Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Milking it for a LIVING...

I hope you enjoy Judy and Allen's story and slide show as much as I have enjoyed getting to know them and their farm operation.

For almost two years I have driven out to Talala, Oklahoma on a bi-weekly basis for fresh eggs straight from the free roaming chickens that live there. Delicious fresh “raw” milk from both Nubian goats and Jersey milk cows that roam and graze the beautiful green pastures on the HLA Country Farm and Dairy. The most delicious cheeses and butter; fresh and homemade by Judy herself, (the MILK QUEEN is what I call her) and a goat milk yogurt I have Judy culture for thirty hours; this produces a very high probiotic content that is really good for your gut providing healthy flora that keeps your tummy happy and running smoothly. I make fresh berry yogurt smoothies for my husband and I almost daily, thanks my little goat friends for the delicious milk and a big shout of thanks to Judy and Allen for milking and making this possible. It helps keep Frank and I healthy.
Allow me to introduce you to Judy and Allen Calvert, they own and operate HLA Country Farm and Dairy, located in the lovely wide-open spaces of Talala, Oklahoma. By the way, their operation is Animal Welfare Approved; check out www.animalwelfareapproved.org to view what is required for this stamp of approval.
Judy is the MILK QUEEN and Allen is well, the KING of everything Judy hires (he works for food) and hands out to him on a daily basis – CHORES. They have lived on the property for forty plus years and have been operating their farm ,and dairy for more than eight years now. During one of my recent “visits” to their farm I asked Judy, out of curiosity, “What got you started in all this?” “Did you grow up on a farm?” Her answer was surprising to me, she said, “No, I didn’t do this growing up. As a young child my parents and siblings visited my uncle and he had a cow. One morning he took me out with him to milk his cow, and he asked me if I wanted to give it a try? I was so excited and fascinated by it all, the milking thing that is, that I replied with a big, “YES!” I think I was hooked from that moment on because I knew deep down in my heart I wanted to milk something again, and so, that’s what started the whole MILKING thing!”
Shortly after they married Judy told Allen and her family about that dream and her yearning to MILK, and being the loving and supportive family that they are; they eventually all have pitched in to help Judy make it a reality. “Farming is hard work Judy tells me and I could not do it without the help and support of my entire family!” Judy started milking and trying her hand at making products that were produced by her Jersey cows and Nubian goats. She has become an expert at making delicious cheeses, cheese spreads, butter and yogurt. The “expert” reference is my opinion, not hers; she is much too humble to refer to herself as such, but she has been doing “the homemade good for you” thing for a while now and everything she makes is really tasty! So Judy, like it or not; I’m referring to you as an “EXPERT” my MILK QUEEN friend.
If you are ready to try consuming “good for you” and straight from the animal and farm products like raw cow or goat milk, homemade cheeses, butter, yogurt or free-roaming chicken eggs please contact Judy at 918.371.5367 for more details and directions to the HLA Country Farm and Dairy.
You can visit the farm’s website at www.oklahomarawmilk.com
By the way, don’t forget to tell her you found out about her on Cinderella Chats and that Cinderella says, “hello to the MILK QUEEN!”
If you interested in making your own cheeses or how to start your own farm and dairy, Judy teaches classes on the subject that are both insightful and yummy! Judy’s classes fill up pretty quickly as folks come from all over the US to be taught by the MILK QUEEN; she is one SMART COOKIE!

Thanks again Judy and Allen for all your hard work and dedication to your animals that provide our community with "good for you" food choices.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bling... Bling...



On a recent trip to Dallas I found these and passed them up, now I am wondering why? They are pricey and very BLINGY. But, I am so tempted to take the plunge and just do it! I really LOVE the PINK! I'm thinking, these boots were made for mailing straight to my front door!

You can take the girl out of Texas, but not Texas out of this girl!

Crispy French Fries

I fry up French fries every once in a “blue moon” and when I do, well we eat every last one because they are so YUMMY!

Here's how I prepare them…

More than enough for two…

3 organic russet potatoes (peeled and sliced up not too thin)
24 ounces of Safflower oil (I use Spectrum High Heat Safflower Oil)
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 sprig of Rosemary chopped up finely (I LOVE ROSEMARY, but you can use whatever HERB you like.)
“Real Salt” sprinkle to taste or omit (I love this salt!)

Place your oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat until it is good and hot. Take your sliced potatoes and place them carefully in the skillet and fry until golden brown. This takes about twenty minutes. Line a large tray with paper towels enough to soak up the oil, take them out, dry them off as best as you can and sprinkle them with garlic, rosemary and salt. Serve immediately.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Duty and Dads

What Father’s Day means to ME…

Father’s Day is a day to honor and give Dad’s a break from every day duties. Duty is a very HEFTY word; the definition is a “HEAVY” load to bear!

Webster’s Definition:
1.) Assigned service
2.) A moral or legal obligation

A Father’s duty is not something that ends when his children grow up. As a matter of fact, it seems to get harder and more difficult I think. A father is responsible for so many things. Providing in many ways financially and emotionally, teaching and guiding, listening and hearing with an open, understanding, loving and accepting heart. It demands patience, endurance and humility. As he watches his children walk through life, he is thankful that by the grace of God he did something “right” when his children do exactly as they have seen him do. He feels proud at times and disappointed at times. Not only as a Father, but also with everything else in life that is expected of him, he finds himself STRECHED in many DIRECTIONS and LEADING the best way he knows how. There are fun times, hard times and every kind of times in between, but one thing is for sure, the duty of a father is never ending and most rewarding.

Happy Father’s Day to ALL…

Gone Green and Loving It!

Yippee! The first “real” pickings from our own backyard garden that we can bring to our kitchen table, now that is for “me” as good and green as it gets! For the last five years I have been committed to buying organic and at the local Farmer’s Market, but I wanted to go all in as much as I possibly could for the space we have in our backyard. This year “thanks” to my husband’s birthday gift to me that has become a REALITY!
“Thanks Frank, I love you and Happy Father’s Day!”

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Sometimes, on Saturday afternoons Frank and I will watch shows on "HOUSEWIVES." (Because he is a FLIPPER this happens. I have been told by many of my friends this is the case with MEN in general, flipping through channels). That being said, several Saturdays ago, he was "flipping" and landed on The Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Show. This kind of reality show for some reason always gets our attention; they mesmerize us, especially me! What struck me immediately is how divided these women seem to be and how hurtful the things they say to each other are; the hard harsh words and comments are damaging and disrespectful. Why is it that women want to be this way with one another? Then, the next thing that made me "lose my slipper" (a term I made up, that means to me in this instance is; "What the heck?") So, here is the "What the heck" question; "Why call or refer to ourselves or other women as BITCHES?" Can someone answer this question for me because I just don't get it?
I'm a real housewife, just not on a "Reality Show" and I don't do that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong I get FRUSTRATED with my girlfriends, but I don't call them names! So, here's a challenge; if you call your friends "BITCH" for any reason, consider not doing it.

I'm just asking: "Do we (GIRLS) have to say MEAN THINGS or talk SMUT to get our point across when we are upset with one another?"

I remember my mother saying; "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."

Maybe the Orange County Housewives need a "Cinderella Chats Intervention." Of course, with me and my "REAL HOUSEWIFE FRIENDS." HaHa...

BTW: I am not putting any of the OC HOUSEWIVES or any other WOMEN down in any way that do this sort of thing, I just don't understand WHY? If you would like to share any comments or insights regarding this post please do I would love to hear from you.

Sincerely with passion!