very easily, just search on "Starbuck's Pumpkin Scones."*

The process is super simple. Mix your wet ingredients - in this case, pumpkin, egg, cream. Separately combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter.

Pour your dry ingredients on your baking table, make a 'well', then pour in the wet mixture. Carefully work in the dry ingredients and use your pastry scraper to gently mix together. Next form a rectangle and cut into wedges.

Bake in a hot-ish oven until lightly browned. When cool top with a simple powdered sugar and (goat)milk glaze.
 Cooling and ready for the glaze

Easy peasy and pumpkin-y!

* So a small rant and an explanation why I'm not including the recipe. In my old life I did a lot of legal work - nope not a lawyer, but spent a lot of time talking about indemnification and all that gobbleddygook.  I was going to include a link to the site where I found the recipe.... but noticed that the owner had a legal notice that granted the causal user a non-exclusive license to use the recipes for non-commercial purposes. But the whole site was dedicated to publishing the recipes of big name chain restaurants. And the site was monetized so the owner was paid for each click. I don't have a problem with monetized sites at all... but don't pretend to give me a license to use something you have clearly ripped off. And another thing. Some of these chains, like a Big Coffee Place, don't have a secret lab of folks coming up with snacks. They hire local folks to come up with ideas and pay them a couple hundred bucks for each one they use. So you aren't 'sticking it to the man' by publishing those recipes. And so I'm not including a link or the recipe and that site owner can bite me. Rant over.


On an unrelated kitchen note, has your local store started its "Turkey Wars?" We got a buncha frozen turkeys for $0.19 a pound! Which means we got a couple of 22 pound turkeys for about $3.99. THREE DOLLARS AND NINETY-NINE CENTS. You can't even buy a poult for that much - let alone a bag of turkey food. Wow what a deal! Remember you don't have to sign up for a whole roasted turkey. Either have the butcher cut it in half or part them up like I do

The only thing about a frozen turkey is you have to cook or can the meat after you part it up. You probably shouldn't defrost, part up, then re-freeze. But here's how it works for us, we grind a bunch of the meat, fry it up with mexically-taco seasoning, and portion into taco or nacho serving-sized freezer bags. Or we make meatballs, cook them, then freeze. This makes a super fast dinner when cooked in home canned tomato sauce.

So be on the lookout for those turkey sales and load up the cart!

Farm Notes:
* We had our first really hard freeze (not just a frost it was a freeze) the other nite - so anything considered 'tender' is pretty  much gone. I had hoped to get a few more things up (I had some basil that was really beating the cold), but its pretty much over.
* I was able to save some cranberry beans - I'll be cooking them up soon....and I also took up even more pears. The dogs and I picked up probably 7 or 8 gallons worth.
* And we need to dig up the rest of the potatoes. They are OK with a couple cold nights but we are pushing our luck if we leave them much longer. We tried some of our canned potatoes tonite and they were great!
* Clucks and ducks are going strong. Many of the hens are either just getting over their molt - or just starting. Honestly they are the saddest looking group of hens I've ever seen. Good thing they can snuggle together on these cold nites.
* The meats are going strong. They are getting huge - I'll post another update soon.
* Debbie the goat is acting like she has rabies (just kidding but she is acting like a loon). She and Nibbles have established an uneasy peace. Milking them this late in the season is kind of useless and is burning more hay then its worth. I can't believe we'll have to BUY milk. Sheesh!
* The pigs are looking tasty. They may not be as big as the ones last year.. but they will hold their own.
* The pup is doing great. She slept thru the night and only cries when she needs to go out or needs something. Except now - she can see me and is having a little puppy break down. She hit another developmental milestone and now likes to run with the rest of the dogs - not be carried. That's for babies. So she says.
* And on a personal note, I'm in catch up mode. We've been handling some tricky situations lately  - and have driven about 700 miles in the last week or so..which is pretty intense if you are someone who never goes anywhere. Sorry, if I've been slow to respond. Onwards and upwards, right?

Happy Sunday Night! Now go and bake some scones for breakfast tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Day in the Slow Life

I was totally surprised (and excited!) when my pal, Mr. H, over on Subsistence Pattern asked me to participate in A Day In The Slow Life.  This meme is a great way for non-farmy folks to see what really happens in our everyday...and how the slow life rocks.  At least, that's what I think Toni wanted to show people.
Summer morning

As far as how to get "here" from "there" (you know who you are, corporate monkeys!)... the best advice I can give is "start where you are, use what you got, do whatcha can."  Or you can always do what I did and give "The System" the finger and get all farmy in one fell swoop - but that's some serious business and not for the faint hearted.

