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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Golden Goldilocks

Greetings and hope you're warm and cozy this chilly afternoon.
I've not knit a stitch since I finished my sweater, but I'm watching some videos by Elizabeth Zimmermann...that almost counts as knittin', right? Anyhooo....
Blogger friend Susan did a couple of posts on her blog featuring Little Golden Books that I really enjoyed, and it got me to thinkin' about the ones I have kept to read to the grandgals. The stories are well done and really come alive when read alongside this cute likeness of Goldilocks. The doll turned upside-down reveals Mama Bear and Baby Bear...
Papa Bear is on the otherside of Mama and Baby.
I know you're dyin' to see both ends of the doll at once so here 'tis.
Just as a reminder...we're still offline, but I do have the opportunity to post now and then. Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Greetings from the foothills, Y'all! We're still offline, but I knew I'd have an opportunity to post today so I brought along some pics in hopes of getting you caught up with what I've been up to lately (other than the howse sale.) I made these coasters from a tutorial over at All Things Heart and Home. Actually, I did them last year but didn't get around to posting them. My sweater, Iced is finished! That is except for sewing on the buttons and making the button loops - it's blocked and ready though.
I found these cool buttons at JoAnn's, a turtle and a fish in case you can't tell what the shapes be.
Lastly, a baby hat using another free pattern here.
Final note this visit...I've been able to keep up with your blogs via my phone, and it's wonderful to be able to do that, but unfortunately I'm not able to leave comments using the phone. Until next time...have a great week and see you when I can...the good Lord willin'. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Ever, Fresh Apple Cake

Best Ever, Fresh Apple Cake
Over twenty years ago, back before we bought our farm we were just beginning to awaken to the idea that suburban or town living may not be the best way to live for us. We really had only a fleeting idea of how a farm should be run back then, but we wanted to learn all we could so we were pleased have the opportunity I write about today. It was along about the time our youngest was reading in the Little House books about such things as harvestin' and hog killin' time that my sister, Sam invited us down for a weekend to her house in the country. It happened that her husband was friends with a pig farmer, and knowing we loved learning about the self-sufficient lifestyle she phoned to say that on a particular Saturday we would be able to attend a real-live hog killin' just down the road a piece from her home in middle Tennessee. We were pleased to accept the invitation.

Youngest was very excited over the prospect and finally the weekend arrived. We journeyed to my sister's house on Friday evening then the next morning we all started on our way to Mr. Bumfrey's house to watch our very first hog killin'. His well-hidden farm was several miles into the backwoods, far away from any neighbors and their sensitive noses. Now, Mr. Bumphrey was a renowned pig raiser in those parts and proved it each year by producing healthy, great big ol' pigs. We were made immediate witnesses of that fact as we pulled into their driveway. There were hogs there bigger than our car (for cryin' out loud!), and I noticed as we emerged from the car that it truly did smell like it might be an infamously huge pig farm. We had definitely arrived at our destination.

Youngest and her cousin stayed outside to watch the doin's while Sam and I went in the house to meet Mrs. Bumphrey. We said our hellos and started to work helpin' her fix a hungry-man's dinner for all in attendance that day. There was meatloaf to bake, pork chops to fry and various and sundry other dishes to prepare so we lent a hand with the cooking as it was needed.

Meantime, it was a chilly day in mid-autumn so I would check now and then to make sure Youngest was still wearing her jacket. The first time I checked she was watching the skinning of an enormous, Cadillac-sized hog. The air smelt of pig sweat and wet hair. Youngest and her cousin, Belle were obedient little girls, stayin' out of the way and all, so I returned to the kitchen for awhile. Then again, after about an hour or so, I went outside to see how the girls were faring. This time I found Youngest and Belle tossing an inflated pig bladder back and forth, laughin' and talkin' as they would when playin' with any regular balloon. They had been discussing how Laura Ingalls played with a pig bladder at hog killin' time and were feelin' mighty pioneer-ish themselves.

Back in the kitchen I noticed Mrs. Bumphrey had begun icing a freshly baked apple cake. It smelled so good! She said I could have the recipe after dinner if I found I liked how it tasted. I could hardly wait to try that cake. There was something so wonderful about the crisp autumn weather, the aroma of baked cinnamon from the cake and our upclose glimse of down-to-earth, nitty-gritty country doin's outside - all rolled into one that comes back to me every time I bake this cake, and it's always every bit as good as the first time I tried at the Bumphrey's pig farm. It's the best I've ever had.
Here's the recipe so you can try it too.

