Yesterday our nephew Drew and his little boy came over. The last time they were here, Jack had fun playing with a toy cow and some hippopotami. They had hay to eat and there was poop (coffee beans) to clean up.
So I went to Tractor Supply and got a little tractor and some farm animals to surprise him the next time he was here.
Jack drove the tractor and herded the animals and shoveled the poop. Then hetook a snack break while Ali Ali and Willa watched with interest.
Mean while, Jack's dad Andrew and Justin were busy, searching through the cubby holes for toys from their own childhood. They discovered a major treasure trove of GI Joe action figures from the 80's.
Justin spent a good bit of time explaining to Jack which were the good guys and which were bad.
Uh oh! The bad guys have invaded the peaceful farm!
The big boys are working out a scenario . . .
The blue napkin is a pond -- the perfect thing to do with the action figures who'd lost their legs.
Look like they're wading in deep water, don't they?
I'm not sure why the fellow in pink is guarding the poop...
But undoubtedly the strategists know.
Note the cup of milk and the two glasses of Scotch in the midst of the action. . .
Justin helps Jack plan an aerial attack from the corner cupboard.
Meanwhile, I was in the kitchen photographing more action figures.
This unseasonably warm and rainy weather that has flowers blooming too early has also made the ground muddy. John came in from getting fire wood and told me that the way into the pasture was a big gaum and he was afraid the Kubota ATV would go to ball hooting if he wasn't careful.
Before we moved here, I would have thought maybe he was speaking in tongues. But I've learned the language.
A gaum (or gom) is a big mess -- in this case, a patch of mud, though it could apply to a teenager's room. And ball hooting means sliding around. The term come from days of logging with horses -- pulling a big log down hill was dangerous for man and beast and you definitely didn't want that log to go to ball hooting.
It was a birthday request from Justin -- and one of my own favorites. Lemon curd, whipped cream, pastry, chocolate -- you know you want some.....
Start by making a pie crust (yes, you can use a pre-prepared one but I bet it won't be as good.) I follow a standard recipe (1 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. Crisco. 4-5 TB. cold water. I substituted vodka for the water, having read that this made for a flakier crust, and it worked quite well.)
Bake the empty crust at 425 for 15 minutes ot till the edges begin to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate drops, return to oven for five more minutes. When you take it back out, the chocolate will be soft. Take a knife and spread chocolate to cover the bottom 0f the crust. Set aside to cool.
For the lemon curd, you'll need a double boiler (or a large and a medium sauce pan.) Also, the grated zest of two large lemons, 6-7 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 pound of butter, 1 cup sugar, and 4 eggs. (No, this isn't health food.)
Put the zest, lemon juice, butter, and sugar in the top of the double boiler over simmering water. Don't let the water boil. Stir now and then till the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs till thoroughly blended. Stirring constantly, spoon a little of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs. Add a little more and when it's well blended, pour the egg mixture into the double boiler, still stirring. Continue to cook over simmering water till the curd thickens (10- 20 minutes.)
Remove from heat and let cool.
When the curd is thoroughly cool, pour into the chocolate-coated pastry shell. Top with whipped cream (I used a cup of heavy cream, a tsp. of vanilla, and a tiny bit of sugar, maybe a teaspoon.)
Shave some bitter-sweet chocolate on top . . . Chill for a few hours to let the curd firm up a bit.
The chocolate on the pastry will harden and you'll need a firm hand and maybe a serrated knife to cut the pie.
Beginning August 30, I will be leading a Prose Fiction Critique Workshop through Great Smokies Writing Program.
This course offers intermediate and advanced students a chance to have up to fifty-four pages of their work -- fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or any combination thereof -- critiqued by their peers and thoroughly line-edited by the instructor. There will be brief writing sessions, responding to prompts designed to expand each writer's range. There will be laughter and, sometimes, cookies.
The class will meet at The Asheville School from 6 to 8:30, once a week for fifteen weeks. For more information, go HERE.
All images and content are subject to copyright and are the sole property of Vicki Lane Mysteries. If you would like to use something from my blog on your blog or website, please email me and ask first. I'll probably say yes.
I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/