Monthly Archives: September 2011

Brrrrrrrr! Time to bake!

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It was in the 50’s today in Northwest Arkansas.  It forced me to stay in my pajamas and drink coffee staring out at the grey sky.  It also made me wish I had some coffee cake to enjoy with my coffee, along with the baked good smell that would fill the house.  So I thought I’d pass this recipe on to you to make your own coffee cake to enjoy on one of your lazy days!

Pecan Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 9×13 inch pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sour cream, then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. To make the Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and remove foil.

 

Texas June

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Dear readers, within the past few days another reader mentioned crying because she had to sell her cattle herd because she could no longer afford to feed her mammas and babies anymore.  Well, readers let’s give this a look-see.  I listen to NPR in the morning sometimes, and throughout this summer, Texas has been in the headlines.  Here in Arkansas, we were included in the high-pressure system that sat directly on top of the Lone Star State.  Now what does this mean?  Why should we care?  We’re talking about ways of lives, lost due to the worst drought in Texas history.  Texas has kept weather record for the last 150 years and this was the hottest, dryest year on record.  I haven’t seen it first hand, but the more I’ve read from news sources it speaks of the burnt landscape, all over Texas, land scorched from the blistering heat, or from one of many wildfires.  Now,I don’t know if you know this, but Texas is big cattle country.  And?  Well, Ranchers, who have built up their herds for the past 40-50 years are having to sell them at auction because they can no longer afford feed costs, bales of hay at record prices $65-$85 a bale.

So what does this mean for you?  Nationally you’re going to see meat prices rise.  The economic impact of this drought so far is 5.2 billion, with a B, and counting.  It’s not only the cattle industry that’s affected, but the cotton industry, and also winter wheat production.  Please continue reading more about this.  It’s something to consider, and our friend Texas June.  I’d like to type out that all will be okay and the universe will right itself, but this is one weather related incident that may have a lasting impact.  Everyone do your rain dance for Texas.

The WWOOF-Pack

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I feel like I won an award and am giving a speech, so just hang with me everybody, I only have a few moments before they usher me off stage.  Ahem.  Dearest WWOOF-pack, you have been so very generous donating your time, for time is what all of you had to give.  I along with the rest that is Ozark Alternatives thanks each and every one of you…HOPEFULLY I have not forgotten anyone…so here it goes:

To Francky, the first WWOOF’er ever, you said you’d come back, we’re still here, thanks for calling.  Thanks for your help.

Christy and Conner, thank you, hope all is well.

E-Town (Eric), hope to see you soon, thanks for all the help you have given.

Jason, hope you found what you were looking for in the south, thanks for your help.

Shiori, you were awesome!  Thanks for your help.

Keyohei, I hope all is going well in Toronto!  Thanks for coming!

Hailey, where are you these days?  Thanks for keeping it real!

BROOKLYN!  Thanks for coming out you two, this is Will and Nora by the way.

David and Marine, you two were troopers.  It was so hot when you were here!  Hope all is well, thanks for your help.

McKenna, we didn’t say goodbye because we thought you were coming back, but glad to hear all is well in California!  Your picture is still on the fridge.  Thanks for coming.

Alex and Shannon, they stayed one day while traveling through, thanks you two!

Sam and Sally, we didn’t even get to meet, but I heard so many great things about you two.  Thanks for helping out!

Half-Time Zack.  Thanks for helping out when you could!

Alyssa Marie!  Hope all is well, thanks for coming when you did!

Annie G.  Hope school is treating you well, thankyou so much for coming out and helping!

Laura!  You swung a hammer like a champ!  Thanks for coming for the week!  You are forever on the wall at the CO-OP.

Pat and Jake, welcome back…again!  Thanks for the help!

Paul, thank you so much for all of the help, we miss you already!

To this guy on the right, a local Fayettevillian to whom I owe thanks, yet can’t remember your name, you too were a great help and thanks.

Beth Andrea!  Former intern, you were in there also, thanks so much.

Rose, volunteer extraordinaire!  Thanks for hanging out.

Jason B., also an awesome volunteer.  Thanks for your help and you need to come out again soon.

Emily, miss you already!  What a tremendous help you were.  And you’ll never know how much it meant to me that you were on time to breakfast!  Way to go champ!

Karen, thank you so much for coming to the farm to help!

Greg, he came for a day and helped out a bunch.  Thank you so much Greg!  Safe journeys.

Kyle, thankyou for coming to the farm.  Your help is much appreciated!

Now, I bet these girls were thinking as they were scrolling “Where’s our picture!”  Well, I put you at the end, because you know what they say.  Thankyou Courtney and Grace for coming to the farm to help out when you did.  Your help was very much appreciated!

Okay, okay, I think I thanked everyone I could in my alloted time, I’m getting the signal, the stage beauty is grabbing my arm.  If there’s anyone I skipped, please know I thank you too!

 

All in a day’s work, and it’s not even over yet

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This morning the boys got involved in a little work, filling in the trenches that contain the water lines.

It was pretty darn cute to witness. Oliver said “I’m going to work until lunch”.  Just like the big dudes!

Get it Isaac!

These are just a few cute pictures of Isaac climbing a tree.  That’s Sushi, the evil Tom.  I’m speaking about the cat.

Even though his face is a filthy mess, I can’t resist his smile!