Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Daily Dose of Cute:
A Cold Breakfast Will Be Served in the South Pen


Oh Yay! It's Hay! (Again)

Want to see more hay feeding photos?
First You Have to Put Up the Hay
3/11/06: Oh, Just Take A Seat Anywhere
3/14/06:
A Whole New Way to Start the Day
3/26/06:
I Told You They Have No Manners
3/2/08:
How Do Donkeys Order Lunch?
3/7/08:
Waiting for Lunch (On Top of Breakfast)
3/26/08: Donkey Dietary Habits
4/18/08:
Cary is Too Hungry to Say Hi
5/7/08:
Daily Dose of Cute: All Day Hay Buffet
5/28/08:
Daily Dose of Cute: Back in the Hay Day
9/27/08:
Sheep Gone Wild!
1/23/09:
Feeding Frenzy

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where what were you expecting—52 bowls of steaming hot oatmeal? And just for the record, all of those ice-caked critters could have spent the snowstorm in a nice cozy hut—including that stubborn little donkey.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Farm Photo: Lone But Not Alone


Enjoying a Little Quiet Time

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where I guess it's because I spent the first 26 years of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area (and decided to move to Missouri rather than to Maine or Minnesota 14 years ago) that I still feel a sense of wonderment every time we have a snowfall like this. It always feels so peaceful, too. And then the outgoing water pipes freeze (yet again). But at least we still have incoming water—and electricity!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Stuff of Farm Life: Losing Lambs and Lottie


Lottie Found the Sheep Halter! (taken 5/1/08)

Sometimes it's hard to know how much to tell you about what happens around here. When you share your life with dozens of animals out in the wilderness (or anywhere for that matter), bad things inevitably happen. I don't like to dwell on the losses and the hardships, but I don't want to completely gloss over them either.

I know many you visit my blog because you're interested in what country life is really like, and while we certainly have more than our fair share of beautiful scenery, adorable animals, and laugh out loud moments (not to mention fabulous food), we by no means lead a perfect storybook existence out here.

Farm life is amazing, but it can also be heartbreaking—and frustrating as hell. I've been meaning to catch you up on some of what's been going on over the past year, and as I was tromping around doing morning chores in the sleet, I decided what better time than during a sleet/ice pellet/snowstorm.

Lots more below. . .

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Daily Dose of Cute: Wide Eyed & Wooly Tailed


Hello!

Want to see more sheep shots?
Sheep Photos
More Sheep Photos
And More Sheep Photos
Lambing Season 2006 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2007 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2008 Part 1
Lambing Season 2008 Part 2

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where these wooly coats will come in handy tonight, since the sleet (2 inches predicted followed by ice and snow) is rat-tat-tatting on the windows and tin roof and rapidly accumulating, though technically I think it may actually be ice pellets coming down. After several hours of storm preparedness today, we're safely snuggled up tight with a huge pile of firewood by the old potbellied stove, and can only hope the sheep are curled together in their huts staying warm—though you never know with barnyard animals.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Daily Dose of Cute: Keeping the Food Supply Safe


We Use Marta Guard



No Threats Here

Want to see more Marta?
7/27/08: Siesta Time
10/26/08: Mostly Marta
10/28/08: Just Doing Her Job
11/6/08: Maybe Marta

© 2009
FarmgirlFare.com, the well protected foodie farm blog where puppies still aren't allowed at the All Day Hay Buffet, even if they have grown up to be as big as their sheep. Although this one—who I'm pretty sure will eat just about anything—regularly pushes her way up to the treat troughs and happily snacks on grain because the sheep are too busy inhaling it as fast as they can to bother stopping her. She likes to chomp on stolen rock hard donkey treats, too. Which I guess means the food supply really isn't very safe after all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Daily Dose of Cute: Feeding Frenzy


Attack of the Starving Sheep

Are you starved for some tasty new food blogs? Voting for the 2008 Food Blog Awards is going on now! Find links to the dozens of finalists and then vote for your favorites in all 14 categories here. But hurry—the polls close Saturday January 24th at 8pm EST. We're thrilled that Farmgirl Fare is up for
Best Food Blog-Rural!

