Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween the New England snow storm was a trick and not a treat !
We realy don't do anything for Halloween, we don't have any trick a treaters out to the farm.
Good News,Jake is finally recovered enough that today Matt came out and trimmed his hooves.
 Matt comes on a very regular six week schedule for trims, however last time Jake was too sick to trim. Matt does an amazing job and has been caring for Jake sense his arrival here on the farm. As a precaution I did administer a dose of Butte before the trim, but Jakes breithing is greatly improved.
We are so very lucky to have such wonderful care people including our farrier/ trimmer and our equine vet.
The snow we have recieved over the week end has begun to melt, and it was just the kick in the pants I needed to finish buckeling things up for the wintter. The garden boxes need to be packed away and the plow steaks need to go into the ground, the winter horse blankets need to be cleaned and repaired or replaced, there is always a list.
Tonight we are dining on the Salisbury Steak, the menu selection for Thursday .
When it comes to "the menu" I very often switch the days based on the weather, timing etc.
With Matt comming this was quick and easy twenty minute prep and twenty minute cook time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Change is good

...a change in the menu
This does NOT taste like chicken!!!

Sunday October 30th

We woke this morning to about 11" of snow.
October is far too early for plow able snow.
Plowing and shoveling were added to the round of morning chores.Breakfast included Farm Egg Sandwiches on French Toast.
Then some more barn chores a little house keeping and a shower.
Sunday Dinner of Roast Chicken Swapped out for surf and turf, Per Bobs request.After noon chores, dog walking and some more shoveling and then Patriots Football and ironing Bobs work clothes.
Lager on the other hand is enjoying a Sunday rest, smart dog! 

Hope your Sunday is Blessed!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

This Weeks Menu

Sorry I was unable to post the menu on Thursday night as I traditionally do, we had bad weather and no Internet.
As promised we got our first snow  just a dusting covered the ground, when we woke.
The weather channel is predicting accumulation for tomorrow night.

On The Menu

Saturday: Stromboli

Sunday: Roast Chicken Dinner Stuffing and Mashed Potato

Monday: Beef Fajita

Tuesday: Chicken Melts (left over roasted chicken)

Wednesday: Broccoli Ham Ring

Thursday: Salisbury Steak

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Get Out the Woolies

Photo's from winters past on the farmNickel


It is cold, like snow suit over the Halloween costumes cold.
This change in weather has happened very quickly Granted it is almost November but we have had fairly mild temps. now we might have snow(at least in the mountains of Maine).
This morning it was on the farm, for the start of chores and 59 in the barn With the barn full (two drafts two Minni's, two blood hounds a chicken and a cat over night it dipped only two degree lower than the main house. I have in the past been known to threaten sleeping in the barn. I took a drive over to Andy's Agway in Dayton today and purchased additional shavings to be sure we have enough bedding. We are still resting Jake, letting him out when we are home to observe, and with his hoof covered. No playing with huge temperature drops and mud puddles for Jake. Have lots of hay to keep everyone fed.
Before "real" snow aka. plowable snow we need to spread the last of spreadable manure as regulated by the state, finish the new chicken coop and relocate the chickens,send the horse blankets out to be cleaned and stitched and change the glow plugs in the tractor.

Farmers' Almanac's long range weather predictions

October 2011

24th-27th. Scattered showers, then fair.

28th-31st. Turning stormy over the Atlantic seaboard, with heavy rains and widespread flooding; some wet snow could mix in over the higher elevations of New England.

November 2011

1st-3rd. Clearing and colder.

4th-7th. Unsettled. Runners in New York's ING Marathon may need umbrellas.

8th-11th. Pleasant weather.

12th-15th. Heavy showers and a few thunderstorms, gale-force winds Mid-Atlantic Coast. Squally across the Northeast, some snow possible in New England.

16th-19th. Windy, cold.

20th-23rd. Unsettled, with some rain and/or wet snow north.

24th-27th. Fair at first, then turning very unsettled, with squalls; hopefully, the adverse weather holds off until after the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

28th-30th. Clearing and turning progressively colder.

A bonus recipe
MINESTRONE SOUP~ From Stone Gable's Kitchen

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 ~ 1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 small turnip, peeled and cut into small cubes (If you have never had a turnip in soup, you are missing something! Give this a try)

1 baking potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb Swiss chard, large stems and center vein removed and leaves coarsely chopped

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

2 15-oz cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

1 32-oz box good beef stock or broth

1 can double strength beef broth (can of Campbell's)

1 oz piece Parmesan cheese rind

2/3 cup small pasta (I used macaroni because I had it on hand)

2 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef and cook until it is no longer brown. Drain fat and set aside.

