Friday, October 28, 2016

Front door frolics and a Friday recipe

This has been a busy week at Zoar. Odo has gone to live with his male cousins, and with that, our culling of the herd this year is complete. Breeding season is in full swing. Feed changes are in place for the does and our barn is full of hay. We've got one little problem right now....Holly our herd queen has taken to escaping each day just after lunch. She doesn't go far, just to the lawn outside the fence.  She walks as well as most dogs on a lead, so we just lead her back to the barn after a couple hours free grazing.

There is a type of vigilance among shepherds, though. Like a sixth sense. The items in the photo are almost always by my front door. The boots, lead line and dog are my tools, along with my crook. With these assets I can handle most minor things here at the farm. The only things I would add to this action kit might be: a hammer, nails, baling wire, my folding knife and on rare occasions, my 12 guage.

Grey Feather, just before shearing

Many years ago we raised llamas at Zoar. If there's one thing llamas enjoy it's running through the countryside. Yes, there was a time when I would get regular calls from the Sheriff's dispatcher. "Are your llamas loose?"  Needless to say they were the most cunning escape artists on the planet. People have no idea just how cunning they are. Out here, a lot of people at the time didn't know quite what they were. I remember being asked on several occasions..."Can you eat'em?" I was horrified! When I explained that we raised them for their fiber I knew I had lost most of them. "You spin it?  Like in olden times? Why would you want to do that?

I'm digressing, sorry. The point is, if you raise animals they get out. So, it just makes sense to have what you need to get them back by the front door. By the way, Beau doesn't live by the front door. He goes where I go. He's really becoming a darn fine farm dog.

I have another recipe I thought you might like to try. This one is from Sicily. The Bear and I lived there for three years when the cubs were small. This is simple and delicious. It's good with a nice Malbec.

Four Flavor Linguine

1 cup (heaping) fresh, chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine (more if desired)
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine (more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon dry red peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop parsley and garlic; assemble remaining ingredients while noodles are cooking. Drain cooked linguine al dente

Quickly, add all ingredients (except cheese) to pasta and toss. Add cheese and toss again. 

Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of cheese on top.


  1. Good post! The Bear loves that recipe, and it's super easy to make. The Bear imagines it is, anyway. What is worse than llamas escaping is a horse escaping. And someone is at the door asking if your horse is the one that has stomped all over his garden. Ow. It's like the Walk of Shame in Game of Thrones. You've got to go to the scene of the crime, retrieve your horse, and lead it back. Or, you just eat it on the spot as a goodwill gesture.

  2. Escape memories! I have total recall for everything place I've seen an animal on the loose and even carry a leadline in my car, just in case I see a critter in need of corralling. Though I doubt I could catch it nor would I remember I had the rope. Ha.

  3. By 1/2 tsp dried red peppers, do you mean the pepper seeds?

    1. Red pepper flakes. I actually use a bit less. I love pepper, but I suggest less to start with, then add to taste.

  4. You should picture this: a country homestead 50 feet off a well-travelled state highway, stocked with the usual menagerie of cows, chickens, dogs, cats, goats - and a flock of a dozen or so domesticated turkeys. A young man awakes in the morning to find the turkeys have escaped the pen and are experiencing free-range grazing and tries to herd said turkey's back to the pen, who promptly do the opposite of what they are needing to do; young man begins having exasperation attacks while herding and winds up running around the pasture - in full view of the traffic - wildly waving his arms and shouting red-faced at a flock of not-so-smart turkeys, who simply keep running the opposite direction, "gobble-gobbling" away. The young man suddenly pulls up short and begins hysterical laughter at the absurdity of it all - and promptly walks back to the house for breakfast.

    Not one of the finer moments of my youth, but one well-remembered, regardless.

    And the turkeys eventually found their way back to the pen, without any help from the dumb shephard...

  5. love the prison break stories. I just saw a video of two llamas that escaped in, I think, santa Barbara or some similar area, cityscape, and they were incredible at avoiding capture!


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