Friday, July 30, 2010

Ram #788

http://s129.photobucket.com/albums/p209/somerhill/SALE-Bluefaced%20Leicesters/
More photos available in the above album. He is a twin, born 3-25, dam is SHF Clio AI, twin daughter of Beeston Loyalty out of my best ewe line. Sire is SHF Lockerbie AI, son of Barlaes Titus E+ out of a Gwestydd Jamie line ewe. $350.
His twin brother, #787 is also available. Pictures are also in this album. 2 other rams, #777 and #774 are there, as well.

Mimosa

This tree is on Rt 78 between Reinersville and Olive Green. I passed it on my way back from the vet's in McConnelsville, and had to stop and go back to get this photo. What a lovely, graceful tree!


Rabbit with Anchovies and Tomato

Ingredients:
1 rabbit, cut into pieces
Flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 anchovy fillets (the kind packed in oil)
1/2 c dry white wine
4 ripe tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
2 tsp thyme, minced
1 tsp rosemary, minced
2 T bread crumbs
A small bunch of parsley, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 360 F Flour rabbit pieces, and sauté them in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the rabbit once it has browned; stir the wine into the drippings and bring the mixture to a boil. Return the rabbit to the pan and simmer it for ten minutes. Crumble the anchovy fillets, combine them with half the minced garlic, stir, and continue simmering for 20 more minutes.Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half, seed them, place them in a greased baking dish, dust them with the minced thyme and rosemary, and sprinkle them with a few drops of olive oil, and bake them for 15 minutes. Combine the parsley with the remaining garlic, stir the bread crumbs into the mixture, and correct its seasoning. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the tomatoes and broil them for five minutes. Transfer the rabbit to a serving platter, ring with the tomatoes, and serve.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Penn Progress


Penn did not cry at all last night. He was surrounded by his new friends, the BFL lambs.

Common Teasel

A European native, teasel was used by weavers to raise the nap on woolen fabric.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

National Museum of the American Coverlet

The National Museum of the American Coverlet
in Bedford, PA. This is an early geometric coverlet and one of the many spinning wheels in the current exhibition. It took 8-9 spinners working full time to produce enough cotton, linen or wool yarn to keep the weaver occupied. Now I understand why there are so many old spinning wheels. They had many styles and unusually inventive wheels in the exhibit. Some were downright weird, as each spinning wheel maker tried to corner the market with his new, better, faster design.

Above is the signature panel of a rare coverlet made in Kansas several years after the heyday of the coverlet had passed. Most were made before the Civil War. The war dried up any source of fiber for spinning, and after the war ended, most weaving was done by machine. There are very few examples made west of Illinois. The museum knows of no examples from Missouri, although they are sure they are out there. Naturally, they'd love to acquire one.
Above is a rare coverlet made by a woman. Not sure of the spelling, but her name was Sarah LaTurette. Normally woman did not weave the jaquard coverlets, since the equipment was expensive, and they did not own property to serve as collateral. So often, the weavers were men, who worked fulltime at the loom while their wives and families ran the home and the farm. Sarah's father was a weaver, and when he passed away, he willed his equipment to her. She was an accomplished weaver. Below is a closeup of the signature panel.

Above and below are details of 2 coverlets. I liked the quilt pattern star that is borrowed and incorporated into the coverlet pattern.

Above and below are examples of very unusual and complicated designs for spinning wheels. The one above had a long pole with a pedulum weight that supposedly made spinning fast and effortless. The one below had in intricate threading of the drive band, with some sort of sliding mechanism on a rail. Very odd. As our guide pointed out, these wheels never really became popular, because even if they did spin faster, there was too much to go wrong and monkey around with. A spinner usually had at least 2 favored, reliable wheels so they could be spinning non-stop.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The nameless waif from PA has a name

The little guy is named Penn. Last night, he cried a LOT! :^) I talked with him this morning, reminding him we are just up the hill in the house, and showing him where Tim and Buddy (Pyrs) are if he needs any help. And told him he needs to "cowboy up". We'll see if he does better tonight.
He let me pick him up tonight without having to corner him, and he does not scream anymore. He will come when called (sorta) and stays with us when we let him out of his pen to explore the barn area. He met a lamb tonight and licked its nose. Then it shoved him. Yelp! But he came right back and stood steady while others sniffed him.

This is Penn with his siblings before he came home with me. He is by far the cutest, don't you agree?

