FIG strikes again!

I have these moments I call FIG moments. Fate Is Great! You know the times that something great happens because for 12 reasons or another you ended up somewhere you didn’t intend and it worked out great?

I was out on purchasing ingredients one day and on the way I found a store that I thought might be a good venue for my granola. After I left the store, which I hadn’t planned to go to, I noticed a antique store next to it. As I have said I have been looking for an antique coffee grinder. I returned the fake antique coffee grinder to Amazon that was seemingly made of Balsa wood and was made for hands that were the size of an average 5 year old. I’ve been to a few antique stores and never found one, and unlike usual I actually asked if they ever get them in, ordinarily I quietly browse, find some great pyrex and leave when I don’t find the coffee grinder. The woman whispered to me that the St. Vinnie’s two towns away did have one. I was thrilled. Then I went and got my ingredients and went to stop at a small french cafe for a cup of Tomato Basil Soup and when I pulled into the parking spot I thought, oh forget it, I have Chicken Tortilla Soup at home, from stock that I made so I decided I would just head to St. Vinnie’s. I was going to stop at Walgreen’s to pick up the dog’s medication, that’s another story for another time, and then I figured, I could pick it up at the grocery store tomorrow. A whole long list of variables occurred but I finally arrive to St. Vinnie’s and I couldn’t find the grinder. I did find 2 sets of brand new cloth napkins and since I’ve made a vow to not buy paper napkins or paper towels anymore, I have been picking up lots of towels and napkins at St. Vinnie’s to replace these purchases with more durable items that can be reused. So I was happy with my find but when I was paying I said, I sure should have gotten here yesterday, I hear there was an antique coffee grinder but someone must have bought it. AND THEN IT HAPPENED… the woman behind me in line says… “do you mean one of those antique ones with the crank and the drawer down below,” and I nodded, wondering what she would say next. “I have one, would you like to buy it?” Yahoo! Total FIG moment! Fate is great! Really how many turns of events brought me to be standing next to this woman in the check out line? I met her the next day in St. Vinnie’s parking lot after she had emailed me showings on ebay for similar items costing $99, and she asked me for $40 and a bag of granola. DEAL! It’s a wonderful grinder! As you will see below by adjusting the wing nuts you can make an espresso grind all the way to a course grind, and it literally can not break! We made our exchange and then ended up going inside and checking out other goodies together. She said, “keep my number, I’m a bit of a hoarder, so let me know if you need something, lol!” Now I can buy beans in bulk from a local Fair Trade Coffee Roaster in town, no more pound bags of ground coffee from the grocery store.

IMG_5225

coffee grinds

Camo and Carharts

Writing these entries is a very special time for me, really. It represents taking time out to sit and think/ponder/wonder and more. I had more then a few teachers in school who wrote on my report card that I was a “daydreamer” and preferred looking out the windows to listening to my teacher. Well, what can I say, guilty as accused. This little blog here, allows me to sit down and daydream with free license, and no judgement.

Having said all that, I have not had the time to keep up the site, so I have been stockpiling photos as they come along and finally I get my window of time now to do this!

I have after the blizzard pictures. It was a very, very beautiful snow, in particular because it was such a heavy wet snow that it blanketed things quite dramatically as shown below…

after the storm

At this point we still were nowhere near out of our driveway! It took a Hubby 8 hours of plowing to get us out all the way to the road, but when we got there it was so drifted you couldn’t go anywhere anyhow! Oh well, I was quite happy to be a shut in!

windows

The day before the storm Hubby went back to our Craigslist friends who were giving away the 4 x 4 windows mentioned in another entry. When we went to get them originally, there had been an inaccuracy in measuring and they were actually more like 4 x 5 and wouldn’t fit in our truck. We ended up having a nice dinner with a friend who lived near where the windows were but still had to plan a trip back out there later for the windows. With the storm coming we thought it best to get them before they got buried in 2 feet of snow, which would have been the case as the people were storing them just on their lawn, stacked. So he went and got them with the trailer after making a rack to hold them, and it was beginning to snow as he drove home. He was glad to get off the road with them. We will go back and get 5 more windows, when these people complete their rehab on their house in the coming months. Hopefully we can get started on our greenhouse by the time the weather starts looking Spring-like!

I recently did a bit of consignment shopping and found something known as a Krumkake iron. It makes a flat cookie with a pattern in it and while warm it can be rolled into a cone shape and filled with cream or ice cream. It is the same as the Bratzli Cookie and I believe also a Pizzelle, or something such as that. It’s all regional, but the irons generally are quite expensive, and I wouldn’t think of getting one but for 4 dollars, and cast iron, yes, I thought about getting it! Check this out…

bratzli:krumkake

The cone shaped item is for rolling the cookie while warm. Oh and the sifter was 90 cents and since I’ve actually never had one, I decided why not? I’ve used it quite a bit already making bread and buns, and I like the way it lightens up the flour before mixing. Not sure why I have never had one.

Other things that have been happening on the farm is that we took an important first step into raising beef. It was time for our little bull Jack to get banded. He is not a bull we would be breeding and therefore he is a bull that will become food for us.  This was a Camo and Carhart kind of job. It was hard, but a reality in the process of raising beef and this little bull in a couple of years will provide us and friends and family some very high quality food. We will have provided Jack a quality two years side by side with his Mama, with ample available grazing, clean fresh water, a sunny paddock, shady pasture, treats, and head scratches.

The process of raising animals for food is one we continue to talk about. It’s serious, it’s a responsibility and there is no joking about this.

camo and carharts

The granola business has been keeping me very busy and is going through a growth phase, this also has been a big top of conversations of late. I’ve done my best to get in some chicken reading, bread baking and garden planning but not as much as I’d like. Yesterday Hubby had friends over for the Rose Bowl and I wanted to make something for them, after all the game was on at dinnertime. I will say the guys never ask and are always appreciative, really I just love cooking and they are a great audience, they appreciate everything! I was determined to come up with something without going out to the store. There were three of them and one is a vegetarian so what to make? I did have brats and fortunately I keep vegetarian “brats” around because I like them. There were no buns but I had solved that problem before, buns are quick to make and take oodles less waiting time than bread so they can be almost last minute! The grill was encased in ice so even for us northerners it was too much for me, usually we laugh at cold weather when it comes to using the bbq but I wasn’t going to chip through the ice. I cooked them indoors and no one cared, like I said they are so glad to get anything no one would ever complain. I had some frozen peppers and cooked them with onions, and then I got out my new “mandolin” mom gave me, Mom likes buying kitchen tools, and sometimes I am the lucky recipient of these tools! I was able to make beautifully cut french fries with this great tool, only damaging one finger just a little bit. Guess there might be some tips to using it, but I just figured it out as I went along. I baked them in the oven, I’m not a big fan of hot oil, it seems to linger in the house forever, as well as being less healthy. Try and stop me though from the occasional excellent french fries or well made fried chicken at certain restaurants, that’s tough to say no to for sure! When we have our own chickens we’ve raised, I am definitely learning how to make excellent fried chicken. Anyhow, the dinner all came together, and they were happy as could be with their brats smothered in onions and peppers, on homemade buns with a pile of french fries! I sent it all out to the shop where they were watching sat in my very quiet house and read. Ahhhhh

Finally the other day we had an amazing frost! We have taken many frost pictures here, but this was different. It was like the crystals built up on each other and it was an amazing scene!

frost

A nice finish to the entry yes?