Saturday, September 30, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/30/06


Seeing Double
(Tana & her 1-1/2 year old daughter BB are still joined at the hip.)

A year of Daily Photos ago:
I Hope Everyone Is Getting Along

Also on this day last year:

The Announcement Of The (Now Infamous) Name That Sheep Contest! If you missed the hysterical excitement and could use a good giggle, click here to read the original contest announcement post, then click here to read "At Last We Have A Winner!" It was almost too much fun. Just thinking about the contest still makes me laugh out loud.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/29/06


Perfect Landing

A year of Daily Photos ago: Heart Of Vine

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/28/06


Our New Ram Is Showing Some Style

A year of Daily Photos ago:
It's Starting

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Garden Gate Is Wide Open. . .
And You're Invited In For A Visit!


From The Garden To The Salad Bowl

Did you know I have a kitchen garden blog?
In My Kitchen Garden
sprouted up last March as a companion to Farmgirl Fare. And it's not just for gardeners, but for anyone who enjoys lighthearted, friendly writing and fresh, delicious food. This week I posted my recipe for Fresh Pizza Sauce. And in the sidebar over there you'll find links to more of my Less Fuss, More Flavor kitchen garden recipes.

You can also read about the care and eating of some of my favorite heirloom vegetables, including Aconcagua Sweet Peppers and Nero di Toscana Cabbage. Or discover what to do with fresh mint or lemon thyme. (Mint facial toner, anyone?) Learn more than you ever dreamed you wanted to know about garlic, and find out why I just plunked down a whopping $77 for a mere five pounds of the stuff.

I'll introduce you to tasty sites like Kitchen Gardeners International, and pass along such Culinary Newsbites as where to find the end all collection of asparagus recipes and how to download a free copy of All About Apples, a scrumptious new book from Scott Carsberg of Lampreia Restaurant in Seattle.

And that's not all. You can read about my latest loves--including everything from spring green garlic to sunblock--and even learn how to make it rain.

Who knows? You just might be inspired to grow a little something yourself. Personal chef Vickie at The Moveable Feast tore up half her backyard last spring in order to plant edibles--and says I'm completely to blame.) But you can start on a much smaller scale. Did you know that even apartment dwellers can go from seed to salad bowl in less than a month? It's true. Click here to learn how.

Of course you'll also find plenty of pretty pictures, along with the obligatory cute critter shots. Well, what are you waiting for? The garden gate is always open, so grab your appetite and come have a look! I'll meet you in there.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
My Sweet Teddy Boy Is Growing Up and Autumn Bloom

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/26/06


Lady Llama

No, she isn't still nameless. Yes, I think we chose a lovely name. No, I haven't announced it yet. Yes, I have an excuse. Well of course I'll tell you what her name is. When? I'm sure you know the answer to that--soon! (And I hope to reply to your comments on Sunday's "The Ears Tell The Story" photo very soon.)

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Well Seasoned

Monday, September 25, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/25/06


Morning Sun Having Fun

A year of Daily Photos ago:
I Can't Resist These Pink Sunrises

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/24/06


The Ears Tell The Story

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Look What Flew Into My Photo
(What a neat coincidence. I was thinking about this very caption last night as I was writing about the dragonflies landing on my photos. I had no idea until just now that I would be mentioning it today.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Last Night Of Summer Spectacular Show



As I headed down to the barn to round up the sheep last night, I was sidetracked by this sky. There was no escaping it. Standing perfectly still in bedazzled, wide-eyed wonderment was mandatory.



Obviously summer was not going down without one last breathtaking display, and I inhaled it as deeply as I could.



As an added attraction, there was a special reappearance of the dragonflies, who I hadn't seen in such profusion in weeks, and who I'd been wanting to write about since the opening of Dragonfly Days back at the start of summer. This is one of my favorite happenings on the farm. Hundreds of them appear at a time. But some things are so magical they cannot begin to be accurately described in words. Nor can they be photographed.



The entire show lasted only a few moments, and then the sky went back to being just the sky.

