Off Farm Surprise

We have the promise of miserable weather on the way today.  Snow with high winds and then they are forecasting a dizzying plummet  in temperatures  (the drop in temperatures  is more of a worry than the snow which may not reach us though BLOWING snow can cause difficulties).  So I worked in the rain yesterday to get all the heated water buckets set back up for severe cold.  Water for the pigs is a challenge on frozen days.  The big old  doors ready to pull shut in both barns. The last of the manure was shovelled out of the barn and onto the piles, some of it I used to block the worst of the gaps where frigid drafts whistle through. Two gates needed fixing and a window replaced. New straw spread onto the cows beds, the chickens got extra straw, Tane and Tima (the kunekune pigs) had their room fortified so they could get right under the hay, Sheila got extra straw with which to make her own bed – though she still will not share it with the twins. So filled that bed up too.  Poppy had the last gate hung in the outside area she shares with Manu so they can get to their insulated water trough – which I further insulated with wet straw (the weather will freeze that solid today).

TonTon discovered that wet dogs can get electric shocks from fences (he does not get shocks when he is dry) and the Twins (Hereford gilts) quite wore themselves out walking back and forth and back and forth with me chatting the entire time as I finished cleaning out the barn.

It was one of those days when Camera House laid inside forgotten due to  the sheer amount of work I wanted to get through, so here is a photo after the snow storm on this day last year.  Not too serious last year. I wonder what  today will  bring.
Cows 013

The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second). “

But I am not living in a vacuum so my speed of light is considerably slower! But January has hit us hard before.

January 09 2015

And nothing is as bad as the bad winter of 2014.

January 09 2014

So with all this in mind plus the promise of a new restaurant to try in a small town very close by, I worked at the aforementioned speed of light  but not in a vacuum and was pleased with the progress.   Once I was done I kicked off all my farm clothes, leaving them in heaps all over the house and raced to get changed, then wrestle my hair into some semblance of order then turn the whole bathroom upside down looking for a lipstick so we could reach the tiny local feed store before it closed (in case I get snowed in which is unlikely actually  but one must be prepared) before finding something to eat.

Upon reaching the little restaurant, still flushed from the rush –  to my shock, I discovered we had landed in a perfectly glorious authentic Italian restaurant with a real Italian chef who popped out of his kitchen to answer a question I had about the menu. It was a delightful surprise.  They have really, really good food. Right down here on the forgotton prairies.  Only thirty minutes from home. AND they serve wine. GOOD WINE.  And did I mention real food. I had a divine risotto. What luck –  and we found it quite by chance. You know how I have longed for a real restaurant close by.

Good morning. Next time I go (which will be soon) I will give you a proper review. It is so long since I have been to a restaurant worthy of review.

But for now, I must rush. Time to get to work. The radar shows snow on the way, but I really don’t think it will be much. It is the wind and cold that has put me into high gear. So to work!

Love celi


55 Comments on “Off Farm Surprise

  1. Good morning! It’s always delightful to stumble upon a really good little restaurant. Ever since moving from the NY area to coastal Maine I have missed good, Italian restaurants. I’m usually better off cooking it myself at home! But recently we have had quite a few good little places popping up. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy it!

    • I agree about food from home being better – often we go out to eat just so as someone else will do the dishes and my husband is fed – then I tasted this boys risotto – Oh My Goodness – heavenly.. I will go there for the food! c

      • Like you I don’t eat very often, mainly because I am so disappointed with the food put before me and rarely eat much of it! When I lived in NJ there was a little French restaurant that we went to often (back when I had a hubby). It had a downstairs which was the cellar and you got to eat amongst all the racks of wine! it was heaven. Then they sold out and the new owners turned into what their idea of a bistro was – it was terrible! Sigh I so miss a good French, Italian or Greek restaurant !!

  2. Oh dear, winter has to make its presence felt sometime I suppose. We had record temps of 42.5C/110F here day before yesterday! wish I could swop you some heat for some of your rain or even snow. Hunker down, keep warm and stay safe. Laura

  3. Praying for kinder weather for you.

    We are spoiled with good restaurants here in France (more so in the past – a lot have closed since the ecoomic downturn), from gourmet purse-busters to the cheapo bistro in the village, which only does lunch, but that suits me – I’m not a great late eater.

    Fingers crossed for you
    ViV xxx

  4. You have worked so hard! It sounds as if a small treat was in order, and how marvellous to find a real gem so close at hand. I’m lucky here to have a family-owned Italian restaurant that can do gluten free happily and for no extra cost. Nonna still rules the kitchen with a rod of iron, the sons are front of house, and the grandchildren rotate in and out as waiting staff. It’s one of our favourites… I hope the weather will be reasonable and that you will over-winter in good shape.

