Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunrise & Moonrise

Every morning I get up before sunrise and head out to milk the cow and start chores.  We've been working such long hard days that waking up this early is, well... less than desirable.  However, I am often rewarded with a really neat sunrise or wicked looking fog and colors over the pasture.  Some how, the cool crisp air and quiet beauty of nature puts me in a good mood and reminds me of how lucky we all are to just be alive.

This morning, I could tell it would be a good sunrise.  It got me thinking about how our animals often wake up for breakfast and take in some of the most amazing visuals I've ever seen.  I thought about how most of the hens who lay eggs for our breakfasts aren't able to see much more than her neighbor hen's feathers a few centimeters from her beak.  They never see the light of day, much less a sunrise like this.  I took this photo of today's sunrise as a reminder of how lucky our animals are and how I feel great knowing this is how the hens who gave me my breakfast woke up!

Later that same day I was out collecting the last of the day's eggs and noticed the moonrise was going to be specular as well!  I grabbed the camera, but I was unable to figure out how to do the sky justice.  I still managed to get this cool photo of a turkey who had decided to roost on a fence post for the night.  The moon was huge an really neat looking, but the camera just couldn't capture it (or rather its operator didn't know how)

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from the first and last chores of the day.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Wow!  It has been a busy summer as you can tell by our lack of posts since April!

We'll get back to updating this regularly once we catch up on our projects... but really quick:  We had a subscriber write and ask for suggestions for how to use the paprika sausage.  Another subscriber suggested that we post the answer so everyone can benefit... so here goes:

We've used it as taco filling, grilled in patties like hamburgers served in a bun or on top of garlic mashed potatoes, as an egg scramble or burrito for breakfast and as a meat for a tomato based spaghetti sauce.

We also had another subscriber use the sausage to make stuffed poblano peppers and posted his recipe here:

A basic spaghetti sauce in our house is:

1) Brown the sausage in a stockpot or a large sauce pan
2) Add
  - a couple large cans of Muir Glenn roasted basil tomatoes
  - consider adding a can of tomato paste if you like thicker and more tomatoey sauce
  - add a bunch of fresh chopped basil (dried is OK if you don't have any fresh)
  - add any other 'italian' herbs that you'd like -- dried or fresh oregano, a small amount of thyme, parsley, etc.  Some stores sell good dried 'italian herb mix' that has a bunch of those herbs.  I would think oregano would be the first one to add. 
  - a bulb of chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
  - salt to taste
  - pepper to taste

3) Simmer everything on low heat for about an hour, at least 30 min.  If it it is too thin, add more tomato paste or simmer longer.  If too thick, you can add some water to cut it.
4) Consider adding a cup or two of cedar summit cream towards the end if you'd like a cream sauce (I think this is super good -- they have the best cream in the region)  You'd want the sauce somewhat on the thick side before adding any cream or else cook it down a bit to the desired consistency. 

5) Cook up some noodles, ones with some sort of shape to them might work well to pick up the sauce, but plain spaghetti would work well.  I prefer noodles that aren't fully cooked so they have a little bit of a bite to them.  If you're gluten free, we have found the ones with the bunny on the front of the label that says 'not mushy' are actually possible to cook not mushy.  The others are hard to get to have any texture after cooking.

6) Top noodles with the sauce, more fresh chopped basil and grate some fresh grated hard cheese.  The best tool we've found for grating fresh cheese is a microplane

This sauce will freeze really well -- so we like to make up a large of batch and freeze half.  That way we have really good tasting sauce for a busy night's dinner ready to go.