Farmgirl Circa 1972 “Childhood is the one story that stands by itself in every soul.” ~Ivan Doig, The Whistling Season Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Growing up in the country and on a farm, it was commonplace to preserve as much of the summer’s harvest as possible. My parents and grandparents worked all spring, summer, and fall planting gardens, picking vegetables, tending fruit trees, picking berries, and then canning, freezing, and storing much of it for future use. I can still see kitchen counters covered with Mason jars of green beans, tomatoes, and black raspberry jam, and the beauty of the jewel-tone colors as the sun shone through the glass and its hard-earned contents. It’s because of this seasonal tradition that I observed and participated in as a child that I appreciate the work that goes into preserving as well as the delight in enjoying something homemade. That’s why I love using a familiar recipe or even finding a new one each year to preserve something special to share. So, when I was leafing through epicurious cooking magazine recently and discovered a recipe for wine jelly–specifically, Sauternes and sage jelly, I knew I had to try it. I’ve made fruit jams and jellies, pickles, and even chutney in the past, but I’ve never tried making wine jelly–until now. The cooking magazine raved about this jelly, describing it as “sophisticated and subtle.” It also stated that it was a delicious substitute to the green mint jelly that traditionally accompanies lamb. Actually, this sublime jelly is wonderful with any roasted or grilled meat and is a fantastic […]
Clementine Kitty coveting Farmguy’s dish of ice cream. Happy weekend!
Having just fed the barn kitties, I headed toward the chicken coop to gather eggs. On the way, I stopped and looked up, closing my eyes. I stood for a moment, letting the warmth of the afternoon sun wash over me. When I opened my eyes, I saw an autumn sky that was clear blue with wisps of clouds like white gossamer. The burnt colors of foliage lining the sheep paddock caught my attention; too little rain late in the summer had muted the usual fiery, fall palette. It was still a lovely sight, and it was perfect weather for Honey Hen to be outside in the fresh air. But then, I remembered. Honey Hen, a pet chicken unable to walk well or lay eggs anymore, had become part of my day-to-day routine. Although she didn’t have perfect mobility, Honey was still a fairly healthy, hearty bird. She enjoyed being outdoors in her favorite spot near the corncrib that Great-grandaddy Rieley built as well as pecking at clover and fanning out her wings in the sunshine. Everyday I prepared a plate of fruit and vegetables for her–especially when she couldn’t go outside. On warm days, when Honey was able to go out, I constantly checked to make sure she was in close proximity to her food and water as well as near a source of shade; and, on cold days, I turned on the heat lamps in the coop for […]
The Queen’s View Many thanks to our friend and talented photographer, Doug Frassa for sharing his wonderful photographs.
Clover and Hamish Every evening, Farmguy and I give our sheep and chickens treats of grain and lettuce. It’s one of my favorite times of day—probably because the farm is so still and quiet. It’s easy to feel happy and at peace surrounded by such grace. And, sometimes, as I sit in the grass trying to capture a different […]
“I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.” ~Bob Dylan Traveling Wilburys Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. As Tom Petty 1950-2017
With the arrival of fall, thoughts turn to cool, crisp mornings, fields full of pumpkins, the smell of a crackling fire, and the taste of hot apple cider. This time of year often causes us to reflect on happy times. I always find it interesting how our senses ignite memories. Memories that take us back to a single, meaningful experience. The senses of smell and taste, in particular, tend to evoke the strongest memories for me. The smells of freshly cut hay and buckets of Dad’s ripened tomatoes, or the taste of Mom’s homemade Thanksgiving dressing. These smells and tastes take me right back to my childhood. It’s such a visceral experience. I think that’s one reason we enjoy the seasonal routines of planting gardens, visiting a pumpkin patch, or preparing and eating a holiday feast. The sights, smells and tastes associated with these activities bring back a familiar comfort. So, here’s the thing. With the many signs of fall, including pumpkins appearing at the local farmers’ market, I remembered one of my favorite recipes: Spiced pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I hope you’ll try this recipe and maybe even add it to your fall favorites. Enjoy! Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: *Use organic ingredients when possible Ingredients: 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice 1 tablespoon curry 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt *************** 2 […]
Bizou and Dash After a difficult illness, our beloved dog, Maud passed away in April 2016. Over the summer, we visited a number of animal shelters and humane societies looking for a companion for our other dog, Dash….and a furry friend to ease the heartbreak of losing our sweet Maud. In mid-December, a friend who volunteers at a local […]
Clover and The Crew “This land pulses with life. It breathes in me; it breathes around me; it breathes in spite of me. When I walk on this land, I am walking on the heartbeat of the past and the future. And that’s only one of the reasons I am a farmer.” ~Brenda Sutton Rose