Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Quest Is Over

Like a good pickup truck, a good pizza is hard to find. For years, we have been on a quest to find the perfect-crusted pizza and have been mostly disappointed. We like our pizza to be thin-crusted, with a bit of chew and a crispy exterior.  The toppings can be funky, but must be fresh, and not overly salty.

Our best luck so far has been the Famous Bistro on Main Street in Owensboro and CafĂ© Classico on Frankfort Avenue.  That is, until last night…

Mary urged us to try grilling a pizza and Maggie seconded the notion and directed us to Smitten Kitchen’s pizza crust recipe. The day before, Maggie was out for a visit and brought two Foxhollow Farm briskets that she proceeded to smoke for the afternoon and on into the evening.  She left us one and headed home with the other. 

The thinly sliced brisket atop a smearing of homemade barbeque sauce, along with fresh beet greens from our garden and a sprinkling of feta cheese, were the main components in our premiere pizza-grilling adventure. A second version featured a Foxhollow heirloom tomato and the first Roma tomato from our garden, topped with some basil and some halved mozzarella balls. 

Mary mixed up the dough when she got home from town and set it to rise for a couple of hours. I got the charcoal grill going while she formed the dough into roughly shaped ovals. Onto the hot grill went the first of the two, down went the lid, and not two minutes later, the dough was blistering with bubbles and ready to be flipped for the toppings. 

Five minutes later we were digging into some very delicious pizza. We agreed that we needed to establish this tradition as a weekly one, using whatever comes from our garden or our Foxhollow CSA box. Hope you’ll join us soon for back porch pizza. 

Next up: finding a good pickup truck!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ROMP 2011 (River of Music Party)

You never know when magical moments will happen. You can’t exactly plan for them, but you can encourage them in your life. Last night was one of those moments.

Late in the afternoon Ed and I drove to Owensboro with friends Paul and Jackie for the Bluegrass Music Festival at Yellow Creek Park. Saturday was the final day of the three-day festival and we got there just as a summer storm was passing through. We parked, donned ponchos and folding chairs, a backpack full of snacks, and headed over to the grassy venue. 

The Professors of Bluegrass were just drying off the stage as we set up our chairs and settled in for the afternoon.  Between acts we wandered up to the food stands for Moonlite Bar-B-Q, and Famous Bistro pita sandwiches.  Ed’s sister, Gay, joined us.

Maybe it was the music, or the food, or the company, or the fireflies, or a combination of them all, but the afternoon turned into a magical summer evening. It seemed so old-fashioned, homespun, and ever-so-slightly surreal.

Every last person in the crowd seemed to be enjoying him/herself. Little girls hula-hooped to the music; a bearded man in overalls clogged to the Carolina Chocolate Drops string band; couples danced in open spots, toddlers ran up and down the aisles followed closely by their grandparents.   

The night wore on and just as dark was coming on, folk-rock legend Emmylou Harris took the stage and performed selections from four decades of her work. 

We stuck around for a few tunes from the Josh Williams Band and then slowly made our way back to the car and our way home. When we pulled into our drive, it was hours past our normal bedtime, but then again, magical moments don’t happen in normal time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Growing Like a Weed

When Jack was young, I'd tuck him in bed, and the next morning I'd swear he'd grown at least two inches in the night. I remember thinking: he's growing like a weed. That expression has taken on new meaning for me now that we live on 37 acres of mostly weeds.

Update on Jack: last time I hugged him,
I had to stand on my tip toes as he is well over six-and-a-half feet tall -- taller now than Ed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm Not Making This Up...

I am so captivated by what is just outside our door that I just need to share it with you. Here's what greeted me as I was turning into our drive this afternoon. We're not talking a sweet little box turtle. This guy was at least 18 inches long!

I'm sure he is not as grumpy as he seems, but I do hope he is not headed for our lake.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

As I sat at my desk in our study, something caught my eye out the window. Out where the deer appeared yesterday was a momma wild turkey. (I don't actually know that she is a momma, but I've seen her wondering around by herself on several occasions and I have concluded that she must be taking a break from her nest.)

Anyway, she let me snap her picture and then she went back to her work and I went back to mine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh Dear!

Happy to have you nibbling at our weeds, just hope you stay away from our fledgling fruit trees and vegetable garden...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Four Girls and a Friday Sleepover

Yesterday, my four youngest nieces came for a sleepover at our farm. It was a perfect way to kick off the summer and inaugurate our four-little-beds-room. 

Under Mary’s guidance, they painted works of art, helped grill hamburgers, made grandmommy’s recipe for no-bake cookies, braided friendship bracelets, fed the fish in the lake, counted bull frogs at dark, and built a fire in the outdoor fireplace.

The three youngest were up early, helping me make “blueberry oatmeal in a glass jar.”  I had read about it on Sprouted Kitchen, one of the food blogs I follow, and decided to give it a try. They were fun and easy to make and each of the girls and Ed, Mary and I enjoyed having our own individual breakfast treat.

While Annabelle (the only teenager of the bunch) slept in, the other girls couldn't wait to dig in.

Before they left, we made the girls each promise to read a book this summer. In exchange, Mary would take them on an outing of their choice. So, here it is, put down in writing: Molly is reading Because of Winn-Dixie; Katie is tackling Lemony Snicket’s The Bad Beginning; Sara is already into Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Annabelle has chosen The Secret Life of Bees. I'm hoping that they will spend at least a few hours this summer lost in the joy of reading and, who know, maybe at least one of them will get bitten by the reading bug.


As if the day wasn't already off to a great start...as Ed and I were headed out the driveway on Saturday errands, we caught a glimpse at one of the young quail that have taken up residence at Farm Dover.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Kinds of People

In my book, there are two kinds of people: those who are naturally organized and those who wish they were. I fall squarely in the latter category.

I lose my keys and reading glasses (often); my purse looks like one of those nifty trash bags that organized people hang from the backseat of their cars; I have to close the door to my closet so even I don't have to look at the mess.

I wake up every morning, vowing to be more organized. I work hard at it: I create lists, make piles, leave myself reminders. I tend to surround myself with friends and family that I consider naturally organized. I am in awe of their skills. Their cars are always clean (in fact, just to rub it in, they almost all drive white cars); their drawers, pantries, garages and basements look like they could be featured in Martha Stewart Living; they are almost always on time for events – wearing outfits that don't have missing buttons or coffee spills down the front of them. It all appears so effortless to me. How do they do it?

Fortunately, two of my three children have not inherited my absent-mindedness, chaotic way of going about life and I rely on them to keep me somewhat on the right path.  Unfortunately, I'm afraid one of the three might have taken after me: he-who-shalt-not-be-named.

When we moved into this beautiful, new home, I felt like I was being given a chance to make good on my desire to be organized. I promised myself that I would be intentional about how things would be arranged so that life could run along smoothly. I would have a place to always put my keys; my closet would be large enough to be functional and organized; our study would have a his and her desks and I would keep mine clear of clutter. Ha. Barely two months in and I'm failing miserably.

Nevertheless, I plug along. Yesterday I spent the morning organizing my herbs and spices. (That even sounds  frivolous to me -- but, yes, I did.) Thanks to Maggie for ordering me some round tin jars with glass lids and to Mary for helping me pick out an appropriate type font, my spice drawer has gone from this:

to this:

Here's a closeup:

Impressive, isn't it? Who knows how long this beautiful example will last. But for now, it feels great!