Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Merry Anniversary

A group of us happily gathered last weekend to toast Rett and Pat's two-year milestone of being farmers at Merry Mount! 'Twas a beautiful weekend for such a lovely celebration amongst old friends. Following are some photos of the anniversary weekend...and my list of 24 (two years via months) things I love, love, love about the farm:

The absolute beauty of the "big sky" at Merry Mount -- be it pink sunrises, orange sunsets or a puffy-cloud afternoon.
Treasuring the same farm views during each glorious season.

Realizing that their move didn't mean losing good friends; it meant gaining a wonderful place to gather together.

The girl goats are pretty cute.

Rett's pure joy of Merry Mount in its entirety -- from her spacious pantry to her barn and garden!

Pat's joy of tinkering around the farm.

Oh, and memories of how much Rio enjoyed being a farm dog. And how she loved Jackpot! And yes, Jack WAS the farm dog!

Waking up early (as I do) to coffee on the sun porch. Added bonus when there's a candle already glowing. Super bonus: a brilliant sunrise.

Pat and Rett's joy and warmth at sharing their special place. And Rett saying: Oh, Vivi, this is what I've always wanted to do!

Hanging on the front porch w/ Jim's bloody Mary's and maybe the guys lighting up a fragrant pipe. 

Dinner al fresco under a full  moon. And yeah, the fabulous food whenever we gather at the farm, no matter the season!

Watching for meteors on the hammock (through our closed eyelids?)

Bourbon tasting on the patio at night

Gathering still-warm eggs from the ladies

Bocce ball tournament

The winter solstice celebrations

Fresh peas, fresh tomatoes, snapping green beans, digging potatoes, shelling peas.

Sunsets. 'Nuff said.

A bit of poetry in the morning, thanks to Pat.

Lots 'o laughter

Super moon which led to Piper!

Breakfasts -- always so good -- fresh eggs, bacon and tomato gravy! And Rett's biscuits!

You can do anything you want at Merry Mount

Knowing our friendship is forever!

And here are a few recipes from the weekend:

Rett’s Olive Cheese Balls
4  cups of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups of flour
¾ c. butter
½ tsp. of cayenne pepper
½ tsp. of salt

Let butter and cheese softened and blend together.  Add rest of ingredients and mix well.  I mix this with my clean hands.   Pull of small portion of dough( a little less than a golf ball size) and wrap around a green olive and roll into a ball.  I like the bigger queens sized ones.  Place balls on a cookie sheet not touching.  Freeze.  When frozen, pop them off the sheet and put them in freezer bags.  This way you can bake as few or as many as you want at a time.   Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degree oven.   These are great with Bloody Mary’s or beer!!  

Hash Brown and Egg Brunch Casserole
4 Tbls. butter
½ medium onion , chopped
½ medium red pepper, chopped
½ medium green pepper, chopped
24 oz. bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
8 eggs
½ cup of heavy cream
1(4oz.) can of diced green chilies
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a deep 9” or 10” ovenproof skillet, melt butter and add onion and peppers and cook until onion is soft, bout 3 minutes.   Add potatoes and cook covered for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Beat eggs and cream together.  Stir in green chilies, salt and pepper.  Pour evenly over potato mixture.  Sprinkle cheese over top.  Cover and bake for 10 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for 15-18 minutes, until set in center.

Tomato Gravy
Fry bacon to get the drippings or use 2Tbls. of solid drippings.  Place in the bottom of a medium sized pan.  Cut up fresh tomatoes or use one can of diced tomatoes.  Stew until a little mushy.  Add 1 Tbls. butter.  Make a thin paste of about 2 Tbls. of flour and milk to make about 1 cup.  Get out all of the lumps!!  Slowly stir mixture into the tomatoes.  This will thicken.  Add more milk to the right thickness and it is a pinkish color.  Serve over hot biscuits!  Yum!