Zucchini Fingers

Here is a simple recipe for some sinfully delicious fried food! ;-)

Zucchini Fingers

Mix equal amounts of Italian Bread Crumbs & Parmesan Cheese
Peel and cut zucchini into wedges
Roll Zucchini in an egg that has been slightly beaten
Roll Zucchini in Bread crumb/Parmesan mixture
Freeze for at least an hour before frying
Fry in hot oil (I used coconut oil) until brown on both sides.
Salt and Pepper to taste

If you want to enhance your Zucchini finger experience even further, dip them in this Buttermilk Ranch dressing.



Just Pictures~Just Because

Ice Cream Update

As you know I got a new Cuisinart Ice cream maker and I have been making different flavors of ice cream every two to three days. What can I say? We love ice cream in the summer and we have plenty of creamy Jersey milk! It's just the perfect treat at the end of a long hot day.

Everything was going well with my new machine until the days started getting hotter and my kitchen began to maintain temperatures of 85 degrees or more in the summer heat. (We don't have air.) It was then I found that the bowl thawed too quickly and the ice cream was more like soup than being the texture it should be. Running the machine longer didn't help, of course, because the bowl continued to thaw the longer it ran.

I had several folks make suggestions and the one that finally seems to work is putting a towel over the machine as it churns. This seems to keep the cold in enough that the ice cream maker can make a decently chilled ice cream with a good texture.

Mike came home from the hay field the other day with enough wild raspberries to make a batch of ice cream! Boy was it yummy! We have had vanilla, pineapple, banana, peach, strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, and mixed berry but the very best we have had so far was that wild raspberry!

Mike found a black cherry tree yesterday so guess what the flavor of the day is?


Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Buttermilk Ranch:

1 cup buttermilk or clabber
3 cups mayo
3-4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon minced dried onion (or grated fresh onion to taste)
1 rounded tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Run through food processor, blender or mixer. Allow to chill for at least two hours before using.

Variation: Use chives in place of the parsley and onion.


A Newborn

Mike and I went "on the hill" late this morning to check on the cattle.
When we took a litte ride up there Sunday we noticed that four cows were close to calving and Mike wanted to check on them. We found three of them right off, hanging with the rest of the herd. Then we went to the opposite side of the field and sure enough there was one of the cows we had noticed on Sunday. You could tell instantly by her body language that she had hidden a calf somewhere and did not want us to find it. We had to look a bit, but find it we did! It was a nice little bull calf that we promptly vaccinated, banded and tagged. Momma was none to happy about that and actually was pretty threatening at times coming within just a few feet of us, shaking her head and pawing the ground. It's always fun trying to assist with a banding while trying to keep an eye out on an angry momma cow that is getting in your face! We managed to complete the task without incident and Momma cow was quite happy to see us leave!


The Great Pig Escape

Yes, it happened.

Six hungry, crazy, wild and fast little pigs escaped their pen today. They had obviously been out for a while before I noticed. How I could have missed it? The chickens were squawking, the cows were bawling, the geese were hissing, the younger heifers were running around kicking up their heals, the dogs were not sure which pigs to chase but were doing their darndest. There were pigs everywhere I looked! You would think that at least two of them would stick together, but NO, they each one had to run squealing in a different direction. Chaos does not even begin to describe the scene as I went out for the evening chores.

A quick glance at the fence told me that one of them had pushed the post of the electric fence away from the gate post, and all the other little piggies had followed out single file. Once they had their freedom they were not going back!

Thinking quickly about what to do, I grabbed a bucket of clabbered milk and yelled "Pig, pig, pig, pig!!!!"

Nothing but bedlam.

So, I tried again, "Here little piggies!"

Nothing but chaos.

Again I tried, "Come on piggies! Pig, pig, pig, pig."

Still nothing but mayhem.

Then I got the bright idea of finding one little piggy and showing them the bucket. I figured since I wasn't very good in the language of pigs yet, I would "speak" to one of them by "sign" and then let him tell the others.

It worked. One little piggy saw the bucket and started yelling to all the others.

"Hey, Mom's got food!"

In nothing flat I had six little piggies right on my heels.


They were all gathered around my legs and I was running down the hill leading them with a big 'ole bucket of clabbered milk in my hands. There was still chaos all around me as the cows kicked, the dogs barked, the chickens squawked, the geese hissed and the goats looked on wide-eyed from the safety of their separate pasture.

I could feel cold snouts on my legs as I ran down the hill. Spencer who was suppose to be "helping" herd the pigs somehow ended up in front of this parade and turned around with a look of surprise when he realized if he didn't move it, he was going to be trampled by six pigs and a crazy woman yelling "Pig, pig, pig, pig" and carrying a big bucket of clabbered milk.

Somehow, I managed to get the gate open and all six pigs followed me in. I quick shut the gate, turned the electricity off, fixed the fence, and got the electricity back on while the pigs were eating their clabbered milk.

Something makes me think if I had somehow been able to video tape the whole adventure, I surely would have won a prize! Since I didn't get a movie of all the excitment, these pictures taken with my cell phone after the pigs were once again contained will have to do!


Pineapple Ice Cream

I finally decided to give up my electric, bucket, ice cream maker circa 1970's that I got at an antique store new in the box for $20 and go for one of those "iceless/salt free" counter top models. After asking everyone I could think of what type of ice cream maker they would recommend, I finally bought the Cuisnart ICE-30BC. Knowing how much ice cream we eat in the summer (after all we have a free supply of milk and cream), I worried that the 2 quart bowl would not be nearly big enough. However, it turns out that it is just perfect for the two of us. We can make a batch of a different flavor every night if we want to. So far we have made vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter, peach and pineapple.

