Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Somerhill Red Dragon

This is Max and Virichic's son from a summer litter.  He is really maturing nicely.  I plan to breed him to Moulin Rouge this week for a nestbox full of reds.

Friday, February 24, 2012

BFL yarn

This is the skein I'm going to enter in the skein contest for the National Bluefaced Leicester Show in Wooster in May.  Here's the entry forms if you'd like to enter, too.  Don't worry, I won't be any competition.  I've never gotten any ribbons for my spinning, and in fact, a couple years ago, the judge encouraged me by saying, "oh, honey, you just keep practicing".   HEHE   This to someone who'd been spinning for about 20 years at the time.........nope, don't think I'm going to get any better at this point.

Shenandoah Valley Rabbit Casserole

1 rabbit, cut into 6 serving pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
5 slices bacon
1 c chicken broth
1 c seasoned bread crumbs

Brown rabbit pieces on all sides in olive oil.  Place in casserole dish, add spices and cover with bacon slices.
Pour chicken broth over casserole. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for  2 hours or until tender. Remove cover and sprinkle with  bread crumbs. Bake another 30 minutes until browned and serve.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bluefaced Leicester National Show competitions

The BFL national show is being held in OHIO this year!   Its held during the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, OH in May.
The sheep show is on Friday, May 25th at 3PM.  This is your chance to see sheep from top flocks all over the country.
On Saturday, we've got lots of cool activities to highlight the BFL planned for all day long.  There is a SPECIAL fleece, skein, fiber art, and photography competition that anyone can enter.  The skeins, knitted, crocheted, woven, or felted items can be 50% or more BFL, and the photos should feature either BFL sheep,  fleece or fiber.

Please consider entering things - I have an irrational fear that none of my friends will participate!  

You can download and print the entry forms off the Bluefaced Leicester Union website here:   Put your cursor over the "ABOUT BLU" dropdown box, and then click on National Show Information.

Chocolate cravings

So yesterday I clipped my chocolate Satin Angora doe, and bred her to my chocolate SA buck, Macgiver.  I just realized I missed the irony, and should have bred her on Tuesday - her name is Mardi Gras!  

Looking forward to a bunch of little chocolate bunnies just in time for Easter.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lamb Ragu with Mint

1 # rigatoni pasta
2 T olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 # ground lamb
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c  red wine
4 c  marinara sauce, store-bought or home made
1/2 c  fresh mint leaves, torn
1/2 c  ricotta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm the olive oil over high heat. Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb, salt, and pepper. Cook until the lamb has browned and the juices have evaporated. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the marinara sauce and simmer over low heat until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Add the mint and ricotta and stir until mixed. Add the pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stuffed Rabbit (Irish Armagh Style)

1 whole rabbit
2 oz butter
1 lg onion
2 lg cooking apples
2 c breadcrumbs
1 T thyme
1 T salt
1 egg
2 T parsley
1 T sugar
Pepper to taste
1.5 c chicken broth

DIRECTIONS: Wash and dry rabbit. Melt butter in skillet, brown rabbit on both sides.  Set aside.  Chop onions and fry gently in the butter. Peel apples and chop; add to onions and fry until soft. Mix onions, apple and butter with all other stuffing ingredients in skillet, brown stuffing mix.   Place rabbit in a casserole, stuff, surround with excess stuffing, add chicken broth, and bake covered for 2 hours, or until tender, at 350 degrees.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some of the youngsters

ElizaBar Ginger Hill    Chocolate agouti JR doe from a new youth breeder.

Somerhill Tiger Eye.  He is 5 months, and a chocolate agouti buck.
 You can see some of his new wool coming in through the faded baby wool.

Somerhill Mardi Gras.   Chocolate SA doe, just turned SR. 
Somerhill Tiara.  3 month old REW doe, just purchased by Maggie, a youth FA breeder in PA.
Coincidently, Maggie also is a new breeder of Bluefaced Leicesters!

UARC specialty at PaSRBA on Saturday

Judge Eric Stewart with the colored Satin Angora SR does.  6 entered.   That is Somerhill Mardi Gras butt in the first hole. he placed her third, which is not bad considering the competition and the fact she is shedding and only 6.5 months old.  Its hard for joung serniors to compete with an adult doe in coat.
The lineup for colored SA SR bucks.  The red one in the center went on to be eithre BOB or BOS in the show.(I forget, sorry)  Those are the white SR buck and SR doe first place winners on the right.  There was a nice showing of REW Satins there. 
My buck got first place JR, but he was the only one in the class.  LOL   However, in both the open and the specialty, the judges remarked on what a good body he has, so I'm pleased with that.  His coat is in transition from baby to 1st true coat, and it is shedding, but he still got good remarks on texture and length.
I took off work on Friday, and drove over to Lebanon, PA.  Met my BFL friend, Kathy, south of Harrisburg and talked for about 2 hours while we had bowls of soup at a place called "Joe's Diner".  I also bought 2 BFL fleeces from her.  Is that sad?  35 sheep, and I still have to buy more wool.   I'm going to wash it, and sell it as dyed locks at the farmers market.  I've been out of wool for 2 months.   Then I went on to the show site, got unloaded, entries made, dropped off some bunnies I'd sold, and met someone from OK who was picking up and hauling 50+ rabbits back west.   I can't believe you can fit 50+ rabbits in the back of a Honda, but I guess you can!   Meanwhile, my rear tire was busily going flat out in the parking lot, so a call to AAA was in order.  They quickly arrived and put on my spare, and off I went to check into the hotel. 
The next morning, I arrived early at the showroom, groomed my 2 show entries, talked to all the angora exhibitors, and met up with the last of my angora customers to get their new babies to them.   The open show started at about 11:30, and went smoothly.  Pam Nock judged.  I like the way she places rabbits, although WOE to the person who did not do a thorough job grooming, because she places a great deal of emphasis on the presentation of the wool. 

As soon as we finished with the open show, the UARC specialty was called to the table.  Judge Eric was training a new judge, which is a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because you get to hear an exceptional judge teaching a newby all about judging angoras and what to look for in each breed.  A curse, because it takes absolutely FOREVER!   It took over 2 hours for them to judge the French and the Satin angora classes.  For all I know, they are still judging angoras, since he still had to do the English and Giants! LOL

As soon as my rabbits came off the table, I snatched them up, loaded up my stuff, hugged anyone nearby, and ZOOM!  I headed for home.  I left at nearly 5PM, and arrived at 10PM.   Drove through a fair amount of snow flurries all the way, and the highway was wet but not slippery. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lamb Kabobs

1# lamb kabobs
24 fresh pea pods
24 cherry tomatoes
24 fresh pineapple chunks
1/2 c chili sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c red wine
2 T fresh lemon juice
1T dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Thread veggies, fruit and lamb onto skewers.  Combine other ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil, stirring until smooth.  Meanwhile, grill kabobs 8-10 minues, turning frequently.  Brush with the sauce several times during the last few minutes of cooking.

Water water

I seem to be drawn to water lately.  This is the Tuscarawas, one of 5 rivers in our county.  The others are the Walhonding, Mohican, Kokos...