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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baked Oatmeal and Chopping Ice

~ baked oatmeal with almonds and blueberries ~
My contribution to Vicki's Grow Your Blog Party is here; there are two giveaways.

There are some mornings that call out for baked oatmeal; today was such a morning. At dawn, around 7:00, it was about 10 below zero; at 1:30'ish a.m., it was about 15 below zero. When it's this cold (and I remember), I like to have breakfast waiting on me when I return to the house from barn chores. I also don't go to the barn before the sun is well and truly up. If there is an accident, it's a tad warmer after the sun comes up and I've a better chance of crawling back to the house. I don't want to think about these things, but I do think about them, now that Dave has passed. I've always planned out "what if" and pondering "what if" kept me from being raped and murdered some decades back but that's a story for another time.

Baked oatmeal is wonderful! I'll give you my recipe and if you're one of those cooks who do it by feel, you'll love this recipe. If not, trial and error is your new best friend. I'll give you measurements but I don't measure, not this dish anyway. I just throw it all together, add whatever fruit and nuts I have on hand and call it breakfast.

1.5 cups oats - I use the real deal, you can use quick
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
dash of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup veg oil - I use corn oil, none of that machine oil canola for me, ta very much
1/4 cup sugar - white, brown, or couple tablespoons of honey
1 large egg unless all I've got are smalls or mediums and then I'll use 2
1 tsp vanilla - again, the real deal, no artificial stuff, please and I use about 1 tbl.
1/2 cup milk or cream - whole or half 'n half - please, just eat less but eat real
blueberries - maybe a cup, maybe more...what I had
almonds - what was left in a 2 ounce package

Oil a baking dish, about a 2 quart size or whatever you've got. Seriously, it's going to bake in anything so don't go out and buy the "right size dish". Puhleez.

In small bowl, mix oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, fruit, nuts and sugar then mix with dried ingredients. Pour into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F until golden with crackly surface. To serve, I heat some milk and pour over the top. 

I use a convection oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 325...perfection!

This is some serious eats and will hold you until you're hungry again. No, really, I'm serious!

Sophie Shetland was on her feet this morning; thank You, God! Of course, this afternoon she was cast but hey...this morning she was on her feet after a particularly viciously cold night. I'd love to get some of Carly's arthritis meds into her but she's not eating all that well. I think she's checking out but, because she's a primitive breed, it's going to take her some time to actually leave this veil of toil and tears. 
Harry Shetland was on his feet and stumbling around, blind, and that's not intended to be a joke. My heart goes out to him, not being able to see where he's going, yet he still manages to be mobile within his confined space. He has fresh, warmish water, food and shelter so he has the basics. I'll keep him as long as he's breathing; I don't throw something away because it's "inconvenient"; never have understood that attitude. God willing, we'll all get old one day and I want to think someone will love me until the last breath.
The temps are cold, very cold, and even with a de-icer the water trough is freezing almost solid. There's no way the horses can get a drink of water so that means...
getting out the pitchfork and crowbar and busting ice. Yeah, I know you're supposed to say breaking ice but, trust me, busting is more what it feels like. 
Even with the de-icer, the ice is close to three inches thick and this is just overnight. I'll go down, just before dark, and break what's formed since mid-day. It's a lot easier to do it piecemeal than let it get ahead of me although, overnight, it freezes rather solid.
Yes! Now a water trough the horses and alpacas can drink from; the sheep have a smaller trough and I'll break that ice as soon as I finish posting this. I've still got to get in wood for the stove; it's going to be a long night and far safer to do it now, while it's light. 
Another little something to make my life easier...when the big plants need watering (and they need water constantly due to the wood stove), I put them in the shower and give them a huge drink. When it over runs it doesn't get on the floor. 
Yesterday, when the dogs and I used the Ranger to go get mail, a fellow up the road left me some Christmas trees. He has a lawn service in the summer and a Christmas tree service in winter and noticed me picking up cast off trees in town. Apparently, he asked around and someone said, "Yeah, that's crazy old Sandra; she picks up trees to give to her sheep." So, he called and said, "I've got some left over, want them?" Well heck yeah and now I'm going to bake him some shortbread to say, "thanks!"
 Daniel Jones threw these trees over the gate...
 I loaded them into the Ranger...two trips...
and took them to the sheep lot. My wooly babies say, "Thanks Daniel Jones!"
So, here's looking at you and hoping you're having a warm day. BTW, I just received a telephone call from someone who is now absolutely positive I'm a cantankerous old biddy. She's right but I feel I have good reason. The call starts out, "Hello, may I speak to Sandra." "Yep" because I already know it's someone I don't know and, more than likely, don't want to know. "My name is (whatever she said because I knew I wasn't going to have to remember) and I'm calling you because of a very important bill that concerns our environment."
"Okay," says I, "read it to me."
"Um, what?"
"Read it to me, please."
"Well mam, I don't have it."
"So you're asking me to call my Senator and Congressional Rep to talk to them about a bill I don't know anything about just on your say so?" 
Well mam, I'm just trying to make some money and help our environment."
"Thank you for working for a living and not being on the government dole but it still remains.  You want me to do what you want me to do on your word? No offence, but I don't know you from Adam's cat, and the inference you're making is, because I won't do what you want me to do then I don't care about "our" environment? You need to tell whoever hired you to get that bill in front of you so you're not caught flatfooted."
"Uh, mam, I'm sorry to have disturbed you. You have a nice evening."
"Yeah, you too, good-bye."