Pineapple ice cream is something I had never tried until I married Mike and I must admit that I tried it reluctantly. However, let me just go on the record as say, "It is absolutely delicious!"

Pineapple Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 large can of crushed pineapple
2 egg yolks from free range hens (optional to add color)

Mix all ingredients together until sugar has dissolved and then pour into Cuisinart ice cream mixer and freeze.


Red Wattle Hogs

Red Wattle Hog

The Red Wattle is a large, red hog with a fleshy wattle attached to each side of the neck. The wattles have no known function. They are a single gene characteristic and usually pass to crossbred offspring. The Red Wattle comes in a variety of shades of red, some with black specks or patches, and red and black hair. Some individuals are nearly black. The head and jowl are clean and lean, the nose is slim, and ears are upright with drooping tips. The body is short coupled and the back slightly arched. Mature animals weigh 600-800 pounds, but may weigh as much as 1200 pounds and measure up to four feet high and eight feet long.

Red Wattle hogs are known for hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. They produce a lean meat that has been described as flavorful and tender. The sows are excellent mothers, farrow litters of 10 – 15 piglets, and provide good quantities of milk for their large litters. They have a mild temperament.

Red Wattles adapt to a wide range of climates. Their active foraging make them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production. Their gentle nature recommends them to the small-scale, independent producer.

From The American Livestock Breed Conservancy. The Red Wattle Hog is listed as Critical on the endangered list.

The Red Wattle hog is a large, red hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function. The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known. One theory is that the French colonists brought the Red Wattle Hogs to the United States from New Caledonia Island off the coast of Australia in the late 1700’s. As they adapted well to the land, the Red Wattle quickly became a popular breed in the US.

Unfortunately, as settlers moved west, the breed began to fall out of favor because settlers came into contact with breeds that boasted a higher fat content, which was important for lard and soap. Red Wattles were left to roam the hills of eastern Texas, where they were hunted to near extinction, until Mr. H.C. Wengler came across a herd in the dense forest and began breeding them into what they are today. Five year later, in a similar incident, Robert Prentice located another herd of Red Wattle hogs, which became known as the Timberline herd, after its wooded origins in eastern Texas.

Red Wattle hogs are known for their hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. The sows are excellent mothers, who labor litters of 9-10 piglets, and provide good quantities of milk for their large litters. They adapt well to a wide range of climates, making them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production.

Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.

The Red Wattle hog is listed on the ALBC Conservation Priority List as being critically endangered meaning there are fewer than 200 annual registrations in the U.S. and estimated to have fewer than 2,000 individuals of this breed globally.

From Slow Foods USA Ark of Taste


Additions and Losses

I am really having a hard time keeping up with my blog lately! And, I have done a very poor job of keeping up with other's blogs as well! When winter comes again maybe I will finally get the chance to catch up with my "fellow bloggers". (A sexist comment, I know, but I couldn't think of any other way to say it!) So, I hope this finds all my blog readers and blogging friends well and enjoying the new season.

Mike has been busy in the hay fields and in the garden. We still have not opened our produce stand but will probably do so next week. We are a little behind schedule this year in part due to the weather and the way the crops have grown and in part just because we have been so busy doing other things.

Mayfield, my eleven year old foundation pure Miniature Jersey calved about a week early but had a difficult delivery in that the calf did not present itself correctly. We lost the calf and of course, it was a little heifer. She was perfect and would have been a small mini. It was a tough loss financially and emotionally. Mayfield had her own share of problems after the delivery and was not able to stand due to some temporary paralysis. We had to use a hip lift to get her up but she has been doing fairly well since then. She has been depressed and unwilling to enter the stanchion to be milked but as of yesterday decided to come in on her own.

This has certainly not been a good year for me with the dairy cows. We lost both foundation pure miniature calves one at birth and one shortly thereafter. We have two more cows due this year, one in July and one in November. Both of these will be standard size calves.

I have been busy finding new homes for bull and bull calves. We made a trip to Georgia to visit family and took along Zeke, a standard size bull calf. He has a new home with my brother who will use him to breed his heifer when they are both old enough. We also picked up Breyer, a foundation pure Miniature Jersey bull, and transported him to his new home in Tennessee. When we returned, I finalized the sale of Little Bull, another foundation pure Miniature Jersey bull, and his new owner picked him up and took him to Colorado.

While in Georgia, we picked up four, mixed breed, feeder pigs. Then we picked up an additional six pigs in Bedford County, VA on our way home. Some friends took four of the piglets (two pigs from the Georgia group and two from the Virginia group) and we are left with six pigs to raise up. We ended up getting two pure bred red wattle pigs in the mix and the breeder is willing to give us registration papers on them. We are seriously considering raising them for breeders and just butchering the other four piglets when they are big enough this fall. Red Wattle pigs are on the critically endangered list and a breed that I have considered in the past. Raising heritage breed animals is a privelege and I am thankful for this opportunity to have a part in preserving this breed for the future.

In addition to the new pigs, we also have a new goat. Nutmeg (Meggie) came to us when I saw that her current family needed to find a new home for her. She is so sweet and gentle. She was still taking a bottle once a day when we got her and we loved giving her a bottle so much that it was hard (on us) to wean her. However, I have finally taken the bottle away and she is doing great. She is a Nubian/Alpine cross.

(Pictures of mixed breed pigs before leaving Georgia. We only ended up with two of these pigs, one of them being the little black one.)