About Me

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Fayette Co, KY, United States
I am a country girl stuck in the city, for the time-being. I enjoy the country way of life, and practice that in my home as best I can by canning and preserving foods, cooking and baking from scratch, crocheting, living vicariously thru the many blogs I follow about country life. I enjoy learning about raising livestock, and glean from my past employment and personal experiences of working with animals to fuel some of my postings. I have 5 cats, who keep my life interesting. And I am also an amateur poet. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this Farmer-gal who is caught in town, for now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Pookie - Meditating - enough said! LOL

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pookie - The Yoga Kitty

Here is Pookie practicing yoga. I told him about Marigold the goat, and her yoga poses that the goatmother posted on Goat Philosophy 101. Pookie said he wanted to give it a try.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poem To Share - Spring Burial

Spring Burial
The gray feather from the table
reminded me—
the silver maple in our parents’ backyard,
from a spring storm a wind blown nest,
a baby robin, its downless body
lifeless on the ground.

We tucked the bird inside
an empty gelatin box
and said our prayers for its soul.
We buried it in a shallow grave
where no one walked
between Jeanette’s white picket fence
and the carport.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Recipe - Quick Walnut Bread

This recipe is by Martha Rose Shulman -- martha-rose-shulman.com

This savory quick bread is easy to make and versatile. Try it lightly toasted for breakfast or tea, or drizzled with a little honey. You may also slice it thin and serve it with cheese.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 tblsp olive oil
3 tblsp walnut oil
1 cup (3 oz) chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Move the rack to the center of the oven. Butter or oil a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk or yogurt and the oils. Quickly whisk in the flour, and fold in the walnuts. Scrape into the bread pan.

3. Bake 50 minutes to one hour, until nicely browned and a tester comes out clean. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then reverse onto a rack and allow to cool.

Yield: one loaf
Advanced preparation: This bread will keep for a couple of days wrapped airtight. It freezes well.

My note: I'll probably make this in the next day or two, but first need to get some buttermilk or yogurt from the store. I don't have walnut oil, so will probably just use safflower oil since I have it on hand. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Poem To Share - Flight II

Flight II
The wind came up
and so did you
bald eagle kite.
Wings flapping in the breeze,
up and down you pitched
with each gust
as I watched outside
of the café.

My past months have been you,
day to day undulating
from one episode to the next.
I whirled in the chaos,
buffeted by the flurry.
Finally I’d had enough.

So, I hang like you
from my beak
in dead air.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Poem To Share - Nelsonville Dust Bowl

Nelsonville Dust Bowl
The day began early—
running, winded, walking,
I saw great dust balls roll
along the tree line,
heaving translucent spheres
round with the smell
of plowed earth,
illuminated orbs.

The prairie swelled
in my mind,
rising and falling
with each gust.

Cars continued on their way,
headlights mixing with the trees.
I stood still.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Poem to Share - Cobbler's Knob

Cobbler’s Knob
The knob was full
of stinging nettle
and bitter dock
with its heart-shaped leaves.
In the clearing I saw the blue flowers
of chicory
whose roots the Indians
would grind to make a drink
like coffee.
I crouched on the path.

I could hear the chick-a-dee-dee-dee
of the black-capped chickadees
and the peter-peter-peter call
of the tufted titmice
in the oaks and hickories.
We regarded each other peaceably
as dusk came.

A breeze rose
out of the valley
bringing a night-hawk
flapping its thin wings.
I walked to the edge
of the trees, sat on the ground
and stilled myself to let
the wild ones
come near.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Poem to Share - Barn Dance

This is something I wrote a number of years ago about an old flame.

Barn Dance

A Dobro played on the radio;
we held each other in the weathered barn,
barely moving to the slow songs.
Suffolk ewes with their lambs
then returned
to catch a whiff of us two-legged creatures.
They breathed in rhythm.
Drifting through the boards of the barn
sun flickered over us,
while dust danced
in the streaming light.

A cloudy day,
I walk to the barn
and pour the cracked corn
into the feeder.
The sheep gather
in silence.
We breathe as one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zucchini Bread Results

The zucchini bread turned out really well. It is extremely moist, almost like spoonbread, and I think that's due to the large amount of shredded zucchini in the mix. The walnuts were a nice touch. When you think of how moist it is, while it's cooking, and when it's done, you may think that it will be too doughy, but it isn't. I did let it bake for 60 minutes. I checked it with a toothpick inserted into the center after 50 minutes, but it needed just another little bit longer to get completely baked. And then at 60 minutes, the toothpick did come out clean. The sugar coating from the loaf pan adds a nice touch, and makes the crust a little chewy/crunchy, and a nice brown color. I did let it sit a while in the loaf pan before taking it out so it would set up a little, and it came out of the pan easily. And then let it cool on a wire rack. And the sweetness in the bread is not overpowering, like the recipes you sometimes run across when making a quick bread.

OK - enough of the critique for today. Hope you all enjoy this recipe. I'm on to bigger and better things for the day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zucchini Bread

This recipe is by Ashley Christensen http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zucchini-bread/

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour - I used a mix of white and wheat flours
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup canola oil - I used safflower oil since that was all I had
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb zucchini, coarsely shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4 inch loaf pan and coat it with sugar. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk the canola oil with the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add the shredded zucchini. Stir the zucchini batter into the dry ingredients.

