New Camera Kitty Photoshoot…

DSC_0158Miss Jessy got a new camera for Christmas and has been learning to use it!

And of course, she had to try a little photo shoot with her beautiful kitty, Sophie!

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Learning is always a fun thing when you add kitties!

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Trip to King Lumber…

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We learned about another nice lumber shop that is a bit closer to our house and we just had to make a trip over and check them out!  Just a little west of Wauseon!  (And the county fairgrounds!)  They offer all local and native species of wood, milled and processed right there in the shop!

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Maggie was in heaven!  Lots and lots of beautiful lumber to pick from…

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This area was her favorite, however…  a bunch of cut offs and discounted shorter pieces of beautiful wood.  Since she’s not building furniture or floors, she doesn’t need super nice long pieces.  She can work with 2 footers and less.  I think we spent about 2 hours just going through all the beautiful pieces!

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We even talked about harvesting a black walnut tree on the homestead!  Now, wouldn’t that be something…  a beautiful black walnut loom made from actual Windhaven lumber!  It takes up to a year to dry the lumber once it is cut!  We will have to think about it…  it would be something neat to do at some point!

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We also filled up the truck with slab wood to heat the shop!  You can’t go wrong with cheap hardwood slab wood.  It burns great and is easy to handle.  Especially for our two wood stoves.  They are not big stoves, so we can cut the slab wood to just the right size to fit our stoves nicely!

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Since we were over that way and hungry, we decided to stop at one of our favorite places to eat…  Das Essen Haus!  Real good Amish buffet.  Oh my goodness.  You just HAVE to be hungry and ready to eat at this place.  We don’t go too often but when we do, you can count on the fact that you will not eat for the rest of the day and you better be ready for a nice nap!  It’s like Thanksgiving on demand!

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Super yummy salads and soups…

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Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole and all the fixings!  Delish!!!

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And a plate of goodies for desert!  (Jessy and I shared this plate so we could get a little taste of everything!!!)  It was just so darn good and so reasonably priced…  Just a lovely little field trip!

We’ll be back!!!

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French Onion Soup…

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I don’t know about you, but I love French onion soup…  And I always thought it was something hard to make!  Guess what?  It’s not!!!

You need just a few ingredients…  Onions…  some beef broth, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some butter and cheap red wine!  That’s about it.  Oh, and some spices to flavor…  a bit of salt and perhaps a little garlic or herb mix.

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First thing…  chop up a couple big onions.  I used a sweet variety, but really, just about any will do.   I cut up 4 large ones.  And then you add a stick of butter and sauté the onions until they are nice and soft, slightly caramelized.  The trick is not to rush it all.

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Then, add a cup of red wine.  I thought this was rather fun because of the rooster on the label and the fact that it was $6.  It really doesn’t have to be fancy wine at all.

Then add a dash of Worchestershire sauce…  I put in a couple good shakes of the bottle…  and add in two boxes of beef broth.  One box is 32 ounces, so I guess that means add in 64 ounces!    I added in a little bit of water as well, just to cover up the onions nicely.

And then, you simmer for a good long time.  The longer the better, really.  Not hot at all.  In fact some people like to throw it all into a crock pot for 5 or 6 hours!

When I read about how this was actually a peasant food…  made easily with some beef bone broth, leftover wine and cheap onions…  simmered for a long time and then eaten with older, stale bread and a bit of cheese, it made sense!  It was just delicious!   I simmered my pot on the stove for about 2 hours.

Dressed it up with a few croutons and some shaved Parmesan cheese!    You can use other types of cheese as well…  I think Swiss would be delightful.

Just a nice easy homestead warming soup!  And it smells divine!!!!   IMG_4175

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