Comestibles, clickables and a soon-to-be sad goat

Henry Mountains rising out of a fog that stretched to the Utah-Colorado border, viewed from Boulder Mountain

Henry Mountains rising out of a fog bank that stretched to the Utah-Colorado border.
Viewed from Boulder Mountain about 35 miles away on 29 November 2013.

Poor Tommie the goat. All evidence suggests that he was only 50% wethered. As in grew the equipment on one side but not the other. R bought a burdizzo tool to finish the job, but then it was Thanksgiving and we had too much going on. Then it got cold, too cold to stress him in subzero degree weather. Then there were other reasons I forgot. It turns out we are wimps when it comes to doctoring our own. And this week, practically the first minute it warmed up and the herd had some free time away from the feeder where they load up on fuel to keep warm, Duchess swished her tail at him in a provocative way. Time to call a vet. Tommie goes on a car ride on Monday to meet Dr. Utley. It’s an hour each way. I might wear earplugs.

Worthwhile things to click

Here’s a reason for a road trip, not that you’ll get to see it. Scientists mapping Carlsbad Caverns discovered a new cave. While you are visiting, subscribe to the National Parks Traveler Newsletter and you will discover tons more reasons to plan a road trip.

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Have you always wanted to live in a hobbit house? Turns out you can build one, essentially for free by dumpster diving, so long as you don’t have to pull a permit in your location. This guy in the UK put his up for around US$300. (Skip is British for dumpster, BTW).

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Sharin Smelser’s is a photographer who arranges images into quilt patterns; the results are mesmerizingly beautiful.

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People who work out regularly are people who want to eat healthy food, right? So it seemed to these brilliant folks at CrossFit gyms. Part of their training program is a paleo-type diet, one that their clients had a hard time sourcing at their local grocery stores. The CrossFit folks found local farmers to distribute grass-fed meat and local produce through the gyms. Convenience for the members, enthusiastic clientele for the farmers, everybody wins. Read more about the Farm-to-Gym Movement from Modernfarmer.com

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More in the meat department: I forwarded this article to R and now he wants to make our own bacon. I love reading Erica’s blog at Northwest Edible Life, if only for the dope slaps on how to do cool and useful stuff in the kitchen. Next time I order from Amazon.com I’ll be getting the red salt for our bacon experiment.

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This recipe for Green Tomato Pie Filling, in case you are wondering, is delicious. I made 5 quarts of it in October in a desperate attempt to clear the kitchen counter of excess produce. It sounded a bit like mincemeat, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. And there are no actual instructions on how to use it once you open the jar. I gutted it up and made a pie with it for Thanksgiving. A great round of applause resulted. Put anything in a lard pie crust and you will likely get a round of applause, unless you are feeding vegans. Anyway, I just dumped the whole jar into a single crust (no top) and baked. Yum. We only have 4 jars left and that doesn’t seem like enough to last the winter. The spices are a bit strong. We like it that way, but if your family doesn’t like bold seasonings, you might start with half the spices and taste before bottling.

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It seems like I have tried nearly every pie crust recipe on the internet and never found one that was bullet-proof. Until this one from The Food Lab at the Serious Eats site. It explains why crusts get flaky, and how to make it so. I substituted lard for a third of the butter. We use lard from Christiansen’s Family Farm, unless we are feeding vegan friends. Then I don’t use lard, even though it tastes better and is actually not going to kill you if the pigs are raised well, unlike the silver-foil wrapped blox of hydrogenated fats and GMO-laden soybean oil that came to be the defacto lard substitute when the nutrition police got their shorts in a knot about fats. R buys our lard at Tony Caputo’s in Salt Lake and brings it here in his cooler. I make pie. We eat well. R says we live in a restaurant.

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We are taking green tomato hand pies to the Christmas Bird Count pre-count potluck tonight. I will make a vegan friendly version, just in case. Who are you cooking for this week?