Want to see more hay feeding photos?
3/14/06: A Whole New Way to Start the Day
3/26/06: I Told You They Have No Manners
3/2/08: How Do Donkeys Order Lunch?
3/7/08: Waiting for Lunch (On Top of Breakfast)
3/26/08: Donkey Dietary Habits
4/18/08: Cary is Too Hungry to Say Hi
5/7/08: Daily Dose of Cute: All Day Hay Buffet
5/28/08: Daily Dose of Cute: Back in the Hay Day
9/27/08 Sheep Gone Wild!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where these well fed woolies raiding the hay cart only look as if they haven't eaten in weeks.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Farm Photo: Winter Fuel


Filling Bellies and Warming Bodies

A year of Farm Photos ago:
1/21/08: New Furry Faces on the Farm

Two years ago:
1/17/07: My Heart is Embedded in this Place
1/19/07: Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream
1/21/07: Nothing Slows Farm Boss Patchy Cat Down

Three years ago:
1/16/06: Do You See Beauty in the Everyday?
1/19/06: Ten Foodie Things About Me
1/20/06: Doll Face Will Be Ten Years Old This Spring (2009 & doing fine!)
1/21/06: Another Heart Rock for my Collection
1/21/06: Weekend Cat Blogging: One Cat. . . or Two?
1/22/06: Not Stuck, Just Resting

And out of the kitchen came:
1/17/08: FoodieView and My First Foray into Focaccia

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where due to unknown circumstances, our wonderful wood block supply fell through after only two deliveries, so we're back to cutting, splitting, loading, unloading, and stacking lots and lots of firewood—though fortunately not in the snow (at least not yet). And while I say 'we,' the division of labor is far from equal in this area, since all I usually do is help toss wood into the truck (while thinking about food the entire time). This girl draws the line at running a chainsaw—I leave that to my hunky farmguy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2008 Food Blog Awards: It's Time To Vote!


The judges have made their decisions, and we're thrilled that Farmgirl Fare has been chosen as a finalist for Best Food Blog—Rural in the 2008 Food Blog Awards. Many thanks to those of you who nominated us.

And now it's time for you to vote! If you aren't familiar with the four other finalists in the Rural category—Chez Lou Lou, Whiteley Creek, (not so) Urban Hennery, and Lucullian Delights—be sure to check them out before casting your vote.

The Food Blog Awards are a wonderful way to discover dozens of the best food blogs around. There are 13 other categories you can vote on here. The voting polls close on Saturday January 24th at 8pm EST. Have fun!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where nearly everything we do—whether it's starting seeds or battling blister beetles in the kitchen garden, collecting eggs from the chickens (or watching them hatch), tending to new mothers (with your mother) and their twin lambs, putting up hay for the winter, hauling water to the sheep (and livestock guard dogs), or even mucking out the sheep barn—somehow revolves around bringing really good food to the table. And we love every minute. Okay, maybe not all the putting up hay minutes, but definitely the rest of them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Swiss Chard and Artichoke White Pizza Recipe

Who says you can get your greens and enjoy homemade pizza at the same time?

Because I'm a patient and understanding girl, I'm going to give you and Swiss chard another chance to get together. I realize romances can take time, and that it isn't always love at first bite.

So maybe you weren't wowed by the thought of Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip or Swiss Chard and Artichoke Soup. And perhaps you're simply not the Healthy Swiss Chard Tuna Salad with Kalamata Olives type—even if the crunchy chard stalks stand in beautifully for celery. My Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Cottage Cheese didn't do it for you either? That's okay.

I still have faith in you. Because this, this is pizza. And everybody loves pizza.

I won't go on and on about how wonderful Swiss chard is because I've already done that. But since it's time to start thinking about an early spring garden, I will quickly remind you once again how easy Swiss chard is to grow from seed—and remind you that it happily thrives in containers (hint hint, apartment dwellers).

It's also cold tolerant, heat tolerant, and really hard to kill. Did I mention it happens to be really good for you?

Unlucky in love? Your vegetable soul mate just might be waiting for you at the farmers' market. So go on, give Swiss chard a try.

White pizza goes green

Susan's Swiss Chard Artichoke 'White' Pizza
Makes enough topping to thickly cover one 12" to 14" pizza

On the last day of autumn, I picked several pounds of Swiss chard in my homemade greenhouse and packed it into plastic bags that I placed with ice packs in a cooler in the pantry (because there wasn't enough room in the fridge). After three weeks, what was left still looked fine. Freshly picked greens will last quite a while if kept cool and moist.

