Archives for April 2011

Princess Kate

So although I liked some of the suggestions for names and was leaning towards Pippa, I found all of the kids were calling her Princess Kate all day today, so I guess Princess Kate it is. At least for now.

I’m not sure if you could see it in any of the photos yesterday, but she has two very large holes in her ears from the number tags assigned to her when she was born at Whitmore Farm. They removed them when I was there since she wouldn’t be needing them anymore, but is left with a large hole in each ear that will slowly heal up over time — a lot like an ear piercing.

Well, I couldn’t let an opportunity like this slip by, so today I stuck some chandelier earrings in those holes and got a few pictures.

Princess Kate

She was still getting tormented and abused by Cissy and Melina today, but nothing horrible. Just an occasional body slam or nip. Most of the time they got along pretty well. I figure within a few days they’ll all be best friends. That, or Melina will have her own baby to worry about. She’s due next Monday/Tuesday


The Morning Jump

When we go to Maine every summer for a week to Jim's family's old camp house it's tradition that Jim and the kids jump naked into Round Pond when they wake up in the morning. This photo catches the 'joy of the jump' perfectly (without revealing anything).

Meet the New Addition & Construction Update

Here she is! My Tennessee Fainting Goat. We haven’t seen her actually faint yet, but she has gotten stiff-legged a few times.

It was a long two days driving down to Maryland and back, but it was worth it once I got her. We haven’t decided on a name yet. India wants Belle, but I think that too Disney. Even though I didn’t watch one minute of the royal wedding, I kind of like Princess Kate for her. She’s very dainty.

She was wonderful on the drive home. I think she only bleeated 3 times the entire drive. But man, did she scream when I took her out of the crate at home!

Cissy and Melina didn’t know what to think about her. It was interesting to watch them with her. Cissy pretty much stood off to the side and pouted, while Melina had the hair up on her back and was literally panting. Rather than the normal head-butting for seniority, on several occasions Melina rammed her body. She was also licking her and tried a few bites. She did settle down a bit by the evening and they were eating some hay cautiously together.

Cissy pouting and Melina licking


And I arrived home to find walls on my goat house! Unfortunately there is still no roof, so Princess Kate is sleeping in a dog crate in the chicken coop. I didn’t trust Melina enough yet to leave her with those two. She seems pretty content when I check her, but the chickens are a little upset.

The front wall with 3 big windows. The miking stand will be in front of the center window.

The back wall. Dutch goat doors on left and right with a little window in the middle.

If anybody has any brilliant suggestions for a name for this little girl or wants to vote on Belle vs. Princess Kate, please let me know!

Red Barn, Green Tree & Stormy Sky

One of the last photos I took last night down in Maryland. There were so many beautiful barns there.

Badlands National Park

I’m sitting here in my motel room in Emmitsburg, Pennsylvania, working on some posts. I pick up my new baby goat in the morning and I am very excited about that. I had a long day and did a lot of driving.

I was looking through my photos on my laptop, hoping that I had downloaded a few of the particular photos I need for a long-overdue post I’ve been thinking about. I didn’t find them. I did, however, come across the photos from the Crafty Farm Sister’s Great Plains Road Trip last May. Almost a year ago. What a fun trip with my sister.

I haven’t finished the post I’m working on, but I thought I’d just share these two great photos with you.

If you ever get a chance, do go visit the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Our night there will forever go down as the most memorable camping spot I’ve ever been to. Stunning. And Eleanor was sparkly and newly restored.

The Crafty Farm Sisters' Great Plains Road Trip, May, 2010. That's Bessy (the truck), and Eleanor (the camper)

A Breathtaking Sunset n the Badlands

Red Barn & Yellow Flowers

I took this photo today as the sun was starting to set along a back country road between Gettysburg, PA and Emmitsburg, MD. All day long I didn't find a thing I wanted to photograph. As soon as that sun starts going down (or rising), everything changes and I was pulling over left and right to shoot something.

