Monthly Archives: September 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sigh

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I Wish I Knew Why

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I wish I knew the story of the Valley Oak and the gas barrel barn. But I don’t. When people come over to the Ranch, they always ask me about it. All I can say is I have a very odd family.

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Gorgeous Armada – Sleigh Trailer

As some of you may know, I was active in community theater for a hot minute. I had a ball and met some super fun people. My two favorite things I did while I was doing theater was the Burlesque Show  and the Gorgeous Armada Christmas Show. Watch the embedded youtube video. I was a chorus girl, you want to know which one is me, huh? Alright :09 seconds in. Yeah, yeah, I know. It was my “character”. The show was just as crazy as the video. I did it again the year after. It was two things that were on my bucket list – do burlesque and “be” in band. SO.MUCH.FUN.

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Wordless Wednesday: Early Morning Gather

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Fruit Leather

I’m lucky enough to live in California, where we are blessed with an abundance of amazing fruit and vegetables all year long. However, our summer strawberries and blackberries are quite simply breathe-taking. This summer I got a wild hair up my butt and an abundance of fruit and wanted to make something other than jam or jelly.

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Enter fruit leather. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you don’t need a dehydrator to make this version. Just your hot car. I apologize, I did not measure anything while making this recipe. I just dumped stuff in according to my taste. If you have specific questions, leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.

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Get yourself some fruit. I really like blackberries or strawberries for this recipe, although I used peaches and it came out pretty well too.

Wash your fruit and puree in your food processor.

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Run the pureed fruit through some cheese cloth or wire sieve to remove the seeds. I hate seeds in my teeth.

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Then place your seedless fruit pulp in a heavy bottom pan. I added lemon juice and sugar to taste. I only added a whisper of sugar because the fruit was already very sweet. I let this mixture simmer until it coated the back of a spoon or for about 10 minutes. Enough time to remove some of the liquid.

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MMMMM, Meyer lemon.

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Then line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. I recommend taping the plastic wrap to the outside, bottom of the cookie sheet otherwise the wrap might come unstuck and cover your fruit leather and you do not want that (I learned this the hard way, use tape).

Then carefully pour your fruit mixture into the cookie sheet. You want a pretty thin layer. I used an offset cake spatula to smooth and shape.

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Then place the un-covered cookie sheet of goodness into your hot car. It took about 1 day of 90+ degree outside heat for my fruit leather to fully dehydrate.

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It peels right off the plastic wrap, just like to store bought kind. I love that sound, it brings me joy. Careful not to eat too much of this stuff, it’s very easy to do. But it’s also a fiber overload, if you get what I’m saying.

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Jack

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Meet Jack.

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Jack is my “I’m 30, not married, and live alone kitten.”

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He is the cutest Manx kitten ever! I got him from our neighbor (who I will be doing a blog post about soon!).

Be prepared for Jack updates! Hoot Dog is stoked to have a little brother, even though they aren’t BBF yet.

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Second Cutting Hay Field

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This is the view from our house of our hay field on the summer ranch. We are working on laser leveling all of our fields. It makes them all even and level, so we can more efficiently use water. It’s been a slow process, but we are have been pretty successful with it. In the Fall we ‘drag’ the fields. Basically it breaks up all the cow pies, and keeps the fields smooth and even, while using a natural fertilizer to enrich the soil. Beautiful isn’t it?

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Change is in the Air

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