As an introduction, you can learn a little about how and why we are taking a whack at this life here.  And how we got here.  In short we have this life because we wanted to. Purists may be disappointed but, we're not trying to make a statement or change the world - we're just doing it because we can. I did The Big Life for 20 years and it really didn't work out for me. It didn't feed my soul, and frankly, it didn't do my health any good either. When I lost both of my parents by the time I was 34 I figured I'd better get serious about living the life I wanted to instead of just going along with the flow or meeting someone else's expectations. So I did.

I get a lot of weird looks and questions about my life.  And I get a lot of "Gosh I want to do that!" Um.. are you sure??  Its hard to explain how much work this life is, not that its a bad thing. Just different than what you'd expect. Some of my city friends think my life is like this:

Morning: Get up at my leisure, go out to wagging dog tails and happy cats, eat breakfast on the deck while my well behaved flocks happily run around in the barnyard.

Mid-Day: Read some magazines while sitting in my chair, watch baby ducklings play in the kiddie pool, nap.  Maybe make a pie.

Evening: Enjoy a dinner on the grill, watch the sun go down, read some farm related material, go to bed well after midnight.

HA! Come along, Future Farmer... pull on your farm boots and lets bust the lid off this easy, "slow"  life ideal and show you what its really like.

Wednesday Oct 27th - A Day in the Slow Life

2:30 AM. I'm not kidding that's when my day started. 2:30 in the morning. AM. O-dark thirty. Dog #1 was barking in a weird way so I got up.  He and I went out and stood on the back deck. Then we heard it. The roosters were screaming their heads off. You are kidding me.

So the dog and I double timed it out to the hen house (yes, in my underpants) to see what was going on. I opened the hen house door and...nothing. So I yelled in, "HEY! What is the problem?" Nothing. Just roosters screaming. Sheesh. Since I was up anyway I took the puppy out for a quick pee (she, not me) and went back to bed.

6-something AM. Round one of the Insane Cat Posse's "Hey get up!" routine starts. Peep arrives on the scene first. During the summer I'd already be out there working at 6 in the AM. But it was still dark out so I hid under the covers which foiled Peep's plot. Then Nicholas showed up 10 minutes later and started digging for me. I hid deeper. So Little Mo joined the excavation. This went on for a while.

7-something AM. Still not light yet but the cats are relentless. So I gave up, got up, and pulled on some barn clothes. Fell over a couple of cats on the way out to the kitchen to see dogs pawing all around, and I got a cute puppy bark. I gathered up the pup and we all went outside. I checked on the Meats, Meeps, and turkeys.  The Meats got a small scoop of food as they were churning like piranhas.  They swarmed me - like piranhas - as I tried to walk into their coop. Meeps happily honk all around as the dogs and I headed back inside.  Its still too dark to let the masses out so I took the pup back to bed and hoped for a few minutes of snuggling.  But she was all wiggly and needed a snack. She eats like I do - on a hobbit schedule (First breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, elenvenies, tea, supper, dinner.)

8:00 on the dot. A pal who is driving into work calls. Shhh. I don't answer. But I abandon all hopes of puppy snuggles and get up for good. I left the pup with my hubby and took the big dogs out to hen house. On the way I shout abuse at pigs. I threatened the ill-behaved roosters with The Frying Pan and let the ducks out, let other ducks out, let the rest of the ducks out. This sounds like a lot of ducks but really its not as bad as it sounds.  I know someone who had 53 ducks this summer. You know who you are. I also let the goats out. They immediately tried to kill each other. I see its gonna be one of those days.

The little ones make a run for freedom and beyond!
Next, I unleashed the chicks-with-mommas...oh what a hopping, popping, squawking, peeping, shrieking mess. They ran like rats from a ship. Got the ducks and little ones a scoop of feed. Headed back into phone range and called my commuter friend back. While we chatted I made coffee, tripped over cats on the way to turn on the laptop, and ate a pumpkin scone (made the previous day) for First Breakfast.

