Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Farm Photo: Goodbye to a Good Ewe

Martha and her twins in front field blue sky 5-5-06
Martha and her twins in the front field on May 5th, 2006

When I moved in with my hunky farmguy Joe 11 years ago, I brought 14 sheep (and a bunch of other critters) with me from my old farm. Martha, who died today, was the last surviving ewe.

She was 14 years old, which, as Joe reminded me, "is probably longer than sheep are supposed to live." (My 15-year-old pet wether Big Chip, the last of the original 14, is still miraculously with us, and still loves to give hugs. His brother, Skinny Chip, died last year. I called them The Chippers.)

Martha, who was sometimes known as the World's Best Pillow, had about the best life a sheep could ask for, though I'm sure she would have liked a few thousand more pounds of grain. A couple of months ago Joe started referring to her as Every Sheep because she demanded a treat whenever any other sheep was being fed—and she could hear the rustle of a grain bucket from half a mile away.

She was the loudest sheep I've ever known—which is saying something—and she was never one to keep her opinions to herself. Basically she never shut up. But in a good way. Mostly.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Dose of Cute: Lucy Cluck Cluck and One of My Favorite Food Blogs

Lucy Cluck Cluck
Cluck cluck cluck!

Meet Lucy Cluck Cluck. This cute two year old is named after another cute two year old, who lives in New York City and whose first words were Cluck! Cluck! You gotta love a kid who walks around Manhattan talking like a chicken.

She's the daughter of my beautiful friend Amanda, a professionally trained chef who grew up in Scotland with an incredible fruit and vegetable garden, has eaten her way through the Mediterranean more than once, is passionate about local and seasonal eating, and creates the kind of simple yet flavorful, ingredient-driven dishes I love, only she manages to do it with far more panache than I ever will.

Her blog is called Figs, Bay & Wine, and it's full gorgeous photos and fabulous food. On the first of each month she presents a harvest calendar that showcases the local bounty currently available at New York greenmarkets. I want to hang most of the March 2011 photos on my wall.

Amanda took a few years off from blogging after her Lucy Cluck Cluck was born, but thankfully for us she's back and better than ever with mouthwatering original recipes. How about Gateau Basque with Cherry Eau de Vie (this looks so good—don't let her fancy foreign names for what are often simple 'peasant' dishes scare you away); Holy Ghost Cassoulet; Tuscan Kale Salad with Beurre Noisette and Sherry Vinaigrette; Pork Tenderloin Roasted in Mustard & Thyme with Roast Carrots & Brussels Sprouts; Orecchiette with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe & Tomato (which I'm going to make using some of my easy Homemade Italian Sausage); Flounder en Papillote with Fennel, Olives, & Lemon; or Poached Eggs with Winter Greens & Pancetta?

There are dozens more tempting dishes in her recipe archives. A couple of summers ago I made her Yellow Pepper Coca with Capers, a popular Spanish type of pizza that makes fantastic summer tapas, using sweet peppers from my kitchen garden and am still daydreaming about it.

Amanda's smart writing is fresh and informative, an entertaining read even if you never venture near the kitchen. She also knows how to turn a bad experience into a good story, as evidenced by this recent post about her adventures applying to Manhattan preschools, which includes a simple recipe for Tarte aux Oignons, Caramelized Onion Tart with Black Olives. After that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, that had me laughing so hard while reading about it I was crying, she may be wishing little Lucy, who has no trouble forming complete sentences, would just go back to clucking—at least until they secure her a spot in preschool.

If you do stop over for a visit at Figs, Bay & Wine, I hope you'll take a moment to leave a comment and say hello to Amanda and my favorite little big city girl.

Want to see more of our Lucy Cluck Cluck and her seven siblings?
6/12/09: Last One Born's a Rotten Egg! (April chick pics shared in June)
6/15/09: Pizza Party! (yep, we sometimes feed our chickens pizza)


© FarmgirlFare.com, where it's my hunky farmguy's birthday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Dose of Cute: Are Weekends for Resting or Playing?

Tired Daisy and Energetic Bert
Depends on if there's a puppy in the picture.


The Daily Donkey 49: Chillin' in the Sun

Recipe: Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup

Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup 1
Cool weather comfort, healthy & filling, garnished with a sprinkle of spring chives.

