Monday, May 30, 2011

Spoiled Rawton

Me spoiled rotten? Oh no, I would not be talking about myself. I mean I watch library dvds, use baking soda for shampoo, and shop at consignment stores (but all that is for another day). Oh no, not me.

The S's are spoiled rotten. As in Stanley and Simon. Well, if you asked them, being locked in the bathroom all day (because he pees on things sometimes) and not going to the vet when clearly you should (his eye and leg both healed) doesn't a spoiled cat make. But, even after all their life hardships, S & S get homemade food now. I was talked into it at the pet store.

One day I traipsed through the pet store door and explained that my cats both had urinary tract infections (only one got to go to the vet) and meds weren't helping the problem. I said that I didn't want to put them on special diet food because that stuff was made mostly of grains which is not what cats digest easily. The pet store lady told me that her cats and all the staffs' cats were on a raw diet. Of course, the store sold some stuff but she told me how to make my own and that it was cheaper. It was worth a shot.

So, I ordered 14 lbs of ground rabbit (whole rabbit, minus fur) online. I bought a butt load of vitamins to put in the mix and I made a batch of food. It was super easy and only a little scary realizing I was working with raw meat. (It doesn't gross me out by the way, it is what cats are supposed to be eating.) 

Holy hell, the cats LOVE this food. I read that some cats don't like it right away but when you have Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb who will eat anything, it isn't a hard or slow adjustment period. Both boys are in the greatest of health and Simon has even slimmed down, he is back to looking like a kitten.

I got all of my information about making the food on this website. The only trick is you actually have to read all the information because you can't really stray from the recipe or the cats won't be getting the correct amount of vitamins and what not.

I always make a big batch and freeze jars of it (after measuring it out into 2 day jars). It works great. In fact, I am going to make some more today. Today's menu will be chicken with liver. Delish!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring in Pictures

Spring makes my house looks so much better than winter. The trees finally have leaves, the flowers are in bloom and I can't help put smiling every time I pull into the driveway and see the apple and cherry trees blossoming.

Perhaps you want to smile too, although I am sure your own home makes you smile but nevertheless, just smile at mine too please. (as I made you do last year too)

By the way, if you happen to look at the link to last years post, it mentioned that we had a lot of irises and I was wondering how they would do this year. So far, nothing but there are a lot of stalks pokin' up. But, the season is a lot different than last year and I am still a week ahead of last year's post, so we shall see.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Da Farm

We finally decided on a farm name.

It is clever, it has our name it in (kinda), it has a nice ring to it.

And now after all that hype, I can't tell you.

I am so very sorry but I have decided not to ever put our farm name on my  bloggie here. It would just be my luck that some person would google our name, this blog would pop up, and the person would get offended with all my shits, fucks, and poops. We just can't have that. It is hard enough that we can't even grow anything with all this damn rain so I will keep my image clean with the customers and they will never know I am a potty mouth sass face.

I can tell you that is isn't:
Better From Afarm
Buk's Place
S&S Farm
Aladdin & JaFarm
EmTy Farms

All great names.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As Per Request

This is why we should have named our farm Dandelion Meadows.

To honor the weed, and as per a beautiful curly haired vegan friend o' mine's request, I shall now post my dandelion stir-fry recipe. Really, this recipe could be used with anything, it is my go to stir-fry method. But for the sake of this, I shall make it all about da spring.

Dandelion Stir-Fry
serves 2

- handful of dandelion greens, washed
- about 3-5 dandelion flowers, petals pulled off
- 1/4lb tofu, cut into bit size squares
- half an onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- about 4-5 mushrooms sliced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 cup rice

- 2T soy sauce
- 1T hoison sauce
- 1T mirin (rice wine vinegar)
- 1T agave or sugar
- 1t chilli sauce or red pepper flakes

1. First things first, you are gonna have to go forage for those dandelions. Grab some scissors and a baggie and head outside. You are going to be looking for healthy looking dandelions.
This is an UN-healthy dandelion
Healthy dandelion. Lots of leaves pointing skyward.
2. Cut the leaves at the base and cut flowers off a couple dandelions and save those to use.
3. Head back inside and cut up all your ingredients.
4. Start cooking the rice. If using brown rice, you may want to start the rice before you go outside to harvest dandelions, that way everything is ready all at the same time and you don't have to wait for the rice to cook.
5. Add 2T oil to a frying pan. When hot, add tofu and turn heat down to low. Stir/flip constantly for about 5 minutes or until tofu is crispy.
6. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and fry for another 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms are wilted and onions are translucent.
7. Add shredded carrot and dandelion petals and greens. Fry for about 3 - 5 minutes until everything is wilted and soft.
8. Mix sauce together in small bowl and then add to the pan.
9. Let everything soak in the sauce on low for about 3 min or until the sauce is all soaked up. (If you need to add more sauce, go for it. If the dish is too bitter add a bit more agave.)
10. Eat over rice.

