Monday, November 30, 2009

Really Getting my Goat

This last holiday weekend was wonderful. I got to relax and not worry about chores. I got to watch TV, go shopping, read, and knit. I even watched TWO movies (Bruno, eh. The Great Buck Howard, eh +). Who knew I could have so much time to do jack shit?!
Anywho, I let my dad cook for me. I say "let" because my dad assumes vegetarians only eat vegetables and can never think of a version of something I might eat. Alas, the weekend has come where my father realizes that I DO eat everything, just without meat. AND...there are meat substitutes (beans, mushrooms, soy stuff, etc) for everything. I am proud Dad.

So after some coaxing, my dad did a little net research and *gasp* used a recipe (with his own variations, of course)! It was delicious. He made me some Indian food, which I must admit, I do not make often because I can't make it taste very good. Dad made two dishes one was Mutter Panner and the other was a chickpea something. They were both very flavorful. I preferred the latter of the two and I think I realized why the next day....
I will say, I ate all of the Mutter Panner that night Dad had his vegetarian epiphany and it wasn't until I went to eat leftovers I discovered the dreaded ingredient. I think reheating the stuff in the microwave made it bubble up and rear its ugly head. I couldn't eat it anymore, so sad.

GOAT CHEESE! I hate that f-ing stuff. Blegh. I have a good taste palate but I cannot bring myself to eat that plasticy cheese. I don't know what it is really but holy crap it ruins any delectable it touches.

Needless to say, I don't cook with that but Tyler loves it. The only time he gets it is when he orders the Northwest Pizza from Boundary Bay Brewery. He loves it! In fact, it was that pizza that made me realize I hated the stuff. The pizza is: salmon, capers, goat cheese and something else mouth watering. However, when I ordered it about five years ago, I ate one piece and stopped. I thought it was bad salmon. I didn't learn until my second try that it was goat cheese. Boo.

Goats. Boo.

Anywho, here are pics of Dad's creation. It looked so good! You can find the recipe here if you do in fact like the devil's milk (actually, turns out, Dad substituted goat cheese for paneer cause he couldn't find it. Do the same if you dare. If not, just use cottage cheese for my sake).....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving of Thanks

This is the silly Thanksgiving post. I feel like I really should be thankful this year. First, I would like to note that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Food. Good. Family. Good. Vacation. Gooood. How could you get any better? Someday I will host Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to it. For now, I will be going to Ptown to celebrate with T's family and Mom's family. Two Thanksgivings. Hells yes. Should be good times.
Side Note: I will also be trying on some wedding dresses. We'll see if I am thankful for that, or not.
My Thanks List:
- Tyler
- Sister
- Mom and Dad
- All other family and to-be family (please don't be offended you aren't listed seperately, there are too many of you)
- Friends I see now and old friends I don't see as much
- Sammy
- Stanley
- Buky
- Gussy
- My job
- The kids at work
- My House
- My Land
- Getting married
- Heat
- Stove
- Popcorn
- Carpet Cleaner
- Flowers
- Money
- Hot water
- Coffee
- Being dorky but thinking I am hil.arious.
That is my main list.
Oh wait, Sam wants to give thanks too!

Me: "Hey Sam."

Sam: "Yes Mommy?"
Me: "What are you thankful for?"

Sam: "You!"
Me: "Oh sweet jesus, you are cute."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

As I have mentioned before, I do not have a keen eye when it comes to detail. I do not have any artistic ability and cannot manage to decorate my house. This means, for my wedding, I recruit my mom and sister and Tyler's mom to decorate. I know what colors I like I just cannot vision the final product. I think I have just given up trying. When I was younger I thought I was an artist and I went to draw a dog and it turned out to be a "side profile" consisting of circles with one long dangley ear. This was when I gave up.
Anyway, yesterday I was cleaning my house and the sun was getting low in the sky. The house was warm and outside was stormy. As I was tidying up the living room I looked up and thought, this really doesn't look so bad. I have some good pieces, like I like my coffee table and my lamp, but I don't know if they fit together. We always joke that our house looks like the 70's blew up in it and that bothers me. Yesterday though, I thought it looked a little more modern. So I took pictures because I thought, this cannot be true, my eyes are seriously just messing with me. I kept taking pictures and looking up from the camera and wondering if it was really that bad. I don't trust myself.
I still haven't decided if it has come together very well but I figured I would let others tell me if my random decorating skills are adequate.....

Please note that I hate this Christmas Cactus. Although I like having color in the house this pink is just a little too much for me.

I do really want a new entertainment center. One that is taller.

Marrs hasn't quite fixed the wiring yet. It runs across random things.

Pretend the chair is recovered.

