Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top 8 Posts of 2017

Top 8 Posts of 2017

2017 was a year of fun! It's been a busy year for Lady of the Farm & I am so happy to say I have doubled my views on my actual Lady of the Farm website! 
Here are my top 8 posts from 2017! Let's go into 2018 with new goals, more stories, yummy recipes, and lots of chickens! 

Dumpling Recipe: "...The entire time I was engaged I joked with people about my inability to cook good. Well, what people failed to realize was that I can cook, I just hate to clean up after I cook. I am one of the messiest cooks EVER. I had fun cleaning up the kitchen after this recipe. I had flour EVERYWHERE but I have to admit, making dumplings was pretty fun..."


Fried Green Tomatoes: "...Fried Green Tomatoes are one of the best Summertime treats. I can seriously eat a fried green tomato anytime of the day! It's one of those special "porch foods" that Southerners crave during those hot Summer evenings. 🍅
What's a porch food? You ever saw a southerner sitting on the front porch in the evening without having something to snack on? My point exactly. We will always have some sort of goodie beside us whether it be sweet tea, boiled peanuts or fried green "maters". 🍅"

Romanticizing Life: "...One night the farmer and I were riding backroads up to one of his farms. We came up to the railroad tracks. The train was coming through.
"Wanna know something?"
He looked over at me. "What?"
"I love trains. They're so romantic..." 

Ewww, snake!: "...There in the grass was the nastiest, ickiest snake. I stepped back about 5 million steps and watched him. I don't do snakes. It didn't look poisonous (the poisonous ones look mean). 
Then I notice someone else is watching him too..."

Our Wedding: "... I thought I may go through some of our wedding photos & it seems that the more I go through the photos, the more I find that I don't remember from the first eighty million times I went through them..."

Introducing: The Lady of the Farm: "...Many of you have been with me since the beginning. You've seen me grow from a strawberry blond, curly-haired little girl to a rock-loving rebellious teen all the way to the woman I am now. You've been here when I began Lady of the Farm, you've watched it grow from three or four views a month to almost 2,000 views a month..."

A Vow to be the Proverbs 31 Woman: "...At our wedding after the ceremony, I had a few people come up to me and tell me how they had loved my vows and had never heard someone talk about the Proverbs 31 woman in the way that I put it. Maybe they were just wanting me to feel good about myself, who knows..."

An Interview with the Farmer: "...I saw an article in the Farmer's Almanac that interviewed farmers both men and women of all races & backgrounds. It made me wonder, 'WHat would my husband say if he was asked some of these questions?..."

Thursday, December 21, 2017

DIY: Christmas Ornaments

With Christmas in plain view ahead of us, I seriously got to thinking about what I could get everyone. I was talking with my friend Laura, (You know, my sweet tea guru) and I told her that I loved Christmas but the joy of it seemed to be sucked out of Christmas when I am forced to buy something material. Okay, I go to Walmart, shop around for twenty minutes, say "That's cute. I'll get that.", I throw it in the buggy and head to the register. I literally just thought about you & your gift for literally two seconds. Call me mean, but I'm so serious.

This year, I wanted to truly think about some gifts. I decided to make some gifts for some of my family members. I meant to do more but I lost track of time and Christmas snuck up on me.
Okay so, I sat at my kitchen table staring at my laptop for some kind of idea to come to me, then it finally hit me. I wanted to make rustic looking homemade ornaments. I had so much fun making these and they ended up so adorable that everyone that has seen them thus far has wanted one! I'm thinking about making a few more just for the fun of it.

So, what is it exactly? It's called "cinnamon salt dough", it lasts for years if stored in a dry place.


As soon as I began making the dough, the farmer knew it was the perfect chance for some Lady of the Farm photos so he grabbed my camera and began snapping away! 


I LOVE these little gingerbread men! They're so perfect, have just the right amount of rustic-ness to them and have this overall satisfying appearance.


The whole kitchen smelled like cinnamon & cloves! Speaking of cloves, if you want your gingerbread men to have buttons or eyes you can use cloves! I just broke off the back piece of the cloves and stuck them in there.  You can also add some ribbon to add a scarf!


After the first batch of gingerbread men was in the oven, I still had a good bit of dough left over so I began cutting out all sorts of shapes and designs. I tried a chicken but it kind of looks like a duck. I also did a cat for my cat loving boss lady! 


