Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's New, Pussycat?

Why, thank you for asking, Tom Jones; as a matter of fact, there's quite a lot new at the Merry farm! The beautiful green-eyed pussycat, above, named Moocher, has a quartet of adorable, fuzzy, mewing babies in her little box in the garage. Moocher's a barn cat that  showed up at Merry Mount last fall, and she's happily keeping close watch on her new brood.
But those tiny kittens aren't the only piece of the what's-new-at-the-farm pie. There's a whole lot of newness to ooh and aahh over. Let's take a little look, shall we?

Most impressively, there is a chicken coop. . . a real, live, cozy chicken house all ready for some soon-to-arrive feathered friends.
The coop was crafted out of one corner of the old barn, most impressively by Rett's own hands, with a lot of help and guidance from her son's super-handy friend Quinten. See the nesting box below?
 And the beautiful roosting box?
Rett even built a wall to keep the critters in their own little corner of the barn! Tongue-and-groove paneling, thanks to salvaged lumber from an old out-building.
 And once the hens are at Merry Mount, Rett can gather the eggs like this!
Here's their door to the chicken-pasture! Rett has some hens on hold at a farm about an  hour away -- she's gettin' fancy ones like Plymouth Rock and Buffington.
In the meantime, however, Rett was pining for a feathered friend, so she bought a couple of canaries. Canaries that laid eggs. And one hatched! Here's the scrawny little baby canary that lives with his parents on the sun porch!

There's a brand-new garden plot ready for a-planting! Lettuce and spinach and corn, oh my!
Herbs are growing in pots by the house.
Perennials are reappearing everywhere.
And in the farmer's fields surrounding Merry Mount, little corn plants are popping up in linear rows that stretch as far as the eye can see.
After a long winter of icy trips to Merry Mount, with snow swirling around the barren fields, a gloriously gorgeous Memorial weekend visit was a treat. Truly!

Old friends gathered from Missouri and Indiana and from up the road in Columbus.

The doggies were happy.
And the late afternoon sun cast a golden hue.
Oh Merry Mount, how olive you!

 Later, the guys fired up the grill.

 And we enjoyed a lovely dinner al fresco.

 Sesame noodles (recipe below), grilled shrimp, and grilled veggie kabobs.

Good food, good friends and the best setting ever!
The sun set on a perfect day, then a canopy of twinkling stars appeared overhead.

The next morning, Robert was inspired to capture the magic of Merry Mount like this:

Morning Music

In the dewy hour
     before the farmhouse wakes
and the white clapboard sides
     harden into view,

the trilling finches and the bickering jays
     taunt and tease the slow-footed Sun,

'til roused.

he reaches West to paint again
     the eave and roof and rail
               a fresh vermillion.

Merry Mount 2014
Robert Bode

'Til next time!  Here's the recipe for Sesame Noodles:

1/4 cup light or gluten free soy sauce
2 T red wine vinegar
juice of one lime
6 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 ounces dried angel hair pasta or linguine, cooked al dente

scallions, slivered red bell pepper, sesame seeds
lime wedges, fresh cilantro

Place first 7 ingredients in food processor and blend on high until well blended, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter and blend. Add oils on low speed.

Place thge pasta in a large bowl and toss with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Add scallions, red bell pepper and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with a lime wedge.