  5. That is so lovely, and I understand, four years ago a little place opened up in a town near us, fresh crisp veggies, the most amazing bean salad, everything real and hand and homemade, the dishes are Asian in flavour to be true but so! good. Everyone said, they would never make it but they are going strong, the only issue I have with them is poor hours, but as they are family run, I do understand why closed sunday-monday but wish they did late lunch hours, as sometimes I miss their short lunch hours and as you know with chores, evening suppers out are not the best most of the time..

    But when company comes or I am in charge of the girls lunch out, I take them to my little surprise place. and I always have the fresh fruit sushi for dessert, dipped in mango sauce.. heavenly!

    Hope you do not get to much cold and snow, and glad to know I am not the only one that at times uses the bedding from the inside to block things on the outside to keep it warmer LOL Gotta love old barns

    • PLUS when it freezes from the arctic winds the weird filthy straw patches go nicely solid – of course the trick is to keep the chickens from scratching them out before it freezes! Bet you know some tricks! c

  6. Hope you weather the snow ok Celia. The planet generally seems to be having mad weather – but we managed a lovely 21C day here with sunshine and a good long run for the dog.

    • Yes, it is this warm weather pattern, I am not argueing though – my animals are much happier in this kind of winter! It won’t last I know – but i am enjoying it.. c

  7. I’m really looking forward to some photos of your miserable weather. They make great wallpaper for my computer’s desktop. If possible, stay warm and dry … and safe. xx

  8. ooo. Warm Italian food and a nice glass of wine after a big day of outside work. That’s the feeling of “happy.”

  9. I’ll be sending warm thoughts your way Celi, as we, too, have ice and snow on the way. 😦

    • we can take a bot of cold – it has been so warm so far this month.. oh and a little more of the tree house fell off in that wind too, i did not notice until I went up there to string up my prayer flags!.. c

  10. Just a skiff of snow to fall here… it’s beautiful and pathways are melting as the ground temps are still warm. Our temps will fall today too. Oh, how I wish I could huff and puff and blow you some warmer weather from the south! 🙂

  11. Just a bit more snow predicted to top off our 2 feet. And not too cold at 21. But it’s the darkness. Here at 48 degrees latitude, it’s still dark at almost 8:30. Though a cold stiff wind is not uncommon this time of year, it’s the darkness I have to fight to get to the barn. I just want to snuggle back down into my warm bed/ cave and sleep.

  12. Lots, lots of things you have to think of and prepare. Fingers crossed for your weather!
    Like how you talk about your restaurant trip. Looking forward to your next visit and review…

  13. I’m wishing you well with the weather. I always worried about the animals I see out in fields when there is bad weather. It’s wonderful that you work so hard to take care of them even more than yourself. But the treat of a good meal in a good restaurant is a lovely reward for all that work. I know what you mean about them being hard to find in small towns. We had a plethora of Mexican restaurants in the Arizona mountain town of 8000 people but not much else. I just didn’t care that much for Mexican foods. Then we had a French bus driver trying to cook German food. His other food was lovely but the German food from the owners recipes was sadly lacking. So I gave up small towns. 🙂 Keeping good thoughts for you with the weather.

  14. oh my your post reminded me of this song!
    “Button up your overcoat
    When the wind is free
    Take good care of yourself
    You belong to me

    Eat an apple every day
    Get to bed by three
    Oh, take good care of yourself
    You belong to me”
    Have a good day – I know you will! Taking such good care of your animals!

  15. Winter weather can be a pain, but hey, it’s a good excuse not to go to some social event you’ve been dreading; you can just say you have to stay home to take care of the animals, (wink wink.) But that’s just me as an introvert. 🙂 Stay warm, and keep those lovely animals warm, too!
    BTW, I love your dogs. Always wanted a Border Collie.

  16. So glad you found a nice restaurant. Italian, too! That would be my pick. Poor Ton. 😦

  17. I spent a good part of today beefing up the cold weather plans too. I’ve had my heated bowls and water tank heaters in for some time now. I plug them into therma cubes so they won’t go on unless it’s under something like 36*. I have a couple of therma cubes plugged into timers too so they don’t stay on the entire time the temp is below 36. Helps some on the electric bill! Most of today was right around 30 with some light snow starting late afternoon. The cold is scheduled to descend tomorrow so all the critters have a cozy place to tuck in to and the woodbox is full.
    We live in a fairly rural area but I must say we are surrounded by some really good restaurants, many featuring seasonal and/or local foods. Everything from pub food to linen napkin places to those wonderful midwest ‘supper clubs’. Not to mention the ubiquitous Wisconsin fish fry – sometimes they really hit the spot even though they probably aren’t the healthiest choice!

  18. This is so familiar. There is ONE fine restaurant in all of that area of Michigan where Zia lives. It’s about a 45 mile drive but is so worth it! They aren’t open in winter, however, because the communities up there cannot support it. They reopen every spring for the warm months when the vacationers arrive. God bless the vacationers because that restaurant is a darn good one!

  19. Pingback: Off Farm Surprise | thekitchensgarden – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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