Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maine Potato's

Well the week end just flew by!
How is days on the farm always pass so much quicker then days away.
As planned our week end was full of eating, drinking and horses.
As I shared earlier everyone got baths, and mowing took place.
On Sunday Bob was able to spend a little time watching some friends plow at a field near by but mostly he played catch up on the lawn and paddocks and you can realy tell.
The side paddock has really come along in the four years we have been here.
 Unfortunately we have allot of ledge and the size of the boys does allot of damage in the winter and mud seasons, but I can really see change.When you have draft horses there is nothing more valuable than green pasture.This time of year the Belgians thrive, I think they smile more when the grass is green.
Last night Bob and I sectioned off a small area in the side paddock to limit the Minni's access and let the back portion grow, we will reopen it to the big boys Friday ( weather permitting).
This morning when I put the Minni's out I did get a bit of attitude from them,in regards to the fence . Even with the back fenced off they get more than enough room to exercise plus access to shelter and water.
Minni's have allot of attitude, at least on this farm.
Now it is time to re focus on the house and gardens. Gardens first today I filled two boxes of potato seeds and planted some additional sunflowers.I filled four more flower boxes, with edibles.

These potatoes are called Kennebecs and they are true "Maine potatoes". The sunflowers that were planted last week are poking threw the ground and the pumpkins look happy.
Now we will see how much energy is left for inside.Some how even with the short amount of time we spend inside we manage to make a mess of dishes and dog hair.

Green Grass

Who is that masked horse ? Nickel.

and Jake

The Boys out in the pasture Monday Night after Bob mowed.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Long Week end, just started

some call it work, we call it love

So when I was leaving work on Friday, on of the guys asked "any plans for the Holiday weekend?" I answered food, drink and horses, he said "don't spend it working have fun". People don't get it but this is what we enjoy.

Being home, on our farm spending time together with our animals, sharing meals and accomplishing what we can is a blessing.

The morning started "late" 6;00 coffee and morning feeding of animals, walks for the dogs, paddock rotation for the horses, shoveling...the regular stuff. Then I got out my new toy,(I bought a Shark steamer last week, more on this later) any way I steam cleaned the inside of my very dirty, from toting Lager around truck.Bob mowed around the trenches and paddock with the bush hog.
I made some farm fresh egg sandwiches for Bob and I and then I cleaned stall doors
Jake lost a shoe on Thursday night so we had Matt out. The plan was to put the shoe back on, Matt decided Jake is once again fit to be bare foot, so he removed the second shoe and trimmed all four hooves, this is good news. 

Bob then mowed the front yard. I tidied up the house a bit and worked on dinner and laundry. In the early evening we ate, fed everyone and sat for a bit outside by the fire.
I would say it was a good day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Week Ends Menu

last weeks fried ice cream

Fried ice cream at Hooves and Hounds Farm (Larger and I enjoyed Bob fell asleep.)

Friday Grilled Flatbread with Garlic Rubbed Fillet of Beef, White Bean Puree and Sun-dried Tomato Chutney revised : I bought the Chutney at Stonewall Kitchen 


Baked Haddock With Green Dressing (posted mid week) and Slaw
2 lbs fresh haddock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 TBS melted butter, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with 1 TBS melted butter. Pat dry fish with a paper towel. Salt and pepper fish. Put fish in the baking dish.
In a small bowl, add panko bread crumbs and remaining melted butter. Mix to coat. Put bread crumbs over fish.
Braised Short Ribs
I will make these in my cast iron
1 cup dry red wine over night and reheat on the grill when we get hungry.
2/3 cups ketchup
2 TBS tomato paste
3 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 TBS dark brown sugar
1 large onion, chopped
4 lbs short ribs
If using cast iron heat on High on top of stove, brown beef then slow roast in oven or on fire pit.
Combine wine, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, onions and pepper in the slow cooker. Add short rib and make sure the ribs are totally submerged to coat. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until very tender.


