Monday, March 7, 2011

From Rebecca's Kitchen Window

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering how many of you can say they wake up to turkeys squawking! I thought our chickens can make a lot of noise, well, they don't! I was wondering why Gary has both the turkeys and the chickens so close to our bedroom windows!? Even with the windows closed you can hear them, can you imagine how good I can hear them when the windows are open! Who needs a alarm clock with turkeys to wake you up each day! :)

Today on the farm was business as usual. Gary and Ethan had to load up a lamb and a cow this morning to go to the butcher. Then Gary was back to milking the cows. He really enjoys the cows and how calm they are. They have a good life on the farm, as well as the rest of the animals. I got a good laugh the other day when a guy said to me, your animals have a great life, they just have one bad day! Well, if you didn't get that, I think I will pass on explaining it to you!

Last week the Post Office in Toledo called and said our baby chicks were in, but that they would have to be either shipped to Lima and we would have to go pick them up that day or wait another day and they would get them to Pandora's Post Office. I said we are not able to go to Lima today, and feared that we would lose some chicks waiting another day, and I voiced that to him. He said sorry the truck that goes to Pandora already left. So we thought well, we have no choice we will hope that that some don't die before we get them. Well, to our amazement, the Pandora Post Office called later that day to say our baby chicks had come to the post office! They made it in one day, that still amazes me how baby chicks come through the mail service! Now, I know spring is coming, we have baby chicks.

The robins are back too, another good sign spring is coming! I will have to say that Gary beat me seeing the first robin of this spring! We usually have our little race to see who sees the first robin each spring, I know it's rather silly, but what can I say.

We had lots of rain lately and we too experienced some issues with it. We went to bed that night not even knowing how much rain we were suppose to have. We woke up the next day looked out our bedroom window to see that our three pigs, which I named Laverne, Shirley and Squiggy, were almost in the water. Do pigs now how to swim? I never thought about that before! We have a ditch behind the farm and it decided to come way up to their home! So Ethan let them move up farther in the pasture. Then I look out the kitchen window and see Ethan and Gary carrying like 2 to 3 chickens in each of their hands. They had to put them with our other batch of laying hens. Their building that they can go into to lay eggs was flooded.

So now we have two different groups of chickens that don't really like each other and some have had to pay the ultimate price if you know what I mean! Poor things. It has also cut our egg production down some as well. How unfortunate! Of course, there is no way to separate them now, how could you ever tell the younger ones from the older ones, its not like they get gray feathers once they get older!

Gary has been busy making a fence for the milk cows so they have more room to roam!! It is up by his milk room and it's looking very nice! I can actually watch him build it out my kitchen window. I love my kitchen window!! So many adventures I can watch as I am getting meals ready, or baking cupcakes!

I wanted to share with you Gary's favorite Cheddar Chowder soup recipe. Actually, all our kids love this soup too. It's fun to see what recipes your children want to make after they grow up and have a family of their own. This is one of those recipes!!! :)

Cheddar Chowder:

2 c water
2 c diced potatoes
1/2 c diced carrots
1/2 c diced celery
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

White Sauce:

1/4 c butter

1/4 c flour

2 c milk

2 c cheddar cheese

1 c cubed ham (if you cook our ham slice up and cut it up or it may just fall apart!, it taste wonderful in this soup)

Directions: Combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper in large kettle. (pan) Boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, make white sauce by melting the butter. Add flour and stir until smooth, about 1 minutes. Slowly add milk. Cook until thickened. Add grated cheese to the white sauce and stir until melted. Add white sauce and cubed ham to vegetables that HAVE NOT been drained. Heat through. Serves 6. ENJOY!

I will be back soon to share more adventures on the farm and another recipe!



Saturday, March 5, 2011

From Rebecca's Kitchen Window

Hi Everyone,

I know it's been awhile since you have seen me here. I guess you could say I was trying figure out what direction I am taking with my blog. When the winter months hit, I decided it was time to leave the outdoor stuff to the guys. I'm not much of a cold weather gal!! I am doing a lot of answering emails, phone calls, and running eggs to different towns each week. Also, I help wash eggs in a warm building! I work with Gary getting orders ready for our customers that come up from Columbus, Ohio. Gary and I also run to Perrysburg twice a month and deliver orders to our customers and drop off eggs at Kazmaiers Grocery Store.

