Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Time Traveler Arrived in my Home Today ...

Vintage Arpege

A time traveler arrived at my home today. A vintage bottle of Arpege. Arpege from before the reformulation that took it from a difficult complex masterpiece to yet another insipid floral.

I found it on eBay.  Yes, I know. Someone's grandmother's old left over perfume.  Liquid Gold, if you can wear it. I said if.  Arpege either works with your body chemistry, or it does not. Difficult. Either you have a strong enough personality to wear this perfume, or it wears you. Complicated. The original Arpege glides through several stages as the scent develops.  Aldehydes and citrus become Rose and Lilly of the Valley, the Rose lingers, then,  ... finally, the glorious Sandalwood and Musk (e n t i r e l y missing from the reformulation to my nose) begin to radiate through the Rose. Masterpiece.

My mother wore this perfume for special occasions, it is one of my most distinct memories of her. Arpege was my every day, all occasion perfume starting in my early twenties through the reformulation. It wasn't just a perfume that didn't smell like every third girl at the mall, it was my Achilles Shield in the world.

To me this perfume is the far off sound of rolling thunder, the glowing embers after a fire, the last moments of twilight before sunset.  Not for everyone, not made anymore, the world is a lesser place because of it. A time traveler arrived at my home today and transported me back decades. I believe that I will stay there.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Controversy over the Proposed Hancock-Seneca Wind Energy Center

Controversy over the Proposed Hancock-Seneca Wind Energy Center ... is, what is that phrase? Oh. A tiny tempest in a very big teapot.  A whirlwind in a wash tub.  So far anyway.    

As I stated in my last post on the subject,   And when the wind blows ...  I am smack in the middle of the proposed wind farm.  I do not have a lease for a wind turbine, nor will I, due to the proximity of turbines on neighboring farms.  I am fine with the project.  We need to start somewhere in developing alternate energy sources.  

My plan is to comment on the entire scope of the project, as I will be able to see a great deal of it directly from my windows. As I said, I am in favor, but I intend to present an objective report from the view of an affected but financially  disinterested viewpoint.

The links below will take you to three articles on the project, all seem informative and fair.  The comments are interesting.  Mostly they are negative, and strangely familiar to the negative comments that appear for ANY project from which the complainers don't benefit financially.  Destruction of the environment.  Dead wildlife.  Sick headaches caused by (fill in the blank project).

Review Times - September 21, 2011,2011,Sep,21&c=n

Advertiser Tribune October 5, 2011

The Courier October 5, 2011

warmest regards


View From A Farmhouse Window

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Batch Chicago Style Cheesecake recipe (48 servings)

Quick Note Folks:

Yes, absolutely you have time to make this before Thanksgiving, if you do it today.  Cheesecake tastes better if it sits in the fridge for a day.  Well, it does.  I made this recipe again yesterday, while I was making chili.  Seriously, mixing this together takes about 15 minutes, the baking not quite an hour.  Cool, wrap, into the fridge.

Now I did something different this time with the crust.  Saved a bunch of time.  I bought a package of Pillsbury ready made pie crust (the package that has 2 rolled single crusts for a 9 inch pie).  I used that for the bottom crust.  Line the bottom of 2 of  the spring-form pans, trim the excess, piece together the bottom of the third.  Do not pre-bake the crust, just pour the cake batter in on top and bake as directed for the cake.  Worked dandy.

If you don't need 3 cheese cakes, divide the ingredients by 3.

It Is All About The Cheesecake!

Note before you start -- this recipe makes 3 nine inch round cheesecakes. (48 servings)
Cheesecake freezes beautifully.
CrustPreheat oven to 325 degrees
In medium sized bowl combine:
3 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon grated lemon peel (from real fresh lemons not the dried stuff in the jar)
Mix well, then add
1 Cup softened butter (real butter, I use salted butter, if you prefer sweet butter, that works fine too. I have no idea what fake butter or shortening will do to this recipe and I don't want to know, if you try either, please do not tell me.)

Mix again until all ingredients are combined. You should be able to easily form a pliable ball from the dough with your hands.
Pliable like pie crust or play dough, not sticky.
If the dough seems stiff or wont form a ball - add water one tablespoon at a time until you can form a pliable ball.
Divide the dough into three pieces. Smash the dough into the bottom only of three nine inch spring form or straight sided cake layer pan. You can get all neat about it and roll the dough out and cut a nice circle then lay that in the bottom of the pan, but you were just smooshing the dough around with your hands to form a ball then divide it in three so you decide if you want to get out a rolling pin.

Bake the crust in your preheated (you did preheat -- right?) oven for 10 minutes. You don't want the crust to brown, just set, it will finish browning when you bake the cheesecake.
CheesecakeRemove your pans from the oven, set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees.

In a very large bowl combine
9 eight ounce packages of softened cream cheese.  
(single cake = 3 packages)
3 cups sugar (single cake = 1 cup)
1/3 cup all purpose flour (Single cake = use 2 tablespoons flour) 
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon peel (Single cake = 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla (single cake = 1/2 teaspoon)

Mix -Mix - Mix -- mix until well blended

then add
7 eggs (I use extra large eggs -- but cheesecake is pretty forgiving so if you use large or jumbo it should not make a huge difference. If you use small eggs, you are on your own.)
(single cake = 2 eggs)
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (single cake 1/4 cup)
Mix until well combined. Pour cheesecake mixture into your prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for around 50 minutes. Cheesecake is done when only the middle 2 inches of the cake jiggle when you move the pan slightly. Take the cakes out of the oven to cool. The middle will finish setting while the cake cools.
After the cake has cooled run a spatula around the outside of the cake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Do not remove the side of the spring form pan at this point. Cover cake with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to chill at least four hours before serving. If you are going to freeze the cake, skip the refrigerator and put the plastic wrapped cake right into the freezer.
Raspberry Sauce
2 cups frozen whole raspberries
1 cup sugar
Place the raspberries and the sugar into a heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat until the berries are thawed and stirring combines the berries and the sugar into a liquid. Increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the "jell" stage on a candy thermometer.
Chill sauce and serve over slices of cheesecake.
One nine inch cake should be cut into at least 16 slices.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I walk in Wild Dog Wood when my soul needs rest.

