Wednesday, November 30, 2011

O Christmas Tree, illuminated

This is a terrible picture, but here is the little tree all lit up 300 feet out in the West pasture - it looks so beautiful at night!

I love Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

there's a dog in my bed

My good friend Sandy's companions Brutus, Annie, Poncho, ChiChi, Duncan, Bob and Fergus

Go lil Camaro Go

One of the cool parts of my job is they let us go to the fleet garage and help renovate vintage cars.  Here is a 1969 4-speed Camaro that is being completely restored.

My job was to hand clean the manual window mechanisms 

Friday, November 25, 2011

the jewel toned feast

My favorite cooking magazine is Saveur, and in their November issue they published a complete vegetarian Thanksgiving menu - I made the whole thing!

Wheat berry pilaf with apricots and walnuts, potato rutabaga gratin, peas with orange and mint, cranberry-ginger chutney, and Autumn vegetable patties

and mincemeat pie!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the weirdness of mincemeat

Nonesuch Mincemeat has been around for over a century, and I bought some to make a Thanksgiving pie

It comes in dense little boxes which are lightly waxed shut.  Mincemeat in this form needs to be reconstituted in a pan with water.  It is a strange product, like something from a time capsule from the 1960s, or an item from an ethnic grocery store.  The boxes are small, like juice boxes.  Maybe that can be a new flavor of Juicy Juice or Capri Sun:  MINCEMEAT.  The kids'll love it.

It's like strong fruit cake filling, sticky and aromatic.  It is primarily a mixture of dried apples, raisins, vinegar, sugar, spices and a touch of BEEF - that's right, beef.  There is no taste of beef, thank God, but my guess is they use a bit of beef fat for richness.  Gross.

trick my coop

This was the former hooptie-style door in the chicken coop, fashioned from an old door that I found at the farm that wasn't quite the right size, so it was "extended" with chicken wire which secured into place by shoving the wire behind a cinderblock.  So crappy.

The new, hand crafted coop door from Reeber Woodworking - what an improvement!  The girls love it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

O Christmas tree

I love seeing a lone Christmas tree way out in a field  lit up when the snow is on the ground.  With that image in mind, I chose this little pine tree in the West pasture to string with lights.  It took almost 300 feet of extension cord, but will look great a few weeks from now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

And to you your wassail, too

Dried fruit, honey and grappa for this year's Christmas fruitcake.  This will soak and macerate for a week before baking into the cakes

Peeled fruit and zest for marmalade

marmalade pyramid

Thursday, November 17, 2011

leaf her a snack

Bunny Lee loves to eat dry leaves

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

so soapy

A batch of orange spice soap - it smells so great

Poured into the mold - I will slice it into bars next weekend and then it will cure for a few weeks

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

boss bass

Bass with fennel, spinach fettuccine and sauteed cherry tomatoes

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Building of Boss Mouse, Part 8: The Logo

The Boss Mouse logo features a family photograph from 1911 - my Dad's eldest sister Julia in the arms of her Aunt Julia, my Grandmother's sister, a Hungarian immigrant. I knew my Aunt Julia very well, and think she is looking a lot like a Boss Mouse with that big pink bow in her hair. The name Boss Mouse means the empowerment of the small thing - I also like how the words look together, it is fun to say, and naturally, mice go with cheese. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

dinner with Megan

Megan made me an *amazing* dinner last night!  It was a blustery, sleety night, but her house is cozy and the food was kickin'

Kia the beauty

If Boris stares at food long enough, it may astral-project into his mouth

Megan's sweet potato-quinoa burgers were inspired by a cafe in Grand Rapids called Marie Catrib's

Cook Ahead of time:
2 cups cooked lentils (about 1c. uncooked)
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 c. uncooked)
1 ½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potato
Sauté with a little olive oil and salt: 
2 cups finely chopped sweet onion + 2 cloves garlic
1 cup carrot, finely grated
1 cup kale, finely grated
(I put both through the food processor)
1 ½ cups oats
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ketchup
salt and pepper
This will make a nice, thick “dough” to work with. Form 14-15 patties. Cook them in a fry-pan with a little bit of  extra virgin olive oil.
I served mine with a curry mayonnaise.
Curry Mayonnaise
Whisk together:
1 large Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Salt
Sllllooowly beat in 3/4 c. oil (1/4 c. Canola, 1/2c. EVOO) in a blender or with a hand mixer. Whatever you do, do it slowlllllly. That’s the key to making a good, creamy mayonnaise. Add ground curry and a little paprika to taste. I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons curry and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

peelin' out

What's cuter than the rabbits eating apple peels?

Blackie is so glossy


It's Fall and I've been doing lots of baking

Squash lasagna and stuffed mushrooms

This is a special pie pumpkin from Laurie - baked whole


crumb top apple pie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

sky study #53

sunrise November 6, 2011

Buffy's buffet

Chicken mash and fresh spinach - bon appétit, Buffy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

goodbye garden

Plowed over for the winter

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Building of Boss Mouse, Part 7: Framed

The cheese cave

A brand new window - the kettle and main work table will be underneath this.  That's the floor drain in the corner.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

chicks at 3 months

the Penguin Strut

Almost full grown

One of the prettiest chicks - her feathers are a shade of blue-grey

Still not sure if I have hens or roosters yet - they sleep on their own now and have integrated into the flock just fine.  They walk around the farm as a group, and Buffy is still their Mama, though she isn't as interested in them any more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

what I did with all those apples

Peel them - feed peel to the chickens and bunnies

Brandied apple rings

5 quarts of apple sauce

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

home for a bunny

This weekend the bunnies moved to their new home out in the bull pen in the big barn.  It is a large room with original stone masonry walls and tons of space to scamper.  Here is their new bunny condo, which is fully insulated, has a window and roof deck.  Here's Bunny Lee checking out her new digs.

Blackie pops a wheelie!  She and Bunny Lee have become friends and LOVE their new barn home.  They have an enormous amount of space to frolic free and uncaged.

When I was a little kid, one of my favorite books was Home For A Bunny. My Mom once put it in a garage sale, and I snuck it out and hid it because I couldn't bear to see it go. It is an appropriate book for this weekend's activities!