are the goats fat?
October 29, 2010, 7:05 pm
Filed under: goats | Tags: ,

feed us we're hungry!

We have one skinny goat and one fat one. Sydney will eat anything. She’s a real moose and you can hardly control her. Roppongi is a delicate flower. She has to sniff and snaff and ponder and debate before she’ll take a bite of anything. By then Sydney has eaten the entire thing. So Roppongi is a skinny goat. But it was hard to determine if she had a problem we should be concerned about. Or whether she was just thin, but in the normal range.

Finally I took the time to check it out and found a great goat reference for body condition.


And here’s a video discussion.


goats eating breakfast
October 28, 2010, 9:19 am
Filed under: goats

I got a new flip video camera and this morning I tried it out with the goats. So, here they are eating their breakfast. Apparently they were STARVING!! Listen to them chow down! Sheesh. They just ran over into their play area and got right to it. Silly goaties!

when your google search history says…
October 25, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: farm, utilities | Tags: , ,

“septic line making strange gurgling noises,” you know it’s probably NOT going to be a good day.

Yep that’s right, we’re on the utility infrastructure train ride again. The plumber is coming out today after a weekend of stress and trying to not use any water.

We were sitting watching a movie and heard the water filter come on. I didn’t think it sounded right. Alas this house requires an absolute attention to all those little noises. The water started its backwash and then we started to hear gurgling noises! I made the doode go down and check. I can’t bear it. Anyhow then he starts yelling turn the filter off!!! So I run downstairs turn it off, and then I hear the water. It’s coming out the first floor toilet!!! Luckily the water was clear, but it sure made a big mess. Now we’re not sure if there’s a clog or if the septic tank needs to be pumped out. We’ll probably do both. The Plumber will come this afternoon, and it seems that every time he comes it’s 1000.00!!! Yikes. Hope it’s an easy fix. Sigh.

how to use up all that pumpkin? pumpkin pecan rolls
October 24, 2010, 3:22 pm
Filed under: dessert, gardening, pasta, pumpkin, recipe

We’ve got three Musque de Provence pumpkins size large sitting in the house. They’re begging to be used.

Alas, we’ve still got aways to go with this pumpkin usage situation. I’ve got a freezer full of pie pumpkin, butternut squash. And two big butternut squash sitting next to these musque de provence ones. Maybe we overdid a bit?

I’ve got some extra puree from this morning but we’re still hardly putting a dent in this bad boy!

a lot of pumpkin!

Last night we had pumpkin and goat cheese penne. Easy recipe.

To serve two.

Roast a cup or two of pumpkin cubes with olive oil and sage (about 2 tsp fresh), and 1/4 cup of red onion diced.
Cook up enough penne for two people.
Mix together and add in some goat cheese (about 1/2 cup). Season with salt and pepper.

Keeping with the pumpkin theme today I made some pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

one of two pans of goodness!

I roasted another big chunk of a big pumpkin–450 for about 30 mins. depending on size of chunks. Just roast it peeled, plain, and then, when soft take it out and throw it into the food processor. Whirl until smooth. You’ll need almost two cups for this recipe (15 oz).

This recipe was for no knead rolls. I mixed these in the stand mixer. They were good.

Pumpkin Pecan Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes 16-18 rolls

For the dough:

1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans – toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

(i’d half this glaze recipe next time–it made an insane amount of glaze!)

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a stand mixer and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin and the sugar. My pumpkin was still hot from the oven at this point, so I made sure it was cool enough to not kill the yeast.  Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, mix until all the flour has been absorbed. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flour. If you’re using fresh pumpkin it’ll be pretty moist and I needed to add an extra 3/4 cup of flour to make it at least resemble a dough. The dough doesn’t need to come away from the sides of the mixer. It should just be stringy on the dough hook.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls. I made the mistake of trying to punch it down, and it was still so wet. Sigh. But it was ok.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands. The dough was so light and wonderful. Sticky yes, but soft, you could tell it was good!

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top. The spices are sort of like a paste. It’s hard to spread them evenly on the dough, but all is good.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9×13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

cauliflower salad, yes really
October 19, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: beans, cauliflower, dahlias, recipe, salad | Tags: ,

I wanted to make something with cauliflower and something different. We love the roasted cauliflower, indian style with potatoes, and we love the mashed cauliflower with boursin (bad rachel ray, bad!).

But I needed something, I don’t know, salady. We were going to have some boiled fingerlings just dug. What goes with that? Ta da.. Cauliflower salad! Of course. The surprising thing was that it was actually pretty good. And fits the bill for vegetable + protein. A nice crunchy winter salad.

cauliflower salad and dahlias

Inspired by this recipe.
Feta Cauliflower and White Bean Salad
I head cauliflower diced small
1 15 oz can white beans rinsed and drained
2 stems of celery chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup parsley chopped
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp lemon peel grated
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan heat up oil and rosemary until you can smell the rosemary. Set aside to cool. Pour over cauliflower and the rest of stuff in a large salad bowl. Mix up lemon juice vinegar and lemon peel in a small bowl. Pour over top and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Our other “white” salad is Dama Bianca.

my sweet little knuckles
October 18, 2010, 11:16 am
Filed under: chickens, knuckles | Tags: , ,

One of the sweetest chickens is Knuckles. Here she is in her fall 2010 photo shoot. She’s the least molty looking of all of the chickens. She look good!


thinking deep thoughts

she's so cute!

The Knuckles personality: She’s very inquisitive about the potential for snacks. She’ll be the first to jump on the lap to check it out. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, never see her attacking anyone. She jumped into the goat pen once. And got completely freaked out by the experience. The goats had her running up and down poor thing. She’s a bit wary still of coming out to the fenced garden because of that I think.

spicy red lentil soup
October 14, 2010, 12:04 pm
Filed under: carrots, recipe, red lentil, soup | Tags: , , ,

We’re now into the gloomy fall part out here. Some pretty cold mornings heating up to about 60 in the afternoon.

view of field fall 2010

Time for some soup!

I’ve made this one at least twice and it’s good! We like the red lentils around here.

Spicy red lentil soup inspired by Daily Mail version.



½tsp chilli flakes
2tsp cumin seeds
Dry roast in a frying pan until fragrant.

2tbsp olive oil
1 lb carrots, washed and chopped
1 cup butternut squash cubed (I have cubed squash in the freezer–so easy!) If you don’t have squash use more carrots, or that leftover bit of canned pumpkin you have around would be good too.
1 celery stick, finely sliced
3/4 cup split red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
7 oz coconut milk (1/2 14 oz can)

To serve–plain yogurt dollops
Small handful of coriander leaves

Dry fry those seeds. Set aside. In medium saucepan add oil and saute carrots and celery.

Add the oil to the pan and, once it is hot, stir in the carrots and celery. Stir around for a couple of minutes, and then add the lentils, stock and coconut milk. Simmer about 15 minutes covered until lentils are cooked. Add in those toasted spices. Process with a stick blender. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon into bowls, add a spoon of yoghurt on top, add a few coriander leaves if you have them. I didn’t this time. Still good!