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A Summer Fling

I’d like to start with the fact that I don’t normally get emotionally involved or gush over dessert.  Yes.  I enjoy decadent treats in moderation: a piece of Victoria sponge or chocolate cake on occasion.  I don’t, however, just lose my mind over sweet things…….until last week. It started out innocently enough.  My dad is a fine gardener and always has a bounty of vegetables to share with friends and family.  Every summer, he sends my in-laws squash, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, etc. from his garden; and, in an act of reciprocity, my mother-in-law bakes bread or makes a special treat for my parents.  About a week ago, after receiving an installment of vegetables from Dad, my mother-in-law sent my parents fresh berries with a homemade “cream” topping.  Bless her heart, she even sent some for us. Of course, Farmguy and I had no inkling this wasn’t any normal berry and cream combination.  After dinner, we dished out some berries and dollaped the “cream” on top and proceeded to enjoy our desserts.  After one bite, I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh–This. Is. SO. Good!!  It’s not like any cream I’ve ever had! We’ve got to get the recipe from your mother!”  The next day, I called Farmguy’s mom to thank her for this unexpected treat and to get the recipe.  I went on and on about how much we enjoyed it, and how it was the best thing EVER.  The memory is blurry now, […]

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Something Refreshing

I’m not much of a mixed drink connoisseur.  I usually find that I enjoy wine more:  sparkling, white Burgundy, and Bordeaux styles. However, a few years ago, while visiting with friends in Yorkshire, England, I discovered a cocktail that I enjoyed so much that I asked the bartender for the recipe. It’s called a Hendrick’s Collins.  This cocktail is delicious and refreshing—perfect for a summer afternoon in the garden. Hendrick’s Collins *Slightly modified Ingredients: One 12 ounce Collins glass One shot of Hendrick’s Gin (distilled Scottish gin infused with rose & cucumber) 3/4 shot of St. Germain elderflower liqueur Dash of lemon 3 Cucumber slices Ice cubes Soda Water Cucumber and lemon wedge to garnish *Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Presse *Special Note:  This is a sparkling beverage that’s handmade in the U.K. and mixes well with gin.  I originally had it in England; however, I have purchased it at The Fresh Market grocery store in my area.  It can also be ordered online at amazon.com.  My preference is to use half soda water and half Belvoir Elderflower Presse in this cocktail. Preparation: Fill the Collins glasses with ice.  Full size ice cubes will melt more slowly and dilute the drink more slowly. Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, and cucumber slices into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.  Cover and shake for several seconds.  Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda water (and Elderflower sparkling beverage […]

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A Lesson

As a child growing up on Green Hill Farm there were two things that I looked forward to the most: visiting with Grandma and Granddaddy Rieley and summer time.  The thing I liked best was neither required dressy outfits or shoes.  I also relished the freedom of an undetermined day, one without rules or routines.  I’d run around the farm sometimes barefoot and still in my pajamas or a mismatched outfit chosen by me; one which usually included an article of clothing made of terry-cloth, a Mork and Mindy tee-shirt, and maybe even knee socks.  I probably resembled something akin to a cross between Little Orphan Annie and a peasant.  Nevertheless, I didn’t care.  I had Grandma to visit, stuff to get into, and I was comfortable–a formula that equalled happiness in my world.  Of course, those days are long gone, because I’d never go outside today without at least a pair of flip flops on my feet.  I also don’t wear terry cloth shorts or knee-socks anymore, either–at least, not together.  However, I still prefer jeans and tee-shirts to dressy outfits, and I’m known to wear my pajamas outside the house on occasion (but never off the farm).  As for those undetermined days, well, I still love them, because you just never know who you may meet or what you might learn. It was a glorious summer day like the ones depicted in those old Country Time Lemonade commercials: […]

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Shhh….We’re Hunting Wabbits

Dash and Bizou   There is no shortage of rabbits on Green Hill Farm this summer.  I’m not kidding!  We are Plum. Covered. Up.  There are big rabbits, little rabbits, and even teeny-tiny rabbits. They’re everywhere:  running across the driveway, darting into bushes, chasing each other around the vegetable garden, sunning themselves on the lawn, hanging out in the sheep pasture, munching on clover in the back garden, and sitting under the window in the dogs’ play room—tormenting poor Bizou.  We simply have too many rabbits! Don’t get me wrong.  I love all critters, especially cute, furry bunnies.  But, lately, they’ve been making our lives somewhat stressful.  These wascaly wabbits are driving Bizou and Dash to distraction, and me right along with them.  Bizou is completely obsessed.  Once in a while, I’ll hear a groan and a moan and then a whimper.  This melodic trio quickly escalates into many high-pitched whimpers, followed by lots of frantic whining and running around the room.  And, of course, jumping up on window sills—all in a vain attempt to glimpse rabbits.  Understandably, this behavior isn’t good for Bizou, the window sills, or my nerves for that matter.  So, whenever the rabbits decide to hang out under the windows, I usually encourage Bizou to leave the room, and I shut the door.  The other day, Bizou was so wound-up, running in circles and launching himself at the window to get the rabbit that no amount […]

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Fresh, Sweet Corn

Sex is good but not as good as fresh, sweet corn. ~Garrison Keillor Fresh, sweet corn is one of those treats you look forward to in the summertime, especially if you’re a gardener.  There’s nothing quite like it!  And, at the risk of sounding like “fifty shades of farmgirl,” I just had to include Garrison Keillor’s quote emphasizing how spectacularly good it really is. 😉 In honor of fresh, sweet corn, I’m sharing one of my favorite corn recipes—corn spoon pudding.  I love it, because it’s super easy and amazingly delicious!  It’s from a wonderful cookbook titled, Potluck at Midnight Farm-–celebrating food, family, and friends on Martha’s Vineyard, by Tamara Weiss.  Corn spoon pudding is a recipe that was contributed to the cookbook by actress, Mary Steenburgen.  Steenburgen writes, “this is a recipe that I grew up with in Arkansas and have made for many kinds of people.  Also, it’s so wildly popular that folks take one bite and instantly want the recipe.” Well, I have to agree with her.  I always keep extra copies of this recipe on hand to share, because it’s a guaranteed smash hit.  It’s the best cornbread you’ll ever eat! Corn Spoon Pudding Serves 12 *Use organic, non-GMO ingredients when possible Ingredients: 1  (8 1/2-ounce) box corn muffin mix 7 1/2-ounces of freshly cooked whole kernel corn or canned corn 7 1/2-ounces of creamed corn or canned creamed corn 1 cup sour cream  (use sour cream […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Green Hill Farm

One of the greatest joys of Green Hill Farm is observing and interacting with the animals who live here. There’s nothing I love more than sitting on the porch in the evenings and watching the chickens running around chasing bugs or the sheep grazing in the pasture.  It’s simply the most satisfying and peaceful feeling.  Here are a few pictures […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Hold On….

Farmgirl sharing a moment of joy with Sweet Sadie Circa 2006   “It was a very ordinary day, the day I realised that my becoming is my life and my home and that I don’t have to do anything but trust the process, trust my story and enjoy the journey. It doesn’t really matter who I’ve become by the finish […]

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Mother Nature’s Helper

“Vintage Watering Can,” 18 x 18 acrylic on canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer   *Many thanks to my wonderful art teacher!       “Mother Nature’s Helper” by Tonya R. Hengerer   What one uses to Attack parched, arid Terroir, Eradicating dryness and Restoring an Ideal environment Necessary for Growing   Crops, such as, cantaloupe And, especially cucumbers—Mother Nature’s helper.  

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