It’s Tuesday! Time to share all the good things going on in our lives with each other!
I’ll go first:
- 1.My sister had two out of three spot of skin cancer successfully removed and none of them were too deep.
- Darwin survived his surgery and is now longer trying to have sex with my leg all day long.
- Mike is going on a business trip to the Azores this week and I get to tag along! I have wanted to go the Azores for many, many year, and Mike and I had talked about going before we found out about this trip. I’m going to spend the next week exploring, taking pictures and taking in the culture. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.
Your turn! Tell me something good, y’all!
Thanks so much to those of you who asked after Darwin last week! I posted on Tuesday that Darwin was under-going his second attempt at neutering on Wednesday, after having bad reaction to a pre-anesthia sedative his was giving the first time and having to be resuscitated. Then I completely forgot to post again letting you all know that everything went perfectly fine with his surgery.
The hard part since then has been keeping Darwin calm so he doesn’t rip out his stitches. This dog is 30 pounds of muscle and play! (Someone who saw us walking Sunday morning called him “a cinder block with feet” and it’s an apt description.) Walking him twice a day has helped to wear him out and keep him from being completely bored while he is separated from our other dogs.
We celebrated Darwin’s successful operation with watermelon– his favorite!
Then, Saturday evening, we found out that that sedative wasn’t the only thing he is allergic to. Darwin got stung by a bee and his entire head swelled up!
This picture really doesn’t do it justice. Both of his eyes swelled shut and his lips were completely distended. I was terrified that his windpipe was going to swell shut! I forced two benedryl down his throat immediately and spent the rest of the night monitoring his breathing. Very quickly the swelling went down, but it was very scary nevertheless.
Sunday morning he was back to his old self again, our adorable Dr. Chubbs. He has two facial expressions: tongue a tiny bit out
and underbite. I guess this is his smile?
Someone told us recently that another name for English Bulldog is “vet bill”. Good thing we love this little guy so much already!
Thanks so much to everyone who entered our Whistler Pillow pattern and yarn giveaway! It was really nice reading all your comments. I wish I could send yarn to each of you, but, alas there can only be one winner and today’s winner (chosen at random) is:
Karin, please email me your mailing address at susie at fiber farm .com and I will get your yarn out to you ASAP.
Independence Day is just over a week away so it seemed like a great time to re-post my recipe for Blueberry Slab Pie with Strawberry Marscarpone Ice Cream. Slab pies are a great way to feed dessert to a crowd and blueberries are super cheap right now at the farmer’s market. Enjoy!
Blueberry Slab Pie
For The Crust
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups ice water
For The Filling
- 2 1/4 pounds fresh (8 cups)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Make crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. With machine running, add 1 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix. Divide dough into 2 disks; wrap each tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make filling: In a large bowl, toss together blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon zest and juice. On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Place in a 10-by-14-by-1-inch rimmed sheet pan. Pour in blueberry filling, then lightly brush edges of crust with water. On floured surface, roll out second disk to an 11-by-15-inch rectangle, carefully cutting out the star shapes. These will serve as vents to allow steam to escape. Lay over blueberry filling; press along moistened edges to seal. Fold overhang under, tucking it into pan, and crimp edges.
- Place pie in oven, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour, preferably two. Allowing the pie to rest will keep the filling from running when you slice it.
For the ice cream, I modified a recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I have to say, this book changed the way I make ice cream. I’ve always been in the “frozen custard” camp, making my ice cream with eggs because I found ice creams made with out them to be less creamy and icy. This book turned that thinking on it’s head. Not only is the ice cream amazing, it’s much easier to make because it doesn’t require a custard base, which is always nerve wracking. It’s kind of revolutionary. This particular recipe is- hands down- the best ice cream I have ever made.
Strawberry Marscarpone Ice Cream
- 8 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 16 ounces marscarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1. Place the slice strawberries in a bowl and mix with the balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
2. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the marscarpone cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
3. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
4. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the marscarpone cheese mixture until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly. I usually just put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours but if you are in a hurry you can use Jeni’s quick chill method. Pour the mixture into a 2-gallon Ziploc freezer bags and submerge the sealed bags in an ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
5. Strain the strawberries, saving the balsamic vinegar for a salad dressing. Add the strawberries to the ice cream base and pour the base into your ice cream makers’s canister and proceed according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spin until thick and creamy. If you prefer your ice cream more solid, you can pack it into a plastic container and place it in the freezer for a few hours.We like it the way it comes out of the ice cream maker.
Makes two quarts ice cream, which may sound like a lot before you taste it, but it really isn’t.
