Friday, December 31, 2010

Moussaka Burgers

For the lamb burgers:

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced fine
1.5 cups diced eggplant (remove skin first)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground lamb

Saute onions in olive oil til clear, then add eggplant and cook until softened.  Then add all spices and stir.  Add tomato paste and cook until heated through and blended.  Set aside until completely cooled - may refrigerate.   Then add cold ground lamb, mix together, and form into 4 patties.  Set aside.
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste

Make a rue with the oil and flour, then add milk.  Cook til thickens, then add spices.  Turn off heat, stir in grated cheese.  Set aside.
4 soft hamburger rolls, toasted
tomato slices
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon thinly sliced or chopped mint leaves
Put tomato slices in dish, add vinegar and spices. 

To assemble:  Brown burgers, about 5 minutes per side.   Toast buns, spread with cheese sauce.    Then place on toasted bun, top with tomatoes, and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The way home

View west down Horse Creek valley along Chapel Drive. We live on the other side of the hill to the left.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Party Greek Meatballs

1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 pound ground lamb
4 oz salt pork, ground or finely minced
Zest of 1 orange
2 T chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper
Greek yogurt for dipping

Preheat oven to 350
Heat a small pan over medium heat and add oil, garlic, jalapeño and shallot, and cook for 1 minute, then let cool.   Meanwhile, crumble lamb into a large bowl. Evenly scatter salt pork, orange zest and mint over lamb, and season with pepper. Sprinkle the cooled garlic mixture over lamb. Gently mix until just combined, then form into 1¼-inch balls and transfer to a sheet pan.
Bake in oven until cooked through abd lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with toothpicks or skewers with plain yogurt.

Note: Meatballs can also be cooked ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Makes about 20 meatballs.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blast from the past

This is Chuck's son, Steve, and his wife, Traci, holding a pair of BFL lambs at our first farm, the original Somerhill (near Somerset, OH) .   The picture has to be at least 13 years old.  Not sure who the lambs are, but they may be the twin rams born to Blacklock River John and Firth 18C.  Guess I should have followed my mother's advice, and written on the back of the photo.  :^) 
Happy Birthday, Steve!

Friday, December 24, 2010

This is just too cute not to share!

Another skein

The original roving in the center; on the left, adding pink, cornflower and vermillion.  On the right, adding cornflower, bright blue, and pink.  My camera can't do purple - all three skeins are darker and richer purples that shown.

Christmas Breakfast

2 eggs, beaten slightly
1.5 c eggnog
1.5  T ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
12 slices French bread

Whisk the eggs. eggnog, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a mixing bowl until well blended. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Preheat skillet, melt 1 T butter.  Dip one slice of bread at a time into the eggnog mixture, being sure to coat each side of the bread thoroughly.
Place the prepared bread slices into the preheated skillet, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Place cooked slices on a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm until all French toast is cooked.
Top with pat of butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately with scrambled eggs.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Somerhill Rue and her ermine brother

There are 4 ermines - 2 bucks and 2 does.  They have navy eyes and little smudgie noses.  Available as woolers for those who like white wool but don't care for ruby eyes.   Very friendly!  $25 each.

Something fun

So besides the usual - going to work, evening chores, getting ready for Christmas, I did manage to do something fun this past weekend.  I have a pound of the purple BFL roving left, and decided to try overdyeing it to get some different colored yarns for the market.   The skein on the left is the roving as is, and the one of the right is after I casserole dyed it.  I took the roving, put 2 oz of it in an aluminum foil turkey roaster, accordian style.  Then I wet it, added some vinegar, and scattered some dots of color using dry dye powder.  Then wet it with the sprayer nozzle on the sink, and squished it around, leaving some purple areas undyed.  I used ZCornflower blue, hot pink, and Vermillion.  It makes quite a different in the skeins, and yet they are in the same color family and would look good used together in a knitting project.   I think I'll try this again! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rabbit Liver Pate'

1/2# rabbit livers soaked for 2 hours in 1/2 c milk 3 T salted butter
1/2 c chopped onions
2 tsp onion powder (or garlic if you wish)
1 tsp basil
1 T parsley
1/2 tsp salt
cracked pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
2 T cognac or brandy if desired
3 T chicken broth
1 T mayonaise
Saute onions in butter until clear, add livers and seasonings and cook until livers are browned.  If using liquor, add and cook until most of liquid is evaporated.   Set aside and allow to cool. 
In food processor or blender, puree liver mixture.  It helps to cut up liver into smaller pieces.  The mixture should be creamy - add mayonaise and blend, then add as much chicken broth as needed to made creamy and not pasty.
Pack into ramekins or small mold and chill for at least 6 hours.  Spread on crackers and enjoy.  Use your choice of garnishes to make more festive for parties.
This is the liver after cooking, right before it is pureed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold, blustery day

