Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dress Up

My mother bought the girls some dress up clothes. They dove right in.

The clothes were worth the money to see them use their imaginations and have fun without technology!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Black-eyed Susans

I wrote about my big baking week and mentioned making black-eyed susans. This cookie was found by Sissy in one of her children's cookbooks. We made some for the garage sale and the girls wanted to make some more. Here is how it's done.

First, you make a sugar cookie dough. Or cheat like I did and buy a packet, add butter and water, and make it much more quickly.

Next, add food coloring to your dough. We used yellow, but any color will do.
Then, you roll the dough into balls, about walnut sized, and refrigerate them for two hours.

Next, remove them from the fridge and make some snips about halfway into the ball. I make about 4 or 5 snips and then carefully spread apart a little. As this part bakes it spreads open to make the flower petals.

Then bake them at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and quickly add your chocolate stars or kisses to the centers of each flower.

There you have it. Pretty, black-eyed susan cookies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lasagna-- From Scratch

Sissy and Mr Farmer have been asking for lasagna lately. I decided to give in and make some.

We had just been to the grocery store and I knew I had the ingredients for it at home, so there was nothing to pick up for this meal.

Or so I told Sissy when she asked.

4:00 came and it was time to start supper. I went to the pantry to find the noodles. I looked and looked to no avail. I had no lasagna noodles! Now what?

Well, I took out my handy dandy pasta maker. I just made sheets of pasta rather than cutting them into strips.

I made one batch of my pasta recipe. When getting ready to assemble my lasagna, I realized that one batch of pasta wasn't going to be quite enough. I had some rigatoni pasta in the pantry and dumped that in the bottom, first.

I added a small jar of my homemade spaghetti sauce over the uncooked rigatoni. I made up a bowl of cottage cheese/ egg mixture. I use 1 egg per cup of cottage cheese and mix well. I used this combination in place of ricotta cheese. We like it so much better and it's easy to find and make.

I layer pasta, sauce, cheese mixture, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

Mr Farmer said this was the best lasagna he has ever had. I have to agree. And best of all, no crunchy bits on top. I hate those hard, crunchy, tough bits.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Falling And I Can't Get Up

I bet you thought I was going to talk about getting old. Or buying a Hoverround scooter. Or getting one of those cool necklaces that summons help when you fall down and wedge yourself between the toilet and tub.

Do you have to be old to get one of those necklaces? I can't tell you how many times my kids have had to pull me from next to the toilet.

Oh! Yes. Today's post. I just wanted to share a couple of fall photos I took here at the farm.

First up is what broccoli looks like if you don't harvest it. I think it's quite pretty and the colors say 'fall' when next to the orange and gold marigolds.

And then, a few photos of Baby and my fall arrangement. The pumpkins are from our vine garden.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Roll In The Cinnamon

For last week's Octoberfest, I made cinnamon rolls. Here is a quick how-to of how I do it.

I got the recipe from here . I use the recipe as a guide for times and such, but always add lots of extra sugar and cinnamon. And I add buttercream frosting to the top to make it extra delicious.

Here we go. 

First, I roll out the dough. Then I take butter in a tub, grab some with my fingers, and smear it all over the dough. I add my sugar, lots of cinnamon, and brown sugar. The original recipe calls for such a small amount of cinnamon and no brown sugar. I NEED lots of cinnamon in my cinnamon rolls.

Then, I roll it up and cut it into 12 and place them in pans.

This time I added a dab of butter on top of each roll as well as more cinnamon and sugar.

Bake according to the directions. Cool and then top with buttercream frosting. When Mr Farmer ate one, he asked how much I was selling them for. He wanted to buy them all for himself! They really are delicious. I had a pan for our family to eat so they didn't suffer.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Survival--The First Skill

Yesterday the kids disappeared for nearly two hours.

Most mothers would be worried about his, but not me. I used the unexpected free time to do some serious cleaning. I dusted, cleared, organized, cleaned, vacuumed, etc. I was giddy with excitement at being able to clean in a quiet, uninterrupted environment. Ok. Not quite giddy, but happy just the same.

Then, the Boy showed back up at the house. He wanted me to come out and look at something after supper. I told him we'd see and sent him back out to get his sisters for supper.

