Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Since we have a dearth of yummy fresh goat cheese, I am usually really befuzzled as to what to do with all of it.

Some time back Linda Campbell sent me a very nice stoneware stamp of a goat to put into cookies before baking, and a recipe for goat cheese shortbread. Of course, in the meantime, I have put them both in a 'nice safe place'.

Having no recipe to work from, I devised my own- and it has turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. These are actually a cross between shortbread and sweet scone, but they sure are tasty! Later on I am going to try things like raisins, amaretto, extra butter, lemon zest and other interesting flavors. Since all ingredients would have been available in some form during the periods inclusive in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), these would certainly be a sweet treat to serve at feast or to take for a potlach dinner event. Be sure to make 3 times what you think you will need because they disappear quickly. It has no real measure and is made pretty much the same as one would make 'cathead' biscuits. Enjoy!


-As much fresh goat cheese as you think you will need.
-As much sugar (white or brown), or honey you thnk you will need
-As much self-rising flour or bisquick as you think you will need
-A little salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine cheese and sugar to make a thick liquid paste. Add salt to the liquid ingredients. Slowly combine the flour and do not be afraid to mix with your hands! When you have the consistency of a ball, roll the mixture into 2 in" balls with your hands and place on a greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the top.

Let them cool slightly before pouring a big glass of ice cold fresh goat milk and then prepare yourself for ecstasy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


On Saturday, May 24, the weather held and the first field day was held here at the farm! I want to thank our speakers and also everyone who attended. We had a nice group of folks for the first time, and even though the goat roast was postponed for another weekend, we still had good food and fellowship!

Patti Erion, shown above and below, talked to us about composting and building raised beds in the garden. She told us about the different kinds of manure- brown and green- and also about the the proper mix to get your compost pile working correctly.

Here, we see the bed being prepared. Yellow onions were immediately planted!
And the folks who attended.

This is my daughter Dory, showing her chicks to the folks as she discusses her chicken operation.

And our new bee hive, awaiting the other three supers for honey production. It is still quite cool up in the mountains and the nectar flow is not in quite yet, so we still feed the bees.

And here is Max milking Jolie. I have to say that all three young people who attended the day were very good about getting milk out of the goat! With a little practice, they will all be good goat farmers!

The day would not be complete without BBQ! Along with a few other delicious items and beer, dinner was very yummy- and I made goat cheese shortbread for dessert. Of course, this morning, we had the rest of the shortbread with strawberries, scrambled eggs, sausage and onions. This reminds me why I love to cook!
We will be doing this again in a few months and I plan to start an occaisional Saturday afternoon 'Tea with the Goats', wherein gardeners of all kinds are welcome. Please plan to bring a fresh and light dish of something you have made from your own garden or other enterprise that you produce food from. Watch for announcements on email lists. Let's all get together and talk about our gardens!
Characters will be welcome!

Memorial Day 2008

My Daddy- Kenneth Gordon Hultin
Music- Dante`'s Prayer, by Loreena McKennitt
(see playlist on sidebar)

My father was one of those 'in-between' types of people. He was a late child of his parents who were rather old when he was born- at age 17, he went into the Army and was sent overseas in WWII. Not having graduated high school, he was very much still a boy when he shipped out and even after he came back, he hid his pain by donning the costume of a 'class clown' so to speak.......Dad always wanted to succeed, and he came back home to a job at the press where his father worked and married as his family wanted him to.

In the late 50's, when the US economy was still booming with the post WWII and Korean War flush of prosperity, he and his very pretty bride, my mom, were part of a generation of US citizens who thought that the money would never run out- they bought lots of 'stuff', and spent and kept spending even after the signs that the post-war flush was fading, as did much of the rest of the country. When the post-war economy hit bottom, guess who got blamed for not being able to provide for his family in the manner to which they had become accustomed? Mom had to go back to work- the promise that he would always take care of her was broken through no fault of his own. They began to live on credit and got that second mortgage just to keep up appearances. Their divorce was devastating for me.

His PTSD went unnoticed to the rest of the family- they didn't acknowledge things like that in those days- he bagan to drink heavily to hide the pain he felt. He was fired from his job of 20+ years, and moved out of the house to find another job. Mom and I were left to close the house down and sell it- at least that is what I remember.