Best Ever, Fresh Apple Cake

Grease and flour a Bundt or tube pan.
Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 large eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup oil
1 teas. vanilla
1/4 teas. nutmeg
2 teas. cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 c self-rising flour

Beat eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add vanilla and apples and mix. Stir in oil. Combine all dry ingredients including pecans in another bowl and slowly add to sugar mixture beating after each addition. Batter will be thick. Spoon into prepared cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. Let set until just slightly warm then put in tight container immediately to maintain moistness.
Glaze: If desired drizzle with a mixture of:
1 cup powdered sugar , 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a few teaspoons of milk - just enough milk to allow it to pour in a thick stream over cake.

I'm a little further along with the one sleeve than this photo shows, but hey, it was already I should be finished with the whole thing in another week or two. The pattern is Iced. Just click on the name for the link to the pattern.
Now, I may not be able to show it then as most likely we'll be offline for a good several months by the time it's finished. Until then, take care, see you when our house is sold and we move and ..and, well see y'all later, the good Lord willin'. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whoa, It's October

Can you b'lieve it's October? Not me. The last of this years zinnias.

The garden is brimming with turnips and greens now that the weather has cooled down a bit.
eta...the Rhode Island Reds........ love turnip tops.I used twice as much banana as the recipe called for in this banana bread. It rose nearly twice as high as usual and tasted twice as good, too. Even Martha White on the tin behind it got all excited over it. ;)

I've set Frosted Diamonds aside for a while because I have a mistake four rows back, and I'm tired of counting each row two or three times. I intend to pick it back up and finish it as soon as I'm done with this stockinette sweater. The pattern is Iced, and it's free. It's worked with bulky weight yarn so it's going really fast so far. Love this mushroom colorway.Have a great week, Y'all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sweet September

Feel that cool in the air! Thank the Lord!!!
Flower of the month...sorta.
Mmmm...roasted red peppers fresh from the garden.

This li'l dishrag was a mindless (from my li'l mind ;) knit with bobbles at each corner. Sugar and Cream yarn in Vintage Rose colorway.
Frosted Diamonds is slowly taking shape.
Have you heard there's a new hen house in town? There is. chuckles It's portable, and it's mine! It's been six years since I kept chickens. Goodman missed farm eggs. Did you know lots of cities have changed their ordinances so that folks can have their own fresh eggs. Folks are realizing that big business is not to chickens what chocolate is to cookies. o.O Nope, they're not. We found this little coop on Craigslist. It's perfect for up to six hens. (If the house sells we'll load up the truck and move it to ....where ever.) I promise I won't ride on top, stop worryin'. rofl
There's no door on the yard part nor a walkin' plank so we're in the process of modifying that before we put chickens in it. The girls are in the barn. I'll introduce them next time. Meantime, I'm happy as a chicken with a junebug to be back in the chicken business.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walkabout the Weeds

Ah yes, we're beginning to bid summer adieu. I will shed no tears for it, though, as Summer 2010 has been one hot summer. Our watermelon patch is nearly done producing. I haven't the heart to weed it now with this overtaking it. Mornin'glories.

No wonder they're called glories....
Butterfly Weed, also called Pleurisy Root. I'm diggin' this up soon to replant where it will be handy if I want to use it.

Seed pods on another butterfly weed that could be mistaken for pope's hats...chuckles.
A tea made from red clover is said to detoxify the blood.
This is not your regular morning glory. It's a Wild Potato Vine. Native Americans & early settlers dug the roots to supplement their food supply. See the red center? That's how to tell it's a tater vine.

Ironweed (spied this one in the neighbor's field) has been used in a lot of different herbal preparations to treat all manner of symptoms.
Did you know red pepper flakes.......... are proven to help lower cholesterol? Just thought I'd throw that in. :)
I've begun sproutin'. Truly! o.O This is a sandwich mix. WE ARE SO GREEN around here. lol
The wonderful chill in the morning air is tellin' me I could use one of these soon so I've begun a knitting project after almost six months without touchin' the needles.
Cool mornin' air - bring it on! See y'all later, the good Lord willing. :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ackk, Save Won't You Save My Sanity and Buy My House AS IS?

