Rose Veal Meatballs w/Gorgonzola

our family loves these meatballs! we have a lot of rose veal in our freezer and even before we picked it up from the butcher, bestie, found this recipe for me. i promise they are just divine!

for those of you who might be wondering what “rose veal” is…rose veal is a young cow that eats hay/grass but also is still nursing from its mother. we bought 4 cows from a friend who couldn’t afford to feed them through the winter and the drought here in texas. the meat is lean and tender!

ROSE VEAL MEATBALLS W/GORGONZOLA

2 slices stale good quality bread crusts
1/2 cup milk
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground rose veal
6 oz gorgonola crumbled
1/3 C grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 egg
2 garlic cloves chopped finely
3 T chopped fresh sage leaves
a few grates of fresh nutmeg

pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
in a bowl, soak the bread in the milk to soften.
place a rack on a large baking sheet.
drizzle a large bowl with the olive oil and add the ground rose veal, season with salt and pepper.
squeeze out the excess liquid from the bread and crumble it into the meat.
mix in the 2 cheeses, the egg, garlic, sage and nutmeg.
roll the meat into 1 1/2 – 2 in balls.
arrange on the prepared baking sheet and roast until browned 12 to 15 mins.

now i want some!

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what to do with round steaks

this post is for our barry farm grass fed beef customers. or…anyone else who happens about this blog and would like a suggestion on how to use up your typically tough round steaks!

i was talking with a few people about how to use the round steaks and decided to try a few things for our family so i could share the results. yesterday i put a package of thawed round steaks in the crock-pot in the morning. i added sea salt, coarse ground pepper, a onion cut in wedges (so they coul removed form my darling seamus’ helping and little water. i put it on low and let it go all day. oh, and garlic..i thinly sliced a few good cloves of garlic too. love the garlic!

i decided given my day that soft tacos would be easy to pull together for supper, especially if the meat would be done and ready for me! so, i decided to add my taco seasoning to the crock-pot as well. i have been using this taco seasoning mix. (i don’t use the onion powder or garlic powder…i just add fresh as i cook the meat.) the result was delicious, lean, tender taco flavored meat ready for tacos! i would do it again!ย 

i am also going to crock-pot some more round steaks and use them instead of stew meat (which i don’t have) for this delicious stroganoff recipe! my “renovation” of the recipe is below. two friends made it before me and told me some things they did different as well. so, take your pick ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

Crock-pot Beef Stroganoff

2ish pounds of round steak ( whatever is in the package ๐Ÿ™‚ )
28 ounces of beef broth (mine was from soup bones)
1/2 cups water
2-4 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, sliced to your liking)
fresh mushrooms, the more the merrier i say!
light sour cream (i probably used a little over a 1/2 cup)
1/3 less fat cream cheese (i used half but next time i’ll use less)

in the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the cream cheese/sour cream, together. once combined add the meat and mix together.

cook on low for 8 hours. cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. stir the cream cheese and sour cream in until all combined. it took awhile for me it get it all stirred and reach a smooth consistency. you might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes. i thought about thickening up the broth a bit but it was so good we left it alone! you could. if desired, thicken it up like you would gravy.ย 

Serve over egg noodles.ย (or someone suggested mashed potatoes? i don’t know about that.)

let’s get caught up!

geez..i’m a bad blogger lately. so much going on. so little blogging!

things are moving along here at a steady pace. thankfully i’m not feeling super stressed about christmas approaching. just the way i wanted it!! (although there is that one etsy seller would could make my life a bit easier if he just replied to me.) i do need to do a little shopping one day after geoffrey gets home from work and we’ll be all set. i am sure another trip the grocery store will be needed…i with they did deliveries.

the kids have been on winter break since friday, which was a half day! (they don’t got back until 1/4. craziness, i know!) our poor seamy got sick and missed thursday and friday from school last week. we battled a fever until sunday midday. his body ached, stomach hurt from coughing…poor guy. he too many naps, which is way out of the norm for him. we went to see the doctor yesterday and he has a pretty bad ear infection. he has never once complained of his ear hurting. he’s doing much better now but definitely not enjoying his amoxicillin! i am pretty sure this is his first time in antibiotics. other than treating asthmatic symptoms and allergies he has been a pretty healthy kid these past 5 years. he is back on the mend and was rather whiny yesterday…hoping for less of that today!

yesterday the kids and i had good day! we colored, in new christmas coloring books, with a NEW box of crayons (my favorite!) for well over an hour! it was great fun. then, we had to run a few errands to gather up a few supplies so we could ย make these….

