Friday, December 30, 2011

First a Plan

Writing the menu plan then off to shop-
Some things to consider for this weeks menu : holiday,the ad/sales and pending deep freeze.

Tonight / Friday Brunswick Stew

Saturday Lobster (on sale for$4.99)
Sunday Turkey dinnerer at half time
Monday salisery steak
Tuesday Turkey soup
Wednesday Chicken panini
Thursday stir fry beef n rice

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Wind chills" ZERO

This morning at sun rise it was very cold, the thermometer raid sixteen.
The weatherman on the radio kept feeling the need to repeat the fact the wind chill was making it feel like zero.Those of us who had outside chores were well aware of the wind chill. It was cold enough that the Big Boys were blanketed for the first time this year.

Lager does not seem to mind the cold one bit.Truth be told some good momentum and a set of nice overalls and you worm up quick.

One of the tricks to maintaining heat in the barn on these cold days , is limiting the number of times you open the overhead door.With some planning I can keep the door opening down to 4.
1. Let the horses out, turning around and shutting the door while holding the lead.
2. Emptying the tractor of manure while delivering food and water to the chickens and pig.
3.Bring the tractor back in loaded with twenty four hours worth of hay. and
4. Bringing the Belgians back in.
It is now sun set twenty one degrees out , and fifty three in the barn ( ten degrees lower than the main house).Soon the Big boys will come in for the night the forth door opening will cause a bit of heat to escape but their body heat will add about ten degrees in the next hour. Not a bad shelter on a cold night,if your a Belgian.Plus extra hay all around.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas Tree Kicked My Butt...

I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I very much enjoyed looking at all the Christmas Home Tour Blogs.
I love seeing how everyone decorates. As much as I love holiday decorations, yesterday I packed ours up and put them all back into storage. It really feels good to have my home clean, and some what back to normal.

One of the things I do enjoy at Christmas is the extra glow of the lights, This farm house night light also has a nice soft glow.

Living plants for greenery and clean air.

I even baked a cake,

and put out a new calender.

The joy and comfort of a clean house.

Some of my favorite photo's.

And the boys out the window, what a blessing.
I will say though putting that tree up alone, kicked my butt...

Monday, December 26, 2011

After Christmas Sales

The only thing purchsed at  after Christmas sales,was more candy canes for the horses.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Week End

Yesterday My Mom visited the farm, along with Jesse, Joe and Kyle.Lager was happy to welcome Kyle ( a baby girl) onto the farm for the day. He was a very well behaved K9 host. We had a wonderful day of family and food.

Today we woke to "arctic cold temps"We did barn chores, then hung Jake's new hay rack (AKA Christmas Gift).

 The temps. are supposed to stay in single numbers over night, so bunny has also joined the barn.
I am doing the last of the baking, the beef bones are being transformed to stock and an over sized bird is in the oven. Holiday Blessings from the farm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This week my new book arrived: I am reading Barnheart by Jenna Woginrich
Here is an Excerpted from Barnheart  these two pages hit home in such a way I read it out load to Bob over coffee yesterday morning.

How to tell if you’re infected.

Certain people, myself included, are afflicted by a condition that’s difficult to describe. It’s not recognized by physicians or psychoanalysts (yet), but it’s really only a matter of time before it’s a household diagnosis. It’s a sharp, targeted depression, a sudden overcast feeling that hits you while you’re at work or standing in the grocery-store checkout line. It’s a dreamer’s disease, a mix of hope, determination, and grit. It attacks those of us who wish to God we were outside with our flocks, feed bags, or harnesses instead of sitting in front of a computer screen. When a severe attack hits, it’s all you can do to sit still. The room gets smaller, your mind wanders, and you are overcome with the desire to be tagging cattle ears or feeding pigs. (People at the office water cooler will stare and slowly back away if you say this out loud. If this happens to you, just segue into sports banter and you’ll be fine.)

The symptoms are mild at first. You start reading online homesteading forums and shopping at cheese-making supply sites on your lunch break. You go home after work and instead of turning on the television, you bake a pie and study chicken-coop building plans. Then somehow, somewhere along the way you realize that you’re happiest when you’re weeding the garden or collecting eggs from the henhouse. It’s all downhill from there. When you accept that a fulfilling life requires tractor attachments and a septic system, it’s too late.

You’ve already been infected with the disease.