I hope you enjoy!
p.s. if you have frozen peas, add those in with the mushrooms and onions, they are awesome in this dish!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Softball Doesn't Really Use a Soft Ball

I am going to let you in on some daily happenings in my life. I don't usually talk about my life outside of the plants, dirt, food, and animals but I have something I want to tell you about. This tid bit is just another piece of the pie that makes up my life and one of the big reasons why I don't get to post as often.

I am a coach.

I coach girls fastpitch and where I live, that can be a challenge because every athletic girl usually plays soccer, not fastpitch. For years, I have been recruiting, maintaining, and growing the local fastpitch league for girls 8 - 14 years old. I haven't been doing all the work though, I have a lot of support from co-workers and parents. Sometimes things go well and sometimes things are frustrating but I keep trucking on because it is fun.

Currently, I coach 13 and 14 year olds. I have been coaching some of the girls for 4 years and it is a lot of fun to see them grow, learn, and deal with me tormenting them. Luckily I haven't offended many families with my sarcastic comments and the girls seem to enjoy a little back and forth occasionally.

I do get frustrated with my team sometimes though. In fact, just last weekend I told them they were playing horribly, it was true. None of them cried about it though, at least not in front of me. And then the next game, they all did about 103% better, it was great. I guess some of them have had coaches in the past just yell at them, I don't think I can do that but I can verbally abuse with quieter words. Sometimes, I swear (go figure) but only by using the word "crap". (It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.) As in, "that was a crappy throw", "get your crappy glove in the dirt already", "used two hands you crapster". Well, maybe I don't say all those things, but I think I just gave myself some new material.

So anywho, that is where I am during the evenings when I should be making dinner and blogging. I am in the world of softball with 13 and 14 year old girls who win about half of their games because sometimes they can't hit the ball because they are playing crappy. Sometimes the play amazingly though and it makes the evening one totally worth not being home making dinner and blogging and snuggling kittens.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home Foraging

Lately I have been reading about foraging and how it is such a great thing to do in the Pacific Northwest because such great things grow 'round these parts. Although I have been reading and looking at plant pictures, I was too nervous to go foraging and eat things when I didn't really know what I was doing.

But, because hippiness runs in the family, I was able to recruit my cousin, Laurie, to come show me the plants I can eat around my own house. I want to forage because a) I think it is cool to be able to eat plants that already are growing and you didn't even have to do anything (like weed them because they are weeds!) and b) it is free. Plus, nature provides some pretty awesome plants in the spring. Most of them make a pretty good attempt at detoxing all the winter shit in your body. I think we all could use a little help with that once in awhile! So, why not let nature help in the process.

Not everything on the property is medicinal or detoxifying but even if it is edible to went in my fridge. Some of these fancy plants included:

1) don't remember the name. But, let's just call it peppery tiny flower weed. We have about 6,594 of these growing around our house.

2) Horsetails (with a dandelion thrown in for good measure...although it is sad looking). This weed, formally known as son-of-a-bitch-roots-for-miles-weed, is actually pretty good for your if you eat it. You have to cook it though and you only eat the young stems when the leaf/stemy things are still folded upward.

3)  Dandelions. They really are dandy. You can eat the leaves, flowers, and root. It is bitter but that is good for you (something about liver and fluids). Plus, you can just add something sweet to manage the taste. I have been adding it to salad and stirfry. We definitely have a ton! Our farm could have been named Dandelion Orchard.
 4) Stinging Nettles. These bastards are like the superfood of spring. They clean your innards. Laurie suggested that I make Nettle Pesto, it was very good. Although, I did add a little basil too for good measure.

Nettle Pesto
makes 4-6servings


- 1/4lb stinging nettles
- 2 sprigs worth of basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2c walnuts (or pine nuts)
- 1T lemon juice
- 1/2c olive oil
- 1/2c parmesan cheese

1. Add basil, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice to food processor and pulse about 3 times.
2. Fill a large pot with water and add some salt. Bring to a boil.
3. Fill a large bowl with cold water.
4. With gloves, submerge nettles in the cold water and let them soak for about 5 minutes. Remove and discard water.
5. Put nettles in the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. This will take the sting out of them. Drain and let cool a bit. Squeeze as much water out of nettles as possible.
6. Add nettles to food processor and begin mixing.
7. After it is mixed well, add olive oil slowly and cheese. Mix until well incorporated.

We had ours with pasta (brown rice for me) and I even mixed it with a cheese sauce one night. It was delicious!

So go out and forage something it your yard. Just make sure it is edible. Call your hippyish cousin if need be.