Saturday, December 31, 2005

Weekend Cat Blogging #30


How To Stay Warm If You're Not A Super Fluff

The boys love their new wool bed in The Cat Cabin--even if it is bright pink. (What was I thinking?) That's extra wool piled up behind them.

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #30!
See fun feline photos & discover yummy new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & her crazy cat Kiri at
Eat Stuff in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties. And for more pussycat pics, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/31/05


Final Sunrise Of The Year

Thank you all for the incredible outpouring of comforting words and thoughts and stories and prayers and hugs you have sent me during the past week. Your kindness and caring mean more to me than I can even begin to say. Welcome to the dozens of readers who left comments for the first time. I am so touched. And I can't wait to share 2006 with all of you.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/26/05


This is my 200th Daily Farm Photo


In Loving Memory Of My Brother Derek
1970-2005


Alcoholism is real. And it kills.
And sometimes there is nothing we can do.

On December 24th, my only sibling drank himself to death.

His all time favorite movie was "The Jungle Book."

For years he had a Cheez-It loving cockatiel named Buddy
that he found nuzzling his ankle while sitting in the stands
at the county fair horse races.

He lived with four cats in a one bedroom condo.

He was in absolute awe last year when he saw me mix Miracle
Whip and Heinz Chili Sauce and make Thousand Island dressing.

He wanted to be a veterinary assistant.

He dreamed of creating an animal sanctuary.

He had a genius level IQ.

He was 35 years old.


When was the last time you said, "I love you?"


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Greetings from the Farm


If Santa drove a tractor. . .

© FarmgirlFare.com

Weekend Cat Blogging #29


Now There's A Switch--Usually The Cat Watches The Birds

Yes, those are Joe's (now infamous) 'thrifty' egg layers keeping an eye on Patchy Cat. And yes, they laid two more eggs yesterday. Two. That makes five in less than a week (after months of nothing--which is what my two chickens are still laying). Oh, the humiliation. Oh, the fabulous Christmas breakfast Joe has planned for himself and those eggs. But that's okay. I'm having scones (made with eggs I had to buy).

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #29!
Visit my pal Clare & her beloved cat Kiri at
Eat Stuff in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties--and to see why this is Clare's very best Christmas ever.

Daily Farm Photo 12/24/05: Right Here, Santa


It's about 100 years old but it should work just fine.

© FarmgirlFare.com

Friday, December 23, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/23/05


Just When I'd Given Up Hope

No, this egg was not laid by either of everyone's favorite hens,
Lindy & Whitey. It (and two others) were laid this week by Joe's 'thrifty' chickens (much to my embarrassment). My chickens are apparently too busy hacking into my computer and generally wreaking havoc. Oh, and they create original artwork, too. Who has time to lay an egg?

Speaking of hope and time, this is the last day to order from the
Menu For Hope. In only 10 days, food bloggers around the world have raised nearly $14,000 for the victims of the devastating Kashmir earthquake. There are over 65 amazing prizes up for grabs for just a $5 donation--including the honorary ownership of next spring's firstborn ewe lamb on my farm. So what are you waiting for? Click here to donate. And thank you all for your wonderful generosity.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Recipe: Christmas Cranberry Scones with Dried Cranberries and a Touch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg

These easy to make scones are perfect for the holidays but tasty any time of year.

Despite the sad profusion of truly mediocre scones out there, you have no reason to be scared of them. With a light touch and the right recipe, anyone can produce a pile of perfect scones in about 40 minutes. Really. Update: Click here to read rave reviews of this scrumptious recipe from several first time scone bakers!

I once spent an afternoon demonstrating how to make these scones during a holiday open house at a kitchenware store. Talk about a fun job. People who didn't even know what a scone was would wander over, take a tentative nibble of a warm sample, let out a little moan of delight, devour the rest of their scone while watching in fascinated disbelief as I mixed up another batch in minutes, then snatch up a copy of the recipe and scurry home to make scones of their own.