8:30am Friend arrived at work and signed off.  So I ate a second scone while catching up on headlines and emails. Checked in with fellow farm nerds, sent greetings to friends, checked weather, shoved cats off my keyboard. Wondered if The Big Man would notice if I ate all of the scones... He brought the pup out before I could decide to do the right thing. Dang.

Then the morning really got started. Morning chores are kind of a hodgepodge of events. Technically there is a system but you'd never know it.  Everyone needs to be let out, fed, and watered. But its not that simple. All the dominoes need to line up or its nothing but chaos. Before I headed back outside I started a load of laundry trying to conquer Mount Washmore.

Outside for chores, The Big Man takes the turkey, meats, Meeps, and pigs and I handle the chickens, ducks, and goats. I'm still milking Nibbles and trying to see if Debbie will milk for another month. So far Nibbles is giving about a pint+ a day and Debbie is just mad about everything. She just glared at me as the barn cats started saucing around.

Early morning peck around
Dog #2 and the pup were starting to play. We supervised them while getting the water buckets filled and the hay put out for the goats. The laying hens are the last to be let out. Shortly after, the guineas showed up and caused a ruckus.  I shouted more insults at the pigs and then we headed inside.

10:30-ish  Mid morning was about figuring out what we need to do, who needs what, and Second Breakfast. The previous night I made bread, biscuits, the scones, and cooked down a pumpkin. The kitchen was a disaster and there are flour cat footie paw prints all over. So we shoveled out the kitchen, did more laundry, and ate something (in my case more scones and more coffee - I should have had something with protein but dang those scones are good).

Since it rained the previous day I was going to have an inside day with a focus on canning. By this time all of the inside cats and dogs had been fed, and we'd taken care of the pup (fed and taken out again).

 Hard day being a pup

11:30 AM   I took the pumpkin that I cooked down last nite out of the fridge. Then scooped half the flesh into a colander to drain to be used immediately because.. well. Someone ate all the pumpkin scones.  The other half of the pumpkin was scooped out, blended, and put into portions for the freezer. I also set the black beans to quick soak. And started weighing and chopping the tomatoes to make salsa. More laundry, more tripping over cats, more dishes, more kitchen shoveling, more taking the pup out. I did this inside dance for a while..then we remembered that we had to get a few things down at the feed store (turkey feed and bagged corn) and the library so off we went.

12:30pm: Since I'm the automatic gate opener I repelled down from the big truck and opened the gate when we got home. I grabbed the canines and went out to do the rounds. Needed to make sure none of the chicks had wandered off, that everyone had water, that the goats hadn't killed each other (yet). Sigh. This is why we need Vita. Meats needed another scoop of feed as they have easily doubled in size from that morning. Creepy meats. Hens are currently on strike and are not laying but I keep hoping

1: 16pm  Oh look! Its the geese coming up from the pond! I watch the geese and silently despair the OD will never love me back.

1:18pm Something caught my eye and I realize its a cloud that looks like a big ice cream sundae. "Hey Honey! How about some lunch?" And I went to find The Big Man hoping he will grill some burgers while I keep working in the kitchen. I finally got to sit down for a few minutes while I ate my burger... and shoved cats off my keyboard.

The Big Man checking email - what its like at our house. Cats. Sheesh.

1:40pm Finally, its ice cream time. Double vanilla on top of home made, baked and canned applesauce. Seriously, what could be better?

A perfect snack

Afternoon was much like the morning: The beans were in the pressure canner - which I have to watch like a hawk, and I did even more laundry, checked email, took the puppy out, did the rounds outside. The big dogs were outside with my hubby as he was working on unloading the truck.

I was about to start on the salsa when I suddenly realized that something smelled bad, it was the tomatoes and they were bad. Like really bad. Dang. I hate wasting things - especially food. I took the bad smelling tomatoes outside and went and got some big cabbages and began working on sauerkraut.

3:00pm My old lady cat came out and screamed that she wants something to eat. After 20 years she can have whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. We hobbled back to her room and got her some food.

3:15pm found me still slicing, still pounding, still shoving soon-to-be-rotted cabbage into Mason jars and a big ol' crock. Just kidding, Freemotion, I know its "fermented". But this still sounds like a crock and I'm totally unconvinced it will work. I'm flummoxed. But big cabbages provided hilarious photo opportunities and I amused myself.

