Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Monthly Moos {A Calf Named Walter}


Do you remember this darling little calf born back in June?  I don't think I told his whole story and I thought you might enjoy hearing that today!

 
We were watching his Momma, knowing she could deliver any day and so we saw her when she went into early stages of delivery.  Eldon was keeping an eye on her and when an hour went by and there was no change (a big red flag in a momma cow in labor) he called our local Veterninary Clinic and spoke with the doctor on call (who we did not know).  The doctor agreed there was a problem. 
 

He came and assisted the Momma in delivering this HUGE little bull calf.  We knew immediately that the little guy's daddy had some Brahma in him as the momma is a Charolais.  (When we purchased the Momma Cow she was already pregnant.) 
 

 
Everything went like clock work and as the Vet was loading up his things in his truck we asked him what his name was.  In his very strong Southern drawl he said; "Walter".  That was it.  No first name, no "Doctor" before his name.  Just Walter. 
 
 
The next morning when we were checking on the calf and I was in the pen petting him, I called him Walter and it stuck!  It seemed fitting that he should be named after the Vet that delivered him.   So, Walter continued to grow.  And grow.  And grow.  Eldon took him, along with the other little bull calfs to be castrated and get their shots and Walter was the youngest calf and almost the biggest!
 
.
 
Now.... here he is today, just 4 months later.  He still has those floppy Brahma ears and the big floppy briscuit neck.  And he's still sweet.  And we still love him.  And he's still Walter.  Except that....
 
 
.... we found out the Vets name isn't Walter after all!  Its Doctor Walker!  So now we have a little steer named after the Vet, but yet not named after the Vet! 
 
 
He's only four months old and almost as big as his Momma.  He still nurses.  I'll spare you the picture of that!  But he's still a baby and we still want him to be able to nurse a couple more months. 
 
 
He loves his Momma and she loves him.  They are precious together!  They seem to love us too.  Sometimes when I look at them I wonder if they know that if we hadn't called Doctor Walker to come and help they would not be here today. 
 
So that's the story of Walter! 
 
I hope your month of October was wonderful.  Can you believe that November is right around the corner?  I'm excited because my parents are flying from New Mexico to visit us next week and I can hardly wait! 
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Laundry Room Is Company Ready!




This room has been a lot of fun for me.  I had a vision in my mind and it took some work on my husband's part to help me pull it all together.  First of all I had the idea that I wanted no built in cabinets, so we started with a very empty slate - literally!  (I'm not going to bother to share any before photos as it was simply an empty room with one plaid wall - remember that?)


I asked my readers; "What would you put on this plaid wall"?  I had some great suggestions but the biggest problem with this room is that it is rather narrow and also the passage way from the back porch into the rest of the house.  So... there really isn't room to put anything on the wall that will stick out much. 


A couple years ago I bought these darling vintage day of the week tea towels and I thought they were the perfect thing for this wall!  I hung a piece of rope on two hooks, hung my towels over the rope and used vintage clothes pins to attach them.


They are precious and I love them and what they've done for that wall.  I actually sort of like the plaid wall now! 


The other wall has my washer and dryer.  (Yes they are new and yes I love the old fashioned kind of washer and dryer!)  I wanted open shelves above them for my vintage enamelware that I've had for years and years. 


Most of this enamelware came from my mother, I've added a few things, and the rest was gifts from friends that know how much I love it! 


I love the colors of this bowl and kettle.  They just make me so happy!


I love the vintage clothes pins, coke bottles and Seven-Up crate.  They all have special meaning to me.  (I actually keep my laundry soap and supplies in that crate, but I took them out for the pictures!)


The red dust pans came from a favorite little store of mine that is now just an hour away - but before we moved to Tennessee I would fly out to Alabama to visit my daughter and we'd drive to Bell Buckle, TN just to go in this one little store. 


My favorite thing in the room is my stand alone pantry that Eldon built for me.  I told him what I wanted and I think he was a little skeptical, but he drew up some plans and built it (the whole time asking me - "Are you sure you want a screen door on it?"!) 


He just bought a $20 wood screen door at Lowe's and I painted it red and waxed it with Annie Sloan dark wax.  I am so totally in love with it.  Not just the looks, but the function of it!


