11/26/2009

Grandma Starnes' Rolls~A Holiday Tradition




We don't normally eat a lot of bread but almost every major holiday I make hot rolls from my great grandma Starnes' recipe. Josh LOVED these rolls!

I will post the recipe as it was given to me and in parenthesis I will add some variations:

Grandma Starnes Hot Rolls

1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar (honey)
1 tablespoon of dry yeast

Mix together and let sit until yeast is bubbly.

3 Tablespoons Sugar (honey)
2 Tablespoons shortnening (butter)
1 tsp salt
1 Cup boiling water (warm milk)

Let cool to luke warm. Add one beaten egg then yeast mixture. Add flour until a soft dough forms (3-4 cups approximately). I usually use white flour on holidays but have used this same recipe to make whole wheat rolls as well.

This dough can be refrigerated and you can pinch off what you need each time.

11/24/2009

Dachshunds and their new bed



I bought the indoor dogs a new bed. Actually, I bought two new beds. I placed them on the floor and watched as Oscar curled up on one and Hunter and Zoie on the other. "How cute!", thought I! I came back about five minutes later to find that Zoie (the puppy) had chewed the zipper off one of the beds and chewed a hole in the other one! Bad puppy!

I had an old, heavy duty table cloth and I promptly sewed up a big "pillow case" and put both beds in it. So far so good. No more chewing on the beds and the dogs are enjoying their nice big "king size" bed!

In the pictures above you can see Oscar and Hunter enjoying their comforts and a picture of the little angel herself.................Zoie. You can also see the marks on the wall where the little angel has been chewing on it as well!

P.S. Oscar no longer wants to go outside. He would simply rather lie in bed all day. He already needs to lose weight!

11/22/2009

Beef Cows






We had a couple of calves get out today and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some photos of the beef cattle.

11/21/2009

Homemade Pizza


There's nothing better than homemade pizza made from as many zero mile ingredients as possible.

While I don't grind my own flour and don't grow all of the seasonings (something I really need to do is start an herb garden!) many of the ingredients are from right here on the farm.

To make the dough you can use a breadmaker on the "dough" setting or you can mix up the ingredients and make it the old fashioned way. I have done both:

1 Cup Raw Jersey milk
3 Tablespoons of Honey
3 Tablespoons of Raw Jersey Butter
1 tsp. salt
2-3 teaspoons of yeast (or one packet)
3 cups of flour

I melt the butter and warm the milk to about 110 degrees. I add the honey, salt and yeast to the warm liquid. I then mix in the three cups of flour. You may have to add a little more or a little less flour to make the dough pliable and not sticky.

Let the dough rise while you simmer the homemade sauce:

I make the sauce from tomatoes that I canned this summer.

I add salt, pepper, garlic, (home grown) onions, (home grown) bell peppers, and oregano to taste and simmer. The secret is to let it simmer as long as possible so that the flavors mix. After the sauce has simmered and cooked down, I thicken with tomatoe paste.

While the dough is rising and the sauce is simmering, I cook my farm raised, pastured, ground beef.

I then grate my homemade Mozzarella Cheese made from raw Jersey. milk.

I then roll out my dough, apply my homemade sauce, top with burger and mozzarella and bake.

Yummy!

Barn Kittens






Someone dropped the momma cat off at our barn. The kittens will help keep down the mouse population!

11/17/2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!






Happy birthday to the most awesome husband, father, and farmer in the world! You have made my life complete. There is no doubt that you are God's gift to me through good times and bad.

I love you!

11/13/2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Think I will try the following recipe for supper tonight:

Chicken Soup
Recipe Ingredients:

6 – Boneless Chicken Breast
12 – Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 – Onion, Diced
3 – Carrots, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
3 – Celery Sticks, Finely Chopped
3 – Parsnips, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
1/2 – Cup Chopped Parsley
2 – 8 Ounces Egg Noodles
2 – Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste


Cookware and Utensils:

1 – Dutch Oven or Large Soup Pot
1 – Stirring spoon
1 – Soup bowl


Recipe Instructions:

As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and to use quality ingredients.

