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By A Homesteading Neophyte
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Cobwebs in my eyes

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This weekend some friends voluntarily came over to help put in fence posts. Yes, you read that right, voluntarily! It was nice to see an Irish boy working with a Scotch. 

Well, until that moment when things went terribly wrong. Small,  medium, myself and Irish boy’s wife ( should give her a nickname as they might be appearing in the blog regularly) headed into town to grab some lamb at the shop and a couple of ingredients for dinner at the grocery. On our return, Husband’s head was bleeding, and Irish boy smugly walked up to the truck. “I beat the crud out of him.” Irish Boy’s wife and I sat there, our eyes as round as saucers. Husband says “he took the tamping round and swung it at me like a bat.” For those of you that don’t know, a tamping rod is a 6′ pole of heavy gauge metal, (aka pike, sucker rod or spud bar) with a flattend end for tamping down dirt, and a spaded end for breaking rock
Photo is of the next day. Big ole knot!

Suddenly they both start laughing. Husband with a knot and blood in his right eye, giggled. “No, I pulled a stupid, did it to myself.” It was that moment that I realized that these two were not only going to give me trouble, but they are fast becoming thick as thieves.  Needless to say relief flooded us both. Silly boys.
They managed to get all the posts into the ground. My job today will be to use that tamping rod to secure the posts. Once that is done I can soon start on the barbed wire. I am actually looking forward to it. I have missed being able to do so much physical labor. The last few years, with the leg issue and all, had basically put a stop to many of the things I use to do. I still do not have full flexibility nor strength, and some days it aches so much that I do resort to using my cane. But I am alive, I can use it much more than I did a year ago, and for that, I am grateful.
Update (even though this isn’t yet published) I tamped down the poles and set kickers. Barbed wire is now being placed. Come-along is a girl’s best friend.

 I made dinner for our new friends. (Told you I would be back with mutton recipes). They happened to crash here, so I made two mutton dinners. The first night I decided to go traditional Autumn.
Let’s call it Fall of the Mutton
2 sweet potatoes (the call them Southern Yams here)
1 medium sized butternut squash
1lbs mutton meat
2 cups chicken broth (plain)
4 red apples
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Peel and dice up sweet potatoes. Place them in a pot with the chicken broth. As that heat over a medium heat, peel and cut the butternut squash into larger, yet manageable pieces than the sweet potatoes. You do not want your squash to get too mushy. Add to the pot. Dice up the mutton into bite sized pieces, add salt and pepper to taste and place into the pot. Cover and reduce heat. Cook until your squash is just tender. Remove from heat and drain.
Peel and dice the apples. Add 1 Tbls butter to your pot, stir in the apples. Over a medium high heat, slightly brown the apple pieces. Add the cream, and fresh sage (2 mince leaves fresh, or 4 crumbled pieces dry). Stir until it begins to thicken, reduce heat to low. Add 4 Tbls butter and the mutton/squash mixture back into the pot with the apples. Stir well. The sweet potatoes will purée itself as you stir. It should not be the texture of soup. If it is, slow cook uncovered until the cream sauce thickens.
Salt  to taste, and serve hot with fresh bread.
Mutton and Fall Rice

I was cooking for 7 people.
You will need, 1 cup rice for every 2 cups chicken broth
1 small butternut squash
1 lbs mutton meat
Grated Parmesan cheese
Mushrooms (we used puff ball shrooms)
Fresh garlic
8oz cubed cheddar cheese
Place broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Add 2 fresh sprigs on minced sage (4 crumbled if dry) and as much parsley as you like. Peel and dice up the butternut squash, add to the broth. Pour in the rice and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is tender. 
Slice the mushrooms and mince 1 clove of garlic. On a skillet, melt 1 Tbls butter and begin to brown the garlic. Once golden in color, add the mushrooms, and lightly brown.  Add the lamb, and cook for a few moments. Remove from heat.
Add as much butter and Parmesan as you prefer to the rice, tear up the spinach and stir. Add salt to taste. Stir in the cubed cheese then serve before the cheese fully melts. Add the mushroom and lamb to the top, serve with fresh bread. 
Irish Boy’s wife caught the mushroom hunting bug. She left here with 2 grocery sacks full of wild mushrooms. She was the one that found the wonderfully sweet puff mushrooms.  All in all it was a productive weekend with some really good people. Only spoiler was that someone had tried to break into their car that sat at the top of the driveway. Nothing stolen at least. 


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