Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blackberry Winter

  I come from Central Texas where once it gets to April the warm weather just keeps on coming.  Imagine my surprise to see temperatures last night drop to the mid 40's!  A friend here in Oklahoma says the old timers call it Blackberry Winter. Interesting weather to say the very least!  I guess I better get used to the cooler climate!  I'm still not sure how I will fare in the winter time but that's a ways off for now.  I know they say it gets hot here but I can't see the heat being as hard for me to deal with either.  I'm no stranger to 100 degree days!

Things are growing around the Pioneer Living Homestead.  The potato's are kicking butt and looking good. There are blooms coming on some of them already.  Pretty  isn't it?

Here is  a picture of one of our friends helping with the garden.  They are everywhere out here! 

One thing that didn't grow much apparently is the egg in this picture!  It's the first of its kind around here.  I thought it was quite unique. So my question to those of you who have chickens....Does this happen often or is it just a fluke of nature?  

I have found an absolutely wonderful bread recipe.  The original recipe is for Sweet Rolls ( which are wonderful) but I decided to make a regular loaf of bread out of it.  I've been looking for the perfect Bread Machine recipe and I have to tell you this just may be the one!  Lot's of bread's made in the bread machine come out pretty dense but this one is light and fluffy with a great texture.

Sweet Dinner Rolls (Sweet Bread)

Original Recipe Yield 16 rolls


 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
 1/2 cup warm milk
 1 egg
 1/3 cup butter, softened
 1/3 cup white sugar
 1 teaspoon salt
 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast  (2 1/2 Teaspoons)
 1/4 cup butter, softened


   1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
   2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
   3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

(I omit the last 1/4 cup of butter when making loaves)

Mar's has been working on the veggie stand the last couple of days.  He's putting in the shelving platforms.  It is coming right along and looking good! 

Everything's in the ground and growing now. And so this is kind of the wait and see stage.  It won't be very long before we are all going to be busier than a one legged man in a butt whipping contest.  Until then, it's nice to be enjoying a beautiful spring season. 

I think its about time to go wet a hook and see if Oklahoma fish taste any different than they do in Texas.  :)


  1. That egg looks like a pullet may have laid it. OR sometimes an older hen will "lay out" and that will be her last egg for sometime. Those potatoes look great!! FK

  2. That's right! You either had a young chicken lay it. Meaning they are getting ready to begin to lay eggs. You will also get double yolked eggs from the same youngins. Or, it was an older hen running out of the eggs she is going to lay. So you either have the begining or the end. lol

  3. We had one small egg like that, Sci ...it only happened once and it was not too long after the hens started laying. When I cracked the egg open, it was perfectly normal ...just small. I've only seen two double yolks from our girls so far. But they consistently lay bigger-than-large eggs every day. No one has donated a Jumbo size egg carton to me yet, so I don't know if our eggs would be jumbo. But when I put them in an Extra Large carton, you can barely close the lid. Ha!

    I'll have to try the bread recipe. Thanks!

  4. small egg happy chicken, big egg umm chicken on vacation for a while.

  5. I don't think that bug is a friend. That looks like a Colorado potato beetle larva. I spent all last summer picking them off my potato plants. They'll eat a plant to the ground. I tried to get the chickens to eat them, but they wouldn't. I'm hoping the turkeys will this year.

  6. Hi, your mention of the bread machine caught my eye... I used to be in the quest for a perfect bread machine recipe, too, but I gave up on it. I eventually stumbled upon a New York Times article on no-knead bread making, and I've been making bread that way ever since. It takes about the same amount of effort to mix the ingredients, and you have to be involved with it over a longer time period (12 to 18 hours), but the results are so superior to anything I ever got out of the bread machine that I have never regretted it. The basic outline of the method is:

    - mix ingredients
    - let sit 12 to 18 hours
    - knead for 30 seconds, turn out on parchment paper
    - preheat Dutch oven in conventional stove oven
    - bake bread in Dutch oven

    You can read about my recipe here:


    There's a follow-up post here, too: