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Showing posts from February, 2012

Succulents...

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I need Spring, and dirt, and for heaven's sake some warmth!  I took a little trip to a local greenhouse to get a little "Spring" in for the day and I found these:


I had to share.  Succulents are one of my favorite things.  They have amazing texture...look at them...they are awesome.  Look at the pots!  I went nuts when I saw them.  They are covered with moss and lichens and calcium deposits.  Things like this make me giddy...really, really giddy!!!  I am planning a succulent pot for the summer in this fantastic rusted iron pot that I picked up at a garden "hole" last fall.  (Garden holes have much better finds than garden stores...everything is rusted or buried in dirt and you feel a bit like a treasure hunter.)  The textures just send me wild, I love that I can plant a pot of random succulents and it will have enough texture and color variation to be intensely interesting.


Had to share...call it a little Tuesday dose of Spring.  By the way, if you are feeling…

Cara Cara Orange Tart

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With Spring nearly here, I haven't been in the mood to cook much.  I get fixated on dirt, and there is no time for the kitchen.  This afternoon was the exception.  I have been dreaming of Cara Cara Oranges, they are my favorite oranges and they are in season right now.  I picked a few up at the store the other day and there were three sitting on the counter last night begging for something to be done with them.  I grabbed my mandolin and sliced an orange super thin and made it into quick sliced candied oranges.  Then, this afternoon, I whipped up a little pastry cream, orange curd, and paté sucre, and made a fantastic orange tart.  It turned out beautiful, and it was just what I wanted...yum!!!  Plus, it's Oscar night and what goes better with Oscar than something shimmery, tropical, and oh...so...gorgeous?  I think that this one takes the cake on the red carpet!  

This recipe takes just a bit of juggling.  You want to start with the candied orange slices and let them sit ove…

Raising Peeps...

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Have you ever held a baby chick and felt how soft and delicate it is?  Chicks are one of my most favorite things in this world.  I love the soft fuzz, the peeps, the sweet little chicken toes, all of it!!!  No matter how much I love them, my kids love them more.  We surprised the kids with 12 new baby girls yesterday.  I had to share the pictures with you all.

The kids were elated.  We brought home four different breeds, three of each.  Ameraucanas, Black Sex Links, Golden Sex Links, and Rhode Island Reds.  
A couple quick tips on new chicks.  If you are thinking of bringing some home, make sure that you have thought it through.  I have rescued far too many chickens because of poor planning on someone's part.  It was getting so frequent that someone would try to drop their chickens off, that we finally had to say no more.  Chickens need food, shelter, water, and time just like any other pet.  They are wonderful in your yard and great entertainment, but if you are fussy about the …

Cluckingham!!!

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Cluckingham Palace is near complete!!!  You can imagine my joy...even more so, you can imagine the chickens' joy!!!  It really is a palace: complete with curtains, photos of the royal family, Union Jack, and writing table with lamp.  Oh!  So!  Spoiled!!!  The girls love it.  Yay!!!


They really enjoy their nesting boxes.  They are based on an old Amish nesting box design.  I found and old antique box and the hubby built boxes to match.  The boxes are cozy and warm, and they love to pile in them and squawk and lay and squawk some more!  

There is an old antique orchard ladder that the girls perch on while they look at photos of the royal family and mutter back and forth, "God save the Queen" and that kind of talk.  My mom and I made curtains for the coop complete with giant turquoise rick rack.  They are so cute!!!  How many chickens do you know with curtains on the window and a pink chandelier hanging from the loft?  

The whole thing is just delightful, I love going to …

The Girls...

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I thought that I would quickly introduce you all to the six chickens that live here at the house.   The rest of the flock (another 40) is up at the farm.  Honestly, I can't imagine a backyard without chickens.  They have become part of the landscape for me.  I love looking out the kitchen window while I cook and watching the girls pluck their way through the yard.  I have had chickens in the yard for eleven years now.  I think back to that first flock and realize how much I have learned over the years.

Sort of Thai Coconut Soup...

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This is one of my very favorite soups to make.  It has become a comfort food for me, and since it is like a blizzard outside, dampening my hope of an early Spring, I feel the need for something warm and yummy.  I love the flavors in this: coconut, lime, garlic, and ginger.  It is far from authentic, but it fills me up and it smells divine!  I am in love the thin slices of mushroom and carrot.  Ever since I quit eating meat, mushrooms have kind of filled the meat slot in my life.  They have a hearty, hefty kind of texture that mimics meat and fills me up.  This is for sure a family favorite too, the kids love the noodles, and the hubby keeps asking when I will be making coconut noodle soup...he doesn't want to miss it!

I Love...

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Happy Valentine's Day!  I woke up to some great surprises this morning!  Hand made cards from my sweet little farmhands and some very lovely local chocolates (from Chocolat and Millcreek Cacao Roasters) that I am having a hard time not staring at...they are gorgeous, I don't know if I will be able to bite into them!  I feel very loved, and the fact that the hubby tried to make everything local makes me smile - he knows me a little too well!

I thought that I would share something fun that I enjoy doing at Valentine's Day.  Every year, I make a list of the things that I love.  It's totally random, whatever comes to mind.  It's kind of fun to remind yourself of all the things that you love.  It fills your heart with gratitude and lots of joy!

The Beginning of Spring Cleanup...

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Ahhhh...warmth and sunshine!!!  Relief from the dreary winter seems to have finally come, for a moment at least.  I am sure we will get snow again before the spring is officially here (in, fact, it's starting to snow now), but I thought that while I had 60-degree weather and the warmth of the sun I might get started on my cleanup efforts.  With the horrible wind storms that we had throughout the winter, cleanup seems a little daunting this year.  There are toys and trash hiding in my beds, trinkets from neighbors homes, pieces of shingles and siding, all kinds of surprises to make you wonder whose house these items once belonged to.  It's a bit of a guessing game.


This weekend, I attacked the kitchen garden at my house.  It seemed like a reasonable place to start, seeing as it is the first of the gardens to be planted.  I was tickled to see that the lettuces I planted in the cold frame late last fall were alive and thriving.  I should have good sized lettuces for salad in a …

Garden On...

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I don't know how many of you know the story of the phrase, "Keep Calm and Carry On", if you don't know the story, I will happily tell you all about it.

In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, the British government produced a poster that said, "Keep Calm and Carry On".  From my understanding, this came at a very difficult time for the British, they were being bombed by the Germans, and as an attempt to keep morale and chins high, the poster was produced and placed on buildings throughout the cities.  So many things came out of the war, wonderful songs, victory gardens, an ability to carry on despite difficulty, and strength that was previously unknown.  I am not saying that war is a good thing in any way.  The loss of life and suffering that abound with it are horrendous, it breaks my heart.  What little good we learn from it seems to give strength.  I love the story of the British and their endeavor to "Carry On", and over the years, the…

Mulligatawny...

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All of this seed starting talk and Spring planning craziness makes me hungry!  I have spent the last few days figuring out how many plants of each variety and species I need to plant on the farm this Spring.  It's complicated, and this is the biggest area I have planted ever.  I have had to use too much of my brain and somehow that makes my stomach needy...go figure!

I made this fantastic soup.  I am a big fan of ethnic flavors, especially with having kids.  Introducing them to all kinds of flavors at a young age really helps with picky eaters, at least I think it does.  My little farmhands will eat just about anything because they are used to different flavors and textures.  Plus, we have a rule at the table, you have to try everything on the plate - at least once.  The boys have found that they enjoy a lot of unlikely offerings thanks to this rule, and that makes me a happy mama!


This is a vegan version of Mulligatawny.  You can add meat to the mix if you so desire.  I think it…