Saturday, September 27, 2014


Well I am just positively tickled.

You see, I don't really bake. I make brownies out of a box. Cupcakes from a mix. I made a cake once. I made Tollhouse cookies once. I think baking can be a little "fussy" sometimes. I always have a mess left when I bake. But mostly? I live alone - I cook for one. I'm quite good at that. Baking for one? That's a challenge. It's not like I'm going to eat a couple of dozen cookies while they're still fresh!

I like fresh baked things as much as the next guy. Maybe more so. But I mostly go without. Oh, the bakery has perfectly good things but for some reason cookies just have to be fresh and homemade. I can't recall buying a really good cookie. Ever. Couple of months ago I had a serious itching for oatmeal cookies. I love oatmeal cookies. I hadn't had a good oatmeal cookie in ages. And I recalled reading how people have formed their dough into cookies, frozen and bagged them to bake off a couple at a time on demand. So I decided I'd try that.

Frozen oatmeal cookie dough

I used this recipe. I used 100% whole wheat flour.

And...they bake beautifully!

Baked (from frozen) oatmeal cookies

So yesterday I did the same with peanut butter cookies. I haven't had peanut butter cookies since I was a kid.

Peanut butter cookies

I used the Simply Recipes recipe. I used 100% whole wheat flour. Yes I use 100% whole wheat flour in *everything*. Bread. Pizza. White sauce. Breading. Chowders. The one and only thing I've found that whole wheat flour doesn't work with is a baguette. Use whole wheat flour. It's good for you.

I also spun about a tablespoon of plain dry roasted unsalted peanuts in a spice grinder and added the powdery peanuts to the mix.

And they baked beautifully!

This is the "chewy" baking method

This is the recommended baking method

Both baking methods made awesome cookies. Very peanutty!

So here's what you do.

Put parchment paper on a half sheet pan and put it in the freezer. Make your cookie dough. Form cookies on to the frozen half sheet pan and put it in the freezer. The cookies will freeze quickly enough. When the cookies are frozen, bag them and keep them in the freezer.

Then you can just bake off the frozen cookies whenever you want a fresh cookie. Bake them frozen. Follow the recommended baking temperature and time, you don't need to compensate for the frozen dough.

I don't imagine this will work for lemon squares or cupcakes but it works really well with cookies.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


It's time for Polo in the Country!

I swear I don't know where the summer went. Summer 2014 has been one of the very best I can recall. I don't think we've had a steady soaking rain in daylight since sometime around the 4th of July. Day after day the sun has been out and it's been mostly dry and breezy and, hard as it is to believe, not a single thunderstorm.

And here it is time for polo!

Every year the Norfolk Hunt Club has a polo match out on their steeplechase grounds to raise funds for the preservation of recreational space in the neighboring communities. Always eager to share their passion for equestrian pursuits of all kinds they're really a nice bunch of people.


There are lots of rules in polo but they're not hard to learn and you don't have to know them all to enjoy a match. Knowing the Rule of the Line is the only one you need to know to understand what's going on out on the field.

The action on the field is occasionally *very* close by!

Yes. It *really* is this close!

We always have a good time at the match and it's fun to watch skilled riders on well trained ponies. And it was a beautiful day. Some polo trivia. Did you know a regulation size polo field is just under 10 acres?!

And here. This was such a treat! How often do you get to see a Grand Prix level equestrian warming up out in the countryside on a beautiful day? The half time show was given by Dave Thind and his record breaking stallion White Star.

Dave is very personable and engaging. It was a lot of fun to visit while he was warming up. keeping with the social even of the season...

No...this wasn't our table!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh deer

I often walk around the barn property. There are snakes and rabbits *everywhere*. Which I'd guess is why it's such a favorite with coyotes. We hear them more than we see them and there are always tracks around.

Coyote track. We have some pretty big coyotes.

We see the occasional fox and of course the property is a birder's paradise.

And then every once in a long while we get a treat like this.

31 August

I'm not sure she's in the best of health. She's looking a little "ribby" for such an abundant season.

Run for it!

Sometimes when you're on a horse you can practically reach out and touch the deer before they run. I love this stuff.

Today's rider's advice. I always keep a change of clothes in one of my tack boxes. In case I want to say, stop at the supermarket on my way home. After riding bareback. In the summer.

Because this is really hard to explain
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