Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday around the homestead

This past Saturday was a wonderful summer day at the Daniel spread! Clan Daniel spent the day working around the place, especially the barn that we began a few months ago and had to abandon cause , well, that's what we do around here. We pile more on our plates than we could ever hope to complete and then wonder why we are always so far behind. Does this sound familiar or is it just us?Here Bub and me work to put the side horizontal members on. Jake oversees all operations.

Here you see me (the only one that actually worked) taking a break while the girls and the goats mill about.

Not exactly sure what Jake was trying to accomplish here. Either he thinks I am doing something wrong or he is trying to get me to move faster. Not sure.

You can see that I faced many obstacles throughout the day, both 2 legged and 4. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

This is where we left off at the end of the day. It's progress. It's slow, but it's progress.

The kids do have a great time with the animals. The horses are lots of fun but I think the kids get more of a kick out of the goats than anything. They are such a blast. Very playful, animated and loving. I wish we had gotten them years ago.

Sister loves Sam!

Sissy loving on Lucy and Bub petting Jake.

Here I am certain that Lucy (goat on ground), Ethyl (goat on top of work area), and Jake (horse) are discussing who has previous saw knowledge.

Had to put some pics of my favorite place in the world. This is Sister eating breakfast on the porch.

I recently painted our rockers.

Never, and I mean never, have I loved a place as much as this. I just wish that it wasn't quite so hot!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilled Pizza

After many requests for, and much grumbling about my slow posting, here is the recipe for the greatest (well pretty darn good anyway) grilled pizza in the world! For the dough: 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour (more if necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons course salt
about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the topping: olive oil
Italian sausage (I get the Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage links and break them up) (browned ground beef style in a skillet)
large onion (pre-grilled)
sweet red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (pre-grilled)
fresh basil
fresh tomato's
Italian seasoning
kosher salt
fresh mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
pitted black olives
* Extra virgin olive oil for grilling the dough
* Vegetable oil to be used on the grill
1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl & stir to mix. After 5 to 10 minutes,the mixture should look foamy. Place the flour & salt i n the bowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic dough blade & pulse to mix. Add the yeast/water mixture & 2 tablespoons of oil & run the machine in short bursts to obtain a smooth, soft dough. It should be moist but not sticky. If necessary add more flour a spoonful at a time, running the machine between additions, until the dough is the proper texture. You can also make the dough in a mixer fitted with a dough hook; place the yeast, sugar and water in the mixer bowl. When foamy add 2 tablespoons oil, & the salt & flour. Mix at low speed to form a smooth, soft dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface & knead it by hand for a few minutes.Lightly coat a large bowl with the remaining oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
3. Punch down the dough & let rise until doubled in bulk again, 1 hour. This second rising is not absolutely imperative, but your crust will be lighter if you take the time to do it.
4. Meanwhile prepare the toppings. There are multiple ways you can make this pizza but I find I like fewer toppings. There is no tomato sauce , only olive oil. One of my favorites is olive oil on the crust, sprinkle with kosher salt and dried Italian seasoning, then add sliced mozzarella, fresh, thin-sliced tomato, & fresh, course-chopped basil. My kids like just olive oil and cheese, and the grandparents like the supreme (old school) with all the above mentioned toppings.
5. Set up the grill with 2 to 3 zones for cooking. Hot, medium & warm. Preheat the hot zone to high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. When cooking multiple pizza's I do this step before each crust.
6. Generously oil 2 rimmed baking sheets. Place half the dough on 1 of the baking sheets and stretch it out to form a 9 by 13 inch rectangle that is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough and cover it with plastic wrap.
7.Brush on olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Starting from the narrow side & using both hands, gently lift the first dough rectangle & drape it over the grate onto the hottest part of the fire. Brush the side facing up with olive oil. Within a minute or so, the underside of the dough will crisp (watch for hot-spots) and darken and the top will puff slightly. Using tongs and a spatula slide the dough to a cooler part of the grill & cook until the bottom part of the dough is browned & firm.
8. Using tongs and a spatula, invert the crust over a hotter part of the fire. Grill until this side too starts to crisp & darken (about 1 minute). Move the crust back to a cooler part of the grill & brush the top with oil. Add sliced cheese and any toppings you desire. The cheese needs to go on first & needs to be fresh mozzarella or melting may be a problem. When all toppings are in place cover the grill to aid in melting the cheese. When the bottom crust is cooked, browned and firm, 2 to 4 minutes more, slide the pizza onto a platter for serving. Cut into pieces & serve. While people are enjoying the first one , prepare the second one the same way. The pizza should be eaten as soon as it comes off the grill. We always set up the back deck for dining when we do this.

