Sunday, December 07, 2008
2 readymade pie crusts from the store (don't be ridiculous, it is much better to buy pie crust than make it these days)
4 eggs from your neighbor's chickens (don't use nasty store-bought eggs)
29 oz pumpkin, fresh or canned (Trader Joe's has a nice organic pumpkin filling if you don't have a fresh pumpkin handy)
1 cup sugar
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1/2 cup chevre (make it from your Nigerian milk. If you don't have any Nigerians, stop reading this.)
1/2 cup goat milk caramel cajeta. (You can use LaMancha, Nubian, or mini milk to make the caramel if you are out of Nigerian milk.)
This is a double pie. Take both of your crusts and press them into an 11x14 rectangular baking dish. You will have a little extra crust, so fancy up the rim to make it look like you labored for hours over a handmade crust. Maybe you could make a sort of a rolled rope, or do one of those things where you make little hummingbird footprints all around the edge with a fork. Do something artistic.
Beat all the remaining ingredients together. Don't leave out the ginger. Add filling to your square pie and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes longer or until a knife comes out clean.
Okay then while the pie is cooling take a pint of cream, 1/3 cup sugar, and a tablespoon of nice rum (don't use nasty rum). Whip up some whipped cream. Use this for your topping.
Serve your pie and accept the admiration of your guests. When they ask you where you got the recipe, say, "from Baby Belle, of course."
Saturday, December 06, 2008
She did in fact accomplish her goal, mostly by mewing like a kitten and shivering weakly. That was after the leg was good and broken. When she actually broke it she ran around screaming on three legs until she saw the farmer and then she ran on a beeline to the farmer and collapsed in the farmer's arms in a limp little heap, just about sobbing. It was like a scene from "Gone With The Wind."
Fine if you like melodrama. A little much for my taste.
Anyway, Winnie Jr., got a cast on her leg and an inordinate amount of attention. Unfortunately all the coddling gave her a taste for the limelight, and she has been a pest ever since. So when the farmer came around the other day and asked if anyone wanted to go hiking, Winnie, Jr. went into her usual "pick me, pick me" gyrations.
She was selected to go on the hike, big surprise. Tangy was also selected, because she likes to follow Winnie, Jr. around. And Binky was selected because she accidentally walked out the door when it opened. She is part Nubian. The wrong part, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, off they went to Longbranch to hike at Surprise Ranch. They went over meadow and dale, through the little forest and up the hill, eating what they found - sword fern, blackberry, huckleberry, salal, hardhack, grass, leaves.
Winnie Jr. led the doelings, looking neither to right nor left and not questioning any of the farmer's navigational decisions, even when they all got tangled in barbed wire. Even when they stumbled across the bones of a large (deer?) recently eaten creature. Even knowing as everybody around here knows that the woods in Longbranch are full of bear and hybrid half-wolf coyotes, bold as brass and big as German Shepherds.
Even knowing that, Winnie Jr. soldiered on, calm as a cucumber. She didn't bat an eye, even when Binky fell in the creek and started shrieking. Winnie Jr. just stopped and started eating hardhack while she waited for Binky to realize that the creek was only six inches deep and she wasn't drowning.
Then Winnie Jr. soldiered on again and at the end of the hike, or so she says, she was named Captain of the Hiking Team.
In other news, finally finally finally Peaches' triplets got to go to their new home. They had been delayed by all kinds of things, including the pox quarantine, and their new family had been waiting for them literally for months.
Anyway, when they arrived at their new home they found a special, very pretty little barn built just for them, and a welcome sign hanging on it with their three names written by the two boys who live there. And now we just got a message that the little boy - he is almost eight - sets his alarm clock every morning so he can get up early and go out to the barn to read to the goats.
They chew on his coat and lick the book while he is reading.
That sounds like a pretty good deal.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Down from the Mountain
An Idaho goat was recently apprehended in connection with an alleged break-in. "I was just looking for Boo," explains Mr. Snowy. "She promised to go out with me."
Baby Goat Born in A Manger
Again. No Kidding.
Goats Photoshopped Into the Army
"But I'm a pacifist," protests Private Billy.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
The farmer was trying to do some chores and couldn't stand to listen to it any more even though Boo wasn't supposed to be bred until next month. "Fine," the farmer said and put Boo in with her boyfriend.
One day passed. Boo woke up in alarm. How did I get here? She said to herself.
She was trapped in a pen with a large smelly creature almost entirely lacking in the social graces not to mention rather a pig like herself and not one she could simply steamroller out of the way as she was accustomed to doing in her previous home when the hay-and-grain trolley came through.
She bellowed non-stop.
The farmer didn't care, because the pen was far enough away that the bellowing had almost a romantic sound, like a little ship lost at sea in a deep fog. "How quaint," thought the farmer.