I love having my home canned goods where they are visible because they are so pretty.  I also love using my vintage blue Ball jars to store things in.  It is really quite big and has a ton of space.  I also have room on the top shelf for my extra large pressure canning cooker and a few other things.  The bottom shelf (somehow not seen in the picture) is extra tall so I have a few metal baskets with paper towels in one, potatoes and onions in the others. 


On the top of the cabinet there is room to display my large enamelware pots that my daugther in law gave me. 


Its a stand alone cabinet that is not connected to the wall anywhere.  Eldon backed the inside of the cabinet with bead board which I painted white. 


The open shelves butt up against it on one side.  Eldon built the sides with inset bead board, so that it matches my kitchen cabinets.  You can kind of see that in the above picture.


I love my laundry room.  It was absolutely the picture I had in my mind and I'm so happy to have it finished! 

As for the rest of the rooms in the house?  Well....  I am getting there!  Obviously I have everything unpacked and put away.  But I discovered that 2 years of building a house and using my brain in a complete different way really shut my creative juices off!  I've been enjoying all kinds of hours in my craft room and things are starting to flow again so maybe, just maybe I will get some great inspiration!  So...  hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be posting some other room reveals! 

Linking to the following parties:


a www.craftberrybush.com/

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Best Pumpkin Pie. Ever.

 
This was the best pumpkin pie I've ever made - and I've made lots of pumpkin pies in my life!  
 
 
I think my favorite time to eat a piece of pumpkin pie is for breakfast!  And thats what this slice was all about.  I had made the pie the evening before and when our daughter and her little family went home, there was only one piece left.  Perfect! 
 
I love the above pie plate and server.  My mother gave it to me a few years ago - she had found it in a little antique store and knew I would love it and I do.
 
 
I love that it looks very old.  Not sure if it is - but it gives me that feeling.  And it makes me happy to use it.  I think of my Momma. 
 
 
Okay, back to the pie.  I told you about the Candy Roaster Pumpkin/Squash that I baked and froze bags of yummy puree.  This pie was the first thing I made with the puree.  The pumpkin is so naturally sweet, I think you could almost make this pie without any sugar at all, and I didn't use much.  I'm anxious to make some pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread pudding and more pie!
 
 
Whatever you do, DON'T forget the freshly whipped cream.  (And do not, I repeat do not, use Cool Whip!)  I whipped my cream til it was pretty thick because I like it that way; however, I've had it when it was just barely whipped and it is perfectly yummy that way too.  I also add a tiny bit of powdered sugar to mine! 
 
 
The perfect breakfast! 
 
Here is the recipe:
 
Ingredients:
1 prepared pie crust
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons melted butter
 
Directions:
1)  Gently place crust in pie pan, crimping edges as desired.  Set aside.
2)  Place all other ingredients in mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until combined and creamy.
3)  Pour pumpkin pie filling into pie pan (into crust).
4)  Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake 40 - 45 minutes until toothpick inserted in pie comes out clean and filling is firm.  Remove pie from oven and cool before serving.
5)  Whip fresh cream to desired consistency and serve pie with large dollop of cream!  Refrigerate remaining pie and cream.
 
 
And finally!  You'll be happy to know that I actually got some Fall decorations up at the entrance to our farm.  I used the scarecrow that I made last year, added a few corn shocks, pumpkins, mums, and a cute wooden sign that I whipped up real quick. 
 
 
I love my scarecrow lady - in real life, she's actually cuter!
 
Happy Fall and happy pumpkin pie eating!
 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Candy Roaster Pumpkin (Or Is It Squash?)

 
We went to the local Pumpkin Patch with our grand-girls this past week and there were so many kinds of pumpkins, it was a little mind boggling.  I asked one of the staff what kind of pumpkin should I buy for baking?   "Hands down, it is the Candy Roaster" she said.  Sounds beautiful doesn't it?  I was shocked when she took me to the bin with these terribly ugly squash looking things!
 
 
But I trusted her and bought one.  When I got home, I did what every blogger does and I sat down and researched it.  Here is what I found out:  it is an heirloom squash (yes squash) and was originally developed by the Cherokee people in the southern Appalachians.  It is said that the Appalacian Candy Roaster was used for the pie at the first Thanksgiving feast!  So its very special.  Today it  seems to be referred to interchangeably as squash and pumpkin. 