No, these aren't the funny pix.. but I love that big green bowl.

Took the puppy out again. More shoveling out the kitchen, more dishes, more laundry, more tripping over cats. I took the fussy pup down to The Big Man for snuggles.

5:04pm I sent Bourbon Red an email stating I didn't believe that this sauerkraut thing would ever work and what kind of Teutonic nut job came up this idea? I kept working, unconvinced. Certain death was imminent. By cabbage of all things. Sheesh.

6:10pm It was late and the last of the cabbage was sliced, the lid was off the pressure canner, and we needed to head out and start putting the masses to bed. The later it gets, the faster the feathered ones start moseying into the correct coops. Except for the ducks. Malcontents. There was some chasing.

The goats were still trying to kill each other. It was so bad I brought Dog #1 into their yard so they had a common enemy. It worked. Debbie was being ridiculous and one of us may not survive her pregnancy. She and I squared off, but she looked away first and ambled away. Nibbles breathed a sigh of relief. I scooted in the last of the chicks, got the last water bucket filled, and told the pigz how much I hated them. G'night Bacon!

I hate you pigz! But love the bacon...

Dog #2 was playing with the pup but he tumbled her over. So I scooped her up and took her inside. She had big dog slobber all over her head so I cleaned her up and held her while watching the last few minutes of the evening news. My hubby came in so I handed him the sleepy pup and went to start dinner.

7:10pm Dinner was coming together - turkey and noodles. Home canned turkey and stock, store bought noodles, herbs fresh from the yard, and a handful of our corn and green beans from the freezer. Aside from the simmering its quick and easy, especially since I already had the fresh bread and biscuits.

7:50pm I actually sat down. A miracle.

8:00pm America's Next Top Model was on. Usually I like to watch it while eating a huge bowl of ice cream or a slab of cake - 'cuz I like the irony. But that nite it was chocolate from Trader Joes. I just love Tyra.

The pup was fussy so we were trying to keep her entertained. And fed. She eats like a horse. Last trip outside and I also went out to turn off the hen house light off. We've started keeping it on because the days are getting so short. I should have gone out earlier to turn it off, but someone asked me what a day in the slow life was like.

So that's what my day was like. I finally went to bed about 11 and it was that late only because the pup needed another snack, then another trip outside. Tomorrow when the morning light comes streaming in, I'll get up and do it again. Amen.

So whatcha think? Do you got what it takes to be all farmy? Grow your own food? Keep the flocks, till the soil, hate the pigz?

Let's pass this meme on and see what your Day in the Slow Life is like. Grandpa - you out there? I'd love to hear more about your Life on the Farm, the tilapia, and how your transitioned from your corporate life to your jungle life. Got any advice for those desiring to make the leap?  How about Back to Basics? Dang, girl - you make me look like some kind of upstart. What do you have to show for your 'slow' life this week?

And here's a curveball for ya - Hey Drew!?! I know you know How To Cook Like Your Grandmother... but I just love the series you're doing on  real food. You slayed me with the comment from your wife, about how she wanted something "good not quick." Whatcha got in The Slow Life for the suburbanites who want to eat better and live better?

That's what I got. Check back and I'll link to the folks I tagged here when they tell us about their Day in the Slow Life. Thanks again, Mr. H, this was a great exercise and I loved participating.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to murder a pumpkin and cook it up in a pan

OK maybe "murder" is a strong term but I watched one of the crime shows last nite. Anyway - does everyone know how to cook down a pumpkin? Lets review.

Go and grow a pumpkin. Or, if the guineas get and "F-" for squash bug killing, go on down to your local farmer and buy a pumpkin. But don't pay $12 for heavens sakes. Sheesh. We paid $4 for this one and have enough pumpkin puree for another batch of scones and 4 pies. 

Next - stab it with the biggest knife you have. But don't cut your hand off because, you know, pumpkins are kind of rolly-aroundy.  Put a towel under your cutting board for extra stability. Be careful.

Cut all the way around and pry open. Behold. Pumpkin guts.

Now scoop 'em out and put the seeds and such in a colandar. You'll be needing them later.

Line the biggest and DEEPEST baking tray you have with foil - you'll thank me later for the easy clean up.  Place pumpkin halves cut side down on the baking tray.

