Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn Re-cap

The Bag Lady composed a fabulously witty post whilst lying in bed last night waiting for sleep to come, but now that she's awake, she can't even remember the title. Sigh.

It's been a very busy autumn season around the ranch. Because of the cool wet summer, a lot of the regular ranch work had to be postponed. The last several weeks have been cool but dry, so she and the Rancher have been playing catch-up. On top of the regular fall work, they have been doing some maintenance that could easily have been done earlier in the summer.... if it hadn't been raining.

It's hard to believe that it's almost Halloween! What passed for summer this year passed pretty quickly. She and the Rancher winterized their holiday trailer yesterday, which feels like the day after they un-winterized it.

They sold their calves this week. She marvels at how fast they grew, because it feels as though they were just born about three weeks ago. (Oh, wait, one of them was! And no, he didn't go to the sale with the others.)

Amidst all the work these past few weeks, they did find time for some fun and entertainment. They had an out-of-town visitor who is quite an accomplished musician, so spent a fun weekend making music. Their visitor was even able to teach the Rancher, who has never actually played a musical instrument other than a stereo, how to play a few chords on the banjo!

(And they were having so much fun making the music that the Bag Lady forgot to take pictures, hence the rather odd photo of the instruments that were being tortured played.)
Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo Finish Friday - Firepit

The Rancher and the Bag Lady were invited to a barbeque recently. Their friend had just purchased a fire surround for his firepit.

Here is a picture of one panel of the surround.

Happy weekend!

(Photo courtesy of Harold)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Kitchen Stories

So. The Bag Lady made her stewed tomatoes the other day - here's a picture of all the yummy ingredients in the pan. Aren't the colours pretty?

She has been digging the last of the carrots, and wanted to share this carroty hug with you!

There have been some really strange-looking carrots coming out of the ground! Because of all the rain earlier in the season, she didn't get around to thinning the carrots as she should have, which has resulted in some closeness, obviously. And some of the carrots have grown strange-looking side shoots, probably due to the hard ground. But regardless of how funny they look, they taste wonderful. She just wonders what she's going to do with all of them. She has, so far, filled two 5-gallon pails, and still has half a row in the ground. Carrot soup, carrot cake, carrot souffle? She gave a huge bagful to her mother-in-law to share with her friends, but still has more than she really needs. Maybe next year she'll remember not to plant quite so many!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Out the Kitchen Window

The days are noticeably shorter, and the Bag Lady has been busy. Even though her garden, for the most part, drowned because of the deluge it received early in the summer, she still has enough produce for a lot of the canning she does. Although she had to buy garlic and onions, her tomatoes and peppers produced very well. She has already made one large batch of salsa, and has enough ingredients for another batch. Unless she decides to do something different..... She grew celery this year for the first time (bedding plants because the growing season where she lives is a little short for celery.) She has been amazed at the hardiness displayed by these plants.
It has dropped below freezing several times in the past few weeks, but the celery does not seem to have been affected in the least. And the flavour? Fabulous!

So.... she has quite a lot of celery to use, and has been pondering canning stewed tomatoes rather than making another batch of salsa. She could still use up the onions, garlic, some peppers, and, of course, all those tomatoes.... and she does already have a lot of salsa.

The stewed tomatoes combined with her home-grown beef would make fabulous spaghetti sauce, wouldn't it? Okay, that's what she'll do. She's glad she had this chat with you!

Oh, and here's the view from her kitchen window this morning!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pretend there is a picture of wild turkeys in this spot....

(Picture would be here, if Blogger would allow it!)

The Bag Lady is very thankful for everything in her life. She is going to spend the day cooking a turkey dinner, then sharing it with family and friends.

She hopes that all of you are having a wonderful day, even if it is not Thanksgiving where you live.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Recipe Day! Who Wants Cake?

The Bag Lady has been extraordinarily lazy busy lately. Between canning, preserving, gardening, cooking, working, and home renovations, she has scarcely had time to make shit up think of something to post on her sadly neglected blog.

She finally processed the last of the apples she brought home from a visit to her cousin. She ended up with a couple of cups of apple juice and 3 cups of applesauce. She searched the internet for a way to use the applesauce and discovered a recipe for an applesauce cake. She decided that the basic recipe sounded good, but it called for cocoa and she wasn't in the mood for chocolate (I KNOW! WTF??) so she set about making up her own recipe. She left out the cocoa and added some spices and ended up with a fabulous cake. Definitely a keeper.

Of course she will share it with you! Sadly, there is no picture because she forgot to take one and the cake is all but gone now. Two tiny pieces are all that remain.

Applesauce Spice Cake

Step One - pick some apples.

1/2 Cup oil
1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 Cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Cups applesauce

3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup chopped, toasted pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Grease and flour 13" x 9" pan or two 8" square pans.
In large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar and slightly beaten eggs.
Mix well.
In separate bowl, combine flour, spices, salt and baking powder.
Add flour mixture to oil/sugar/egg mixture, alternating with applesauce.
Mix until well-blended.

Pour into pan.

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans, sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350F for 30 - 35 minutes until top springs back when touched.

The Bag Lady served it with whipped cream, but it doesn't really need it (and actually, neither does she, but it was darned good!)