In a large pot heat remaining oil and add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add Swiss chard, turnips and potatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer until Swiss chard begins to break down, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender mix 1 can of drained beans with 1/2 cup of beef stock until chunky smooth. Add the bean mixture and all of the beef stock and double strength beef broth to the soup. Add rind of Parmesan cheese (this is a must, the way it flavors the soup is brilliant!). Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the turnips and potatoes are soft.

Add ground beef, beans, pasta and parsley and simmer until heated through. Remove Parmesan rind. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Simple Womans Daybook

In the kitchen... soup night tortellini in home made chicken broth

I am wearing... barn jeans, back to changing after work destroyed all but 2 pr. jeans and quilted denim shirt Bobby and Keri bought about 5 years ago, feels like November!
I am creating... invites for Thanksgiving
I am going... to go to Portland Maine tonight and pick up Bobs new glasses, took Sears a month.
I am wondering... if Jake will really recover and get through winter
I am reading cook books for a very traditional Thanksgiving Menu
I am hoping... to have a full table of family and a full barn of critters for the holidays.
I am looking forward candy gifts next week for gifting at work as well as Bob's office
I am hearing... Lager bouncing a very wet tennis ball all over my house, what a mess this dog makes!
Around the house... too much dog hair and not enough fall decorations
I am pondering... if I can put Jake with the two Minni's so he wont miss being with Nick so much
One of my favorite things... MY BARN
A few plans for the rest of the week : try to better balance what I love about my barn and animals with what I love about my husband, not getting much together time except chores, need to work on that.

Jake was out with Nick from 2:30 til 6pm last night, it seemed to tier him out. Starting to wean him off steroids, still lame hoof wrapped  and duct taped breathing much better Thank God. Nick and Lager still growing and thriving, Joey has gained a little weight and Mini is getting his winter coat.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Jake Update and the menu

So it has been a very trying  week both physically and emotionally! Jake is still very very sick, he has developed equine heaves. He and I are both trying to be strong, however equine heaves in a horse of Jake's size and age is life threatening. We have had our vet Nicole from Branch Equine out a number of times and she has him on a rigorous treatment of steroid injections.Last night a friend came to the barn and taught me how to administer the injections myself to help to keep the cost of his treatment a bit more manageable. I never imagined I would be jabbing needles into my horses neck, but love and fear make you do things you never thought you could do. Please keep Jake and our farm in your thoughts and prayers, and I will keep you posted.

On a much lighter note here is the next weeks menu:
Friday: Pizza on the BBQ and Salad
Saturday: Salmon in puff pastery
Sunday: Roast Chicken
Monday:Crock pot french dip
Tuesday: Cheese burgers and homemade potato chips
Wednesday: Tortallini and grilled cheese


(4-5 pound) roasting chicken

salt and pepper, I like sea salt or kosha
2 bunches fresh thyme ...I  have fresh

1 bunch parsley ...alos have growing

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

3 sage leaves , still in window box

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced

 4 large carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup chicken stock

olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees .

Compound Butter:

Put room temperature butter in a bowl. Add 2 finely minced garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp lemon zest to butter
from Food Network Ina Gardten

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Still on the mend

Jake is still on the mend, from his abscess aka."gravel blow out" He is receiving twice a day soaks and meds,however here on the farm we figure the best way to heal a horse is pasture.
 Jake is not yet healed enough to go to far out back, rough house with Nick or walk through puddles, so he is on the lawn.
 Bob set up another temporary fence this morning so Jake could get out to graze, Jake doesn't seem to know its a simple rope.
The green grass and sunshine seems to be helping to make Jake feel better, I always feel better when I have two Belgians out my window.
 Nickel is standing close by his team mate, and kitty is lending moral support. I made a big hearty chili in the cast iron dutch oven with corn and both black and red beans topped with a corn bread batter. We are going to stay on the farm today and enjoy the view,and watch football on TV.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So Jake's has been in for days(4). Yesterday an abscess blew on the hairline on the left hoof. At least now we know what we are dealing with, a gravel blow out. We have been soaking and rubbing and then today we all enjoyed some sun.