That is so not right! Please, do not call me, ask me to do something simply on your word and then get all offended because I call your hand. Hey, I'm happy you're not sucking the government tit but be prepared...is that too much to ask? Besides, it's probably some dang liberal organization and we all know how well that goes over with me. I'm so conservative I make Ronald Reagan look like a tree hugger and I care about the environment but not to the exclusion or detriment of human beings. God calls us to be stewards of HIS earth; we're to worship the Creator, not HIS creation. Don't go all Al Gore on me, I don't think much of him; have you seen his nine million dollar Southern California house?  Wonder how big that carbon footprint is?

It sucks pond water, as someone recently told me about something else. I won't give her credit because she might be a liberal and I don't want to offend her personally. That should prove I have a limit to being cantankerous, don't you think?

ROTFLAM which translates, "rolling on the floor laughing at myself".

Oh lawz, cabin fever might be setting in, ya think? 

Blessings ~ the strength to do the work God sets before me ~ sunshine ~ we're one day closer to spring ~

20 comments:

  1. Boy, that oatmeal looks good. It has really been cold here recently and this would be a welcome treat with my coffee/tea.
    Your sweet animals are blessed to have you care for them. I love that you rec'd more Christmas trees.
    Keeping you in my prayers.

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  2. :) :) :) :) :)
    You just made smile all the way through, and especially your response to the tele"marketer". I may have to print that out or commit it to memory - I'm not as bright as you and get all word-twisted on the phone trying to deal with whatever flavor is being pushed at me.
    Bless you.

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  3. enjoyed your post, aching already over the old woollies, and their decline. so thankful you got the trees,and as long as some one thinks you're a creative old biddy, it just means you still use your mind, and that is more than so many in the real world!

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  4. Great post, and so glad that you thik of those "what ifs' when you are alone there. Have you ever thought of one of those life alert things. I have a cabin up in the woods on a mountain, and I really often think of those what if's... especially since my phone only works there when its mood is right. Hope for a little warmer weather soon.

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  5. Yummy oatmeal, may your girl keep going and yeah for no throw aways. If livestock ever becomes "inconvenient" then one most likely should never had it to begin with. Oh Gore's house? Well I am not one to take much that folks put out on the internet as gospel without documentation. But be it his or whoever I think the answer to "why" is not "bs" but someone who has a darn good insurance policy if they truly believe what they say is fact. Good night and keep your toes warm.

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  6. Good morning Sandra ~ What a great post, filled with 'life' there on the farm. Your oatmeal looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    Oh my gosh all of the hard work you do in winter makes me feel like such a wimp in what I have to take care of by myself down here where it's much warmer and I don't have to 'bust ice'. You are quite an inspiration to me dear lady.

    Way to go with the telemarketer. What a pain they are. Your response put a huge smile on my face as there was no stopping you.

    Good grief, I just checked out Al G's new house, on the ocean no less. My husband knew that AG's BS was just that BS, and so many fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    I sure look forward to eternity with God, when all will be Peace and Goodness.

    I came across a verse this morning that I've read before but it zapped me again this morning and the verse is this.

    "In Your presence is fullness of joy! At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!" Psalm 16:11

    May I grow in grace as I continue to live this earthly life one day at a time. May I see the beauty in each new day.

