Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Carnivore’s Delight

We attended a great banquet on Saturday night, put on by the Lloydminster Fish and Game Association. There was a great variety of meats, mostly wild prepared in a number of different ways: steamed salmon; fried whitefish; moose chow mein; sweet and sour goose;  elk meatballs in mushroom sauce;  roast elk; roast moose; a whole roasted pig and some turkey (pretty sure this was the domestic kind but good nonetheless).  It was fantastic. Two of our boys (one from each family) were also celebrated in the way of a scholarship for one and top scoring mule deer – overall and youth- for another one.  Proud moments for parents. They are definitely not little boys anymore.  It is a great event bringing a diverse group together, connected by their love of hunting and a connection to nature.



Big Red

I watched the movie, Secretariat, last night with two of the kids. What a heartwarming, entertaining movie. And of course, for me there was the horse  theme. There is much to the story that I did not know and it was great to see that a housewife in the late ’60s went against the establishment, so to speak, to save her family’s horse farm. The cinematography of the horse races is well done. The housewife, played by Diane Lane, perserveres along with those that believe in this famous son of  Bold Ruler. One of those is the flamboyant trainer, played by John Malkovich. There are undertones of other issues of the day, such as protesting the war. It is well done and at the end you want to celebrate Big Red winning the Triple Crown, as well as, the triumph of a woman to go after what she believed in. Watch it if you get a chance.



“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

-Luciano Pavarotti

Remember to slow down today and devote your attention to what you are eating.   If you are lucky enough to be eating with someone else, devote some attention to them also.


Home Made Pasta


I made my own spaghetti!  No, I don’t mean that I opened the box and boiled spaghetti by myself.  I mean that I made the dough, kneaded the dough and with mere flour and eggs and a bit of water created spaghetti.  It was amazing, not that difficult, and fun in a way that brought back memories of the cool play dough sets we had as kids.  I remember squishing the multicolored, multi textured, multi germified dough through the fancy shape makers, marveling at my creativity….and trying to feed it to my little sister.  This was like that, but better in a less salty, less germified way.

Here is the recipe for 5 people:

5 cups of pasta or regular white flour

6 eggs

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center.

Break the eggs into the well, and mix them up with a fork until smooth.

With your fingertips gradually work the eggs and flour together until you get smooth dough.  Add some water if you need to cheat a bit.  I did.

Ta da!  You now have pasta dough.  Get it out of the bowl and knead it on your counter top.  This takes longer than you think it will, and it’s a bit of a workout on your fingers, but you can do this.  Keep pushing it around and slamming it onto the counter until it’s quite uniform in texture.  It will be kind of smooth, soft and solid feeling.

Wrap it in a clean damp tea towel so it doesn’t dry out, and with slices of the dough that are about 2” by 4” start rolling it through your pasta maker, following the manufacturer’s directions. 

*I prefer to use Jamie Oliver’s directions which are in his ‘Cook’ cookbook.  That’s because I love Jamie Oliver*………blush………..

But, what if you have come this far and discover that you don’t have a pasta making machine?  Go buy one.  Mine cost $30.00. They are cheap and fun, just like some of the best people you know.  If you prefer not to buy one, you can achieve pasta using a rolling pin on your table top.  Make sure to dust your table top with flour to keep the dough from sticking.  This will work, I’ve seen it done in my kitchen, but it’s more work than using a machine.  Use your rolling pin to flatten the dough to the thickness of a coaster, and cut it into the shapes you want using a boring old knife.  Don’t cut the table.

Have fun making pasta!  For our dinner, we had homemade spaghetti with deer sausage that I cut out of the casings and disguised as meatballs….and canned tomato sauce.  I know, I know, Martha Stewart would have made the sauce too, but I didn’t.  I cannot risk the appearance of perfection and have my family start to expect this on a regular basis.  I need to leave some room for imperfection so they aren’t alarmed the next time we have cereal for supper. 

The spaghetti was amazing.  To cook your homemade noodles, get your water boiling first and drop the noodles in carefully.  There is no need to add oil, just give them a bit of a stir when you first put them into the boiling water, and take them out after cooking them for approximately 3 minutes.  They don’t stick together, and they don’t dissolve into the water as I expected they would.  Jamie Oliver says that you can dry your pasta after it’s rolled, or his preference is to freeze it.  We ate ours all in one evening, but next time I will make extra and freeze it so I can give some away….maybe my little sister would like this better than the play dough.



Great Prairie Author

I just finished the book,  Cool Water by Diane Warren. It is about the residents in small town Saskatchewan near the Sand Hills. I had come across the book in the local section at the McNalley Robinson bookstore in Saskatoon.  It is a very enjoyable book dealing with the day to day challenges and quirks of some of the residents of Juliet. I am always impressed when authors use more than one character’s point of view which the author does quite well. The characters all have their challenges which most of them resolve by the end of the book. Oh yes, there is a horse theme as well.

