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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Holding On To Summer

Just a little bit more summer, please....

I need to get a few more things done. Can you believe it's the last day of September?

Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Farm Food Photo Bomb

What happens when I try and take artsy shots of farm food....

The Bubby photo bombs with his big head.

This is what I was trying to show all y'all... my late lunch the other day. Yeah I had pork chops,  green beans (fried with bacon), grilled peppers, and a shot of fresh goat cheese. It was awesome.

Happy Saturday afternoon - are you grillin'?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Goat on a Rope.

The other day I walked out and looked into the goat yard. The little ones, Darla and Daisy, were out there screwing around. It occurred to me that maybe I should start training them to be milkers.

Daisy, annoying little goat. Figured out to get on the stand. She can stay.

At that moment Daisy did a double back flip off a chair, hit the ground rolling, hopped up, parkour'd off the side of the goat house, and disappeared down the hill. Humm... I thought, this could be challenging.

One of the reason many people bottle feed baby goats is because they think the goats will end up more socialized. I don't have time for that. I generally rely on my well proven, oft used, Klingon Management Techniques. Strength and honor always work.

The goal was to get ahold of one of the little goats, put a leash on her, walk her calmly to the milkstand, and let her eat some bagged food while she gets used to me petting her. It should be noted that the last time I touched either of the little goats was when I toweled them off after they were born.

"Come here, goat." I commanded and approached the little goat with leash in hand. She ran. She was fast. I was faster and I got her. Step one - check.  It was Daisy - the Dahlia mini-me. I don't particularly like her. But check - step two: leash applied. Now all's I had to do was walk her calmly to the milk stand. I started walking, confidently.

You know how they say "that stubborn old goat?"  Yeah. Well. The younger ones are pretty stubborn too.

The screaming was horrendous. It was like I poured boiling oil over her. She was bawling and not walking. I turned around to see her with her little legs braced and her little tongue hanging out, screaming to beat the band.

"Come on, goat!" I commanded. Surely small goats would respond to authority. I drug her down to the gate and hauled her carcass out of the goat yard.

Dogs. Really want to get my goat.

In the meantime, the dogs thought this was the best thing they had every seen. Little goats run like prey and the dogs, all of them, want in on some of that action. And here I was, their momma, bringing them a goat on a rope. They wouldn't even have to chase her. The dogs all lined up along the dog yard fence, tongues lolling out, and tails wagging. They couldn't believe their luck. They loved me so much. Today was going to be the day they were gonna get my goat!

"Knock it off! All of you!" I scolded. They seemed confused.. what about the goat, obviously in the throes of death behind me?

Then to Daisy, "Look little goat, you are going to calmly walk with me to the milkstand. Let's go."  I started walking.

It was like trying to fly a broken kite.

She flipped. She flopped. She jerked and hopped. Seeing escape was not an option she chose the only other action available. She violently threw herself flat out on the ground, all four legs sprawled straight out. The dogs went wild.

As for me.... I did not turn around and make little booboo noises at her. I would not encourage these shenanigans. So I did not say "Oh little bitsywitsy goatsy woatsy come on now, let's go!" in a baby talk voice. Nope.


Eventually we made it to the milk stand. I had to haul her up and get her positioned... and then... and then..... She realized that there was food. The heavens opened and angels started singing... Daisy realized this was where the yums could be found. She carefully ate each bite. And now for the next step - get her used to being handled.

I patted her awkwardly because let's face it. I'm not a goat snuggler. But I decided to make the best of it so I sang the Soft Kitty Song. It didn't really help.

When she was mostly done with the feed I unhooked Daisy from the stand and started back down that long 20 feet to the goat yard. More flipping, more flopping, more bawling, and various and sundry antics. I didn't stop walking until we got to the gate. When Daisy was free of the leash she ran for Grandma Debbie for comfort.

"Who's next?" I asked. All the goats scattered.

This continued for a couple days..... Me out there running down a small goat, capturing her with leash in hand, and dragging her up on the stand to the howling delights of the Dog Horde. But then something amazing happened. The penny finally dropped and the little goats realized that if they just walked along with me not only would they get the bagged feed.... they could get there faster by cooperating.

