Monday, January 26, 2015


We had our first real snow of the season over the weekend. We've had a few light dustings here and there but this was the first snow that amounted to anything.

Sunday 25 January

I don't mind the snow so much. L loves the snow!


I really *hate* the cold. This was enough snow to cover the treacherous frozen ground so we got out there and rode for the first time in weeks.

I used a saddle. Sometimes L gets a little frisky charging around those snow covered fields. It was so nice to get out there and ride. I see lots of animals follow our trails in the woods. We used to follow the deer trails. Then we started making our own trails. The New England woods can be very deceptive. They appear to be quite thick, and they are, but down on ground level they can be surprisingly open. It's because of all the shade. So now I see the deer and the coyotes are out there using our trails!

An epic blizzard is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. And apparently the population is in a panic. Supermarkets open extra hours being stripped clean. I don't get it. I *really* don't get it. This is coastal New England. We can have crippling storms almost any time of year. In the winter we have blizzards. In the summer we have hurricanes. In the fall we have nor'easters. Spring is usually pretty quiet. So you keep candles handy. A couple days worth of canned food. And don't forget a good book!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mad Face!

Sitting on the couch can be a little chilly this time of year. Sometimes I cross my arms and tuck my cold fingers underneath. And Oliver just can't help himself. He sees my fingertips peak out from under my armpits and sinks his claws in them. I spin around and scream "NO! BAD CAT! BAD CAT!" and what do I get?

The Mad Face

I swear if the Little Bastard wasn't so funny I'd send him packing.

But then I just might miss my...constant companion.

Here we are counting change from the mason jar

And here we are doing dishes at the sink...

What? I'm in the way?

He has *tons* of personality. As soon as I put on my shoes and coat he runs and lies down at the door...

No you can't leave!

He's cute as can be and he goes all dead weight. Make no mistake. Pick him up and he's all claws and teeth. I kind of have to work him away from the door with my shoe. Or barn bag. You'd think he'd be happy to be rid of me. I spend most of the time chasing him around yelling "YOU LITTLE BASTARD" while spraying him with a squirt bottle.

But every once in a while he's rather sweet. And he is getting fatter and lazier all the time. He's over 2 years old now. It will be so nice when he's sleeping 22 hours a day!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rum Glazed Salmon?

I can fix salmon hundreds of ways. No. Countless ways. From a homemade Filet-O-Fish to en papillote and everything in between.

I often do a maple mustard glaze with dill. Or teriyaki. Salmon is wonderful with a teriyaki sauce.

I was inspired by this Bourbon Glazed Salmon recipe but...didn't have any bourbon in the house. Shocking. I know. I gave it some thought and decided I'd use some dark rum I had in the pantry.

Now who wouldn't want to eat this?

Here's what I did:
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 1 lime
My cooking is generally "little bit of this and little bit of that". Adjust those amounts to whatever might suit your taste. That made enough for maybe a pound of fish. I mixed everything except the lime juice in a bag. I added my skinless salmon fillets (wild Atlantic Salmon) and marinated for 5 hours or so in the refrigerator.

An hour before cooking the fish I added the lime juice to the bag. I didn't want the acid in the lime juice to mess up the texture of the fish.

I put a cast iron skillet in my oven and preheated the oven to 425° F. While the oven was heating I poured the marinade into a small sauce pan and reduced it.

I put the fish on the cast iron skillet skin side up. This way the fish gets a nice sear on it. Follow the 10 minutes in the oven per inch of fish rule. My fillets took about 7 minutes. Check them often! About a minute or so before I thought the fish was done I spooned the reduced marinade over it so it would glaze.

I paired it with a Pinot Noir. I'm not sure I even have the words to describe how good it was. Really a stellar dish.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

One Bored Mare

L is a big, strong, healthy vibrant horse. There's no way I can work her long enough or hard enough to tire her out. I can ride hard for 3 hours and she's still fresh as a daisy. I've often thought we should maybe take up endurance riding! And...she's smart. So it's hard to distract her sometimes and keep her entertained.

Couple of months ago she began tormenting her stablemates in the night. Now, I think this is hilarious. She'd chew holes in her wall and peak at her neighbors through the holes. And of course then they'd scream and kick and she was really making her little sister P all kinds of upset. And obviously not everyone thought this was so funny. Besides. Not good for her to be chewing wood. After the *3rd* time a wall was kicked *down* I had to do something. Mares tend to have a lot of, personality. Even when they're not in heat.

More hay wasn't going to help. She blows through hay like a demon. Besides. She's too fat. As a temporary measure we put her nighttime hay in a hay net so she'd have to work at it. And ...she got really mad. L isn't the kind of horse that would find a Jolly Ball very entertaining. Then there's those Likit things which are expensive and don't last hardly an hour.

L likes to nibble on things and flap her lips. You know that thing you do with your finger where you flap your lips? Well..L likes to do that. Sometimes she'll even furiously flap her lips on your forehead. And she likes to rub her teeth on rough surfaces. This time of year one of her favorite things is to (again, *furiously*) run her teeth up and down your jacket zipper. Try putting a bridle on when she's doing that! So I got her one of these...

The Pas-A-Fier

At first...she didn't pay it much attention. But night..our barn manager noticed a quiet unfamiliar an otherwise pretty quiet barn. And I noticed the nubs getting chewed on a little and...the shaft where it sits in the brackets is shiny. And now the footing has been treacherous. All kinds of frozen ridges and sheets of ice under the snow. The horses have been in their stalls for almost a week now and it's very stressful. And that Pas-A-Fier has been rolling to beat the band all night long. No new holes in the wall. Nobody screaming and kicking in the night. I wish I'd bought two of them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fish Sticks Again?!

Yes! Fish sticks are a favorite!

Wild Atlantic Salmon Fish Sticks

This is my universal fish stick recipe you just can't beat.
  • Fish. Whatever you like. Salmon, cod, haddock, halibut, pollock, trimmed into fish stick size pieces.
  • Whole wheat flour
  • 1 or 2 eggs depending on the amount of fish, beaten, with a tablespoon or 2 of water
  • Whole wheat bread crumbs
Here's what you do:

Heat your oven to 450° F.
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dust the fish in whole wheat flour, shake off the excess, dip into the beaten egg mixture, dip into the whole wheat bread crumbs to coat, put them a on a cookie cooling rack. Put the cookie cooling rack on a half sheet pan and put the fish sticks in a 450° oven for just 6 or 8 minutes. I follow the 10 minute per inch of fish rule and check early. When the breading goes golden brown and they barely start to flake they're done.

I've made salmon, cod, haddock, halibut and pollock fish sticks all with this single recipe. The salmon I find is especially good. Biting into a fish stick and finding salmon inside is just *crazy*. Of course you can use any kind of bread crumbs but I find bread crumbs from homemade bread will make a real difference.

Salmon Fish Sticks Up Close. Ridiculously good.

This is the very same recipe I use for homemade Filet-O-Fish. I use a sandwich sized fish fillet and I do the exact same thing with it and have it on a bun. With <gasp>cheese. Aw c'mon, who doesn't like a Filet-O-Fish?

Mix some mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and lemon juice for a nice homemade tartar sauce. For salmon I mix up a sauce using mayonnaise, dill, a splash of lemon juice and a little bit of maple syrup. [Edited to add]: And I put a spot of Dijon mustard in that mix for salmon.

Hunting season is over! We're so very happy to be back in the fields and woods. We stay very close to the barn during hunting season.

Happy New Year!
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