How to deal with mud.

January 26, 2012

How to deal with mud?  Don’t.  Yesterday I was thinking it would be dry enough to work the footing in the arena and work some horses today.  Wrong.  It took until at least noon for the ground to thaw.   Which means the moisture didn’t start moving through the ground until then.  This is what it looked like at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Yummy, standing water with mud underneath.  I tried walking in the arena and realized I would definitely get the tractor stuck out there.   Maybe tomorrow I can work horses.

Here’s how my day started.  Bruce wanted out first thing, so I let him out the front door and saw that my chickens were roaming about.  Crap!  I forgot to close them in last night.  I treat the flock of hens with the rooster kind of like a Koi pond.  I don’t have a specific count of how many there are, but as a unit they should have a certain look.  As near as I can tell they still look the same, so I’m under the impression none were lost to coyotes.

Then I went out back to let Karat out of her stall.  (She is being prepped for the breeding season by keeping her under lights for part of the night, simulating summer light which makes her body think it is breeding season.)  As I stepped out the door, a little yellow head was in the pen directly behind the house.  Exactly where it didn’t belong.  There was also a small sorrel and bay out there.  Yes, the babies (yearlings) had gotten into the pasture with two of the older horses.  As I held my breath to prepare for the worst – blood, babies being crashed into fences by bigger/older horses, miles of fence down – I realized there was no catastrophe.  In fact the palomino filly was holding her own with Ki.  (She’s so in love with him.)  The colts were sticking to themselves.

I traipsed out to put the babies back where they belonged and at least put a band-aid on the fence.  There was mud right by the barn where they all hang out.  Once I was thirty feet away from there the ground was frozen with a nice crust of snow on top still.  The colts came running up to me.  Probably trying to tattle on the filly, that it was her fault the fence was broken and it was her idea that they should all be in the same pen with the grown up horses and it was because of her that they couldn’t figure out how to get back to their pen.  Uh-huh, yeah, sure.  After I got everyone sorted out to where they were supposed to be, I did a red-neck fix on the fence.  It held through the day.  Fixing fence is someone else’s department and they didn’t get to it.  Maybe tomorrow, huh?

This is what you do when you are a princess filly after you got to run around with the big horses and seriously flirt with your crush earlier in the day.

You nap on a bed of hay the colts made,

and eat some when you feel like it.  BTW, don’t you just love the look of a muddy horse!  I have no idea how she got her hip that covered in mud.

So what did I do all day?  I made stuff in the kitchen.  I knew it was cold enough in the morning that I could concoct things until noonish.  I watched for the snow to melt off the driveway.  When that happened I went out to see if there was any possible hope for the day.  Not seeing any, I took pictures of mud and a muddy baby horse.

So here’s what I made and what I thought of it.

BarBQ Pulled Chicken to make into sandwiches for dinner.  I’d include a link, but I just kind of throw stuff in the crock pot for this and stop when it smells good.  This one had about three or four pounds of chicken thighs (skin on, bone in), a can of pineapple tidbits, a roughly chopped red onion, a yellow bell pepper, a red bell pepper, about 5 cloves of garlic, a bottle of BarBQ sauce, a bottle of hard cider and a jalapeno pepper.  I shouldn’t have used as much liquid (probably could have eliminated most of the cider) as it turned out soupy.  Good, but soupy.

Scotch Eggs.  Sausage and egg married together in loving harmony.  The first place I saw this was in the 30-page sample of Well Fed.  Then I saw a slightly different version at Mark’s Daily Apple.  The version I made was closer to the one at MDA.  I think next time I will try to just bake them like Melissa does in Well Fed.  Not that I mind frying things up a bit, but I had them in the oven for about 20 minutes anyhow before the sausage was cooked even with frying them to start with.  Why bother with grease and potential grease burns (or actual ones, like I wound up with) if it doesn’t hurry things up.

You need to know that I don’t care much for hard-boiled eggs.  Just have never been something that I enjoy.  In a salad they’re ok.  Sort of.  Sometimes I avoid salads that have hard-boiled eggs in them.  These were really good.  I ate one warm in a bowl, it would have been great with a little bit of ranch or mayo.  I used chorizo sausage which added tons of flavor and pretty well masked the stinky boiled egg-ness of it.  I have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow and will likely make them again.

Yesterday (I think, but it might have been the day before) I saw this recipe for Flourless Crack Brownies.  Pretty much any combination of chocolate and peanut butter has me thinking it will be a good thing.  What I love about this recipe and how Brittany has it laid out is that it is so flexible.  Also, the options.  The options that she says are ok and that she encourages you to do what you need to do are awesome!  Yumminess.  Mine were made with normal powdered sugar (trying to use it up and get it out of the house) and mostly almond butter, but didn’t quite have enough so I added a little bit of peanut butter from the near empty jar that I’m planning to not replace when it’s all gone, also I used gluten free oats (again, trying to use them up and get them gone – now that I’m not making granola for my mornings).  I think I shall now semi-worship Brittany as a kind, helpful kitchen goddess.  She has tons of other recipes that look absolutely amazing.  I also love that she is not at all fazed by someone being upset at her calling these Crack Brownies.  Seriously, some people need to get a sense of humor and a life.

I’m almost positive that either part of this recipe could stand on it’s own.  The brownie part would be a flourless tort.  It would be way better and cheaper than the semi-ok one they sell at Trader Joe’s.  The Nut Butter topping would totally work as no bake cookies.  In fact one thing to note in making these is to not mix the topping up too early.  I would suggest timing it be ready as you take the brownies out.  If not, do not sample it, unless you have very good self-control.  I had to walk out of the kitchen and wait for the timer on the brownies, other wise I was going to just set there and pick away at that nutty delicious mess until it was all gone.  Needless to say, the finished combination is heavenly and is calling me back for another bite right now.

Finally, I made grain free flat bread to use as buns for my BarBQ sandwich.  Stupid easy and quick to make, I just mixed mine in a measuring cup and really followed directions (for once!).  They did spread and poof up a little.  I like coconut, I just wasn’t expecting to taste it here.  Not because I didn’t think the taste would carry through, but because I was expecting (normal) buns.  Totally my screw up for having wrong expectations.  These did a good job of sopping up the extra liquid of the BarBQ.  I think for me to love these I need to use expeller pressed coconut oil, to cut down some on the coconutty taste.

Oh and I threw together cole-slaw quick too.  Don’t be too impressed, the cabbage was prepared (from a bag) and the dressing was store bought.  It hit the spot with the chicken though.

I’m off to double check that all my birds are locked up for the night.

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