Thunder is rumbling overhead, raindrops are tapping on The Shack's old tin roof (something I never get tired of listening to), and today's forecast is calling for highs in the 30s, with freezing drizzle and snow flurries on the way.

I love this kind of weather. It makes me want to spend the day curled up next to the woodstove with a vintage quilt and a good book, a beagle pup snoozing quietly nearby (he does stop chewing on things once in a while), and something warm and comforting simmering on the stove.

Spring may have sprung, with 80 degree days last week, but cozy quilt and soup season are thankfully still hanging on. And while farm life doesn't quite lend itself to spending the day on the couch, and the beagle pup laying nearby just loudly crunched on a plastic clothespin (where does he find these things?), making homemade soup is something we can handle.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Dose of Cute: A Look Back at Lambing Season 2010 Part Two

I carry my camera with me everywhere around the farm and snap thousands of photos each year, most of which never make it up on these pages. Back in early January I shared a two part, random assortment of personal favorites still sitting in my 2010 monthly 'to post' files:

Part three was supposed to immediately follow, but then puppy madness struck, and I forgot all about it. Since we're gearing up for Lambing Season 2011 to start in a day or two, I figured it's now or never for this cute look back. This is the second half of the lamb photos; you'll find the first half here. And there are links to photos from all of our lambing seasons—plus The Daily Donkey!—at the end of this post. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Farmgirl Fare on Facebook

Connect!

Are you on Facebook? I recently started announcing each new Farmgirl Fare and In My Kitchen Garden post on the Farmgirl Fare Facebook page, so now it's even easier to keep up with what's happening on the farm.

You can also subscribe to the Farmgirl Fare RSS feed or receive each Farmgirl Fare post via e-mail (your e-mail address will never be used for anything else).

And on most days, I remember to announce new posts on Twitter. New posts on In My Kitchen Garden (my organic garden blog) are announced on Twitter here.

No matter how stay connected, we're happy that you do!

The Daily Donkey 45: Dan Connecting with His Lunch

© FarmgirlFare.com, pink-tongued and slowly but surely joining the social circle and catching up with technology.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Dose of Cute: New Photos from an Old Year Part Three - A Look Back at Lambing Season 2010

I carry my camera with me everywhere around the farm and snap thousands of photos each year, most of which never make it up on these pages. Back in early January I shared a two part, random assortment of personal favorites still sitting in my 2010 monthly 'to post' files:

Part three was supposed to immediately follow, but then puppy madness struck, and I totally forgot about it. Since we're gearing up for Lambing Season 2011 to start next week (Joe is down readying the barn as I type this), I figure it's now or never for this cute look back. The rest of the photos (I couldn't narrow it down any further) should be up in a day or two. Enjoy!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Farm Photo: Spring Has Sprung!

Overwintered Swiss chard in the greenhouse sprouting back to life.

I love this easy to grow, amazingly versatile vegetable:

Happy happy, grow grow. You can see more of what's been sprouting up for spring on my latest kitchen garden blog post.
© FarmgirlFare.com, where a thunderstorm last night and 80 sunshiney degrees today created the kind of spring afternoon where if you slowed down long enough, you could almost see everything growing. I can't believe it's already the end of March!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Dose of Cute: Form Fitting



Wishing you a comfortable weekend in the company of close friends.


© FarmgirlFare.com, where that big beautiful ewe staring at the camera in the top photo is my (almost five year old!) baby Cary, and she's doing great.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Farm Photo: A Little St. Patrick's Day Green

Daffodils in the front yard
With a splash of daffodil yellow.

Love looking at these cheerful flowers? They reappear year after year and are all tucked away here.


© FarmgirlFare.com, where we don't mark the arrival of spring by the calendar, but by the daffodils. And with 80 degrees today and highs in the 70s forecast for the entire next week, it both looks and feels like it's definitely here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Dose of Cute: Donkey Boys Are Growing Up!

Gnat and Gus are growing up
Gnat and Gus Today

Just meeting these little guys? You can see newborn photos of Gus here, and then get to know him better here. Newborn Gnat is here, and there are lots more photos of him here.

The Daily Donkey 39: Dan Stealing Cary's Treats

© FarmgirlFare.com, longear loving all the way.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Dose of Cute: Bert's Weekend Project

Bert's Weekend Project 1
Friday, 10:38am

Take this new found treasure. . .

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Dose of Cute: Barely Busted

Barely Busted Bert
He's quick!

