All Content and Photos are the property of Lucky-Lizard-Ranch and may not be used without permission.

November 29, 2010

Foodie news

As I am sure it has been at all your homes, it has been a week of food gatherings and cooking here!
The Foodie & Friends gathering yesterday at John and Camille's house was so much fun! Four different soups, many loaves of bread, indescribable sweets and one gentleman brought homemade boudin (Cajun Sausage), that was a huge hit!
The outdoor bread oven had been fired up the day before so the loaf I took we just baked in the regular oven, it turned out well and got raves. I will definitely repeat the recipe; it was a potato bread recipe I added dried basil and dried tomatoes to, with a garnish on top (burned off but was pretty initially).
We chatted and laughed for hours, sampling Souther Star Bombshell Blonde and Dave's Pumpkin Ale. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones too. It was so much fun I can hardly wait for next year!
The only regret was that I did not take more pictures, talking and laughing too much to remember to get the camera out. When I did get it out all I took was a picture of John's bread oven and some intriguing ducks that have taken up residence on their barn. Standing underneath it is pretty funny listening to them duck walk across the metal roof.

John's outdoor bread oven:

Basil bread rising:

Butternut Bisque:

Whistling ducks on John's barn:

Gingerbread and cheesecake squares:

Other dishes prepared this week:
Ham, Turkey, mashed potatoes, Turkey Tetrazzini, homemade gravy, pork stock, turkey stock, apple pie, rhubarb pie, apple crisp....that's all I can remember right this minute! No cooking tonight, we have some great leftovers!

November 25, 2010

Farm happenings

The weather has been mild, enjoyable and fall-ish. As is the way with Texas weather it is all changing tomorrow with a nasty cold front!

We were told about an alternative feed source for the livestock--lentil screenings. The screenings are what the human-consumption lentil producers screen out. Some entrepreneurs collect various types of screenings and sell them in bulk packages. The protein content is 21%, and the price per pound is 0.087. This is one third of our usual cost, for much less protein content. We went and picked up a sack, a 1388# sack! Prior to the pick up Dave had devised a plan for unloading it with a hoist that could lift it straight up off the trailer and then lower it back down to the ground. Things like this take some engineering and maneuvering without a tractor! The plan worked, though we will have to make some alterations for the next time. We estimate the feed sack will last us 3 months. The entire sack was $121.45. I am still amazed every time I walk out to the barn and see it. So far the cows like it, the hens love it and the pig is being obstinate about eating it unless she gets her slop on top. Anyone interested in more info can check out their website:

We opened the gate to the North pasture where Dave seeded with rye grass, they did not pick up their heads for hours! I hope the coming freeze does not completely kill it.

I will post a separate post about all the foodie activities--Thanksgiving meals, Cooking School (already posted) and the Soup and Bread party we have been invited to this weekend. I am really looking forward it that event--some friends of ours host a gathering to which everyone brings a soup to share and a bread dough to go into the outdoor wood bread oven! Big fun!

Happy Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you, farm, family, friends and our health.

Tamale and Sangria Party!

My friend Nat and I went to the Viking Cooking School's Tamale and Sangria Party, oh my goodness! What a blast!
We were 2 of 10 in the class. The school's kitchen was of course humongous and gorgeous.
The chefs walked us through making all of the following:
Beef Tamales
Cilantro-Lime Crema
Spicy Lime Pepitas
Black Bean, Tomato and Avocado Salad (with a cilantro lime vinaigrette)
Mexican Rice

It was a great experience that we hope to repeat with a couple of the teens that enjoy cooking (Charlye and Kent).

A couple of tips I picked up:
**Put a penny in the bottom of a steamer dish so when the water level gets low and the penny begins to rattle you know it is time to add some more water!
**The Japanese method of peeling and slicing an avocado.
**How to make chili powder from scratch.

I think we may try and have a tamale making party for New Years--big fun!
(Sangrias are a must)

Anyone that is interested in a class can look online for one that may be near you:;jsessionid=NbM99gdImftMinaFH01BQg**.node1?id=cat13100027

November 23, 2010

Iowa, the quick way

Dave and I left Saturday evening for Iowa after the Garrison Keillor show (wonderful!). The trip is exactly 1000 miles and 17 hours. We took turns sleeping and chatting, stopping for coffee, etc. One way we entertained ourselves was keeping an eye on the temperature outside, it steadily dropped from 70+ to 40 with a sharp wind as we got farther north.
Jim and Kathleen are doing well, she is recovered from the small stroke she had a couple of weeks ago. Even though the trip was fast it was worth it to be able to see everyone. The bonus was that James brought Rylee to spend time with us. Seeing her was wonderful! She is so tall and so smart and adorable and talkative and snuggly and, and, well just the perfect granddaughter!
We could only stay a short day before beginning the trip back, this time we began early morning so we traveled mostly by daylight. We couldn't resist watching the weather and temperature grow warmer as we traveled south. Along about OK City the temperature was 68 and almost balmy compared to the 33 when we left State Center.
Jim and Kathleen spoiled us by sending us home with a section of harrow (to drag the pasture with), the 4-wheeler to pull it with, homegrown potatoes, acorn squash, and joy of joy, the much coveted: 4 qts of rhubarb!
Thankfully the trip home was uneventful and we made it home in the wee hours on Tuesday.