This winter this country gal went with my sister to New York City and stayed with my niece for 11 days. What an adventure that was! I thought our farm can sure be an adventure, wow, N.Y.C. is quite a place for adventures! While I was there, I was on the set of the Today's Show, where my niece and I got the set ready for her client, we also got to sit in the green room while we waited to do that, then my sister and I got V.I.P. treatment the next day at the Today Show! Meredith Vieira even told me I looked good in my coat!!! We watched them blow up those huge balloons for Macy's Parade, which all three of us found to be a rather emotional moment, we also ate at some really good restaurants. We had a lot of fun shopping ( a lot of window shopping) I even got to try on a vintage bracelet that cost $80,000.00, that one looked really good on my wrist, I tried on a cheaper one that was only $50,000.00, of course, the more expensive bracelet fit and looked the best, isn't that how it always goes, and no, I didn't buy it! One day, we went to a outdoor market and while we were there I saw a man who was going through the trash and digging out food people had thrown away and was eating it. That was hard to see and I felt bad that he had to be in that situation.

Most of you know, I bake cupcakes, so, I had to go to all the N.Y. C. cupcake places and have cupcakes!! Some where better than others! At one place some of the cupcakes were $3.50 a cupcake!

One day at my nieces apartment, we were watching Julia to Julia and then it came to me, that maybe, I could do something like that on my blog. To share different recipes with you that I have tried and loved with our meats and eggs. So, when there isn't anything exciting going on at the farm, I can always share recipes. If you only knew how many cookbooks I have!!! My mom is the same way, we love to read cookbooks and I also love to try new recipes. So my plan is to share a recipe with each of my blogs.

We did have our share of issues with our electric fences today. We have had a lot of rain lately and I guess rain and electric fences don't do well together!! This morning I got a call from a guy saying our calves are out at another farm, then a get a second call from another guy that said someone who told someone told him, that some calves were out!! Of course, both of those guys new that they were our calves. One nice thing about living in a small community, most people know each other. So our son, Ethan, got the calves back in and then saw that the breaker had flipped off and got that back on. Then he comes in for lunch, and looks out the kitchen window and now there are cattle walking around our lane. They are suppose to be in the pasture on the other side of the ditch! The cattle or sheep have never gotten out from that pasture. I was thinking okay, either they walked down the road and up our driveway or else they went for the more adventuresome way and went down the ditch where the water is pretty high up! My vote is for the latter one! ha So out Ethan goes to round up the cattle, with Gary and Leah's help they get them back in with the rain pouring down on them! They get the fence fixed again and now are heading in for lunch. Gary and Ethan came to the house, one jumped in the tub and the other the shower. I am here blogging and the phone rings, they just wanted to let me know that the calves are out again!!! Are you kidding me! Gary and Ethan get all cleaned up and now, once again, they have to go back outside into the rain and get two ornery calves back into the fenced in pasture. Gary and Ethan got that taken care of and now we pray that they all decide to stay where they belong. Once again, the saying the grass is always greener on the other side must be true. Except, they must not realize that there really isn't any green grass over there at all at this time of year. Oh and I don't believe they ever did get to eat lunch that day!

I have a really good recipe to give you for Steak Marinade, that I found the other day.
We had friends over for supper and I marinated our tenderloin steaks and then the guys grilled them. We all agreed, we will be using this recipe again. Enjoy.
Steak marinade: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup red wine, 3 T. red wine vinegar, 4 tsp. minced garlic, or 1 tsp. garlic powder, (I used minced garlic), 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. I just sprinkled some pepper in the bag.
Combine all ingredients, put in Ziploc bag, marinate steak 4 to 6 hours. I actually only had time to marinate them for 3 hours and they still turned out really good. Take out and grill until desired degree of doneness is reached.
If you want to get Gary's favorite soup recipe you'll want to check back soon.
I am ready to blog!