Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making Salad Dressing


I have made salad dressings a few times but it is not something I do on a regular basis. My inspiration? A couple things…..first I went on a field trip with by boy a few weeks back before school was out. It was at Old Fort Western. I think I enjoyed it more then the kids. Here the staff talked and demonstrated how life was back in the 1700’s. One of the stations a woman made up some goodies from the kitchen garden. She made a simple dressing for the salad which consisted only of cider vinegar, water, and sugar and to my surprise it tasted pretty dang good. Easy & tasty…..caught my interest for sure!

Then about a week ago I was going back reading Food In Jar’s blog and I saw her post on how to make Chive Blossom Vinegar. Perfect timing because my chives were in full bloom! So I popped the flowers off the tops, rinsed them, filled a canning jar then added vinegar (white distilled vinegar). It sat on my counter looking real pretty for about a week. I strained it and what I had left was some cool looking pink vinegar that smelled divine (like onions).

I refrigerated the remains although I am not sure that was necessary and made a simple vinaigrette based out of a recipe I clipped out of a magazine (Cooking Light 2010) and revised to my own likings.

This recipe is approximately 4 servings

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

4 tablespoons of “Chive Blossom Vinegar” (doesn’t that sound fancy?)

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

12 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Place all the ingredients in a canning jar, cover, shake it all about and serve immediately

SIMPLE, EASY & CHEAP!! That’s how I roll. Would love to hear what you make for dressings. If you have a link to share from a previous post of your own creations I love to read and I’m sure others would too!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Three Stooges


Moe, Larry, & Curly arrived about a week ago.  One for the freezer, one for a pig roast for Maine Man’s 40th birthday, and one of the piggies is my friends.  It took them a few days to get the electric fence theory but I think they have finally got it.   I won’t even begin to tell you the scene my friend and I created in attempts to apply sun block to these poor lads.  If I only had a flip cam…lol.


Our last pig was processed back in March so are meat supplies are starting to dwindle.   It was a nice break from tending hogs but I did  miss filling the slop bucket with anything that was ready for discard….the chickens are a bit more finicky then pigs.  Plus with garden season in full force they also do a real good job eating up whatever remains, plants & all. 

Time to do chores…. ~Happy Week all!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pictures to Prove it!


Do you remember that kid that wanted NO part of having bees on his 100 acre playground?

Well that is him in the bee suit just below….Imagine that!  He cried and fussed and carried on.  I was initially suppose to pick the bees up on his birthday.  I delayed that until the following week to keep peace in the family.  In effort to get me to change my mind about raising bee’s he even said “Did you know that bees kill more people then any other animal?”  Smarty pants….he was reaching for my weak spot….safety. LOL.  I guess he has outgrown his fear in the last couple weeks because yesterday when I went out to do my weekly check he wanted to participate.


He has always watched from a distance and he’s real good at getting my smoker fired up.  It was fun to watch his expressions, first time around the bees is a little scary.

I still have not been able to locate the queen but I’ll continue looking for her until I find her.  The bees have drawn out most the comb on the frames so within the next day or two I will be adding another super (box). 


The cells filled with the white are the larvae….cool to see their cycle of life.


If I could have bet money on it Flower Girl would have been in this suit long before Country Boy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

She’s A Keeper


Have I mentioned lately how much we love our milking goat Dolly?

She’s been a lot of fun and she is productive as all get out.  Her return is definitely much greater then what we are feeding out. 

Plus she forages a lot of her food and she eats whatever garden goods we feed her.  Unlike the last goats we had she will eat just about anything.  She LOVES broccoli (not just the head but the whole plant).  Everyone that has tried her milk says it tastes no different from cow milk…even my neighbor Biker Stacy  and she’s a tad bit fussy.  Soon I will post on the milking process.  Not sure why everyone doesn’t have a goat! 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sneak Peek of the Gardens


What I like most about these gorgeous chives is that they came up from last years garden.

Lots of beet greens with pink chunks of plump goodness growing below.



Hard neck & Soft neck garlic that Maine Man planted last fall.

Harvest will be in July


Flower Girl passing off a pea to one of her buddies.

Below is MM’s little princess Callie



Above is the strawberry beds that MM threatens to till in every year so I now maintain them. I think this year will be our most abundant harvest.


