The Glamorous Life

 Yesterday was one of those days... filled with all sorts of necessary tasks. 

 Glamorous tasks, like cleaning the front pasture (manure)

and stowing a delivery of 100 bales of hay,

and, spreading manure,

and mowing.

With rain on the horizon, we started our day early and accomplished a lot in a relatively short time.  It occurred to me as I sent each bale of hay up the hay elevator to the top of the barn where Hubbs and Anna were stowing it for the winter, that each pound of hay that I lifted would eventually be turned into 2 pounds of manure that I would the have to clean up!  It's a never ending cycle.

As you know, we have compost piles that consist of manure, clippings, hay, leaves, and any food items that we cannot feed to the chickens.  These piles sit for at least a year - with Hubbs turning them by tractor to keep the temperature hot enough to break down the manure and vegetable matter into, eventually, highly nutritive dirt.  This compost can then be used to fertilize our gardens and our hay fields.  Yesterday's task was to spread it in our hayfields.  We have a small manure spreader which is pulled behind our1953 Ford Jubilee tractor, "Tin Lizzy".

Thankfully, our neighbor, Jim, is a mechanic and has kept this old gal in running condition for many years.  She's a little persnickety when it comes to starting... yesterday needing to be towed to start.  Hubbs towed her, while Jim worked the throttle and the choke until, finally, she purred like a kitten.  Not bad for almost 70 years old!

I spent a bit of time picking berries.  The wild raspberries are in season. 

 Yesterday I picked a box of blueberries and three boxes of raspberries.

I noticed, when I was behind the barn, that we have a lovely bunch of chicory blooming.  A weed, but the flowers are such a lovely color.  And the roots can be roasted and brewed as a coffee substitute.

Any day now - these comical little clown-faced barn swallow kids will be out swooping through the air with their parents.  I am hoping that Mom and Dad are planning a second brood.  We love our barn swallows!

Remember the little next that a Carolina wren built in the sprinkling can that hangs on the garage wall? The eggs have hatched and the garage is filled with the sound of hungry babies!

How we eat kohlrabi:

Cut off the root and the leaves.  I use a peeler to remove outer covering.  Then I chop it into 1" square pieces.  I also cut carrots into 1" pieces and roast them together in a little olive or avocado oil with salt and pepper until tender.  Delicious!  They basically taste a lot like the stalk of broccoli... but a little milder.  

As requested, here is my recipe for:

 Stuffed Pretzel Rolls

2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. brown sugar
½ cup warm water (warm to touch... not hot)
1 cup warm milk
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt

ham, cheese, or other meats that you wish to stuff inside the pretzel rolls (Italian meats and mozzarella are good together.. you can also roll a frankfurter up inside a roll)
Kosher salt or pretzel salt for tops of rolls
 ½ stick melted butter (to brush on rolls when they come out of the oven)

Combine yeast, brown sugar and water.  Allow this to sit for a few moments until yeast becomes bubbly.  Then add milk, flour, and salt.  Mix well and knead for several minutes until dough is smooth and stretchy.
Cover dough and allow to rise for 2 hours at room temperature.

Punch down dough and divide into 12-16 pieces.  Roll each piece out until nice and flat with a rolling pin on a slightly floured surface.  Place your meats and cheese and a squirt of mustard on top of the dough and roll up into a log... tucking all of your edges neatly in.  Pinch edges or "glue" together with a little water on your finger.

Allow the rolls to proof at room temperature (second rise) until nice and fluffy. (about an hour)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.  When boiling, add 2 tbsp baking soda.  Water will bubble up when you add the soda.  Slide a couple rolls into the boiling, bubbling water and boil for no more than 30 seconds... flipping rolls to other side half way through.  This gives them their chewy, soft-pretzel texture.

Transfer to a baking sheet, lightly oiled or with parchment paper (these rolls like to stick!). 
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Can easily be frozen and re-heated.


You have been busy! I'm sure with lifting all the hay and shoveling the end result you don't have to worry about having good upper arm strength.
That is a lot of hay.

Baby birds, it is awesome to watch them grow. I was always just a tiny bit sad when they flew off.

Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Tracy said…
Thanks for the recipe!
Lynne said…
No doubt about it . ..
Amazing . ..
I love reading the daily Bee Haven happenings!
(I passed your Pretzel Rolls Recipe on to a friend!)
Junebug said…
As a kid we robbed kohlrabi out of mom's garden. Taking a pocket knife peeling it and eating it raw like an apple. I'm sure Mom chuckled about us knowing we were getting a dose of veggies! We also cut, baled our own grass hay. I always thought haying season was fun, but I only drove the bale pick up tractor and later truck. Ahh the memories!
Anonymous said…
If you lay the pretzel rolls on a towel for a few minutes then transfer them to the pan, they won't stick as bad
Anonymous said…
Oh my goodness I made these just now and the kitchen smells great! My 18 year-old son walked into the kitchen, inhaled an entire frankfurter roll in about two seconds flat and then told me I HAVE to keep this recipe so I’m considering it a win. Thanks Bev!! —Kristen in NJ
This N That said…
Busy, busy..never ending for sure..Wish I had some of that compost for my would probably do it some good...
Your house looks beautiful..I can't believe how big those trees have gotten..Lovely.
Glad Tin Lizzy is hanging in there..Thanks Jim.
Amazing sky in that one picture.
Truly blur flowers are hard to find..Love the Chicory..Never knew what that was..Nice weed.
Glad your birdie nursery is thriving..Fun to watch..
Your pretzel rolls look yummy..Sounds like a lot of work..
Beautiful day today..cloudy, cool and drizzly..xxoo
Your pretzel rolls look and sound so delicious. Thank you for that recipe.'re going to have a lot of baby birds flying around your place....better duck! Oh your berries look so delicious....everything you grow seems to do so well there! Storing the hay, turning the compost, cleaning the pasture. You sure do keep busy and I love reading about it and seeing your wonderful pictures. Thanks so much!
Anna said…
I just love the pics of the old tractor! When I was a girl, my father had an old 1950-something Ford tractor. I do seem to recall him spending a lot of time "working on it", i.e. fiddling with repairs. But it still ran well and served to bushhog the fields. Brings back memories!