Thursday, March 31, 2011

Real Spring Fever and Food

I've really got it now ~ a longing for spring!

Yesterday, Alex and I went to visit my Dad and brothers. Just an hour and a half south of us. About twenty minutes into our journey we started to notice that we weren't seeing much snow on the ground. About half way through, there was none! The ground was clear and dry. At Dad's we drove into the neighbors field to watch them spreading manure with teams of horses. At the farm we walked out to the pasture without slipping and sliding or sinking into mud! Sigh....not so here at home

Although wait! You can begin to see some temptations of green near the fence posts above and the ice has started to melt and shatter ;) At least the sun has been shining and the ewes changed their minds about lambing these past few cold nights. I think they need to get outdoors for some real exercise, but the big barn door is still frozen in with a bank of solid-as-ice snow packed up against it.

I think I will comfort myself with some comfort food ;) One of our farm favorites any time of year (even during hot weather because it is made in the crock pot) Featuring Serenity Farms lamb ;) Or your favorite lamb, pork or beef


3 lb. lamb roast (can be pork or beef)
1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 can chopped green chilies

Combine all the ingredients in a large crock pot (I put the beans in first then layer the others on top) Cover with water and cook on high for 5 hours. (If you are around the house and notice that this has started to boil pretty hard, you can lower the heat sooner) Remove the meat from the bone, tear into small pieces. You can mash the bean mixture up a bit if you like at this point. Return the meat to the crock and cook about 2 more hours on low.

Serve this over tortillas and topped with your favorites - we like lettuce, tomato, cheese, black olives and freshly chopped onion. Sour cream and salsa are good additions, too. You can roll this up taco style as well, or even serve it over tortilla chips. I usually have a side of rice of some kind. This freezes well, so I usually make a large batch and put some away.

At least I can add salsa put up from the garden last year! And we are able to get locally raised dry beans, even organic, at the feed elevator. Gratiot County is known for growing beans ;)

And look, under the cap of ice...spring really is on its way to mid-Michigan!

For other recipes featuring Serenity Farms lamb, you might like to look here or here. Or seek a local supply for your own lamb for the table and support a farm family in your area. It is appreaciated more than you can imagine! Check online through Local Harvest if you aren't sure where to find farm raised food close by.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March On, 2011!

In typical March fashion, the weather has given us some mighty big swings! We went from this ~

To this ~

And back to this ~

All in a matter of days. Along with that last storm came ice and lots of it, but worse than that the temperatures bottomed out again. Just in time for the ewes (who could have lambed in that week of warm weather) to decide to start lambing when the thermometer read 11 degrees.

But so far, things have gone fine. That photo above? Do you remember our bottle lamb Francie, daughter of Eve? This is her first lamb and he is a big boy. She has done a wonderful job. I had to pull him just a little - everything was in the right place, but his nose was hung up just a little bit. But even though she was tired, she went right to mothering him and doing her job. In the picture above he had just been born. Below, she is working hard at cleaning him up a bit

He is a beautiful silvered grey with black and tan points as well. Very handsome! More to share, but we will probably be busy with lambing for the next week or so. And skirting fleeces. And finishing a few projects. I hope I will get a chance to drop in with lamb (and fleece) photos once in a while!

Friday, March 18, 2011


The morning is slipping away - it's already after 9. I was up at 6 and chores are done, dishes are I need a shower. And I really should wake the guys up, I don't know why they are both sleeping this late but do you know what? The house is quiet, I don't have to get anything for anybody and so I am being irresponsible! I'm sipping coffee, basking in the sunlight streaming through the window and reading through a few blogs.

Our dial up connection continues to get slower and slower and slower. But I am wasting time this morning and so I just have some boring knitting (pictured above) to occupy my time while I wait or while I read ;) I don't like knitting with cotton. It hurts my hands and feels lifeless, compared to the wonders of wool. But when I needed to make something for warmer weather wear, I decided to try Brown Sheeps Cotton Fleece (a blend of 80% cotton and 20% merino wool) I was pretty sure that Brown Sheep wouldn't disappoint and it hasn't. Plus, the color cheers me up. It is called "Banana" - LOL - but it reminds me of fluffy baby chicks or ducks.

I hope my dusty keyboard doesn't show up in this photo ((grin))

Friday, March 04, 2011

Henry's Argyle Sweater

Because I have been having fun playing around with the color option on my new camera, here is Henry with Nakia trying to hold the squirming boy still for a picture:

I love our old basement barn! And for something more colorful...Is he dapper (below) or what? That black shadow in the royal blue next to him? That's his twin sister, Holly:

These photos are for my Argyle-themed sister...she knows why ;D