    God's blessings on you dear Sandra.

    FlowerLady

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  7. Love the telemarketer exchange! Sometimes when the cantankerous inclinations comes to the surface, it's important to give it a target ... telemarketers are easy pickings.

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  8. My goodness, I feel like such a slacker! If you were 35, you would be amazing, but at our age? Well, need I say more? If God put signs on our backs with a word to describe us, yours would almost certainly be "Inspiration"!

    Blessings on your day! Might hit 27 today here! Yay!

    Sara

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  9. Loved this newsy post of a day at your place. Your response to the telemarketer was golden! Now we're all ready for the next one.
    I'll have to write down that oatmeal recipe. Good idea!
    I know I do a lot of "what iffing" as a widow. I'm carrying a snow shovel, charger, boots, blankets, extra clothes in the back seat of my car, just in case! ROTFLAM also! :)

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  10. Farm life is so much more difficult with these below 0 temps-I know so well-going out and breaking up ice-sometimes several times a day.
    when we retired and moved here to Missouri I told hubby no more farm animals-too much work-although I do really love having them around. Now I just attract the wildlife with feed and enjoy their visits-lol
    we have another storm coming our way this weekend-we really need the moisture though as we have fire warnings out-so dry from the bitter cold and howling winds.
    stay warm-hugs Kathy

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  11. I broke down and bought a second bucket heater yesterday. Been replacing the water bucket 3x/day in the little barn, now that I've put 3 goats in there til (slightly) warmer weather. Carrying water in, ice out. Water in, ice out. And of course also carrying water to refill the bucket in the paddock, which already has a heater, bought years ago at an animal shelter tag sale. And water to the hens. I'm really going to enjoy not carrying anymore buckets full of ice out of the barn! Tell me something: how can a bucket of ice be even heavier than a bucket of water?? I'd swear it is! Unless it's just the added weight of my disgruntlement ;)

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  12. I didn't know oatmeal could be baked?! And anything with cinnamon in it is a winner for me. We'll have to give it a try.

    After reading all the work you have to do with a farm I'm glad I've never gone that route. I think crops might be easier (i.e. lazier). :)

    LOVE the way you handled the telephone solicitor. I thought I was good with them! You should get some kind of award for that call. *lol* It's definately cabin fever AND you're right, it's probably another libtard organization. They never inform voters just try to scare us.

    Stay warm up there. It's been bloody cold down this way but nothing like what y'all have to put up with. ~:)

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  13. Oh, sooo cold!


    You have so lovely sheep, good shepherd!

    I wish you and you animal the best, always thinking of your work, pain and cold weather, brave Thistle, always with a good amount of smile and humor!

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  14. You are quite a character Sandra and I mean that in the best way! I can't ever think quick enough to say something like you did to your caller but I'm filing that one away in my stash. The closest I came was one night when I had a caller asking about cleaning my carpets and I told them I had dirt floors. They just didn't say anything for about a minute and then hung up! LOLOLOL I'm not an oatmeal fan but your baked oatmeal sounds so good that I'm going to make it in the morning for my breakfast. Sounds much better than making it in a cup in the microwave LOL Hugs to you and stay warm.

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  15. The baked oatmeal looks amazing! Thanks for popping by to visit me. Eleanor x

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  16. OMG! I'm ROFLMBO!!! You're hilarious, but I believe every danged word you say. I'm looking for that follow button, right now.

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  17. Sandra- I don't think any of us can even begin to appreciate how much you do on your farm-- and how brutally hard it is for you in the winter. THAT is some serious ice!!
    Your precious sheep just breaks my heart ---

    Probably no one longs for spring like you do--- in spite of it all though-- your farm is so beautiful. Every time I see photos of your view-- I just sigh--
    Vicki

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  18. Ohhhhh and the oatmeal looks so wonderful!!
    Vicki

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  19. I love that you care for all your sweet animals- until God calls them home. Beautiful. We'll all want to be loved that way, especially as we get older. And good for you for taking charge of that phone call! You inspire me to speak up.:) Lori

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  20. Thanks for coming by! This was us after the last storm

    http://nantucketdaffodil.blogspot.com/2014/01/snow-day.html

    Crazy winter! I cannot believe how you battle the ice!!!! You must be strong….and on a side note….ultra conservative here too!

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