The day started out fairly warm and rainy.  Spent the morning cleaning the rabbit cages and moving rabbits here and there.  Oleander has weaned her kits, and I moved her to a cage of her own.  She looks beautiful, and will be ready for the New Years eve show.   Gave Maybelline a "harecut".   The 2 New Zealand does are due to kindle this week, so they got nest boxes.  Just as I left the barn, it started to snow hard, but we did not get any accumulation, and the 2 inches we had melted away in the rain last night. 
I made an apple pie after lunch - what a wonderful smell filled the kitchen.  Then tried my hand at rabbit liver pate.  What I licked off the spoon tastes GOOD!   Once its chilled, I'll post a picture of the finished product.  If it turns out well, I'll make a batch to pass out to customers at the farmers market this coming Saturday.  This will be the last market of the year, since the next 2 Saturdays are holidays. 
Chuck is down at the barn, moving the BFL ewe flock from the far pasture close into the barn area.  Its time to start feeding them hay, and remove the breeding rams.   The 3 rams will get moved into a pen in the barn to hang out together this winter, and the four remaining ram lambs will move across the road into the feeder lamb barn.  
The sun has dropped behind the hills to the west, and the wind is really picking up.  We are to have 17 degrees tonight, and that is the high for tomorrow, so the wind chills will be unpleasant.    A dinner of rabbit and dumplings, with apple pie for dessert sounds pretty good right now! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Creamy Rabbit and Broccoli casserole

This took me 15 minutes to put together.
2 bags frozen broccoli florets, cooked according to pkg
1# rabbit meat, cubed
1 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c milk
onion powder
parsley flakes

Slowly blend cream cheese and milk together until smooth. Add sour cream and mushroom soup, blend. Add seasonings to taste.
Put one pkg broccoli and half rabbit into casserole, pour 1/2 cheese mix over and fold gentle. Follow with remaining ingredients, and fold gently to coat broccoli with cheese mixture. Add few pats of butter on top if desired.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly through.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting ready for winter

12 Katahdin wethers went to the auction at Mt Hope today.  The remaining 14 are in the small barn eating hay and grain and growing into nice lambchops.  Between my regular customers and the farm market, I will need them this winter.  I also have 3 BFL ram lambs that are not breeding quality that still need to put on a little more size before they are ready.  Several others have already entered the food chain.  :^)
We had fun on the trip to Mt Hope.  After we unloaded the lambs, we stopped by Lams restaurant and had a wonderful Thai buffet.   Then a stop at Yaggi's cheese shop for some sharp swiss, farmers cheese, and some smoked cheddar/bacon.  
We have 2+ inches of snow, and its cold, cold, cold.   A snow/rain storm is predicted for the weekend, and then colder again for next week.  
Soon the BFL breeding groups will be combined, and the rams moved back into their batchelor groups.  It will be good to have fewer groups of sheep to check on  - but soon we'll have to begin feeding hay to the adult BFLs. 

The calendar may not say it, but winter has arrived.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hello, Rue

 This is Somerhill Rue, a fawn French Angora doe who just turned one month old. 
This is Rue with her mom, Oleander, and all 4 ermine siblings.  One of the boys "fell" out of the cage tonight and led me on a merry chase under the cages.  Chuck helped me trap him and put him back where he belongs. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Somerhill Dessa

Daughter of SHF Lanark AI and SHF Vivace AI.

Somerhill Tabitha

This is Tabbie, twin sister to Tibbie Pagan
She and her sister inherited their frame and growth rate from their mother, Hannelore, who is a daughter of SHF Edinborough AI.    Their fleece and muscling comes from their sire, SHF Lanark AI. 

Friday, December 3, 2010


This dish can also be prepared in a crock pot.

lamb shanks (1 per person)
celery, washed, chunky cuts
onions, peeled, thickly sliced
carrots, peeled, chunky cuts
fresh garlic, cut in half lengthwise,
whole peeled tomato (canned),
fresh thyme, stems removed
fresh oregano, stems removed, chopped
Cajun spice-mix
sea salt
black pepper, crushed
fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
balsamic vinegar
red wine
olive oil

Wash the lamb shanks and pat dry with a paper towel. In the sauce pan, heat the oil and start browning the shanks, turning to have an even color all over. Lightly brush inside of baking dish with oil (to prevent sticking).
Set shanks in baking dish after browning and rub generously with Cajun spice mix. In sauce pan, saute onions in olive oil until are slightly golden brown as this will improve the flavor. Add the Celery, and carrot chunks. saute lightly, add garlic and all the fresh herbs, then the whole peeled tomato.
Add two cups of boiling water to the sauce and bring to the boil.
In small dish, combine the brown sugar and balsamic to make syrup (Add this syrup to the tomato sauce and stir. Season the sauce with a big helping of sea salt, remembering that the lamb will absorb the salt.

Pour the sauce into the braising pan with the Cajun seasoned lamb. Rub the inside of the foil lightly with oil (to prevent sticking to lamb) and cover the baking dish folding the foil tightly under the baking dish lip so as to seal the dish.
Bake in a preheated oven 400°F for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn shanks, baste with sauce; taste for salt adding more if needed. Add more water if liquid is reducing away.
Cover tightly with foil again and bake for another 40 minutes (more or less) until meat nearly falls off the bone. If not tender yet, continue with braising process.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a good red wine. Enjoy!

Oh great - some new hosta eaters have arrived

The new fawns are starting to arrive.    We have a love/hate relationship going.  The deer love to eat our flowers, and we hate it.  L...