Daisy actually picked it up first. She appears to be the most motivated by food so its not really a surprise. Now I just go and easily get a hold of her, loop the leash around her neck and she calmly trots along side me then hops up on the stand like a pro. I give her pats, scratches, and belly rubs. This is all part of milker-to-be training. Give it another week or two and I'll only have to go to the gate, call them by name, and the appointed goat will trot right over.

I can't tell you how many goat people tell me this won't - and can't - possibly work. Lean in friend, it always works. Here's the thing.... goats really really love food. If she had thumbs I could train Dahli to drive the truck down to the feedstore for a handful of corn. I'm not even kidding.

Now that the little goats have figured out I am The Keeper of the Yums they have decided that I'm all kinds of fun. They come running over to me and are eager for me to give them pats. Do they love my rendition of Soft Kitty? Nope. They just want food. That's fine with me. I told you... strength and honor always work... or you know.... food.

Happy Friday everyone! Do you have a goat on a rope?

Editor's note: Hey, thanks for all the shares... come on over to 'the facebook' and tell me where you are from and do you employ Klingon Management Techniques with your crazy goats?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Best Green Bean Helpers

I scored another bushel of green beans earlier in the week from an Amish neighbor. I was thrilled to find out they still had some available. I need to get canning.

My eye level view of Zander. When I sit in this chair he looks me in the eye. 

What about all these lovely beans? They are doing great but I need more more more. Unfortunately some of the beans I planted earlier in the summer didn't work out. Why not? One word: Tenderette. I just don't like them. I tried the Tenderette variety but they just aren't as good as the good old Blue Lake variety.  So the turkeys got the Tenderette beans and my soil was improved so it all ended well.

What bean snapping looks like around here. Filled with big dogs.

The worst thing about canning beans is snapping off the ends. It's not hard it just takes some time. Fortunately I have some very good helpers.

Kai kept pestering me until I gave her a bean.

Zander and Kai are naturally very curious and are interested in everything. Bubby likes to put his big head in everything I'm doing. Kai just kind of noses around and sneakily gets involved. They thought the beans were amazing.

Zander always takes things from me very gently. Look at those chompers tho!

I finally gave up and let them have some. They didn't want to eat the beans, just wanted wanted to chew on them. It was pretty hilarious.

Then he just chewed it apart.

I love how they use their paws for everything - they are very cat-like. Of course, they take anything I offer them very gently. For as powerful as they are both Kai and Zander are remarkably "soft mouthed."

Look how big Zander's paws are! He could wear my shoes.

My #1 Dog only wanted me to throw a stick for him and he couldn't have cared less about the beans. I finally gave him one. The look of betrayal was epic. Titan is not a vegetarian and that bean was not meat or a stick. So he spit it out and went back to trotting around with a real stick and thinking Kai and Zander were ridiculous.

My beautiful Kai, amazed by beans.

I love having good helpers, don't you?

Happy Thursday everyone! That snap snap snap sound you hear is me working on another half bushel of beans!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pepper Basket

Basket of peppers......

Pepper in a basket......

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goat Clearing

The goats have done an amazing job clearing their new yard. Remember when it looked like this?  Now look at it:

I can't believe they ate the whole thing!

Yeah. I know. Basically this is the same-ish view as the 3rd pic on this post. Pretty much the goats have eaten everything they could reach. It's pretty impressive.

The only thing about goats, tho, is that they don't mow everything down low like sheep. Since goats are grazers they just pull the leaves off some of the stem-ier stuff and leave it standing. I've been working on actually mowing it down with the mower.

We've also had a couple of burn piles to try and knock the rest of the bramble down. Eventually this area will be tilled and planted with pasture mix. I can't wait to have useable space.

Dahli and the little goats lead the charge. Hey! Where's Nibbles?

The goats are now on to grazing their new location - out past the gate down by the pond. They are very excited about this new freedom. Unfortunately since they are past the gate.... yours truly has to supervise them. I don't think they will get a wild hair and go swimming in the pond... altho stranger things have happened.... but my concern is that the goats will be entirely unprotected outside of the fence.

