Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Night

Friday night pizza, is there anything better?? Pizza, popcorn and scary movies. Friday night camp out in the living room. As far as the dogs are concerned, it's nothing short of Shangrila!

I learned to make pizza early in the married years from my mother-in-law. Through the years, tweaked recipes and pure trial and error I have a combination that wins every time. I like having flavor in the dough, eat the center, dip the crust!

My recipe for pizza and movie night!

Pizza Dough
2 pkg dry yeast (just shy of 2 tbl if you use bulk yeast)
2/3 c warm water
2 tea sugar2
c cold water
3 tbl corn oil (or oil of your choice if you like)
2 tbl sugar
1/2 tea BOTH garlic and onion salt
2 tbl dry oregano (more or less to taste) OR italian seasoning, my preference is the Tuscan Style Costco sells.
6 1/2-7 c flour
Toppings of your choice, and lots of cheese! Generally I use 1.5 lbs shredded Mozz cheese per full size cookie sheet pizza.

*note* I use the kitchen aid and get to skip the bowl and spoon. :)
Sprinkle yeasst over warm water and stir in the sugar.
Let stand about 5 minutes or until very bubbly.
Combine the remaining ingredients with about half the flour, beating to a smooth batterbeat in the yeast mixture and then with a sturdy spoon, work remaining flour.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it feels elastic, stretchy.
Not too stiff, not stick and gooey, it will be a bit tacky to the touch.
Place in a large plastic food bag or oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, cover so the dough doesn' t dry out.
When doubled, punch down and shape it to fit two 15" round pizza pans that have been oiled and dusted with cornmeal (I just use cookie sheets)
Add the sauce and toppings
Bake at 450 for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

You can freeze the dough if you like, just freeze before the rising process.

Pizza Sauce
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce,( usually I take a can of diced tomatoes, drain and puree in the blender with the herbs)
1 tbl Italian seasoning
Mix together and let chill in fridge for about 3 hours or more. If you want to short cut the spices, I've used Costco's Tuscan Style Italian Seasoning most of the time and it turns out great.
Following removal from the oven, allow the cheese to set just a bit to make the cutting easier, start the movie night!
Depending on the genre for the night, this may also include a blanket large enough for everyone to duck under...only to peek out again.
Big floor pillows, blanket piles, sleeping bags are a must! Don't worry, the canines will always manage to find a place to squeeze into and drift off into a blissful slumber....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


You know, growing up I would hear the adults talk about how quickly the years went by. As a child, I thought they were nuts, perhaps it was the memory loss they kept talking about as well. In any case, the years dragged on as I made my way through school. Years dragged on as I spent years carrying children, pregnancy is a sure way to make a year go by slowly. Diaper changes, late night feedings, it seems that somehow these things add hours to the day, even when you feel like you could use a few more.

At some point, maybe the retirement of the diaper bag, the years started to speed somewhere around the speed of light. There's nothing worse than something that actually marks this change in velocity. Blogs that you post to...well they do that. I'm looking at my last entry, almost a year ago, and I'm left wondering just HOW did all that time go by.

Summation Update:

Life (aside from breezing by so quickly) has a way of changing. Sometimes when you least expect it, in directions you may not have thought possible or probable. So life has gone here. In these last few months, farming has changed it's face here. Last spring I sold Amy, her steer will soon go off to the butcher to fill our freezer and the many assorted animals have decreased.
This spring brought the passing of Dougall the Duck. At the age of 5, we were expecting it, but it's sad none the less.

The sheep are still wandering around in the pastures, the old gray mare, some loaner horses to mow the pastures. No garden this year, no canning that I can foresee unless it's chili or stew. Some of the steer will find it's way into jars, you just can't beat that flavor it gets from sitting sealed in it's juices for a couple of months!!

There are reasons, but one of them being that I've battled varying decrees of depression for almost 2 decades. Last winter, I finally saw (yes it's possible to not see what's in front of your face) and started getting it managed. In the process, downsizing was not just practical, but necessary. Everything was downsized, I went on a clutter purge that rivaled any other in my life. That is still continuing, but the initial burst was...impressive.

So what is new? Starting back to school, looking for a job (HA! do NOT get me started on that one), regaining health, strength and stamina. Living healthy, being healthy. How is that different from a farm life? Isn't that about as healthy as you can get? Sure. It's also amazingly demanding and the more people it supports, the more important it is that everyone carries a share. When you barely have the energy to get your own chores done, it's hard to be a drivign force for the rest.

Fiber. My life still includes fiber!! I can't imagine livign without it. Mr. Methuselah is still head shed out there, he's even bossing around the steer. Seriously? One little sheep, one large steer...not exactly the outcome one would expect. I would love to pasture some woolies. For the time being, I need to track down a person that can decoat my woolies on a regular basis, so the flock stays where it's at for the moment.
My Etsy shop is up and running! That felt great. The grand state of Washington saw fit to close some loop holes when it came to online selling. Oooof course they did. In any case, it's there, it's open and there are things for sale. Sweet!!!

I know some of you, my readers, enjoyed the farm life insights. To experience, through my experiences. Part of me wishes that could continue, maybe it's held in the future, there's no way to know.
There are different experiences to come! I learned a lot through that experience and it effects how I see so many things in the modern world! It's made me a smarter shopper, a more eager cook, above all, it's brought a deep appreciation for some of the convenience I find in life now. Like....sleeping in. Yeah, you heard me...sleeping in is one of those little sweet things in life.
Football games without the hustle, grumpy cow and so on. Less stress.
I do miss the morning milking. When the world is quiet and nature is just waking up. For all the discomfort, winter morning milkings were probably my favorite! Ice forms very quickly in all those tiny crevices in your hands when it's 10 degrees outside, no parlor heater is going to ease that. The burning stops after a while, then there's just the rhythms of the barn and if you're very lucky, the light sound of snow falling. I think for me, that will always be the epitome of quiet solitude.
(Now of course, for the insertion of reality, this is about the time when the cow decides she's really unhappy with you for some reason, poops and smacks you upside the head with a warm gloopy tail!....end special moment)

Now, I have my spinning wheel. A couple of very lazy cats who will supervise when they see the need. My daughters are learning to spin, much easier now that there are two wheels. (story to come).
So what is life now? Life is life with a twist. ;) That's part of farming too. Sometimes things come down the road out of nowhere, you just gotta roll with it all.