Friday, October 14, 2011

EDHA Round Up

This week end (starting today) is the "draft hourse round up", this is where the big boys come out to play.
 If you are in the area this could be fun, we are planning to go as spectators.
The round up this year is being held in a beutiful part of New Hampshire, and the weather is expected to improve after today.
This is run by Astern Draft Horse Association the photo's above is from their sight.
You can get all the details at

53ND Championship Round Up

Where New England Crowns CHAMPIONS!!!

OCTOBER 14, 15, 16, 2011


Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Weeks Menu

Friday: Mussels and Wine French bread

Saturday: French Bread Pizza
After returning from horse pulls
Sunday: Foot Ball Sunday Chili and Corn Bread
1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if using lean meat)

1 onion, chopped

2 16 oz. cans pinto beans (do not drain)

2 16 oz. cans mild chili beans (do not drain)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 16 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 quart tomato juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Add ground beef, salt, chopped onion, and vegetable oil (use if cooking very lean meat) in a skillet and cook until meat is brown.
2. Combine meat mixture and all remaining ingredients in a large pot and let simmer for approx. 30 minutes.
3. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onion. (optional)◦For Stir Fry:

Monday: Crock Pot baked Potatoes Stuffed with Steak , Peppers and Onions
Tuesday: Crockpot Caribian Jerk Chicken

4-5 pound whole chicken

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon all spice / yes you need tablespoon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 limes, juiced (about 1/3 cup)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Skin the bird as much as you can (or don't. it's your choice.) and place it into the slow cooker. I prefer to cook my chickens upside down, to keep the breast meat as juicy as possible. Make sure all the giblets, neck, etc. are out!

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and dry spices. Rub this spice and sugar mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Pour on the lime juice.

Cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4. Check doneness with a meat thermometer, or cut in to make sure the meat is no longer pink. Usually the bird falls completely apart--which is great. Moist, juicy, wondefully-flavored meat.

Wednesday: Fish Stew

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hunters Full Moon

Last night we had the "Hunters Full Moon" a reminder to get out the Orange vest's for the Boys.
Hunting season is officially underway, with folks hunting in the neighbor hood.
As the sun set the temperatures changed, summer has again left us. We had a frost about two weeks ago, I moved a bunch of herbs into pots and into the house, then back out onto the porch for the 70's n 80"s, back in last night.
This morning it was in the forties and we are looking for rain by the days end.
As the clouds move in today , I will be moving Jake into the barn for stall rest.Yesterday was Jake's first day this week without Butte and he is looking a little sore, so I don't think he is up for being rained on.
Putting the cast iron dutch oven to use today slow roasting a beef stew.



2 lb stew beef (a 3 lb chuck roast trimmed of all of the fat works best) shopping list

1 cup flour shopping list

½ cup of vegetable oil shopping list

2 Tablespoons Donnie’s cajun seasoning Mix (Recipe can be found with my recipes on my profile page. Or use equivalent ingredients.) shopping list

3 cups water shopping list

2 cans beef broth (14.5 oz.) shopping list

4 medium carrots (washed and sliced, 1 inch long then in half) shopping list

2 stalks celery ( washed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces) (optional) shopping list

1 medium onion (cut into 1/8’s) shopping list

4-5 medium russet potatoes (washed, skin left on and cut into 1/8’s) shopping list

1 Teaspoon salt shopping list

1 pkg of McCormick beef stew seasoning mix shopping list

How to make it

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------go to the link for the how to

Monday, October 10, 2011

Enjoying Summer

We are again today enjoying "summer like" temperatures in Maine. I now it's fall only because we enjoyed the Fryburg Fair last week.
Jesse installed a new router and the computer is taking less fits so I hope to share some of the photo's piling up.

Here some pictures from the fair:

(not our horse's, just some I snapped photo's of!)

Overnight it was beautiful, I know this because I was up for most of it.
Jake (the oldest, of our Belgians)came up lame on Sunday. Jess had witnessed Nickel rushing him around the paddock and playing ruff at sunrise. When Bob and I went out for morning feeding he was limping, bad.

Looking at the symptoms and surrounding conditions, I am guessing he slid in the mud and twisted his front left shoulder.

Bob is afraid it my turn out to be another gravel blow out, he experienced one last year in the exact week of October fallowing three days of rain.

 At 4:00pm yesterday we partnered with our vet and gave him a dose of Butte, fallowed by a second one this morning.