So while the goats are pushing and shoving each other over that perfect leaf.. no, THAT perfect leaf.. wait there's the one - THAT perfect leaf..... I get to sit there and watch their foolishness. It kind of grinds my gears but I won't abandon them to torment and death. So I just sit quietly. And compile a list of 1,000 ways dogs are better than goats.

For her fans, here is Nibs making a grand entrance.

Hopefully the goats will have this new area knocked down soon.

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Are you grazing your goats?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gardening Savings Doesn't Amount to Just Beans

We had a bean-er-ific day recently. I took up this nice basket of Italian green beans.

This is just the first batch of beans from this small patch. I'll get another in a couple days or so. And for the persnickety folks who are thinking that peck basket isn't too full - I also took up a huge colander full of beans so it was well over a peck of beans.

I never understand it when folks say that it doesn't make "cents" to plant a garden or that it's too much work. This small row yielded a big bucket of potatoes and all these nice beans and it only cost me a couple bucks and a little bit of my time. How could that not be worth it?

I dug this small patch - probably just 12 feet long and 3 feet wide - out of a weed field that I'm desperately trying to get under control. Initially I planted potatoes on April 23. This batch was part of the 50# bag I got for just $17. I probably planted about $1 worth of seed potatoes. Since I planted them so early I actually trenched these - but remember you can pretty much just throw them on the ground like I did here. After I planted them I mulched them really well with clean straw. I think I spent about 15 minutes on this row in total. I did absolutely nothing to them after that - no sprinkling or weeding. I just let them grow. Come to think of it, I might have picked a few potato bugs off of them but that was it.

Fast forward and I took up a spectacular amount of potatoes - that was on July 27th. And because I dug the taters I also had tilled up that little patch. The straw was a little mulched down and had actually improved the soil a bit. I used the mulch around my tomatoes. I quickly ran the tiller down this little row and planted some beans.

While the potato digging took a little bit of time - I dug them over 2 days because there were so many - the seed planting activity probably took another 15 minutes (including tilling). My notes show that the beans seeds costs $2.49 - but I never pay full price so I probably got them on sale... especially so late in the season. I think I used the hoe to get rid of the weeds 3 or 4 times which only took a minute or so each.

Jump ahead to the other day and that spectacular basket of beans. The best part - I probably have at least another basket out there that are just about to come on.

If this was your only garden project - a little 12 foot row and less than an hour of actual work - don't you think it would be worth it? I easily got $15 (maybe more?) or worth of food for about $3. Nope it wouldn't feed you entirely if that was your only garden grown food  - but it would put some pretty good suppers on the table. Now what if you had 3 or 4 of those 12 foot rows? Now you can see how those gardening saving start adding up.

Think about it this way - that's food that you control. You don't have to rely on anyone else to get it - what's the value of that? It's totally worth it to me. Next year this little patch is going to do even better. The soil has been improved, my hard clay has been broken up, and the nitrogen will be fixed thanks to the beans.... and I'll be mulching that little row with all kinds of leaves and barn litter. I'll be able to plant tomatoes or pepper there next summer and they will grow like the dickens.

Are you wondering how to get started? Now is a great time to get to work. Run right out and find newspapers or cardboard and lay them out in a little 12 foot row somewhere that gets a lot of sun. Next, start raking up all the leaves and yard clippings and pile them on top of the cardboard. Keep doing this and soon you'll have a little mulch pile. Next spring just rake back that mulch pile, dig a little trench, plant some potatoes, and mulch them really well with clean straw and you are on your way to gardening greatness!

Happy Fall everyone! Are you loving this cool weather?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Me and Nibs

My friend KC always wants to see more pix of me... so here you go. An exclusive self portrait of me and Nibs...

Me and Nibs. This is as snugly as it gets. You can see in the shadow that I'm patting her.

She was really rockin' that woodpile this morning. I think she is imagining that she has a glorious mane and was shaking it all around.

Here is Nibbles looking majestic as f....um... "all get out."

Lookin' good, Nibs.... keep up the great work.

