Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Sprung,Goat-Herding,Allergies & other Spring Stuff!

Well...Spring Sprung 2015 around N.Central Texas last Friday. Here's a look at the happenings around Aaron's Hilltop Farm...

Fruit Trees in Bloom....Peach,Pear,Nectarine,Plums,Meyer Lemons and Mandarin Orange Tree_the Lemon & Orange Tree winter in the Barn w/ a light.Btw..it's already reached 80 degrees in N.Central Texas!


Anticipating Bluebonnets,Evening Primrose & Wisteria in the front yard & pastures...










...they're not all here yet...but they're coming! And the Grass is growing...so on last Saturday,a cloudy,intermittent rainy day_my Husband decides "NOT" to bring out the regular LAWNMOWER LIKE LAST YEAR....the John Deere Johnny Popper 1939 he restored to "perfection"!
video

...instead...got the REAL LAWNMOWERS to do the work...as in...
video


On the other hand..."NOT" anticipating...POLLEN.COM_



...Or BUGS,Worms that swing from invisible strings from the Oak trees,Copperheads,Alien Grasshoppers,Daddy Long-Legs,Texas size Spiders,etc....
The First Day of Spring...(my BFF's Birthday)_We both go on "Official Worm Watch Patrol" until after April 15th...we report to each other sightings to determine if we're going outside for a month! With 200+ trees on this farm....well...you get the picture...or maybe NOT.Let me paint it for you_they SWING from long invisible strings from tree to tree in "great numbers",crawl everywhere_should it rain the whole area is covered in red slime...GOT THAT PICTURE,YET? 

With Spring having Sprung...

I've been up to Baking with an agenda to get better at Baking Bread...this was Delicious during the Snow Days..."Chocolate Galette Des Rois"




Next up_Povitica & Ube Cupcakes and/or Ube Cake_
Saw this on "PBS Great British Baking Show"
 http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2011/10/baking-povitica-croatian-sweet-walnut-chocolate-bread-for-daring-bakers-better-late-than-never.html

                            Ube Cupcakes or Ube Cake?


And...a Downton Abbey Wine & Tea Tasting on the agenda...
Got my order in for Downton Abbey Cab.Sav...& Republic of Tea Lord Grantham Breakfast Blend...organic Assam black tea w/ginger....can't wait! But of course,Scottie Shortbread & DA Tea Towel,Bohemian Wine Glass & my Grandmother's teacup & saucer from the 1920's!

BTW...Let the Planning begin...this year for my May Birthday Partee_

                                "We're going to PERU"! 


                                   Machu Picchu in Peru 

Can't wait to try...Aji de Gallina


            The yellow aji pepper adds  a mild kick to several Peruvian dishes.  

Although,Spring is not my favorite Season_that would be FALL_then Winter_then Spring_ "I DON'T DO TEXAS SUMMERS"!_ it is a beautiful time of the year.Here's to Spring! 



Awaken to Spring

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

 


Friday, March 6, 2015

TEXAS ....Kicked It Up A NOTCH!



"The Sleet Snow & Ice is White and Nice..Clap,Clap,Clap,Clap...Deep In The Heart Of Texas"! 


Just in case,Y'all are not familiar with that rhyme...here you go_




3/6/15_The overnight snowfall is officially the fourth highest snow total for the month of March in Dallas-Fort Worth area, with 3.4 inches recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport as of 3 a.m.Another tenth of an inch was recorded early Thursday morning, putting the official total at 3.5 inches.The most snow recorded in the area came in 1942, when DFW airport saw just over six inches of snow...
Statistics about this snow event
  • Official snowfall at DFW Airport was 3.5 inches
  • This was our largest snow event since February 2010 (when we had 11.2" on 2/11/10)
  • This was our fourth largest snow event on record in March.
  • The last time we saw this much snow in March was 68 years ago (1947)
  • The highest snowfall amount we've seen is Grapevine with 7.0", Irving appears to be second with 6.2" 


In Case...Y'all don't know where TEXAS is located...


Then there's this...Gorgeous George...(Happiness in Jeans)...

Snapshot of the Day..Texans Don't Drive well in the Snow,Ice & Sleet_HELL,TEXANS Don't Drive Well in Any WEATHER!

 My Farm Photos
Day#1 Sleet & Ice at Aaron's Hilltop Farm  "Skating Rink"...

Day#2 Snow at Aaron's Hilltop Farm "Ski Resort"....

Day#3 "Still Life with Goats" Masterpiece Painting...

& "Still Life with Tommie Hollering for Food outside his Hilltop Farm Townhouse"....

Day#3..."It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"...

"Things I Did on SEVERAL....Snowy/Sleety/Icy Days"...
But of course...Movies,Reading,Quiet Zen Damn Moments, some PBS Shows & Cooking & Baking Time.

Movies :Midsomers Murders:Master Class (# 82 of 94 movies in the Series),Dear White People,The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister,Frankie & Alice,Addicted,The Grand Budapest Hotel,The Tudors Season 2,Two Fat Ladies Season 1 & 2,The Boys From Brazil,Tales from The Royal Bedchambers,A Harlot's Progress.


Reading:Finished "As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust"(Alan Bradley) and "The Best of Everything"(Rona Jaffe)_started on "Ship Of Fools"(Katherine Anne Porter)


Zen Damn Moments... on the Front Porch Swing Bundled up with a mug of Harney & Sons Scottish Breakfast Tea enjoying this "Quiet Snow Storm"...