Oh god, the 70's did blow up. Where are the orange and green curtains? Humph!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Punk'in Pie Cinnamon Rolls

I have found a new blog. Cook Local. It is a Seattle blog. It isn't vegetarian specific but they certainly have a lot of things that I can eat on there. It's wonderful.
I found these cinnamon rolls on there and thought they sounded so tasty. I cooked them for breakfast the next morning. Turned out great. They definitely taste best right out of the oven though!
This recipe may look daunting but I assure you it isn't too difficult, especially if you make the dough beforehand.
Punk'in Pie Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Cook Local blog
Makes about 6 - 9 rolls, depending on how large/small you make them

For Rolls:
1 T of active dry yeast
1/4c of warm water
1/2 t sugar
1.5c + 1T flour
1/8 t
1/2c pumpkin puree
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar

For Filling:
1/4 c butter, softened
2 t crystallized ginger, minced
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 Tbsp sugar

For Frosting:
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 t ginger
2-3Tbsp water

1. Place the warm water in a small bowl.
2. Add the 1/2 tsp of sugar and the 1 Tbsp of yeast and let stand while you prepare the dry ingredients.
3. Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar on low speed until just combined.
4. Add in the pumpkin puree, yeast and mix well until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky. Add more water or milk if not.
5. Oil a large bowl.
6. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat all surfaces with oil.
7. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
8. Punch the dough down and let it rest for a moment while you flour the counter or large cutting board.
9. Roll out the dough to approximately 7 x 11 inches.
10. Mix the filling ingredients together and gently spread the filling over the dough.
11. Starting with the long end, roll the dough up, trying to prevent any large air gaps. Pinch the ends to seal.
12. Cut the dough into 1 inch rounds.
13. Grease an 11×9 inch baking dish on the bottom and sides.
14. Lay the rounds, cut side down, in the dish, leaving plenty of space on all sides.

*At this point, you can put the dough in fridge (cover the dish) and eat in the morning...or you can go ahead and finished the recipe to eat now.*

15. If kept in the fridge overnight, take the rolls out and let rise for at least a hour, or until not too cold anymore. If you are eating them right away, cover the dish and let the dough sit for about 45 min more to rise.
16. Preheat oven to 350.
17. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
18. Mix the frosting ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
19. Frost by drizzling frosting over the rolls and enjoy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yea I like flowers. Shoot Me.

Disclaimer: In this posting I reference my youth and my parents. Please note that I love my parents dearly. They are the best and I had a great GREAT childhood! I make fun in this post (and probably more posts) of my childhood. I do not actually think my sister is a boy. I do not actually think my dad wanted boys, he loved us more than anything and wouldn't trade us for the world! (Hell, my mom gave Claire that cut anyway) To summarize, I love my parents and think they raised me perfectly and very lovingly. I am forever grateful for that. I don't think they tortured me, I only thought that when I was 10, hence why I can poke fun now.

I was raised to be strong. I did push ups as punishment, I played many sports and spent many summers on gymnastic and jump rope teams. I was also raised to have a strong need to help others. Although being socially responsible and kind has its advantages (ie: people like you and think you are funny) it also comes with great downfalls. I experience some of those in my work and play today.
I am a female. I am a female who works in a male dominated environment. I constantly have to stick up for myself because people just assume I am weak and know nothing about rules of let's say, baseball, where big strong boys throw a circle thing. (Mind you, I hate football rules, I choose NOT to learn those...therefore, the football season is my weakness and big strong boys do ignore me. I have come to terms with it.) I surprise people when I can lift bleachers, carry 5 boxes at once, and can throw two bags of recycling up into the container. Hippy? Yes. Silly little girl? No. Its nice to make people realize that.

Anyway, back to how this affects my farm life (because that is what this blog is about). Now that Tyler and I are turning our lives into gardening, farming, and cleaning, there are definite gender roles. When I was little, I would help chop the wood, pick rocks, shovel manure, start the fire, etc. And...I HATED it. Now I am wondering why I hated it. Did I hate it because I was forced to do it or because I am a girl and boys are "supposed" to do those things and like it? My dad just didn't happen to have any boys so Claire and I were forced to fulfill that void. Maybe THAT is why Claire had a bowl hair cut and went naked from the waist up FOR YEARS. Anyway, to continue, having to do those chores in the past has left me feeling I need to do them and I need to help others when they are doing them. Because of this, I feel torn ALL THE TIME!
Right now, my life consists of working (43+/week), doing chores, and sleeping (throw "going to the gym" in there a couple times too). Tyler has different chores which include things like shoveling manure, hammering things, and using his tractor. I feel bad when I don't help because I feel like 1) my mom and dad taught me people always need help and 2) I can do them to prove I am not a girly girl.

I AM NOT DOING THEM though. Unless Tyler wants some help, I have decided I am not volunteering to saw, chop, and shovel. I will gladly do it when asked but I am no longer feeling bad about not doing it when not asked. Tyler doesn't clean the bathroom without being asked, so there! Maybe this is what happens when you finally are ready to live with someone forever and you realize you don't have to do it all yourself anymore. Hell, that's why my mom finally realized kids were all right.

