Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Corn Chopping 2014

It's that time of year when the scene  from my kitchen window changes . Some of the  tall corn stalks that I normally see , as I do dishes will be gone by noon today.  The field of irrigated corn that we raise behind our home with my 
father in law is chopped for feed for our cattle.  




We hire Luke Fensky Harvesting to chop the corn for us.  The corn is chopped and then dumped into a silage pit. Normally Milton would run our tractor to smooth out the pit, but since they are using large semi trucks this year, the crew is also doing this part for us.  
Their tractor can keep up better.  It's a very quick process and interesting to watch!



The silage pit is in my view as well from my kitchen window, but I notice it a lot less than I used to. Some might call it an eyesore as I used to, but I know it won't be there forever 
and it provides nourishment for cattle that will feed our family and others someday.  
We are growing something that feeds another product we are growing.  
As with any business, using your own resources is beneficial to the bottom dollar.  






Milton got up close and personal and took a photo for me of the cutter 
actually chopping the corn.  





We now have silage to feed the cattle. 
The rest of the corn will be harvested by us as usual in the future.


Thanks for stopping by!
Julie






Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Farm Happenings

This time of year is a busy one for our farmers!  We have fall harvest occuring while 2015 wheat is being planted.  Along with that we received 103 head of calves in to feed for the winter and there will be more to come in the near future!

Update on the soybean harvest, the end is in sight, but what is left is too green to harvest.  So they finished what could be cut yesterday.  Then we wait on the other couple fields and the milo.
























My husband inspected fields of recently planted wheat.  There were a few skips in the fields, so he went back over those the other day.

























On Saturday they worked the 103 head of calves, it was a long process for the two of them. Sometimes things don't go exactly as planned and the calves are missing their mommas for sure!  I wasn't able to help work cattle this time but I will the next batch! I was preparing our home and the food for our annual landlord dinner



















Watching my husband in his elements makes my heart go pitter patter and I love watching him do what he loves.  Although it is difficult at times since our schedule runs around him, it makes it easier when I know how important it is to him.



One of the benefits of having the calves for the winter is that our daughter can learn how to be responsible.  I happen to be in the farm yard on Sunday evening when it was time to feed.  She was helping Dad and Grandpa, and I am glad I at least had my smart phone.



And the final shot of the day ......


I absolutely love it when I can catch all three of them together!  It's just precious to me!

Thanks for stopping by! 
Julie




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Landlord Appreciation Dinner 2014

The fall brings all sorts of activities to the farm, but I really look forward to one event imparticular.  Our annual landlord appreciation dinner.  It allows us to hear stories of days gone by, about their lives, enjoy food and fellowship!
















This year I chose a good home-cooked meal that is one of my husband's favorite meat dishes.  Although it was from an inexpensive cut of meat, we love this meatloaf recipe!  To go with it we had potato casserole, crock pot corn, and a pumpkin dessert.  I didn't get around to making the homemade bread I wanted to, but I think it went just fine using Sara Lee honey wheat bread!  We had three types of homemade jam to go with it!

Not all of our landlords were able to attend for various reasons.  Some of our landlords live out of state such as Missouri and California.  Since they are unable to attend, we normally send them a little something homemade from the Entertaining Kitchen!  I hope they enjoy it and perhaps someday be able to attend our event!

In our area of Kansas most of the land that is leased to others has been in those families for many years.  We feel privileged they have chosen to allow us to farm the ground that is their family legacy.  Some of the land that Milton and I farm was farmed by his Dad before us.  So that means our family has been farming some of the ground over fifty years!  As farmers, we care for the land whether it is owned by us or not, as if it were our own.

Farm ground isn't cheap and we know that without landlord's we might not be able to farm like we do.  So this small token of our appreciation each year is one way we show them we value them.  We hope they walk away feeling that we are authentic and care about not only their land, but them as well. 


We had good food, conversation, and we always send them home with a party favor.  This year PV and I made some trail mix sleeves with Happy Fall Y'ALL stickers I printed from Pinterest.  We threw in a small jar of jam as well!


























We had grapes and cheese before our meal. Nothing too fancy here folks!

















Our menu for the evening is below.  You can click on the name of each item to obtain the recipe.   As one of the guests left he thanked us and mentioned it was a "good homecooked meal."  That made my heart glad!  My intentions are to be one that shows hospitality and just some good food.  :)


















As we close out this post, we want to once again thank those that allow us to farm their ground.  To care for it and carry on our family legacy in farming.  Even if you don't farm, please join us in thanking others in providing your life with splendor.


Thanks for stopping by!
Julie and Milton


Meat loaf


Potato Casserole

Crockpot Corn

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Crockpot Corn

Crock pot Corn                        From: Cooking with Jeanie & Friends Cookbook


We used our corn from the summer garden we had frozen.  It was delish!