This happened over and over. It was wonderful.

Beautifully golden brown and dotted with jewel-like cranberries, these cute little scones are sure to brighten any holiday table. They're buttery and crumbly and rich, moist on the inside, with a satisfying light crunch on the outside. They are, in a word, scrumptious. They are also very easy to make.

You can whip up a batch of warm scones for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea in no time, much to the delight of your starving friends and loved ones. Or you can make them when you have a few spare minutes and freeze them for later. Defrost them at room temperature and heat at 375° for about 5 to 8 minutes (I put them in my little
toaster/convection oven, which I've been using every day for years).

I plan to pull a few of these out of the freezer and treat myself to warm scones and a large cup of café au lait on Christmas morning—that is if I have any left by then.

With such a simple recipe, top quality ingredients are particularly important. Fresh baking powder is essential. I always have good results with Rumford brand, which is aluminum free. Organic ingredients, especially butter, milk, and flour, are easy to find these days and really do make a difference. Even organic sugar is becoming mainstream.

The optional egg glaze gives the scones a beautiful shine and dark golden color. Look for locally produced eggs at your farmers' market or natural foods store, or search on
Local Harvest for a farmer near you. You won't believe the difference compared to commercial eggs. The yolks are sometimes so dark they're a gorgeous deep orange like these, and the eggs actually taste like eggs!



If you've never grated your own fresh nutmeg, now is your chance. It took me years to get around to trying this, and I will never use pre-ground again. It tastes amazing, plus you get to use a cute little nutmeg grater. The scent alone as you're grating is worth the tiny bit of extra effort, and whole nutmeg will stay fresh for years.

I highly recommend investing in a couple of heavy duty commercial baking sheets like these. At about $14 each, they're one of the best kitchen deals around. I've been using some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking rolls to roasting brussels sprouts, not to mention perfectly baking thousands of cookies. I line them with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff. I reuse each piece several times before discarding it.

To round out your easy scone repertoire, I suggest my popular Savory Cheese & Scallion Scones with Feta, which are made with cream cheese instead of butter. Add them to your holiday bread basket, serve them for breakfast or high tea, or split and toast them to make satisfying little leftover turkey or ham sandwiches. Enjoy!



Farmgirl Susan's Christmas Cranberry Scones
Makes 12 small scones

**Click here to print this recipe**

2¼ to 2½ cups organic all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
(make sure it's fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
 (or 1 teaspoon pre-ground)

1/2 cup (4 ounces/1 stick) organic butter, chilled & cut into small pieces
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (craisins)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 egg
2 Tablespoons yogurt + milk to make 3/4 cup
(or 3/4 cup buttermilk)

Optional Egg Glaze:
Beat well with a fork:
1 egg & 2 Tablespoons milk
Coarse sugar for sprinkling on top


Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine 2¼ cups of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Using a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbles. Add cranberries and pecans (if using) and toss gently until combined.

Use a fork to beat the yogurt/milk mixture with the egg, then gently fold into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly just until blended. Add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky.



On a floured surface, divide the dough in half and gently pat each half into a circle 5 or 6 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife (I use a large serrated knife dipped in flour), cut each circle into 6 wedges and place on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper.



Brush the tops and sides of the scones with egg glaze if desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze.


Can't survive on scones alone? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the proud to be a sconehead foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/22/05


Hello, Dahling

Have you ordered from the Menu For Hope yet? Last call is tomorrow night, and
several delicious items do not even have bidders yet. You can help the victims of the devastating earthquake in Northern India & Pakistan for just a $5.00 donation--and possibly win one of more than 65 fabulous food prizes donated by food bloggers around the world.