I got a little brave and made a tractor! 


I love this old truck that I made, I plan on painting it as soon as I get a chance! Can't wait!





print recipe

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments
Rustic, Sentimental & Easy are three of my favorite things and when combined you can't help but enjoy it! I love these adorable little ornaments and they'll last for years if stored in a dry place!
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Cinnamon Powder
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 Cups Water
Instructions
1. Mix together Flour, Cinnamon, and Salt.
2. Stir well and until completely blended.
3. Add the desired amount of Essential oils to water and stir well.
4. Pour water into flour and salt mixture, stirring as you pour. Mix until well blended, using just enough water to make a workable dough.
5. Roll out on a floured surface & form, shape or cut out ornaments. Use a toothpick to make a hole big enough for a ribbon or jute. Place on greased cookie sheet (you can also use parchment paper).
6. Bake at 300 degrees 30 minutes to an hour, until the ornaments are hard.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Confession Time: Cooking Fail Edition

Funny (& Long) Story Alert!
So, confession time. Tonight I had a deja vu moment.
I was cooking pork chops and it called for onion powder. I told the farmer that I had onion salt and garlic powder but no onion powder. I said, "Do you think it'd do the same thing?" He goes, "I don't know, try it." So we trade onion salt for onion powder.
After it's finished cooking, we try it. Y'all, it was so salty that it brought back a memory from high school. Check this out..

Monday, December 11, 2017

Georgia Country Store Adventure


Georgia Country Store Adventure

The Ultimate Country Roadtrip from Helen to Ashburn

We were headed home from our anniversary trip and we decided to stop at a few places. Our first stop was a small country store that is near the entrance to Helen, it's just inside the city limits and it simply the cutest little place I've ever seen! It had pumpkins and hay bales out front, signs galore saying, "Honey!", "Cider", & "Local Apples!" We slung our car into the tiny parking lot and went inside. We marveled at how cute this little store was. Shelves lined the walls all the way around the store to the back and were filled with goodies. The farmer got pickled okra and I got Apple Butter. I wasn't too sure about pickled okra but that stuff is really good Y'all. No kidding. The apple butter smells and tastes just like an apple pie. It is so tasty with toast first thing in the mornings! I could never find the name of this place or anything about it online. So if you ever go to Helen just look for the signs of the products they have.


Our next stop was outside of Cornelia at Jaemor Farms. It's on top of a hill off the highway and it is very well organized and planned! It has an "event barn" outside of the market and even a little deli on site! It had a few more attractions but we were so cold that we were ready to get in somewhere warm.  As we walked into the market I could smell the boiled peanuts outside the front door on the porch. It smelled like Summertime even though it was freezing out. On the inside, it's set up like any average supermarket but 99% of the products are what I consider homemade/homegrown. Anything from relishes, loaves of bread, salsas, jars of butter, jellies, handmade soaps, all the way to beef that has been raised on farms nearby. It is such a good well thought out set up. The farmer got himself some pear relish and I got a loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread & some "chow chow". If you're ever headed up that way be sure to drop by Jaemor Farms.


After leaving Jaemor Farms we headed past Atlanta to Vienna, Ga. What's in Vienna? "We're Nuts!" No seriously, this little store is just like the others except for one small detail. You can sample the foods and nuts that they have to sell. It's fun just to go through and sample everything. I tried the dark chocolate covered espresso beans and wow! Y'all. You haven't lived until you've tried these things! It's like eating chocolate coffee! I also got some Vidalia Onion Ranch Dressing! (Does anyone remember that onion called Yumion?! I always think of him when I hear Vidalia Onion.) The farmer got himself some "Sweet Heat Pecans" which are spicy, sweet pecans and he also got basic chocolate covered pecans.
Is it obvious that we love to eat?

Our last stop on this trip home was in Ashburn. A little closer to home. My farmer's stepdad works at Carroll's Sausage and we decided to make a surprise trip/sausage run. We went back to the meat counter in the little country store and got some kind of maple syrup & cheese sausage, jalapeno cheese sausage and smoked bacon & cheddar sausage. The Maple Syrup sausage was incredible! I could eat that every single morning with sugar cane syrup. It is so sweet and yummy! It was my favorite! The Farmer loved the other two kinds! Those three are our new go to's when we head that way!