After supper, we loaded into the Ranger and headed out toward the vine garden area. The kids had walked all the way back there on their outing. Now, they were giddy. They couldn't wait to see what we thought of their adventurous afternoon's activities.

They directed us to a tree.

Can you see it? Sissy took me through their building process.

They did quite a lot of work this afternoon. Mr Farmer and I were both quite impressed with their work and resourcefulness. I love to see them use their minds and creativity and really enjoy themselves. I also like to see that they pay attention to the survival shows we watch and and try to replicate what they see. Better survival skills than some of the other trash they could be watching and mimicking!

The Fall Festival

Today was freezing! Literally.

We headed out at 6:30 while it was still dark. It was also only 27 degrees. As the sun came up, I could see the frost on everything. I've always thought the frost on things was pretty. I had to stop and take pictures of the frost on the bright red sumac.

We stopped at a garage sale on the way down. It was not run the way I did mine! They wanted new prices for their old stuff. I don't get it. I think of a garage sale as a way to get rid of stuff I no longer want or need. The money is just a benefit. When I went by later, they still had most of what they had when I stopped in that morning. Anyway. To each their own.

Back to our regularly scheduled post.

I set up my booth. You could tell some of the booths were people who did this more professionally. Their tables all matched, as did their table cloths. Their things were all organized in coordinating totes and containers. They had nice bags to put their products in when they were purchased.

This is not how my booth went. They probably had a similar thought to mine of the above garage sale. "What is this woman thinking? She looks like some street vendor hillbilly selling her wares." I should have worn my hillbilly teeth.

The proceeds for the fall fest go towards rebuilding an historical caboose in town. They get their money through vendor tables ($15 fee), donations for lunch, raffles, an auction, and this.

Men who dress up as women. They go around and collect money for who people think is the best. Whomever collects the most is the winner. The money collected is donated to the cause. This particular man cracked me up. He was out there in this itty bitty mini shirt with his white chicken legs and tennis shoes. And did I mention how cold it was?

All in all, it was a successful day. The people in this small community like hillbilly street vendors and their wares. After all, I lost most of my teeth by eating this good food!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

General Hospital-- Pt.3

My life, death, and coming back from the dead are like a soap opera.

Thank you for continuing to read my blog even after my unfortunate baking death. In case you missed my death pictures here, here is a flour outline. The slim waistline is much more realistic than my bloated death photos.

I got my revenge on those who only stepped over my lifeless body on their searches for food. I waited until Mr Farmer went to step over me and reached up and grabbed his leg. Boy did he scream like a girl!

After a shower to wash off the smell of death, I got back to running the house again. The disadvantage of dying is that the household chores really pile up while you're dead.

That, and there's things growing in the kitchen that shouldn't be.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

If Only She Wasn't Dead- Pt.2

It's me, Mr Farmer. I told you I'd write a follow-up post.

I wanted to tell you all the things I miss about my wife.

I really want a cinnamon roll right now while I'm watching tv, and she's not here to get it for me. I miss that.

She's not here to dry off my back after my shower, so my shirts are wet. I miss dry shirts.

I make fun of her chair, but it doesn't talk back like she did. I miss making fun of her.

The kids always asked her the questions. Now they ask me. I miss them only knowing the name, "Mom".

She did all the grocery shopping. I ran out of food yesterday. I miss food.

She always found good tv shows for me to watch. I don't even know how to work the remote, so I'm stuck watching infomercials. I miss tv shows where I'm not asked to buy something.

I hate cats! My wife fed them every morning and kept them out of my way when I went out to feed the chickens. Now I have to step on them and kick them out of the way. I love punting them! But I hate feeding them. And the kids will cry if the cats die because I don't feed them.

I'm glad she thought to write this post for me before she died because I have no idea how to work this computer thingy.

The end.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everybody's Baking For The Weekend--Pt. 1

This post is part of a 3 part series. Enjoy.

Or maybe it's just me. We have an Octoberfest in my parent's hometown this weekend and I am planning to set up a table.

I will be selling breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and soaps.

So, to prepare for the weekend, I am going to be a baking fool for a couple of days. I plan to bake 12 loaves of fresh-ground, honey whole wheat bread, 6 loaves of 7-grain bread, 4 pans of cinnamon rolls, and  dozens of various cookies (monster, peanut butter kisses, rolled sugar cut-outs, and black-eyed susans).