Naughty Angel

I love this dessert. I originally posted it on last year, but I made it last night and thought it deserved to be posted again. I first had this dessert at Paul Newman’s restaurant The Dressing Room, which reflects Paul Newman and chef Michel Nischan’s mutual commitment to neighborly hospitality, local, natural and organic ingredients and regional American heirloom food. My friend Susan had taken me there to celebrate my birthday. The dessert I had was this Naughty Angel. An almond-scented angel food cake which is pan fried. They served it with vanilla ice cream and Andrew’s Local Honey drizzled over it all. I couldn’t get home fast enough to try and make this myself. It’s such a simple concept, yet somehow elevated to a new level with the pan-frying of the cake and the addition of the honey.

What’s really nice about this dessert is that you don’t even have to make the angel food cake yourself if you don’t want to. You can buy the cake at a store and it probably will be almost as good. I would not get a really basic discount grocery store kind of angel food cake though – spend a little more time searching out a well-made one. Our locally-owned grocery store in town, Palmer’s, has a fabulous angel food cake in their bakery that would be great for this.

In the few years since I first had it Andrew’s Honey has grown and can now be found on the shelves of most grocers I go in to. At that time not only was Paul Newman still alive, but the only place to get this artisinal honey at the farmer’s market in Westport. I can’t help but wonder how artisinal his honey can be if it’s now being mass-produced for every grocery I go in. Finding some special artisinal honey is definitely worth it though for this dish. Please do not put Sue Bee on this or anything in a plastic bear — It’s part of that elevation thing I was talking about.

Naughty Angel

  • 1 recipe The Best Angel Food Cake, below
  • ice cream (you can use just vanilla or use a variety as I did here. I used Haagen Daaz Vanilla, Banana Split and Pistachio.
  • Artisinal Honey
  • Soft butter (I like to use softened whipped butter)
  • Directions:

    First, stick the plates you’ll be serving the dessert on in the freezer. This will allow you a lot more “working” time as you are plating the desserts before everything starts getting all melty on you.

    Slice the angel food cake into individual serving sizes. Angel food cake slices best with a serrated knife, or you’ll get even neater slices if you use an electric knife.

    Put a large skillet (or two, depending on how many servings you’re making) on a medium-low heat on the stove and allow it to heat up. Meanwhile, butter both sides of the cake with the softened butter.

    Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften up a bit while you are browning the cake.

    When the skillet is hot, place the cake slices in the pans and cook until nicely browned on one side. Check as you are cooking to make sure the heat isn’t too high or too low. You want a nice, slow browning to get a little caramelization.

    When one side is browned flip them over and brown the other side.

    While the second side is browning, take your plates out of the freezer and lay them out on your work surface.

    When both sides are browned plate the slices on the individual plates. Quickly scoop the ice cream onto the plate, then drizzle both the cake and the ice cream with a very generous spoonful of honey. Serve immediately.


    I’m not going to show you the step-by-step for the angel food cake here because I’ve already done it quite nicely on Click the link to see the step-by-step directions there. However, since I did take the photos yesterday (not realizing what a fine job I’d done the first time), I will show you the best shot of the bunch just because I want to.

    The Cooking Action Shot

    The Best Angel Food Cake

    Published September 1, 1992 by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, adapted (slightly) by Crafty Farm Girl.

    Serves 10 to 12.

    To get an angel food cake recipe for a tall, perfectly shaped cake with a snowy white, tender crumb encased in a thin, delicate, golden crust, we experimented with egg whites, finding no discernable difference in volume between whites beaten at 72 degrees and those taken straight from the refrigerator. What we found key to creating a stable foam for our angel food cake recipe was the speed at which we beat the egg whites, starting at low speed just to break them up into a froth and increasing the speed to medium to form soft, billowy mounds. When large bubbles stop appearing around the edges, this is the point the sugar should be added, a tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar is added the whites become shiny and form soft peaks when the beater is lifted. This is just right for making the perfect tall, light yet firm angel food cake.

    Sift both the cake flour and the granulated sugar before measuring to eliminate any lumps and ensure the lightest possible texture.

    If you have a kitchen scale, use it for this recipe. Measuring cups can be drastically off. When baking, if there’s a weight along with a measurement I will always use my scale for the most accurate results.

    1 cup sifted cake flour (3 ounces)
    1-1/2 cups sifted granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
    12 large egg whites (1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/4 teaspoon table salt
    1 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon almond extract


    Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan (9-inch diameter, 16-cup capacity), preferably with a removable bottom. If the pan bottom is not removable, line it with parchment or wax paper.