This pizza topping is basically the first half of my Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip recipe. Don't have a can of artichokes handy? I think it would still be quite tasty without them. Mixing in some olives (black or kalamata) or a few chopped dried tomatoes instead would probably be very nice.

You could also make this recipe using a mix of other greens, such as mustard and collard, or even kale. I'm sure spinach would work well. Since the finished pizza froze and reheated beautifully, I'm also thinking you could make up the topping ahead of time and freeze it.

A baking/pizza stone is a great investment that allows you to make amazingly crisp pizza crusts and crusty artisan breads. I've been using the same one for 14 years. A pizza peel is a really useful thing to have. I own two—a large wood one and smaller metal one with a long handle—and use them all the time.

Pizza dough (use your favorite or try my simple recipe)
6 to 8 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 5 ounces)
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 12 ounces or 4 cups packed of leaves), leaves and stalks separated and both chopped into small pieces
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and rinsed, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

About an hour before you're ready to bake your pizza, place a baking stone (if using) on the lowest rack in the oven and heat to 500 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart or larger pot. Add onion and chopped Swiss chard stalks and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes; do not let garlic brown.

Stir Swiss chard leaves and chopped artichoke hearts into onion mixture. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Remove pan from heat and let chard mixture cool slightly, and then stir in Pecorino Romano. Alternatively, let the mixture cool completely, mix in cheese, and then refrigerate up to 2 days.

Shape the pizza dough on a piece of unbleached parchment paper, and set it on a pizza peel (or directly on your baking sheet/pizza pan if you aren't using a baking stone). Spread the chard mixture evenly over the dough. Top with mozzarella.

Slide the pizza (parchment and all) onto the baking stone and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is starting to brown. Slice and serve, and try not to burn your tongue on the first bite!

Want another slice?
My Favorite Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
Arugula Pesto Pizza
Three Onion and Three Cheese Pizza
Fresh Tomato and My Favorite Basil Pesto Pizza
Homemade Pita Bread Pizzas

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 foodie farm blog where pizza delivery at the end of a long day is not an option when you live 34 miles from the nearest pizza parlor, which is why we always try to keep several different kinds of homemade pizza in the freezer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Farm Photo:
Crossing Over to Bigger and Better Things!


Maybe

There's nothing like an arctic blast to inspire a girl to hunker down and spend countless hours cozied up to her computer working on some blog changes she's been wanting to make for, oh, a couple of years. There are lots of things I still want to add and tweak over the next few weeks (months? decades?) in order to make this site more user friendly and enjoyable to look at, but the biggest challenge—adding the left sidebar—is done.

I'm really excited about the larger photos, especially since I've finally decided to buy a digital SLR camera—something else I've been thinking about doing for a couple of years. And I can hardly wait to unveil the new header illustration being created by the wonderfully talented Liselotte Weller, who designed the current ones after we met back in 2005 during the hilarious Farmgirl Fare Name That Sheep Contest.

But right now the sun is shining and the temperature is back up into the double digits, so enough of this inside stuff. Figuring out html code when you pretty much have no idea what you're doing is an interesting challenge, but I'm starting to go a little stir crazy (and I haven't even touched my kitchen garden blog template yet). I just finished mixing up a batch of Honey Bran Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread dough, so now it's time to head outdoors to catch up on chores, hang a little laundry on the line, hug some neglected sheep, and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day on the farm!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where the boys in this photo (which I took back in April 2008 and promptly forgot about) did eventually muster up the courage to cross the wet weather creek in order to get back to their barn—but, unlike puppies, they always hate getting their hooves wet, though not nearly as much the donkeys do.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Farm Photo: Black Bird, Grey Sky


Taking Time to Enjoy the View

A year of Farm Photos ago:
1/7/08: Cute Things Come in Little Packages (and this one's purring up a storm on my lap right now)
1/9/08: I've Been Adding to My Heart Rock Collection
1/10/08: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1/12/08: Winter Wash and Dry (and the R-rated version)

Two years ago:
1/13/07: The Ice Is On Its Way
1/15/07: Our Wet Weather Creek Started Running

Three years ago:
1/12/06: Donkey Doodle Dandy Soaks Up Some Morning Sun
1/13/06: Defrosting
1/14/06: Patience Is Not One of Their Virtues
1/14/06: Posted Patchy Cat
1/15/06: Nice Green Hay on a Very Cold Day
1/15/07: Robin & Leopold

