Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rye Bread

This morning's temperature outside: -7 degrees.   Tomorrow's alleged high for the day?  A whopping five degrees.  Nothing is happening yet as far as showing any signs of spring.... temperature-wise anyway. 

All we can do is keep making hot soup and baking good bread, and try to keep ourselves (and our bellies) content until change is in the air and we have something to look forward to again.  Right? Bake away, my friends....Bread, that is.

Rye Bread

3 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Rye Flour
1 Tablespoon of Yeast
1 1/3 Cups of lukewarm water (who was "Luke" anyway?)
2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Fine-ground Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons of Caraway Seeds
1 beaten egg white

Fill a small bowl with the water, sprinkle your yeast on top and let sit for ten minutes. 

Add your salt and olive oil to the water and whisk it all together.

In a large mixing bowl combine both white and rye flours.  Add only 2 tablespoons of the caraway seed, reserving the last tablespoon.  At this point, I chuck everything into my KitchenAid mixer, fitted with the dough hook, and mix it all up on medium speed until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl (about five minutes)  Once this happens, cover your bowl with plastic and throw a dishtowel over it.  Let it sit for 2 hours, or until you are ready to bake it.  You could also mix everything by hand, if you're in need of some exercise.

Preheat your over to 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Take your bowl of dough and gather it into a loaf-shape.  No need to let it rise again.  Brush the loaf with beaten egg white and sprinkle on the remaining caraway seed.  Put your loaf directly onto your baking stone that has been heating in the oven, or onto a greased baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Let it cool before slicing if you can help makes for better sandwich slicing.

Oh by the way...apparently, the word "lukewarm" turned up around the 14th century as a description for "slightly warm."  Within a couple of centuries, it also took on a figurative meaning, to describe "lacking enthusiasm."  "Luke" was derived from  "lew," "lewk" or "leuk," of which meant "tepid" or slightly warm, in Middle English.  So now you know. 

Please be a farmstead/homestead/farmer friend and share your favorite homemade bread recipes with me at or in the comment section below, or just to say hello and tell me about your farm and what you raise on it.  I love hearing from new people and sharing good recipes!  ~A

Monday, January 26, 2015

Let it snow

Though there isn't a lot going on during this time of year on the farm, other than some early spring cleaning in the house, purging of old files and preparing for taxes, one still has to make time to ride.  Snow or not!

Snow doesn't bother Dottie as much as it does me...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter on the Farm

No words today.  Just pictures of the cold, dark stillness of winter on the farm.  But at least the days are getting longer, right?


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Northeast Ohio Weather

When I took the dogs out this morning around 6 a.m. to do their "business," the thermometer rudely announced the temperature at one degree... Just one.  Better than zero, or minus one, I suppose.  Though I'm certain it will be less than zero tomorrow morning at the same time.  Does anyone want to place their bets? 

I hate this time of year on the farm.  I put on too much weight and lack motivation.  Except to eat.  There's always motivation to stand by the warm stove and cook something wonderful. And eat.

Coffee was my next step this morning, something to warm me from the inside.  A heavy coat, pajamas and muck boots that, early in the morning, at those temperatures, does little when the wind is whipping mad. 
A quick hot shower and then on to set up some bread to rise for later this evening...I'll bake it when I get home and warm up the kitchen.

A slice of yesterday's bread, and a jar of ham and vegetable soup for lunch at work today.

The sun is rising and its my time to brave the cold, icy commute into the city.

Stay warm friends, ~A

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mud Fever

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” 
 William Shakespeare, Henry V

The horses enjoyed a proper romp in the mud the other day...before everything froze and turned to ice and snow.  Hello January.   ~A

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shades of Brown

The last of the green is fading and the many shades of brown are creeping in.  Winter is nearly here.  The only sign of life in the garden is the parsley, who seems to be unaffected by the frost or snow.  The cilantro is hanging on by a breath, but starting to turn brown as well.

