Thursday, November 26, 2009


It was such a quiet Thanksgiving.  We stayed home again this year, it was just the three of us.  Family is far, and gas prices are up.  I started cooking yesterday, and was up around 5 a.m. today.  We ate A LOT!!!  I made my usual cornbread casserole, green bean casserole (since we can't have onions here at our house, I shredded up some of our Dixie Swiss cheese and sprinkled it on top), sweet potato casserole (just like my grandma used to make!), turkey, mashed potatoes, noodles, rolls, made up a cheese and veggie tray, and lots of other goodies! Oh, and of course, pumpkin pie! YUM!!! 
Milking was started and finished earlier than usual.  I had the turkey in the oven by 7:30 a.m. Emily watched a marathon of Tom & Jerry, wow, that takes me back a few years! ha!  After eating, Emily fell asleep for a nap on the couch, so we had control of the tv.  Well, Al had control of the tv, so that meant watching Detroit  Lions play the Green Bay Packers.  It was a good game, at least what we saw of it.  Emily woke up during the 3rd quarter, and we took the easy road, and turned Tom & Jerry back on.  Had our phone calls to family to wish them Happy Thanksgiving.  Rested a lot, and nibbled on leftovers.  That is what I LOVE about Thanksgiving....leftovers!! My fridge is full. 
As we slowed our pace down today, I felt really content. 
And was thinking, that even though we are really pinched financially right now, things are good.  So, here is what I am thankful for today, considering that this is a day to reflect on these things, not just about turkey.  (Although, that part is good too!)

~I'm thankful to have a wonderful husband and daughter. 

~For our home.

~Our business is doing well, considering the economy has really hit a lot of folks hard.

~The sun came out today, and it was beautiful!

~My dishwasher (Rosie) finished most of our dishes today that we made dirty.

~Cows came in easily this evening, no chasing them all over the county.

~We had a lot of food, even though grocery prices made me a little more careful as to what I bought for our dinner.

~And having time this evening to watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Now that is a life to be thankful for....

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with a lot of blessings!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feeling So Much Better!

Well, we have survived whatever kind of flu bug we had for the past week and a half.  I do not want to ever experience that again!  At least not for awhile.  Still coughing, but the fever that my daughter and I both had is long gone! Yay!
So, now that we are all recovered and feeling more like the living, we've been busy!  I guess I could consider my sick time my "break".  Hmm...not enjoyable though.. 
I did start some Christmas baking the other night, ran across a really yummy recipe, and sounded fairly easy too.  The recipe says it should make about 3 dozen or so. Funny, I only have about 1 dozen as of right now.  Now I'm pretty sure I made more than that!!  Keeping husband and daughter out of the refrigerator and freezer this time of year is next to impossible.  My plan is to have several differnt goodies all made up and in the freezer in plenty of time to make sure everyone on our list gets a nice gift basket/cookie tray.  But, if we don't stay out of the goodies, we won't have anything ready for them!

Chocolate Dipped Maple Logs

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (6 oz)semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup ground walnuts

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and maple flavoring.  Combine flour, oats and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into 1/2 inch wide logs.  Cut into 2 inch pieces.  Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until set and very lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks.
In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and milk; stir until smooth.  Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate; allow excess to drip off.  Roll in walnuts. Place on waxed paper until set.*
*I like to place the cookies in the refrigerator until set.  They set faster and look nice.
This recipe is from Taste Of Home.

The picture for the cookies is not my photo.  That is also from Taste of Home.  Mine didn't turn out quite that pretty! 