And out of the kitchen came:
100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins & Baking with Your Mom

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where cloudy winter days never get me down like they do some people (and plants love them, which is why everything grows so beautifully in England)—but I could easily do without the minus three degrees predicted for tonight.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday Daily Dose of Cute: Stand By Your Lamb

Lucky Buddy Bear and his extended flock

© FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where Lucky Buddy Bear, who is half English Shepherd and half Australian Shepherd, loves his sheep so much he looks after them even when they're polar fleece. And if he could reach the laundry line while keeping all four paws on the ground, he would no doubt try to lick them dry because they're wet.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Daily Dose of Cute:
Let's Get Together, Yeah Yeah Yeah


Scooch Over, Dan



That's Better

Want to see more donkey doings?
(some categories overlap)
Evie Photos
Esmeralda Photos
Dolores Photos
Daphne Photos
Donkey Doodle Dandy Photos
Dinky Photos
More Donkey Photos
And even more Donkey Photos

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where Donkey Doodle Dandy (who is all fluffed up for winter—so cute!) loves his herd and we don't think he regrets for a minute not being lone donkey on the farm anymore, but sometimes he likes to put a little space between himself and all those girls. (And in case you're wondering, that baling twine wrapped around the top of the gate was a vain attempt at keeping Marta—who is gigantic and yet can still magically get through anything—from climbing through it. A long overdue big white dogs update is hopefully coming soon.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thursday Daily Dose of Cute: Sylvester the Cat


He, Too, Likes to Ride Back and Forth on the Barn Gate

One of the best things about living on a farm? Having enough space so that you can say Of course! when somebody down the road calls you up and says, "Do you still want our cat, Sylvester? Because we can't keep him," right after you've adopted three cats from the animal shelter.

Sylvester is a super fluffy, almost two-year-old sweetheart who fell head over paws in love with Topaz the first time he laid eyes on her, and then spent the next several months following her around with a dreamy-eyed, goofy look on his face. Eventually he took the huge, hissing, claw-filled hints that his affections were most unrequited, stopped his embarrassing behavior, and set about claiming the territory around the sheep barn for himself and becoming a contented bachelor. He even has his own food bowl tucked up on a ledge in the feed room.


Annoyingly Cute

He prowls all over the farm and loves to hunt in the grass just beyond the kitchen garden, but his favorite spot this time of year is (much to my constant dismay) in the greenhouse, preferably curled up on a blanket that is supposed to be protecting my plants. I love Sylvester dearly, and he has become a great addition to the farm, but I can't believe he flattened my entire fall crop of arugula. And some other stuff.


Did I Do Something Wrong?

And of course every time you lose your temper and yell at him he rolls over and gives you this totally adorable, love-filled look that makes it completely impossible to stay mad at him. Until you want a salad.

Lately I've busted Topaz in the greenhouse along with Sylvester (a cat-proof greenhouse is very high on my wish list!), but at least she has the decency to lounge on one of my empty plant racks or cozy up in the wool cat bed I put in there rather than sprawl on the bravely struggling Swiss chard. I figure if you can't keep them out, you can at least try to lure them off the edible greenery (which she also doesn't seem to be eating anymore.) But so far Sylvester is refusing to play along.

Want to see more farm feline photos?
Topaz
Patchy Cat
Smudge
Sarah Kit Kat Kate
Mr. Midnight
J2
New Cat
Molly Doodlebug (aka The Doodle Monster)

Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where it also helps to have an understanding hunky farmguy around who, despite being very allergic to cats, doesn't mind when you do things like agree to give Sylvester a home without consulting him first, or adopt three cats at the animal shelter instead of the agreed upon two (but of course that's to be expected when you let a cat crazy girl go to the shelter all by herself).

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Announcing The Food Blog Awards 2008!

It's that time again, when you get to nominate, vote on, and discover delicious food blogs. Nominations for the Well Fed Network's 2008 Food Blog Awards are going on now, and anyone can nominate their favorite food blogs. You'll find all the rules here, and can meet the judges here.

