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.

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