We had a lot of rain recently.  The creek gushed and swelled, and over-filled the little pond.  The dog dared not go for his usual swim.  He learned a time before after getting swept away a few hundred feet down little rapids in the creek. 

I miss the eggs from my hens.  I haven't found an egg in the nest box since late November.  I've heard from other fellow farmers everyone is experiencing the same thing at the moment.  Even my young hens won't lay. Store bought, factory farmed eggs are an abomination... Really!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Wabbit" Season

A long interval between posts, I know. My apologies.  There is a little, and should be a little more, to post on later this week.  On March 7th the white New Zealand rabbit gave birth.  She was bread to a Flemish Giant, who is grey/blue. I am unsure how many little ones there are buried deep in her nest, because she is a very good and protective momma.  Meaning, I cannot get near the little guys without being viciously attacked by a growling mother rabbit.  Good for her.  She's doing her job. 

Baby chicks are due to hatch this Sunday (March 23).   There are 41 eggs in the incubator, and one turkey egg, but that was due to an intoxicated, "Oh why the hell not?" moment when I felt the need to put the very first egg the turkey hen laid into the incubator.  And because I had one spot open in there, staring at me blankly.  (It holds 42 eggs).

This week and next, I will set aside the turkey's eggs, in the hope of collecting at least 6 to incubate.  I can only assume that between her and the two males, they have figured out what they should be "doing" and that these eggs will be fertile and hatch out.  The plan is to put them into the incubator on March 30th, incubate for 28 days and with any luck end up with come baby turkeys on April 26th.  If it ends up being that I have any males from that clutch, they would be ready to butcher and freeze the first week of November.  It (they?) would be the first Mon Abri Farm born, and raised, Thanksgiving Turkey(s). How freakin' awesome would that be! But we'll see...

Nothing new to tell about Chiba.  She still looks pregnant (or fat?), and yet shows no signs of any babies on the horizon.  As I've said before, I've given up on her for this spring. Maybe next year.

Things are thawing now.  I hope you all have a warm(er) day. ~A

King Roo

The "Fishin' Hole"

The chickens are finally making their way out into the pastures
I wonder what they see?  Spring, hopefully...

Friday, March 7, 2014

A break finally

Yesterday evening I baked a loaf of bread, made some croutons from a slice or two, then figured I probably should have salad to go with that, and a little blue cheese and balsamic dressing, only because I had to have "something" to go with my wine, right? 

The weather has finally turned for the better and the temperature will reach 45 degrees today, which should melt off the last bits of snow.  Have a lovely Friday ~ A

A beautiful sunrise

Monday, March 3, 2014

Relaxing Weekend

I made some progress this weekend, even though the weather is still not quite cooperating.  I sorted eggs and loaded the incubator with 41 of them, due to hatch March 23 (give or take a day).  And because I had so many eggs laying around (no pun there) I decided to make a lovely frittata sort of thing for my breakfast.  And that turned out to be a very good decision.



Then, I had to butcher a young rooster, who was approaching his 6 month birthday.

I also made some soup for my work lunches for the week.  How productive is that? 

I hope you all have a lovely week, ~A

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A break in the weather

No changes in any of the animals.  No babies.  No sickness. Nothing but waiting.  Waiting for warmer weather and waiting for babies, hopefully. 

This week I've started setting eggs aside to put into the incubator this coming weekend.  I'm hoping to get 40 of them in there.  But that depends on how busy the ladies are this week, and how many eggs are fit to put in there.  I'm only going to incubate the darkest of the dark eggs, with the hope of improving the Marans line in the future.  We'll just have to wait and see what hatches?

It's been a week, but there hasn't been much to talk about or anything exciting happening.  The weather gave us a break over the weekend and reached a high of 40 degrees, so I took the opportunity to clean up the barn a bit and walk over the property to see that all was well.  Chiba spent a lot of time outside inspecting the yard and looking for food. 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pressure cookers, snow, and a fat goat

"You know who" has still not shown any sign of a due date.  I'm ready to give up on her...

