Tag Archives: art

Favorite Things 2016 – A Gift Guide

Oh, yes, friends. It is that time of the year again! Time of a list of stuff I love, aka The Aghag’s gift guide for difficult people. Now I have this set up where all you have to do is click on the picture and it should take you to the corresponding shop. These are all products I use and love and I am not being paid to say that!

My 11 Favorite Things of 2016

  • First on my list is a Traeger grill. Look at it as an investment. A glorious investment in your mouth’s happiness. Your life will be better for this purchase. I use mine weekly, everything from smoking to grilling to just sticking my face in it and taking a big whiff. Yes, they are pricey but quality costs! And they make smoking more of a fun activity then an all day, make sure your fire is right, it’s not right, no, wait, it’s right, chore.
Really, they are awesome.

Really, they are awesome.

  • As I keep repeating, I went to the South a lot this year. I loved it. I fell in love with good BBQ. It changed me. So if you are gonna pull that trigger and get a Traeger, might as well get some bomb-ass seasoning! Enter: Dreamland. They are right, “ain’t nothing like ’em nowhere!’. Sadly I only have a few more uses of my BBQ seasoning left. I’m deeply afraid of getting on that website to order more. I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up with a whole bunch of ribs and a nana puddin’ getting delivered.
Sigh..... I would be a very happy camper if I got to go back again.

Sigh….. I would be a very happy camper if I got to go back again.

  • The Classy Trailer and I have been friends on Facebook for years. She thoughtfully sent me a beautiful memorial necklace a few years ago when my loyal cowdog of 16 years died. It was such a meaningful gesture to me. Anyway this year she sent me an awesome pig necklace! I have a collection of agriculture themed jewelry. It’s a great conversation starter when I am out doing the Megan Aghag show. The Classy Trailer has great handmade gifts for your agriculture/animal enthusiast in your life!
TheClassyTrailer's pig!

TheClassyTrailer’s pig!

  • I’ve been following Alyson Thomas for years now. I stumbled across her on twitter when she was asking butchers about cuts of meat. Her art – Drywell Art is my jam. Food and booze. I have several of her meat themed pieces. I especially love her pig work! I love to give her art out as gifts to my foodie friends. Plus I got to meet her in real life at the Renegade Craft Fair, and she was super cool!
Support art!

Support art!

  • Years ago I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in San Fransisco. It was like Etsy came to life. It was lots of fun and I picked up some great Christmas gifts for both myself and my family. My favorite thing is a feed bag purse I purchased from Selina Vaughan. I loved them so much I bought two! One for me and one for my Mom. We both used them for years and years. I use mine every time I go to an agriculture conference and always get tons of compliments.
Check her stuff out, so cute!

Check her stuff out, so cute!

  • Big things happen this year. I met my cooking idol, Alton Brown. Good Eats was a popular show when I was in college and I watched it regularly. I love how Alton uses a science based approach to explain the why’s and how’s of cooking. That tickles my fancy. When I saw he was going to be signing his new cookbook in California, I scheduled a day off, borrowed my Mom’s car (driving a truck in the city is a big cup of no fun) and went to meet him! And you know what? It was everything I thought it would be. He was warm and charming and he is still my celebrity crush. Aside from all of that, this is a great cookbook. Everything I’ve made has been amazing. Totally a great gift for your favorite Foodie.
This was one of my top 2016 moments.

This was one of my top 2016 moments.

Favorite cookbook right now!

Favorite cookbook right now!

  • I am a picky little thing when it comes to water bottles. I don’t like it when my water gets warm. I don’t like it when I can taste metal. I don’t like it when the part I put my lips on is exposed to “the outside”. I also hate using plastic water bottle once, then throwing them away (we actually recycle, but still!). But since I am outside so much during the summer I do need water with me or I shrivel all up. And that’s simply no fun at all. Swell is my favorite water bottle of all time. It keeps things cold, or hot for way longer than it takes me to drink it. The cap covers where I put my mouth so I have no fear of putting my lips in cow poo! And it doesn’t make the liquid taste like metal. Perfect gift for your favorite ranchster.
  • Speaking of water…..I’m bringing this one back from last year because I still love it. Once you go bidet you can’t go back. This bidet attaches right onto your toilet and is amazing. I installed it myself in about 10 minutes and never looked back.
Don't question me. Just buy it.

Don’t question me. Just buy it.

