A difficult post

I admit to substantial hesitation before writing this post.  But since I’ve already posted about the vandalism to our locks, I suppose it doesn’t make much difference.  Plus, this blog was intended to be about all of the things we are discovering and dealing with as we take care of the farm for my mother, and… well, this is part of it.

This is the latest vandalism we have found.

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You WILL pay attention to me, says the cat

Walking around the yard in the mornings, it’s not usual for me to have a cat or two, following me along.  This morning was no exception.

Butterscotch, however, was much more demanding of attention than usual!  Especially when I stopped to try and get some photos.

I did manage to get a couple photos of lichen on some trees that were worth posting.

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I just love those textures.

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Even when I was a kid, I was fascinated by the look of lichen!

When I started walking around, Butterscotch was her usual self.  Dashing around my feet, trying to trip me, then running ahead.

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When I paused for a few moments, she started rolling in the dirt, being thoroughly entertaining.

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The Outsider followed along for a bit, though when he got close to Butterscotch, she started to hiss and bat at him.

Even Rosencrantz or Guildenstern started to follow along, though he hid behind a crab apple tree, when I tried to get a picture.

As I continued along between the spruce grove and the apple trees by the garden, Butterscotch got more insistent.

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Yeah. She started climbing the back of my leg, too.

I ended up picking her up and carrying her for a while.

Her little feet were damp and cold.  Maybe that’s why she wanted up?

While I stopped to get photos of tree bark, this happened.

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That is a very trusting cat.  If I so much as leaned backwards, down she would have went!

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Look at her twisting and turning!

Look at that expression on her face. 😀

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Then she decided to eat the bottom of my zipper.

Silly kitty!

The Re-Farmer

Blog-versary

1.year.starburstWow.

Well, here it is.

One year ago today, I made the very first post on this blog.

At this point, my husband and younger daughter had already been at the farm for over a week.  My older daughter and I were purging and packing like crazy until we could join them.

What a year it’s been!

Thank you to those who felt this little window into our lives was worth visiting, following and commenting on!

The Re-Farmer

Nutty Seedy Brittle

I decided to try something new tonight; making a brittle.  While I’ve certainly had brittle before, I’ve never made it until now.

When I started looking up recipes, I thought I might not be able to, since they all included corn syrup.  This is something I don’t normally have in the pantry.  However, I did find some without corn syrup, so it worked out in the end.

Before I share the photos and recipe, here are some important notes.

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First, make sure you premeasure all your ingredients, first.  Once the sugar starts to caramelize, you will have to work quickly, so have them all ready and on hand.

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Second, make sure you have a baking sheet or pan oiled/buttered and ready before you start.  If it’s not well oiled first, it will be next to impossible to get the brittle off once it hardens.

It would also be preferable to use a heavy bottomed saucepan, if you have one, for even heating, as sugar can burn easily.

And finally, have a trivet or pot holder near the pan.  When the sugar caramelizes, you will need to work quickly to remove it from the heat and add the final ingredients, so make sure to have a safe place where you can put your hot pot, stir things in, then immediately pour it onto your prepared pan.

For this brittle, I used a mix of pecan pieces and roasted, salted sunflower seeds, because that’s what I had on hand.  Since the sunflower seeds and butter were both salted, I was lighter on the added salt.  I also used kosher salt; being a coarse salt, there’s a bit less in the measuring spoon than when using table salt.  If I were using table salt, I would reduce the amount by about half, unless I were using unsalted butter and none of the nuts/seeds were salted.

Nutty Seedy Brittle Ingredients (makes about 2 – 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 cups nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp baking soda

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1. Combine sugar, water and salt into a saucepan over medium/medium-high heat.

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2. Bring the syrup mixture to a gentle boil, then set timer for 10 minutes.

3 . Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, watching for the colour to change.

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This is after 10 minutes. 

4. Continue to boil until the colour changes from clear to a light amber colour.  This may take another 10 minutes, depending on your stove.

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5. As soon as the colour changes (or the temperature reaches 300F on a candy thermometer), remove from heat.

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6. Quickly add the butter, vanilla and baking soda, while stirring constantly.  The mixture will foam up.  Continue stirring until the foam subsides and the mixture begins to look glossy.

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7. Quickly stir in the nuts and seeds, then pour the mixture onto the prepared pan.

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8. Flatten the mixture, as needed, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes, or until brittle.

That’s it!

It’s a simple recipe, using some pretty basic ingredients.  It’s just a bit finicky on technique.  Well worth it!

Enjoy!

The Re-Farmer

Oh, those kits!

The outside cats are certainly entertaining.

First, they tried to kill my husband this morning.  !!!  As he went out to feed them this morning, they were all at the door.  The usual tripping hazard!  As he started to step down from the concrete stairs at the door, Doom Guy dashed under his foot.  He moved to avoid stepping on him, and ended up stepping on one of the glazed bricks that are along the side of the entryway.

It was slippery.

Down he went! Continue reading