Start by preparing your vegetables. Dice your onions, finely chop your celery and parsley and thinly slice your carrots and parsnips.

Remove the skin from the chicken breast and place them in a Dutch oven. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Skim away any foam that appears. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook chicken thoroughly. Once chicken is done remove from broth and allow to cool before cutting. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

Skim the fat from the broth once the chicken is removed. Bring your broth back to a boil and add onions, carrots, celery, parsnips and bouillon cubes. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Once vegetables are tender, add egg noodles and cook until they are done. Finally, add your bite sized pieces of chicken and parsley and allow to simmer enough to heat the meat. Your finally step is to season your soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in warm soup bowls with cheese toast.

11/12/2009

Happy Birthday, Princess!!!!






One year ago today my sweet, little Princess was born!

She is the sweetest thing and visitors comment that she is more like a dog than a cow. Even those people afraid of cows can't help but love Princess.

I feel very blessed to be her caretaker. We told her "Happy Birthday" as we tossed her an extra flake of hay and told her that was her birthday cake!

In these pictures (taken not quite two months ago) she is with a Butter ( a standard 50 inch cow), Mayfield (mid-mini in size at 44 inches) and Edy (a mini at 42 inches). You can see that she is a lot shorter than Edy. I have not measured her recently but last time I did so she was around 35-36 inches at the hip. She is a percentage miniature with her momma (Maya) being a standard that measures 47 inches at the hip.

I wanted to get a picture of her today on her birthday, but we are getting the remnants of Ida and the weather is not cooperating.

11/11/2009

Homemade Tater Chips





First I take one of our homegrown Kennebec potatoes and slice it very, very thin. I then place the sliced potatoes in a bowl of very cold water and let them sit for at least 30 minutes (this helps them to brown nicely). Then, I heat the oil up to where it is as hot as it can be without smoking and place the thinly sliced potatoes in the hot oil. I let them cook until they start to turn a nice golden brown. I then drain and salt. Delicious!

Upside Down Berry Cobbler







A friend of mine posted a link to a fabulous, slow cooker recipe for berry cobbler made by Paula Dean.

Since I did not want to use my slow cooker and did not have any prepared mix for the dough, I used an old standby recipe that I have and made my own version without the raspberries. I had orchard strawberries and blueberries in the freezer.

Upside Down Berry Cobbler

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

I throw all of this in my Kitchenaide mixer and blend it together. Pour mixture in the bottom of pyrex dish.

I mixed about three cups of berries with enough sugar to sweeten. Pour berries on top of sweet dough mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until crust is done on top.

I like to use real butter and real vanilla. I think it makes the difference between "good" and "great" in recipes. Tastes best with some fresh Jersey cream,milk or ice cream on top!

Yum!

11/09/2009

Jersey Weight and Height Chart

Below is as height/weight chart for Standard Jerseys, it's based more on the modern Isle & Danish Jersey and stated that American Jerseys may be larger than the chart.


Age (Months)---------Weight (Pounds)--------Height (Inches)
1......................................................93 - 108..............................22 - 29
2....................................................122 - 146..............................30 - 33
3....................................................155 - 177..............................32 - 34
4....................................................183 - 217..............................34 - 36
5....................................................233 - 278............................35 - 38
6....................................................259 - 321.............................36 - 38.5
7....................................................303 - 362............................38 - 40
8....................................................335 - 412.............................39 - 41
9....................................................373 - 436............................39.5 - 41.5
10...................................................391 - 483............................40 - 42
11....................................................428- 499.............................41 - 43
12...................................................471 - 548............................42 - 44
13...................................................500 - 571............................42.5 - 44.5
14...................................................535 - 602...........................44 - 45
15...................................................565 - 640...........................44.3 - 46
16...................................................583 - 661............................44.6 - 46.3
17...................................................609 - 696...........................45 - 46.6
18...................................................639 - 753...........................45.3 - 47
19...................................................651 - 769............................45.6 - 47.3
20..................................................698 - 813.............................46 - 47.6
21...................................................719 - 827............................46.5 - 48
22..................................................758 - 860............................47 - 49
23..................................................760 - 878............................47.5 - 49.3
24..................................................790 - 893............................48 - 49.6