Bake for about an hour or so at 350* - keep on cookin' until a sharp knife can easily pierce the skin. Carefully remove from the oven and let it cool down. The last time I did this the baking tray was full of of water from the pumpkin - the deep tray kept it from getting all over the oven.

When cool, use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. At this point the flesh still has too much water in it for most recipes. You can put the flesh in a cheese cloth lined colandar to drain to be used immediately. 

Or just puree with a hand blender, measure in 2 cup portions, and put in containers for the freezer.

The extra water will come out as it thaws first. Just carefully pour out as the water melts. A small can of pumpkin is about 1 3/4 cup pumpkin. So a 2 cup portion is just about right - especially after you pour out the extra water.

Don't forget the seeds! Keep for cooking, rinse and dry for planting next year, or throw the whole shootin' match out for the clucks.

Now that you know how, you'll never buy another can of pumpkin again. Now go and getcha a pumpkin and cook him down.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big storm blowin' thru...storm preparedness

Did everyone see that huge storm that careened across the Midwest yesterday?  They said on the news that if the storm had been over the ocean it would have been a named hurricane. All the weather guys were a-twitter because this storm had the second lowest barometric pressure on record. Wow!

Normally we aren't supposed to get tornadic storms this late in the season... but wow today was a looloo. I was going to use today as my "A Day in the Slow Life"... but things fell apart pretty quickly here. So lets talk about storm preparedness instead. And you can kinda see how our slow and easy, predictable life changes pretty fast.

The good news about all of this technology is that the weather guys can tell you exactly where the storms are. The bad news about all of this technology is that the weather guys can tell you exactly where the storms are. I have to tell you - I prefer earthquakes to tornadoes. I'd rather be surprised and not be able to do anything about it to all of this hair raising, run for your life, 'hurry up and bungee down the chickens' stuff.

We knew the storm was coming and thanks to our local weather radar we could track it as it was barreling towards us. By the time the noon news came on they were already hopping around and throwing watches and warnings up on the screen. Since we were expecting high winds, and the likelihood that we'd loose power was pretty high, The Big Man hopped in the truck and headed to the store for a few things (mostly cat food and some canned food for the pup).  The last time we all lost power the local grocery was out of business for a while. So he hurried.

When the storm was a little over an hour away I took the hard working farm dogs out and we started stuffing the poultry and livestock in their shelters. When big weather is bearing down on you its best to have an attack plan to get the masses secured. Since things can change pretty quickly you need to follow a predictable pattern so the animals know what to do and won't just freak out because you are out there running around with your beatin' stick and screaming at them like a crazy person. Its hard to convince a hundred pieces of poultry to "move quickly to a shelter but do not panic." So use your routine to help you so they can work with you.

If time is short you may also need to prioritize. For instance our most valuable stock go in first - the goats and the turkeys. Fortunately they are also the easiest to herd in. Next we herd up all the littlest ones - any chicks or ducklings - since you really only need to get the mommas moving in and the babies will follow.

We try for "critical mass" with the hens. The new roosters are learning to call the hens in (Fred always did this for me) so we get the roos running for the door first - and don't forget to use feed to get everyone moving in the right direction. Ducks are next mainly because they seem to be the most sensible if they had to fend for themselves...and they can tolerate the rain better than anyone.

The geese are next because they are super easy to get in - provided they are not on the pond. The guineas are the hardest so they are the last.  But they seem to be pretty cagey so by the time the dogs and I headed for them they were already heading into their coop. 

Since most farm animals are herding/flocking types they don't want to be the only ones out - so if you have time take one more loop around and run any late comers in where ever you can secure them.  Then get all of your gates locked so they aren't out there flapping in the breeze...you don't want the gates to be ripped off the hinges. And close up all the windows in the barns and hen houses.

It goes without saying, the pigz are on their own. Good luck, oinkers!

And don't forget your barn cats. Our barn cats stuck suspiciously close to the garage today.

In the house we start scooping up the Insane Cat Posse. The most difficult to catch/corner get put into the bathrooms until we know for sure that we are in the clear or if we have to take further action. We have a finished daylight basement so we really don't have a storm cellar. But we do know where there are the fewest windows and the most amount of internal framing so that's our 'go to' spot. Make sure you have your phone and your wallet in your pocket. And sturdy shoes on your feet.