After leaving Carroll's we headed home to cook our sausage, eat our relish, have apple buttered bread for dessert and talk about how much fun it was to have that adventure through Georgia.

Do you have any country stores that you like to visit in Georgia? 

Put it in the comments below! 😁 

Enjoy this article? Check out this article on what there is to do here in South Georgia: 
From a Local: What is there to do in South Georgia?: "...A few things to do in South Georgia straight from a local. South Georgia has an abundance of small-town shops, locally owned restaurants, and more! Next time you're visiting, skip the fast-food chain and Wal-mart and head off the beaten path to somewhere you won't ever forget... "





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Scratch Recipe Project: Homemade Hot Chocolate


A Recipe for Hot Chocolate 

The Farmer & I are back from the beautiful city of Helen and it seems that we may have brought back a bit of a chill with us. It is currently around 50 degrees out and I am kicking it inside for now. I went to gather eggs this morning and I got a bit of rain on me so I'm trying to keep warm for the rest of the day.
So anyway, I began craving hot cocoa halfway through the day.

I mean, who doesn't love hot chocolate on cold days? 

But I didn't want hot chocolate from the pouch like I have always had. I wanted it homemade. (Yes, Y'all know me with my homemade recipes...) 

Here is one I found and tried that I can't even describe how good it is. I have never tasted a single pouch of hot chocolate that tastes better than this hot cocoa. Be sure to try it and let me know what y'all think! 


print recipe

Hot Chocolate for Cold Days
This hot chocolate is sure to delight the young, old and cold people in your life!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cups Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Milk (separate from other milk)
Instructions
1. Stir together the cocoa powder and sugar in a saucepan. Blend them together. 
2. Add the ¼ cup of milk.
3. The milk and cocoa mix won’t blend until you add heat. Bring the mix to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. 
4. Let it boil a minute or two until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t stop stirring even for a minute! 
5. Once it’s all mixed, add the rest of the milk. I poured it straight out of the jug and it was still amazing. I think I may have poured around two cups. 
6. Turn the heat back up to warm it a little more. NOTE: If you’re giving it to small children you can skip that because the cold milk will make it lukewarm, perfect for little mouths! 
7. Enjoy with friends & family around the fireplace and snuggle up with a blanket!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Our One Year Anniversary



As of yesterday, I have been the farmer's wife for a year & what a year it has been! I was transplanted into a totally new lifestyle and on this day last year, I woke up next to the love of my life thinking I knew what this lifestyle was going to be about. This one single little "piddly" (as my grandmother would say) year has been the most wonderful and unexpected year of my life.

I've seen things most people don't get to see in lifetimes, I've been in many situations that some can only dream of and I've done things that even I never expected to do. In fact, sometimes when I do something I never saw even myself doing I will think, "Yep, that was the lady of the farm, not me."

On the way to our current location (more on that later) the farmer and I were talking about how it was kind of funny how we first saw each other. The memories we have of each other are hilarious.

"Yeah, you shot me a smile when you were sitting at my table as a freshman."
"Yeah because you were staring so hard at me that I thought you may kidnap me. *insert wink fail here*

We talked about how we met and how we looked at each other in the beginning, believe me, it was not really a love at first sight situation. More of a "you're cute but I wouldn't ever date you" sort of thing. In fact, it wasn't until years later that we reconnected and seemed to grow on each other.
Our love story is one that is particularly funny and romantic all at the same time. From dancing on dirt roads in the headlights of the truck to running down hospital hallways to just be next to each other, it has been worthy of a book. Maybe someday, that will come true.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Memories of the Old House


As we drove by the old house I said to the farmer, "I've always loved old houses like that. I wonder what it looks like on the inside." He looked over at me sitting in the passenger seat, "Want to check it out?" I nodded excitedly & he pulled into the yard of the old house. It was one of his relatives home's from sometime back in the day. From the outside, it was just a basic little farmhouse. Wooden exterior, two front doors, a wide porch. It was so simple, yet so pleasant. I moved through the wildflowers and the farmer helped me up onto the porch. "Wow. I feel like I just stepped back in time." I walked through the door and fell in love. Suddenly I forgot my farmer was there and I was whisked away back to a simpler time. The original flooring was in perfect condition, I marveled at how beautiful it could be if it was polished and cleaned up a little. The old bathroom was still intact. It was as if whoever lived there last had just gotten done with a shave on a Sunday morning and just left the house. The razor was still in the sink.

