Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weaning Lambs

 Here are some of the lambs that were weaned yesterday.  They are old enough that its not been very loud.  I think the mama's are pretty glad to be rid of them.  Lots of BIG ewe lambs.
Here is Fairlie, mugging for the camera.  She is my only natural colored lamb this year.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Greek Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

3 medium eggplants, split lengthwise
4 T olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 T minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Essence, recipe follows
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 medium Roma plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 T minced fresh oregano
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup crumbled Feta

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Halve the eggplants lengthwise and with a sharp knife score the pulp in a diamond pattern, being careful not to pierce the skins. Scoop out the pulp with a spoon, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Chop the pulp.
Place the eggplant shells on a greased baking sheet and lightly brush the inside of each half with about 1 teaspoon of olive. Bake until the shells are softened but not brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a heavy skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Add the onions and bell peppers to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, eggplant, salt, Essence and pepper, and cook until the eggplant is soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they give off their liquid, 3 minutes. Add the parsley and oregano, and stir well. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of bread crumbs and mix well into the vegetables. Stir in the feta, and re-season as needed.
Divide the filling among the eggplant shells, and sprinkle the remaining 1/4-cup of bread crumbs over the tops. Bake until the tops are golden and the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Essence:  (From Emril Lagasse)
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Conservation Daycamp

These are the kids and presenters at the SWCD office annual
Conservation daycamp.  2 days of fun and learning.  Our
theme this year was Fueling Your Imagination.  They learned
all about oil, gas and coal, which are plentiful natural resources
in this area, and due to shale oil drilling boom, a BIG topic of
conversation these days.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dyeing Locks

Some of the colors of BFL locks I've been dyeing.
 Clockwise from top left:
blue/green/teal ,  green/yellow,  orange/brown, and pink/plum.
I've also done an orange/pink, a blue/purple, and a red/plum.
Be sure to click on the picture to get a better look at the colors.
I'm getting ready for the MidOhio Fiberfair in Newark on the OSU campus.
Its August 18-19.    HERE is their website.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our "new" roof

This is our new roof on the shed, cov ering the damage left by the recent windstorm. 
After several hours clearing off the broken pieces, Chuck realized the slate is just too fragile to repair. 
Since this building is scheduled to be torn down and replaced, a tarp will have
to suffice for the time being.

This used to be a fence.  Its now completely covered with flood
debris, and the posts are leaning.  This will have to be torn out
and some sort of tear away temporary fence installed. 
There is a picture of how it used to look here:

A new hole has developed at the culvert which is causing all
this flooding.  This hole is at the edge of the road - actually in
the edge of the road.  Its 4 feet across, and nearly that deep.
Hope its not a fully loaded gravel or water truck that drops
into it some night in the dark..........

Saturday, July 21, 2012

More rain!

No pictures this time, but we had a 4" downpour yesterday afternoon, causing yet another flash flood and flooding the barn and rabbitry.  I'm thinking of attending the next county commissioners meeting armed with a pitchfork and a torch.  If they don't fix that culvert soon, we are going to have words!  There is a HUGE hole at the edge of the road you could park a VW in.  Hope no one is hurt when the road finally collapses. 

I feel rather guilty - here we are, having 10.5 inches of rain in the past 10 days, while most the rest of the country is crying for it!  Honestly, if I could bottle it up and share, I surely would.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baha Rabbit Tacos

Vegetable oil, for frying
¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
2 T honey  
½ cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt
12 corn tortillas
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp chili powder
Freshly ground pepper
1# rabbit, cut into 2” pieces
1 Hass avocado
½ cup fresh salsa

Toss the cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, honey and mayonnaise in a bowl. Season the slaw with salt.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-low heat or wrap in a damp cloth and microwave 25 seconds. Wrap in a towel to keep warm.
Mix the flour, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl. Dredge the rabbit in the flour mixture, then fry in batches until golden and just cooked through, 4-5  minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt.
Halve, pit and slice the avocado. Fill the tortillas with the rabbit, avocado, slaw and salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Can you believe it?  I've had 947 posts, and 32,000 page views since I started this blog the first of January 2009.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What I've been up to lately

 Thre are LOTS of bunnies around this year.  They must be nearing the top of their cycle.  This one is right outside the kitchen window, munching on white clover.
What I've been doing lately in my spare time evenings and weekends.  This is my skirting routine; BFL fleece in center, basket on left for clean, skirted wool, basket on right for wool with VM or too much dirt/manure in it, and I sort out the really pretty individual locks to dye and sell.  Plus my bottle of Crystal Lite.  :^)     