Some highlights from my long weekend in Bedford, PA

This is the view off the deck at the Shepherd's Chalet on the Monsour Sheep Farm just 5 miles north of Bedford exit off the PA turnpike. This photo is taken at 6AM. There is no sound but birds awakening, and the calls of mama's to their lambs. The farm is ringed by mountains, and is quite beautiful. The Monsour's have about 800 mostly North Country Cheviots, with 1000 lambs at side. What at sight to see that many sheep!

Below is one of the 14 covered bridges in Bedford county. We took the driving tour of 6 of them. This is the Colvin Bridge. This was a nice drive, and on such a hot afternoon, the perfect activity was to sit in an airconditioned car and look at the scenery and bridges.

Part of the bridge driving tour is the oh so silly and fun attraction, Gravity Hill. There is a lot of good natured hype in brochures about this great mystery of the universe. Once you get there, following the spraypainted "GH" signs along a tiny country road, you stop at the GH spraypainted on the road, put the car in nuetral, and wonder of wonders, the car starts to roll backwards. Up hill! We were amazed, and it was so fun, we did it again. There were other cars trying it when we drove back toward the main highway, and we all laughed and waved at one-another, feeling silly and yet somewhat confused as to why it works. My best guess is that its some sort of optical illusion making the road look as though you are going downhill when it is actually a slight incline. Whatever it is, get a carload of silly people and go try it yourself! Its FREE!

Our delightful guide at the National Coverlet Museum in Bedford. They have 3 rooms of coverlets, a display of rare and often very strange spinning wheels (on loan until the end of 2010) I learned so much about the history of the American coverlet - very interesting! I've got more photos, and will do another post focusing on them soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday evening dinner at Shepherd's Chalet


Anne, Diane, Kathy and I enjoyed our meal at the Shepherd's Chalet on Monsour Sheep Farm in Bedford PA this weekend. Anne, Kathy and I met in Bedford to have a BFL pal's weekend, and visit Diane's fiber shop, Firesong, in Bedford.
I cooked the first evening, and we talked Diane into staying for dinner. Here is a shot of the Thai Lamb Salad recipe from May 14th. Except for setting it on fire, it turned out to be a quick, easy, and quite delicious meal!

New Employee

This Anatolian Shepherd puppy came from Monsour Sheep Farm in Bedford, PA. He is ten weeks old. I brought him home today to meet the boss.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our New House Roof


Last winter we got some wind damage to the shingle roof on the front of the house. The back of the house still had its original slate roof with the date, 1884. The slate was badly deteriorating after almost 130 years, so we decided to replace the entire roof, including both porches.
The roofers finished last week. I love it! Its a green metal, and I think the house has been waiting all its life for this roof.

THAI LAMB MEATBALLS WITH PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

1# ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c fresh bread crumbs
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 c coconut milk
1 T lightly packed light brown sugar
1 T Thai red curry paste
1 T soy sauce
1/2 c crunchy peanut butter
Directions
Prepare the meatballs by blending together all ingredients. Preheat oven to 450°F
Form level tablespoonfuls of the meat mixture into 1¼-inch meatballs and arrange on prepared baking sheet, at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake in upper third of preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and no longer pink inside. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, curry paste and soy sauce. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peanut butter and cook, stirring, until peanut butter is well blended. Place meatballs on a serving platter and serve warm with sauce.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We lost Bob yesterday morning. He was eleven, so getting pretty old for a Great Pyrenees. Chuck said he just seemed a little off the night before - nothing major, but just a little different. We heard him barking about 11 PM, so he was still out guarding then. I saw him lying up on the high spot overlooking the flock in the morning as I left the farm for work. Chuck said he had died with his head up, looking out over the pasture. I'm glad; we knew we were going to have to keep him in this winter, and he'd have hated that. He died on the job, on his own terms, and I'm glad of it.
Rest in Peace Boo-Boo Bear.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grilled Lamb Pasta Salad with Fresh Tomato, Lemon and Dill Dressing Recipe

Ingredients
3/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp pepper
3 T chopped fresh dill, divided
1 pound lamb steak
1/2 pound rotini pasta
1-1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 c sliced black olives, drained
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
Preparation
To make dressing, in small bowl whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place lamb in sealable plastic bag and add 1/4 cup dressing and 1 tablespoon dill. Refrigerate and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and while still warm toss with 1/2 cup dressing and 1 tablespoon dill; set aside. Combine tomatoes, cheese, olives, onion and remaining dressing and dill. Allow flavors to blend for 1 hour. Toss pasta and tomatoes; set aside.Remove lamb from marinade and discard marinade. Grill over medium-hot coals about 2-3 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove lamb from grill, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Internal temperature will rise approximately 10 degrees. Thinly slice lamb and serve over pasta.