 

 

i saw a facebook friend post pictures of her and her girls making cookies and i saw she was using these. i knew right away i needed to go get some.

 

(pardon the position of the picture but, wordpress wouldn’t let me change it.)

they are some nifty squeeze bottles, made by wilton for candy making/melting but they worked great for sugar cookie icing! i filled them with my own colored icing. our usual routine in making sugar cookies is i frost most of them and the kids decorate with candies and sprinkles. well, i knew if i got these we would all create some very cool cookies! i still eneded up frosting some of the bigger cookies with a knife but these bottle are worth the investment! (they were $4 at walmart. i couldn’t find them at my local hobby lobby and micheals was just took far for us to go yesterday.) we made 60ish cookies and layla stayed with me almost to the end!

this christmas we decided to make christmas presents for the kids and shop on etsy as much as possible. here are a few things i made for them and i’m so proud of myself that they are done! last night i sewed the eyes onto these cute little guys. i saw them on pinterest and decided they would be something cute and homemade for the kids stocking!

sockoctopus!

i also wanted to make their christmas ornaments this year. so i came up with the idea to make these…

they are very fitting seeing we started the barry farm this past year! i love them.

i’ve been baking too…too much! sweet rolls, pecan tassies, a bunch of cookies, mini cheesecakes…needless to say, my family has been very happy about all this! my shirts and jeans? not so much.

today the kids and i will be rather busy. we’ve got egg deliveries to make, farming to do, cookies to eat :), and we are going to friends tonight for supper! i have some baking i need to get done and in the freezer before the weekend, make a final grocery list and make a batch of homemade bread. what i need is a nice little to-do-list.

i hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! the kids are getting very excited about christmas and we are so very, very happy that geoffrey is NOT working this christmas! we are looking forward to a great christmas day that starts whenever these two smith kids decide its time to get up!

goodness i love them!! ๐Ÿ™‚

a blog about meat that turned into a walk down memory lane

we have a ton of meat in this house! ok, not a ton but over 500 pounds…

i’m starting to get excited about it! you see…we don’t eat much meat around here. if we don’t know where the meat came from (and ‘from the grocery store’ doesn’t count!)…or as geoffrey describes it…if i can’t drive to the farm and see how and where the animal raised and talk to the farmer, then we don’t buy it! we have bought small amounts of local grass fed beef over the past year and i mean a small amounts! it’s expensive and you can’t just pick it up at the grocery store when you are there. so, we’ve been flexitarians the past few years…only eating meat on occasion.

now, i have over 100 pounds of beef in the freezer, like 400-500 pounds of rose veal, and 120ish pounds of heritage breed gourment pork! oh, and a turkey and one last lonely whole chicken! i have shepherd’s pie in the works right now for supper…its been years since i made it and i’m looking forward to it. i had pulled out two package of the ground rose veal and that’s what i am using. rose veal is from a calf who was still nursing on it mother but also ate from grass/hay. not your traditional milk veal from a little baby calf who didn’t see the light of day and was kept in a little pen. this rose veal is from bigger calves, months old who still were spoiled by having access to their momma’s milk while enjoying grass/hay in the pasture they roamed! now, that’s the life.

we, the barry farm, purchased two cow/calf pairs from a friend who just couldn’t afford to raise them anymore. we sent them off to the butcher and the beef went to 8 different families and the veal is sitting in our freezer waiting to be bought. if you are local and you want some contact me!

our four red wattle pigs we raised since the spring, went to the butcher shortly after the beef. they were split up between 10 families! geoffrey and i are so honored to raise animals that can feed so many. All the meat was ready for pick up at the same time too! Yikes! But, after delivering ALL the meat on monday we are happy to know that we can coordinate delivering about 2,000 lbs of meat across the greater houston area and have it all arrive still frozen! What a day it was… Still tired.

this is how it was growing up….the freezer was always full of meat! when it got low we had a family meeting about which cow looked the best and should be sent to the butcher! ultimately, my dad had the say. it had to be a cow that wasn’t producing to her full potential. we had a dairy farm so, she had to be plump and beefy but not cranking out the milk like she used to selling the milk is what paid the bills!