 
  After my little bit of research I proceeded to bake it.  Here's what I did.  Cut it in half right down the middle (mainly because it was way too long to fit in my oven).

 
Then cut it in half the other way and removed the seeds and pumpkin guts.  (On a side note:  I carefully rinsed and saved the seeds and roasted them later in a tiny bit of butter and sea salt.  Oh. My. Word.  Amazing is all I can say.)

 
Then I put all the pumpkin on foil covered jelly roll pans in the oven and baked in a 350 degree oven for a very long time.  I didn't time it - I just kept checking the pumpkin with a fork until it was nice and tender.  I think about an hour. 

 
I learned this:  next time I will place the pumpkin skin side up so that the juices don't dry up and so that it just cooks but doesn't actually brown.

 
 I carefully removed the skin and cut the pumpkin into large chunks.  (But first I tasted it.  It is the best tasting stuff ever.  Kind of a mix between squash, pumpkin and sweet potato.  Incredibly sweet and wonderful texture.)

 
Then I put those chunks (about 3 at a time) in my blender and added a tiny bit of water (very tiny) and blended to a nice puree.  If you have a food processor that would probably work better.

 
There it is.  Isn't that the most gorgeous color ever? 

 
I set aside two cups to make a pumpkin pie but the rest I put in freezer bags.  Incidentally, when you do this if you fold over the top of the freezer bag then it stabilizes it and it will actually stand up so you can put the pumpkin puree in without a big mess.

 
I put two cups of puree in each bag as that is what my pumpkin pie recipe calls for and seemed like a logical amount!

 
Unfold the top of the bag, squeeze out the air, and zip it shut.

 
Sixteen cups of perfect pumpkin puree in my freezer!
 
So now the big question.  What do I think about it?  I will say that I am not a pumpkin connoisseur but, hands down I think its the yummiest pumpkin (or squash) I've ever tasted. 
 
Come back in a few days for the post on the best pumpkin pie I've ever made! 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Monthly Moos {Except It Isn't September Anymore}



Okay, so it isn't September anymore.  I honestly thought there were 31 days in September! 
 
I've written this blog post a hundred times in my mind; but never could actually pull it together!  Honestly,  there really wasn't much news on the farm this month! 
 
 
I went around the farm to try to get some pictures for you.  Belle goes crazy with excitement whenever I get my camera out!  And when I tell her to Sit and Stay?  She wiggles on her tummy and then jumps and runs!  She literally was airborn in the above picture.
 
 
This little steer, Sam, loves Belle.  She will sometimes sit still for him!  Sort of.
 
 
Promise has finally decided she's an animal and spends most of  her time with the cows now.  Someday I'll tell you her story.
 
 
But the very best thing on the farm is when the little grand-girls come to visit!  Which, luckily, is a whole lot!  Jillian is a wonderful big sister to Rosetta and makes sure to take care of her when they are traipsing the farm!
 
 
I had my zoom lens on my camera and happened to catch this picture from a good distance away.  Not exactly sure what they were talking about, but isn't it precious?
 
 
The Hickory tree is dropping her nuts and the girls asked for baggies to collect some.  Jillian said, "I think I'll take these home to Momma.  She can decorate with them"!!!  {Smile!}
 
There isn't much that makes me as happy as these little girls!
 
 
I've been working inside our house trying to make it feel more like a home.  Eldon has been building some amazing shelves and things in our closets and this week built me the freestanding pantry cabinet of my dreams.  It fits perfectly in the spot in the laundry room that I had tagged for just such a thing.  I hope to show you some pictures soon! 
 
My struggle with my new house has been this:  when I got all my boxes out of storage and excitedly opened them up to unpack all my favorite living room things that I so lovingly packed over two years ago....  I don't like them anymore!  Or I do still like them, they just don't go in this house.  So.... other than furniture, our living room is sitting bare.  I finally found some fabric I love for the curtains and so I think I can build it from here! 
 
I hope your September didn't go by quite as quickly as mine did. 
 
 Honestly, didn't September used to have 31 days????