 I went into the living room next. An old recliner sat by the fireplace and above the mantle was a photo of Jesus. I walked around the living room touching every piece of history. I felt like I could almost see a family living there and I could feel them going through daily life. I sat on the living room floor and ran my fingers across some misplaced floral tile on the floor. This place was beautiful. 

I then went to the dining-room where the black and white checkered wallpaper (if I'm remembering correctly?) was still on the wall. I stood looking out the window. Someone ate dinner here, they ate breakfast here, they looked out this same window as I am right now. That's so exciting to me!
I turned to the kitchen which still had the cabinets and looked as if someone had just prepared to can some goodies. There were jars everywhere! This kitchen was a time capsule. Clothes still hung in the wardrobe!
 I took so many photos that day but can't find a single one for some reason. 😢 

Months later we were driving the tractor down the road and I took the photo you see in this post. I didn't know that would be the last photo I ever got of the old house. When we rode back by, it was being torn down by an excavator. Now me being the historical nut that I am, I was heartbroken, I pressed my nose to the window and cried. All that history, gone. All those memories, forgotten. The house, gone. I was devastated. But in the weeks following I spent some time cleaning up the yard. I realized that memories were in the home, yes. But many more memories were in the yard. I called some friends who are great with metal detecting. We found coins where the front porch was, we found an old mason jar lid with a picture of a farmer on it, I found an old oven rack and an old mayonnaise jar lid. We also found a wooden cross there in the yard. The lot we live on is full of memories and good times, you just have to open your eyes to them. There have been many times that I just sit on my steps and look out over the old oak tree and think of all the memories that I don't even know about that have happened on our little farm.  It is wonderful to know so much history has happened on the ground that I walk on every single day.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Catfish in a Paper Bag



Catfish in a Bag with The Lady of the Farm.


“So, I’m thinking about writing an article about that catfish recipe, remember that?”


“You’re going to do it again???”


“Heck No! I said write about it, not do it!”


That is how this next article is going to begin, we shall call it...


“Catfish in a Paper Bag.”

Chicken Parmesan Casserole




Chicken Parmesan Casserole 

Photo Credits: OMG Chocolate Desserts
I cleaned the house all day, when dinnertime came around I looked around at my clean but empty kitchen. "Uh-Oh." The Farmer would be home in less than an hour and dinner still had to be made. I drug out my recipes that I kept stored in my journal. Bingo. 

Chicken Parmesan Casserole. 

I grabbed the chicken breasts out of the freezer and began... 

Flash Forward to when my husband is sitting back in his chair and rubbing his belly. "You outdid yourself with dinner tonight! That was amazing! My belly is full and I am a happy man."  

I think its safe to say that chicken parm casserole is the new "go-to" in our house. 
Also, a really neat thing about this casserole is that you can make it, then throw it into the freezer for another night. Enjoy y'all! 


print recipe

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Super quick, super easy! This recipe is great for weeknights and to make ahead.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 lb. Cooked Chicken, Diced
  • 1 Jar (28 oz.) Marinara Sauce
  • 1 3/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (Italian Style)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a casserole dish with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
2. Place chopped cooked chicken in baking dish and pour marinara sauce over the chicken, stir to combine.
3. Spread shredded mozzarella cheese on top to cover the chicken.
4. In a bowl stir together bread crumbs and Italian seasoned salt. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir well. If it seems to dry and the crumbs are not evenly moistened add more olive oil and stir to combine. It depends on the texture of breadcrumbs you use. Finer crumbs will seem to dry and need more oil, flacked crumbs like Panko need less oil.
5. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over the cheese and bake 20-25 minutes until bread crumbs get nice golden color.
6. Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley before serving if desired.If you want to make this ahead and freeze for later DO NOT BAKE, just cover the casserole and place in the freezer. Thaw completely before baking.



Want to read more recipes? Check out these articles for some recipes you and your family will love and be sure to let me know how you like them! 