    In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 3/4 cup sugar. Place remaining 3/4 cup sugar in another small bowl next to the mixer.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a handheld mixer, beat egg whites at low speed until just broken up and beginning to froth. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat at medium speed until whites form very soft, billowy mounds. With the mixer still at medium speed, beat in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all sugar is added and whites are shiny and form soft peaks. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and almond extract and beat until just blended.

    Place flour-sugar mixture in a sifter set over waxed paper. Sift flour-sugar mixture over egg whites about 3 tablespoons at a time, and gently fold it in, using a large rubber spatula. Sift any flour-sugar mixture that falls onto the paper back into the bowl with the whites.

    Gently scrape batter into pan, smooth the top, and give pan a couple of raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles.

    Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when pressed firmly, 50 to 60 minutes.

    If cake pan has prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert pan onto them. If not, invert pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel so that air can circulate all around it. Let the cake cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.

    To unmold, run a knife around edges, being careful not to separate the golden crust from the cake. Slide cake out of pan and cut the same way around removable bottom to release, or peel off parchment or wax paper, if used.

    Place the cake, bottom-side up, on a platter. Cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Serve the cake the day it is made if possible.

    Per Serving:  Cal 150; Fat 0 g; Sat fat 0 g; Chol 0 mg; Carb 33 g; Protein 4 g; Fiber 0 g; Sodium 105 mg

    Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Farm Update

It’s been a busy few days here at Crafty Farm Girl headquarters. The construction on the new goat house is moving along. I’m beside myself with excitement.

Monday's Goat House

Tuesday's Goat House

Wednesday's Goat House

Cloudy’s babies have officially left the nest. This was their last visit with mom.

Do you think birds suffer from “empty nest syndrome”?

The chickens have been enjoying some wonderful dirt baths and take their shade under this one particular tree.

and today I got my second shipment from Unfortunately there were 3 dead chicks in the box when I opened it. I’ve only had one dead chick in a box one time. All the other shipments I’ve ever received were all alive and well. That was sad. The package took 2 days to get to me, which is a day longer than it should have. Some of the chicks were pretty dehydrated when I got them. There are a few that I’m still not too sure about tonight. But, as of right now I’ve added 9 new chicks to the 5 that hatched last weekend.

There is a combination of Black Jersey Giant, Silver Lakenvelder, Black Sumatra, Ameracauna, and Silver Cuckoo Maran. I couldn’t help but order the black sumatra rooster. Look at those amazing tailfeathers! Most of these breeds I’ve never had before, so it will be exciting to see what they grow up to be like.

I took the dead ones out before I took this photo.

my favorite kind of mail!

After dipping their beaks in the water to show them where it is and give them a little drink, they all went in with the chicks hatched this weekend. At first they stood in their separate little groups.

But within 10 minutes they were all mingling together.

The first little brown chick was very stressed when he arrived. I really didn’t think he was going to make it but he looks pretty good tonight. He’s really fluffy and barely weighs anything at all.The second photo shows this funny looking little black and white chick. It kind of looks like a penguin but it has long legs. That may be the silver lakenvelder.

They instinctually know to spread their wings out to gather the heat from the lamp better. The tiny yellow Old English Bantam chick that hatched this weekend is smaller than the 2-day old chicks!

And look at the tiny wing feathers already on the chicks that hatched this weekend! They grow SO fast.

And whenever I’m in the basement Bullet is standing guard over his chicks.

Tomorrow I leave for the 5-hour drive down to Maryland to pick up my Tennessee Fainting goat doeling! She’ll be 10-1/2 weeks and I cannot wait to meet her. I’ll spend the night in Maryland, pick her up first thing in the morning and head back home. I’ll post pictures of her on Friday night or Saturday. Maybe even video of her fainting!


I have a lot of great photos of cows that I've taken over the years. I love cows. I want one, a Jersey cow to be specific. Or maybe a Dexter. One day I am going to gather my favorite photos of cows and have my good friend Michelle paint them. This cow was in Jackson at the big cattle ranch there. I love the afternoon light on her and the way she's looking at me head-on.


I love the colors in this photo of allium. The vibrant green and purple against the grey cement wall.