Balsamic Glazed Roast Chicken Thighs
Homemade Potato Salad
Green Beans
Recipe: Balsamic Glazed Roast Chicken Thighs
8 chicken thighs
1 TBS dried thyme
1/3 cup red currant jelly
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet and lightly oil.
Salt and pepper chicken. Rub with 2 1/2 tsp of thyme. Put chicken bone side up on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put jelly, vinegar and 1/2 tsp of dried thyme into a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat until jam melts.
Turn chicken meat side up. Brush generously with jelly glaze. continue to roast, brushing with glaze until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Also Making For Lunch Box's
3 TBS olive oil
6 green onions, chopped (white and green)
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
2 lbs fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 TBS fresh dill, finely chopped
8 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Filling: In a large sautee pan, heat 3 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add green onions and cook until tender. Add garic and sautee for 1 minute. Add spinach and parsley and cook until spinach is wilted and heated through. Salt and pepper. Take off heat and cool. If spinach mixture is watery squeeze out any liquid.
In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs. Add ricotta, parmesan, feta, bread crumbs and dill. Beat together. Once spinach mixture is cooled, add it to the cheese mixture.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Loads of Lettuce and a Little Sun

The herb garden planted outside, Mothersday.

Tomatoes/ and peppers outside

Hoop House greens

Lettuce in the hoop house

Lager has had enough for one day.

It's been raining for days.  Days.
 Everything is muddy.  And, when you live with hooved mammals, you get a special kind of super-sucky mud.  
It has rained for eleven days strait , this afternoon I was thrilled to see the sun.
I can only emagine the horses were quite pleased with a bit of sunshine on their backs.
The only garden bed that is truly thriving is the lettuce bed in the hoop house. We have had no workable soil only mud. I did plant the very first pumpkin hill.
I am please to report I have loads of fresh lettuce!
Bunny is being treated to a ration of one piece a day.(do not want to kill him with kindness)
For lunch I enjoyed "tuna wraps" tuna made with farm Piccadilly, mayo and wrapped in fresh lettuce.

This week I plan to make a Dressing with spring greens, to be used on the lettuce as well as fish.

Spring Green Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and green
2 TBS chopped chives
2 TBS basil (or tarragon)
If you are going to serve w/ tomatoes go with basil
2 TBS parsley
1 TBS capers or anchovy paste (you need this for the salt)
Juice of One Fresh Lemon freshly squeezed
1 clove garlic
Add all ingredients in a blender . Blend until smooth.

Fill Mason Jar Chill , will stay fresh about five days

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Week ends Menu

Photo and Menu idea from http://newyorkstreetfood.com/15265/todays-lunch-chili-cheese-broccoli-stuffed-potato-from-baked-potato-king/

Shrimp Scampi
Three Alarm Chilli with Corn Bread
Funnel Cakes ( Breakfast)
BBQ Ribs, (left over)Corn Bread, Sweet Potato Fries
Fried Ice Creamhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fried-ice-cream-recipe/index.html


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Muddy Feathers and Green Pastures

Aside from the muddy feathers I am pleased to report "My Team" is  looking good.
I don't say this to brag, it is more of a statement of relief. (Hopeful I did not just jinx myself)
Nick is really growing, and changing ,( he turned six in April) he is developing loads of muscle and is capable of making him self look very tall and proud.
Bob has been working with Nickel and the exercise sled as the weather permits.Both Bob and Nick are willing to work in the rain, but it has been unseasonable cold as well as wet.
Nickels winter coat shed quite a bit earlier then Jake's, but Jake's is finally shedding through.
It is my opinion both of the Belgians look nicer in their summer coats , heck everything looks nicer in the summer.
Over the winter Jake shed a few pounds but we are working to put them back on , with the help of green pasture. We are almost out of hay, but with all the rain the hay pastures are looking lush. Hopefuly our hay man will have a nice early first cut.
None of the horses have yet been bathed, Joey is a muddy mess he loves to roll.
I have my fingers crossed for bathing weather Sunday.
Jake has become much more secure and not only comes to the gate but is happy to be groomed .All day I was craving BBQ Hamburger with Fried Egg so that was dinner tonight served with spicey home fries.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Heart Strings