Sissy's week

This past week was Sissy's week to spend the week with Mimi and Papa. Each of the whipper-snappers spends a week at the g-parents alone. Just them. Being spoiled. They come back stinky!

S Sissy did some fishing, shopping, and turtle catching. They also did a whole lot of swimming.

My girl is an absolute beauty isn't she? I love her. Sometimes so much it hurts!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great day at the grandparents

Sunday after church last week clan Daniel loaded up and headed to White Bluff for a great afternoon of swimming and playing with Mimi and Papa. The kids are true daredevils jumping off anything they could. Even the little one!
Mimi and Papa lounging in the pool.

More kids jumping.
Sister can barely swim but you can't hardly stop her.
Here Bub decides Nannie needs a wet hug! We are unbelievably blessed that my Mom and the Mrs. folks get along so well. They are going to China this year! Together! Without us!

Bub goes to football camp

During the summer, when not off somewhere spending Dad's money, this is how bub has spent a large portion of his days. That was then... This is now! This past week bub was at a christian football camp in Waxahachie.
There he got to meet (and get coached by) the Kansas City Chiefs own Bryan Waters.

He has a great time and learned a lot.
It's a good thing too, as football season is just around the corner. Bub will be playing in a division with 5Th and 6Th graders this year and as so will be one of the youngest. He is very excited and can't wait to get back on the field.
Especially after this years baseball season that he missed most of with a broken thumb. Here he and teammates get trophies for their efforts.

garden bounty

Wow! What a great year we have had this year with the garden! This has been one of our best in a long time. Our beans did not do so well, but we have had more squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomato's, okra, jalapenos, and cantaloupe than we have had in ages. Soon I will put a few pics of all our harvest and canned goods.

Speaking of canning a few shots of Nannie (left) and the Mrs. canning some tomato's. Notice the pics of the Mrs. putting the jars in the pressure cooker. The cooker belonged to her grandmother (on her fathers side) and the gold band that she has on was my grandmothers wedding ring. Lot's of history in that one.

We also wanted to show you what kind of numbers we have been getting this year. The Tomato's are about 4 days of picking. The cucumbers maybe 3. The cucumbers have slowed a lot but the maters still rocking!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Wife

This is my beautiful wife, the Mrs.. I love her for many reasons. One reason is look how pretty she is. Another reason is she will help set posts for a barn. That is pretty amazing! A woman that looks that good who will also help me build a barn or fix the truck or work the horses. She is a gift from God. This past weekend we were sitting on the front porch (my favorite place in the whole world) drinking coffee and I told her that I wished that we had been high school sweethearts. She told me that she would never have gone out with me in high school. She asked me if I had ever seen my high school pictures. I bet I could have convinced her though. This morning She was telling me about a couple in Waxahachie Texas that had been married for 67 years. She said she hoped we were married that long. Me too!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Sunday

This is not our Summer Sunday dinner. This is Rosie. She knows I am a slob so she hangs out around me when I cook. It generally pays off for her. She is half great Pyrenees and half golden retriever. I'm guessing on the retriever part though. Her mother and father were never married.
She loves me. The Mrs. hates her. So does my mom. So do the whipper - snappers. Well, she loves me!