1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn                   1/2 stick butter or margarine
2 Tbls. sugar                                             6 Tbls. water
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese


Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.


Meatloaf Recipe

Meat loaf                                           From: Cooking with Jeanie & Friends Cookbook


1 tsp. beef bouillon granules               1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbls. hot water                                    1 Tbls. prepared mustard
1 egg                                                          1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 c. quick oats                                     1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. honey BBQ sauce                        1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. chopped onion                            1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbls. brown sugar                              1 lb. ground beef

Mix the bouillon granules and the hot water.  Next, add the remainder of ingredients and form into a loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  You can make make your own honey BBQ sauce by adding some honey to the regular BBQ sauce.  We personally use Knackies Bear-B-Que sauce because it's our favorite!

Topping

4 Tbls. ketchup                                        1/2 Tbls. dry mustard
1 Tbls. brown sugar                                 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Once the meat loaf has baked for an hour, remove to add the topping. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake was one of the easiest desserts I've ever made.  I'm not a fan of pumpkin but I will eat this dessert!  Click on the link below to get the recipe from the original blogger!


Pumpkin Crunch Cake 

Potato Casserole

Potato Casserole 

Provided by: Tashley Stockham



2 lb. bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns
1/2 cup to 1 cup greek yogurt (plain)
1 cup sour cream
10 oz. of cream of chicken soup
1 pkg Ranch
Salt&Pepper
Mix together ingredients above and place in 9x13 pan. Bake on 350 degrees for 35 minutes. If warm in the middle, top casserole with small container of french fried onions and shredded cheddar cheese for 10 minutes or until melted and crispy. 
**if you don't like the ranch flavor, leave that out and substitute with Garlic and onion powder.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Farm to Table 2014

Milton and I were lucky enough to snag an evening away from the farm.  Although it is a busy time of year, it was well worth the time away.  We are lucky to have help in Milton's father, we are very grateful for that.

I had written this post about the awesome blackberries I purchased this past summer to make jam and jelly.  The place, Elderslie Farms also has an annual event called Farm to Table.  When I saw the announcement on social media I mentioned I would like to go.  My husband ordered tickets for us, even though it was a busy time of year for him.  Thank you my dear husband!

The atisanal cheese and wine pairing was served on the patio on a beautiful fall evening.  The gentleman that served the cheese actually made it and told little things about each kind.  It was made with goat's milk from Elderslie Farms and just about a half mile down the road from this place.


























We eventually made our way indoors to the cozy dining area.  They have a sawmill at the farm as well, and you can tell someone is extremely talented. There were long walnut tables, handmade for us to sit at, with benches.  They were adorned with evergreen, red leaves, and what I presume to be heirloom tomatoes dried, with little tea lights to set just the right ambiance.   Simple and lovely.  I failed to get a photo of this.

The menu was beautifully done laying upon our plates and the serving staff was did a wonderful job of staying on top of things. 


























The owners introduced themselves and the wife had cooked all the food herself with vegetables from their farm.  From what I could tell, everything was from Kansas, except the wines.  

This was my absolute favorite dish.  Seriously loved every bite and would have taken seconds if it was appropriate!  























Butternut squash gnocchi with sage butter. I have never had gnocchi, but after this experience I plan to play with making it!  It would melt in your mouth and the sage butter sauce was divine!  I am not a huge sage fan, but those little dried sage leaves were the perfect touch to make this dish complete! It's making my mouth water just thinking about it!

The main course was just as lovely.  From this course I completely enjoyed the vegetables, they were all perfectly prepared!  The onion stole the show though from this course! I had a red onion flower, it is the dark piece on the left.

























We finished with a souffle that was delish!  It was served with, blackberry vanilla coulis. It was the perfect way to end this evening.
























This was a different experience for Milton and I, we normally go to dinner for our dates, but not to this extreme.  I am glad we traveled outside our comfort zone to visit a different type of farm, enjoy great food, spending the evening visiting with an interesting couple, and doing it together.  That is what is most important, doing this together.  



















I hope you find your way on a date soon with someone special.  It's a good way to stay connected.  Our plan is to return next year and bring some of our friends!  


Thanks for stopping by!  Visit a local farm soon!

Julie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake

I love fresh pears. 
 I bought a sack full last week thinking I would gobble them right up!  
Guess what... I didn't.  Every time I opened my frig I would see them but only ate one.
I finally decided that I needed to get them used, they were starting to show signs of bruising! 
  We were also out of a homemade dessert.  
My husband enjoys homemade cakes and desserts, thank you to
 my mother in law for him loving homemade! :) 

So I made my way to Pinterest and found this little gem of a recipe.   
It came from the blog by the name Living Well Spending Less.  
Now that title got me interested, doesn't it you?  
Be sure to head over to her blog and show her some love!  
Saving money and living well is something I think we all could use!



