Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

September 30, 2010

A Day In The Life

.......of a manure spreader.  Yes, it's that time of year again, when Dominic is trying to get every last bit of manure spread onto the fields and pastures where he can.   As you know, all of the cow manure on a dairy farm must be contained and every summer, it must be spread upon the pastures before it rains, only to begin the entire process over again.  Remember.....dairies recycle just about everything.

So, what you see below is Dominic loading up the green manure spreader, tractor load by tractor load with manure.














He then pulls the spreader with a bulldozer.













As it flings the manure across the pasture,













row after row until it's all spread.   Ready for our first rain to help the nutrients from the manure fertilize the land.  Among the areas of pasture that are more flat, oat hay is planted after the manure spreading and tractor disking take place.  This hay will grow and be ready to cut the following year in late spring or early summer and it goes to feed our beef cows and my horse, Joey.













Paige, Chloe and I took a walk over to see how it was all progressing.













We walked up the little hill side to watch from the shade.













There are a few bay trees over in that area.













I snapped off a branch so I could dry the leaves out at home.  Perfect for stews!













Paige and I had fun exploring under the cover of the trees.


Paige thought this particular branch looked like a weasel eating a bay leaf.  And I think it does also.














The only bugs that were out and about that we could find were a couple of spiders.













From a parting of tree branches we were able to see our house across the road.

Here we are, headed back at home.  You can see Dominic running the tractor and the trees Paige, Chloe and I were under are in the upper left side of the photo.

We then preceded to spend the next hour pulling fox tails and burrs from Chloe's fur.  Maybe next time she'll stay at home.  Or I'll give her a buzz cut first.

Was your day as exciting as mine?

Happy Thursday!


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September 29, 2010

Wicked Wednesday

Remember my Ikea shopping spree and my lunch at Chevy's last week when I took FULL advantage of having both my kids in school until 2:20 and 2:45 every Wednesday?  Well, I think Wednesdays will be named Wicked Wednesdays from now on.  Look what I did!  I had to run to the post office right after drop off and conveniently located next door, is a donut shop and this maple nugget was calling my name all the way from the parking lot. 

I really should not leave the house in the morning before eating breakfast.  I arrived home this morning at 6:45 a.m. from my boot camp class, checked email, showered, gave the kids breakfast, made both of them lunches to bring to school, took Chloe out - twice.  No time for breakfast.  But this needs to change.

Because this type of behavior needs to STOP!  Boot camp class or not.


Maple donuts have always been my very favorite,  the old fashioned or the maple bars - either one will do!















I could not eat the entire thing because I was getting a tummy ache. 















I was able to finish my whole milk, pumpkin spice Misto from Starbucks however.















Another thing to add to my favorite things of fall: Pumpkin Spice Misto with whole milk from Starbucks.  The best. 















Back at the house today, even with our 90-100 degree heat we're still enduring, things were looking a little more like winter.














Three huge stacks of firewood that equal 4-5 cords were split and stacked up to the side of our garage over the past two days. 










But not by me......or Dominic. 
This is the firewood that came from the poor old oak tree that split open last February.


We're off to a fun restaurant this evening for a fundraiser benefiting Bryce's school.  Until tomorrow!

Thank you for listening to my Wednesday confession :)  Did you do anything wicked today?

Happy Wicked Wednesday!
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September 28, 2010

Acorn Squash, Pork Loin, Apple Sauce and 100 degrees=Fall?

What does Acorn Squash, warmed apple sauce, pork loin chops AND 100 degree weather have in common?  Well if you live in California it equals fall, I guess. 

The meal I had planned for last night's dinner included all of the above, even though I didn't feel like turning my oven on at all with it being 100 degrees outside.  But in protest to our Indian Summer weather, I made the meal just the same......and I'm so glad I did! 
















Have you ever worked with Acorn squash? This was my first time and it won't be my last. 






















This is how I went about it:

Cut the Acorn Squash in half, lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds.


Then slice in 1/2 inch slices.  I was surprised at how tough the squash was to cut through!
















Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place all the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle a little Kosher salt.
















Spread a little butter on top of each slice.
















Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the butter.

















And don't forget to sprinkle some cinnamon after the brown sugar {like I almost did!}  Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
















I served my squash with some boneless pork loin chops.  I breaded the chops with Italian Bread Crumbs.  I don't even use egg first, I just roll my chops in the bread crumbs and it works really well.





















Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and place the chops into the skillet after the oil is heated.  You want to make sure the oil is hot enough first, because if it's not, the meat will stick to the pan and to check the temperature, I flick in a few bread crumbs and if they begin to sizzle right away, the oil is hot enough.


Brown the chops a few minutes on each side so they look like this.















Then place in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.















Everything should be finished at the same time.  The house smells so delicious with the cinnamon baking away.  The perfect fall meal.

This is what the Acorn squash looks like when it's all done.  Just make sure you remember to peel away the skin before eating it.
If you like the taste of pumpkin, you'll also enjoy Acorn Squash as well, it tastes very similar to me.  YUM!


Acorn squash, pork loin chops served with cinnamon topped apple sauce and spinach salad. 

Oh, and it all went so well with some delicious Ledson Malbec....so good!





















After dinner, I went out to the garage to check the outdoor temp.....






















Then walked around the perimeter of the house trying to revive my poor, poor plants.....


Hoping for cooler days.

Happy Tuesday!
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