i remember raising pork and chickens at times but we always had beef in the cellar freezer! it feels like home…freezers full of good quality meat ready to make into delicious meals for my family. our kids are going to wonder what is up! like geoffrey and i, they haven’t eat much meat in the past few years. we all eat the same. we do go out for burgers occasionally but its at burger guys, a place that gets their beef from farm in west texas i believe. and not just any beef…gourmet beef! its delicious!

as i was preparing the shepherd’s pie today my mind was flooded with memories of growing up. when i was telling geoffrey last night i was going to make shepherd’s pie with the ground rose veal i pulled from the freezer he started describing how he remembered shepherd’s pie. but, he doesn’t remember my mom’s way. i made it just like my mom today! doesn’t it feel good to say that? pretty sure my grandmother (mama) made it the same way. how often do we say things like that? probably not as often as we should. i want to teach layla how to make shepherd’s pie like my grandmother and mom and also tell her how grammy (geoffrey’s mom) makes it. it may be different and i might prefer one way over another and have my own opinions about the healthiest way to prepare it but i don’t want to forget how mom, mama and grammy each made it!

so, today meat has gotten me feeling rather nostalgic! (listen to me…) i lead such a crazy life these days but an amazing one. a life changing one. i would have never thought in a million years that this is what my life would have looked like! my days are full of suburban living, urban farming, stay-at-home-momming… i knew i wanted to be stay-at-home-mom and i am very grateful to be able to living that dream and to be married to amazing man who helps make that possible. i did not know, however, that i would want to “farm” again…(my mom is laughing…)

when my crazy husband kept talking about wanting to farm…in houston…i mostly listened. He kept asking me all kind of questions seeing i was the one who actually had farming experience. There is one thing i’ve learned being with geoffrey for 8 years… He won’t give up on a dream. He’ll find a way. He’ll take risks. Learn from whatever mistakes might happen. He’s not afraid of failing so, this farming thing i knew was going to happen and there was no stopping him!

Now, that we have been on this farming journey for a year its amazing to look back and take account of all we have done! All the real food we provided. We are doing it folks! We are providing real, good, healthy food for our family and many others. This is what my parents, grandparents & great grandparents and great great grandparents did. Life has taken me (and my family) on its own journey but today i feel like i’m back to the way life was growing up! Back to my roots but with our own little twist. I thought i wanted to break away from that…i thought finding geoffrey & moving here to houston 5 years ago would be the break away that i wanted but…boy was i wrong. that break is so over.

Today tell your family, your kids or a good friend about something you remember about your ancestors. The gramma that crocheted you a blanket…the loved ones that moved their family to america for a better life…the grandfather who worked fields with horses or mules…the garden you remember your mother growing as a kid…your family that all lived within 15 minutes of each other…sunday dinners around the table…sleepovers with grandparents, or cousins or favorite aunts…the 14th generation dairy farmer your dad was (speaking of my father). Thats what i’m going to tell my kids as we eat the shepherd’s pie that is now out of the oven!

UPDATE – kids LOVED the shepherd’s pie although they wonder why its not shaped like a pie but called one. seamus made the comment that shepherd’s probably ate it! (luv him!!)

so, i was explaining what 14 generations means…i explained to the kids like this – papa was a dairy farmer, and my grandfather (papa’s dad) was a diary farmer and 12 more grandpas were dairy farmers before that! layla says to me…”so that makes us 15th generation farmers, right?” luv.her. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

oven baked jambalaya

i don’t think i have shared this recipe here but even if i have, it’s worth it again seeing cooler…cold…freezing weather is reaching us, depending where you live. our family loves this recipe and it’s a great one to make a big batch and have for leftovers! i’m baking it today. i need to have supper ready before i leave at about 5:15 this evening. our 20-something pastor is coming to hang out with the kids while geoffrey and i hear michael pollan speak downtown (houston). we are excited about this…well, both! excited to hear pollan and excited our 20-something pastor wants to hang with our kids and that our kids want to hang with him! how awesome is that? i’m pretty sure there will be some hide-n-seeek, light saber competitions and A LOT of chatter! our kids love rollyvic ๐Ÿ™‚ he’s one of the family…he’s been smithinized!

so, the recipe…i don’t ever make it the same way twice. i use whatever meat/seafood i have around. today i don’t have celery or peppers but it’ll be fine. i always put a orange or yellow pepper in. i forget if the recipe says to bake covered i always do. halfway through i stir it up to mix the settle rice in. i do this a few more times while it’s baking then i can also see how its baking…hows the rice cooking? does it need a splash of water? its so delicious and worth the wait! you can find the recipe HERE. i usually recalculate the recipe to 12 or more servings so i have plenty of leftovers. (they usually don’t make it to the freezer!)

