• Ramblings

    Somethin’s Cookin’ and It Jus’ Ain’t Right

    Our oven is hardly used. I’ve never been a big baker, and other than the occasional lasagna or flatbread, I rarely cooked dinner in the oven. Now that we’ve steered away from heavier foods, it’s only used for roasting vegetables, baking a (less un-)healthy pumpkin bread, and making our baked oatmeal. I just said I was never a big baker, and then two of the three things I listed are baked goods. Anyway! As infrequently as it may be turned on, the fact that it’s now impossible to turn off is too annoying for it to remain. The last time I used it, it took over twenty-six hours to turn off, and it only shut down then because I reached my breaking point and unplugged it. Before that fateful day, it would take between six and fourteen hours to get the obnoxious thing to switch off. It took us months to determine which Vitamix we wanted. By the way, we went with the Professional Series 750 because I’m 104 years old and apparently anti-technology. I found myself arguing against the digital panel on the Ascent series because “What if it breaks?” and “Back in my day…” and then it was time…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    Her Dirty Paws and Furry Coat

    In our farmhouse in Iowa, we had a lot of mice. A lot of them. In fact, whatever you think is a lot, make it a lot of that amount. We could hear chewing in the walls of every room. There was mouse poop everywhere. We would see multiple mice every day. We set up a camera in the kitchen to record them overnight, and you can see three at a time, I believe, in one of the videos. I can’t seem to locate the recordings at the moment. They were everywhere. I love animals, and I did not want to kill these innocent little lives, just going about how they knew to survive. So we set up live traps, and there were so many mice that Brian was catching multiple by hand on a near-daily basis. We purchased a little wire cage in which to transport them, as we caught each one, across the river to a large cornfield near the trees. It didn’t take long for that to become too much. So, we purchased a large fish tank with a mesh lid to keep them in until we could mass transport them. They had timothy hay, a little wood arch…

  • Food,  Ramblings

    Tally Me Banana

    Note: Please excuse this awful photo full of darkness and overexposures. The lighting in this refrigerator is straight out of Saw. Right now our new refrigerator is sitting in the kitchen, properly blocking access to the kettle I use to make my fancy instant coffee every morning (a relatively new habit). It’s resting upright, as instructed, for six hours, before we will move it into place and throw the old one into the Goat Shed. It’s taken quite some time to finally get the refrigerator here, but now that it’s arrived, I’m extremely excited. There are still some feelings of trepidation since the fridge remains encased in its dirty cardboard shipping box, potentially hiding dings that would require smashing it back out the door it barely fit through, but the overwhelming feeling is that of excitement. Our little pianoforte table has been home to a lot of our produce for the last several months. The windowsill above the table has been lined with marble to allow fruits to sit up there as well. Currently, there are three pears and three apples on the sill, and on the table are eleven bananas, a pint of cherry tomatoes, two enthusiastic basil plants, one small…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    You Know I like My Chicken Fried

    We’ve decided to buy a full refrigerator, or a freezer-less refrigerator if you like that better. Our not-quite-full-size one can no longer handle the amount of produce we’re buying. I’d show you but it’s way out there and I’m way in here, and you really should have asked before I sat down. You’ll just have to trust me. As a kid, I abhorred folding and putting away my clothes. So I’d shove them into any drawer that wasn’t clogged, making it so when you pulled the drawer out later, clothes would spring up like a jack-in-the-box. That’s almost how our fridge is at the moment. We have reached maximum capacity. Actually, that point has come and gone. On top of needing more space for the produce, we also need room to prepare things for the week. Surprisingly, though we eat far less food, I spend way more time in the kitchen. Making breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, using almost exclusively whole foods, takes a lot of time and effort. I find myself wanting to reach for a bag of cookies rather than spend forty minutes making something for myself. I’ve started spending a couple days preparing easy to grab items to…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    Sunshine Beating on the Good Times

    It was early May when I first noticed a scrawny grey cat hobbling around with an injured back leg. He could barely make his way across the yard, each step clearly causing him a lot of pain. There was no way he’d be able to escape if one of the neighboring ranch’s dogs went after him, and they’ve killed a number of their own cats, or if a coyote or wolf caught sight of him. So, I did what anyone who’s me would do; I suggested we trap him. Brian bought a raccoon trap, we baited it with a couple cans of wet cat food, and we waited. That evening it started to hail. We checked the trap on the off chance something may have been tempted by the food and found it had tripped. Assuming the hail had set it off, Brian went out to set it back up, only to find the injured cat fearfully crouching in the corner. There are a lot of cats here. Muggabee hasn’t been back for nearly a year, and although I saw him yesterday, Foosball is a rare sight since we put the pasture fence up, but there is still a gang-load of them.…