Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Isn't it funny how sometimes we also can be like our farm animals.  Wondering if the grass is greener if we lived somewhere else or if we had a different job.  I was thinking about that the other day as I saw the sheep always on the hot pursuit to get out of there fenced in area, why do they want to be any where else than where they are suppose to be. I also realized that sheep tend to all be followers except for that one leader in the pack!  All the others just following the leader not knowing what is in store for them if they do!  It made me realize two things first I love being a farm/ranch wife and wouldn't trade my life with anybody else, plus, to be proud of being who God made me to be and not want to be like or act like anyone else, for he made each one of us special and we are to be ourselves, just as he had planned.  Life on the farm has it's challenges, but it's a wonderful life and it's my life.

A couple of weeks ago we lost one of our really nice milk cows due to bloat.  I never knew how fast a cow can die from that, one minute they appear fine and the next they are dead.  When the grasses grow so nice and rich, that's when they are most susceptible to bloating and it doesn't take them long to die unless you can get the gases released.  So we needed to go get another cow. 

Last Saturday we did just that. I love going places with Gary, it's great spending time with my best friend whom just happens to also be my husband too!!  I am blessed!  So off we went to Wooster, about 2 1/2 hours away to a Jersey Cow Auction.  It was cold in that barn, but we were able to find a cow that wasn't quite as expensive as most of them.  I hope that she will be a good addition to our farm.  Brought her home and Gary put her out with the other cows, thought all would be good.  Well, what did I tell you in past blogs, how animals know you have somewhere to go so they decide to escape, well, it was time for Gary to come in to get ready for church and where did the new cow go?  She managed to get out and go across the road to be with some of our other cattle.  Do you see a trend with our farm? ha ha  Animals always wanting to leave their pastures for other pastures!  They always come with a name too, I rather like her name, Sarina!

 Then yesterday afternoon, Gary and I went to Suter's Cider Press, to get some apples and fresh cider!!  Yum!  Then on our way home we went by the pasture that Gary had moved her into with some other cows, since she is due to calf on Nov. 9th. At least that's what they said at the auction.  We drive down the road to check on her and what in the world is she doing?  She's standing in the middle of the road starring at our van as we pull up to her!  Really!!  So we had to go get her put back in again.  Ran to the house to get more jackets on to keep warm, hopped on the kabota, checked to make sure the fences are off, get some hay, and off we went on the kabota to lure her into the next pasture with the hay!  Hay is a wonderful way to coax a cow where we want them to go!   Here the electric fence charger that is out in the pasture had  been turned off but the one at the farm was on.  So didn't realize that the fence wasn't even charging!  Took care of that issue!!!  I don't believe she will be getting out anytime soon!!  ha  Oops!!  Maybe I really shouldn't have said that!! You know our luck with animal escapes!  At least we have nice animals and they aren't like lions, tigers and bears! ;)

We are getting busy with our turkeys now.  Hoping they grow nicely this next month so they can be ready for Thanksgiving.  At this point Gary is thinking they will weigh between 13 to 20 pounds.  Much better than when his brothers were  farming together and we had some 30 pound ones!  ha That was pretty funny.  You had to cut them (which wasn't easy!) in half just so they would fit into the roaster or oven!! They sure didn't fit into the fryer!  Thankfully, they figured out when to get them so they won't be to big when it's time to butcher for Thanksgiving.  The turkeys this year though are a week younger than they should have been, due to the fact when they came in the mail it was to hot for them and we lost all of them and had to wait another week to get more.  That's life on the farm, you really have to be prepared for anything because for sure it's gonna happen! 

 I purchased the funniest sign a few weeks ago at Hobby Lobby, it's a picture of a Thanksgiving turkey holding a sign that reads....Eat Beef!  Now I need to find one with a cow holding a sign saying....Eat Turkey!  I wonder if there is such a sign out there, if so I want it!  I could hang them together!

I wanted to mention that Gary's EKG came back normal. Praise God!  Now that I know his heart is good, I think it's time to go on a short vacation!! Giggle....Plans are in the making to go back to N.Y.C. to spend some time with my niece and maybe visit Lancaster PA. and ?  This year Gary is going with me.  It has been a long time since we had a vacation together.  I am getting excited to get away.  Gary's job is always around him since we live on the farm and it's hard for him to take time off from the farm and still be on the farm!! He is always able to see things that could, or should be done!

With the weather turning cold out, it makes me think of casseroles for a meal.  Here is a casserole dish that I really like and it's easy too!