That's the plan, anyway. The rest of this post will show progress of this plan. I will warn you, it may contain a dead body at the end. Mine! I will try, however, to make sure the picture taker makes me presentable. Well, as presentable as he can. He's no miracle worker, you understand. 

Here is how it went. Thursday, I baked all the cookies, made buttercream frosting, frosted the cookies, and packaged them all up.

Then I died. The family rolled me to the shower and then to bed. I think. I slept through it.

Friday, I started earlier. I made the cinnamon roll dough first because it had to rest for an hour. Then I started the first batch of bread. As the bread was raising, I finished the cinnamon rolls. As they were raising in the pans, I baked the first batch of 6 loaves of bread. The cinnamon rolls went in next to bake. Then the next batch of bread was made and baked. After the second batch, I rested for a bit.

With my rest time over, I was back at it for the final batch of bread. Once all the loaves were cooled, I bagged them up and put my business cards on the packages.

Am I done, yet? Nope! Now I get to load up the truck for the morning. We need to leave by 6:30am so I want to have everything ready the night before.

The remainder of this post is being written by someone other than the dead woman in the kitchen.  We step over her to get to the kitchen. At least she left us all this yummy food when she died. She was a good woman. 

And she's finally quiet!

 Unfortunately, she didn't clean up before she died. Now we're going to have to bulldoze the house.

Thanks for reading Mrs Farmer's final post. I will try to post some of my own in the future.

Thank you.

Good bye.

You can go now.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

We Did It

Well, we did it. We went and done did it. We bought a new toy. I went this week and brought it home. Then we promptly unloaded it and tore around the property as fast as possible. We had to put it through a real test on our land, over our bumpy trails, to see if it handled better than our last side by side vehicle.

It did! It also climbed some of our tiny, straight-up hills without even needing to be put in 4 wheel drive. We did a few jumps and got it off the ground. Mr Farmer scared the kids with his driving and at one point I said I would walk home.

He apologized to me, not the kids, for scaring me. I know he knows what he's doing, but I am the mother trying to keep my babies alive long enough to leave home! 

Did that sound loving and responsible? Really I was worried that I'd break my arm and not be able to blog.

Of course, each child was scared about something different. Baby didn't like the hill climbing. Sissy didn't like the hill climbing. And the Boy didn't like the hill climbing, fast driving, or fish-tailing. My boy said I was a better driver! He basically liked the jumps. 

We have found where we need to make some more trails, create another creek crossing, and we probably need more jumps.

I was amazed at how smooth the ride was, even going quickly over the bumps we would normally have to stop on.

But after all the squeals of laughter and big grins from everyone, Mr Farmer said he still wishes he had a Razr. But he wants to wait until they come out with a 1000cc version. He also said that he looks forward to driving the kids without me in the Ranger to slow him down. You see, he likes to terrify the kids, but he doesn't like to scare me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Vacation

Some people get to go on cruises. Some on airplanes. Some people even go to exciting places in their cars.

What is your idea of a vacation? Mine is to go to Alaska, stay in a cabin, and go 4-wheeling (atv) through the woods. I know, I'm weird.

I have a point to this line of talk. Today, Mr Farmer took me on a vacation. And before you give him more credit than he deserves, this is a typical vacation.

We sold our mower conditioner. The man who bought it asked if we would meet him halfway. This meant a two-hour drive down there. It was a beautiful drive as the trees are turning colors and the temps were in the 70s.

We met the guy, got out and stretched our legs, and because it was a vacation, we got to eat out for lunch. I just made you jealous, didn't I. I don't mean to rub my good fortune in your faces like that, but I had to share! I mean lunch! Who does that?!?

It gets better. When we left, we took the scenic ride home. This meant faster driving, more hills, and winding roads. We actually made it home in an hour. So, scenic and short.

This is what the navigation system in the truck looked like.

And here we are on a "new" highway. So new it is not even on our nav system, yet. Of course, the road has been there about five years. So, although it looks like we are off-roading, we are not.

And then we were home.

Vacation over.

What is your dream vacation or your favorite vacation?