We've raised nearly $12,000 and would love to hit the $15,000 mark. Click
here to see the entire menu in pictures. Click here to read more about the Menu For Hope II Campaign & my little woolly prize that could be yours. By the way, Menu For Hope virtual raffle tickets make perfect last minute holiday gifts! Thank you all for your amazing generosity.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/21/05


Happy First Day Of Winter

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the whited out foodie farm blog where a little snowstorm can't keep stock dog Lucky Buddy Bear from doing his work—or keeping me company everywhere I go around the farm.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/20/05


Farewell To Fall (My Favorite Season In Missouri)

Click
here to see the Daily Farm Photo from the first day of fall.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/19/05


New Cat Isn't The Only One Fluffing Up For Winter

Don't you just want to rub that soft white underbelly? Click
here to see Donkey Doodle Dandy's sleek September look.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Weekend Cat Blogging: The Camera Never Lies


See The Glint Of Trouble In The Doodle Monster's Eyes?

© FarmgirlFare.com, the buff colored foodie farm blog where little kitties like to hide in big boxes.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/18/05


Do You Think She's Been Stolen?

No, I haven't been stolen. Just busy. You know how dogs are. They don't see you for a few hours and think you've been missing for days.

I am, however, supposed to be baking stollen--and so are you. That's right. My pal Clare at
Eat Stuff (note the new address!) in Australia has issued a worldwide baking challenge. She is daring everyone to try their hand at making this delicious (and easy) classic German Christmas cake. Then write about it and send Clare your permalink so she can include it in the roundup. If you're not a blogger, make your stollen anyway, and let us know how it came out.

Click
here for Clare's recipe (scroll down)--or use a recipe of your choice. Click here to see a photo of the gorgeous stollen Baking Soda in Holland made with her Dutch recipe. Since this one was gobbled up in only two days, she's going to make another one and write about it in English this time, so be sure to check back in at Bake My Day.

This traditional Christmas recipe tastes better if it has been "aged" for a while, so, as Clare put it, "Go on, get baking. What are you waiting for?" As for me, after Kitchenmage's speculation that I've been busy baking something chocolate, and then receiving an incredible sounding recipe for double chocolate cookies this morning from Heather, I may take these as signs and buck tradition slightly. Chocolate stollen, anyone?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/17/05


She's Not Over There

Friday, December 16, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/16/05


Where Did She Go?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/15/05


The Weathered Look Is Very In Around Here

Did you order from the
Menu For Hope yet? Each $5 donated will support vicitms of the earthquake in Northern India and Pakistan and entitle you to one virtual raffle ticket toward any prize on this dizzying list. One lucky person will win a little lamb to call their very own! Wouldn't you like it to be you?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Daily Farm Photo: 12/14/05


I Don't Know How I Survived The Baking Season Without These Racks

I snapped up this handy set of three tiered cooling racks last year for just ten dollars at
Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It's amazing what a difference a small amount of money can make sometimes. Did you know that you can help make a difference in someone's life for as little as five dollars? That's right. And you might even win a fabulous prize at the same time.
Just look over the incredible Menu For Hope that food bloggers from around the world have put together, choose whatever strikes your fancy, and then head to First Giving to make your donation. Each $5 donated entitles you to one virtual raffle ticket toward the prize of your choice. Please be sure to specify in the donation comment section which prize(s) you would like.
In just two days we have already raised over $4,000 to help support vicitms of the earthquake in Northern India and Pakistan. A little bit at a time quickly adds up to a very substantial sum. Please click here to read more about our Menu For Hope II Campaign and the little woolly prize I am donating to this very worthy cause. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Biscotti Cookies For Beginners

Easy Chocolate Biscotti Recipe - perfect for holiday gift giving! — FarmgirlFare.com
Perfect for gift giving, homemade biscotti is easier to make than you think.

Update: Every year in early December this becomes one of the most popular recipes on Farmgirl Fare. Click here for a sampling of rave reviews and signature touches from Farmgirl Fare readers.

I used to be intimidated by biscotti. It always looked so elegant and so unavailable to the humble home baker. How did each piece come out looking that perfect? The entire process of making biscotti was mystifying.