The greenhouse is thriving. MM has spent endless hours tending the gardens. We’ve been eating fresh goodness since the end of April starting with lettuce (several kinds) followed by beet greens, spinach, bok choy, swiss chard, broccoli and turnip.

The picture below is of a Kiwi bush. It has yet to bear fruit. Any other fellow Mainers ever grown these before? If so I’d love to hear if it will survive and/or thrive in this climate….it looks good so far! We planted them last Spring.



One of the smaller gardens. Each year MM tills up a little more ground.

Pictured below is turnip grown in the greenhouse. I have several more stored in the shed refrigerator. We usually serve it mashed or roasted. We would love to hear how other’s best like to eat or serve turnip….must have recipes anyone?



Monday, June 13, 2011

I’ve been beesy



Last week I picked up our bees, approximately 50,000 in the back of my Jetta wagon.  That would have been a scene had I been in an accident.  They’ve settled in good so far.  On my next day off I will set some time aside to check them out for the second time since their relocation.  I will even attempt to find the queen…wish me luck on that.  Country Boy was a little distraught at the thought of having bees but he too has adjusted well.  God forbid something get in the way of his 100 acre playground.  The same reason he dislikes the cows, the couple acres they reside in just happen to be his “favorite” play area.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

There are always flowers for those that want to see them

Friday night’s Facebook status…..
I've traded my "skinny jeans", bad girl boots, and all nighters with friends for a pair of shorts, a tank, bog boots spending most my time home with the kids. It is truly the simple things that remind you of all you have! ♥ Great 4 wheeler ride out back tonight through fields of buttercups & wild irises with lots of dragonflies flying about. You know what.....I WOULDN'T want to change a thing! ♥



Friday, June 10, 2011

The pursuit is the reward


Second post on Windows Live Writer and so far I’m liking it.  I can adjust my photo sizes easier then on blogger, change the FONT, and I was able to place a watermark on my photo.  All things I’ve been wanting to do for a LONG while.  THANK you Jodi @ Living the Road Less Traveled!  I have SO much to say and SO many photos to share.  However,  I’m spent and my plans are to cuddle up with a good book followed by some shut eye.  As with everyone else this time of year is very busy .  Maine Man and I have had our moments of being very OVERWHELMED.  THANKFULLY we take turns and remind one another that we can only do what we can do.   Will have some garden photos soon. ….night all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Making Goats Milk Cheese


This is my first attempt posting using Windows Live Writer so bear with me, blogger has has some issues lately so I figured I’d try something different.  This past winter I gave one of my neighbors a Muscovy (not live, the ready for the oven kind).  In trade she said she’d give me some goat milk come Spring when her does were freshened.  She did just that!  With that milk I made goat cheese and Maine Man absolutely loved it.  He has recently figured out he has issues with milk products yet this cheese I’d created did not bother his gut.  Long story short……we purchased a goat.  Another one of those things I’d said I would never do again…LOL.  Her name is Dolly.  We are not quite sure what breed she is, maybe an Alpine/Nubian mix.  Regardless she is a big girl and she is sweet as ever and we’ve really enjoyed having her around.  She is producing between 1 – 1 1/2 quarts twice a day.  EXCITING….scratch another item off my grocery list ….MILK.  Besides using it for cooking & drinking I’ve only used it to make this cheese.  It is a FAVORITE with MM & Flower Girl and I like it too.  It’s also Wicked EASY to make so that helps.  IMG_5039r

  • Slowly heat milk to 185 degrees
  • Add 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • Keep temp @ 185 stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes.  Soft curds will form.
  • Line strainer with cheesecloth then pour curds/liquid into strainer (remove liquid)
  • Sprinkle cheese with salt (I use a coarse sea salt)
  • Tie corners of cheesecloth together and hang allowing it to drip for a few hours.
  • Add seasonings (dill, pepper, and/or garlic) if desired
  • Break up with fork & refrigerate


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Country Boy!

It is hard to believe my first born is 11!

Where have the years gone?

You've become such an amazing young man!

We are SO proud to call you OUR boy!

AWESOME ball player you've become....

...Snapping turtle wrestler

....Snake Whisperer

.... Amazing Big Brother

....Fish catching

....Bird saving, cabin building, deer slaying, guitar playing, farm helper. You truly have NO problems living up to your name Country Boy!