But when I returned to the house after finally tucking in and counting all the sheep, I discovered that something surprisingly special had occurred. The dragonflies had landed on my photos.

Of course these little specks cannot in any way compare to the real things. But they are there. Captured by my camera. I can see them flitting about. And I am reminded of how very real and wonderful they are.

Until next year. Farewell, dragonflies. Farewell, summer
.

Daily Farm Photo: 9/23/06


Autumn Is Here

Check back later for photos of the spectacular Farewell Summer Show the skies put on for me last night while I was tucking in the sheep.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Swing Shot

Friday, September 22, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging #68


Patchy Cat Was Jealous Of New Cat's Portrait

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #68!
Chef Sarah Jane has all the links to this week's kitties. Plus lots more cat pics at the traveling Carnival Of The Cats and the weekly Friday Ark.

Daily Farm Photo: 9/22/06


Morning Calm Before The Storm That's Rumbling Overhead

A year of Daily Photos ago: Happy First Day Of Fall

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/21/06


Clip Clop Swish, Clip Clop Swish

After finishing his special treat each morning, Dan heads off toward the front field in search of the flock. There is something about watching him quietly moseying down the road at his unhurried donkey pace, tail swishing back and forth, that I always find so endearing. This is one of my favorite moments of the day.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Donkey Doodle Dandy Loves To Hang Out In Corners

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/20/06


Heart Rocks, Morning Sun

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Green, Green, Green--But Not For Much Longer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/19/06


Cary About To Kiss Our New Ram




Oops, I Was Wrong--She's Just Stealing His Food

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Morning Moonset

Monday, September 18, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/18/06


Wild Mushroom--Or Miniature Alien Spaceship Crash Site?

A year of Daily Photos ago:
This Is My 100th Daily Farm Photo

Wow. Time sure has flown by. It's hard to believe the 500th Daily Farm Photo will be here next month. Never in my life did I imagine I would ever be taking this many pictures. It has been so wonderful to capture all of these priceless moments on the farm. And I am just thrilled to be creating a visual record of my life here. I love looking back at what was going on a year ago, a month ago, even a week ago. Last year these amazing sunflowers (which are the subject of both the 100th & 200th daily photos) popped up in a pen across from the barn, and I couldn't get enough of them. They never appeared during the five previous summers I've lived here, and they didn't come up this year. But now I can dive into their mesmerizing beauty whenever I want. If you'd like to see the 200th, 300th, & 400th Daily Farm Photos, click here and here and here.

And for those of you who have asked me what kind of camera I use, look over in the sidebar under the "About Me" paragraph, or click here (where you'll also get a sneak preview of the new Farmgirl Fare Favorites Amazon Store I created but haven't officially announced yet).

P.S. I just looked up the word "moment" in my thesaurus, and one of the phrases it listed was "two shakes of a lamb's tail." How perfectly fitting.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/17/06

Hot Dog vs. Parched Pussycat










































Finally.

Attention Cat & Dog Lovers! This is WCB #67 & WDB #52!
Head over to CatSynth.com for the cat roundup and Sweetnicks for the dog roundup. For more fun cat photos, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats & dogs to squirrels & frogs. Allergic to fur? Weekend Herb Blogging is for you.


Wonderful Wild Animal Sanctuary Update!
(Click here if you missed my original post about the big cats and other exotic animals who need our help). The Wild Animal Sanctuary has received so many donations & promises of donations that they are able to keep operating for now. Click here to read the latest closing update on their website. Many, many thanks to all of you generously made donations and wrote about the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Note: they are now accepting donations from anywhere in the world via PayPal. Please keep spreading the word! IT REALLY IS WORKING!

A year of Daily Photos ago:
J2 & New Cat Survey The Day From The Cat Cabin

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/16/06


The Farm Is My Canvas

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Trying To Reach The Dog's Water Dish

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/14/06


Is Something Nibbling At Your Heart?