Dairy land Casserole.......you'll see why it got the name Dairy land!

8oz. noodles
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce
1/8tsp. Worcestershire sauce  ( or a little more if your like me and like Worcestershire sauce!)
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. green pepper, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. melted butter

1. Cook noodles until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Brown beef, add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and pepper.
3. Combine cheeses and sour cream.
4. Butter large casserole.  Pour in half of the noodles.  Add cheese and cream mixture and cover with remaining noddles.  Top with beef mixture.  Drizzle melted butter on top.  (or you can leave the butter off!) 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or till cooked through.  enjoy....;)

I will be back soon with more of our life on the farm.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Out Rebecca's Kitchen Window

Here are the Top 10 reasons I know I live on a farm.
10. I never get to sleep IN with my husband because he has to go out early and milk the cows!
9. If you have somewhere to go, the animals know about it and that is the time they decide to get out of their pen.
8. No matter which window I look out of from my house, I can see animals!! How many people can say that! ha
7. When my husband wants to go for a walk, it's not down the road, its through the pastures so he can check the cattle and their water!
6. When you mow down the lane, you may run over a cow pile from the milk cows that went down the lane to their pasture!!
5. Sometimes, when I am leaving and want to go down our lane, I have to take down the electric fence first!
4. Your husband brings things up to the front door, that most husbands would never bring up to show their wifes.  Like the big snapping turtle he caught in the ditch, the owl that was catching a chicken each night to eat, new baby calf, a baby Killdeer, a garden snake, a hawk!!! See what I mean!!
3. If my windows are open I can be awakened each morning by the sounds of cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and turkeys!! Who needs an alarm clock anyway?!!!
2. I have lots of healthy meats, eggs, and milk to drink and never have to go to the grocery store to purchase them!
1. I know I live on a farm, because we have approximately, 10 milk cows, 25 beef cows, 2 bulls, 40 yearlings and calves, 5 sows, 1 boar, 13 piglets, 400 laying hens, 200 broiler chickens, 150 turkeys, 40 ewes, 60 lambs and 2 rams, and believe you me, the saying the "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" is a motto, that our animals stand by 100%!!!

I was just thinking about how David Letterman does all those top 10 things when I was walking around the farm for some exercise. Our farm sits on a corner and so I can walk down one lane, down road 3 to road N and then up our other lane and get a half mile in!!  So thought you might enjoy what I came up with, which is all true!

On Sunday afternoon, I was helping Gary with chores, we went out to move the cattle down a little farther in the pasture.  The guys have the pasture in sections and then when the cattle have finished eating down a section, they move them down the pasture a little farther and so on and so on.  So Gary and I went out there on the Kabota to do that and we spotted a baby calf in the pasture.  Gary had put one of our milk cows out there awhile ago since she was going to have a calf, but she wasn't due till mid October.  Sure enough though, it was her calf and she had had it early.  It was a cute little heffer, but rather weak.  It looked like Daisy (the mother) wasn't taking care of her, so we loaded the calf up onto the Kabota and drove her back to the farm. She is doing good and will hopefully be a milk cow later on. 

Unfortunately, we lost that sweet little premature heffer calf 3 days after she was born. :(  She was the sweetest little thing. 

My recipe for the day is:  Cheddar Chicken PotPie **** Or if you don't have time to put a crust on top just leave it off and add more milk to make it a chicken chowder!!! :)

Cheddar Chicken PotPie

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 Tablespoons of cold water

 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups peeled cubed potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 - 1/2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, myself, I like the Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 cups diced cooked chicken (or you can use canned chicken)
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning....I really like the flavor poultry seasoning gives chicken and turkey dishes
Salt and Pepper to taste

For crust:  combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Gradually add the water, mixing gently with a fork. Gather into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.  For filling, heat broth to a boil in a dutch oven or large saucepan.  Add vegetables: simmer 10-15 minures or until tender.  Blend flour with milk; stir into broth mixture.  Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Stir in cheese, chicken, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Heat until cheese melts.  Spoon into a 10-in.  (2-1/2 to 3 qt.) casserole dish.  Set aside.  On a lightly floured board, roll crust to fit top of casserole dish, trimming edges as necessary. Place in casserole over filling; sealing edges. Make several slits  in center of crust for steam to escape.  Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden.  Yeild: 6 servings.

*Note: you can purchase whole chickens from us and cook it whole and then take the meat off the bones and use that for your chicken* *We also have chicken parts and turkey parts, just check out our website for what we have availabe at that time*

Till next time...wishing you a week filled with much joy!