We move the dogs downstairs even if there are only strong thunderstorms - our old lady dog and Dog #2 get nervous in the storms... and Dog #1 just likes to be part of the excitement. If tornado warnings are issued we put the cats in carriers and line them up in the basement in the most secure area.

As far as preparations for us, we usually have flashlights, candles, and matches or lighters available and where we can reach them even if its dark. You DO have a good flashlight you can find in the dark, right?

Don't forget water. If there are storm warnings immediately start filling up buckets - for your poultry and livestock and also for you. I fill the biggest pots in the kitchen for cooking use and drinking. And then each of the bathrooms have several buckets as well.

This may sound like a lot of hullabaloo... but we have been without power a couple of times for several days at a time and we were glad we were ready. Not having water for you or your pets/stock kind of sucks. And you can always use your pre-filled buckets of water later on.

We don't have a generator, but we have a power inverter for our big truck. Our freezers are usually full and really efficient so they are OK for a while. They can be kept cold for several days by using the power inverter for a few minutes a couple times a day. And don't forget you can always get ice or snow and put them in your freezers/fridges to keep the contents cold.  If we have to open a fridge or freezer we strategically work as a team to open the door, grab what we need, and get the door closed as soon as possible. Usually we go in for the ice cream first.

We use our wood burning stove to heat the house and also cook. I make sure I have cookware that can take the high heat and we always have food that is easily heated. Don't forget you can also use your outdoor grill for cooking (always outside never move it inside!). One time we had bacon and eggs cooked on the grill - in the snow. And for heavens sakes don't forget a french press for your coffee - one must have the necessities!

So that's what I know about storm preparedness. Anybody else have any tips to share?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hi. I'm Kai.

And our big news is...... a new recruit. This is Kai.

...and she is adorable.  And very little.

Her job is to be cute, grow to be a hard workin' farm dog...

...and be a daddy's girl.

The big dogs seemed OK with her.....

...but there was a lot of sniffin' around at first.

Nicholas regarded her with suspicion...

...and Shine gave her a murderous look.

She helped us with our evening chores.  And did a darn good job. Welcome to the crew, Kai!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meats on the move

The meats are on the move - their first big outing... I love the one in front taking a jaunty step...

It took a while for them to work up the courage to march outside. But after I moved their drinker they got curious and all headed right on out. We don't have a great place to put them on pasture right now, but since we are still doing a lot of work outside I can keep an eye on them. Except when I turned my back and the goose brute squad showed up and scared them back inside. Yikes!


Quick creepy meat update - they are doing great. They are just over 5 weeks old, fully feathered out, and had their first night outside without any heat from the lights. We had a mild, dry night so it was the perfect time to show them the all night darkness. Of course, I checked on them to make sure they weren't in a heap or screaming - but they were just fine.  They still think its hilarious to swarm around me and peck at my feet. Keep laughing, meats.. just keep on laughing.

Just a quick update and a hello to everyone for now...Hopefully there will be lots of fun pix and big news tomorrow.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin snacks

So what do you do with all those pumpkins?  Snacks, baby. Whoot!

The nearby pumpkin festival has all the pumpkin snacks you could possibly imagine. And some you'd never come up with. Here are a few scenes...

The main street - with all the pumpkin snacks you could imagine...

Orange is the color of the day...

So many things to choose from...

The pumpkin cream puffs are legendary..

And who can resist kettle corn?

Unless you are holding out for a funnel cake... We tracked down this same vendor from the county fair we went to. I think he thought we were stalking him but we just wanted another "buckeye" funnel cake. Fried dough with peanut butter and chocolate sauce, seriously.

But the best thing? Pumpkin burgers. I know...who would have guessed?

I found a recipe here for pumpkin burgers. But usually I usually just wing it. Make sloppy joes (yes, from scratch not from a can of Manwhich) and add pumpkin puree and pumpkin related spices, such as allspice or even pumpkin pie spice. I use a combination of allspice and cinnamon. You'd never guess, but its delicious.

Happy Thursday everyone! Now get out there and get some pumpkins and make some snacks!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin shortage? We ain't got no pumpkin shortage!

I saw on another site that there is some kind of canned pumpkin shortage? Really? I thought that was an urban legend.

Doesn't look like a shortage of pumpkins here....

Tons and tons of pumpkins... of all kinds. Even really big ones!

And really small ones...

OK technically these are gourds.. but I still like 'em!