This is her happy face.

And to you, who's birthday it is today (you know who you are) .... Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Make an Adjustable Soap Mold - FREE Ebook today!

Does everyone know my friend Boyd? Not only is a real can-do, get it done kind of guy - he's also an author. For today and (and I believe tomorrow, Friday) you can download his latest ebook on Amazon for FREE.

You can download a Kindle version of Adjustable Soap Mold Plans now!

The plans are easy and straightforward. If you make soap you won't believe you didn't think of doing this yourself sooner. Boyd provides simple instructions and tips, like having the home improvement store make some of the cuts for you. He also provides approximate costs - which really shows how much money you can save by doing this easy project yourself.

But quick - this promotion is only going to be available for a couple days.

You can read more about Boyd on his website here.  He also has some other ebooks available including money making projects and his Dead at Last fiction series.

I got to know Boyd a while ago on a chicken forum that I ... ahem... no longer frequent.  What struck me most - aside from he and his wife really have had about a million kids come thru their lives - was that he is the real deal. Some folks talk about self-sufficiency... but Boyd really does it. He's smart and has good strategies with real world know-how.

He will never remember this but one of the first times Boyd and I chatted was over dogs. Someone on the forum had some ridiculous story about how their dog got loose and it ended up at a neighbors. When the guy went to get his dog back the neighbor said the guy had to pay him for the "vet visit." I'm not sure if the neighbor just decided to take the dog to the vet or what but it sounded a lot to me like that neighbor was holding that guy's dog hostage!

There are two kinds of people in this world - folks like me and Boyd who would have returned home with our dog WITHOUT paying that neighbor a cent.... and the rest of the folks who went home and asked strangers on the internet what to do about it. Suffice it to say Boyd and I had a really good laugh about what would happen if someone tried to get ahold of one of our dogs.  Just so's ya know, with my crew it would be "beware of the dog AND the owner."

Quick! If you make soap, are thinking about it, or know someone who does.. run right over and grab Adjustable Soap Mold Plans while it's free! Thanks, Boyd!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Candied Jalapenos

Stop the presses! Hold the phone! Shut the front door and get clean out of town! Immediately stop what you are doing, go out into your garden or to your nearest farmer's market, and get some jalapenos... then make these - Candied Jalapenos, or Cowboy Candy. I am not kidding.

 Yay peppers! The ones that weren't perfect were just chopped and put in the freezer.

Normally I'm abivelent about spicy peppers and usually I'm a "one star" or at the most, "two star" girl. So I'm not interested in mean food that makes your eyes water. Thankfully these candied jalapenos aren't that. They are like ... like... I dunno... the best combination of spicy sweet that you could ever imagine.

I love when the jalapenos get to the red stage.

I first saw this recipe over on my friend, D's website, The Gastronomic Gardener. He has some great recipes but I shrugged this one off because I didn't think it was my thing. But then I ended up with way too many jalapenos this year so I thought I'd give it a try. Holy guacamole. I am not kidding - don't even bother to process them. I finished off half pint of them before the recommended "wait a couple days to a week." Yesterday I made my second batch.

The recipe D uses is located here. 

I tell you the truth. I was very skeptical at first. And I nearly didn't make them when I saw how much sugar is used. In fact, I didn't have that much sugar in the house and was going to have to get more.  But then I heard my friend, Bourbon Red's voice admonishing me "Do NOT cut the sugar! You always cut the sugar and don't do that!" Because.. I do..and he always tells me not to (sometimes I listen). So against all my better judgement I pressed on.

It was so worth it.
Wear gloves!

A couple things. First, make sure you wear heavy kitchen gloves when you go and pick the peppers and while you are handling them And for heavens sakes, if you have bouncy dogs don't poke anyone in the eye with the hotsy-totsy peppers. You might want to put that cutting board, with your gloves still on, directly into the dishwasher so you don't use it later and get pepper transfer onto whatever you are chopping up next. And don't touch your face with the gloves.

Lean back!

