Well, a week ago our family awoke to the sad news of the loss of one of our younger ewes. I had fought the fight with her overnight until 3am and we had lost. The whole family had helped diligently to aid her in her struggle, so the loss was painful…It was Ash Wednesday…it seemed an apropos day for such a sad event…
Fast forward one week later…we awoke today to new life! One of our rabbits kindled early this morning and had 3 adorable pinkie babies, and her friend bunny had 6 of her own a few hours later!
Joy of new life displaces last week’s loss…the children begin to look forward to snuggling a baby bunny in a week or so when they are oh-so-soft and cuddly. There’s enough to go around, and I know that our family’s gatherings in the family room will soon by including a bunny on every lap!
That’s life (and death) on the farm. Important lessons learned all the time. We learn from the losses…Oldest daughter who wants to be a nurse draws her first syringe of steroids and injects them into the IV port. Oldest son, training to be an EMT, is sorry that he missed watching us put an IV catheter into her. Younger children warm her and hold IV bags, legs, and her head and make sure that she is comfortable. We work together as a team. I am blessed and I try not to blame myself for this loss.
And we are consoled today by new life…pink, squirmy, delicate, new life…
Time to spring the clocks forward! Time for muddy paths through the melting snow! Time for servicing mowers and tractors! Time for annual spring vaccinations! Nearly time for shearing! Time for baby bunnies – due any day! Time for new hens to arrive to add to our flock! Nearly time for meat chicks to arrive! Time for lots of smiles!
Temperatures in the low 50’s today with plenty of sunshine! Time to GET OUTSIDE!
Cabin fever – you’re outta here!
Don’t miss it!
All things sheep and wool – and llama, alpaca, goat, angora rabbit…did I miss anything?!
Vendors with yarn and wool products, spinning, weaving and other fiber equipment, awesome food, music – Border Collie herding demonstrations, spinning competitions, consignment raw wool sale – and hands on activities for all ages!
Joy for all of your senses!
We’ll supply more details as they become available – but for now, mark the date!
105th Annual Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Rain or Shine
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tolland Agricultural Center
Route 30, Vernon/Rockville, CT
GPS – 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT
A few days ago we thought we’d try to re-create at home one of the dishes we made at our Hearth Cooking class a couple of weeks ago. This time we had to settle for cooking it in an electric oven, but that certainly didn’t pose too big an issue.
We started by thinly slicing 2 pounds of pork tenderloin (enough for 2 pies)- about 1/4 inch thick. We seasoned them with salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg (not too much – about 1/2 t), and sautéed these in our homemade lard – it was our lesser quality lard – not really suitable for pastries, but excellent for sautéing pork!
Meanwhile we prepared the crust and apples. We used Granny Smith apples and Galas for a more complex taste. The recipe calls for 2 Granny Smiths and 2 Macintosh apples for each pie (we were doubling). The apples were quartered and sliced about 1/4 inch thick.
Here we are ready to prepare the crust. We used my grandmother’s recipe (any recipe will do) – but even my grandmother lived primarily in a post-lard era. Her recipe calls for Crisco. Thankfully we had some excellent homemade lard to substitute!
We chilled the lard first, then chilled the dough so it would be easier to work with.
We layered pork, then apples, then sprinkled 1 T sugar — then repeated this, poured over 1/2 cup white wine, dotted it with butter, and put on the top crust and slitted it for steam vents.
We baked it for about 15 minutes at 425 F, then lowered the oven to 350 for probably an hour, watching that it didn’t get too brown.
The pie was fantastic! It was like eating dinner and dessert all at once! Hope you can try this some time!!