PBS...Downton Abbey Finale_of which I had already watched because I purchased Season 5_BUT just had to watch again! And,of course,one of my favorite shows of all times Finale_"The Great British Bake-Off"_


Which inspired my Baking of this Beauty_ "A Galette des rois"..


Made my own Almond Flour & added dark, dark cocoa




Delicious!!!

And  from the DVD "Two Fat Ladies"_


Made this dish "Kedgeree" except I used a different Fish_

What a Nice Respite from all of the BS in the World...

But I HEAR TELL THE TEXAS NATIVES ARE RESTLESS....


HAVE A BLESSED & SAFE DAY!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

~"Songs We Were NOT Allow To Listen To"~


Recently,while Dining with my Brother & Sister we talked of our childhood. The Subject Music came up...& by the time we finished we were all ROTFLOBO! First off...my Dad was VERY strict in what his children could or could not do_so I'm gonna cover just the Music here....as the List was long...like I couldn't have a Date for the Jr or Sr Prom...he dropped me off & picked me up! I am NOW so Thankful for his Parenting Stone Age Rules. Oh,Mother had a say...but Dad had the Final Word-Up!

We were reminded of the Song "Stagger Lee" which is running on Stage at present in "The Wyly Theater" in Dallas,Texas. WELL...Daddy said "Stagger Lee " was a bad song...not bad (good)_but a really bad (bad)song. Heck,we just thought it was a good dancing song! The version we heard was recorded by Lloyd Price in 1959...take a listen here....

Come to find out_this song was based on something that really happened...
The historical "Stagger Lee" was Lee Shelton, an African-American pimp living in St.Louis Missouri  in the late 19th century. He was nicknamed "Stag Lee" or "Stack Lee", with a variety of explanations being given for the moniker: he was given the nickname because he 'went "stag"', meaning he was without friends. On Christmas night in 1895, Shelton and his acquaintance William "Billy" Lyons were drinking in the Bill Curtis Saloon. Lyons was also a member of St. Louis' underworld AND A Republican Organizer in the Black Community.Shelton was a Democratic Organizer in the same community....Political & Business Black Rivals! The black vote had gone to the Republicans since the end of the Civil War but times are changing. Eventually, the two men got into a dispute, during which Lyons took Shelton's Stetson hat.Subsequently,Shelton shot Lyons, recovered his hat, and left. Lyons died of his injuries, and Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897. The Jury was packed with White Republicans. He was eventually pardoned in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery, and died in incarceration.  



The Listening devices of the time were HIGH TECH!!My Brother & I talked of how we'd sit on the front porch late night with his Hand-Held_"Transistor Radio"_ picking up Gallatin,Tennessee WLAC.... 
~ 1960's Transistor Radio Latest & Greatest Technology~ 
               Dee Jay John R at WLAC,Gallatin,Tennessee

John R. Top_R&B Deejay_( late 1940s to the early 1970s)_graced the airwaves after dark,when the station's powerful 50,000 watt signal could be heard via skywave across 38 States and parts of the Caribbean.The Real Deal! John R. was a one man show. Arguably, one of the most popular shows among African Americans not only in Nashville, but nearly everywhere WLAC’s signal could be heard. WOW! Did he play some Music!

On those times we were visiting my Grandmother....little did our Parents know that we would listen to Uncle Bubber's "DECCA RECORD" label records_all 78 RPM's!!!! If we could find the Record Album Book (always hidden in some corner)_that looked like this_

...each Record from Decca was in a Record Sleeve_


...and the 78 RPM Record _

Then...we'd play it on the Hi-Fi Stereo_ 


...Because,"Daddy" said these were REALLY bad records & we were NOT allowed to listen to such Trash! Being Teens that made us want to hear this Music more & more...We learned that _"YOU  HAVE TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES"_so, as a result we didn't get it until puberty /hormones set in...take a listen...



 





Okay...so Dinah Washington(she was Not the only one) _who sang risque songs_but you might remember this famous song which is more ,shall I say_Normal...

Another popular Singer my Brother reminded me of was Hank Ballard & the Mid-Nighters. My Brother especially remembers this one ..."The Annie Songs"! Daddy said these were BAD as well...
 But ....Later I was introduced by my Brother (he was in the US Navy by then and on leave)...to this character...WARNING_ "OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE,OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE"......don't go there unless you can handle it.....
("Rudy Red Moore"Dolemite on You Tube).Fast forward to "Old School _BAD_Music" anything by Denise Lasalle or Millie Jackson.... AND,I have no words..Listen at your own risk! 
During this time...along came "American Bandstand" (1957) Hosted by Dick Clark. And this NEW genre of  Music (late 40's & 50's) called Rock & Roll. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various black musical genres of the time, including R &B,Gospel Music,C&W and Pop. And ....Dad's NEW restrictions was none of this "GYRATING HIPS,BUTT MOVEMENTS"!! 







Amazing some of the moves were considered "BAD"....if
you consider Miley Cyrus Twerking Genre of today,Ha!

Then there were songs that my Brother just wore out ...he'd sing them over & over & over. It wasn't that they were BAD song but just "Annoying". Dad(holding back his laughter) had only to threaten my Brother's life a couple of times for him to STOP IT! Here's a couple...



And THIS one ..."I" was gonna personally kill him...he always did the Bass part...Grrrr,I can still hear him sing this song..

Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang
Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue moon moon blue moon dip di dip di dip
Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip
Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang
Ba ba ding a dong ding 



Now,I understand "Why" my Daddy said.....NO!_well on some of this Music anyway! Those were some FUN years....we parted from the Dinner full of Love,Food & Laughter...Daddy would have loved it (RIP 03/18/88)!