Also, open all the windows.  Once you have the vinegar-sugar syrup going and you are to the point where you put all the peppers into the pot - LEAN BACK. Don't be sticking your face over that boiling cauldron of pepper spray. Word to the wise.

Then, once you have all that peppery sweet goodness in jars.... what do you use it for? You mean aside from standing over the sink eating them with a fork out of the jar? So many things:

* On crackers with goat cheese (or cream cheese).
* On sandwiches, burgers, or sausages (like these Bahama Mamas)
* Stir a few peppers and some syrup into your chicken and pepper filling for quesadillas.
* As a dipping sauce for eggrolls or potstickers (you could jazz it up with some soy sauce).
* As part of your sauce for a spicy sweet riff on General Tso's chicken (or pork).
* Brushed on just about any kind of meat for grilling
* Anything else that needs a little spice.

Seriously. It's hard to explain what is so captivating but give these a try. You'll probably have left over syrup but you can use that or lots of things too. Or just go and find every pepper you have the garden and make another batch. Today I'm going to go and find all of my hot Hungarian Wax peppers and make those with my leftover syrup.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Have you made candied jalapenos? Don't you love them?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Still Growing...

I want the record to show that I FINALLY grew a cucumber. Here it is:

Baby cuke. I'm calling it a victory.

OK so technically it's still a baby but I grew it. Whoot!  While my pal over at the Gastronomic Gardener grew several cubic tons of cucurbits....this is my last attempt to grow them. Bad planting, bad planning, squash bugs, or who knows what....but this whole summer my cuke harvest has been a bust. I'm holding out hope this little guy is going to make it.

These horticulture beans sprouted right up.

I also started an extremely late "rotten bean row" a week or so ago. Remember how this worked so well a couple summer ago? Totally worked again. I don't know if they will make it before our frost but it's worth a try.

They might just make it.

Today I'll be out there making sure I take up the last of the peppers. I'm going to make another round of candied jalapenos. "What's that?" You ask.... Stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Turkey Progress

Remember these little guys? Well just look at them now!

Turks, now bigger than the buckets.

Our turks are really growing! They are spending most of the day up on the hill pecking around and doing turkey stuff. They are happy to be outside and so are we.

Turkeys love pecking at the grass.

The turkeys are also really entertaining. Probably the funnest part of our day is to take the turkeys up or down the hill. They don't have to go very far but they sure have fun getting there. So do we.

While I was recovering from my recent medical mayhem we might have had an incident known as The Drunk Turkey Drover.... but there is no proof that happened so we just won't talk about it. 

Of course we always have one "Wrong Way Wendell."  It doesn't matter if they are turks, chicks, or ducklings there is always that one guy who won't keep up with the group or who just flat out runs the other way. In this case its Wrong Way Wendellyn - she's a little hen who always panics and flees the other way only to walk in later pippin' and chirpin' like it was entirely normal - she's quite a gal.

As we get closer to the end of September our thoughts turn to the Great Turkey Harvest of 2013. It's going to be turk-i-licious. As usual we will do a rolling harvest. Meaning that we'll butcher a few at a time. By the end of November I fully expect to have a couple 50 pound gobblers out there. The battle will be glorious.

But in the meantime, these young turks are just gonna love being outside and doing turkey stuff.

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Friday, September 13, 2013


WOW! Was I ever surprised when I found out that my humble blog was listed on Mother Earth News list of Star 2013 Modern Homesteaders!

I was so shocked and surprised I didn't even know what to say but WOW!

Mostly I want to thank my friend "A" for nominating me. I think the real reason MEN picked me for their list was her description of what we do here..... she wrote a very beautiful overview and I'm very flattered.

I started this blog mostly as a record keeping tool... but I also wanted to help other folks get started. We learned a lot and wanted to share our "how to's," what motivated us, kept us going, and how we learned to make our way on our funny little farm. We are just regular people with a willingness to do the work and I wanted everyone to know that you can do this farming thing too.

Thank you again, A, for nominating me and thank you, MEN, for including me on your list!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peach Tart! Take Two

I may be down but I'm not out - and I'm definitely not without a tasty snack. This peach tart is so easy even a limp-a-long like me could put it together in a just a few minutes.