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie  

"...I went to town last night and bought enough food for a few nights of scratch cooking. Tonight was chicken pot pie night. Originally my plans were to cheat. I had bought two cans of the chicken pot pie stuff and I was going to make the crust homemade and throw the soup in it. But the more effort I put into the crust, the more I thought about it..."

Scratch Recipe Project: Peach Pie

"...I went to our local Publix and saw a magazine called Southern pies and cobblers. Now, I'm not much of a pie person but heck, it had step by step how to's for pie crusts and all things "from scratch". Why don't I just TRY? I bought it and with intentions of coming home and baking a blueberry pie. BUT when I got home my farmer told me that all the blueberries from the produce stand had been sold, "ALL OF THEM!?" So I asked for the next best thing... peaches..."


A Look Inside My Famous Cookbook

"I talk about my screen doors and sweet tea cookbook all the time, it's my famous Southern cookbook. It's by Martha Hall Foose, who did an AMAZING JOB on this book! BTW you can get my first review by clicking here!
I hide a bunch of things throughout the cookbook like notes, letters, cards, etc. So I decided to let you in on my cookbook goodies..."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Big Mama & Her Chickadees

I waited for three weeks and so did she. Big Mama sat on her nest in the corner of the nesting box not getting off her eggs except for food, water and to use the bathroom. She would then walk back to her nest and plop back down. Being able to watch the love she had for her unborn chicks was beautiful. It was like when you see a woman who's pregnant and doesn't look at it as a burden, just a bundle of joy that is all hers to love and protect. Motherhood is beautiful whether it be with chickens, cattle or humans. 
Watch this video to see her showing her babies how to scratch and where to find the bugs! 
 At about 0:49 one of the babies runs a little too close to her feet when she's scratching and gets a nice little tumble in, but it jumps up and runs straight back. Like I said, Motherhood is precious no matter what species you are. 




Monday, November 20, 2017

When God is your Driver...


Jordan (right) & I
The sermon began with a song, I couldn't tell you what song because my mind was in a world of worry. I had been in my "dark place" this past week. Mostly the reason I couldn't even force myself to write a decent article for y'all. 🙁 The "dark place" is where I find myself at least once or twice a month. I become depressed, I'm always tired, I'm worrisome, agitated, irritable, sad, angry, and every other unflattering emotion. But it usually only lasts a few days. Even my husband said that he was glad I was back to my normal self as of yesterday. What fun is a wife who mopes around and naps?

 I can sit here and tell you all day that I don't know why this happens, but I'd be lying. I have my triggers. Sometimes all it takes it just to mention it in an unrelated conversation and I will immediately shut down or change the subject. Anyway, this past week I had to "crush my own spirit" in a sense about something that I had hoped would happen but it won't be happening anytime soon. 
So what do I do when my spirit is crushed? I go to church. Whether church is in a building, the woods, a pond, or even my guest bedroom. I go to church. 
This time it was a few places. It began in a building. The Nashville Mission was the church I was raised in since birth. I was brought in a carrier as a baby, begged to be quiet as a toddler, drug through the front door as a rebellious teenager, and now I go every time I get the chance. It's always refreshing to see everybody that I was raised up around, they just "get me". 

So I sat through the service and went out with my family afterward for pancakes. Because who can't pass up pancakes from IHOP?!
 Then on my way home, I began to slip back to my place. I told God to take my car wherever he wished. So I thought I was going to the spot I usually go to get away. I turned down the dirt road and I saw a familiar face. That is when I realized why God had taken my car that way. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

An Interview With The Farmer

An Interview With The Farmer
I saw an article in the Farmer's Almanac that interviewed farmers both men and women of all races & backgrounds. It made me wonder, 'What would my husband say if he was asked some of these questions?' 

He was on his phone posting on Craigslist so I didn't get long answers or explanations, just some short answers. Then again he wasn't aware that I was doing this post either so he will probably add on to his answers later when he reads over this. 😁



1.What made you want to become a farmer?
“It’s in my blood.”

2. What is the best part of your job?
“Watching the crops and livestock grow.”

3. What is the worst part of your job?
“It’s risky.”

4.  What gets you through the tough days?
“My loving wife.”

5. Where do you wish to be in 5 years?
“Farming more land.”

6. How long have you been farming?
"Since I was about 13 or 14."

7.What did you grow on the farm when you first started?
"Cattle."

8.What time does your day start and end?
"8 to 8. Sometimes later."