I'm feeling rather low and beat down with all this cold and snow and snow and cold.  And what do woman tend to do when they're feeling down?  Shop, of course.  And so I did.

I have an aluminum pressure canner/cooker that I absolutely love, but knowing that aluminum is not the best to cook with (only to can with), and knowing how often I use my canner (a lot!), I decided to splurge an buy a smaller, everyday stainless steel cooker for non-canning use. So I bought an 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker this morning on Amazon and now I can't wait for it to arrive!

I hate waiting.  I'm already dreaming of all the recipes I want to try with it. 

Five days or so and it will arrive.  Unless the delivery man cannot get up my snow filled driveway.  Fingers crossed...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Something's got to give...

The weather is getting to me.  All I want to do is eat. Worse, all I want to eat is "comfort" food.  Carbs, Carbs, Carbs... 

Yesterday I canned some mushroom barley soup to put away for my work lunches, and for those evenings when I just don't have it in me to cook anything. Which happens to be often, lately. Really,  I have absolutely no interest in doing much of anything in this cold weather, other than eating and taking care of the animals.  I think part of my nasty outlook has been due to this respiratory, cough thing I've been battling for three weeks now.  Between the cough and the weather I am sure I can't take much more!

Barley Soup "to go"

In an sad effort to pretend I can even remember what summer feels and tastes like, I sliced up a baguette, toasted it, rubbed the pieces with garlic, put a frozen basil leaf on top, followed by a slice of tasteless, (but roasted) winter tomato, and topped it off with shaved parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I tried.  I really, really tried. But it just couldn't compare to using the same ingredients in, say, August.  It was really a sad moment.

Then I tried pasta.  I was a little more cheery after that...

Pasta = Happiness ?

Then there are some who the snow has no effect on what-so-ever....No horse-flies! Let's play!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Adios January

Its 36 degrees today as I sit here slurping a hot bowl of tomato-basil soup, and this weather feels absolutely amazing after so many days of arctic BS.  This is the last day of January and I am very glad to see it go! I am so hoping for a kinder February and looking forward to spring again.

Not much of anything is happening on the farm right now.  Its just cold and uneventful.  Mama-to-be goat still has not shown any sign of having any babies any time soon.  I really am beginning to wonder if she is in fact pregnant?  What a trick that would be.  She went out for a stroll and played in the snow with her BFF doggie "Louie" yesterday, and seemed as content as ever bouncing around the snow covered pasture.

I am almost decided that a pig will be added to the farm this year.  I'm a little leery about getting one, because I know nothing about pigs and I still have to set up a pen for it.  But the farmer called me the other day and said the two sows had just given birth and the piglets will be ready in mid March.  So I need to hurry up and make a decision, pig or no pig. Have any of you out there raised a pig before, and if so, can you give me the dirt on what I'm getting myself into if I get one?  Is it worth it? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Well the weekend is finally here, and I'm looking forward to some better weather and the quiet time to experiment with some new recipes. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And the "Polar Vortex" continues...

Yep, its still c-o-l-d...  I know because I checked this morning, and the temperature read -23 degrees.  So it is true!.  This was the first time the big dog ever had frozen, stinging paws after running outside for a quick poop this morning. Poor Louie.  Because it was too cold to let the dog play outside, I took him along with me to the feed mill to pick up some grain.  He looked a tad concerned with my driving skills.  But in my defense it was snowing, and icy!

Louie riding" shotgun"

Snow and cold.  Cold and snow.  More cold, more snow. Cold snow. It appears never-ending. I'm going to loose my mind.  Have I already?

Heading to the Feed Mill

What have we been doing to get through all of this polar despair?  Drooling over spring seed catalogues and eating of course!  Lately we've just been hanging out in the kitchen, throwing ingredients together and playing around with our food to see what we could come up with.  So far the results have not been disappointing.

Perfect Seafood Soup

Red Skin Mashed Potatoes with Bacon

A little bit of everything omelet

French Toast and More Bacon!

Sausage Bean and Veg Soup (Spicy)

Simple Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

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