Now that I have taste tested this recipe I will give my honest response.  DELISH! 
 It is lovely.  It's a nice warm fall dessert and it is pretty simple to make. 
 An interesting ingredient in the recipe is cornmeal.  
I think it works nicely with the pears.  
I made it in a nine inch round cake pan as instructed, 
it is just enough for our family for a few days.  
Many times I find that some of our desserts go to waste as Milton and I 
are the ones that eat them, not PV.  So this is perfect!

The only thing I would do differently when I make it 
next time is perhaps make more of the base.  
The brown sugar and butter goodness! 
 I think it needed a tad more for our liking!

Well until next time!  Thanks for stopping by!
Julie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Italian Nachos

Our family was lucky enough to schedule a family fun night together! Having adult children with families and different work schedules from ours is sometimes hard to allow us to get time together.  We decided to hang out, have appetizers, and play a new game. The game was Rummy Royal, I highly recommend it!


Yes those are paperclips.  We didn't have enough chips to play.
Poker chips is on my shopping list don't worry!

















Our middle daughter loves Halloween, she brought a Halloween gingerbread house kit for the kiddos to do. She's a kid at heart no doubt!


Great memories right here!


The kids each brought an appetizer and the main feature for our eating enjoyment is something my family loves!  I haven't made them in sometime, so they were a real treat!

Italian Nachos!  



Yum Yum Yum



















Alittle background on these babies, Milton and I used to enjoy going to the Romano's Macaroni Grill. Unfortunately the closest one to us left the city we are closest too.  We were introduced to Italian Nachos at this restaurant!  They are one of our favorites, have I mentioned that?  

Here is the recipe for your enjoyment! The fried won tons are good just plan too, I think.  They aren't really great if you have leftovers, so be sure to EAT THEM ALL when you make a batch!   It was so much fun to laugh and be together! I highly recommend it!

Enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by!
Julie

Italian Nachos

One pkg egg roll or won ton wrappers
Canola oil
1/3 cup fully cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup scallions
Banana Peppers

Asiago cream sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1  1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese


First we will make the chips.  I use a jelly roll pan lined with paper towels. Cut the won ton wrappers into squares.  These will be fried in a skillet with the canola oil heated up.  These do not take long to brown, so you will need to be quick.  Slightly brown one side and flip over, put onto paper towel to drain.  When next batch is ready to put on paper towel, stack up the batch of chips before that.  

To make the cheese sauce:

Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then add granules. set aside.
In a pan, heat the whipping cream.
Slowly add cornstarch mixture, mix till thick and slowly add in cheese.
Stir till cheese is totally melted and then turn heat to low and stir occasionally.
Place the chips on a plate and sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella cheese.
Dot the top with about 2/3 hot cheese sauce.
Sprinkle all other ingredients evenly over the top. On this part, I usually take some of the banana pepper juice and pour it throughout the chips. The banana peppers is what really makes this dish fabulous, I think!
Sprinkle with as much remaining mozzarella cheese as desired.
Put in oven to heat everything through and melt mozzarella alittle.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Adoption Series




Prior to 2006, adoption was something our family didn’t know very much about.  At that time, my husband and I decided to grow our family through adoption.  We began the process to adopt a child. Which I might add, is not easy or for the faint of heart, but an experience we would not trade for anything!  In 2008 we adopted our youngest daughter, and God chose us to be her forever family.  
I have decided since November 22nd is National Adoption Day I wanted to help spread the word of adoption. One of my friends mentioned that she thought it would make a good series, so I am going for it!  I will be doing the series on adoption throughout the month of November.  
My hope is to gather stories from different areas of adoption.  So I am seeking help with these topics.  The stories can be done anonymously or include names and photos.
The different areas I would like to share are below.  
A family waiting to adopt
A family that has adopted domestically.
A family that has adopted internationally.
A person that has been adopted.
A person that has chosen to help others grow their family by choosing adoption.
This could grow to something more than just these topics.  I love adoption stories and a lot of times the only thing the media shares are the heartbreaking sad stories of adoption.  This I am hoping will share some goodness and happiness of adoption.  There are so many things that are wonderful about adoption and I think the world needs to hear more of it.  
So here is what I am asking.   That you will pray for me and this series to be what God intends it to be.  That if you are interested in visiting with me regarding this series you will contact me at betweenthesunsets@gmail.com. If you know someone who might be interested you will share my email address and this post. Talking to me doesn’t commit you to anything.
I am looking forward to this new task before me!
Grace is a gift,
Julie

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days of Blogging- Featuring Our Farm Family

During the month of October, in the blogging world there is alot of commitment to 31 days of blogging.  When I came across another farm family blog requesting farm families to feature in the endeavor to blog 31 days straight, we thought it would be a fun way to let other's see our blog!

