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Showing posts from May, 2012

Handcrafted Rhubarb Soda...

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This is lovely.  I think that I could sip this on my wrap-around porch on sweltering summer days, chatting with my girlfriends in their hoop skirts and fanning myself deep in the South.  Wait, I don't live in the South!  I live in a high dessert and there are NO hoop skirts.  How did women wear those things in the humid South anyway?  Insanity if you ask me.

Since I am in a high desert with as little clothes as possible because it is really stinkin' HOT, and I don't have a wrap-around porch, I sip this lovely concoction on my patio over looking the garden while I chat with my chickens (who are also NOT wearing hoop skirts).

Really, I get off topic easily.  It's because it's so fun to type hoop skirt...


This is simply a very nice way to enjoy rhubarb, and it couldn't be easier.  Try it, you will like it, and it's kind of fun to make your own soda... think black and white Andy Griffith in the soda shop kind of fun.  My kids love it!  While you sip it this …

One Tough Kid...

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What is blonde and freckled and wild all over?  My little farmhand Ian!  He is the wildest of boys, covered in scratches and bruises that he parades around like trophies.  He is the friendliest little guy, eager to tell you his stories, and always on the lookout for a buddy to play with.  His best friend is his big brother, Will.  They are mostly inseparable and they love like brothers, which means that they can also fight like brothers.  Between the two of them, I feel somewhat like a circus attraction.  "Come and see the two wildest boys and their mother that they have pushed to the edge of sanity!"  Not really, but somedays... maybe!

Really I can't imagine my life without either of my boys.  They are my whole world.  I love them with every little piece of me possible.  It's hard to believe that you could love someone with every inch of your soul, until you experience it, then you get it and you could never be without it.

My Ian had to have a little oral surgery…

Rhubarb-Ginger Wheat Beer Jam

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Okay... I know it sounds a little weird.  Rhubarb + beer = jam... what???  Actually this turned out completely divine.  For those of you who steer clear of the spirits, let me reassure you that the alcohol cooks out, I mean really cooks out, what remains after 215ºF is the most fantastic array of flavors.  Sweet and sour with a little of that malted wheat and barley flavor in the background.  It is divine, and I am not exaggerating!


As I was cooking this up, my mind kept wandering to what it would compliment and one word seemed to stick out: PORK!  I bought a half of a pasture raised organic butchered pig from Clifford Family Farm last fall.  I never thought we would eat through it all.  Let me tell you... this pig has been delicious!  My family has eagerly gobbled it down and we are looking forward to purchasing another this fall.  (Don't you love knowing your farmer and how your food was grown?  I do!)  I pressure cooked a little pork roast with cinnamon and chipotle spices an…

Planted and Rooting...

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The farm is planted!  I never thought I would be so relieved to share that little tid-bit.  We planted the entire plot this year, by hand.  In years past, we have planted up to two-thirds of it, all by hand also.  My hands are blistered and callused, and the feel of the wooden-handled rake and hoe have become a little too familiar.  Planting the entire space has just about killed me.  Not really, but there were days when I wondered if we would make the goal of being planted by June.  Here we are, goal met, and a week before June, and I am so relieved.

I am gaining a greater appreciation for farmers than I have ever had.  I am planting a mere speck of a plot, but there are many that have farmed before me, planting acre after acre by hand.  I can only imagine the backbreaking work, the sweat, the scorching sun, and the worn hands and bodies.  Such a hard life.  These are the survivors.  I love these people!  They have a spirit that can't be broken.  They know the great value of ha…

Toast with Avocado and Poached Egg

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This was my lunch today.  I had the camera, and it looked so good, I snapped a few quick photos to share.  This was so yummy.  Homemade bread, fresh ripe avocado, and an egg snatched from under a chicken as I walked into the house to make lunch.  It doesn't get much fresher or any more tasty.  Plus it's very filling and gives you oodles of energy for more planting, which is just what I am going to do now.  I find that I need a little boost of protein on these long days in the dirt, and an egg at lunch really gives me the energy I need to motor through the rest of the day.  This is so simple and easy, it doesn't take up much of your time either, so you can get right back to the garden.


TOAST WITH AVOCADO AND POACHED EGG backyard farmgals

1 thick slice of Farmhouse Whole Wheat Bread (or any good whole grain bread will do) 1/2 ripe avocado 1 fresh egg poached (for poaching instructions click here) Salt Pepper Cayenne Butter (optional)
Toast the bread, if you like you can add a…

Homemade Chai Tea...

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There is honestly nothing finer in this world than sitting down to a fragrant cup of tea and sipping away while you read, listen to opera, or just escape into some other world.  I love tea... I am a tea junkie... there may be a 12 step program out there somewhere just for me and my tea.  Chai is one of my favorite teas.  I love the spices, the aroma, the warmth.

The first time I had chai it was a magical experience, maybe that is why I am in so in love with it, it was the moment, and the tea made it better... made it stick in my memory.  I was at a little Tibetan shack of a restaurant with the biggest picture of the Dalai Lama looming over me that you could possibly imagine.  The rest of the place looked like someone's 1970's living room.  A little old Tibetan man made me a hand poured chai tea that I have been searching to recreate for years.  No such luck.  It wasn't just the tea, it was the little old man, it was how he poured the milk back and forth between two canis…