Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lighted Trees

As the sun settled towards it's western resting place this evening, we went out to feed the goats. The bright orange sun gleamed off the ice collected on the trees. Some of the trees looked like winter fairies had decorated the tops of the trees with little lights. Other trees looked like they had fire in the tops. Mother nature has some beautiful displays.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

First Snowfall

We had the first snowfall of the winter here. Really creates a Christmas mood. The kids had a blast running and playing in it. Then after much rolling, tackling, and snowball throwing, the kids were ready to come and peal off their wet socks and gloves and snow-caked shoes and settled down with hot cups of cocoa. The goats on the other and, were less than thrilled. The chickens didn't poke their heads out of the coop all day and the cats (who are inside/outside cats) are miffed.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love this time of Year

I love this time of year. The house gets a fresh, top to bottom scrubbing, lavish meals are planned, family gathers. It always seem so warm and cozy to me, even when the weather is cold and windy. Okay, so maybe it's not so warm and cozy when your dumping ice out of buckets and what not but you get my meaning. 

This year the house got more than a scrubbing. We repainted the living room walls. They used to be a really dark red and there were gold curtains. Now, its a beautiful, creamy, buttery yellow with white lace curtains that let the light in. Feels so much better in here. I love the light, I love the bigger, nicer feel to the room. 

This time of year, many are planning their Thanksgiving day feast. But what do you do when you are sick to death of turkey and ham but don't still want something light for dinner? The answer is, you make Rolled Chicken. It's a bit of work, but the meal is worth it.

For Rolled Chicken

You chop small and fry in olive oil:

Green peppers (any color of bell pepper you like)
and garlic

season it all with a palm full of parsley, a dash or two of cilantro, salt, pepper, and oregano. (how much of each is determined by your taster)

How much of each is dependent on how many chicken breasts you have, how much you want to put inside the chicken rolls and so on and so forth. Having extra isn't a bad thing.

While that is finishing up frying (you want the carrots tender), place a chicken breast inside a large plastic bag (we use a gallon sized), lay it on the counter, grab your rolling pin, a beat the tar out of it until it's good and flat. Do that with each chicken breast. This is a great stress reliever. 

When they are sufficiently subdued, lay them out on a couple of cookie sheets. Then spread them with spicy mustard. It must be the brown spicy mustard, regular mustard just doesn't cut it.

Then spread the veggie mixture over the chicken breasts.

Then, starting on one end, roll the chicken up and secure them with tooth picks. This we have found is an acquired skill. Don't be discouraged if it takes a bit of trial and error to get the toothpicks to perform as expected.

Then, beat an egg with 1/4 cup of water. Dip the chicken in the egg/water mixture and roll in bread crumbs seasoned with a little salt,pepper, and parsley. Then place in the pan recently vacated by the yummy veggies and brown them. You may need to add a bit more oil.

Then place on a large cooking sheet 

and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.

Remove toothpicks before serving. You can cut the breasts in half (they are pretty large after being pounded out and rolled up with veggies) or you can slice them into medallions. 

Then serve to your family who has been waiting anxiously for the wonderful smelling food.

We serve ours with brussel sprouts fried in bacon grease, creamed peas and pearl onions, and potatoes mashed with butter,sour cream and chives.

My family devours this meal.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Grown Up

You all got to see the baby chickens when they came home and when they were settled in their brooder. You got to see them when they graduated to the big chicken pen. And now, you get to see them all grown up. The hens are now laying and the one rooster we kept has grown into a handsome fellow. We kept him because he has a low voice that he rarely uses, he is easy on his hens and protective of them while being a gentleman with us. He is the reigning (and only) King.

Here is King Amos

 Amos with his hens

The hens, all grown up

Amos, flapping his wings and crowing his superiority 

And as fall comes on, some pics of our two milk does

Beyond Goats Ariel Star, we call her Lil'Miss

Helping my youngest up onto a spool

sticking her tongue out

 Crossroad's End Lady Antebellum. We call her Bella and sometimes Lady A

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Loving the Cool (almost cold) Weather!

Well the cool weather has come swooping in. We didn't make it out of the forties today. Considering we were burning to a crisp just a month ago, I am loving it! It was over cast, the leaves are starting to turn, and the wind was actually cold today. The goats were berserk, dashing around and snorting, dogs were wild with play. Even the chickens seemed to be enjoying it, though they are starting to molt. There are so many feathers flying around the chicken pen, it looks like a hen exploded.

It was perfect weather for Rancher Stew. Love this dish served up with cornbread. 

You take a pound of ground meat (beef is good, goat is better) and fry it up.

Add one quart of tomatoes (you can use store bought if you have to) and enough liquid to equal 4 cups, we use the liquid with the tomatoes as part of the measured liquid. Add one packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, 3 teaspoons of chili powder, a couple of good shakes of Worcestershire Sauce, a sprinkle of dried parsley, and as many chopped carrots, potatoes and celery as you want. 

Bring it too a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let cook until veggies are tender.

Then serve it up. Yum! 

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pretty Colors of Summer in the Kitchen

As the canning of pickles, tomatoes, and green beans continues, I decided to stop for a moment and appreciate the colors of summer in the kitchen as we prepare vegetables for the canner and the freezer.

Sometimes I have to wonder how red, green, and gold became xmas colors when they are so obviously summer colors.

Yes the table was a bit of a mess, but when three children need lunch and you are the middle of preparing vegetables for processing, things aren't always perfectly tidy for an impromptu photo session. 

Spices waiting to be mixed with vinegar so they can get poured over the cumbers and be melded altogether into the most wonderful dill pickles.

More of those holiday colors contained in a bucket of summer

A day's picking. If you look close at the basket you will see a small tomato that should have went to the chickens instead of coming in the house. Even our abundant garden is not perfect and the chickens happily take care of any veggies that are past their prime for what ever reason.

Oat Bucket Farm Website