Hey y'all. (she says in a li'l shaky voice) It's been a long, long summer. I'm sure it feels that way because every time we've started a new face lift project on this old farmhouse it grewwwww into two or three times what we thought it would be. Argh, and so we trudge onward. Ha, one good thing - downsizing - feels pretty good. I've sold two spinning wheels that I haven't touched in nearly ten years, among other things. Squee.... I can actually walk to the bookcase in my bedroom now. Smiles. Uh, no, I didn't sell any yarn. I'm not that insane; just a little less encumbered of things I don't need. That part is really heartening.

Now, on to fun stuff. Our garden is still producing nicely.

Woohoo, Peach croustade. You can get the recipe for a strawberry/blueberry one here. I've made this with just plain strawberries, too, and it's delicious. But the best part is it's tasty without a lot of sugar. ;)

I've dabbled a little in the dye pot/bowl lately just to clear the rotted-wood cobwebs out of my head.
I love this super soft yarn, but I wanted these skeins to be a deeper, bluer purple.
So I first over-dyed it with a heaping teaspoonful of Wilton’s Royal icing color in the microwave. Alas, it came out too blue.
Then I over dyed again with 1/4 teaspoon Wilton’s Black and 1 teaspoon of Violet. The true color is actually darker than the picture, and I’m really happy with it now. Destined to soon become Fetching.
Oh, I can't wait till Fall, Y'all. Bring it on! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Touch of Autumn

Between working in the garden and the everlasting slow progress in the home improvement department I took the time to make a set of new coasters.
The complete tutorial for this great little craft project is here.
I'm not a huge fan of jello salads, but this one is wonderful in my opinion.
It's fresh, fruity and delicious, really, I wouldn't trifle with you. ;)If you'd like to try it for yourself here's the recipe.

Best Jello Salad Ever
1 large package orange flavored jello
1 jar (1lb. 4 ozs.) grapefruit sections, drained - this is in the fruit & vegetable cooler at your store
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
Add the correct amount of water (or use the drained pineapple juice for part of it) according to directions on the package. Add fruit. Chill till set.

The Art of Home-Making Mondays, FarmGirl Friday Blog Hop, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BEST Squash Casserole Ever!

Poooh, poooh! Just blowing a lil dust off the keyboard. :)
We decided to put out a small garden just in case the house doesn't sell. Ha, it's not even ready to sell, yet, but this is a happy post so movin' on to another subject...we have squash comin' out our ears. Well, okay, just have a lot of squash. (It's no wonder the English language is difficult to learn for those with a different first language.) Anyhoo, I had the ingredients to throw this together so here's a new dish to share with you wonderful peeps.  And make no mistake, the sausage in this casserole is perfectly complimented by the other ingredients.  Enjoy.

Y'all-Come-Back-Now Squash Casserole

4-5 cups yellow squash, cooked and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. hot breakfast sausage, crumbled and cooked (I use Tennessee Pride, of course;)
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup (homemade "canned" soups are healthier)
1 med. onion, chopped
3 tbs. butter

Fry sausage just till done; drain, and set aside. Saute onions in butter. Boil cubed squash about five minutes, drain. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a casserole dish - add a few sprinkles of water if it tries to clump. Bake 20 minutes at 350 F.

Serves ... let's see now =  2 over eaters, 4-6 regular peeps, or 8 skinny minnies.
Seriously, it's very good. We had it for supper last night with green beans and other vegetables from the garden.

Hope your summer is cooler than mine. :( It's hot in the South, Y'all. Lookin' forward to fall.)

Sharing at The Art of Home-Making Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, The Backyard Farming Connection, From the Farm Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Robert Sheffey, Mountain Evangelist

One of my all-time favorite movies is Sheffey, a biographical rendition of the life of the circuit riding preacher, Robert Sayers Sheffey from days gone by. (Click the link below to watch the trailer.)

 It was produced by Bob Jones University, and I have to say they did a good job of it. A few weeks ago we were in Virginia and had the opportunity to visit the church and grave site where he was buried. I know it's not really all that grand, but if you have seen the movie you know his life's work was indeed truly grand.

Click for a better view.

On the way to see the Sheffey historical site, this photo courtesy of Youngest...

Edited to add:
And where does one find the movie? or click here if you want to watch the trailer and buy it directly from the producer.

Linking to Inspired Sunday