But when I finally worked up the courage to make some, I discovered the most wonderful thing: there is no mystery to biscotti. It's easy to make, even on your first try. All it takes is a little time and the right recipe.

Traditional Italian biscotti is not my kind of cookie. It doesn't contain butter, it's flavored with anise, and it's break-your-teeth hard because it's meant to be dunked in coffee before biting into it. My recipe, on the other hand, turns tradition on its ear. It calls for butter, produces a cookie with a nice crunch that stands up to dunking but also tastes fine on its own, and is chocolate. I love it.

This dough is extremely easy to work with because it bypasses the one aspect of biscotti making that can cause difficulty, and that is all the "stuff" that's often mixed in: nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chunks, and so forth.

Those tasty and attractive looking add-ins make it harder to shape the logs, and even harder to cut the biscotti into nice, even, perfect looking slices. You can, of course, stir in whatever extras you like. Just remember that I warned you.

Another thing that makes this biscotti recipe an excellent choice for beginners is the fact that the dough is dark because of the chocolate, so no one will be able to tell if you overbaked your biscotti or if all of the pieces aren't the same lovely shade of golden brown.

The only other thing you need to know about biscotti is that it is, by definition, a twice baked cookie, so it does take some time from start to finish. First you form the dough into 'logs' and bake them.







After the baked logs have cooled, you slice them up.



Then you bake the slices, turning them over halfway through the baking time.



I'll admit this part is kind of a hassle, but it's really not too bad. I know that some people prefer to stand the pieces up so they don't have to turn them, but if I tried that, I'm sure they would all collapse like one of those giant domino things while I was moving the baking sheet from the counter to the oven—that is if I could even get them to stand up in the first place. I find it easier to simply flip the slices over.

Because it looks so perfect, and because it stays fresh for many days, homemade biscotti makes for a very nice gift. Package it in little cellophane bags tied with a colorful ribbon (I like the ones from Continental Packaging Company), and people will think you spent a fortune on them at a fancy bakery. Revealing the truth is, of course, up to you.

I highly recommend investing in a couple of heavy duty commercial baking sheets like these. At less than $14 each, they're one of the best kitchen deals around. I've been using some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking scones to roasting brussels sprouts, not to mention baking thousands of cookies. I usually line them with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Organic flours are easy to find, and even organic sugar and organic cocoa powder are becoming mainstream.

Farmgirl Susan's Easy Chocolate Biscotti
Makes about 36 Pieces

**Click here to print this recipe**

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) organic butter
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 2¼ cups organic all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
(make sure it's fresh!)
1 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg white for glaze (optional)


Make it a mochaccino!
Adding 1 Tablespoon of instant espresso powder (I use Medaglia D'Oro) in with the dry ingredients does amazing things to this biscotti.

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter and chocolate together (I put them in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them) and set aside.

2. With an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until lightened, about two minutes.

3. Add the vanilla and chocolate mixture.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt just until combined. You should have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is 3½ inches by 9 inches. Place the logs on a heavy duty baking sheet and brush with egg white if desired. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are set. Update: some readers have said their loaves sliced better when cooked a little less than 25 minutes, so I've changed the directions accordingly.

6. Reduce the oven to 275°. Let the logs cool as long as you can (the cooler they are, the easier to cut), and then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices (I use a large serrated knife and push it through the loaves rather than 'sawing' the slices). Arrange the slices on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the slices over, and bake for another 20 minutes.

7. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container (I love Lock & Lock containers) or freeze.

Still hungry? Try these other Farmgirl Fare treats:

Muffins and Scones
Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year)

Can't live on sweets alone? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.


© FarmgirlFare.com, the chocoholic foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and there can never be too much chocolate.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/13/05


Yo! So I'm not good enough to donate?