Alanthus - scurge of the earth

As an invasive species, Alanthus, or "Tree of Heaven" has naturalized in this part of Ohio from imported landscape specimens. The state and federal government are spending large amounts of money in an attempt to remove it from private and public lands. I think that horse has left the barn..... It is fast growing, forming large colonies and producing lots of seeds. When cut, it sends up many suckers from the roots. Probably the smart thing to do would be to find a use for it - like maybe biomass.

Evening haze on Cobb Ridge

The same view of Belle Valley from Cobb Ridge, only in the evening on my way home from work. Now you can see the ridge on the opposite side of the valley.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fog on Cobb Ridge

Looking toward Belle Valley, which is lost in the mist.
Fog layer in valley toward Ragan's Chapel.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ohio Sheep Day 2010

I went to Ohio Sheep Day in Powell yesterday. I took a display for the Bluefaced Leicester Union that promoted the BFL ram for use in a commercial crossbreeding program. The ASI Regional Genetics Conference was being held at the same time, so it seemed the ideal time to have a display there. The day's program centered on using genetics to improve your flock. Dr David Thomas, Dr Kreg Leymaster, and Dr David Notter were the speakers - representing the top sheep geneticists in the country. I really enjoyed the program, and talking with people who were interested in learning more about the BFL.

After the storm


The hay is safely stored

Got it all moved out of the field and tarped before the rain Friday morning. There are 25 round bales, all tucked in for the winter. We'll do one more field whenever the neighbor gets around to mowing it, so there will be a few more bales to move before we are finished for the year.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Empanadillas Filled With Rabbit And Olives

1 Rabbit, cut up
3 T olive oil
1/4 c fresh fennel, sliced
2 T minced Garlic
1 c sliced onion
2 T tomato paste
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
1 c tomatoes; diced
9 oz green olives, pitted and sliced
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
***Dough***
1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp flour
1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T thyme, dried
2 T butter
1/2 c milk
1 Egg, beaten with 1 tsp water

Directions:

Brown rabbit in heated olive oil. Add the garlic, sweet onions, and fennel. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the wine and tomato paste, cook over low heat until the sauce is reduced by half.
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and olives. Simmer in a 350 degree over for 1 1/2 hours. Add more stock to the sauce as needed.
Cool the rabbit and remove the meat from the bones. Dice into chunks and add fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Keep chilled.
For Dough: In a large mixing bowl, make the dough by combing flour, baking powder salt, sugar, thyme and 1 tablespoon parsley. Incorporate butter and milk into the dough. Form into a ball and let rest for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough 1/8 inch think and cut 4 inch circles. Spoon rabbit mixture into the middle of each circle and fold over. Seal sides and top with egg wash.
Bake at 450 degrees until golden.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled leg of lamb for Independence Day celebration!

1 3-4# boneless leg of lamb
½ C olive oil
3T basil and garlic pesto
Salt & pepper

Make sure the leg is no more than 2 inches thick at its thickest point. If too thick, flatten it by pounding it with the flat side of a meat mallet.
Prepare a marinade of the olive oil and pesto and completely cover the leg of lamb with it.
Wrap the leg with plastic wrap and marinated for 24 hours, covered and refrigerated.
When ready to prepare, remove the wrap, discard the marinade, and season the leg very generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the grill.
Set the grill to high heat, but be prepared to lower it to medium. For charcoal cookers, prepare a hot bed of coals in the center, but leave enough space so that you can spread them around later to lower the heat.
Place the leg in the center of the hot grill. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until both sides are well-browned.
Lower the heat to medium, close the cover of the grill, and cook another 7 to 15 minutes. Check the leg frequently with an instant-read meat thermometer. Different grills and variations in the meat will result in different cooking times. For medium-rare, remove the leg when the internal temperature reads 125 degrees F. For medium, remove the lamb at 135 degrees F.
Let the leg rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Carve by cutting thin slices against the grain of the meat. Serve with grilled veggies such as new potatoes (partially cooked in the microwave first) zucchini, yellow summer squash, cherry tomatoes, onions, fresh mushrooms. The veggies can be brushed with your favorite Italian dressing before grilling for even more flavor!