Monday, October 10, 2016

A weekend of painting

This weekend we did some painting at Robb's house.  It went from a peachy tan with avocado green trim to a very pretty dark gray.  It was fun to get a group together to paint and we all brought food to share which was almost as much fun as the painting.  I brought a salad each day.  I have a few greens ready in the greenhouse and I used them for the salads.  Saturday I took a salad that was mixed greens, apples, candied pecans and goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Sunday I took an arugula salad with grilled watermelon, pistachios and mint with a honey lime dressing.  I blogged about the second salad here.  It was a new recipe and I will definitely make it again.  The recipe suggested that other grilled summer fruits could be substituted for the watermelon, perhaps peaches, plums or pears.
arugula salad

Friday, October 7, 2016

recent thrifting finds

Pictured above are a few fairly recent thrifting finds.  I haven't been thrifting lately.  I have been away from the farm some and my last few blog posts have been short and sweet. Thrifting and blogging have taken the backseat to fall chores. One post, coffee in the greenhouse, was only a picture.  

I will have to eventually get caught up on the happenings on the farm but for now it is mowing and putting the garden to bed and seeding the greens for the winter greenhouse. 

Above the top picture and the third picture are two wicker trays that I picture holding a cheese tray or antipasti.  Hard to gauge the size of the trays from the pictures but they are quite large and will serve several selections, enough to require another recent find--some porcelain cheese markers and little cheese knives.

The second picture is a large white tray.  I have a hard time passing up white serving dishes or baking dishes.  Actually, I have a hard time passing up white anything.

The fourth picture is a pair of steamed pudding molds.  The 'pudding' is the fruitcake type--what I think of as a Christmas pudding.  I think that they are German.  Our family is Swedish/German on my mom's side and Norwegian/German on my dad's side and we have always embraced the Scandinavian part of our heritage so it will be fun to try these for the German side.  I have not ever tasted this pudding.  Hope I like it.

The last picture is a Biscotti jar.  It says that it is handmade for Nonni's on the bottom.  Google tells me that Nonni's is a biscotti company and there are pictures of many, many styles of jars that were made to hold their cookies.  We have no Italian heritage but are fans of everything Italian.  It looks cute sitting next to my Moka pot and other coffee paraphernalia.  Someday it will be filled with biscotti.  Maybe after it snows...

Happy fall.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

a memorial bike ride

Back in 2009 my brother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) and within weeks of his devastating news our family and friends put together a team and walked in our first walk to raise funds. Now every September we do the closest ALS walk.  The JayWalkers have now walked in eight consecutive annual walks.  Our walk is small compared to some in the larger metro areas but our walk 40 teams, had over 700 walkers and raised over $100,000. 

Two years ago we participated in the wildly successful ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and raise funds for ALS.  Jay's former co-workers also raised money and did a group challenge at work.  We were invited to watch everyone get wet.  They raised over $600. 

This year a group of Jay's motorcycle friends put together a ride in his memory.  It is the first annual Jay Lenning Memorial Ride.  The picture below is the 'formal' picture taken at the first of four stops along the route.  My brother had a motorcycle from the time that he was 12 years old.  The first one was a minibike.  The last two were his beloved Harley Davidsons.  His bike is the one on the far left in this picture.  After his death my sister sold her motorcycle and bought his.    

There is a local bar that is frequented by riders and Jay was a part of this group.  When Jay was no longer able to walk they purchased a ramp so that his motorized wheelchair could make it into the bar.  There is a bar stool there with his name on it in memory.  It was the staff of this bar that conceived the idea of a memorial ride and put it all together. The bar's owner donated the pig for the hog roast. The riders were his many friends.  They contacted businesses for donations and paid to ride and paid to eat.  In total, more than $2400 was raised. 

Yesterday we met at the bar to witness the presentation of the check to a member from the ALS Association for our region.  Our family couldn't be more proud of this group of bikers.  They were great friends to Jay during his illness and so supportive of his widow after his death. Some people might be intimidated by the black leathers and bandanas but a better group of people would be hard to find.  The day of our ride there was another group riding for charity as well and this picture shows our riders' bikes parked on one side of the street and the other group's bikes across the street. 
I am not a rider.  I was in a pickup that followed behind.  I failed to get a close up picture of my sister on the ride.  The picture below is my youngest daughter, Caitlin, and her guy, Robb.  Robb has a motorcycle and Cait rides behind.  So glad that they were able to join us. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

September Bakealong

The September bakealong recipe was a pumpkin muffin with a sweetened cream cheese center and a streusel topping.  King Arthur flour's website provides the recipe each month and some step by step directions.  This is the second month of fun and I posted a picture of my first attempt here.

Here is the picture I submitted for month two.

It was fun and easy to do.  I had taken them to my mom's house to share.  It is her colorful tablecloth and Minnesota shaped cutting board.  My daughter Caitlin took these pictures.

Friday, September 9, 2016


I am not big on social media.  I do facebook, kind of, but I don't Twitter and until today I didn't do Instagram. Why the change?  And why now?

In August the online newletter from King Arthur Flour announced that they were starting a bakealong.  Each month they would put out a recipe and all of those interested could bake the recipe and send their photo of the finished product or the process to King Arthur Flour and they would be displayed on their website.

The August recipe was a bread and I made the bread and took a couple of pictures and then I was stuck.  The pictures sat in my phone for a while.  I had checked with my much more Instagram savvy daughter who assured me that I could add a previously taken photo on Instagram  My bread was tasty, my pictures were taken and I stalled setting up an Instagram account.  I am not sure why I stalled.  There are people that I know on Instagram and bloggers that I read on Instagram that I would like to 'follow' but you need an account in order to do that.  So it makes sense that I would 'do' Instagram.

I kept busy doing other things, avoiding setting up that Instagram account until today when the next online newsletter came out and the September bakealong recipe was announced.  It was time.  Mom's Hobby Farm now is on Instagram.  I have exactly one photo, so far.  It looks like this, but square. 
 This bread is called pane bianco. 
 It is a yeast bread that is rolled flat and topped with dried tomatoes, basil and cheese.
 It is then rolled up, shaped into an 'S' and then cut down the top of it and baked. 
 I liked the bread.  I shared it with my folks who also liked it.  They toasted it on their grill and said that it was good that way too.  I tried to send my picture to King Arthur Flour and it has not shown up yet on their website.  I am not sure if it takes awhile to show up or not but if it isn't there tomorrow my daughter will be home the weekend so perhaps she can help me.

Shameless plug:  One reason my daughter will be home this weekend is our family will be walking in the closest Walk to Defeat ALS for our 8th consecutive year.  It is a terrible disease.  If you have the opportunity to walk or contribute to a walker in your area please consider doing so.  The ice bucket challenge of a couple of years ago was wildly successful and because of that money raised real progress is being made in researching for a cause and a cure. I feel that we are so close.  The Jay Walkers, our team, will put on our matching orange t-shirts and hit the trail on Saturday.  600 walkers are expected and a goal of $80,000.00 has been set.  We are planning to do our part.