Dave and Rylee, yes they were playing dolls.

The forest that Dave planted in high school.

An American Bald eagle watched us pull in to the farm.

Foggy farm fields.

Dave, Rylee, Liz

Sunset on the way home, Oklahoma.

Wide open Great Plains in KS.

November 20, 2010

Few words some pics

New Blondes in the flock

Cows enjoy back pasture brush.

Cow in shadow, cow in bunk

Rye is up!

The sun sets on the farm.

It has been a great week, especially since I did not travel and Dave was off for several days. Gearing up for holiday cooking, a show tonight at the Wortham Theater (A Prairie Home Companion live show), and a lightening fast trip to Iowa later tonight.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and a blessed holiday season!

November 13, 2010

Beautiful fall weekend

Crisp, cool (50's), windy and sunny today, it made for a wonderful "fall" feeling to the air.
The tomatoes should thrive with the cool nights and sunny days. Somehow at this stage they seem to take forever to finish growing and ripen, so I am hoping they do thrive!

Bean flowers:

 Big bean bed:

 Cabbage leaf close-up:

 Curly lettuce?:

 Regular lettuce:

The cows, dogs, hens, cats, and her majesty the pig all seem to be very happy and content (except for the times when they want seconds of treats).
The boys out scouting (background)
burning out a stump (foreground):

Vera at the evening hay, well actually she was coming to see if I had by chance another banana for her: 

Happy Weekend!

Death is Nothing at All

We lost a dear friend this week. She was not only ours to lose, but belonged in several families' hearts. I will always count her a friend and try to remember this poem when my heart gets heavy knowing she has passed.
RIP my friend Hattie.

Death is Nothing at All

by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral
Death is nothing at all. 
I have only slipped away into the next room. 
I am I and you are you. 
Whatever we were to each other, 
   that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name. 
Speak to me in the easy way 
   which you always used. 
Put no difference in your tone. 
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed 
   at the little jokes we enjoyed together. 
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 
Let my name be ever the household word 
   that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect, 
   without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. 
It is the same that it ever was. 
There is absolutely unbroken continuity. 
Why should I be out of mind 
   because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, 
  for an interval, 
     somewhere very near, 
       just around the corner.
All is well.

November 7, 2010

Weekly Words

A great week!

Farm Life:

The weather has been gorgeous--clear blue skies during the day. A few nights we had frost, I remembered to look at the weather forecast before dark so the tomato plants and fruits are safe. Dave is out of town so I had to be the meteorologist-in-residence.
The animals are all fine and maybe just a little sassy with the weather change.  We are getting 1-2 eggs a day, which is a perfect amount for us, as long as it stays consistent.
The beans outgrowing their bathtub:

 An example of blue sky that blows my mind it is so clear and beautiful:

The new "cow rub" came in, I installed it near the milking area. I hope they like it as much as they like the odd nail that they scratch the inside of their noses with. I know, it looks as funny as it sounds, one would think their tongue could do that job!

 The garden, or rather the tomato jungle! Some of the cages fell over when we had 30-40 mph winds, they will just have to grow sideways until harvest. I didn't get a close up but they are loaded with flowers and small fruit.
The cool weather has inspired me to cook and bake: cinnamon rolls, wheat bread, butternut bisque, herb cheese---yummy fun!

Work Life:

I spent several days at the corporate office in Lafayette, big fun socializing, and even got some work done too! I have to say it was nice to be able to drive there and then have my own car available. I may be a little overly attached to my car, Liesel. ;-)

Charlye and I spent over an hour on the financial aid packet for her first choice college (Smith College in Northampton, MA). She will be travelling there this week for their fall preview, she can hardly wait to see Sam, Teo and friends!
Char received an acceptance letter from U of H this week! I got a text when I was out of town "thought you might like to know I have just been accepted to college", sassy girl! She plans to apply to UT Austin also.
Josh is doing well, he and a friend may have gone through our entire supply of spaghetti noodles trying to plan out how to build a 12" long bridge out of noodles that will support a bucket of water. They have not constructed it yet, but now have a better understanding of wet vs dry noodle construction projects!

Looking ahead:
I have a quick 3-day trip to Florida this week, we pick up Vera this week and Char travels to NE--sure to be busy and interesting!