  • My summer was rough. I worked hard. I drove a lot. I dealt with some deep shit, both literally and figuratively. By the time October rolled around, my mantra was “I worked damn hard, if I want something, I earned it, damn it”. This ring was one of those things I wanted. It matched my beautiful bag I got for my birthday. A local artist made it. And it was shiny! I like shiny things! Unfortunately, J Daily doesn’t seem to have an Esty store. But she does have an email address jdailydesign@yahoo.com. She had many beautiful and unique rings, earrings, necklaces – shoot her an email, check out her stuff, you won’t be sorry!
J Dailey Design

J Dailey Design

  • If you didn’t notice this was an election year. While post of the posts on social media were pretty horrible; but there was one shiny, hilarious light! The Liberal Redneck and the WellRED Comedy Tour. Trae is funny. His videos talk about very serious issues in a funny way. I like that. But hey, don’t believe me check one out. After watching his videos I really wanted to see him perform, and turns out, he was playing about a hour away from me! I saw the show, and loved it! All three guys were hilarious! And they hung out after their show and met their fans! So cool! Plus Trae follows me on Twitter now.  I got their book after the I saw the show, and again, really enjoyed it. It’d be a great gift for your liberal and not so liberal friends!
I made the WellRED Comedy guys laugh.

I made the WellRED Comedy guys laugh.

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto

  • Booze is always a popular gift during the Holidays. I mean it’s one of the few things you can get someone who has everything! And this particular alcohol is extra good. Lassen Cider is a new Chico, Ca business. He makes a mean cider from local, heirloom apples the traditional way. He gives the leftover apple pulp to my pigs and cattle, so he is being extra sustainable. I’ve had all three ciders he has available right now, and I must say, I am a fan. Unfortunately, you can only this cider is you are a Northern California native. Hunt some down, you won’t be mad about it!
Lassen Cider

Lassen Cider

There you go friends. Did I miss anything? What tickled your fancy this year? Care to share? Leave me a comment and hopefully I can feature it next year!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, arts & crafts, food, Humor, Know a California Farmer, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Wordless Wednesday: The Master

DSC_0396

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Adult 4-H: Processing the Hogs

This morning I had the pleasure of going to the Locker and watching my hog get cut up. Like watching a master musician or artist create a masterpiece, watching Craig the butcher break down these hogs was just breathtaking.

Linda holds your hand and very nicely walks you through your cuttinh order. It's so fun!

Linda holds your hand and very nicely walks you through your cutting order. It’s so fun!

The best thing about raising your own meat, or buying from people like me, is you get to decide how you want your meat cut and wrapped. That means you can decide what meat cuts you want, for example a pork loin or pork chops. You can decide how many chops you want in a package, how thick you want your chops, or bacon. For a foodie, it’s like a dream come true. I like it because it makes my life convenient – since I live alone, I only got two chops per package.

The whole pig. It took less than 30 minutes for them to break it down.

The whole pig. It took less than 30 minutes for them to break it down.

If you want a more in-depth explanation of these pictures please read Jenny’s post here

This is MY half. It will live in my locked freezer. It's MINE.

This is MY half. It will live in my locked freezer. It’s MINE.

The hog has been split into two sides. They will process one side at a time.

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

The first thing Craig does is remove the leaf lard. This is supposed to be the best lard ever for making baked goods. I’ve never had any before so I requested them to save it for me. I will render it down in my oven and then make heck of pie crusts and tortillas! Yum!

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

BACON

Check out this video of Craig cutting my beautiful chops.

Pork chops! Glorious chops!

Pork chops! Glorious chops!

This is the one time you will hear me say "look at all my beautiful fat!". Don't be jealous, I might share some if you ask....

This is the one time you will hear me say “look at all my beautiful fat!”. Don’t be jealous, I might share some if you ask….

This is a whole pig, granted he was small, but it is still pretty cool he's all there.

This is a whole pig, granted he was small, but it is still pretty cool he’s all there.

This is my Dad’s pork. It’ll get him through a summer of BBQing, it’s nice to change it up with some pork! We love beef, but variety is the spice of life!

This will be sausage.

This will be sausage.

All the scraps are saved for sausage, I wanted my sausage “southern style” because it is my personal favorite and makes the best biscuits and gravy. For reals. Come over for brunch, I’ll blow your mind!

Again, it's mine! It's all mine! It even has my name on it like an adult!

Again, it’s mine! It’s all mine! It even has my name on it like an adult!

Yeah, I’m excited. This was a lot of work right here!

My bacon and ham. Yum.

My bacon and ham. Yum.

The bacon and ham will take longer to get, because they must cure it. They said I would have my ham in time for Easter! YAY!