You know, you would have raised a lot more money if you'd put
me and Lindy on the menu. Hey! Not that menu. The Menu For Hope. What are you, nuts? I'm practically an icon around here. You don't eat an icon! So did you order yet? No? Why not? If you can't have chicken, you might as well go for the lamb.

P.S. Did you notice how swell I look through the lens of
the servant girl's new camera? Go ahead. Enlarge me. You know you want to.

© Copyright 2007 FarmgirlFare.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Little Lamb To Call Your Own


Hello!

A Menu For Hope II

Do you remember the wildly popular (and absolutely hysterical) Name That Sheep Contest I held back in October? (No? Then read this and then this to find out what you missed.) Do you remember how disappointed you were when you didn't win a sheep? Well, guess what? You have another chance! No, it's not another contest. It's something much better. And it doesn't even involve bashing anybody else's entry. All you have to do is fork over five bucks (that would be dollars, not deer).

Food bloggers from around the world have joined together for the second annual A Menu For Hope Campaign. Last year, a substantial sum was raised to support the victims of the Tsunami in Southeast Asia. This year, we area asking our readers--that would be you--to help us raise funds to support the victims of the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan.

But what fun would it be just to beg you for some dough, even if it is for a great cause? Instead, we've put together a huge list of cool, fun, and personal gifts (like only we could) to entice you to donate. Each of the gifts is being offered as a virtual raffle prize. All you have to do is donate $5 and you will be eligible for the raffle drawing for a gift of your choice.

On our menu this year is everything from a chance to have an afternoon tea with the one and only Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini, to a personalized Napa Valley itinerary created by über-wine blogger Alder of Vinography, to a chance to be in the Amateur Gourmet Adventure video with Adam himself, to three very fancy hampers featuring the true artisanal flavors of the San Francisco Bay Area put together by Sam of Becks and Posh, and many, many more, including several gorgeous cookbooks.

We are once again using the site First Giving to collect the donations. In the interest of transparency, First Giving will do all of the collecting and then forward the funds directly to Unicef, our recipient organization. The fund will be earmarked to support the victims of the Kashmir earthquake.

Recipe to participate:

1.Find the gift(s) you would like on our menu. (Click
here.)

2.Go to
A Menu for Hope II donation page and donate $5 or whatever sum you desire.

3.Be sure to tell us in the comment section of your donation form which gift(s) you would like to win. Each $5 donation will give you one chance at winning the prize of your choice. (Yes, if you donate more than $5, you are allowed to specify more than one prize. Or you can choose to put all of your chances toward the same prize. For example, donate $25 and choose 1 chance at 5 different gifts, or 5 chances for the same gift, or 2 chances for one gift & 3 chances for one gift, or. . .)

4.That's it!

Our campaign will end on December 23rd, and the winners will be announced and the prizes sent to corresponding winners after January 1st 2006. Any shipping charges for prizes are generously being paid for by the donors.

So what did I donate? The 'honorary ownership' of the first ewe lamb born on my farm in 2006! And what does that mean exactly? Well, it's pretty much the same deal as it was for the Name That Sheep Contest. You become the honorary owner of the lamb. You get to name your lamb whatever you want. And, if you so desire, you will receive (via email) periodic news about your lamb, including what she's been up to lately, how her health is doing, and photos as she quickly grows from absolutely adorable bouncing baby to lovely young lady (assuming, of course, that she is willing to pose for them).

Note: Being the winner does not mean that 'your' new sheep gets to come and live with you. No, she stays right here on the farm (and you don't even get to visit her). But, you do get to tell all of your friends that you are the proud owner of a sheep. You simply explain to them that your sheep lives in the country because she is much happier there than she would be in, say, your fifth floor apartment or out on the fire escape or eating up all of the landscaping in your beautiful backyard.

Ding! Ding! Ding! It's the Holiday Gift Idea Bell ringing again! Why not do a little multi-gift-tasking and purchase some virtual raffle tickets for friends, neighbors, the person who walks your cat, or whomever? Just choose the prize you think they'd like the best and let them know that you've not only made a donation to a worthy cause in their name, but that they might even win a nifty gift as well (like a sheep). You can't beat that.