Sunday dinner is pizza on the grill! This is one of the best grill foods you can prepare. If you have people over it is really impressive visually. It also tastes pretty darn good too!

This one is with mozzarella cheese, fresh homegrown tomato's, and fresh homegrown basil. No sauce, just lots of olive oil.

Tastes as good as it looks.

This is a supreme. Pepperoni, Italian sausage, olives, red peppers, onions, basil and cheese

I've done this several times. It looks harder than it is. It's a piece of cake.

drop me a line and I'll give you the recipe.

Or better yet come on down to the pearl and let me fix it for you! I'll let you swim in the redneck pool!

4th of July

Clan Daniel had a wonderful 4Th of July holiday. I spent a lot of time considering 233 years of America and I hope I will get back to the blog this week to comment on that, but for now a rundown on a busy day. The day started with the Mrs. and I sitting on our front porch (my favorite place in the whole world) drinking coffee and talking about how we really needed to pay some attention to the weed situation in our flower beds when inspiration struck. Why not get the whipper-snappers to do it for us? Fortunately it was Independence day and I knew the whipper-snappers were wanting me to take them to buy fireworks. Now I would love to tell you that they had been saving their hard earned money for months now waiting for the day that they would be able to spend it all on fireworks, but these are my WS's and they expected me to pay the bill on the evenings festivities. With this knowledge I was able to put my plan into action.
We spent the next hour still enjoying our morning coffee in the shade of the porch enjoying a nice southerly breeze while the WS's toiled merrily away until all the beds were in tip-top shape.

They worked tirelessly in pure devotion to their mother and father without a single word of complaint.
See the smile! These kids were dang happy to be taking the load off the folks knowing all that we do for them

Well, it's the way I "choose" to remember it anyway. Besides - that's what they look like in the photos don't they?

Hard work pays off as we go to the local mega-fireworks store to purchase that evenings goodies. Man times have changed since I was a kid. We always went to some tiny shack , usually in somebodies front yard to by $20.00 worth of black cats, smoke bombs, bottle rockets, and the greatest firework of all time - the bottle rocket.

Mom helps the WS's spend their , I mean my, hard earned money. A heck of a lot more than the 20 bucks I usually got!

Look at her. So innocent...yea right!

They unload the buggy, ( Buggy? give me a break, a buggy? I had a half empty brown paper sack) but Dad gets to pay for it!
On the way home they turn on the cute button so dad calms down a bit. My father-in-law talks about what a waste of money fireworks are. Burning your money he says. I don't know if he is starting to get to me or I'm just getting old, but it lost a little luster this year...just a little.

We get back home and go for a swim. A new pool you ask? Well sort of. The Mrs. and I were at odds about getting a pool this year. She won the battle but I think I may win the war.

I bought a redneck pool at Wally-world. You've seen these things, they have a small pump, you add chlorine and everything. A mini above ground pool that you put up and take down each year.
After an afternoon with the temp at well above 100 degrees, the Mrs. is already talking about next summer going for the real thing! Ha! I win!!!!! Well, maybe.
That evening we wrapped shrimp and marinated venison in bacon and jalapenos and cooked them on the grill.

This was a heavy grill use weekend as I guess it should be.

We also had fresh fried okra from the garden to go with the grilled goodies.

It turned out really good!

After much eating the fireworks began.

Bub has a permanent scar on his forehead from Sissy last year (punk incident) so he's a little jumpy!
Bub and Sissy both rally do enjoy the festivities.

I'm more of an aerial fan, but they dig the shower stuff too.

We are very lucky to live outside the city were we can do this sort of thing. Also that there was no burn ban.

Sister was a little unhappy that we did not turn her loose with open flames and explosives. I mean she is all of 4 years old. I guess we are just too overprotective.

This is really hard to get a pic of!

She was still mad, but Dad is kinda funny!