And as an added plus, Boo's boyfriend had completely given up trying to find ways out of his pen since he now had a live-in girlfriend and a very fine lady at that even though she had recently taken to running from him with a surprising amount of vigor for a Nubian. This of course only made him like her better.
"You made your bed," the farmer said to Boo.
"Wha-a-a-a-a-a-a-at???" bellowed Boo.
"And now you must lie in it."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Let me just state for the record, if there is one, that I have no objection to dogs in general. As a species, they are fine. Atticus for example is a good dog. He protects us. Just last week he bit an Intruder Dog on the hiney when it thought it would dig its way under the fence into our pasture.
My favorite part was that the hapless I.D. hardly knew what hit it. All it saw was a big white blur and then it started yelping and scratching until it wiggled its way back out, bursting its buttons in its hurry to leave.
"And don't come back," I yelled after it. Sucker.
Wendell on the other hand is a pest, that's why we call him Wendell the Pest. And Atticus doesn't do anything about him, either, just let's him run around yipping and nibbling people's heels while he pretends to be a border collie.
For a while I would yell and try to summon Atticus with theatrical performances but he could tell that Wendell wasn't really hurting anyone, so he just lifted one eyebrow and then went back to sleep.
So I have made the decision to rise above Wendell, and so has the rest of my family. We simply ignore him, or sometimes we say, "You are an absurd individual," or clever and cutting remarks like that, which of course he doesn't understand.
Penrose and Winnie cannot rise above him, and they often get very blue in the face trying to t-bone him as he circles gaily around them like a little mosquito.
My point is that dogs can be a pain, and I don't think anyone would deny this, and that is why I was surprised to learn that the new President is planning to get a dog for his daughters.
This is ridiculous. There have already been way too many dogs in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln and all the sophisticated presidents have had goats at the White House. I submit to you this photo of the resident goat, "His Whiskers," from the Harrison White House.
President Lincoln would spend hours watching his goats frolic on the lawn. President Harrison was famous for chasing His Whiskers down Pennsylvania Avenue one day when His Whiskers thought he would venture out for a stroll. His Whiskers is said to have been the inspiration for the "Billy Whiskers" books, one of the most popular children's series ever written.
I think it's about time we returned to our rightful place as First Pets. Little Tad Lincoln even let his goats sleep on the bed. Beds are quite comfy, I know that from my own early experience as a house goat.
Anyway, I think "Change We Can Believe In" should mean "GOATS IN THE WHITE HOUSE."
I plan to do something about it. But what?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
That is correct, 13.77%. Nice try, Xie Xie.
This Just In: The Rain Stopped Falling. Large Round Ball Sighted Briefly in Sky.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The farmer made three different batches of cheese, from three different batches of milk, on three different days. Everything looked nice. The cheeses were aged for a while. The farmer went to taste the cheeses. On the outside, fine. On the inside, a surprise. Eyes. More eyes than an elderly potato.
The farmer tasted the cheeses. They all tasted nice, but they all tasted like swiss cheese. Because they were. Because propionic acid bacteria, the culture that gives swiss cheese its eyes and some of its characteristic flavor, had apparently somehow invaded them. That's right, p. shermanii, aka Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii.
Well, how did that happen? We don't have any p. shermanii here since we don't make swiss cheese, since you can't sell swiss cheese at the Farmer's Market, that would be like trying to sell organic Velveeta. A posse of angry epicureans would be on your tail in a heartbeat. They would put on their Neal's Yard Dairy t-shirts and their Herve Mons baseball caps and run you right out of town.
The farmer went to a dark secret corner of the Internet where the cheesebrains (different from cheeseheads) lurk and on bended knee asked the oracles what might be causing the p. shermanii invasion.
First there was silence on the other end, then hypotheses started coming in. It turns out that this is the time of year that the wild propionics begin to emerge, as the animals move onto their winter feed. Some feeds make a better home for the wild propionics, and it turns out that pea hay is much more hospitable to p. shermanii than alfalfa.
Usually we eat alfalfa, but this year we're eating pea hay. It's delicious, I can see why the wild props like to live in it.
Anyway, that seemed to solve the mystery, but not the problem.
The farmer was talking to another much better and smarter cheesemaker and bemoaning the accidental swiss cheese. Who wants to buy farmstead swiss cheese? Swiss cheese comes in sandwich slices in a plastic bag, swinging from the supermarket hooks.
The smart cheesemaker tut-tutted kindly. "Don't be silly. People love swiss cheese. You just can't call it swiss cheese. You have to call it Gruyere."
Ah, of course, Gruyere.
Or as they say at Microsoft - that's not a bug, that's a feature.