This tart.. it's a vision.

Does everyone have a fluted tart pan? The kind with the removable bottom? I'm not sure what it is, but something about making the exact same tart as I made here in a tart pan takes it to a whole new level. It could be the ratio of filling to crust, I'm not sure... but this tart turned out spectacularly.

 I think it's the filling to crust ratio that make it special.

My theory is if you are going to make one pie crust, you might as well make two. So the other day I did. Then all I had to do was hobble out to the kitchen, put the pie crust into my fancy tart pan, pour in the filling (the exact same one as before), whip up a little crumble topping, and 35 minutes later (baked at 375*) I was in tart heaven. How easy is that?

The thing I like about these tart pans (like this Kaiser Bakeware Basic Tinplate 9-1/2 Inch Round Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom) is that you can use just about any recipe for a 9-ish inch pie and it will work beautifully. I even have made this stunning pumpkin pie in the tart pan and it turned out terrific. 

Guess who had the first piece?

If you really, really, really want to make a hit right out of the park, crank it up a little and go to the trouble of making a pate sucree - which is a sweet pastry crust. I did this one time with a simple apple tart and my favorite dinner guest exclaimed, "This crust! It's like a cookie!"

So that's what I know about fancy tarts - they aren't so fancy and all you really need is the right pan. I'm not a fan of nonstick bake ware and I'm a little suspicious of aluminum so I really like these tin types. They also come in different sizes and shapes.

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you making fancy tarts?

Editor's note: Look at me linking to my Amazon store.... but how else am I gonna tell you about my favorite finds? Plus I'm bracing for the sticker shock of my recent medical bills...those xrays aren't cheap! So yes if you order by clicking on these links - or anything else thru my Amazon store or from the Amazon search box on the right side of this page - I get a small percentage of the sale. It doesn't cost you one more cent and it helps support this blog.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Thanks, everyone, for your well wishes and prayers. And especially a big thank you to the folks who offered their help! I really appreciate everyone's kind words and for laughing along with me during this ridiculous situation.

 Itty Bitty

I'm making progress with my limpy leg and can almost walk like a regular person and not Quasimodo. The good news is that the drugs are working - the bad news is that they make me feel bad.

Little Mo, co-writer.

So I'm still benched. To make sure of it my husband was here yesterday "to work from home." HA! I think he was just supervising me so I wouldn't hobble out and cut hay or something.


Pretty much I've watched everything on hulu.com and spent a lot of time around sleeping cats. Soooo many sleeping cats. It's hypnotic.

Sweet Peep

Of course now I'm at the bored stage. But onward and upwards, right friends?

Happy Tuesday everyone! Anyone have suggestions about what to watch now? My requirements are very little character development, running, shooting, running and shooting, car chases, or aliens. Meaningful dialogue, zombies, vampires, or almost anything from PBS need not apply.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Technical Difficulties... Please stand by

Actually it's more like medical difficulties... but please stand by. Seems that yours truly was struck by some kind of limpy-gimpy malady. I don't even have a good story about what happened. But I woke up Friday at 4 in the AM in pain and it just kept getting worse. Then pretty much I couldn't walk, sit, stand, or lay down.

So on Saturday my husband took me to the nearest and best Urgent Care place. I walked in and informed the lady behind the counter that I urgently needed care. She gave me a form to fill out and told me to sit down. I hobbled over and sat among a collection of sick people. I resolved to touch nothing due to germs. Eventually they called my name and I hobbled after the nurse so I could go and wait somewhere else.

"Seems that I have a pain right in my hip, Doc." I said to the guy who I assumed was a doctor. I couldn't tell tho because there was some kind of football event happening on TV so everyone was wearing sports gear. The Big Game was starting soon so I listed all my symptoms quickly. "OK, let's take a look." He said and moved in my direction.

I tell you the truth, I am a terrific hypochondriac but a terrible patient. I am, as they say, "combative."

"Keep your hands were I can see them, friend, lest there be violence." I warned. "I'm a fighter."

"So am I." Was his reply. "Now get over here."