 I walk in Wild Dog Wood when my soul needs rest.

I listen to the wind dancing with the leaves and I look into the green until the day's events are washed away. That process helps me to see things that I have walked by before, but never took the time to notice.  Today my eyes happened upon some of the fall mushrooms that appear in late September, linger a few weeks then disappear for another year.  Looking at some beautiful absolutely white mushrooms, thinking only that they would make for a lovely photo, I did not realize how close I was standing to deadly danger.  The winged white mushrooms pictured below are appropriately named Destroying Angel.  They are deadly poisonous.

The glowing orange beauties below I have looked at many times over the years, marveled at their bright pumpkin color then I walked on.  This year I poked around the internet and discovered something that I never suspected. 
 Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms, if you happen to come upon one in the pitch black dark, glow from underneath.  I didn't know that when I took the photograph this evening.  I read about it after.  Then, of course, I waited 'till dark, walked back through the woods, turned off my flashlight, and waited.  Waited until my eyes adjusted to the dark, and then, slowly, a very faint greenish blue glow started to appear from underneath (the gills) of these mushrooms.  It turns out to be true.  Jack-O-Lantern mushrooms are faintly  bio-luminescent, underneath.  Of note, jack-o-lantern mushrooms are also mildly poisonous, not at all safe to eat not safe for children to handle, despite how very interesting they are.

So tonight, my View From A Farmhouse Window includes deadly poisonous beauty and glowing  gills.;postID=1144743580896688735

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Had An Idea For A Blog ...

I had an idea for a blog.  One about life on a farm, in the mid-west from the viewpoint of a city girl moved out to the country.  That blog would include the best photos that I could take, slices of life, and sometimes recipes.  That was the idea, anyway.  That it turned out to be much, much more is a function of how lonely and difficult life out in the middle of farm no-where can be. Truth is farm life for women can be too many hours alone or in the too cold or too hot, all doin' what needs doin' until you drop with no  time or energy left over for dreaming.  Silly useless activity anyway, dreaming. But.

 View From A Farmhouse Window started with Kites and Dogs and almost Spring Air.  I wrote a memorial to my Father and a wooden boat on a river.  Mourned a loss.    Had a Mad Hatter Day.  One entry was devoted to Diesel Fuel and Dance Cards.  Then, of course, the railroad. I told an An Easter Story.   I talked about hunters (and I have no doubt that they are still talking about me all these years later).     Then a surprise substitution of trailer brake work for girly time  followed by And Then The Cat Fell Into the Bathtub.  I wrote about walks in Wild Dog Woods and how a good dog can make you believe in forever, and then I wrote about the day that I lost my beloved Golden (I re-read it again just now and I am crying again).  I poured my heart into View From A Farmhouse Window, because all too often out here, a gal just has to do it or break down.

As the years spun out View From A Farmhouse Window became where I went to remember, to dream, to talk to the fine people that stopped by.  I made some wonderful friends first on AOL, then here, then here and on View From A Farmhouse Window mirrored and more on my own site.  The photos from AOL didn't translate here, I didn't take the time to go back and re link them, but that doesn't mean that my heart wasn't in each and every one of those posts.  I lived for the time that I spent here.

Why on earth am I going on like this?  Before I started View From A Farmhouse Window in February of 2004, I did a search on the name to ensure that I wasn't stepping on anyone's toes. It was a great name for a Blog about farm life from the perspective of a city girl transplanted to the country.   I had it all to myself.  Did for more than half a decade.  If I wanted to look up an old post all I had to do was search on the title.

Just yesterday, to my absolute horror, I discovered that about a year ago someone had elbowed her way in, plopped her insensitive behind down in the middle of my world, put her feet up and made herself right at home.  No, I don't OWN the title View From A Farmhouse Window, but I do own  don't click it you are here already.

Perhaps it was just an "accident" that she decided upon a blog about life on a farm from the viewpoint of a city girl moved to the country with photos and slices of life and sometimes recipes.  Perhaps it was "coincidence" that she chose see the dashes inbetween? and that she titled her blog "View From A Farmhouse Window" complete freaking coincidence.  E-x-a-c-t-l-y  t-h-e  s-a-m-e b-l-o-g,    E-x-a-c-t-l-y T-h-e S-a-m-e N-a-m-e.  

I know that I am not fooling anyone, I have no doubt that she did a search, found view taken, then just added dashes between the words, because, well, you know, she wanted to use the name. I wish that I could say that her blog isn't beautifully written, it is.  I wish that I could say that the photos aren't top notch (almost commercial quality) they are gorgeous.  The thing is, as slick as it is, she stole my safe place, my heart and she did it on purpose. I am heartsick (and nosebleed angry). I can't do anything about the doppelganger blog, she is (barely) within her rights.  Maybe it is of no matter, can you imagine the Karma she has bought for herself?  The Karma Train runs in a circle and her Karma train is running 'round in a circle to hit her from behind.

Well that, and I can out write anyone (almost), I can take pretty pictures, and, clearly, I am the only View From A Farmhouse Window that has any creativity.

Clouds and Corn ... Because I can

Rain Today ....

The morning rain keeps on a rainin' despite the work that it did all night.  Must have been working, had the work lights lightening on all night.  Blasting too, sounded like.  Rain go to Texas!