Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chore Time

Farmerboy and I did chores together.  With a little help from my camera, we decided to introduce you to a few members of our family...

Below is one of the first pigs that Farmerboy purchased on his own.  He is enormous and LOVES to be scratched on his head and back.  The sweltering temps have been wearing on all of us, but this guy has his own way of relief.   He quickly turned over his water trough and laid in the cool wet spot on the floor.  What can I say??  Such a small thing to make him happy! :)

My son has been raising cast off runt pigs for the last year.  These are the last two that he has remaining.  They are a lively twosome.  When the sheep's hay falls through into their stall, these guys scramble over and gobble it up.  How funny is that?  Especially since their whole stall is bedded with hay! ;)

Farmerboy purchased 5 turkeys as babies.  Only these two made it to maturity.  Big plans were made for Thanksgiving.  Of course, that was three years ago. ;)  It can safely be said that these guys will be looking at death from 'old age'.  LOL

Now for the newest addition to our small farm family... The Sheep.  This shy girl is named Ariel.  She is a might skiddish and ever aware of the activities surrounding her in the farmyard.  I like to think that she is an interested observer and overall 'deep' thinker! ;)

This handsome dude is Brick.  He is by far the smallest of the sheep and is absolutely adorable!  Brick is full of energy and rushes inside the building when chore time begins to ensure being the first in line for feed. LOL  

Lego is the most gentlest ewe of the small herd.   Truth be told, I think that she is Farmerboy's favorite.   As you can see by the photo, this matriarch thrives on attention.  

There is nothing more relaxing then spending time with the animals.  I will be adding some shepherding blogs to my blog roll as my research into raising and processing wool expands.  My son and I spent quite a bit of time at the county fairs admiring the breeds in the show pens.  Who knows... Maybe there is a shepherd in my pioneer's soul!  :) 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Elizabeth Town Fair and Tractor Pull

Is it time again for the Elizabeth Town Fair?  I am beginning to wonder if summer is getting shorter.  Hmmmm.   Maybe shorter in days, but definitely not short on heat! ;)

My morning was spent at work in the bliss of air conditioning with a church bake sale taking place in our lobby... Yay!   By noon, I arrived home with a newly purchased apple pie and a tray full of Reese Peanut Butter Cup cookies.  Lunch was eaten in a hurry, clothes were changed to summer attire, and we loaded up the Mini Z and U and made our way to the Elizabeth. 

If you are ever in Illinois at the time of Elizabeth's Fair, I highly recommend it.  There is a wonderful midway, a hometown parade, EXCELLENT food,  live band at night, and a great turn out for the annual truck and tractor pull on Saturday evening. 

Farmerboy pulled with his Minni Z in the 4500 and 5000 pound classes.  His front end rose up on the first pull but was nothing compared to the lift he got out of the U later... but that is another story!  End result... He placed 1st in both classes. :) 

Due to the time of night and the enormous need for me to invest in a better camera,  I failed to capture the night time pull of the Minneapolis Lp U.  Just let me say... The first pull ended with the front of the U rising up from the ground as it crept along.  Although this is not an unusual phenomenon, the fact that Farmerboy kept pulling made it rise to heights that these eyes have never seen!!  It happened so fast that my fear instincts didn't even have a chance to kick in.  I suppose that is a good thing in the 90 degree heat. ;)   Even if my camera had been cooperating,  I'm doubtful that a photo would have taken place!  The second pull went a lot smoother as he made his way steadily down the track.  (Much to the relief of  mom and maybe even to Farmerboy too!)   His last pull finished at 11:30 pm with Farmerboy taking home 1st in the 6500 and 7500 pound classes.  :)  Jubilation for the driver and pit crew!

I do not think that I have mentioned this in earlier posts, but a HUGE thanks goes out to Dave and the Crew at Iron Anchor for putting on a wonderful show.  They were still putting on a great pull when we left at Midnight.  How is that for entertainment??  They provide a great sled to pull and have the most friendliest bunch of workers that we have ever met.  Plus,  they do the best work in the hottest time of the year and can always be seen smiling.  Now that is dedication!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Fuss Rhubarb Dessert

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, this Rhubarb Dump Dessert is super easy and quick to make and refrigerates well for preparing the day before your celebration.  ;)   Each ingredient is layered and mixes itself in the cooking process... Yay!  (It is always a plus for me to find a recipe that uses a main ingredient from our garden.) 

There are many variations of this dessert on the Net, and I know some are more concientious about sugar usage.  My personal preference is to use enough sugar to turn out a rhubarb gel similar to a sweet pie filling.   If wish your dessert to be a little more on the tart side, add an extra cup of rhubarb.  Once it is cool, it may not gel up as firm but will be just as tasty! :) 

The recipe is written with each step being followed by the picture.   The dish is 13 x 9 inches, and your oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.

5 Cups   Rhubarb (cut into chunks)

Spread out evenly on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.

3/4 Cup    White Sugar
Sprinkle over all of the rhubarb chunks.

3 oz. package of Strawberry Jello

Clip a corner of the package and sprinkle evenly over the other ingredients.

1 box    Yellow Cake Mix

Clip the corner of the bag and sprinkle evenly over contents of pan.  You can use your fingers to push unwanted piles or break up chunks! ;)

1 Cup    Water

Let the water drizzle from the measuring cup.   You can go back and forth and change from side to side.  This will dispense it fairly evenly over dry ingredients.

1/2 Cup    Butter (melted)

Melt butter in microwave safe dish.  Drizzle the butter as evenly as possible over the other ingredients.  As you can see from the photo, I have a few chunks in mine still.  It is a very forgiving recipe! ;)

The only thing left is to bake your dessert.  Your oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.  Which at The Hollow translates to "Turn the oven on about 2 minutes (or less) before sticking the pan in!"  LOL  Set your timer for 45 minutes and pull out a colorful yummy dessert! 

The longer the dish cools -  the firmer the filling will get.  My family can be found scooping it onto plates with a spoon while it is still in a semi warm and liquid state. ;)   For a chilly twist on a hot day, you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.   

After the dish gets to room temp,  put a wrap over the top and pop it into the fridge.  It tastes even better after being chilled!  

Enjoy! :)