I dodged his grasp and faded right but he snagged me by the back of my shorts and shook me roughly like a naughty puppy. Then he grabbed my leg and turned it this way and that. "Does this hurt?"

"Aaagghhghg!! Yes! Now unhand me, you quack!" I yelled.

"How about this?" He twisted my leg the other way.

"Aaaugghghghg! Honey!" I was screaming now for aid.

A voice from the waiting room, "Do you need me to help hold her, Doc?"

"Traitor!" I yelled at my unhelpful husband.

"Well," Said the Doc "Looks like we'll have to fire up the xray machine."

Great. Now I was gonna be irradiated. He left and the nurse came in. She was holding the Gown of Shame. "Here, put this on." She instructed.

"Oh hell no." I said. About that time I began to wonder if I had decent drawers on or if I had once again worn my Superman underroos to the emergency room. I panicked. There was a scuffle. To be fair she was at least a foot taller than me and had arms like a Ukrainian weight lifter. I stood in my utter humiliation with my super "S" hanging out the backside.

She told me to follower her so I limped to the door. It was a long long hallway. I peeped left and right to make sure the coast was clear and then I hobbled as fast as I could. Mostly tho I looked like Grandma Gert the time she tried to make a break for it and escape the nursing home, such was my gait.

There was a gaggle of medical folk just by the xray room door. I clutched my gown so as to preserve my modesty. But mostly all's I was doin' was pulling that flimsy fabric tight across my tail feathers so now everyone could see the outline of my super underpants. There was snickering. But by that time I was too mortified by The Slab that is the xray machine.

If you've never had an xray the entire point is to make you as uncomfortable as possible. Then they ask you to perform yoga-like maneuvers such was the Camel Under a Bridge and Roadkill Turkey. And if you weren't already hurt when you went in - you are when you are finished. No one was happy. When she said I was done I sprang from the xray table like a surprised cat out of a bathtub.

I finally got my shorts back and was given a handful of papers. Thanks to a huge sign on the wall declared "We don't hand out pain medicine" I didn't get any. But instead I got a delightful concoction of prescriptions that was sure to render me into a state of delirium... and rage. I looked at the Doc dubiously. "I think you forgot to Rx 'donuts', Doc." I said.

"Get out." Said he.

I hobbled out into the full waiting room. "No amputation today, honey!" I said.  The lady behind the counter glared at me. Some of the people waiting looked scared.

The Big Man was mortified and snatched me up by the hand and drug me outside to the truck muttering about how he can't take me anywhere.

We got to the pharmacy and my able apothecary mixed up the potions. He handed them over with a strong warning that they might make me drowsy and.... and... oh look....purple butterflies........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

*Seeing OFG passed out over her laptop, Little Mo gently moved her out of the way, re-read the post, corrected a few spelling mistakes, and hit "Publish." Then Little Mo snuggled up against a sleeping OFG and settled in.*

Friday, September 6, 2013

Peach Tart!

We are down to the last of the peaches for the summer. So I made a tart. Technically this free form rustic tart is a galette... I just love them.

Peachy goodness

My go to pie dough is from Sunset magazine - for this one I used all butter. I like to use this little handy chopper to cut in the butter. Then while the dough is chillin' in the fridge, get your filling ready. You can make just about any kind of fruit galette - or a savory one like Smitten Kitchen has here (doesn't everyone love her?)

Easy peasy pie dough.

I'm pretty old school with my filling - I like to use tapioca instead of cornstarch or flour. Very little sugar, a splash of vanilla - just mix it up and you are set. Roll out the dough, mound up the filling, then fold up the dough around the filling. You can brush the crust with a little cream or beaten egg to make it fancy.

I think these tarts are just beautiful.

This tart baked in a 375* oven for about 45 minutes. It was so good that I'm going to make another one today... and yes, it's a breakfast food.

How's this for sunshine goodness?

Happy Friday everyone! I anyone else baking tarts?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What could possibly go wrong?

Did everyone see this story in the New York Times - that the USDA is going to allow China to process chicken for sale into the US?  Yep. Chinese chicken is on it's way into your soup and nuggets. But it's OK because it will be cooked chicken so we are all safe.

