Brent Spilled The Beans


Someone, we’ll call him “Joshua,” sent us beans for our new ( used ) coffee grinder.  We gave them a go.  Brent poured them in the hooba-joob.  It went a bit crazy so some beans escaped into the post-grind dispenser.  Don’t worry, we spent a few minutes herding the beans back to their paddock and we carried on.


Zelie was our barista today.  Sassy, so keep your order straight.  Don’t give her any lip.


First shot was great in taste, but needed more tweaking with the grind.  After a sip, we tipped it into the coffee ice cream bucket.  Great for coffee ice cream, not perfect for espresso shot drinking. Another tweak with the grind.


We really love the flavor.  Maybe because it’s from England.  Maybe because it was a gift.  But really, I think the coffee was genuinely lovely.

( partial eclipse of the shot )


Brent decided it was time to try a latte.  That’s when the crema really shined.  Perfect shot.


He’s a “flat white” man, but for the camera, he did a bit of froth.  A “flat white” is an Australian coffee for a person who doesn’t want all the sprinkles and froth.


Brent demonstrates his coffee art.  We never know what he’s going for.  It’s a mystery.


The final product often ends up as a scorpion or a Shmoo ( I’ll let you look that up ).  It’s like reading tea leaves.  Today was a Shmoo.


Latte sips and Cadbury chocolate, things are right in this world.  Thanks again, “Joshua!”




For Thoup Thursday, I made some borsht. Cabbage? Beets? Why would any child eat this soup?


The whole thing is very scary for me because I have never tasted borsht, let alone say or spell it. It involves beets, I could lose you there. Reading on, you will find things like potato, sausage and carrots. Some tasty friends to hold your hand and help you along.

I’m sickish today with dusty, vine harvest air and decided to start my hot sauce.



No better companion for hot sauce making than Vladimir Vysotsky. I haven’t heard this album in so long. Brent must have bought this beauty. I don’t even remember why.  I was looking through the i-thing to find a Yes album to sit through.


Failing that, this ‘V’ listing spoke to me. I was looking for a Yes album because we were watching a “ prog rock “ documentary. Back in the day of the late nineties, when I first heard the phrase “ prog rock “ I thought the man said “ Prague Rock. “ Prog Rock is not for a girl, but a boy. I wasn’t familiar with the genre.  I didn’t have the proper chromosome combo to appreciate the music.

And so I make the borsht because the kids arrive soon.  Other than knowing how to search for his name, I don’t know much about Vladimir Vysotsky ( or is it Vissotski? ). He reminds me of the Belgian Jacques Brel or the American Tom Waits or Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles.

Here he is with Le Vol Arrête:


170 Burgers Served



Our village hosted a Soiree Western last night.  Featuring horses, burgers, beer and fun.  Our first one.  The kids helped set up.  The burgers served were from our farm.



The kids LOVED riding the horses.  We run a strict no-horse home.  I don’t want to trot down that road.  Lucy will come up with many reasons why this should not be the case.



The kids ran wild and the adults enjoyed the evening.  Lucy was the oldest girl in the kid bunch which allowed her to hold court and coordinate dances to the rocking tunes.  We played both kinds of music at the soiree, country and western.



I felt the evening was friendly as people came dressed up.  There was a lot to talk about.  We had an Argentinian Gaucho, cowgirls, indians, Aussie Jackaroo and the rest.  Me?  I went gingham style.  Some pig-tails and two pink bows.



The weather was great.  We ate outside.  We served many burgers comme ça: un grass-fed burger, sauce secret, salade, fromage, tomate, cornichon, onignon sur un petit paing de sésame.

Plus frites, salad and brownies.  Serving was animated, but great to meet all the people who came to enjoy a burger Américain.

The onions were sautéed which took the American burger up a notch almost into gourmet territory.  We slapped some pickles on and there was a bit of a rumble.  Thankfully, people seemed pickle positive.  The sauce secret also seemed to work.  Next time, bacon might be on the menu.



After the second burgers were distributed to those wanting more and the brownies served, I grabbed a beer from a non-cowboy.  He poured it well and it was the best beer I ever ate.



170 burgers served.  We should hang a sign.

For It Is Time


Time to make your vanilla extract. The baking season approaches. Also, a great Christmas gift that beats the heck out of a mug loaded with jellybeans.

