THURSDAY THANKS: COW KISSES

COW KISSES 2017 BARLEY DARTS

I’m thankful for cow kisses.  This is Eliza and she caught me off guard.  Looks like she was surprised by her own impulsiveness, too!

THURSDAY THANKS: ICE!

BORDERVIEW ICE IN 2017 BARLEY DARTS

 

Ice.  Can you imagine life without it?  Not me.  We need a tray of ice for my southern, sweet-tea.  We need a bucket of ice for our homemade ice-cream.  And we need lots of ice for ice-fishing!

THURSDAY THANKS: THANKSGIVING LESSONS

GRANNY AND GRANDADDY BARLEY DARTS

The first Thanksgiving I remember was in Dixie.  My grandparents’ home was over-crowded, but the kids didn’t seem to notice.  That is until, we got yelled at for running in the house.  And I learned other lessons that day, too:

Kitchens and adult talk could get heated, quick!

Alabama nights and kitchens could cool-off faster than people.  People could smolder for years.

I could like chocolate cake; even if it was sliding apart.

Our families could gather together, despite differences and sometimes, even finances.

Food could be prepared and offered with love.

Grace could be said with reverence.

Folks could eat, until sated… and then some.

Adults could hug kids and each other.

Grandparents, parents, and kids could cry at goodbyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY THANKS: DAD’S GRINDER

MEAT GRINDER DADS BARLEY DARTS

We are thankful for this electric meat grinder.  It’s grinding meat from Keith’s elk.  Sure, it makes the job easier, but it’s also a special grinder.  No, it’s nothing high-tech or outrageously expensive.  It was my father’s grinder.  After he passed away, my mother gifted it to us.  She said that Dad would not be happy with her, if it just sat on a shelf.

Dad had bought this grinder new, when he retired and had only used it a couple of times.  Yet, Dad had ground domestic and wild-game meat for decades, by hand.  Of course, he was also an auto-mechanic that pulled engines solo.  Anyway, Mom said Dad had spent a lot of time seeking out the “perfect” one.  After all, he was particular about motors and parts.  When he purchased this one, she said that Dad was so proud of it.  And like us, he used it for it for beef, pork, and venison.  If only he’d known that one day, wild elk would also pass through it…

THURSDAY THANKS: CHARCUTERIE

RECIPE BOARD LIVERWURST BARLEY DARTS

No, I couldn’t pronounce the word “charcuterie” the first time I read it.  Literally, it means pork-butcher’s shop.  Older definitions say it simply meant cooked meat.  I have eaten and enjoyed much of it over the years.  So have most of you.  We often know it as lunch meat, cold-cuts, deli-meats, etc.    It also includes bacon, ham, and many sausages.

Keith and I have made our own bacon, ham, and breakfast sausage for years.  Yet, we are novices.  In fact, we’ll never live long enough to master such old-world skills.  And we’re unlikely to discover many of the secret recipes.  However, we love to keep learning and trying.

Last year, we gathered with friends to make Braunschweiger (a.k.a liverwurst).   I was grateful that our friends had shared not only the work, but also a great recipe.  I was also grateful that it was made with our homegrown, pastured pork.  I fell in love with it and for many weeks, couldn’t seem to get enough.

Unfortunately, many folks will never try tasting liverwurst, much less making it.  There’s a modern “yuck” factor that permeates our culture.  And organ meats and animal fats are often misunderstood.  It’s a shame.  Our brains and bodies benefit from such vital nutrients.  Not to mention, our knowledge, skills, and friendships also benefit from charcuterie adventures.

THURSDAY THANKS: DUCKS

DUCKS 2017 BARLEY DARTS

I’m thankful I got our ducks in a row for this photo.

THURSDAY THANKS: BONFIRES

BONFIRE ELK RING 2 BARLEY DARTS

 

Glowing.  Warm.  Inviting.  Cozy.  Protecting.  Intense.  Crackling.  Romantic.  Flickering.  Those are all words that describe a good ol’ bonfire.  Once it’s going good and strong, folks gather ’round.  Like moths, we can’t resist.  The dancing flames are hypnotic.  We are grateful that they pull us in and melt away daily troubles.  Since the ground can be damp this time of year, we also grab a seat.  Any kind will do.  Some prefer a saddle blanket or stump.  Others need a chair.  Beverages and s’mores are optional, but appreciated.