Thursday, January 31, 2013

Proverbial Phrases

The more the merrier.
Less is more.
Count your blessings.
You can have too much of a good thing.
Good things come to those who wait.
A fool and his money are soon parted.

Stash Enhancement (it was all on sale)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wurm = Warm

I spent a couple of days last week, yes, two days completing a knitted hat.  I cast on Thursday afternoon and bound off first thing Saturday morning.  Not bad.  For me.

Lately, it's been very cold.  Usually I grab a wool hat to wear when I'm down at the goat pen or out on a walk.  Unfortunately, my Noro hat has loosened at the brim and falls off my head at inopportune times and places (bucket of water, fresh chicken poo).  I did a Ravelry pattern search and found a very popular free pattern called Wurm.  It's constructed with a folded brim and due to the double fabric it is cozy warm and probably won't stretch out.

The designer of the pattern is from Vienna, Austria, and I thought maybe "wurm" translates to "worm" in her language.  The purl rows make horizontal ridges around the hat suggestive of a nice fat worm.  A quick Google search: "wurm + Austria" and I'm not so sure.

My new hat keeps my head warm, whatever Wurm means.

Zeke checking it out

Erwin Wurm, Austrian Artist

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quick Tip: Goats and Chicken (Eggs) Do Not Mix

It's taken BeBe (Bowling Ball) almost four months after everyone else to lay an egg.  Now that all four chickens are laying we've been getting a handful of eggs.  Conveniently, we put them in our jacket pockets when we're down at the pen.  Not a good idea when you've got goat treats and excited goats.  It's a mess and a waste of a good egg.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Hell No, We Won't Go"

Entry written by The Man (and used without permission):

We had a little "eco-activisim" on the Ranch this week.  I was cutting a new road at the back of the property when Duke decided enough was enough.  The stand-off was quite tense and I was considering drastic actions.  Fortunately, Lynn came by with some goat treats and the confrontation ceased immediately.  It turns out goats have a short attention span.

Goat Blockade

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Recipes for The CSA Box

Stracciatella - Kale and Parmesan Egg Drop Soup  Tried this last night; quick, easy, and tasty.

Roasted Cauliflower  I've made broccoli and Brussels sprouts pan-fried this way.  I think I prefer the Brussels sprouts roasted in the oven.

Ham, Potato, and Leek Soup  At the last moment I left the ham out.  I didn't want to waste the ham in case we didn't like the soup.  Used the Cuisinart Immersion Hand Blender.  Surprise!  Creamy and flavorful even without the optional cream and not oniony at all.

Keeping it Simple

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Beets, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts

For seven months we've been subscribing to Talley Farms Fresh Harvest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  For $24 per week we get a variety of local, farm-fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.  This weekly produce box has changed the way we eat.  Which changes the way we live.

Sure it's good for you and it's healthy.  But what do I do with a leek?  Or spaghetti squash, poblano pepper, purple carrots or kale?  These items (and more) have never been on my shopping list: radishes, kiwi, butternut squash, baby bok choy, and cilantro.  Did I already say leek? 

It's made us, forced us, to be more adventurous with our food.  We try new recipes and try out new ways of cooking the usual vegetables.  Especially the winter veggies: cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  Who would've thought a hot cast iron skillet, olive oil, a sprinkle of Hawaiian sea salt and a squeeze of lemon would miraculously turn these boring veggies into something entirely different and delicious.  Carmelized and tangy with a tinge of fat and salt.  No leftovers when prepared this way!

Not everything has been well received.  We get too many green onions but the Goaty Boys seem to enjoy it and we're not too bothered by their onion breath.

And beets - red beets and gold beets.  The Man didn't care for them.  I tried boiling, roasting, and hidden under a layer of feta cheese.  He still didn't care for them.  Luckily, I give them to a co-worker whose family loves them.  Her husband calls me, "The Beet Lady", and in trade has her bring us samplings of his Game meat (elk and venison) and Lebanese cooking.  Interesting and delicious.

 Mountain bread, green olives, fava bean salad, hummus, and zatar with our CSA produce

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We've had a week of cold frosty weather.  Currently it's 29 degrees outside (and 57 inside; The Man hasn't started a fire yet).  I've already been outside this morning and cleaned up the animal pen.  It's easy to clean the nesting boxes because the chicken poop is frozen solid.

Mele with frozen water bucket

The Man has been pricing log-splitters.  We've been using both fireplaces in the evening to warm the house up and The Man has been chopping, splitting, and hauling wood full-time.  I guess we could turn on the furnace but that seems too easy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Danger Zone

The Goaty Boys are at it again--climbing the oak trees.  Personally, I would find it distracting to look up and see a goat walking above my head.

Zeke, the tree goat

Come to think of it, The Man always wears a hard hat.  Here is a sign for everyone else:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Retail Therapy

I rewarded myself for being such a good hostess over the holidays by shopping.  That and Sherpani had an awesome End of Year Clearance online sale it would've been crazy not to partake.  I had my eye on the Sonoma Backpack for over a year but was waiting for a good deal.  When the good deal arrived I couldn't decide between the backpack or the Verona handbag.  The Man's sister (bless her heart) said, "Why don't you get both of them."  She had already added two bags to her shopping cart and was checking out.  Each of my bags were $24.99.  Now I'm feeling pretty good about the holidays as the hostess with the mostess.

My bags: Verona (left), Sonoma (right)

Tina's Bags: Luna (top), Ivy (bottom)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wine Whines

We live in wine countryWikipedia says, "San Luis Obispo County is the third largest producer of wine in California, surpassed only by Sonoma and Napa Counties".  Paso Robles to the north, Edna Valley to the south, and all points in between.  It's a requirement for residents to drink wine. 

The Man and I have been drinking cheap inexpensive wine occasionally with dinner. We offer the better stuff to guests, usually gifted wine from more knowledgeable people.  Before the holidays we made a visit to Trader Joe's and picked up several Charles Shaw wines, Two-Buck Chuck, for $1.99 per bottle.  What a deal.

Last night we had the Two-Buck Chuck Cabernet Sauvignon with leftover McClintock's pork and beef ribs.  (The Man went to SLO Farmer's Market the night before.)  It wasn't bad and my usual 1/2 glass of wine was refilled while we ate chocolate for dessert.  I woke at 1:30 am.  Heartburn.  Two fruity TUMS and back to bed.  Wine and TUMS, a most unusual pairing.

~ ~

The Man's sister brought a special wine suitcase to carry her Central Coast wine haul back to Denver.  We made a trip to Costco where she found a very good selection of local wines.  She narrowed her long list of Paso wineries down to two that she wanted to visit.  Both places were busy with out-of-town visitors.  I followed her lead and tried the wines she wanted to taste.  One special reserve had a most unique aroma: full bodied, robust, with just a hint of bleach.  The wine glasses were not rinsed out well.  We left; she didn't buy anything there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Crown for the New Year

I broke a tooth New Year's Eve.  It was probably cracked for several weeks since I experienced a sharp pain when I chewed on the left side.  It was just a matter of timeAnyway, now there's a chip missing from my molar.  I guess this is one way to diet off the holiday eating extravaganza.

Happy New Year.