Here’s how:
– Chuck two vanilla beans into some alcohol
– Place into a dark cupboard you rarely open, like your potential
– Once a week give it a whirl
– After three months, voila

Above is vanilla beans with Armagnac

… you had me at Armagnac.

Tijuana Sombrero



What’s a Tijuana Sombrero?  OoOOoh, don’t ask, let me show you.

Stick a fried egg on a Croque Monsieur and you get a Croque Madame.  It is said that the fried egg looks like a woman’s hat.  This is my little Mexican take on a Croque Madame.

Stick a fried egg that you formed into a Sombrero on a burger with cheese, fresh salsa, some creme fraiche and a bit of lettuce and you get an Amiga Mexicana.  Fun for a girl or a boy.  Though, I think Tijuana Sombrero will win on the naming of this dish.


Minty did Carrot Henge.



Z ate ham rolls and yelled at Minty for taking her photo.  “NO PHOTO!  grrrrr! ”


Cow Tweets


When the kids are home and Brent is in the field with the cows, he tweets in notes. I call them ” cow tweets. ” It’s not all about cows, sometimes it’s cow related things that need to get done.

I thought it might be interesting to tweet his tweets. Though, it’s only interesting for those people who eat beef and are interested in the things that go on making tasty beef.

Today’s tweets:

Cow 42 on heat

G-Unit humped by 1347

1348 , maybe on heat

Cull 46, half a bull….eric the half a bull …

Joe Cool could be veal

0545 yearling looks really meaty

1337 looks great

1339 looks good, but 1337 is a yearling, but looks like a cow

We talk a lot about humping.  And our next beef.  After some moments, Brent says ” no more humping, I think I’m going to give up. ”

… words to live by



Having NO IDEA what ” Eric the half-a-bull ” ref he was on about, I looked it up.  So for you …


I Take A Lot Of Burger Shots



Burger day today.  We don’t always bun the burger, but on special occasions, like when resident teen is around or the end of summer is near, we bring on the bun.  Everyone has their own style.  Above is Otto’s burger.

  • ketchup
  • cheese
  • burger
  • lettuce
  • tomato

” And bun … heh heh. “

These babies brown.  They brown!



Zélie’s burger

  • No ketchup!
  • No pick-ohs
  • No onions
  • No special sauce
  • No onions




Minty’s burger

  • ketchup
  • onions
  • lettuce
  • frites
  • tomato
  • pickles
  • cheese





Minty has other versions.  She doesn’t always frite her burger.  Lucy is still working on her style with the burgers.




Extra points for looking like a gummy burger.



You can keep it simple or make the burger complicated.  What I love is that there is no need to mix stuff into the patties.  They can hold strong while you mess with the fixin’s.


We often eat them without the song and dance.  A bit of salt and pepper.  Some rest.  The flavor is lovely.  Served with veg.



On the back of French-Do-American-Bun packs, they lay out the exploded diagram of a Classique American Burger.

  • bottom bun
  • ketchup
  • lettuce
  • burger
  • cheese
  • tomat
  • pink flying saucer
  • the goat cheese with the hardy outy and softy innie
  • top bun






Today’s burgers were three years in the making.  We did the quick fry-and-taste … acceptable.  Lovely.  Yep, these burgers are good.  Whew.

S’mores, The Taste of American Camping



The kids wanted to make S’mores.  We bought all the ingredients a few days ago and promptly ate them ’round the hob.  You typically do this sort of food around a campfire.  Lucy insisted that we do this properly.  So back to the shops to buy some more ingredients.  Everything is easy to find except the Graham Crackers.  The closest I could get was ” petite beurre ” cookies.

Z demonstrates the final product.



For those who aren’t familiar with The S’more here’s a quick how-to.  The ” S’more ” is short for ” that is so fantastic! I want some more! ”  or Brent’s version, ” what a complete waste of chocolate and marshmallows. ”

Build a small campfire.

Toast your marshmallow over the campfire.  Everyone has their own style.  Kids usually flame their marshmallow just because they can.  I’m more of a crusty on the outside, gooey on the inside kinda girl.



Minty demonstrates the layering.  One cracker, two squares of chocolate and one hot marshmallow.



Squidge the marshmallow into the chocolate with the other cracker.



Fingers can get sticky in the process.  Clean up and tuck in.



When the sugar rush hits your brain, you begin to slur and yell out ” That was fantastic!  I want s’more! ”

When all the ingredients have run out and there is no more s’more, pout on a hay bale.



It’s okay girl, I know.  Oh, I know.