Saturday, April 23, 2011
This has been a terrible spring. We have seen snow and rain for the most part of April. When the farm is cold, wet and muddy not much gets done. I haven't cleaned up what the animals left behind, during winter confinement. The mud is so plentiful, that it would leave big ruts or get my tractor stuck. Any mess will be waiting for better weather, and that is when I will want to be doing something else-oh well.
I managed to shear one sheep to her misfortune, but I do notice the others are jealous of her skivvies.
We also had chicks born in the incubator; they have stayed in a box, in the house where is is warm and dry. Nothing like chicken on the kitchen counter! I have had the luxury of my very own crumb picker for the dinning room table; I just pick one out, set them in a crumb pile and let them peck.
Planted peas a week ago, but bought another package just in case these rot in the ground. All of the inside baby plants are doing well with some helpful hints from my green thumb neighbor, Patricia. She told me when the tomato plants get spindly, transfer into a bigger peat pots and fill up to the leaves; this is working very well. Peppers took a while to come up but every one of them is up and smiling.
My neighbor and I want to raise a pig. We have been cleaning out a spot in the old 1860's barn for this pig project. David King makes the best bacon, scrapple, and hams, this side of Minden. When I had a taste of this magnificent bacon, wanted to make the entire pig into 12" slabs. This is very unladylike to admit, but the finer things in life are at our will, too many things are not.
So I leave you now...Happy Easter, Happy New Birth.
Friday, April 8, 2011
When I was a kid, I would beg my grandma to take me to Woolworth's 5&10 so I could have lunch at the counter. I loved the egg salad sandwich!
How to make the perfect hard boiled eggs for a sandwich.
HARD BOILED EGGS
5 large eggs about 1 week old (store bought... the day you bring them home)
Start with your pot of cool water just covering the eggs. Start up the burner and bring water to simmering. Carefully, and I mean carefully (to the voice of Fog Horn Leg Horn) roll the eggs around for about a minute. Now take pot off the burner and cover for 16 minutes. Have a big bowl set aside with ice and cold water, spoon eggs into this cold bath for about 10 minutes. Take eggs out and store in a container, in the refrigerator. When you are ready to peel...run hot water over shells, this will cause condensation under the shells, tap gently on the counter all over and peeling should be easy.
EGG SALAD SANDWICH
5 hard boiled eggs (shelled) enough for 3 sandwiches
2 T mayo
1 t of margarine1 pinch of dry mustard
dash of paprikaCelery-3 inch slice, outside threads removed and minced
*salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl take your hard boiled eggs and add mayo and margarine, push down through the eggs until roughly blended add celery and spices, mix again. Spoon on bread to make a sandwich, oh, and make sure you cut diagonally, serve with bread and butter pickles and a handful of potato chips.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Predators live among us; they can be as deceiving as a neighbors dog, a cat, or they can be as obvious as coyote or a fox. Predators eat small mammals and birds. If they don't eat critters everyday, they starve. They are also very indiscriminate as to what they eat; Fluffy and Fido are no exception.
I loath having a predator eat my animals. Describing this blatantly and ruthlessly, makes a good argument to be a vegetarian. But I am a carnivore. To justify a farm with domestic animals was explained that if no one ate meat, all domestic animals would become extinct. So there is a purpose for me to raise my own meat. And I will do everything in my power to protect my animals from predators.
Yesterday, I tried to smoke a fox out of his hole-sitting there waiting for him to jump out, ready to shoot him with my shot gun. I waged a war with this creature because he ate one rooster and my beloved cat. A cat I had for 3 years; wise enough to never get hit by a car and hardy enough to live outside in the barn. I was infuriated to find him dead outside the fox hole.
My blood boiled as I lit the newspapers on fire and threw them down the fox hole. Waiting for him to come out, I stared at the hole. But to my surprise, the rotten round bale next to the fox hole, started to go up in flames. I thought it was soaking wet? Well, then it went from the round bale to the dry grass...Suddenly, this was getting out of hand! So I drove to my neighbors house and frantically said, "Call the fire department now!" My neighbor, Nancy, is a Methodist minister, she told her son to call the fire department, and we both headed back to the flames. She was alarmed, but as soon as we heard the fire whistle blowing throughout the countryside, we sighed relief-help was on the way. We watched as the blaze approached her house with whirling smoke. "The fox, is probably up on the hill laughing at us" I joked.
The fire department arrived as an army of men with shovels and water hoses to the rescue. When the fire was extinguished, everybody stood around the fox hole with my dead cat still visible. Nancy, the minister, suggested we bury him and give him a eulogy, I agreed. Nice to have a minster as a neighbor. There was closure. And no hard feelings at my foolish pyrotechnics.
As for the fox, I am patrolling the perimeter as if they are enemy lines, putting pressure on him enough to ward him away. Mr. fox will have to always keep a look out for the human-sorry to say.