11/08/2009

Ricki Carroll's Recipe for 30 Minute Mozzarella

I posted a recipe for Mozzarella some time ago and while it is a good recipe, I believe I like Ricki Caroll's recipe much better. The recipe is taken from her Home Cheesemaking book. You might want to check out the company founded by Ms. Carroll, The New England Cheese Making Supply Company.

1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon milk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water (un-chlorinated)
1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)

1. Add citric acid solution to 55 degree milk.
2. Heat milk to 90 degrees over medium/low heat. (The milk may start to curdle.)
3. Gently stir in diluted rennet with up and down motion while heating the milk to 100 to 105 degrees. Turn off heat. The curds should be pulling away from the sides of the pot and ready to scoop out (approximately 3-5 minutes).
4. The curds should look likethick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them. The whey will be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes.
5. Scoop or pour out curds and drain.
6. Put curds in microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Fold the cheese over and over with your hand or spoon. Add cheese.
7. Continue to microwave and knead and stretch until cheese becomes elastic and stretches like taffy. If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
8. When finished, place in a bowl of ice water for 1/2 hour to bring the inside temp down rapidly. This will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese.

Attention: If you don't want to use a microwave, you can heat the whey to at least 175 degrees. Form the curds into a ball and dip in the whey for several seconds until you are able to knead and stretch. Continue to dip curds in the hot whey until the consistency of the cheese is smooth and will stretch like taffy.

11/04/2009

A Letter From Ben~Graduation

Ben is a Miniature Dachshund Puppy here on the farm who now lives on Capitol Hill. We love it when he writes us letters. He has developed quite a fan club over the past few months. Here is his most recent letter:

This has been quite a week. I graduated from Puppy Head Start on Monday after Sandy, the trainer, checked to see if I had learned all my vocabulary. I have to admit I was a bit of a showoff, sitting at every corner (well, almost every corner) and getting down flat on the ground, stuff like that. You know me by now: anything for a treat.

I thought I’d get to graduate wearing one of those Mortar Board things with the tassle Nope, nosiree, not a big enough deal. And I was s-o-o-o-o looking forward to chewing on the tassle. Larry made up for it a bit; he bought me lots of chew toys. Next up: obedience classes starting on January 11. In the middle of winter! I think Larry and Sandy are crazy.

I’m still not too keen on riding in the car, and I hate being confined to the car seat. The seat puts me up high enough to see out easily. I do like that, and it’s a pretty plush place to nod off when I get bored. Anyway, I’d rather be in Larry’s lap.

We’ve had contractors here renovating the bathroom. I really, really like them. Not only do they make a fuss over me, they have lots of cool stuff to steal. Let’s see, so far I’ve snagged two pairs of gloves, a huge sponge (three times), a keyhole saw, a pair of safety glasses, and some electrical stuff. Quite a haul, doncha think? I’d like to be a contractor when I grow up just so I can play with cool tools all the time.

Last night I watched part of a basketball game on TV. Larry tells me the President was doing the same thing, only different teams. I think I’ll be a Wizards fan. I’m beginning to get into ball playing myself. I don’t like to just chase it. It’s just as much fun to bat it around with my nose and my paws. Sometimes I play keep-away from Larry. Two-for-one: have fun and annoy him. Perfect!

Now that it’s getting colder I found some cool places to hang out. The radiator in the kitchen is perfect. It’s really warm, and I can lay there and see almost everything. Well, I think that’s enough for now. Be well and stay warm.

Ben

Ben Taking a Ride