Sunday, January 22, 2012

meet john

This is John.

You'll have to excuse the quality of these photos, as John is kind of an elusive guy.  Not the type that's going to cheese for the camera.

John is the wonderful man who happens to own the farm that Daddy Bird and I recently began renting to graze our mama cows and baby calves.  They get to live here and have their babies here until the babies are weaned and we take them to the other farm to "finish".

John is in his mid-80s and until this past September, this farm was John's dairy farm.  He and his family moved to this land in the mid 1940's and he's been milking ever since.  That kind of dedication blows me away, because, y'all, being a dairy farmer is tough business!! 

John's "retirement" from dairy farming worked out really well for us because we were able to move our mamas here to this beautiful place.

They love it here, let me tell you!

John is an amazing landlord as well.  He checks on our cows every day and feeds them hay when we can't get out to do it.

Maybe at some point I'll get John to smile for the camera but until then, this is what you get

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

hot dog chowder

I have a confession to make.  I LOVE hot dogs.

I realize some of you may be throwing up in your mouth at the thought of eating a hot dog, so I'm sorry.  But I really do like them. 
Bratwurst too.  And Knockwurst.  And any other type of wurst or sausage or hot dog like thing you can put on a bun.

I'm a bit of a hot dog snob though.  I will not eat just any hot dog.  I don't like the cheapie ones.  I will pay a bit more for the good hot dogs.  It's worth it.

I know they are "not very healthy". 
I know we "don't really know what's in them".
I know they are probably full of "leftover parts".
(I'm picturing Chris Farley here in all his "Matt Foley Motivational Speaker" glory)

But hot dogs are tasty folks, so go ahead and embrace them.

Here's a recipe I've enjoyed for years, thanks to our family friends Bruce and Karen Dungan.  The Dungans make their famous Hot Dog Chowder at group gatherings when the weather gets cool.  It's a great, tasty way to feed a crowd, or just your family, and it's really budget friendly.  I'm not going to lie and say it's really healthy, because it's not.  But it's not too bad either.

If you're lucky, it's a good way to get your kiddos to try some veggies as well.  I made this the other night and the boy birdie ate vegetables he normally would not.  Probably by accident, but who cares, right?

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Karen and Bruce Dungan:

2 cups diced raw potatoes
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables (I use a little extra)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbs. snipped parsley (can use fresh or dried)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 tsp. salt
8 oz . hot dogs, thinly sliced (5-6 hot dogs)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. white pepper (or regular black pepper)
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter or margarine

In a saucepan, combine potatoes, vegetables, onion, parsley, bouillon cubes and salt.  Add 1 cup water; bring to boiling.  Cover and boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add hot dog slices.  Blend flour, white pepper and milk.  Stir into vegetables; bring to simmer.  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Add butter or margarine (you could leave this out to cut calories, but I usually don't.  Come on!).  Top servings with paprika and serve.

So how do you feel about hot dogs?  Love them?  Hate them?  Try this soup and you might learn to love them!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

happy new year

Happy New Year...a few days late!

I'm still here, just too busy lazy to upload photos from my camera to my computer and y'all need to see some pictures for my posts to be interesting, right?

I'll be back in the next couple of days, I promise.

In the meantime, here are a few happings from here at the nest:

  • We were all sick over Christmas.  Like, sick for 3-4 weeks.  Merry Christmas to us.
  • Our first calf of the year was born!  Pictures to come.
  • The girlie bird is 9 months old!  Can you believe it!  She is all. over. the. place.
  • The boy birdie got 1.4 million tractors and other farm paraphanalia for Christmas.  Tractors are all. over. the. place.
  • Winter is upon us.  Remember my boot problem from a few months back?  It's about to reach an all time high (or low).  I dug a chunk of what I am telling myself was dirt (ahem) out of the girlie bird's mouth the other day.  I don't have to tell you whose boots that came from.  Hint - they weren't mine.
  • Daddy Bird did take the kids to his parents' place the other day so I could spend a little quality time cleaning the nest.  6 hours of "me time" later, I can now say my home is presentable.
  • I've got some new recipes for you.  One involves hot dogs.
  • The basement is so close to being finished I can hardly stand it.
Ok, enough updating!
I'll be back soon, promise.