Happy Pumpkin Day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More on the giant squash

You'll remember the giant squash from a while back? Our weird cat, Pepper, was giving it the business?  I'm feeling pumpkin-y (or squash-y) this week, so begins the week of pumpkins.

Yesterday I cooked down our beautiful blue pumpkin and got enough puree for at least 8 pies, which should just get us started. Everyone knows you can cook down a real pumpkin, right? It doens't just come from a can? More on that later... but first, a little tomfoolery.

We actually had a giant squash blow out the other night. In a matter of hours one of them disintegrated into mush and slimed the basement (ick). So I'm guessing our bad non-basement isn't going to be the best place to store them. Or maybe those giant squash have got more diabolical plans than laying there quietly waiting to become pies?

They seemed to have an odd effect on The (already) Insane Cat Posse. I'm guessing aliens? The first wave of an invasion? These photos were provided from a reliable source. Grab your tin foil hat and read on .... if you dare... muuuuhhhaaawwwwaaahaaahaahaaa

Pepper made first contact - we know that already... but she seemed to have some kind of special relationship with them.. as if she understood them....

 But then Peep, our little calico got in on the action and then things took a turn for the worse...

Nicholas was immediately laid low...

Little Mo, aka Mr. DoomSpoons, was no match at all and was quickly surrounded

And then they turned Moose into a zombie and it was all over...

Pepper took her rightful place as their slightly confused, wide-eyed leader...

... it was then we realized she wasn't a cat at all... but a holy half dead who had seen the UnderVerse.*

Merely giant squash? Or Pod People? You decide.  We're doomed I tell you...doomed!

Happy Pumpkin Season everyone!

* Points for properly identifying random sci-fi reference, apologies for nerdiness.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To friends and family... & Farm Report

To all our friends and family,

For Christmas this year you are all getting pears. Pear sauce, canned pears, frozen pears, roasted pears, pear pie, pear chutney, pears, pears, and more pears. Pears any way you can possibly imagine. Lots and lots of pears....

For heaven's sakes. I might just open a pear shop on Etsy. Wow.

In other fall farm news.... its beautiful here now.

A fall scene, driving the other day

The cutest thing I saw today was Pig Pen... I mean... Bianca really showing her mommy side. Remember she hatched little Happy in the garage? Today one of the older drakes was picking on Happy so Bianca stomped right up that drake, who was at least twice her size, and grabbed him by the tail! Then she really started giving him the business. When he could he got loose he ran away. It was adorable. Ducks are so much fun. 

Except for our herd of young duck hens. They all figured out they can get up on top of the chicken house by using those flappy things on their sides. We have to spray them with the hose to get them down so we can put them away for the night.  And sometimes there is a lot of running around. By me. Sheesh!

Farm notes:
* Nibbles is back - and back to normal. Well. She's moody and complains about everything. She's still very happy to be by herself.  Won't she be surprised...
* ...We'll be getting Debbie back this week, hopefully. Two complaining, moody goats is going to be just great. Five looooooong months.
* Floppy and the Five are doing great. I can tell there at least 2 roosters in that crew.
* However, Mrs. Dowlrimple's Bugs seem to be mostly hens. They are following one of the new roosters around the yard and are really starting to roam far and wide. We had to chase them out of the woods a couple of times. 
* One of this spring's hens seems to be laying! I keep finding little tiny eggs.
* Which is good because the rest of the laying hens are on strike! They are all molting and look ridiculous.  They don't lay eggs when they are going thru their molt. But they do look like they've been run over by a plucker.
* Pigz are getting big. They are really doing a lot of digging lately - which is great for us. All of that bramble and poison ivy will be gone for next spring.
* The Four Pack - the baby poults we hatched - are doing great. They are getting really long in the leg. They will be in a brooder for a while. We need to work on a safe place for them out in the turkey house.
* We got another section of the winter wheat into the upper garden. Some of the earlier sections are already popping up.

We have a lot of things going on this week.  We need to work on potatoes, pumpkins, sauerkraut, and get another ton or so of gravel. And get Debbie.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Are you peeping leaves?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Miracle - quick look!

Quick look! It won't last! It's a miracle...

...Our flock of geese - being well behaved. 

Next - my nemesis for this week...

 ...pears... lots and lots of pears...

Happy fall canning everyone! We're not done yet!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...