I have 2 BIG boxes of fleece sorted and ready to mail to Stonehedge for them to spin into yarn, and several pounds of locks to wash and dye.  9 more fleeces to go, which will be used for 2 different rovings.  One I may dye orange and blend with hot pink alpaca and some yellow(dyed) angora.  The other, I'm thinking of dyeing "Teddy Bear" brown, and blending with some angora dyed in orange/yellow/olive.
But something else may pop into my head as I sit and skirt. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lamb stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound ground lamb
2 eggs
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, picked but left whole
1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Trim the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, remove the flesh making a canal down the center of each zucchini half, leaving 1/4-inch all around and the ends closed. Roughly chop the excess zucchini flesh and set aside.
In a 10 to 12-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the zucchini pieces and ground lamb and cook until the lamb is cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Place in a large mixing bowl & add the eggs, half of the mint leaves and the tomato sauce and mix well. Season both the mixture and the zucchini boats with salt and pepper. Stuff the lamb mixture into the zucchini boats and pile it high. Place in an oven-proof baking dish just large enough to hold all the zucchini and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp on top, and remove. Serve warm or at room temperature and sprinkle with remaining mint leaves.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Last Man Standing

 Until last Friday evening, we had a grove of three big trees in the pasture above the house.  The sheep loved to lie in their shade on hot summer afternoons.   Now just one walnut remains; the other two falling victim to the derecho winds.  I'll miss looking out and seeing them each morning as I leave the house for work.
 This big walnut stood beside the road at the fence where the hayfield intersected one of our main spring lambing pastures.  Although it did not provide much shade to the pasture, it was a beautiful landmark for the farm.  Now its gone, a pile of brush and firewood to keep us warm this winter.
You can see why it came down in the wind, as it was completely hollow from the base quite a way into the larger branches.  After seeing this, its hard to imagine its looked as healthy and stayed upright as long as it has. 
There were other large trees that came down in the storm.  Chuck spend most of an afternoon driving the tractor along the lanes through the wooded ravines on the farm, removing 5 trees that had fallen across them.  There is still one HUGE old beech that blocks one of the lanes.  He'll have to go up and cut an opening through it so the tractor can pass through the trunk.   We lost some nice timber quality walnuts in the back of the farm, behind the ridge. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Along the roadside

 I just love these tough little flowers.  Our entire road is lined with chicory right now.  Even the drought conditions and 107 temperature today could not dull their cheery color.   And the contrast between the bright yellow birdsfoot trefoil (also drought tolerant) and the cornflower blue is so striking.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rabbit and Summer Squash Skillet Meal

1 Tbsp. butter
1# rabbit meat, cut into strips
1tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme, divided
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced
2 yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced
2 cups cooked orzo pasta
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add rabbit strips, cook 4 to 5 min. on each side or until done. Transfer to plate; cover to keep warm.
Place 1/4 cup cooking crème in small microwaveable bowl; set aside. Add vegetables to skillet; cook 5 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining cooking crème; cook and stir 2 min. Add orzo; cook and stir 2 min. or until heated through.
Spoon orzo mixture onto 4 plates; top with rabbit strips. Microwave reserved cooking crème on HIGH 15 to 20 sec. or until heated through. Spoon over rabbit, top with basil.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Our electricity came back on about 5PM last night.  We quickly did 3 loads of laundry, which was my biggest concern from the power outage.  Trying to cool the house down now in the face of this extreme heat is an exercise in futility, but at least we have ceiling fans now to move air in the house. 

Still no power at work, so I'm home, skirting BFL fleeces.  :^)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Storm aftermath

 Our new water supply.
Gallon jugs filled at the barn (from a spring) and buckets filled at the stock tank in the middle of the pasture.  Jugs are for "bathing" and washing dishes, etc.  Buckets are for flushing the toilet.  Drinking water comes from the store right now. 
My new best friend. 
For some reason, after the power came back on Saturday and Sunday, on Monday afternoon, it went on and off for a while, and then off for good at 5PM.   So back out came the generator, and its running the refrigerator (a new one, since the old one died Sunday) and the freezer.  Once in a while, we unplug the freezer once it shuts down, and get to watch a movie or get online.  Until this AM, we'd only had intermittant internet access, but so far today, its up.   There is NO word on when the power may come back on - just rumours running around the neighborhood in the little "town" down the road. 
We also don't have power at my office in Cambridge, so can't even go there to escape the heat for a while.   The local paper says 85% of Noble county is without power.  Most of the businesses along the main road in Caldwell are open and swamped with locals and travelers, but the ones in the downtown area are not.  Its the same in Cambridge; downtown is on the hilltop, and the wind damage was much worse there.  The outlying areas where the shopping centers are have power.  I ran into town yesterday and got groceries (only things we don't have to cook - getting tired of sandwiches) and rabbit feed. 
Maybe we'll get electricity later today????  If not, a country boy(and girl) can survive.  :^)

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...