I hope everybody's behaving themselves this weekend—though of course it's usually more fun if you don't. Homemade chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, anyone?

The Daily Donkey 35: Double Trouble (speaking of misbehaving)

© FarmgirlFare.com, where we're always thinking with our stomachs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Dose of Cute: Extreme Foodie

Extreme Foodie Sheep - Farmgirl Fare
In the sheep sense—and a hay way.

The Daily Donkey 34: Daphne and Dinky

© FarmgirlFare.com, where no matter what, no matter when, there's always one. And that's what keeps us laughing.

Recipe: Nigella's Big Chocolate Chip Cookies Two Ways

Nigella's Big Chocolate Chip Cookies 2
These scrumptious cookies offer 'tender chewiness with an edge of crisp bite.'

Am I the last person to fall in love with bestselling author and British domestic goddess Nigella Lawson? The woman is a hoot, and I haven't even seen her Food Network shows. Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home is Nigella's eighth cookbook but—should I even be admitting this?—my first. Her books have sold over five million copies.

This one is a 3¾ pound (yes, I actually weighed it), 512-page, full-color hardcover that's packed with 190 inspiring recipes, 60 of which are 'express-style,' and makes me want to both crack up laughing and cook. Cover priced at $35, but available for just $18.25 from amazon.com, it's a happy cook's bargain.

All I've actually made from it so far are four batches of these scrumptious chocolate chip cookies, but this book has already given me several hours of enjoyment and has spent more time off the shelf and in my hands during the last few months than any of my other cookbooks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Dose of Cute: Bear's Eye View

Bear's Eye View
Up high in the hay barn

The Daily Donkey 33: Time to Treat!

© FarmgirlFare.com, the all seeing, all crowing foodie farm blog where self-cleaning dog Lucky Buddy Bear's secret to keeping a super shiny coat (besides eating all those raw farm fresh eggs) is to rub his sides against the stacked bales of hay. It works! Scratches those hard to reach itches, too.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Monday, March 07, 2011

Monday Dose of Cute: Another Day. . .

Donkettes hoping for treats
Another donkey induced smile.

Heehaw! The Daily Donkey is a hit—and is actually appearing daily! Thirty days, thirty new donkey photos, all corralled behind The Daily Donkey navigation tab at the top of the page for your viewing pleasure. I also include a link to each new Daily Donkey at the bottom of that day's farm photo or dose of cute post. (If there are multiple farm or cute photos in a post, you'll have to click on the click here for the rest of this post link to reach The Daily Donkey link.)

Thanks for your enthusiastic response to this fun new feature. Now just cross your hooves I can keep up this posting pace. Goodness knows there's no shortage of donkey photos around here, with more being taken every day—like my new favorite above. These girls crack me up. And Esmeralda, the fourth donkette, was right there, too, captured in today's Daily Donkey.

The Daily Donkey 30: Esmeralda Looking for Treats

© FarmgirlFare.com, aka Longear Lover's Paradise, where cute faces are impossible to resist and organic carrots are purchased by the bushel.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday Dose of Cute: Best Buds

Hello! If a Disney movie preview ad about aliens popped up in the middle of the screen during your farm visit, I apologize. It's not supposed to be there. Yeah, it scared the donkeys, too—but please don't tell them I told you.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Thursday Farm Photo: Marching into Spring

Donkeyland is greening up! (See it in full spring swing here.)


© FarmgirlFare.com, the time flies way too fast foodie farm blog where those of us who are still tackling very long Winter To Do Lists aren't wishing this quickly disappearing season away (68 degrees today!), but the donkeys and sheep—neither of whom, as far as I know, ever make To Do Lists—are anxiously looking forward to trading homegrown hay for fresh spring grass.

And speaking of things to do, I'm way behind replying to e-mail and blog comments. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tuesday Farm Photo: Love It

A new heart rock and a soft old shirt

Much to my surprise and delight, I've found hundreds of heart shaped rocks around the farm over the last several years. (I'm not real picky; they don't have to be perfect, just like love isn't.) You can see more of my heart rock collection here and here.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the well worn foodie farm blog where some of my favorite work shirts are so tattered and full of holes that each time I wear one, I swear this will be the last time, and then I'll wash it so the rags I cut it up into will be clean. But then somehow the freshly laundered shirt makes it off the laundry line and back into my pile of clothes—where I figure I'll just wear it one more time.