Saturday, December 13, 2014

Red Velvet Cake with Creamy White Frosting

We are celebrating Son #2's birthday and he will say his birthday isn't over until he's sick from eating too much Red Velvet Cake. Most of the family agrees. Here is the recipe and I must say it is worth getting sick over.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together 1 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C Crisco.

Add and mix well 2 eggs and 1 t vanilla. No matter how hard I try I always drip and dribble the vanilla down the bottle.

Add and mix 2 T cocoa and 1 oz. - 1 bottle of red food coloring. Mix slowly to begin because the cocoa will poof all over.

Isn't it lovely?

Add and mix alternately 2 1/2 C flour and 1 C buttermilk.

This is the fun science project part. Add 1 t soda to 1 T vinegar and watch it fizz. Add it to the mix and stir in thoroughly.

Still a lovely sight.

Grease two 9 inch pans and then line the bottom with parchment paper to help the cake release easier after baking.

Set the pan on the paper and trace and cut.

I'm not sure what these strips are called but they are in the baking section at stores like Michaels. You wet them, then wrap them around your pans. Somehow, magically it makes the cakes rise level. You know how you always have a hump in the middle of your cake? This makes the cake nice, level and easier for stacking.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes - I think. I always go by sight and testing. Remove the cake as soon as a toothpick comes out clean. In fact, I remove the cake a touch sooner - I like moist cakes. Do NOT over bake.
 White Creamy Frosting

Cook on the stove 1 C milk and 3 T flour. Stir and cook until thick and bubbles. It will look like wall paper glue - but tastes much better when added to the rest of the ingredients. Let cool completely.

Mix, mix, mix, mix and you get the idea - mix like crazy 1 C softened butter, 1 C sugar and 1 t vanilla. Add the cooled mixture to the beaten sugar mixture.
See how fluffy?

I throw it in my wonderful Kitchen Aid and walk away for awhile.
To make clean up easier when frosting cake, place wax paper or parchment paper like this.
Slather a nice layer on the first cake.

Add the second layer, frost and carefully pull the paper out to expose a nice clean plate.
Perhaps you will add this "eat until you're sick" tradition to your family. Wear sweat pants or other pants with elastic waist to make this process easier. Enjoy.

Molasses Cookies

I got a hankering for molasses cookies like we used to get when we went up north to the cottage. And, this is what I came up with.

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together:
1 1/2 C Crisco
2 C sugar

Add and mix well:
2 eggs
1/2 C molasses

Add and mix together:
4 t soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
1 t ginger
1 t salt
3 1/2 C flour - add 1/2 of this and mix before adding the rest.

I use scoops for my cookies. Take a flat dish like a pie dish and pour sugar in enough to cover the bottom. Drop a few scoops into the dish. Pick up each cookie, flip over and place on cookie sheet and press down - make sure the sugar side is up. Also, I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up. If you don't use parchment paper I think you might need to grease the cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes - as soon as the cookie starts to crack on top, take out. DON'T over bake. Take them out as soon as a nice crackle appears.

To make them extra good - eat with a cup of cold milk!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

REWIND WEDNESDAY - Calf Feeding, Then and Now

One of our BEBettes with her coat.
This post was original in the spring of 2013.

Yesterday Farmer had calf duty. Our normal calf guy was off.

I got home from the bookstore, where I work part-time, in the afternoon just in time to help.

What a difference 40 years can make.

The first year I was married I helped my father-in-law feed calves, we fed about 120 for the whole year. We had them in an older barn in two or three pens. Colostrum mixed with calf starter was fed. After we mixed it in the parlor we would carry the 5 gallon pails full of milk up the hill, sloshing all the way and feed by bottle and pails. The calves would share bottles and pails. We would try to feed two at a time while fending off the others that wanted their turn or thought they needed more.

Our next upgrade was wooden calf hutches outside. The calves were in individual hutches outside in the hot, sweaty sunshine, soggy rain and miserable snow. Carrying the pails even farther with the sloshing ensued. In the winter we had the extra pleasure of our pant legs being frozen stiff from the spilled milk.

The calf hutches were replaced with domes. White igloos. They were better for the calves but didn’t really ease our work. On one particular stormy day one of the domes blew away. It rolled on its side and rolled over a mile away. Thankfully the calf was left behind. I have visions of the neighbors who might have watched the hutch roll past their window wondering “what the heck is that”.

With the first calf barn came many improvements.

Cutie with her blue coat.
We now have two calf barns. Each barn has individual stalls and group pens.

Each calf has its own stall that is washed with Tide and bleach when the new calf arrives and the older one is moved to its new location.

Each calf has its own pail that is not shared.

The stalls are positioned so the calves cannot come in contact with each other to spread illnesses.

Each barn has a warm room where water and milk replacer is mixed which requires minimal carrying.

Approximately 1200 calves are born a year and we have a full time calf person. It’s quite a difference from 40 years ago when I came on the scene. 
Stall #8
I almost forgot. This little gal in stall #8 didn't want to get up to eat and she had a runny nose.
Digital thermometer.
Just like real babies, up the hiney it goes.
 Calves temps should be around 102.5, so she received a shot for pneumonia.