QR code for the barry farm

check it out…just got a QR code for the barry farm – take a look with me…make sure it works! (hahaaha!) ย i’ll be working on integrating this code into the barry farm. but, now i must to take care of a few ducks, 10 turkeys, 57 chickens and prepare for another 60 chickens that i’ll go pick up tomorrow!

scan me with your QR reader to find
our more about THE BARRY FARM

thanks to MY MOM for this is idea! you’re the best mom ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

maple syrup. homework. dust mites. seminar. wildfires. ducks. rain!

a recap of september…

beginning of the month we took a road rip to rowlett, tx see visit our friends who just moved to the dallas area. they took a road trip to vermont over the summer and brought us back pure VT maple syrup! we have missed the real stuff and i’ve been sick of buying the “close” to real stuff that’s expensive. we have been enjoying it so much! i remember sugaring time and collecting sap. i remember being in the sugar house while the sap was boiling and becoming maple syrup. such a heavenly smell. geoffrey and i discovered that a tablespoon of maple syrup in our iced lattes is the bomb! not overly sweet. provides that maple flavor…just delicious!

sometime during the month geoffrey switched to working 4 ten hour days which means he doesn’t get home until about 6:30 pm. so, any help i got with homework went away. we have settled into a better routine for which i am thankful. its still a rushed a evening but i do my best. seamus is catching on and learning and its fun too see! he asked me recently (i’m paraphrasing) “if 3 and 2 more equaled 5?” i love him!! they expect a lot of the kindergarteners and i think he is on track. reports come out this week! we struggled a bit with a reader one last week. he wasn’t really focusing and i knew if he did he could read the whole book on his own. (about 6 pages, each page had 3-6 sentences) i pushed him through the whining and in the end he read it and was so proud. he just wants to read!

we discovered this month that our layla has a pretty bad allergy to dust and dust mites. ugh… surprisingly, it was the ONLY thing she was allergic to out of maybe the 30ish things they tested her for. its uncommon that someone is allergic to only one thing. i’ve been doing what i can here as far as cleaning and we’ve covered her mattress, box spring and pillow. hoping we can keep on top of it. she wasn’t happy about taking most of the stuffed animals off her bed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

i took a day trip to bastrop, TX for an “empowering texas women in agriculture” seminar. it was put on by HMI which is an organization geoffrey and i found out about while at the “texas organic farmers workshop” in austin a while back. HMI’s mission is “to educate people to manage land for sustainable future”. ย one of the programs they are going to rolling out in early 2012, i think, is a “beginning farmers nd ranchers program”. the seminar i went to was an introduction to that program that they hope to offer for free! they are a great resource. i came home with a bunch of resources and felt like we’ve been doing pretty good at this farming in texas so far!

it was sad driving through bastrop as they had a massive deadly wildfire rage through the area maybe 1-2 weeks before i went. we have been to bastrop a few times and LOVE the state park there…it was burned. while driving the divided highway you could see where the fire dumped the divided highway that leads through bastrop. i have heard of others driving through residential neighborhoods were the devastation is just so much worse. in some places in the area they were literally restoring power home by home… we had wildfire spark up just a mile or two away this month. my stomach sank as i looked outside over our house when a friend called me to go look. this is what i saw!

the fire was contained overnight and last i heard they were investigating arson. (sigh)

here are a few pictures i snapped on my iphone while driving through bastrop.

here you can see the divided highway and the scored earth on both sides.

there were sections where the earth was covered in ash…ugh…heartbreaking!

