Wet snowy Sunday

As I was outside pulling apart my round bale this morning giving the animals their morning hay, my lungs started taking in more air as my body worked. I felt that tell tale sign winter is upon me, that sharp, cold air in my lungs. It's both a good feeling and a bad one to me. I have a love hate relationship with winter, which most people probably do. I don't like being cold, but I love the cold outside. I love when the ground freezes and it's easier to hike in the bush, I love big fluffy snow flakes, and clear cold starry skies.

I look foward to winter, to the wood stove burning away, to the many evenings full of warm bowls of soup and bread, and to playing in the snow with the dogs. Of course there are things I don't look forward to, like ice, the possiblity of getting buried in snow. But who knows what this winter will bring us.

Today we got mud. The wet snow that is pretty to look at is just saturating the ground and making a mess. I tried to take a wheel barrow load of manure out of the barn only to sink to my ankles along with the wheel barrow in mud. As I was standing there contimplating what to do especially since the wheel barrow was packed high with heavy manure, the sheep decided they should all race me and try to get back into the barn to get into the grain bins. They know full well when to take advantage of a sticky situation.

I had to dump the wheel barrow right outside the door, exactly where I did not want to dump it because I had no choice, I couldn't move it with it being so heavy and buried in mud. Empty it's easy to pick up and move.

Charlie came over this afternoon, he does all our roads on the farm we cannot do ourselves. We walked out and showed him where we are going to work this fall on a new road. It got colder this afternoon as we were out walking in the bush. Lots of hounds barking and gun shots as hunting season opens tomorrow for two weeks.

On the way back we saw a huge owl who didn't fly away from us. I assume he must have had prey near by or just wasn't afraid. He was quite large but I believe he was a Barred owl. I wish I had my camera with me but I didn't realize we'd be out for a walk, so I had left it at home. It was a beautiful sight to see. Almost never do I see an owl that sits there and lets me get such a good look at him.

We came inside to warm up by the fire and have a cup of tea. I made Molasses cookies this afternoon for the first time this season.

They are one of my favorites. I used this recipe from the Joy of baking with one exception, their recipe calls for ground cloves and I do not add them. So if you'd like to add 1/2 tsp of ground cloves to this recipe.

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (210 grams) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar for covering the cookie balls before baking

Molasses Cookies: In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture mixture until well incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place about 1 cup (200 grams) of white granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl. When the dough has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the sugar, coating them thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart and, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for about 9-10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crinkles yet are barely dry. (They will look a little underdone.) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Usually I whisk by hand but seeing my brand new mixer was starring at me, I used it. I have these new books to work on this winter too:

For dinner tonight there is a pot roast cooking, and when I come in from doing the evening barn chores I will roast some potatoes with some lemon and garlic and some asparagus. Then  I am going to curl up with the dogs and enjoy a couple of Vincent Price movies. I love old scary movies, they remind me of my dad since he enjoyed them so much. And of course, no one beats Vincent Price.

Happy Halloween everyone!


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