Archive for January 21st, 2013



The look of longing:
The moment between Glory Bee and Dumplin when they know they are about to be reunited for morning milking is a sweet one, though fraught with near hysteria on both their parts due to their urgency. Of course, Glory Bee is quickly distracted by her big feed and more about that than Dumplin, though she is always glad to be back with baby. Milking is going swimmingly! Glory Bee is kicking less and less. Didn’t kick at all last milking. Now, she more moves her feet than kicks. Dumplin bumps her, both trying to get more milk to let down and also trying to get Glory Bee to spread her back legs apart further. Glory Bee will move, then she moves back, then Dumplin bumps her hard again and Glory Bee moves again. But at least she’s quitting the kicking!

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Spiced Sweet Potato Nut Cake


I made a sweet potato pie recently, and found myself still in the mood for sweet potato, but didn’t want another pie. My mind swung to carrot cake, and then I thought, why not? Sweet potato cake! I came up with this spicy, nutty sweet potato cake and loved the result.

I made a mess in the process.
Which is okay! It’s allowed! The cake was worth it.

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How to make Spiced Sweet Potato Nut Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Get the sweet potatoes baked. (Takes one to two sweet potatoes, depending on size.) Cook and mash. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour two round 8-inch cake pans. Combine dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl. Gradually mix in the sugars then add eggs. Whisk milk and mashed sweet potato together–the sweet potato blends better if it’s mixed with the milk first. You don’t want any sweet potato lumps in there.
Add the milk/sweet potato mixture alternately with the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in nuts, if using. If you don’t like nuts, leave ’em out.
Divide cake mixture between the pans. Bake at 350-degrees for about 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. You can make a standard cake using 8-inch round cake pans, which is probably what most people would do so is what I recommended at the top, but I actually used two 6-inch round cake pans to make smaller, taller layers.
For no good reason other than I was being ornery. Frost with either a buttercream or cream cheese frosting. I used cream cheese.
I didn’t frost the sides because I don’t like frosting the sides of cakes. It’s a pain!
The layers are so high, using 6-inch pans, that when I sliced it, I set it off as two slices, one top slice and one bottom slice. This cake came out delicious! Reminiscent of a carrot cake and yet not. I served it with cinnamon-whiskey ice cream. (This is just a plain sweet cream base with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a couple tablespoons whiskey mixed in before freezing.)

If you like sweet potatoes, like carrot cake, try this one! I’m adding it to my repertoire. It’s a keeper!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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