What could possibly go wrong?

In the understatement of the century this article says, "China does not have the best track record for food safety, and its chicken products in particular have raised questions. The country has had frequent outbreaks of deadly avian influenza, which it sometimes has been slow to report."

Oh. And it won't be labeled as coming from China so there is no way to tell where those frozen chicken nuts are coming from....but go ahead and cook up a big batch of them to feed to your kids. I'm sure it will be perfectly safe. 

My pal K posted another article here which reminds us that China can't even produce safe dog treats.... but I'm sure that taking US raised chicken, shipping it to China, having it processed, and then sending it back to the States is going to go off with out a hitch.

Seems that's a lot of miles for one nugget to travel. 

Especially when that chicken is traveling to and from a country famous for having a "dodgy" history for its food industry. According to this, their own folks may not even trust it.

And there is this. 

Don't forget that Smithfield - the largest pork producer - could be sold to a Chinese company. It is me or is it just sound like a stupid idea for a nation like ours - fully capable of growing and producing its own food - to ship it out of the country?  Smell ya later, jobs. See ya, oversight. Goodbye, some modicum of trust in what you buy from the store isn't gonna kill you.

I gotta just say the whole thing bugs me. It just seems even more incredulous that the government is happy to vendor out all this chicken McNuttin' to a country with a proven record of ne'erdowelling... but they are the same folks who think it's OK to send out SWAT teams to a farm for having bad shrubbery.

It could be that the world has officially gone mad.

Just in case you might think that now would be a good time to opt out of all this foolishness, all y'all might want to look into ordering some meat chickens. Meyer Hatchery should be having their fall sale soon. I know I'm getting another round.

I was going to sign this "good luck, suckers" but I realize that not everyone can grow their own food. But everyone can vote - with your dollars and with your actual vote. You might just want to start taking an interest in the goings on. Support your local grower, ask your grocery manager where products and produce is coming from, and for heavens sakes start a garden.

And now I'm going to rally the turkey troops, march them up the hill, and set them to free ranging for the day.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Meat grilled on a stick is my new favorite thing - I can't get enough of kebabs. Plus, talk about the easiest dinner to make.... sheesh. It doesn't get any simpler than this.

Meat grilled on a stick. Largely responsible for the development of our civilization. Probably.

Marinating meat in yogurt is an old standby. But we kick it up a notch and use a lemon ginger yogurt. Add a little garlic, salt, and pepper - easy peasy. How long to marinate? Well, what kind of time do you have? We found that all day is too long so a couple hours is fine. Only have 30 minutes or so? Sure why not? Just mix everything together and let rest if the fridge.

Spice it up, add yogurt, and let marinate in the fridge.

When your grill is hot  just skewer the meat and away you go. I'm always amazed that the yogurt doesn't make a huge mess on the grill but it doesn't so no need to try and wipe it off the meat. Grill for a couple minutes on each side. Just be careful you don't burn your hands on the hot skewers (use tongs or an oven mitt).

For the life of me I can't remember where I got my stainless steel, mini kebab skewers... but I found similar ones like here, NEW, 8-Inch Long Stainless Steel Skewers, Barbecue Skewers, BBQ Skewers, Shish Kebab Kabob Skewers, Ring-Tip Handle, 1-Dozen. I think these mini-skewers are perfect - they don't hang over the plate, they are easy to handle, and are nice sized servings.

I never add veggies to the meat kebabs - they never cook at the same rate and it always just seemed weird to me. But then I saw Steven Raichlen make meat-only kebabs which worked out much better. Does everyone have his book? We just love it - The Barbecue! Bible - everything you need to be a grill master. 

That's what is for dinner around here - easiest thing to make for these long days of canning. Whatcha got on the grill?

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Editor's note: yes yes the links go to my Amazon store.... but how else am I gonna tell you about these great finds? And yes if you order by clicking on these links - or anything else thru my Amazon store or from the Amazon search box on the right side of this page - I get a small percentage of the sale. It doesn't cost you one more cent and it helps support this blog. 

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