Here's how it works: You have until Friday, January 9th at 11:59 p.m. EST to nominate your favorite food and drink blogs. A blog needs just one nomination to be entered. The amount of times a blog is nominated has no bearing on if it is chosen for a Top 5 Nominees position. The panel of judges will choose the Top 5 Nominees in each category, and then the polls will be open for voting at Well Fed from January 19th through January 23rd.

There are 14 Food Blog Award categories this year, including Best Rural Food Blog, which we were thrilled to win in 2006 and 2007. This is a fun competition and a wonderful way to share and discover some of the most scrumptious food blogs out there. So go forth and nominate, have fun, and then go back and vote!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where the animals don't really care all that much about awards, but some of us are busy trying to figure out which blogs we want to nominate this year. So many tasty food blogs, so few meals in each day!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Farm Photo: Country Signage


In Need of a Little Touch Up

A year of Farm Photos ago:
1/1/08: A Donkey with a Sense of Humor
1/6/08: Stock Dog Inspection

Two years ago:
1/1/07: Two Trees Dancing Under the Morning Mist
1/2/07: 2006 Headlines That Didn't Make the News
1/5/07: A Glimpse Back at Lambing Season 2006

Three years ago:
1/1/06: Looking. . .
1/1/06: Wooly Wishes for the New Year
1/2/06: Winter Color
1/3/06: For Horsing Around
1/4/06: Barn Light

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the foodie farm blog where the number one rule on a farm is that you should always leave a gate exactly how you found it (so, for example, your herd of adventurous donkeys doesn't escape into the wild blue yonder, which is exactly what happened last month when somebody left two gates open), but some people need a little reminder. Our neighbor's sign, which fell off the tree it was nailed to at the edge of our property and is now propped against the fence says: PLEASE KEEP GATE SHUT CATTLE INSIDE THANKS!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Feeding My Addictions & A Simple Pasta Recipe: Linguine with Olive Oil, Garlic, Pecorino Romano, and Parsley

And a Wonderful Book for Art Loving Foodies


Linguini or Linguine? Actually, this is tagliatelle with a side of art.

Hi, my name is Susan and I'm a book fiend, a certified foodie, and a recipe hound, which also makes me a hopeless cookbookaholic. I have a stack of cookbooks from which I've never made a single recipe and yet I still keep buying new ones. Add the words 'bargain priced' and there's absolutely no stopping me.

A few months ago I received an email message from my best friend Beth that consisted of a website address and the subject line "Cookbook store going out of business sale." Talk about an enabler. An hour later I had 12 scrumptious publications I never knew I desperately needed in my shopping cart (after painfully narrowing it down from a total of 17) and was giddily typing in my credit card and shipping information as fast as I could. I still haven't looked through them all yet.

Food and books aren't my only downfalls either. I also happen to be an art junkie. From pointillism to paint-by-numbers, linocuts to letterpress, watercolors to World War II era posters—I love it all.

In between the 50 or so feet of bookshelves, there are no fewer than 13 framed works of art decorating my small and very cluttered studio office (which I share with the clothes dryer, the only closet in The Shack, and anything that needs to be kept at or below 77 degrees—vitamins, sheep wormer, onions and garlic—since this is the only room that's air-conditioned in summer).

My favorites are two 1930s watercolors of pink flamingos by S.W. Graves and an exquisite pastel nude from the 1990s in a fancy but chipped gilded frame.

A little peek into my life

In addition, adorning the walls are two handpainted signs (one is wood and says 'Fresh Produce' and the other is metal in the shape of a pot of blue and white flowers and says 'Garden Tours'), an oversized forest green Postal Telegraph clock, and two cork bulletin boards that are completely covered with greeting cards, photos snipped from magazines, and other bits of eye-catching ephemera. Timely announcements and important papers don't stand a chance of being noticed.

But the majority of my two dimensional art is packed up in storage, kind of like at the Smithsonian where only about 10% of the actual museum's collection is ever on display at one time.

Also decorating my little room are a large antique oval hat box that says Pedigree Hats (scored in a thrift store when I first moved to Missouri for $1.50), a cobalt blue handmade ceramic vase decorated with the face of a cat purchased 20 years ago from the artist at an outdoor fair and a small pale green ceramic Art Deco pitcher (both filled with sand and used as bookends), five bakelite radios from the 1930s, the latest addition to my collection of 1950s lucite purses (the rest are in boxes), and a gorgeous antique hand sewn wall hanging decorated with Egyptian motifs.