9. If you could choose any other job besides farmer, what would you choose?
HIM: "Rancher."
ME: "That doesn't count."
HIM: "Ain't nothing else I wanna do."

10. Is there anything you wish you had done when you were a beginner farmer?
"Study my grandaddy's farming practices more."

Keep on reading...Can't get enough of the farmer? Neither can I!

Check out some of these other posts starring him:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

10 Things To Do For Your Small Farm Before Winter

The road by our farm one morning last Winter 
 Fall is a magical time of the year filled with festivals, pumpkins, and fallen leaves. It’s a time of gathering around campfires and enjoying time with families. Here on the farm though, it’s a little bit of a different story. Here are a few things to do in the fall to prepare for Winter.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Water, Baptism, Fear & Silent Tears.

Sometimes I have trouble focusing and
when that happens I usually hear
God speak to me the clearest. 


Water, Baptism, Fear & Silent Tears.


He cornered me in a little white church in Enigma, Ga. He cornered me and prepared me to conquer the only fear I had since childhood. He finally had me in the spot he wanted me.

My biggest fear began when I was around 3 years old. I was held underwater and my three-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I won't go into details but the water was going all in my eyes, my nose and when I opened my mouth to breathe, water got in there too. I was lifted up out of the water choking & crying then I was dunked back under. Not many people know what caused my fear of water. But I never wanted to condemn anyone. I never wanted them to be held accountable for my own fears. It was something so innocent & so simple, but to me, it was traumatic.

Every time I got near a larger body of water bigger than my bathtub I relived that feeling of drowning and choking. I’ll never understand how my mind has worked all these years. I am comfortable in the water as long as everyone gives me space but when others get near me in any body of water I get nervous and I will NOT put my head under. NEVER. I have family that has never seen me go underwater. I would be in the pool with cousins all Summer long but not once would I put my head under water. Bees would be flying around and everyone would go under but I would rather be stung by bees than to go underwater. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been underwater in twenty-one years.

Five.

All five was me somehow almost drowning. Whether it be slipping in a pool, going under the ocean waves, or being pushed under. I can’t swim either because of my fear of water. If I go underwater I have panic attacks. I will seriously come up with my heart beating out of my chest. Which is why i’ve never been baptized. People have always pushed me to get baptized, but the older I get the more I realize that people don’t ask anymore, they just assume.

I never really think much about it either. Well, until today.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chilly Mornings & 13 Bean Soup




The day began like most good novels would, "It was a chilly October morning." I pulled my sweater over my pajamas and slid my feet into my boots. My farmer was about to walk out the door and I was right behind him holding Abbie so she wouldn't run to the truck. It was one of those beautiful moments in life. You know, the ones where you see your husband driving to work and you're holding the kids and saying, "Wave bye to daddy!"
Once the truck was out of sight I let go of Abbie and we went to check the chickens like we do on my days off. 
Hens are still roosting and nodding off while most of the roosters were patrolling around the coops. At night when they roost, most of them get in a tree that's in the pen but the rest congregate in the hen house and the little coop where we shut them up at dark. 

I love my chickens & I love days like today even more. Want to know what makes chilly days like today even better? 

Soup. 

Don't let me lose you right there. I'm not talking about just any old soup. My farmer and I had soup a night or two ago and he HATES soup, but when he ate it he raved on and on about how it was the best thing on the table. It's a 13 bean soup and my husband liked it so much that he begged me to write, "Kevin's Soup for Colds" on my recipe in my little cookbook i'm making. He's been trying to catch a head cold and the soup seemed to make him feel a little better. 😂

It has a nice smokey flavor from the meat. (We got smoked bacon instead of ham hock.) 

Now that I have your attention with the meat comment, let me give you the recipe.  It does take some time to make but once it's made, wow. You will not regret the time and labor put into this. I pinky promise.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Rock in the Creek




 I went back to the creek for just a split second, not in person, but in my memories. Sounds odd, I know but sometimes it's nice to escape for just a minute. 

I went back to that rock that I sat on in the middle of the creek and watched the water flowing all the way around me. I listened to the trickle of the water flowing over the dam and the occasional mooing of a cow in the nearby pasture. Just looking at the photo of the creek I can almost feel the chill of the water.

 It was freezing, but that's how we had the most fun.