2. Pour the zucchini bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the zucchini bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I also added about a cup of chopped walnuts to the batter.

I'm making this as I write this post. I'm baking it in a cast iron bread pan. I'll let you know later how it turns out, and if I had any unforeseen problems, etc.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Multi-Grain Muffins

Recipe taken from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

Makes 12 muffins.

My note: it has a lot of ingredients, but the muffins are very much worth the time to mix and bake.

When you want a nutrient-packed muffin that's also moist and flavorful, choose these muffins for breakfast or a snack.

1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
2 tbls toasted wheat germ or bran
2 tbls cornmeal
1 tbls baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup low-fat milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter the tops and insides of a regular-size (1/3 cup) muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients up to and including the grated apple.

3. In another large bowl whisk the egg, oil, honey, and milk until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Do not overbeat the batter. Let it sit undisturbed for 1 minute so the grains can absorb the liquid. Fill the prepared muffin cups with the batter. Bake 17 to 18 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature, but not hot.

Easy No Knead Bread

Taken from the book A Family Raised on Sunshine by Beverly Nye pg. 54

Makes 4 large 9 x 5 loaves or 7 small loaves

In a large bowl, pour 5 cups warm water. Add 2 pkgs. dry yeast.

When yeast is dissolved, add:

8 tbsp sugar or honey
8 tbsp shortening
8 tsp salt
6 cups flour

Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, with a mixer.


6 more cups flour

Stir in with spoon. Let rise. Spoon into pans. Let rise again. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes in large pans, 30 minutes in small. Take from pans immediately, brush with butter, and let cool on racks.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cuban Black Beans

This recipe is taken from the book Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies
by Suzanne Havala, M.S, R.D. pg. 203.

This recipe can be served over rice as an entree or thinned with vegetable broth, it can double as black bean soup.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

1/4 olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, including green leaves, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups (two 20-ounce cans) black beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups dried black beans, soaked or cooked in a pressure cooker)
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 bay leaf
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbls lemon juice

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the onions, green bell peppers, celery, and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).

2. Add the beans, salt, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and lemon juice and stir well to combine.

3. Cover and simmer for another 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the bay leaf and serve over rice.

Per serving: Calories 195 (From Fat 63); Fat 7g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 593mg; Carbohydrate 25g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 8g.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bow-tie Pasta With Black-eyed Peas and Greens

This is a recipe much like Hoppin' John, but I make it year round rather than just at New Years.

12 oz bow-tie pasta
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic or to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
10 oz bag frozen black-eyed peas
10 to 16 oz chicken broth
Greens of your choice, washed, trimmed, coarsely chopped
Parmesan cheese

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta about 7 minutes or until it is not quite tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, slice onion into thin slices and mince garlic. Heat olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until browning and fragrant, stirring often.

3. Add crushed pepper flakes, salt, and black-eyed peas to the skillet. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes. The chicken broth should just cover the peas; if it doesn't add more liquid.

4. Uncover and simmer 5 minutes more. Add greens, cook until wilted. Add pasta and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and toss with some of the cheese. Then serve in warmed bowls with grated parmesan cheese for the top.

Should serve 4 or more.

Happy Cooking


Here are the furrbabies. My friend Tina has Annie and Alpheus, they are brother and sister. The other 3 are mine. Pookie is just about 6 months old now, and already weighs over 7 lbs.

I promise my picture taking will get better. This is my first digital camera, so bear with me, please.

Hope you enjoy the babies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Poem To Share - Ghost House

Ghost House
There’s a house near the river:
Windows stare vacant,
ragged curtains swell
in a south wind.
Paint peels
from the lopsided gate.
The barn is empty
except for a rusty three-bottom plow.
Door is off its hinges,
gangly weeds throttle
bare flower beds,
rangy grasses grow
in a once trim yard.

I had lunch on this back porch
in spring and danced
in the front room
on warm nights.
I canned in the summer kitchen
while clean sheets were whipped crisp
in the sun.
Starched shirts were pressed
on a wooden board,
and breezes whistled
through screen door holes
as big as my fist.

Today, the front steps creak
as I make my way
to the car,
walking by the chicken coop—
I drive to the highway
leaving the house behind:
windows stare vacant
ragged curtains swell
in a south wind.

I wrote this poem after driving by some abandoned farm houses that I could see from I-64 near Frankfort, KY. Now those houses are gone. They were torn down to make room for a clothing store and a Starbucks.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dutch Spiced Cabbage

Taken from the Melting Pot files of the Yahoo group Home Canning

If you are new to canning, see the link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website in the previous post where you will find canning directions and other canning recipes.