I don’t know if I have ever needed a “Tell Me Something Good Tuesday” as much as I do today! My sister is having not one but THREE spots of skin cancer removed from her face today. Darwin, our pup, is going in to be neutered again tomorrow after nearly dying during the last attempt to neuter him (he had a reaction to the pre-anestisia sedative). And we are in the bi-annual mad rush to get our next season’s patterns to the printer. I. am. stressed.
So, today, more than ever, I need you to tell me something good!
…gonna feed the pigs lotsa peaches.
Our awesome friend Trina works for the big local orchard and today brought two big bushels of fallen peaches and apples for the pigs and chickens.
Brace yourselves for lots of pictures, because there’s nothing I like better than pictures of happy pigs!
Churchill tried to nose into the box as soon as she set it down, but I wanted to keep track of how many peaches (and peach pits) they were eating.
Even Bertie got in on some apple action.
As did the chickens.
Agnes (who we are now fairly certain is actually a male) partook of a few figs.
I just love seeing them all share in summer’s bounty!
Two of my favorite patterns that we’ve ever produced here at Juniper Moon Farm are the Whistler Pillow and the Smith Blanket. These designs by Pam Wynne are such a beautiful example of variegated and solid yarns used together.
I love this version by Billie, a customer of Yarn Scout. There are a couple of other interesting variations of the pattern on Ravelry.
Over the weekend, I realized that I have enough partial balls of Moonshine in the colors needed for the pillow to do a giveaway. (You will need to purchase 2 skeins of the main color at your local yarn store to make the pillow.)
To enter to win the variegated yarn needed to make the Whistler Pillow and a digital copy of the pattern, leave a comment on this post. I’ll pick a winner at random and post the name here on Friday, 7/27 in the morning.
Actually, it’s past time for my annual “WEAR SUNSCREEN” post. I usually do about about the horrors of skin cancer much earlier in the year, but this Spring has nearly kicked my ass with it’s chaos and catastrophes, so I guess it’s a case of better late than never.
I have been wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher every day for 20 years. I wear it on my face and neck, and when I remember, on the back of my hands. I started doing this because I am incredibly vain, and I once read an interview with Kim Basinger in which she said she wears it every day. I think we will all agree that at 60, her skin looks amazing!
So, for me, sunscreen was about not getting wrinkles vs. not getting skin cancer. My sister is just as religious as I am about wearing sunscreen and next week she will have her second spot of skin cancer removed from her face.
Here’s the thing– if we can get skin cancer, anybody can. Carrie and I grew up swimming and we were both lifeguards in college. All that sun exposure way from way back before we knew better than to layout on the back deck slathered in baby oil is just now coming back to haunt us.
There isn’t much you can do about previous sun exposure but you can start right now– today — preventing skin cancer by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing when you’re going to be exposed to the sun for any length of time. One thing people often forget is that those of you with long commutes in the car are exposing the left side of your face to the sun the whole time you’re driving. Remember- you don’t have to get burned to damage your skin. There is no such thing as a “healthy tan”.
The National Council on Skin Care Prevention has a bunch of tips for preventing skin cancer but I think we all know the drill. Apply skin care early and often. Avoid the sun during the peak rays. wear a hat. Wear protective clothing, etc.
And don’t stop protecting your skin from the sun when Summer’s over. Skin cancer prevention should be practiced year-round.
It’s TMSGT, y’all! I will go first.
1. Yesterday I finished shooting almost all the garments for our Fall/Winter Collection and they are amazing. We worked with a whole bunch of really great designers and I’m thrilled with the results.
2. We are hard at work getting the third shipment of Sock Club ready to ship to you. Amy, our dye master, is doing a bang-up job, per usual.
3. I’m going on a much-needed vacation and it’s less than two weeks away!
What’s going on with YOU? Any small victories or triumphs you want to share? I have to say, reading what you all post here is always one of the very best parts of my week, so go ahead and TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD!
This evening after feeding we opened the gates to the big field. As the light was fading, all the mamas and lambs found their way out to fresh grass and weeds. On the one hand, it feel so wonderful to be able to put them out onto pasture; on the other hand it makes me terribly anxious sending our babies out into such a big space! At first there was much commotion and noise as the lambs frantically called after their mamas, who were so engrossed in the new green foodstuffs that they paid no heed to their babies’ distress.
Eventually everyone fell in with their little family units and felt a little braver, jumping and nibbling and sniffing.
It was hard to get many good pictures with the light so poor; in fact I took about 500 and only wound up with a handful that were usable. It was much, much darker than it appears in the pictures.
Cini is back with the sheep after a good brushing. He and Oona are thick as thieves; pretty sure they’re plotting something.
I’ll be nervous the next few days while everyone gets acclimated to the pasture, but it’s lovely seeing them among so much green.