during some wildfires that were closer to us than bastrop we were following blue heron farm, who we knew about. their opened up their goat farm to a couple other goat farms near them that had to evacuate. blue heron farms about 30ish goats (if i remember right) and they look in maybe 100 other. they were close to evacuating a few times but thankfully that never happened. we saw that they were wanting to sell some baby ducks. after they began getting things back in order once the wildfire were contained and goats returned to their own farms they discovered another duck had a pile of eggs she was sitting on and they already had 5 babies. so, we told them we would take them! we had been telling the kids we would get ducks soon. here was our chance. so, on a sunday afternoon after egg delivery and farm chores at the barry farm we headed to fieldstore, texas to pick up ducks. we all had to help catch them, which the kids loved ๐Ÿ™‚ ย they also enjoyed meeting the goats as lisa walked us out to the pasture where they were, exploring the farm and seeing where they make their cheese. layla and seamus LOVE goat cheese and will eat it plain! i luv them! of course seamus kept asking if we could have get some goat cheese. they had just been to market and sold out. but, lisa looked a little further and she found a sample of their “fieldstore fire chevre”. it was like gold and we were so appreciate that they let us have it! you see during the wildfires all those goats they housed needed to be milked. they didn’t have enough refrigeration to handle all the milk so, they decided to combine it and make a special chevre. the three farms spilt the money. ingenious! we had a great visit with lisa and christian and love what they do. they are great people and we hope to see them again soon. thanks blue heron farm!

we got some rain the end of the month too! a couple good down pours. doesn’t put a dent in the drought but it sure did help the barry farm! one huge benefit of us moving those chickens (& pigs) around the land on a regular basis is the glorious natural fertilizer their poop/manure/dungย makes! if we get just a bit of rain at the land….followed by a nice warm/hot sun green stuff emerges!! we moved the chickens yesterday to some tall green grass stuff and they were in heaven! the turkeys also have been loving the new green grass. we keep praying for more rain!

life is busy, busy around here as usual and october is shaping up to be crazy i think! the pigs will be going to slaughter and that couldn’t make me happier! our truck as nice new shiny hitch and once we get out hands on a trailer we’ll be even happier! i took it upon myself to search craigslist AND go pick up a used freezer…while geoffrey was AWAY last week! (oh yeah, geoffrey attended a “vegetable specialist training” through master gardener last week!) so, i found a freezer we agreed, via email, we should get. so, off i went with our dolly moving blanket and ratchet straps. i told them i would either need help loading or asked if they would mind waiting until i could bring help. they said they would help. thankfully the husband and the son did most of the work, although i certainly could have! the freezer was much bigger in person and i found myself thinking that i was “nuts”! i had to drive major freeways and go through ez-passes with the monster in the bed of my truck! it was a bit nerve racking but i just kept looking the rear view mirror to be sure the ratchet straps were tight! oh, and there was the over pass at I10 and the beltway…geez… here she is…safe and sound at home! a neighbor gathered that i might need help…i think he saw me standing outside looking at the freezer still in the truck and the impending storm clouds i was looking at! thanks blane and CD!

this weekend geoffrey rearranged the garage to make room for the freezer. he did an excellent job because we have even more room now! we’ve made this promise to one another that we will ALWAYS park the truck in the garage. its common here in TX that people just fill their garage with stuff. not us!

its feeling like fall has arrived here and we are loving it! 55 this morning at 7am…glorious! no more days of high 90’s-100 temps in the near future and that makes us happy. i made an apple pie on friday with macintosh apples from NY. it was amazing! i also made baked beans with that maple syrup and they were delicious! our trees are even turning different colors but unfortunately, its not a good thing. its a thing of nature but its the cause of the record breaking drought that making trees die.

looking forward to october and praying we can keep up with all it will be throwing at us! its a busy, exciting, nerve-racking time for us and we’ll be sharing more as it all unfolds.

hello september!

well, there is really only one word to describe the month of august. if you live here (houston/texas) you know what word i am going to use! it was just downright blazing H.O.T.!ย the hottest on record. its so sad that we are breaking heat and drought records at the same time. not a good mix. not a good mix at all! and the wildfires…its heartbreaking.

in august we took a quick weekend trip to see our friends, the austins, who moved from way north texas (witchita falls) to the dallas area. they had taken a road trip to vermont during the summer and picked us up two gallons of pure vermont maple syrup! growing up in vermont myself and geoffrey living there for over 5 years we have missed not having regular access to it. regular access to the REAL stuff! we’ve been enjoying it! mostly right now in our iced lattes…super yumo! i think its about time for waffles again ๐Ÿ™‚

other than that quick trip we stayed home and tried to stay to cool. i bet the kids were glad to get to school so they didn’t see the inside of this house so much…or have to go to the land (the barry farm) while it was 108 degrees but felt like 115!!