You can read the feature by going to The Farm Wife's blog!  We were featured today!

Check out her other posts and see what else you can learn about farming in South Carolina!

Thanks for stopping by!
Julie


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kindness Jars - Year 3

It's that time of year again when we gather up recipes 
and jelly jars to make kindness jars!  As you can tell from this post and this one,
we have created an annual event.  
Our friends the "M's"  have moved to a new destination.  
But before moving Mrs. M gave us some sweet recipes to use for this year's event! 
Thank you Mrs. M!

We invited some other friends to join us,  "The K's" were a wonderful addition!  
They did a fabulous job of assembling, driving, 
and delivering the little jars of kindness with us!  
We enjoyed having them SO much!  

We chose two simpler desserts than in the past.  
The one on the left is Strawberry Shortcake and the one on the right is Easter Smores.
While assembling, PV announced that the Easter Smores 
were like a chicken sitting on her eggs! :)

The kids really enjoyed putting the Easter Smores together.
Even the youngest K joined in on the fun! 
I encourage you to have your children participate in 
acts of kindness at any age! They really can benefit and so do the recipients!



Little K and PV Did a great job of explaining to the recipients
 what they needed to do with the jars.
It was teamwork at it's best!

We hope the recipients enjoyed the little treats. Our time together creating the
 jars of joy is always fun and delivering brings on a whole new adventure each year!
Thank you to the K's for joining us!


Thanks for stopping by!
Julie



Recipes were donated by Mrs. M.  They are listed below.


Strawberry Shortcake

1 boxed Yellow Cake Mix baked according to package directions
1 can vanilla frosting
1 (8 oz) whipped topping
1 quart fresh strawberries mixed with 1/4 cup sugar

Crumble the yellow cake mix into large chunks.  Press a small amount of the crumbled cake mix into the bottom of the four small canning jars (8 oz) In a small bowl mix together the frosting and whipped topping.  Spoon a small amount on top of the cake layer.  Spoon a few strawberries on top of the frosting layer, add another layer of cake, frosting and strawberries.
Top each jar with a lid and ring. Store in the fridge up to 12 hours before serving.

Easter Smores

Pour two heaping spoonfuls of graham cracker crumbs into a jar.
Place four Cadbury mini eggs on top of the graham crackers.
Put one Peep Chick on the Chocolate eggs.
Deliver with the directions to heat the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds and then enjoy.

This recipe calls to use 4 ounce jars but we used 8 ounce and did the layers twice.  You can also use a large marshmellow in place of the peeps that are sold during Easter time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ag Bloggers Retreat - Part 2


















Here are a few things I learned from spending the weekend with some of my Virtual Sisters, to read part one you can click on the link Virtual Sisters

  • Reaching those outside the agriculture world is important.
  • Laughing an entire day away is pure bliss. 
  • Being surprised by the past of another can make you feel not so alone and that life can really be turned around for the better.
  •  By making connections with those outside agriculture, we can better educate, instead of staying in our snug warm safe place of farm life.  
  • Apple Cider donuts are delicious.
  • Sometimes I may receive another's opinion that I don't agree with, but luckily I have a slew of others to help me when time to respond if needing backup!
  • Your blog doesn't need to be just about farm life.  Creating an atmosphere that gives others the opportunity to relate is essential in connecting with them.  Because if the connection is established earlier, then when they have a question about agriculture, odds are they will come to you. 
  • Spending  a fall afternoon outdoors, relaxing and enjoying the company of friends in a winery setting really is lovely.
  • It's important to have resources. 
  • Learning from others is needed, to challenge one beyond their comfort zone.
  • It's a really good feeling when your phone is dead and you can't charge it, so you focus on what's in front of you.
  • Boy babies who spend an entire day with adult women and act like gentlemen, including sharing smiles that bring lots of joy are icing on the cake!
  • A post should be somewhere between 500 - 700 words.  
  • Talking.  It's good. Listening. Even better.
  • What is your target market?  What age group and how can you relate to them?
  • Young people are pretty cool. :)  Especially if you are the "old" one of the group.
  • If we ever need to hire employees, drug screening and background checks might become the norm.
  • My life is very much enlightened by four bloggers from the agriculture side of life.
  • That sitting outdoors on a beautiful fall day, listening to music at a winery is delightful and should be done more often. (Did I mention this one?) :)
  • When you are meeting with a group of people that you haven't met before and they hail from the farming community, they bring pretty awesome gifts! :)  I'm stoked about all the things I received! Thank you my friends!