This condition is roughly defined as the state of knowing unequivocally that you want to be a farmer but, due to personal circumstances, cannot be one just yet. So there you are, heartsick and confused in the passing lane, wondering why you can’t stop thinking about heritage-breed livestock and electric fences. Do not be afraid. You are not alone. You have what I have. You are suffering from Barnheart.

But do not panic, my dear friends; there is a remedy! The condition must be fought with direct, intentional actions that yield tangible, farm-related results. If you find yourself overcome with the longings of Barnheart, simply step outside, get some fresh air, and breathe. Go back to your desk and finish your office work, knowing that tonight you’ll be taking notes on spring garden plans and perusing seed catalogs. Usually, those small, simple actions that lead you in the direction of your own farm can help ease the longing.

At times, though, you might find yourself resorting to extreme measures — calling in “sick” to work in the garden, muck out chicken coops, collect eggs, and bake bread. After all, this is a disease of inaction, and it hits us hardest when we are furthest from our dreams. If you find yourself suffering, make plans to visit an orchard, a dairy farm, or a livestock auction. Go pick berries at a local U-pick farm. Busy hands will get you on the mend.

And when you find yourself sitting in your office, classroom, or cafĂ© and your mind wanders to dreams of the farming life, know that you are not alone. There are those of us who also long for the bitter scent of manure and sweet odor of hay in the air, to feel the sun on our bare arms. (I can just about feel it, too, even in January, in a cubicle on the third floor of an office building.) Even though we straighten up in our ergonomic desk chairs, we’d rather be stretched out in the bed of a pickup truck, drinking in the stars on a crisp fall night.

When your mind wanders like this and your heart feels heavy, do not lose the faith, and do not fret about your current circumstances. Everything changes. If you need to stand in the slanting light of an old barn to lift your spirits, go for it. Perhaps someday you’ll do this every day. For some, this is surely the only cure. I may be such a case.

We’ll get there. In the meantime, let us just take comfort in knowing we’re not alone. And maybe take turns standing up and admitting we have a problem.

Hello. My name is Jenna. And I have Barnheart.

Excerpted from Barnheart © by Jenna Woginrich

I orderd a signed and  copy of Barnheart from Battenkill Books

Battenkill Books
Battenkill Books is in the Authors hometown

15 East Main St.

Cambridge, NY 12816

(518) 677-2515

Monday, December 19, 2011

Every Day

Every day this is what i see....
one crazy Minni and one displaced chick.

  Ms.Chick waits in the stall every day for Mr.Minni to return.

Frozen Kisses

We walked out of the house this morning to start barn chores and the siding was coated with frost .A new low five degrees add breaking ice from water buckets. The barn was toasty worm , two Big Belgians tend to fuel the fire. We fed grain and gave a quick brushing before bringing the horses out to pasture. On the walk from the barn to the pasture Jake gave me a big kiss, that froze instantly. These are the days when wet kisses, thoughts of spring and baby Calv's keep you going. The chickens seem to be cozy in their new house, we wont see eggs now til spring. The oven will be home to a noce roasting chicken today, that will be hot stock tomorrow. I think we will be ordering some meat birds.Bobby and Keri brought me some wonderful gardening gifts, can't wait to start planning the 2012 garden .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Burrr cold

When we started today's chores it was twelve degrees outside.
We quickly got the hounds out to do their business and then back into the barn with them, till things worm up a bit.
Once the grain was fed stalls were cleaned and waters filled then horses were all turned outside with lots of hay.
I think it is going to be a good day to stay in side visit with family and eat comfort food.
On the menu
Fried Calamari
lobster ragoo
Caesar salad
Mac and cheese
Green Beans
and eclairs... before afternoon chores.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On The Nice List

My Very Good Boy

8 Days til Christmas

Tomorrow I get the first of my two Christmas Days Yay!
 Bobby and Keri will arrive in the morning,
 I can't wait.
 Waiting for my kids to arrive for Christmas is like waiting for Santa.
We will start are day in the AM with cinnamon buns, juice and coffee.
A small gift exchange...

Then Fried Calamari, Ham, Mac and cheese, green beans

eclairs...Then Jessica and Joe will arrive on Friday for our second celebration.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So both the chickens and pig have been relocatedto the back pasture.

In the spring both houses will get new roofs, for now they seem to be settling in.

The new chicken coop is up out of the snow, smaller/easier to heat.the chicken pen has a door, a huge inprovement.

