Monday, June 28, 2010

Baked Apples

Baked Apples

Baked Apples
6 large apples; peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons butter; melted
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 7" baking dish.

Peel, core and slice apples into 8 pieces. Place in baking dish.

Combine sugar, flour and spices. Mix well and sprinkle over apple slices.

Pour melted butter over apples/flour mixture, then pour the water on top.

Bake 20 minutes uncovered, then 20 minutes covered. Serve warm. It is also good cold.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Carlo, Our Newest Member of the Family

Carlo and Emma

On Saturday, June 12th, 2010 Emma's calf, Carlo was born. Emma is our Dexter, Hereford cross and was bred with a Dexter bull, so Carlo is ¾ Dexter and ¼ Hereford. Carlo is Emma's first calf, so we were hoping to be around in case she had any problems.

We weren't with her when the actual birth happened, but heard her mooing shortly after. Carlo was still wet when we found him and Emma was cleaning him up.

We thought everything was going to be fine (it was about 10PM by then) so we went to bed. About 3AM I was awoken by mooing. Carlo was on the wrong side of the fence, and Emma was letting me know about it. I got up, got him back with mama and noticed she wouldn't let him nurse. Every time he would try, she would kick him away. I got her into the stall, hooked her up, but she still wouldn't let him nurse.

I woke my husband up about 4AM and he came out to help. One of us had to hold Emma so she couldn't move around and the other had to guide Carlo to her udder. It was quite a chore, but he finally did get a full belly.

We had to do that for three mornings and two nights. By the third night Emma let him nurse on her own and now she is the perfect mother. She is nursing as she should, he has learned to stay with her or come when she calls and we are able to pat him and play with him without her getting upset.


Molly, our Dexter cow is due in August. This will be her third, so I don't think there will be any problems there. And Carlo will have a playmate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
16 oz powdered sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter

Butter an 8" x 8" square pan.

Melt butter in a medium to large sauce pan.

Add milk and vanilla and remove from heat.

Mix together the powdered sugar salt and baking cocoa. Gradually add to the milk/butter mixture and stir until well blended.

Stir in peanut butter. Mix well.
Making Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Press into prepared pan. Cool in the refrigerator a few hours before cutting into squares.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Yield: 16 good size pieces

Friday, June 4, 2010

Baby Ducks

Pekin Duckling

This has been a tough year for our ducks. First, we lost Ivan, our Call duck to a mink and then Rebecca, a 9 year old Khaki Campbell to old age. That left Casandra, an Indian Runner, all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. She has 7 chickens to hang out with, but it hasn't been the same for her; the chickens don't really enjoy swimming in the pond.

Last week I called our local feed store and ordered 2 Pekin ducklings and got a phone call that they were in today. Since these are day old ducklings, they need to stay in our house for a while before they can go live in the chicken coop. We have raised many babies in our house, from chickens, ducks and turkeys to pheasants and guineas. I think we have it down to a science.

We have a few large plastic totes that we saved just for this purpose. At first we tried cardboard boxes, which worked out okay for all the animals except the ducks. Ducks are very messy drinkers and it didn't take long for the cardboard boxed to become a nuisance. The plastic totes work out very well.

We first put in a layer of shavings in the tote and then a bowl of food. The water container gets set on a brick to keep it off the bottom of the tote, and therefore stays a little cleaner. Shavings find their way into the waterer much too quickly.

Since our house is powered by solar, we don't use a heat lamp in the tote, but we do have a small red light that uses very little electricity. We heat up a brick in the oven (not too hot), wrap it in a towel and place this in the box. The red light does offer some heat, but it also seems to relax the birds for some reason; they seem to find the color soothing. We first noticed that with chicks.

Inside the tote, warm bricks and light

The tote sits on top of our washer and dryer. We place some window screens on top (to keep young flyers in and cats out) and in the evening we place a towel over most of the top to be sure everyone is warm enough.

Tote for raising baby birds

Pekin Duckling

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Easy Baking Recipes, Desserts: Sugar Cookies

These will cure your sweet-tooth!
Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheets.

Mix oil, eggs and vanilla with a fork.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls about 2" apart on prepared pans. Flatten with fingers.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 28 good size cookies.

Sugar Cookies