Don't forget the old tin of Hartz Mountain E-Z Kleen Flea Powder with a charming drawing of a child grooming a terrier-like dog on the front, the three silver knife rests from the 1930s in the shape of animals, and one of those little square puzzle games where you try to slide the 15 numbered pieces into the correct order, complete with instruction booklet dated 1933 and red leather carrying case. Then there's the black and red Art Deco tabletop display case that holds some of my prized bakelite jewelry collection and is surrounded by part of my equally prized bird nest collection.

There's more, but I'm sure you get the idea. With a background in graphic design and years spent buying and selling (and of course collecting) antiques, in my world pretty much everything is art.

The good news is that apart from weighing a few pounds more than I'd like to and having a constant shortage of wall and shelf space (not to mention a slight clutter problem), my addictions don't seem to be doing harm to me or anyone else. I'm well read and well fed, have plenty of interesting things to look at, and am always up for a story or a snack.


The makings of a quick and easy meal

Any multi-obsessive person knows that the only thing better than supporting one of your habits is finding something that will feed all of them at once, and last year I came across such a thing: The Artist's Palate, Cooking with the World's Great Artists by Frank Fedele, which immediately became one of my very favorite books.

Take one part coffee table art book, one part cookbook, one part never-before-seen portrait collection, two parts biography and memoir, and combine them with up close and personal food talk from and about some of the most famous artists in the world, and you have a publication that, for me at least, seems almost too good to be true.

If you're the kind of person who delights in finding out that Henri Matisse "rose early to take advantage of the light, and had only one large meal at midday followed by a siesta," or that Willem de Kooning was partial to Dutch food and ate a traditional Dutch breakfast of Gouda cheese, sliced ham, crusty dark pumpernickel bread, poached eggs, and tea with milk and sugar nearly every day but also adored fried chicken TV dinners, then you, too, are going to love this book.

Where else can you learn that the Grande Dame of American sculptors, Louise Bourgeois, once tried to cut up oxtails from the wholesale meat market with a bandsaw, or that the ice in Diego Rivera's Mexico City apartment's icebox was replaced every three days?

One of the real gems in this book is Frank Rehn Gallery codirector Peter Ornstein's priceless story of the surprise, "straight out of the Nighthawks" lunch he enjoyed at the home of Edward and Jo Hopper in the mid-60s, after delivering a check to the artist.

There's a recipe either directly from or somehow related to each artist profiled, including Norman Rockwell's favorite Oatmeal Cookies, Milton Glaser's Chinese Chicken Salad, Grant Wood's Strawberry Shortcake, Isamu Noguchi's Honey & Buttermilk Oatmeal (as re-created by acclaimed chef Kevin Shikami of Kevin restaurant in Chicago), and the Caramels au Chocolat that Mary Cassatt's longtime housekeeper used to prepare for her.

This book is already so wonderful that it wouldn't matter if the recipes didn't work, but they actually do. The few I've tried so far have been delicious, including this simple yet satisfying pasta from American painter and graphic artist Will Barnet.

So what delectable things (edible or otherwise) are you addicted to?



Linguine with Garlic and Oil
Serves 2 to 3 - Adapted from The Artist's Palate

From The Artist's Palate:
Will Barnet is best known for his elegant, pared-down portraits of women at repose, executed in a style he calls Classic Modernism. He had absolutely no trouble in deciding his favorite recipe. It was easy to determine since he eats it almost every day: linguini with garlic and oil. Will told me that he always finished the meal with a glass of hot tea and a sliver of Scharffen Berger dark chooclate. He sent in the label from a bar of the chocolate annotated with this handwritten note: "Sliver with a glass of hot tea—lunch or dinner—great dessert!"

This is one of those classic, simple dishes that I, too, could easily eat nearly every day. I've made it many times, including with parsley (which I think is vastly underrated) and freshly dug garlic from my organic kitchen garden. What's especially nice about it is that the ingredients are readily available year round; even in winter you can almost always find a decent head of garlic and a nice bunch of Italian parsley.

In summer look for fresh garlic and just-picked parsley at farmers' markets. As always, I urge you to use local and organic ingredients whenever possible—they really do make a difference in so many ways.