Most of the work that I have been doing, now that I feel more like doing something, has been laundry!  It still amazes me how just 3 of us can accumulate so much!  And of course, with milking over 60 cows right now, Al's clothes are really dirty after just one milking.  He sometimes comes in and changes at lunch time.  And if anyone has any good suggestions as to getting cow manure out of clothing, I'm open to try anything! 
I did get some cheese orders shipped out on Monday.  I cut up several pounds of cheese for the farm market this Saturday.  And yes, I will be there.  I don't like missing even one market, especially this time of year, when holiday shopping has already started.  I'm hoping to have a couple of gift baskets already made up so that they can be on the table for customers to look at and get an idea of what they consist of.  I have found a couple more items to add to our gift basket giveaway.  A maple leaf shaped bottle of Pure Maple Syrup, made right here in Ohio.  We have quite a few names added to our giveaway!  Looking forward to announcing a winner! 
We have an order heading out to California this next week.  Can't believe we're getting orders heading to the west coast! 
We've wrapped up cheese making for the winter.  I'm focusing on waxing the last batches of cheese we've made this fall and getting gift basket stuff lined up!  That combined with the usual holiday stuff we do here as a family, will keep me busy! 
Sawdust hauling has begun for the year.  This is something we do each year when November comes along.  Thankfully we don't have to use the dust yet, but some years we do keep the cows in this early.  The warmer than usual weather and grass still good and green has allowed our girls to stay out to pasture longer than usual.  And they are enjoying it.  But, I guarantee, that first snowflake falls, they will not leave the barn!  Winter in our barn is cozy! I love it!  The cows stay in,  nice and dry, we make sure they have plenty of good grass hay, and bed them up nice and warm with sawdust.  Barn stays right around 60 degrees, and Christmas music plays from Thanksgiving until just after New Year.  Decorating the  barn for the girls has crossed my mind! ;)  I'm thankful that the dust we get is free and kept inside where it stays dry.  The past 2 days I've helped Al load the dust.  The guys that work at the shop where we get it has quit early.  But, it doesn't take us long to load up. 
Our local paper came today, and I was so surprised to see an article about me!  Now I have no idea who sent it in, but it's cool!  They wrote about how a recipe of mine was featured in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook and how you can find the book at our local gift shop.  I'll keep that paper, thought it was really something neat! 
Now I am off to cut up some more cheese for Saturday.  I want to start getting things ready before Friday night.  Seems I like to procrastinate, and then I'm feeling rushed at the last minute.  If I actually work on it a little at a time, I may actually be ready without worrying.  I'm sure this is a brand new concept, figured out by me, right? 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's a Stay-At-Home Weekend

We're staying home this weekend, away from anyone and everyone. And I'm going stir crazy!  We all are sick, and just doing what work needs to be done, and that's it.  I did try to help Al get the cows in last night, I didn't do well though.  The cows obviously realized that I was not feeling well, and would be really easy to ignore!  That's what they did too.  Al drove the truck back to our back hayfield to pick up an Amish friend of ours, so on the way, he dropped me off at the spot way behind our pond so that I could get behind the cows and convince them to head to the barn.  They were moving really well too, but it got dark, and when it gets dark, these cows do not move.  Well, after about 15 minutes of waving a stick, well it was actually the stem from a weed, but they didn't know it, I realized they were not taking me seriously.  Probably because the farmer or his wife should not be on the ground huffing and puffing for air if we want the cows to see how serious we are about getting them to the barn.  Yes, I was the one gasping for air.  I will know next time to let Al get the cows in when he is able to get around to it, and not offer my help when I'm already sick and can't breathe. 
Of course, as soon as the girls heard the truck coming, they decided to mosey to the barn, at their own pace, of course.  I came to the house and decided that the recliner was where I should be.  With a nice warm blanket and the remote to the tv so I could flip through channels.  Emily picked, so Dora the Explorer was our evening tv program of choice. 
I did get bored of just sitting, so went to the kitchen, and decided to fix something good, something sweet, and yep, something I really should not have.  Emily and I fixed a cake.  I did fix chicken pot pie for something good for you too.  But, the cake was the best!  It's a good one from the GBP booklet called Cake Mixes. 
Gooey Cherry-Mallow Squares

4 cups mini marshmallows
18 1/4 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
21 oz. can cherry pie filling

Spray the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray; arrange
marshmallows evening in pan.  Prepare cake mix according to pkg. directions.
Pour over marshmallows.  Spoon pie filling on top; bake at 350 degrees for
45-50 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares to serve.  Makes 15 servings.
*We used Blueberry Pie Filling instead, it was what we had on hand.

I skipped the farm market today, so I apologize to anyone who may have went there and didn't see me.  I am planning on being back this next weekend, and each Saturday (except for December 12).  So far today I've done very little.  I did play a little bit of Super Nintendo with Emily, and have found that I'm not as good at the Mario games like I was when I was 12.  Guess that's been awhile.  Al is now relaxing, watching Ohio State play.  Go Bucks!! 
And, I guess that is where I'm going to head off to, sit back, watch some football, and hopefully by tomorrow I'm feeling more like my old self!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Baking

This year I am determined to start my Christmas baking soon, within the next week or so.  Wanted to start making and freezing some dough this week, but, unfortunately, a cold bug has caught up with me, despite my efforts with the Lysol spray and hand sanitizer.  So, until I feel better, I am just sorting through my recipes and getting my ingredients needed listed, so that when I do start my baking, I'll be ready. 
I'm sharing a couple of recipes.  I will add more recipes off and on this holiday season as I run across some favorites. 

The first recipe is one that I love to make, and they are so yummy.  Really very easy to put together and they turn out very pretty!

Chocolate Mint Sugar Cookie Drops

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mint chocolate morsels
Red & Green coarse sugar

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.
Combine 1 cup sugar, oil and vanilla in large bowl.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating
well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels.  Shape
into 1-inch balls.  Roll in coarse sugar.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes, or until centers are just set.
Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks. Makes about 5 1/2 dozen.