2 heads red or green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup salt
1 gallon vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp each mace, allspice, cinnamon
1/2 cup honey

1. Sprinkle shredded cabbage with salt and let stand 24 hours.
2. Press moisture out of salted cabbage and let stand for 3 hours.
3. Boil the vinegar for 8 minutes with water and spices. Add honey.
4. Pour hot liquid over cabbage. Keep in large bowl or earthen jar, or can by heating to simmering.
5. Pack hot cabbage and liquid into hot canning jars to 1/2 of the top of the jar.
6. Cover with hot juice, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles.
7. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet; then consult your canning manual for directions for adjusting your time to match your altitude if necessary.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Canning Apples Studded with Cherries & Raisins

Taken from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving pg 160.

If you are new to canning, go to this site to learn the basics of canning and find other recipes.

National Center for Home Food Preservation


Apples Studded with Cherries & Raisins

Makes about 8 pint jars or 4 quart jars

8 lbs medium-sized tart apples (such as Granny Smith), cored, cut length-wise into eighths, treated to prevent browning, do not peel apples (my note)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups water
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples and sugar. Toss gently to coat apples. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Add dried cherries, raisins, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.

3. Using a slotted spoon, pack hot fruit into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover fruit, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process both pint and quart jars for 20 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

I am canning this recipe today. I'll post later on in the week to let you all know how it turns out.

Happy Canning All!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Giving credit where credit is due

The sourdough starter recipe and the sourdough bread recipe are ones that I tweaked for my own use. But I got the original recipes from the following book:

The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook: Your Guide to the Best Foods on Earth
by Diana Shaw (Writer) and Kathy Warriner (Illustrator) Paperback May 13, 1997

You can find it new and used on Amazon.com for a pretty good price.

Happy Baking All!

Sourdough Bread Recipe

OK -- here is the bread recipe for the sourdough sponge that I wrote about yesterday. Unlike most sourdough sponges, you do use all of the sponge in this recipe for the bread.

So, take your fermented sponge and stir it down, then add 3 cups of flour (white or wheat or a mix) -- add 1 cup at a time until it all comes together being careful not to add too much flour and make the dough too stiff & dry. You can use a KitchenAid mixer to mix and knead the dough if you like. You would knead with the dough hook until the dough forms a ball on the hook, and is no longer very sticky. If you knead by hand, add enough flour so that it is no longer sticky, and when pinched a little, the dough feels like an earlobe. You'd knead by hand for about 10 minutes.

Grease a wooden, glass, or stoneware bowl, put the dough in, then turn over the dough so that the greased side is up. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and/or with a towel. If you like, while you're kneading the dough, turn your oven on to 150 degrees and let it warm. Place the bowl with the dough into the oven and leave the oven at 150 degrees, also, you can place a shallow pan of water in the warmed oven to aid in the dough rising. Let the dough rise about 60 to 90 minutes until double in size. Punch down, and divide the dough into two 8 x 4 inch bread pans (cast iron bread pans work great), cover with a towel and return to the warm oven. Let rise until double, which will take about 60 minutes.

Take the bread pans out of the oven as well as the shallow pan of water if using, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. You can leave the dough loaves as is, or you can take a very sharp knife and make 3 shallow diagonal slices on the top of the loaves so that the tops don't crack while baking. This is just optional. Place the bread into the oven when it is heated up, close the door of the oven, wait 15 seconds, open the oven door and spritz a little water onto the floor of the oven, close the door, wait 30 seconds and repeat with another spritz of water. This will give the crust a texture of French bread when finished baking. Bake the bread for about 35 to 40 minutes, checking at about that time to see if it's done. Rap on the loaves and if they sound hollow and are browned, then they are done. Remove bread from pans immediately, and place on a rack for cooling, and cover with a towel.

Hopefully soon I'll get my digital camera up and rolling and be able to post some pix of when I make this bread and other recipes.

Happy Bread Making!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sourdough Starter and recipe

Here is a sourdough starter recipe that I have tweaked for my own uses. Tomorrow I will give the sourdough bread recipe.

2 Cups warm water
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 Cups flour (white or wheat or a mix of both)

Before putting the 2 C of water in the bowl, let the bowl fill a little with very warm water, and fill up your measuring cup with warm water and let sit for a few minutes. This will allow the 2 C of warm water for the mix to not cool down too much.

OK - measure your 2 C of warm water into the empty bowl, put in the tbsp of yeast, and the tbsp of sugar. Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes until the yeast activates and becomes foamy.

In another bowl, whisk together the 1 tbsp of salt and the 3 C of flour. Then put the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and whisk together into a sponge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and sit it in a warm area of your home to sour. Alternatively you can put the sponge in a large jar, place a piece of cheese cloth or an old t-shirt rag overtop and secure with a rubber band or canning jar band. This will allow air to get to it to ferment. Let the sponge sit for 24 hours or up to 5 days to sour. Each day stir the sponge down, as liquid will normally form on top, and a thick flour/water mix on the bottom.

Tomorrow I'll continue with the bread recipe you can use the sponge for.

Happy Baking.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Let me introduce myself

I am a farmerwannabe living in Fayette Co KY, the Bluegrass area of the state, central KY. My blog will chronicle daily musings and doings from my home where I preserve foods, cook from scratch, learn about organic gardening, spoil my 3 cats, crochet (once in a while), and read up on books about homesteading & raising goats & other livestock. I live in town, but one day will own my own place. So, sit back, get a cuppa and enjoy yourself.