The full moon and sunshine, could not have come at a better time, he slept in the moon light in a much drier paddock.

Bob and I discussed stalling him in the barn overnight but after a conversation with the vet we opted for the great outdoors and easy access if he was in any distress. I was very peaceful each time I checked lying beside Nickel.
On Sunday the local draft horse club is having an event Oktoberfest , Bob had planned to bring the team looks like Nick will be the only one from our barn to take part.
please think good thoughts for Jake's recovery

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall N the Farm

Just starting to look like fall on the farm, the colors are just changing.

This week end the tempatures were  unseasonable 70- 80.Jesse and I enjoyed some time around Kennebunk. We enjoyed the Coastal Kitchen Tour (more on that later).

Jesse's new Frenchie Kyle was introduced to the farm.

I think she was wondering why everyone is sooo big.

Lager was the Host with the most!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This Weeks Menu

Closing up the spring summer garden, as the temperatures really start to change.
 Last night we had our first frost, and a full barn.
 As a rule the big boys sleep out side every night, year round with the only exception being when wind chill warnings are in effect. Last night we brought everyone in, we thought it would be a nice treat the grounds are saturated from three days of rain and the temperature drop was sudden.
I am still trying to find the balance between good tasting local foods and budget friendly menu's, I have clipped lots of coupons for tomorrows shopping trip.

Friday: Portuguese tortellini soup in home made chicken stock
and grilled Panini's
Saturday: Ricotta and herb stuffed chicken
Sunday:  Pasta Carbonara
Monday: Roasted Vegetable Strudel, as we close the garden
Tuesday: Beef Stew in the crock pot
Wednesday: Chicken Cacciatore
Thursday: Out to Dinner 2@ 20.00 special

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reworking the Menu

So the computer is still giving me fits, but tonight we have photo's.
 I have been thinking allot about the menu and the budget and the process that I use for both. I am a bit ashamed to say, till now I really did not have a "budget" for food shopping.When my children were young and I was a stay at home Mom I had a budget, Bob would give me a set amount and I would shop to feed our family of four.
The way it works in our house now, is I buy the groceries and I do the cooking.
That being said I would write the menu based on what I was in the mood to cook and eat and I would head off to the groceries store on pay day.
I did not really see the fault to the no budget process for a long time with Bob not eating at home most of the week, traveling for work. I was cooking for just me most nights and that looked like egg sandwiches and bagels etc.
I new about what I was paying each week, but I was not thinking through the thought that it was mainly "good" week end meals for two and junk when I was alone. Now that Bob's new job gives us the luxury of dining together seven nights a week and packing five lunches, for two people Holy Crap, I am spending a ton,on food for two people! This does not fit with my goal to build this farm and one day stay home on the farm full time. Time to look at my Menu building process, and revise some steps:
First time to make a budget
Second Back to shopping the flyer's
and cutting coupons. I started these changes on Friday with some what rewriting the menu
Friday :
I had planned on us going out, however Bob took me out Thursday so Friday I cooked at home
This was my new one night a week splurge / Steak on the Grill

Saturday: Was going to be Wedge salad with Bacon and Crab Meat however Crab was at 14.00 lb and Shaw's was having a 5.00 per portion rib special so we had BBQ ribs and sweet potatoes

Sunday: Was to be multiple roast chicken day, Shaw's was having Buy one get one free chicken breast packages. I got two packs cooked both, 8 breast spent 6.40 had Sunday dinner a big bowl of fresh chicken salad for lunches and 6 qt of stock have been made with the bones.
Sundays Paper had three inserts of coupons!
Ill keep you posted on what changes I can make and how it helps me reach my goals, if it does.

Fall Colors

Hello Blog Friends
I wanted to share a few things.
First I have not been blogging as much because I have been having one heck of a time with my computer, and the Internet, Bob says it is the outdated router.It has also been raining for days.
Seems every time I get a chance to sit at the computer I either can not get out to the Internet or pictures will not load.
I wanted to share with you some of my fall decorations,Bob found the best corn stocks ever in New Hampshire, at a farm. As soon as the rain stops I'll share photo's.

Additionally I will be posting some menu changes and some budget idea's in the near future.
I usually plan the menu based on what I am in the mood to cook and eat, but that is getting far too expensive so I am making some changes, starting with this weeks trip to Shaw's,more on that soon.

auugg... another hour of trying and no photo's uploaded,maybe when the rain stops I'll have better luck