Cherry Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sguar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and
vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture
and mix well (dough will be thick).  Stir in pecans and cherries.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake
at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.  Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Now I think I'll look through some more to get more ideas.  Also planning on getting a book from the library called "Oh, Fudge", recommended by my sister-in-law.  Need to brush up on making fudge, and getting it to turn out really good!
Only 2 more weeks until Thanksgiving!  Time to pick up those turkeys and all the goodies that go with it! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Many Cookbooks..... ya need??  In my kitchen, I believe I have last counted close to 300.  Do I use them all?  Actually, yes, at one time or another.  Now my favorites that I turn to most of the time would have to be the Gooseberry Patch collection.  So many to look at, and they are all so cozy! 

The fall collection of the GBP cookbooks are
full of wonderful recipes that are sure to
be comforting and cozy!  Fall & Christmas
cookbooks are among my favorites with GBP.

I also enjoy looking at antique shops and
thrift shops for old cookbooks. The "Recipes
From Old Virgina" is dated 1946, and the "Homemade
Bread, Cake and Pastry" is dated 1937.  I want to get back
up to Riverfront Antique Mall in New Philadelphia, OH and
look for some more sometime soon.

I'm a fan of the Andy Griffith Show, so when I
ran across "Aunt Bee's Delightful Desserts" at the
library, I knew I had to find a copy of this one
to add to my collection, and thanks to Ebay,
I found both "Aunt Bee's Delightful Desserts" and
"Mealtime In Mayberry".

Being the farm wife that I am, I have to add some good old
fashioned farm cookbooks. 

This is the complete collection, for the most part.  Does not include magazines and the small booklets that you can pick up at the checkout counter at the grocery store. 
Amazing, when Al and I were first married, one of my first "meals" I cooked for him was tomato soup (from Campbell's) and grilled cheese.  Now don't get me wrong, that is a wonderful lunch, and we still love it from time to time, especially on a chilly day, but that was just about the extent of my cooking knowledge.  Then I discovered how much I loved to cook, and started out just getting books at the library and jotting down favorite recipes out of those books.  But, one Christmas, our local gift shop had a sale on Gooseberry Patch, and that was the beginning of my cookbook addiction.  After the first 3 books, Cozy Home Cookbook, For Bee's and Me and A Pinch of This, I was determined to collect them all!  And I have almost accomplished that, and have even had a few recipes published. 
With the holidays coming up, I have found that my attention has turned to my cookbooks more frequently.  I've been sitting back more often, and picking out what I should fix for Thanksgiving, and which cookies would be best for Christmas gifts. 
I will try to include some of my favorite holiday recipes in future blog posts! So keep checking in!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Goodness, It's almost Thanksgiving!

I can't beleive that November is already here! Where did October go? Where did the pretty leaves go already? Our trees are bare. We picked up our turkey for Thanksgiving the other day. Feels nice to already have it tucked in the freezer. Getting some ideas for sides, and wanting , still to get some Christmas goodies lined up. We're making cheese through this month, which we usually don't do. But, we are wanting to get some cheese stocked up to carry us through the winter until we make again in March. And since we've picked up a few new places, we may need this extra cheese.
Received a call about participating in an event in Barnesville, OH at the beginning of December. I will update with more information as it comes. So, if you are in the area, you can stop by!
Emily ended up with a good amount of candy for trick-or-treat last Saturday evening. She found a dinosaur costume at Goodwill about a month ago. We painted her face and got her all dressed up. She was a cute little dinosaur!

Emily all set to go get some candy!

Look at that cute little green face!
Emily's hamster, Princess, passed away this past weekend. Very sad day for us. :( Poor Emily took it hard, so we went to St. Clairsville to the pet store and found another Princess. My only worry is that she was living with a boy hamster, so there is a chance that we may see little ones. A hamster is only pregnant for 16-18 days. I did not know that. We won't have to wait long to see if babies are in our future. Thankfully, the pet store told us if she does have babies, that they will take them off of our hands. We'll deal with that when and if the time comes. Because I'm sure Emily will end up attached to them all.
While we were getting another hamster, we stopped at my favorite store of all time, as if you couldn't tell, Goodwill. I find so many goodies while I'm there. This time, Emily found a roller skate set, Barbie knee/elbow pads with the adjustable skates. She loves them! And she is really very good at staying on her feet. At least much better than I ever was!
Ready to roll!
For those who stop by the River City Farmer's Market in Marietta, our hours will be changed starting this Saturday! We'll be open 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Longer days for the holiday season! I'll be getting gift baskets ready and have them available at the market and taking orders.
Now, I'm off to get a few things done, I have about 4 batches of cheese that will be waxed tomorrow, plus getting some cut up for the market. Will have to make adjustments on how much I take with me with the longer market day.

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