Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Back in December I cut my index finger on the table saw.  Six months later, it's still very sensitive. I'm not the most cautious wood worker, but I'm much more careful since that happened.  It's good I need glasses to see what I'm doing because I often forget to wear safety glasses.  The painting I did today was inspired by my carelessness with tools.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hog testicles, not bad at all

We were invited to dinner last night.  I asked the hostess what we could bring and she said, "nothing".   I hated to show up empty-handed so I thought I'd bring a little something I knew they wouldn't be serving but might compliment the meal.  I knew in advance they were serving pork, not that hog testicles wouldn't be a good addition to any meal.  Well, I know that now, but I didn't know that before I prepared them.

We've asked our butcher to save testicles from a few of our animals but we've never gotten around to trying them, until last night.  This is what they look like before I removed the membrane.
 To give you an idea of the size.  This was a large hog.
Here's what it looks like underneath the membrane, which you must remove or it will be tough.
I soaked it in a brine for a few hours but I don't know if it really needed that or not.  Many recipes on the internet said to, so I did.  I rinsed them and then sliced them into bite sized pieces, then dredged them in a mixture of flour, breadcrumbs and adobo seasoning and fried them in a cast iron skillet with butter.   James and I both tasted them before we took them and both agreed they were acceptable to share.  Actually, they were more than just acceptable.  They were pretty darn good.  Kind of like a chicken nugget.

I was shocked 7 out of 8 people ate them.  Some folks even went back for seconds and thirds.  Only one man wouldn't try them and he said he wasn't going to kiss his wife for a year after eating them.

I should mention, these were good friends we were with. I probably wouldn't have taken these to a dinner with acquaintances.

This was much more successful than our attempt at eating a kidney.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Most of you know I raise the livestock and James raises the vegetables.  We do, however, need each other's help now and then.  The past two days we had to take care of some things that required 4 hands and 2 brains.  Or maybe just one brain and 4 hands.

Yesterday was one of those anxiety-filled mornings of loading and driving a bull and 2 hogs to the butcher.  When we're done I'm always very proud of us but while it's going on it's stressful.  It was no trouble getting Franklin in the trailer.  He charged right in.  Unfortunately, so did Lennon and Mo and it took a while to get them out.  The pigs, Honey and Badger, weren't as easy but eventually we bribed them and they went in a side door.  Our livestock trailer is ancient, rusty and needs me to do some welding and other fixes to prevent animals from escaping while we're driving the curvy, mountainous route to Green Valley Butcher.  We've never had that happen but we always worry about it.  For all of this, James lets me call the shots and does what I ask (open gates, brings more food, helps close trailer doors, etc), because I know the animals best.  In 3 weeks we'll have approximately 200 lbs of pork and 600 lbs of beef so if anyone wants to buy some, let me know.

Today it was James' turn to be the boss.  We installed a drip system in his garden.  He's been working really hard on it this year.  He's put a tall fence around 6 of the gardens, got rid of all the grass paths, which are now mulch, and created smaller paths between rows so you can walk in the
gardens without stepping on things.

This drip system is pretty cool, but the air wasn't while we worked.  I don't know if I stunk more yesterday after mucking out the livestock trailer or today after sweating a bucket or two.  We laid out 4 main water lines and then attached many tiny drip hoses that go between the rows.  It's hard to see them in this picture.
We work pretty well as a team.  At least I think so.