Here are a few more of our cute litle BEBettes.

I love her curly hair.

Even though she needs her face washed she's still adorable.

Waiting. . . waiting. . . waiting.

It doesn't take long to finish off their lunch.

Monday, December 8, 2014

FARMING isn't just another Profession. It's a PASSION filled PRIVILEGE T-Shirt

Order now - shirts are scheduled to arrive by the 18th of December and I will ship immediately. I can not promise arrival by Christmas but if all goes as I was promised I will have them in the mail on the 18th or 19th - Priority Mail.

This is a great statement to make about our honorable profession and calling. Wear it with pride.

Click on the buy now button on the side bar to order.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cinnamon Mocha Mix

This is an easy but oh so cozy, yummy drink. And I've made several of these little packages for some special gals.

Mix together:
1 C coffee cream
1 C hot cocoa mix
3/4 C sugar
2/3 C instant coffee - I use decaf so I can sip on this in the evening.
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

Add 2 - 3 T of the mix to a cup of hot water - add until you have the desired taste.

REWIND WEDNESDAY - The Gift of Permission

This is a great blog if I do say so myself. It was a good reminder for me. This is a second go around for REWIND Wednesday, but I really needed this.

It’s Christmas time and this is the time for gifts and gift giving.

This year I am giving myself a gift. The gift is Permission.

I am giving myself permission to drop some spinning plates.

We are all extremely busy especially this time of year. I’ll share with you a few of the things I have going on to show you what I mean by “dropping plates”.

I am wife, mother, grama and farmer. I take care of all the bookwork for our farm. I work part time at my church in the bookstore, do a weekly radio program and the biggest plate right now is a play I co-wrote with Lynda Lee Schab, How Christmas Saved the Grinch. You may think that since it is written my involvement would be done. Nope, I am on the leadership team and I have my finger in just about every position there is. Last year we had around 17,000 in attendance and expect more this year. We’ve had twelve practices, one huge parade and many meetings up to this point. There are four more practices then six performances. So, I think, eat, dream and live in Whoville.

Whilst all that is occurring I am putting in my hours at the bookstore, making meals, Christmas shopping, baking, decorating, etc. and we have/had four birthdays in the last/next four weeks.

Then there’s my blog, A Farm Wife, which has been sorely neglected.

The other day when I was at the barn Jesus and I were talking. He and I meet at the farm frequently. Anyway, he told me to pick some plates and let them sit for a while. He never created me to spin so many at one time. He did make me creative, healthy and ambitious. I just carried it too far.

So, this blog is one of the plates that has been pushed to the side and will be for the next few days. I might get a quick inspiration and post something, but the meal of the week is definitely out as well as any other recipes. Unless, I exchange plates.

I dropped the clean house plate a while ago. But I did have to take an hour and do a quick run through just to free my brain from the clutter of everything laying around.

Birthdays are a big deal here. I make them that. The birthday boy/girl picks what they want for dinner and what kind of cake they want. Through the years I’ve made a tractor, snake, toilet with a turd, American Doll, fish and hunting cakes. This Sunday we are celebrating Wigglie #7’s second birthday and I am making a farm scene cake. But, I am using a cake mix. Shudder! I always bake from scratch. Another plate dropped. And, we are combining two birthdays together which totally goes against my way of celebrating.

Outside Christmas decorating plate dropped also. I just don’t have the time and you know what? The world will spin without them. I do have to figure out how to make my star to put on my cross. I can’t for the life of me figure out the dimensions.

Some plates that I refuse to drop are the cookie decorating, sleep overs, Sunday dinner with the family, dinner with friends and coffee with the girls.

So, being the overly responsible person that I am, it was hard to let go of things that I thought were important.

We need to determine what is urgent, what is important and what will last for eternity.

I want to you to consider giving yourself the same gift. Permission to let some things slide. I know there are some of you that are running around trying to find that perfect dress for the school program for your little girl or that special gift for the teacher or trying seven new recipes for Christmas dinner. Hey, if you really have the time, go for it. If not, forget it. Your little girl is just one of a hundred that will have on that special dress. She would rather have a nice dress and a relaxed mom than be dressed like Barbie with a mother who is stressed to the max. The teacher would rather have your encouragement through the year instead of one of 35 gifts she’ll wonder what to do with. And there will be so much food at Christmas no one will notice you made only one or two new dishes instead of seven.

Give yourself the gift of Permission.

Relax, sit alone in a dark room with just the Christmas lights on and listen to what Jesus has to say to you. Find out what he wants. After all, this is his birthday.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

BRAND NEW T-SHIRT - PRE-ORDER NOW for Christmas and receive the special price.

BRAND NEW!!! Great Christmas gifts. Pre-order by Dec. 4 
for Christmas delivery. Save $2.00. Printed on a premium, ultra soft, heather red shirt - 52% cotton, 48% poly.

See buy now buttons on the right side of the page.

Also available on the side bar are:

Full color photo book from the farm.

Celebrate the ordinary

Today is the only day you have. Don't wish it away, worry it away or plan it away. Your ordinary days add up to life.

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