A year of Daily Photos ago:
I'm Alive, But The Phone Is Dead

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daily Farm Photo 9/13/06: Nose to Nose


Did I mention that Dan adores Cary?
A year of Daily Photos ago:
You Can't Fence Out A Sunrise

© FarmgirlFare.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/12/06


A Peach Of A Sunrise

A year of Daily Photos ago:
One Hot & Happy Beagle

I'm hoping to get caught up on questions, comments, and & emails later this week!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just Peachy Blueberry Breakfast Bars Recipe with Oat Crust and Streusel Topping


You can't go wrong with peaches and blueberries (recipe here)

Me: If I don't write about these Peachy Blueberry Bars soon, peaches are going to be out of season and nobody will be able to make them.

Joe: Yep.

Me: I mean, we decided we like this version best, right?

Joe: Right.

Me: And it's okay that the peaches make the topping a little mushy because the bars still look okay—especially the first day you bake them—and we decided I definitely should share this variation because they're really, really good, right?

Joe: Right.

Me: And I have a photo ready and everything.

Joe: So what's the hold up?

Me: I have no idea.

You wouldn't believe how many seasonal recipes I haven't gotten around to sharing in time—not to mention the backlog of recipes in general that I've been meaning to write about. (I know, I know, Oatmeal Toasting Bread. One of these days, I swear. Feel free to pester me—it can't hurt. Hey, it worked! The Oatmeal Toasting Bread Recipe is up!)

Anyway, before I talk about this new version of the Blueberry Breakfast Bars I wrote about back in June, I want to thank all of you who made them and then took the time to let me know how much you enjoyed them.

Now being the inventive bunch of bakers that you are, I'm certainly not the first person to take creative liberties with the original recipe. Julie said "I am overcome with blackberries, so I substituted. It was wonderful. Husband ate it in a bowl with milk on it. Daughter loved them warm out of the oven last night." (I had really hoped to try this, but our wild blackberries were dismal this year.)

Cyndi tossed in some frozen cranberries she had laying around and declared the result to be "sooo good." And Jade, who took my tongue-in-cheek "breakfast" part of the name seriously but couldn't quite allow herself to eat them for breakfast, came up with a healthier, guilt-free version. If you made my Blueberry Breakfast Bars and added a successfully unique twist, I'd love to hear about it.

So what did I do? I realized that not only was I seeing recipes combining blueberries and peaches everywhere I turned, but that I actually had blueberries and peaches in the house at the same time—and that they would probably taste really good together in these bars. And they did.

Now for the obsessive details.

My original recipe calls for 3½ cups of blueberries. If you use 2 cups of peaches and 1½ cups of blueberries instead, you will end up with a perfectly tasty bar with perfectly unmushy streusel topping.

When I spread out the fruit over the crust while making them, though, it didn't look like there was enough. Not wanting to add another variable into the mix (this has to be a first for me), I held fast and didn't add more fruit like I really wanted to.

Then when I tasted one, I still didn't think it had enough fruit. So I went overboard, and that's when the chunks of peaches started making the topping mushy.

To make a long, experimental story short, I found a happy medium.

Two cups of smallish peach chunks and 3 cups of blueberries, along with a slightly longer baking time, will give you nice, fruity bars that will look fine for the first half a day or so after you bake them, slightly mushy where the peaches are if you leave them overnight on the counter, barely mushy (even after four days) if you store them in the fridge, and not mushy at all if you wrap them up and freeze them right after they've cooled (though I can't promise what will happen once they're defrosted, as we haven't gotten around to eating those yet).

All of the bars look completely fine when buried under scoops of vanilla ice cream. And obviously if you are serving the entire pan warm from the oven to a crowd, you won't have to worry about where to put your leftovers or what they might do.

Since I only changed the fruit and the baking time, I'm not going to reprint the entire recipe here. Instead, I've amended my original post to include the peachy variation. Click here to head over there. (Update: Or check out the Apple Blueberry version.)

One thing I did find interesting is that even though I added an extra two cups of fruit but no more sugar, the bars were still plenty sweet.