Food Myths

Food Myths

I must give credit where credit is do and say this idea came from watching Rachael Ray. The theme of today’s show was Food Myths. All sorts of interesting tidbits.

  • Lemon will whiten your teeth but it is too hard on the enamel, so use baking soda instead. (Still not sure what scraping your teeth with metallic instruments during a professional cleaning does, but that is a subject for another time)
  • Beer is a fabulous beverage but did you know it is also great for your hair? It takes out residues and fortifies. Better yet, is apple cider vinegar.  It balances pH, takes out residues and build up, and makes your hair shiny. I think this it is great for farm water.
  • Olive oil is good to clean your face if you have dry skin. So is honey, with its antioxidants antibacterial properties.

 A cheese monger was also on the show and suggested we expand our horizons beyond crackers and cheese and pair it with such things as pickles, edamame, and peanut butter. He also explained that soft cheese is not higher in fat it is actually higher in water. The harder the cheese, the higher the fat content. It is actually the opposite of what you would expect. He even mentioned pecorino cheese, that fabulous cheese from sheep’s milk that we can even get locally, at the Cheesiry .


10 Things I Have Learned From Our Horses


  1. Respect your elders, let them eat first.  If you don’t they are very likely to bite your face or kick your ass.
  2. I will not eat anything that is moldy.  If you offer moldy things for me to eat, I will hack and cough and wobble and collapse until you understand that I don’t like moldy food.
  3. I refuse to poop while I’m walking.  On a good day, you might get me to pee and walk, but I insist on taking a break when I need to poop.
  4. If something is in your nose, blow it out.  If this offends someone they shouldn’t stand so close.
  5. Sometimes I don’t want to comb my hair.  I am perfectly fine with cutting the knots out later.
  6. If no one wants to play with you, just keep running in circles around them until they can’t resist.  Eventually they will chase you just to make you go away.
  7. If you are scared of the dog, run and hide behind someone who isn’t.   They will chase him away or stomp him into the dirt for you.
  8. If you find yourself on an upward climb, you should run to the top.  No sense wasting time.
  9. Sometimes the person offering you a bucket of goodies is actually fooling you into a trap and there are no goodies at all.  That sucks, so don’t let it happen twice.
  10.  When you come to see me, you should always bring a treat.


Grandma Shirley

By Kelly

Shirley Moffat (Hamilton) was born in 1908. She passed away last year and we held her funeral on her 102nd birthday. It seems strange but it certainly made the day more of a celebration, as it should be.  Shirley was a fantastic grandmother and great grandmother, warm and kind. She witnessed a myriad of changes in her long life. Since her passing I find myself drawn to stories of women in the early 1900s. One of those was Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls. It was a good book with a strong female character. It makes me think of Grandma. We miss her but have many great memories.

Little Big Guy

Guess who is the fastest?

Taco is the name of the guy in the front. I always had an aversion to these ponies and balked a number of times when our son wanted one. However, after earning some money of his own and finding the horse-pony from a friend of ours,  I gave in.  They have taken a couple of driving clinics and the boy has taught Taco how to drive. Initially he was worrried about Taco being turned out with the five big geldings. But as Taco can wiggle through most fences he soon ended up with  the big guys and he can definitely hold his own. In fact they all escaped last week and were racing away from so-called captivity. Guess who was the leader of the pack when they were all running flat out?  Taco. Apparently he has yet to figure out he is actually the smallest, by a long shot.  Below they are all out for a jog, not the high speed version.

Great Christmas Presents

Despite it seeming like quite some time ago already, eventhough we still have our tree up, I wanted to share some of the special hits of Christmas. We had a local artisan make a special necklace for my mom. It has a silver paw print and a small gem. I had seen one at the SPCA Dinner Theatre and contacted the artisan, Dawn Floen of . She was willing to custom make one within our desired price range. What a truly unique gift for the hard to buy for. One of the fun gifts came from one daughter to another and was an ice cream maker from Wholesale Sports. It is made of hard plastic and shaped like a soccer ball. After loading it with ingredients and ice and salt it needs to be shaken and rolled for half an hour. Great fun and fabulous treat. Paradise Hill Farm Supply was also the location of a number of gifts. Terra and I really think it is great when someone asks where we got that gorgeous coat, nice earrings, sweet perfume, funky sandals, cool tea towel, to answer, “Paradise Hill Farm Supply.”  Our kids think you might be a redneck when the bulk of the presents come from outdoors or western stores. We were definitely spoiled.