Sunday, January 31, 2016

What? No Water?

Things have been pretty busy around the farmstead for being the middle of winter. 
Imagine my surprise when one Wednesday night I turn the faucet on to pour a glass of water, and there is none. What??? We have an old system, so sometimes there are "hiccups", so I shut the tap off to try again. Same results. Nothing. Truckin' Man suspects right away that we have frozen pipes, but it's after 7 pm, and we have almost an hour drive to Menards for any possible supply, so we just leave it til morning.

Investigating our water issue means going to where our water starts. WAY up there.
(If you can see the old windmill in the center, that's where we have to go)

Truckin' Man takes the short way up, straight up the hill. I go the long way around, it's not so steep.

Queen of the Farm had to join in on the investigation.

Lot's of investigating. Trips to town to buy portable blow torches to heat frozen pieces.

I couldn't get the flames coming out of this thing to show up, but that was some intense heat.
Truckin' Man loves the new torch.

Finally... We have water again. We were sweating during this whole ordeal. 
The potential for a huge expense and massive repairs was not far away on this old system.

Lot's of big ice cubes....

Made for a fun passtime for a thirsty dog!

Truckin' Man says that this was all a series of events that started because of a wind storm that knocked down a tree on one of the pipes. That backed the water up and allowed it to freeze.

Hoping the storm coming this week is kind to us and there are no issues!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fruity Chex Mix

We are on the road a lot. Sometimes in the Big Rig, sometimes in the little 4 wheeler. But, typically we are always hungry. When you are hungry, and have a destination, and deadlines, you don't like to make to many stops. And honestly, we get tired of gas station food, especially Truckin' Man. Before my time, he dealt with so much gas station food, he could care less if he ever had it again. But, not trying to be a hater, gas station food can be a life saver some days, and is darn convenient.

But, days when you are able to plan, and take your own food and snacks, it's just so much better! This Fruity Chex Mix is a snack that we both love. Kind of strange for us to both love a snack, as I typically prefer salty snacks, while Truckin' Man loves super sweet foods. But, this one works for both of us.

Try this for your next road trip, and let me know what you think of the light, fruity, and just sweet enough snack. 
We think you'll like it!

Fruity Chex Mix

1/4 cup butter
Zest from one lemon
Zest from one lime
Zest from one orange
4 cups Rice Chex
1/2 cup sugar

In large pan, melt butter over low heat. Once melted, add zest. Stir in cereal, stirring until cereal is completely coated with butter. Gradually add sugar, stirring as you add.  Continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool on paper towels.

Store in air tight container.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gram's Devil's Food Chiffon Cake

I was so excited when Gram told me about her cake. I know when she wants to share a recipe with me, it's going to knock my socks off.  This Devil's Food Chiffon Cake used to be her signature cake back in the day. 

Truckin' Man could not get enough of this cake, it disappeared faster than a cake ever has in our house. Rich, moist, chocolate cake. And, I decorated it the way Gram said she always used to, with sticky frosting, and topped with coconut. For the sticky frosting, I used my mom's Marshmallow Frosting. If you are interested in that, let me know and I will get that recipe out here for you.

Gram and I, on Thanksgiving day. 
I told her that I had to have her picture for when I shared this recipe. Isn't she the cutest baker ever?

Gram's Devil's Food Chiffon Cake

3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup egg egg whites (from 8-10 eggs)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour**See note below
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 to 10 egg yolks (from the eggs your separated for your whites)
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
In small bowl, combine boiling water and cocoa. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

In large bowl beat egg whites with cream of tarter until very stiff.

Sift cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Make a well in center, and add vegetable oil, egg yolks, cooled cocoa mixture, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Fold in egg whites until completely incorporated.  

Pour into ungreased 10" tube pan. Cut through batter with knife. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, until cake springs back when touched.  Invert pan until cool.  Remove from pan.

Decorate as desired.

**If you don't have cake flour on hand, use this handy substitute: For every cup of flour, remove two tablespoons of flour, and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Queen of the Farm

Late last fall, we had an addition to the farm. She is our new love, that has won our hearts.

She is an American Bulldog. I had never in my life seen an American Bulldog, and when I first saw her... it was not love at first site. She was to big. Her jowls were to big. She drooled to much.

But, she needed a home, and we took her home.

A few months later, she has claimed her title of Queen of the Farm. 
And every bit of our life here revolves around her likes, and dislikes. 

It was very important to me that I get a picture of her with a hat on. 
Am I going to become one of those dog mom's that dress up their dog?
Guess we will wait and see!

Hoping that your holidays were Merry, Cheery, and Bright!

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