If your peaches aren't super ripe and juicy, you might want to add a little more sugar—though I have no idea what the consequences will be. And if you can't get your hands on any really good peaches because it's already too late in the season, please accept my apologies and remember that there's always next year.

I warned you the details were obsessive.

Have a sweet tooth but no peaches in sight? One of these might satisfy:
Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
Easy Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake
Apple Blueberry Crumble Bars
My Best Bran Muffins (blueberry, banana, and more variations)
100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins
Mexican Monkey Cake
Cranberry Christmas Scones
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
Really Raspberry Tartlets
Emergency Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Babycakes
Choco-Oat-Butterscotch-Coconut Crazy Cookies
Molasses Ginger Spice Snaps
Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners
Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Yip Yap Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Snaps

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the fruit filled foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and there's always some sort of sweet treat hiding in the freezer.

Daily Farm Photo: 9/11/06


New Face On The Farm



Practicing His Show Sheep Stance For The Girls

Last week we drove over to a friend's farm and (in between taking pictures) picked out a new Suffolk ram lamb to breed with our flock this fall. This handsome young fellow was born in the spring, and we are all very excited about him, especially since his father is from one of the best Suffolk flocks in the country. He is currently residing in a luxurious, grassy pen where he receives two special snacks a day, all the fresh spring water he can drink, and plenty of attention. His accommodations include a private hut and 360-degree views of good looking wool. He is settling in well, but of course he'll be much happier once he gets to go to work.

A year of Daily Photos ago: Bird Envy

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Daily Farm Photo 9/10/06: You Know She'll Find Some


Molly Doodlebug outside and looking for trouble.


Wonderful Wild Animal Sanctuary Update!
(Click
here if you missed my original post about the big cats and other exotic animals who need our help). The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado was forced to close its doors to visitors on September 2nd, but because they have received so many donations and promises of donations, they have enough money to keep operating and hope to keep the animals there indefinitely!

Click here to read the latest closing update on their website. Many, many thanks to all of you generously made donations and wrote about the Wild Animal Sanctuary on your own blogs. Please keep spreading the word! IT REALLY IS WORKING!

A year of Daily Photos ago:
New Cat Spends Most Of His Time High Above Dog Level

© FarmgirlFare.com

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Daily Farm Photo 9/8/06: Strike a Pose


I wanna be in pigtures!

There's no other way to say it—this girl was hamming it up for the camera. I just kept talking to her, and she just kept giving me one fabulous pose after another. I had so much fun visiting my friend's farm the other day.

If this photo doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Sedum Autumn Joy Is Blooming & Buzzing (and it was this morning, too!)

© FarmgirlFare.com

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Daily Farm Photo 9/7/06: Piggy in Pink


Oink.

This cutie pie isn't the new ram lamb we picked up yesterday at a friend's farm, but I sure was tempted to scoop it into my arms and take it home (along with the other twenty that were racing around). There's nothing more amusing to watch than a pack of little piglets. Except maybe a rolling donkey.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
The Hornets Have Been Busy

© FarmgirlFare.com

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/6/06

Baby Cary Is Four Months Old Today!


Yes, The Privileged Animal Is Still Allowed In The House

A few things have changed, though. Now she knocks on the metal bottom of the storm door when she wants to come in. Well, I guess you can't really call BANG! BANG! BANG! a knock. Joe calls it something out of a bad horror movie (especially since you can see the thin metal moving as she whacks it with her hoof). I politely pointed out that banging on the door is better than hanging from the screen and clawing it up in the process (like The Doodle Monster does) or jumping right through it (which is what Cary did once). Note: click here if you don't know who Cary is. And click here and here if you'd like to read the two-month-old and three-month-old Cary updates.

Cary's daily schedule is different now that she is fast becoming (*sniff sniff*) a grownup sheep. For one thing, she goes in and out of the house much more frequently. Hopefully I'll have a chance to write more about this and the rest of our day to day life together in a (near) future Cary update. (I don't even have weight and height stats to report today.) I did want to let those of you who have been wondering if I've used up not only my lifetime supply of paper towels but some other peoples' as well by now, that Cary is indeed housebroken! (Click here and scroll down through the comments section to read my earlier report on this, um, delicate subject--which I only tackled because so many of you were understandably curious.)