Thanks in advance for your participation. Let's hope we can raise enough money to make a difference--and maybe you'll even win your own little lamb at the same time.

P.S. The spotted darling in the photo is not your lamb. Your lamb hasn't been born yet. Cute, though, huh? Imagine 17 of them racing around here last spring. . .

Daily Farm Photo: 12/12/05


Frolicking On The Farm

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Weekend Dog & Donkey Blogging


Donkey Doodle Dandy Grew Up With A Dozen Hounds



He Absolutely Adores Lucky Buddy Bear

(Robin doesn't get close enough to Dan for him to adore her.)

Daily Farm Photo: 12/11/05


Firewood Getting Low. Ever Cut In The Snow? (I have!)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Weekend Cat Blogging #27


A Little Snowstorm Can't Keep Patchy Cat From Running The Farm

Attention Cat Lovers! It's time for Weekend Cat Blogging #27!
Visit Clare &
her cool cat Kiri at Eat Stuff for links to this week's kitties. Want more? The Friday Ark has dozens of cats & critters.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/10/05


Good Morning, Sheepsies!

Weekend Dog Blogging: Robin Loves Deer Season





Sun, Hay, Fresh Venison. . . What A Life!

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the carnivorous foodie farm blog where Robin has caught her fair share of rabbits and squirrels, but she's never quite managed to take down a deer on her own—in season or not.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cocoa Correction


A Lighter Shade Of Dark

Last week I wrote about a wonderful source for bulk herbs and spices called AmeriHerb. I mentioned that they sell this amazing organic dark cocoa powder for $3.30 a pound. Well, they did. But now they don't. Last night I used up the last little bit of my "old" cocoa powder while making chocolate biscotti. And when I opened one of the bags I recently ordered, I was dumbfounded. The cocoa was a completely different color--and not in a good way. The old stuff was practically black. The new stuff looks like every other cocoa powder I've seen. Bummer.

I emailed AmeriHerb today and was informed that my old cocoa powder was part of "a previous lot. The origin was from Vietnam, and it is no longer available in this country. To get more would triple the price. The cocoa you received is certified organic. Yes, it is not as dark." And true to their word that they guarantee all their products, they added, "If you would would like for us to credit, advise."

Double bummer. This new cocoa looked and smelled fine and was still a great price especially considering it's organic, so I figured there was no reason for a refund. I did mention, however, that they might want to take the "dark" part out of the description since, well, it isn't anymore. And before I went and blindly recommended it to you, I baked another batch of biscotti with some of it this afternoon just to make sure it was good. Two thumbs up!

I apologize about the false advertising. I know some of you were really excited about this special cocoa. The only thing I can say that might make you feel better is that at least you never tasted it. I get to live with its vivid memory tattooed on my tastebuds forever. I also have to decide if I should give away last night's double batch of biscotti for holiday gifts as planned, or be extremely selfish and keep it all for myself. When it comes to chocolate, sometimes I am not the kindhearted and generous person you might take me to be. And when it comes to special Vietnamese cocoa powder I will probably never ever taste again, well. . . as fellow foodies I'm sure you understand.

And while my plan is to share my biscotti recipe in the next day or two, I'm not going to actually come out and say that here. I think the recipes I have promised and not yet posted (but have every intention of doing) is starting to pile up. If I don't watch out, you'll probably start referring to me as Fibbing Farmgirl or The Girl Who Cried Recipe. Gosh, maybe you already do. I hope not. Hmmm. I bet a biscotti or two would keep me from starting to worry.

Daily Farm Photo: 12/9/05


Same Scene, New View: This Was The Seventh Daily Farm Photo



And This Is Six Months Later

Thursday, December 08, 2005

First Snow!













Powdered Sugar Sheep