The Man, the myth, the legend. Mr. Dewey. Thank you so much for being so transparent and awesome! I love you guys!

The Man, the myth, the legend. Mr. Dewey. Thank you so much for being so transparent and awesome! I love you guys!

So my next blog will be what this whole project was about – pork!!!! I cannot wait to try it. Even though I raise animals for a living, I’ve never had this caliber of pork before. I’ve been dreaming about it! What should I try first?!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, Field Trip, food, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

San Francisco, The Tens and Meat

San Francisco. I've been to several major cities in the world and San Francisco is one of my favorites.

San Francisco. I’ve been to several major cities in the world and San Francisco is still one of my favorites.

I love San Francisco, love it. Whenever I can sneak down there I do. Especially now that my anxiety is under control, for the past 5 or so years I haven’t been able to fully enjoy City trips (but that is for another blog post).
San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco City Hall

I got to take a little day trip down to San Francisco to do some reconnaissance. I am currently trying to sniff out some different markets for my meat, especially since I am exploring raising pastured poultry and heritage pork. In addition to that there was an art show in City Hall, my friend had gone and told me how amazing it was, and I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Fatted Calf. Dreamy. Expensive. Worth it.

Fatted Calf. Dreamy. Expensive. Worth it.

I spent the morning walking around the City. I saw Fatted Calf, had lunch at an amazing Thai place, did a little shopping, tried a new beer, it was glorious.

Tommy's Joynt - I'm going here next time!!! It was so cool, but I was too full of Thai food to eat there. http://www.tommysjoynt.com/

Tommy’s Joynt – I’m going here next time!!! It was so cool, but I was too full of Thai food to eat there. http://www.tommysjoynt.com/


Going to the City for me is like going to the country for “normal” people. San Francisco is soooooo out of my comfort level, there are so many people and buildings, and cars and things! It’s kinda sensory overload for me, but in the best way possible.
New beer from Africa! It was good.

New beer from Africa! It was good.


Shipping container house! I want to build one on the Ranch, but not like this, I want a courtyard!

Shipping container house! I want to build one on the Ranch, but not like this, I want a courtyard!


The art show I went to was inside of City Hall, actually it was inside of Supervisor Jane Kim’s office.
Harvey Milk! Thank you Mr. Milk!

Harvey Milk! Thank you Mr. Milk!


I missed the opening so all the photos were sold by the time I got there (I want one!!) but it was still super cool. The artist’s name is The Tens. The show highlighted the Tenderloin District of San Francisco (the “Loin” is the place my Mom told me to avoid). This show definitely gave me a new perspective on the community that lives there and how I feel about that.
Some of The Ten's photos

Some of The Ten’s photos


Such a beautiful building!

Such a beautiful building!


What impressed me the most about this artist is for a day job he is an attorney for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. The ALRP protects the rights of people with AIDS and HIV; we are talking basic rights that most of us take for granted like the right to healthcare, the right to housing, the right to work. In addition to working for the ALRP the artist donated 30% of his sales from the show to the organization. Wow.
I come from the generation that was taught “if you have pre-marital sex, you will get HIV”; I have several friends living with HIV. AIDS/HIV has always been in my world – so to me this is something that is important and I’d like to support. Since I did not get to buy art – they came up with something I could and will buy! WINE! What a great idea! I’m ready for Christmas (I think my elected officials need a bottle of this delivered to their offices, don’t you?).
Buy a case of wine and ALRP gets $30 (or $2.50 a bottle) - guess who is going to buy some wine?!

Buy a case of wine and ALRP gets $30 (or $2.50 a bottle) – guess who is going to buy some wine?!


Now when I say “they” I mean Mr. Bill Hirsh (the Executive Director of ALRP) and Mr. Jim McBride (the Director of Development of ALRP). I just happened to meet them while I was there. And I loved them, I really wish I could have spent more time talking with them. Mr. Hirsh had been to India and was telling me great stories! We also got to talk agriculture (who are we kidding, that is all I talk about!) and I got to share that 98% of farms and ranches are family owned.
Mr. Hirsh, his partner and Mr. McBride. They were a kick in the pants! And do excellent and needed work, thank you!

Mr. Hirsh, his partner and Mr. McBride. They were a kick in the pants! And do excellent and needed work, thank you!


Even though I didn’t get to buy any art and I didn’t sell any meat, I had a much needed break from my reality! I got to meet new people that work in fields totally different from my own. I got to see what meat like mine goes for in the City (I’m under-charging) and I’m getting wine! The Ten’s show runs until March 8th (I think), but you should go check it out if you get the chance!

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