T, T What Begins With T?


Fixed me up some T-bones this afternoon.  Played T-bone Tetris.  Though, for those who like to match things absolutely perfectly no gaps snap shut click clack snap 2 points … my T-bones won’t resolve that feeling, but they look great.  And they were very tasty.


We also used some T things to get our Farm Stay ready for guests.  If you want to do the brick tile thing … you need the ‘T’.  Keeps the tiles straight.  I learned a little something about tiling this weekend.

And we fed our friend, who helped with our villa improvements, a T-bone steak.  T for tastebuds.  T for tender. T for thank you.



Grassfed And Beefier Than Ever


“What a great year!” says the grass farmer raising cattle.  “When will summer begin?!”  says the lovely residents of Country France.  Wow.  We’ve been here over five years on the farm and I’ve not seen this combination of sun/rain/sun/rain/no freeze deal.


The grass is so tall ( how tall is it? ) so tall that a photo at tit level, you can’t see the top of the seed heads.  … and I am a tall lady.


The chickens seem to be establishing camp well.  Though, for the next lot, we’ll mow it down.  Every good chicken loves freshly mowed grass.


And I cooked up the last sample from our BBQ box.  We’re trying out another type of steak box to see how it scores on flavor and tenderness.  We have tried every piece of meat that we raise.  Scrutinising it.  Adjusting our farming methods.  Then, sampling again.  It’s a slow process.

Remember Chicken?


Our third lot of chickens have been sold.  We managed to grab one for tasting.  I’ve done a lot of photos of beef and pork while spending very little time with chicken.


It’s nice to see what you are buying and how it looks in the kitchen just before dinner.  Our chickens are large by French standards.  I used huge potatoes so the scale is a bit off.


Also working on roasting chicken.  Lucy likes crispy skin.  Otto likes the leg.  Minty likes the white meat.  Zelie likes the mashed potatoes.


The family was very pleased with the flavor.  This chicken tastes like chicken.  It had the smell of chicken.  The texture of chicken.  Some salt, some pepper and a whole lot of pasture.  I’m excited to keep working on this.


Guest Chefs


We have strangers over to help with the farm.   Very cool.  We found each other through a program the matches people who want to work in exchange for interest in your farm, food and a bed.  I’m very selective of those who want to work with us.  I have a very high bar.  Every moment of every day is about this family, this farm, these animals and this business.  So, when these guys contacted to help out, they said, ” I want to work on your farm!”  A few email messages later, I felt they would be a good fit for the farm.  And tonight, we celebrated our countries.


Two Australians and one American.  Tonight, I handed off my kitchen to our guests to make a meal from their country.


Though we are from America, America is a very big country.  Our American friend is from the south.  So she rustled up some southern vittles.  Fried Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, Potato Skins.  She was limited to frying in duck fat, which gave her southern cuisine that Gascon touch.


Our Aussie guests made Pavlova. …. my most favorite dessert ever.


The girls popped off to the market and found some fresh berries … yep … fresh berries in November.  Pavlova is a treat in late Spring / Summer Australia.  To make it in November in Gascony was challenging.


American guest showed me how to make buttermilk.  Living in a land without buttermilk, this was a nice thing to learn.


I’ve only ever made Pavlova as an American-to-Australia newbie.  Watching it being made, I learned that I need to put in a bit more effort in presentation and general smoothing of the cream.


This gal didn’t realise just how much fried chicken she was to make to feed this crowd.  You can see it with the tong position and side-eye.


Her potato skins were a huge hit.


and the fried chicken.  Otto ate and ate, then went to bed.  Five minutes later, ” mom can I have another drumstick?”  Yes, Otto.  Then brush your teeth.




Zelie loved all of it except the mango.


Without Flake or Tim-Tam, we chucked in a Cadbury Finger to complete our meal.

… and tomorrow, I should capture the work they’ve done.  I love it when work gets done to push the farm forward.


Hot Bowl Of Food: Cowboy Casserole


Resident teen and ex-British Public School Girl was given Brent’s favorite cookbook of the year, “School Dinners.”

She picked Cowboy Casserole.  Dominated by baked beans, this sausage-y, potato, tomato, onion sludge faired well in the Curtis household.


Seeing as the Hot Bowl of Food was edible, the head chef has authorised future trials with teen cook and School Dinners book.



Bedfordshire Clanger


“We are most of the way there.  Calves are coming.  Mostly smooth, but some need a little special attention.  It was all-on day today, for me.  Not a moment to break.”

I started this post last week, but was arrested by “Bedfordshire Clanger.”  I went back to the computer, as I do because everyone and animal takes me away from sitting on my arse gazing into the interwebs like a zombie that was held hostage in a deep cellar for ten years. …. aaahrg.  Look!  moving pictures with sound!

Wikipedia, pert on my screen, describing the Bedfordshire Clanger.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedfordshire_clanger

The Bedfordshire Clanger gives you these sensations, in one sausage roll.  Only if you eat it from left to right:  Amuse-bouche, entree, fiddly salad, more wank, the real meal deal followed by dessert … and, I assume, coffee.


It’s a dish for farmers in the field.  Now that I’ve heard of it, I suppose I should give ‘er a go.  Why was it on my screen? I don’t have a clue, ask Brent.

I’m surprised Pizza Hut wasn’t on this.  Think outside the cheese.  Stick it in a bucket … or a roll?!

Otto moved some logs.

And that calf up at the top?  Lust For Life,  Brent had to pull him out.  Quite an effort, but he is great!  and running around like a he-nut.


The cake that Minty made for the school?  Zelie ate it.  So Zelie had to make a new cake for the school.


Check Out This Book


He says.  Well, okay.  I’m always up for a culinary challenge.  Let me randomly pick a recipe.


Okay, one can of Le Spam.  This could take some time.  … thankfully.  Perhaps a duck confit substitution?  or another random recipe selection.