School

in the middle to end of august the kids and i worked on their school supply list. they had fun shopping and hunting for the things we needed! layla is now a 2nd grader ๐Ÿ™‚ and seamus a kindergartner!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ they are both doing well and enjoy school and i hope it stays that way! this year i am on the PTA board serving as secretary. its gets me in the school more which i, geoffrey and the kids love! today while in a board meeting i saw layla walk down the hall…she waved at me excitedly. ๐Ÿ™‚

i love hearing the kids talk about their day to one another. its so precious. they both happen to have the same schedule of specials – PE, art, music. its fun hearing layla ask seamus if he knows a certain song or has done something she had. so far seamus has only gotten one mark on his daily conduct chart. it was a day i picked them both up early and as soon as he saw me he confessed…”i accidently got a yellow!” yellow isn’t terrible it just means the teacher spoke to him more than few times for the same thing. that “same thing” being playing in the bathroom. filling up the sink with water or something… hahaha! it was kind of cute and he knew he did wrong.

i love seeing them get out of the truck in the morning and walking into school together. i wish i could stay in front of the school until i can’t see them anymore but then i would hold up the line and would have a lot of upset parents! of course before they get out i get multiple kisses…from each of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

so, my days are much quieter. i haven’t been so alone in…well, i can’t remember! thankfully bestie and i have been hanging out some and making things like pot stickers and raviolis for our freezers! now on my days i have to go the barry farm i am alone. so thankful that rabbi and pablo take turns going on tuesdays and thursday when they are available. geoffrey also goes with just the kids on some weekend days that both of us aren’t needed to move animals or something. that’s nice!

i’ve been working on us getting into a routine around here. the evenings are a bit packed with all of us getting home between 4-4:15. then, there are two kids that need to do homework, catching up with daddy about his day and ours, supper to make and eat, 3 lunches to pack and then the kids start getting ready for bed about 7. this is pretty normal but for most of lay’s schooling geoffrey has worked the evenings/nights so getting all those things done was no problem and i took the nights as they went. but, now i don’t want to be doing stuff all night long…he’s home! last week lay and i were at the doctors two days right after school and not home until 5-5:30 so we were really cramming! hoping this week is easier and we can all get in a routine. now that the weather is cooler it would be nice to go out for walks or bike rides but i just don’t know how to do it! maybe the kids will start going to bed a bit later but for now, they go right to sleep after being tucked in about 7:30. do you realize they are at school for over 7 hours??

Farming

we are very thankful that despite the extreme heat ย and the drought the barry farm is still going well. we did loose a bee hive which is a big loss for us! but, thankfully its harvest of honey, whenever that would have been was only planned for our family. no customers were counting on honey. we did get probably a little over 2 quarts of honey and i have beeswax that i’d like to do something with. i’ve been researching a little. we are praying the other hive will make it. if you are curious about what happened to the hive you can read about it HERE.

we kept the animals in the most shade possible ย and went twice a day for pigs a few days the end of august when our highs were about 107-109. pigs don’t sweat so we’d give them plenty of mud to roll around and lay in. pretty sure we are their best friends now! they are getting big and might be in our freezers a little sooner than expected!

Gardening

the weather has certainly changed and we are hoping it stays this way!! it felt chilly this morning.. high 50’s. just last week our overnight lows were 77-79. welcomed relief. geoffrey and seamus planted some fall seeds sunday morning. we are gradually doing the fall/winter planting as these next few months come around. so many things to plant down here during this glorious time of year!

hoping your september is a great one!

 

busy. hot. dry.

its been a bit since i blogged last.

we’ve been busy around here. let’s see…. what have i (we) done in the past few weeks?

i had about 27 pounds of local (katy) pears that i was working on perserving. most of them i dried in the dehydrator for the kids lunches. i did can 4 quart jars – seamus likes canned pears. they are sitting in the cupboard with the canned peaches. i also made a delicious cardamom scented oatmeal crisp…geoffrey kept looking at the pears on the counter and asked why i wasn’t BAKING with them! it was very yummy but if i made a again i would a) put a little more cardamom in and b) make more! we also ate a bunch of delicious juicy pears ๐Ÿ™‚ the last one went in geoffrey lunch today.