He began to borrow off of his inheritance- the family treated him as a failure, and he believed them because we are all he had. It always seemed to me as though they helped him with resentment, rather than compassion. And he sank even more deeply into alcohol. Even though he found friends and companions in his new life after the divorce, he still could not hold a job down. He remarried briefly to a wonderful woman and she divorced him because he still had no confidence in himself and could not hold a job.

Then he found AA.

The change in my father was amazing. He made amends to me and mine for all he had done to us when he was drinking. And he found God. He began to go to church. As far as I know, he went to many folks and did the same, but when it came to mom, she would never forgive him or accept his act of taking respionsibilty for his actions that hurt her so. At least, mom has never expressed anything that indicated such attempts at healing took place.

Even today, and even though I keep alcohol to a bare minimum, I use the principles of AA in my life to work through the old hurt and pain that keep me held back from what I can truly achieve in this life. Food is my addiction, and Al-Anon is for families torn apart by what alcohol abuse has wrought in their lives.

Late in his life, when I had married and had children, daddy and I were finally able to connect. He had a woman friend who was in worse psychological shape than he was, but her family treated him as one of them- with no if's, and's or but's. He focused more on me and what I had to offer and we had that illusive reconnection that I had experienced as a child. My girls loved their 'Om-Pa', but seemed to ignore his friend and that was actually a good thing- I found it very hard to deal with someone who was even more damaged emotionally then he was.

His health failed quickly and he became infirm in his last years.

Daddy passed away on Sept. 26, 1998, and I keep his memory sacred in my heart. The only thing I have left of him is his Bible. He was a very talented and artistic man, a dreamer with no confidence in himself to follow his own bliss. He loved these mountains so and although he did not make it back one more time to see them, I'd like to believe he's around someplace nearby me- sometimes I can hear the piano and his jazz records or as I watch the water over the rocks as they come out of the mountains. He's at peace now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby Guernseys love.....


We picked some up at the Gatlinburg Highland Games last weekend and thought the goats would enjoy something from their place of origin. Yummy!

Waiting at the milk room door.....

Pippa gets her drink.....

Penny gets hers while Abbie the Alpine is next....

And Bunny loves it too......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Life Happens!

Whoooo boy, does it ever! And you don't even know the half of it.....

We've gotten so much done here at the farm, and there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel- at least a glimmer of something. Still with everything here that has gotten done, there's more to be done. Plus even more loads of garbage and vestiges of our former lives, more than 20 years in the making!

We live a very simple life here- fresh milk and eggs from the farm, plus the garden is partially in, with Cherokee Purple tomatoes, carrots, potatoes already planted, and yellow onions, greens and much more waiting to be planted. Since we do not have credit cards or rely on most outside sources for many things, there is no need to travel. I can make a tank of gas in my little S-10 truck last 2-3 weeks, or more, with care.

It looks like we will be a lot more active or perhaps accessable in the near future. I've had issues with my back- the SBO- and struggling with physical issues, left over from the fire in 2000. The last X-rays I had done of my back showed the lower and upper back as having some issues. Plus menopause.

So, if I seem distant, I'm really not- I am working on a project that requires my full attention- me. The farm is an extension of me, so much so that I just do not go visiting as much as I would like- even last weekend, some friends I had not seen in a long time were visiting next door. Himself went next door, but I stayed to keep an eye on the farm. I do not like to be gone for long from here- too many exposed moving parts, if you will. And then I fall over- I am no fun you guys, I fall over a lot. A more boring person you have never known. As soon as it gets dark, I am out like a light.....

It has weighed heavily on me for years, so my madness has been to take deep looks to see why I do what I do and drop the old things that keep me holding weight. And that has paid off- I am in contact with a lot of folks from previous corners of my life- the good stuff that never went away is visable again after wading through layers of mud in my psyche. But, I'm not done yet. And I don't mean to come across as arrogant or anything, I 'm just in a different space than a lot of folks. I view my life as pretty much monastic.

There are places and folks that I see only once a year. Now, what with gas prices, that may be even less. It has gotten to the point that if folks want to see me, they really need to come to the farm. If they have not been up in many years, they will see just how much the place has changed. And if you've never been here, please understand is that we are still a work in progress- with a loooooooottttttttt of progress still to be had.

So bear with me- srsly! Come- speak LOL!cat with me and spend the day watching goats in chairs, dogs wrestling, or chickens playing tag. And yes, you can have a cheezburger......