The chicken pen and pig pen are seperated, but they keep visiting.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Full Moon

Have you been outside? Did you see the full moon? The sky tonight is beautiful, it lights up the entire farm.

Today was beautiful,in the 40's, with clear ski's. Bob did yard work and I cleaned and decorated
 some more.Tomorrow I will post photos of the new chicken coop and relocated pig.

For now the big's are inside, as is the only remaining mini with his hen.

Everyone else has extra feed n hay.
Good night n God Bless!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Official Start

cheese cake

whoopie pies

and some sweet old random cute

It is the official start of holiday baking season, on the farm. The UPS truck will be pulling into the drive on a more frequent basis, to deliver supplies. Home made gift do not save you time or money when done well, but they sure can be fun to give.
Much of the holiday cooking will take place on the holiday to be served as fresh as possible, however the baking has begun. The gifts I am starting now are the ones that will be mailed or delivered on the weeks and days leading up to the holidays.
An important part of home baked gifts are quality ingredients and great packaging.
Much of my baking supplies have been ordered from King Arthur Flour.
My cup cake boxes, papers and picks are from Fancy Flour , although their shipping is high.

The candy apple boxes and sprinkles are from Kitchen Kraft's

Easy Cheesecake

is a recipe from their web sight

Never mind the sour cream, farmer's cheese, cream cheese, water bath, and worrying about a sunken center. The filling for this delicious cheesecake has just four simple ingredients, and the cake bakes for a mere 30 minutes. Now THAT'S easy!

Read our blog about this cheesecake, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.





1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs OR zwieback crumbs

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1/3 cup (5 2/3 tablespoons) melted butter

1/8 teaspoon salt


2 cups (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups

1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons Pie Filling Enhancer; use 1 tablespoon for a looser sauce, 2 tablespoons for thicker

pinch of ground cinnamon, optional

Crust4 1/2 ounces graham cracker crumbs (or 5 ounces boxed graham cracker crumbs); OR 6 1/4 ounces zwieback crumbs 1 ounce confectioners' sugar2 5/8 ounces melted butter1/8 teaspoon saltFilling16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature2 large eggs5 3/8 ounces sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractTopping12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups1/2 to 1 1/4 ounces sugar, to taste3/8 to 3/4 ounce Pie Filling Enhancer; use the smaller amount for a looser sauce, the larger for a thicker saucepan of ground cinnamon, optionalCrust128g graham cracker crumbs (or 5 ounces boxed graham cracker crumbs); OR 6 1/4 ounces zwieback crumbs28g confectioners' sugar74g melted butter1/8 teaspoon saltFilling454g (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature2 large eggs152g sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractTopping12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups14 to 35g sugar, to taste11 to 21g Pie Filling Enhancer; use the smaller amount for a looser sauce, the larger for a thicker sauce pinch of ground cinnamon, optional


1) Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9", and whose height is at least 1 1/4". Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2) Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing till thoroughly combined.

3) Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.

4) Make the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients till smooth. Use a mixer set at low-medium speed. If your cream cheese is at room temperature, this will go fairly smoothly (pun intended). If the cream cheese is cold, it'll take much more mixing to create a smooth filling.

5) Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.

6) Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the crust 1" from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won't look entirely set in the center.

7) Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the topping. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, till you're ready to serve it.

8) To make the topping, place the frozen raspberries in a bowl to thaw. You can hasten the process with a quick trip through the microwave, but don't let the berries cook.

9) Add 1 tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer, and stir till well combined. Is the topping as thick as you like? If not, stir in another tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer.

10) Add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste.

11) Stir in a pinch of ground cinnamon, if desired.

12) Spoon the topping over the cheesecake, and cut slices to serve. Alternatively, cut slices, and top each with a dollop of topping.

Yield: one 9" cheesecake, 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe summary

Hands-on time:

12 mins. to 18 mins.

Baking time:

30 mins. to 30 mins.

Total time:

1 hrs 42 mins. to 1 hrs 48 mins.


9" cheesecake, 8 to 10 servings.

Tips from our bakers

◦You'll need 9 to 10 whole graham crackers to make 1 1/2 cups of crumbs; there are 11 crackers in one paper sleeve.

◦Don't have Pie Filling Enhancer? Stir raspberries with 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste. Alternatively, top the cheesecake with fresh raspberries and a shower of confectioners' sugar.