the kids and i have been gathering school supplies. we go meet the teacher tonight! we might go this morning beacause i have to drop off seamy’s epi pen and benadryl to the school nurse along with the medical forms. we are hoping to stop by and see seamy’s teacher while we are there. we’ll go back later in the afternoon to help set up for “meet the teacher night”. daddy will meet us there when he gets home from work so he can meet the teachers as well. all in all i am looking forward to school but the stress of seamus’ peanut allergy looms about. its rough. i don’t like it. it changes everything….but, i’ve already cried twice about it so i’m not writing about it now!

of course we have been busy with farming as well. it is SO very dry! record breaking drought and record breaking heat (every day of august has been at least 100 degrees) are NOT a good mix at all! mandatory water restrictions have begun. its very sad and heart breaking. we don’t have much grass left to move the pigs, turkeys and chickens to so, we are just keeping them in the shade as much as we can. we are making plans for the next round of meat birds (chickens).

well, i need to go make the most of this early morning and get a big batch of homemade wheat tortillas done.

july’s gone!

oh july…why did you go so quickly?

july was good. busy, busy around here but that the norm lately.

we didn’t do much for the 4th. we all went to the land and i think we moved animals. i think we got some local grassfed burgers and cooked them on the grill…or was that memorial day? no i think memorial was brisket. anyway…we spent the day together. that night we drove to katy mills mall and parked to watch fireworks. we found a great spot along with about 10 other vehicles then were told my a cop we had to leave. ugh… that wasn’t the worse part though. the kids had fun. people were passing our glow sticks so the kids had fun with those. we saw the ISS pass over! i was checking twitter and saw tim heller posted to watch for it. it was pretty neat. the kids even got to see it. when the fireworks display was over we sat in traffic! i’m not really sure what the problem was but we seriously didn’t move even a 1/4 mile in an hour!! the kids weren’t too happy as they were pretty tired! its the price you pay sometimes for going to events like that…of course we tried to explain that to them ๐Ÿ™‚

geoffrey started a new job the second week in july. he is now a CATH lab nurse and working for st. lukes downtown. its a much needed break from emergency nursing for him (and us). he is still working through orientation and liking it! the CATH lab is were patients go for heart catheterizations and such. the like hiring skilled ER nurses. his orientation hours are 7a-3p and we are certainly loving those! one day we met him at the zoo after work. we’ve been swimming and biking some evenings too!

we got 13 baby turkeys this month. we are pleased that we only lost one! they’ve been out to the land in their temporary field pen for 1-2 weeks now and are doing wonderful! the barry farm is proud to be offering local pastured turkeys for thanksgiving! a few are taken and if you are interested you should contact us at thebarryfarm@yahoo.com for more details.

our friend rosie who is working on starting up her photography business, rosemary elizabeth photography came to the barry farm to take pictures! she did such a great job! ย check out this picture of the kids she took…i love it!

 

 

they crack me up!!

i think she and geoffrey & i learned how photogenic red wattle pigs are. you know when i see them i am always looking down on them…like this photo…

but when she there with her camera and getting right on their level she got images such as this…

and of course our favorite…hog heaven…

that’s one happy pig ๐Ÿ™‚

the kids and started school shopping. we’ve got some more to do.

i started making homemade mayo a few weeks ago. i flub a few batches but got it now! this is the recipe i use. be sure you have a nice light olive oil. light in color means light in flavor…learned that! and of course i use the barry farm eggs ๐Ÿ™‚

last weekned was layla’s birthday and she had a fun few days! the day before her birthday she and seamus went to grammy and tata’s (geoff’s parents) overnight. she wanted a day off at the farm…and she got it! geoffrey picked them up on friday after he got out of work. i was home in the kitchen making bread and supper. geoffrey and i had gotten and set up a 10 gallon aquarium for her, she had no idea! they stopped of for a few fish on the way home ๐Ÿ™‚ after we ate we told them it was time to go! we all went and saw smurf’s in 3D. thankfully we got into the 2nd theatre we went to! hahaa! they had fun and were super tired on the way home. earlier in the week we drove down to kemah to go to the bommin’ by the bay free concert that the local christian radio station sponsors. layla kept hearing about it and really wanted to go! last week was their last concert so after geoffrey got home from work…we drove to the bay! she was so cute and loved it!

now august has arrived… three full weeks left of summer! sigh…then school begins… that reminds me, i need to order seamus his llbean backpack, he wants green ๐Ÿ™‚ did you know llean has free shipping now?

so, that’s what happened here in july.

 

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