 Growing up, it was a long ride there. It's much shorter when you're actually driving that 6 hours and trying to stay awake. But we would always make a deal that whoever stayed laying in the water the longest would win. What would we win? I don't remember. The privilege of being able to say we won something I guess. 

It was all so easy and simple back then. Things were so much fun and our imaginations would keep us busy till dinnertime. We would all travel down to the creek and play in the water and the trees. 

When we went back a few months ago, I stood there showing Kevin where "my house" was, where my sister's houses were and my cousins. I showed him the tree over the creek where we used to try to pass over to the other side. It was gone by then, but the memory of my poppy standing on the other side saying, "C'mon! You can do it!" and me holding on for dear life while my cousins all laughed was very much still there. Looking back, that was pretty funny.

Everything was so different but so much the same when we went back. I could still see the spots where we sat on branches and called it our "living room". I could still see the trees at the bottom of the creek bed where our "grocery store" was.

 But you know what the strangest part was? 

My sister stood in the water a few minutes then she wanted to go to the house. She said it was her dog who was cold but it made me think, the older we've gotten, have we lost our imaginations? Have we forgotten what it was like to be thirteen and be an explorer hiking through the forest behind the creek? Or how about when we were cowgirls and Indians hiding behind trees and shooting arrows at each other? Or how about when we would play as moms going to the store to buy milk for our babies (which were usually the youngest kids)? Did we lose that? Or is that just reserved for kids 12 and under like the kid's menu at a restaurant? 

One time, we went hiking behind the creek. 

The forest butts up to the property so we decided to go exploring. We went all the way to the top of the mountain where it got steep and I chickened out. I couldn't do it. I was getting freaked out. I was expecting to find a moonshine still and some crazy mountain men chasing us for finding it. I turned back and my siblings were behind me. So I thought. One of the girls had wandered off and we heard a scream. We ran towards her scream and we all stopped abruptly. She had fallen into a muddy creek bed and couldn't climb back up the side. It was at least 4 or 5 feet down but it seemed like a mile to us. We tried pulling her out and eventually we got her back up.
 It's memories like that that made me laugh when I saw the same creekbed when we went back. 

I was headed back to the house one day and Kevin had hiked up to the top of the hill and was taking photos. I hiked up the side of the steep hill and walked up behind him wrapping my arms around him. "Beautiful, isn't it?" He nodded his head yes and snapped a few more photos. He had never seen a sunset like this. I stood there with him a few moments before walking back towards the house. 

You ever have a moment you wish you could pause and play on repeat for the rest of your life? I have a few, and that is one of them. 

Maybe one of the reasons we don't see things like we used to is because we are growing up and it's time to let our kids (someday, not today) enjoy those memories. When the farmer & I have kids and we all head for a vacation up there I will be sure to take them to the creek and I will sit on my rock in the middle of the creek and listen to the water flowing all the way around me. 


  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie 

A Scratch Recipe Project 

Photo Credit: Two Peas & Their Pod.

I would've taken a photo of mine but it was halfway
gone before I remembered to take a photo. 

I went to town last night and bought enough food for a few nights of scratch cooking. Tonight was chicken pot pie night. Originally my plans were to cheat. I had bought two cans of the chicken pot pie stuff and I was going to make the crust homemade and throw the soup in it. But the more effort I put into the crust, the more I thought about it.

'I have all the ingredients in my pantry and fridge to make this entire thing from scratch. So, why am I going to throw an easy and quick can of the stuff in it when I don't have to?' 

I finally talked myself into cooking it completely from scratch and I got out the celery, carrots, garlic, and onion and began the longest process of chopping. When I saw it was going to take a little longer than I anticipated I yelled to the living room. "Kevin!" 

Kevin walked in the same way he usually does, hoping that he doesn't have to do something that involves too much cooking or cleaning. 

"Sit with me." 

He sat across from me and I said, 

"I sure do wish I had some chicken cooked then I could have it made from scratch fully." 

He knew the cue. He walked to the freezer and got out a chicken breast and threw it in the skillet and began cooking that while I sauteed the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. 

Fast Forward about 45 minutes...

The chicken pot pie was good according to the farmer. I felt like it had too many spices but other than that it was great! He said we should've put more chicken in it than just one breast. But here is the recipe and the entire process!