The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity—and the quality of your ingredients of course—but that doesn't mean you can't add your own personal touch with a handful of baby arugula (so easy to grow!), some fresh basil or thyme, a diced plum tomato, or even a few wild mushrooms if you're lucky enough to have some handy. I like stirring in a spoonful or two of Trader Joe's Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta (another addiction!), as pictured above. A little basil pesto or arugula pesto would also be nice.

The amounts of each ingredient are purely to taste—it's nearly impossible to mess this dish up. I added my More, More, More kitchen philosophy to the original version, upping the garlic, parsley, and cheese, and substituting tagliatelle when I didn't have any linguine on hand (though I prefer it with the linguine). Oh yes, and there's the added bonus that garlic, parsley, and even olive oil are all very good for you. What a delicious way to boost your immune system this winter. Bon appetit!

8 ounces dried linguine (of course fresh pasta would be wonderful)
4 to 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 to 12 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (packed) chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, drain and return to the pot or a serving bowl, saving a little of the pasta water. When the pasta is nearly cooked, heat oil in a large skillet to hot, but not smoking. Add the garlic and lower the heat, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add three quarters of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the linguine and toss thoroughly, adding a little of the pasta water if desired. Top with the grated cheese and remaining parsley.

Can't get enough garlic? You might enjoy these recipes:
Roasted Garlic Lover's White Bean Soup (fat free and vegan)
Caramelized Beets with Garlic
My Favorite Basil Pesto
Beyond Easy White Bean Pesto Dip/Spread
Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip
Swiss Chard Artichoke Soup
Quick Black Bean Soup/Chili
Cream (or not) of Artichoke Soup with Garlic & Onions
Broccoli, Onion & Garbanzo Bean Soup
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup with Onions & Garlic
Onion & Herb Crusted Lamb Spareribs
Grilled Lamb Burgers with Red Pepper, Parsley, & Olive Relish

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 artistic foodie farm blog where pretty much everything we eat fits into one of two categories: things that go well with garlic and things that go well with chocolate.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Thursday Daily Dose of Cute: Happy Happy, New New


Off to a better life - and a better name?

A couple of weeks ago Dolores' son Dinky, who was born back on July 2nd 2007, was finally picked up by his new owner—only a year after she had originally planned to come and get him. Sometimes things move at a much slower pace out here in the country.

In 2004, we started naming all the new lambs born each spring alphabetically: 'A' names in 2004, 'B' names in 2005, etc. This makes it really easy to remember who was born when, and it only took me nine years to come up with the idea. Other animals, such as baby donkeys, also get corresponding year/letter names, such as Esmeralda and Evie who were born last summer.

Since we knew that Dolores' darling little baby donkey would eventually be going to live with someone else (because you can't have two jacks together and Donkey Doodle Dandy is never leaving), we gave him the temporary name of Dinky. We figured the new owner could then give him a fitting (and of course much more manly) name of their own choosing.

Dinky isn't a hugger like Evie and Esmeralda are, but since he'll gladly take treats out of your hand I was able to lure him fairly easily into the trailer. His new owner (who fell in love with him at first sight) told me that Dinky spent the 40+ mile ride home alternating between peering out the little peephole by the cab of the truck at the scenery and poking his nose up to it in order to get a whiff of everything. Peek, sniff, peek, sniff, peek, sniff. Too cute. Upon arriving at his new farm, he leaped out of the trailer and headed straight over to an enormous Belgian horse who nuzzled him and held his giant head protectively over his new little pal's.

Dinky now has his own small flock of sheep to guard, and he loves his new life. But since his new owner says he "looks like a little grey mouse standing next to that giant Belgian," I'm afraid the name Dinky may have stuck.

Wishing you a new year filled with health, happiness, wonderful food, and lots of laughter—whether you're starting a whole new adventure or simply continuing the one you're already on.

Want to have a look back at Dinky donkey?
12/2/07: A Little Donkey Secret
12/10/07: Flying Donkeys
2/9/08: Donkey Update
4/7/08: Surprise Inspection
5/17/08: A Little Look Back at Dinky
6/16/08: Mother Love
6/17/08: Playing Hide and Seek
7/2/08: Happy First Birthday Dinky Donkey!
1/3/10: Two Heads in a Bucket

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the longear loving foodie farm blog where if my New Year's resolution comes true, there will be lots more Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes appearing in the coming months. But since things often move at a much slower pace out here in the country, it might not actually happen.