So that is my new life altering revelation and something I am now accepting. If I need to blame it on being a girl, fine, but I think I am growing up. I am a delicate flower that cannot break a nail or get my high heels muddy.

Dad, his daughter, and his gaily dressed "son" (whose pissed about getting that ribbon)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Goodbye Summer

I know, summer ended officially on Sept. 21 but I can't say I fully embraced it with the early warm weather fall and my flowers still in bloom. Alas, the weekend has come where I say goodbye to summer and I say it gladly. I love summer, don't get me wrong. I love swimming (in pools), getting sun baked, wearing shorts and tanks, cutting flowers, eating beans, etc but one can only take so much of the work that summer requires and begs you to do in it's basking sun. It wants you to be outside and you feel guilty when you want to be inside making that fruit salad or just taking a nap (I don't do outside naps...allergies). Note: I did not take one nap this summer.

With that said, I have started to fully embrace fall! It allows me more time in the kitchen and more time to clean my house, not that it is clean but I putter around and try. Today I took down my dried hydrangeas and replaced them with a paper pear and some fake, YES FAKE, fall colored flowers. Don't judge me, it adds color and they don't look too fake. Its not like they are bright blue or green mums or something! gosh! Anyway, I also cut down my dahlias, although they were still blooming because it is time to get those suckers out of the ground and ready for next year (crossing my fingers they still "plantable" over the winter).

As far as cooking goes, I have been reading books and cooking like mad with fall edibles. I LOVE squash and we have something containing its brilliance once a week. I have also gone to making soup with some of our left over summer veggies. Fall/winter = food, in my opinion. In fact, this morning I made vegan french toast, veggie sausage (not from scratch), biscuits, and veggie gravy for breakfast. Needless to say, it is noon and we still aren't hungry. Its heavenly.

Next on the list: start knitting again and finish some home make overs.

To leave you on a good note and enjoying that warm cozy feeling, I present vegan french toast. Seriously, good.

Vegan French Toast
adapted from "I can't remember"
Yields 4 pieces of French Toast

1/2c raw cashew pieces
1c soymilk
1/2t vanilla extract
generous coating of oil
4 slices bread (a bit stale works best)

1) Grind cashews in dry blender or food processor until powdery.
2) Add soymilk and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
3) Pour into a shallow dish.
4) Preheat skillet coated in oil, enough to "fry" bread. Don't be shy.
5) Dip the bread in cashew mixture and flip onto both sides.
6) Transfer coated bread into hot pan and flip after 45 secs - 1 min or until brown. Note that most of the cashews have fallen to the bottom of the shallow dish and you may want to scoop some manually onto the top of your bread with a spoon.
7) Serve with maple syrup.

Enjoy. Preferably with coffee. Mmmmm

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farmer's Wife Chore #142

Halloween came and went. Halloween was on a Saturday. Tyler and I have not gone to a Halloween party for 4 years. I told Tyler we were going out. Bad idea.

This year I made Tyler's Halloween costume. I knew that Tyler wouldn't poo poo being Nacho Libre for Halloween so I decided a month ago that I would make this costume (being one of my new "wifely" duties). I needed to find some boots, women's underwear, cape, gold fringe, wig, mustache hair, and some extra material. For the past couple of weeks I have been searching, sewing, and dyeing things to put Ty's outfit together. It was all pretty easy until I had to channel my home-ec self and use my sewing machine.
I received my sewing machine as a gift a couple of years ago and have used it for numerous projects but haven't used it in the past year or so. I had a feeling that my machine wasn't going to agree it should work. Turns out I was right. Growing up, I feel like my mom was always swearing at her machine and I am pretty sure I did the same this week. Sometimes it was my fault but 85% of the time, the machine was the problem. In the end, the machine and I came to peace with each other and I finished everything but not after sewing, re sewing, petting and kicking my machine. It was a love/hate relationship.

I did it though and Tyler was a great Nacho. We encountered one other Nacho and Tyler was SO MUCH BETTER! (I was Encarnacion, Nacho's love in the movie)

The Machine: It is going to the doctor this week to get fixed. I diagnosed the problem (has to do with how the needle is sitting) so we'll see if it works better next time.

Jack Frost Ain't Knocking

It is November 1 and I still have dahlias blooming. The frost hasn't hit our property yet, a bit of a phenomenon I think, but probably because we live up on the hill and the cold air drains down into the corn fields. Therefore, I am still picking blooming flowers and there are more to pick this weekend than there were three weeks ago! I love the pretty flowers but honestly, they are making me cling onto summer when I am ready to move onto fall and winter. Their colors are still bright and vibrant and make me think of sunny warm weather. I shouldn't complain though because I still have a ton of flowers making my kitchen and bathroom bright.