Cheaper Than EuroDisney

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Little homegirl likes to “wash the dishes.” I never squish her spirit. She squirts as much washing-up soap as she can to clean a not so dirty plate. It’s all part of helping with the family chores. If she squirts her way through an entire bottle of dish soap ( retail .80 centimes ), I can only encourage and appreciate this daily fun because in reality, she is totally engaged. And, by golly, her absolute joy of washing-up bubbles is cheaper than Euro Disney. A lovely toddler activity without the screaming. Happy giggles had by all. The only limitation is yourself freaking that the dish soap is gone and happy bubbles may make their way to the floor. No worries, that was s floor in need of a little wash … With soap. All good.

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Friday Night, Cake’s In The Oven, and We’re Trying To Call Grandma

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It’s a girl party tomorrow.  I’m trying to pre-do what I can so we can clean up a bit and set the stage for giggly girldom.  The three tier cake is in the oven and I hope I’m not burning it as I write this.  I’ll get the pizza dough baked ( you can stick darn near anything on a pre-baked crust, see Boboli circa 1986.  Boboli is owned by “group bimbo” which warrants a post all by itself ).  Wait, checking cake … k. done. all good.  Zélie, our resident taster, has confirmed that the chocolate layer cake batter made, as describe by  Fannie Farmer, has met her standards.  She likes to keep a little spot of chocolate on her cheek to age and taste later for further testing and analysis.

We have fourteen calves so far, and they’re running around like idiots at the moment.  The herd is unmoved.  I’m working on comma usage while trying to call Grandma to thank her for the lovely present she and sister sent to Minty.  Each calf with their own unique ‘i’ name, we wait on fourteen more.

A Six Mint

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I can’t believe my little baby girl is six. To me, she is two and on my hip. We spent many, many hours searching for a farm with little Mint Mint. She’s as sweet as sweet can be. Though, she does have a sweetly secret side where she smiles and cuddles and stands on your foot with every bit of her strength all at the same time.

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She wanted a Smarties cake. I did a two-tier trial for her actual birthday. The girly party begins on Saturday and we will attempt a three-tier Smarties cake. As we’re not fond of fondant, we’re going to frost this baby with melted chocolate and cream followed by a heavy whipping. Sprinkled in Smarties three stories high, our little middle child should feel celebrated.

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Nana and Grandma and family have spoiled her well. Poor Lucy fumes on the sidelines.

This Steak Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us

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More food porn ( using “porn” here in the “wow, that looks yummy” sense ). I love to take photos of raw ingredients. I feel poetic about the experience. I take a photo of some yummy potential and you interpret what to do with it. I write about the food our family eats on Girl On Grill Action ( yeah, you read that right ). I try to avoid writing anything to the tune of “then you add 1/2 cup of …” I’m more interested in what things are there for me to cook and figure a meal out as they come along ( e.g. hunter brings leg of Bambi in a garbage bag as a thank you offering ). But this steak study is a bit more difficult because we made that steak. We raised it. Now I want to do it justice and get a good photo of it. This beauty is an entrecôte ( a rib eye ). I have some fry and fluffed versions of this steak, but really I’m still dizzy with excitement that this March beef tasted so good. Everything we do tweaks and refines on what we think will make tasty beef. A slow process. So when a carcass comes out with a good result, we are extremely proud.

The calves are still popping out all healthy and boing boing. Brent didn’t have to tag any today, but still he worked up an appetite with all the other farm duties to check off. We only had one entrecôte pulled aside. Between his man farm work and my no-nap toddler, this steak wasn’t big enough for the both of us. We enjoyed it without an arm wrestle and instead some cabbage sautéed in foie gras fat.

Cute Chicks

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I remember visiting the San Diego Zoo many times as a child. I grew up in San Diego, so the zoo was a frequent destination especially when visitors arrived. It’s an amazing zoo. I was very spoiled to have access to it anytime I wanted. Though with all the amazing animals and exhibits, I fondly remember the chicks in the petting zoo. A hundred or so chicks peeping around a heat lamp in fresh wood shavings waiting for children to arrive to hop on their hand. Little chicks are very cute and gentle. I heard the peeping where our brooding hen sits this morning and knew the little ones had arrived. Three so far, we’ll see if the other three peck out. She’s a proud mama.

Oh The Perks Of Beef Farming

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I’m not going to sit here and tell you that beef farming is easy.  For me, I learn a few new things every day.  I learn new things sometimes through bad choices and sometimes going through a routine for the first time.  At some point the hard things will become trivial and we can work on improving, refining or simply maintaining our current systems.  We didn’t inherit a farm, we are starting one.  Nothing is laid out exactly.  Right now, we’re building our way of farming tasty beef.  We sell beef direct.  As a customer, it’s nice to get a glimpse at what you are signing up for.  This is where we “took one for the team” and pulled a Faux Filet aside to photograph and taste.  A Faux Filet is a Sirloin Steak in England.  Brent did a beef breakdown to understand the English equivalents of French beef cuts.

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Pleased with the marbling, we warmed the steak, salted it with gros sel and slapped it in a hot, hot pan.

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I’m still working on the fry pan shot, but you get the idea.

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After a rest, a little pepper and a couple pats of butter we tucked in.  We don’t have many beef shots that are cooked.  We have more shots of empty, juicy plates.  The browning.  The butter.   The, oh it’s gone.  The steak was good, but with each carcass we taste and think.  Is this good?  Is this tender?  Is this memorable?  What’s the best steak you remember having?  Where were you?

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This is a photo of a happy beef farmer who is pleased with our Faux Filet.  Mind you, he moved a very, very large tree off the road yesterday that required a tractor, a heavy chain and a chainsaw ( ManCard™  renewed for another year ) as well as tagged a few calves today ( ManCard™ fidelity points! ).  It may be the best cracker he ever ate, but I think the beef we are producing is heading in the right direction.

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This is the non-fluffed steak photo.  There are potatoes on the plate, but I’m not sure why I bothered.

 

 

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The barn cat kept the mice and ten-year-old in check while we did our very important photo and tasting work.

April’s Fish, No Dog Is Spared

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They were quiet this morning, those kids. Still imbibing the morning joe, Brent and I worked on the events of the day. Cows need moving, calves need tagging, house needs de-Eastering. Then he turned around to get a refill and a blue paper fish stuck on his back flapped as he walked. I burst out laughing realizing then that today is April Fools day. That four-child silence I enjoyed this morning was actually paper fish in the making and muffled giggles on the edge of full blown cachinnation.

We all got gotted. The dog, the baby, the poor barn cat. This year, they branched out to the “toothy whales” and slapped a Killer Whale on my back.

Secretly sticking the fish equivalent of a “kick me” sign on the backs of friends to celebrate the first of April is great fun. America should work it in between pranks.

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