In the meantime, there are some things around here that haven't changed a bit.




Even though she is now officially bigger than he is, The Nanny Bear still diligently watches over Cary--and they continue to spend a lot of time together.





Cary also continues to steal Donkey Doodle Dandy's treats on a regular basis, even though you'd think she would have learned her lesson back in June. Fortunately Dan adores her.





And although Cary has begun successfully melting into the flock for part of each day. . .




There's still no mistaking her in a crowd!

Thanks for all the kind words and comments you've already left on this post (and for your patience waiting for me to put up the rest of the photos). I'll answer your questions as soon as I can, but I think I hear Cary at the door.

Oh, and if anybody is thinking right now that having a lamb in the living room is just this side of totally insane, remember that Mr. Ed and Arnold The Pig both spent a lot of time in the house. And Arnold even got to watch TV!

A year of Daily Photos ago:
The Hay Is In, So Now It's Firewood Season

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/5/06


Another Beautifully Distracting Sky

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Back Rub For Big Chip

Monday, September 04, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/4/06


September Seems Like Spider Web Month On The Farm

A year of Daily Photos ago: No Particleboard For These Hens--Even A Handmade Walnut Door

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/3/06


Bear Noses In A Little Closer

Attention Dog Lovers! This is Weekend Dog Blogging #50!
To see fun dog photos & discover yummy new food blogs, visit
Sweetnicks each Sunday night for the roundup. Pining for more puppy pics? The Friday Ark boards everything from canines to catbirds. Prefer plants to pets? Don't miss the always tasty & informative Weekend Herb Blogging roundup every Monday. Catch it this week at The Inadvertent Gardener.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Photoshoot Inspector
(She popped up while I was taking pictures for Pita, Pita, I Too Much Eata)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/2/06


New Cat Looking

Attention Cat Lovers! This is Weekend Cat blogging #65!
Head over to Miss Ellie's Page for
all the links to this week's kitties. For more fun cat photos, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats to caterpillars. Hungry for more than pet pics? Weekend Herb Blogging is for you--don't miss this Monday's roundup at The Inadvertent Gardener.

And, finally, click
here if you haven't read my post about some amazing big cats (and other wild animals) who really need our help. Please spread the word. Many, many thanks to those of you who have generously made donations and written about The Wild Animal Sanctuary on your own blogs.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
The Work May Be Hard, But The Views Are Good

Friday, September 01, 2006

Daily Farm Photo: 9/1/06


Happy Hour In The Garden

The heat wave that held us prisoner for most of August has finally set us free. The misty summer mornings that always look so cool and refreshing in my photos actually are now. There are still plenty of warm days ahead, and yet everything, including us, has instinctively begun to slip into the next season.

A gust of wind sends a shower of tiny yellow leaves fluttering into the hayfield. This morning I spied a squirrel scampering away with a giant walnut clenched between its tiny jaws.

The ridiculous ritual of chasing the sheep around the fields in the semi-darkness for half an hour (cajoling, cursing, begging, pleading, and, finally, screaming at them to "Get in the @#$%*&! barn, and I don't care if it finally just cooled down enough for you to graze!") has been replaced by a willing flock ready to tuck itself in well before nightfall.

Joe keeps his eyes up during our walks through the woods, making a mental note of each dead tree in the forest that he will turn into our winter warmth. The fans that have been blowing throughout the house all summer have been switched from high to low, and a quilt has been tossed on the bed. I stock up on tea, luxuriate in a brief morning chill, and look forward to baking bread on a much more regular basis.

You can feel it. The entire farm has breathed a collective sigh of relief. Plants, animals, trees, people--we have all survived another Missouri summer. The windows are wide open, and at night the air is thick with the joyous sound of insects who sing us to sleep (now that we can hear them over the quieter fans). It is happy hour not just in the garden, but everywhere.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Don't Build Your Nest Deep Inside The Hay Baler