OK I usually try to keep this blog, light. The stories here are about simple life, farming draft horses etc. I rarely talk about current affairs or politics.This weeks headlines are troubling.On Saturday, May 14th the body of a 4-6 year old boy was found. This is local to us, next door to a corn field and farm stand.There have been no missing child reports for this boy. His body was found dumped on the side of the road in South Berwick, Maine. The boy was found wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, navy blue tee shirt, light khaki pants and Lightening McQueen black sneakers. I can not imagine dumping a dead dog on the side of the road covered with a blanket never mind a  little boy.Take a look at this boy and if you know anything about him please contact the authorities. (207) 657 3030 .If your toddler is driving you crazy,if your middle schooler does not want to do his home work tonight, if your teen is playing his music and making you crazy , be thankful you have a son and he's safe.

Rain Rain Go Away

It has been raining forever, so it seems. I am way far behind on my raised bed plantings, I am just not motivated to play in the mud.
I know when the rain finally stops we will be chasing our tales to catch up on the garden chores.
That being said I am thinking of attending The New England Livestock Exposition, this Saturday with the hopes of getting a calf.

May 20 through May 22, Windsor, ME

NELE is a great event for the whole family!! IBGA Boer Goat show, Poster Contest, Feeder Calf Sale, Wool Pool, Equine Clinics, Rabbit Show, Youth Cook Off, Beef-Sheep-Alpaca Displays, Shows & Sales, Educational Programs, Commercial Trade Show, Boer Goat Consignment Sale. Demonstrations and Exhibits.

Another off the farm event that seems interesting (for photo's anyway) Is Shearing Day

May 25, North Yarmouth ME

Celebrate alpaca shearing - on site shearers, alpaca products on site for sale - Hours 10-4

Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo Edits


Have you seen Picnik , the photo editing websight?
Super easy to use free entry level membership, very affordable upgrades.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

this Week Ends Menu


Pastrami sandwiches , potato pancakes homemade pickles
Beef fajita cooked on my new cast iron fajita pans, home made salsa corn bread
Simple Roasted Chicken ,mashed potato corn on the cob
Whoopie pies
Chicken Salad Sandwiches home made cole slaw watermellon

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Shots and sprouts.

May 11, 2011

The 131st day of 2011

41 days until summer begins.

We have not really had much of a spring, in Maine so far this year.
 Bob and I have enjoyed a couple of nice horse back rides and a half dozen meals outside , but is not the best of springs to date.
I am hesitant to plant much out of doors, the nights still get cool.
We are not entering frost temps. but it could happen.
The herb garden is started,the forsythia by the sign is in full bloom and some grass seed is sprouting.
I have been making compost tea and the lawn and plantings seem to be soaking it up.
 You can visibly see a different brighter green on the area's I have fed with the tea.(more about that in another post)
I was gifted two new forsythia this week end, from Bobby and Keri and this morning one had new blossoms.
The lettuce and broccoli in the hoop house is thriving, and some more is planted (seed) in an out door bed.

I am imagining this is what spring is like in Ireland or London .
When I started chores it was below sixty for the past couple of days it has been on and of drizzle. The rain bucket is full to over flowing.
Although the weather is not cooperating spring is underway, today all four horses received spring shots.
The horse are over due for baths, I do not want them to get a chill.
The chickens are laying four good size eggs every day ( and an occasional Giant) one per hen.
I am keeping an eye open for the sign's to post when the strawberry fields open for picking, no sightings yet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

S Second Look

I am taking a second look at Internet shopping. I am not a big shopper, but like every one I buy "stuff". In the past I have not  done allot of Internet shopping, although I have my favorites ( King Arthur) .In the past I was turned off by shipping charges, this is less of an issue with the gas prices.This week I saved 20.00 purchasing my flea and tick preventative on line at Valley Vet vs. the local Petsmart, I replaced our broken cross ties with this order and received free shipping. Additional I bought Lager a new toy ( a weekly tradition) from Dr. Foster and Smiths. Internet shopping seems to be more competitive then the past, although I still encourage you to shop around even via the web.