Showing posts from December, 2017

In which there's a story about a pig and recipe for bacon

This is a true story about a pig.  I've met her.  She's lovely. (and I don't usually say that about pigs)

Early last summer, our friend Mel was working around her place fixing fences and stuff, when all the horses in the pasture suddenly lifted their heads and STARED into the trees near the creek.  
Horse people know that when one horse does that, it can mean anything--or nothing.  But when a bunch of horses do that all at the same time, there is usually a Reason.
And there was:  down by the creek Mel saw a half-grown white piglet rootling around for food in the vegetation.  The piggie had a bum leg, and had obviously escaped from some neighbor's pen--possibly while also escaping whatever critter had grabbed her by the leg.
Mel put up signs notifying the neighbors about the pig, but nobody responded.  Since the piggie was doing fine on her own, nobody worried much about her until the summer got really hot and dry, and the creek dried up.  Then Mel started leaving out bowls …

In which there's a story about rice and a recipe without rice

A Single Grain of Rice (India) A king prepared to take a journey of ten years, to tour around his country and see all that there was to be seen.  Before he left, he called to each of his three daughters. 
To each daughter, he gave a single grain of rice.  “Keep this, guard it, and do well with it,” he said.  “Rule my kingdom while I am gone.  I give each of you this grain of rice so that you may use it to learn to use your power in the service of wisdom.  When I return, I will choose my heir.”
The eldest daughter looked at the grain of rice in her hand, and tossed it negligently over her shoulder.  Why care for this particular grain of rice, when there were ten bags of rice in the palace kitchens?  She thought no more about it.
The middle daughter tied a long golden thread around her grain of rice, and put it into a beautiful crystal box.  Every day, morning and night, she looked at the grain of rice and reminded herself that she was powerful.
The youngest daughter called for advisors and…

In which another food story is meant to be shared and I'm hungry

Nail Soup (France) Three soldiers walked along the road towards home.  They had travelled the world with their army, but now the wars were over, and they were dismissed without a coin or even a loaf of bread as thanks.
When they came to a village, they knocked at the door and asked for food, but the people there had none to share.  They asked at the next house and the next, but were told that the entire village had no food at all.
“Well,” said the soldiers, “let us make soup for you, then!  Bring a big pot of water to the village square and we will feed everyone in the village.”
This was not what the villagers expected to hear.  Full of curiosity, they came to the village square.  Someone brought a pot, and someone filled it with water.
The soldiers built a big fire, and put the pot of water on to boil.  One of them produced three shiny horseshoe nails from a pocket, and dropped them into the pot.
“This is how we make Nail Soup,” the soldiers said.  “The nails will make a wonderful soup.  B…

In which there's another story and another recipe to share

I’ll do what my father did (Ukraine) Long ago, a poor man travelled from village to village, meeting new people and finding adventures along the way. 
One cold winter evening, the man came to a lonely inn. 
He knocked at the door, but when the innkeeper saw the shabby clothes of the traveler, he knew that he would not be paid for any food or shelter he gave.  “We’re closed, go away,” said the innkeeper, but the traveler begged him for shelter, even in the humble barn.
The innkeeper’s wife did not want to let the traveler in, but the traveler thought of the cold night ahead and said angrily, “You will regret your selfishness!  Why, if you do not give me food and shelter, I will do what my father did.”  He grabbed the innkeeper by the collar and shook him, “You do not want me to do what my father did, do you?”
His voice was so frightening as he said this that the innkeeper stammered that, no, he didn’t want the stranger to do what his father did.  So he allowed the man inside by the fire, …

In which today's story features too much inappropriate talking

The Talking Yam (Ghana) One day a farmer went to his field to dig up yams.  “Hey,” said a yam. “What do you think you’re doing?  You didn’t plant me.  You didn’t water me.  Why do you think you can dig me up?”
The farmer looked at the dog.  “Did you talk?” 
The dog said, “It wasn’t me that talked.  It was the yam.”
“A talking yam?  Ah-yeeee!”  and the farmer ran uphill and downhill until he came to a fisherman with a net of fish.
“Why are you running in the heat of the day?” asked the fisherman. 

“Well,” said the farmer, “first the yam talked, then the dog talked.”
“Don’t be silly,” said the fisherman.  “Yams don’t talk.  And dogs don’t talk.” 
“Oh yes they do!” said the fish.
“Talking fish?  Ah-yeee!”  and the farmer and the fisherman ran uphill and downhill until they came to a swimmer in a lake. 
“Why are you running in the heat of the day?” asked the swimmer.
“Well,” said the farmer and the fisherman, “first the yam talked.  Then the dog talked.  Then the fish talked.”
“Don’t be silly,” …

In which I share a story about a buzzard (plus a recipe)

We often see buzzards riding thermals overhead when we're out riding,
(in this part of the world we call them "turkey vultures" -- it's the same bird)
and when we do, I tell this story.

M’su Carencro and Mangeur de Poulet (Cajun South, USA)
One day, M’su Carencro, the buzzard, was sitting on a fence post, waiting for something to drop dead so he could eat it for his supper, when up flapped ol’ Mangeur de Poulet, the chicken hawk.
“Hey, ça va, mon ami?” asked that ol’ chicken hawk.
“Ah, ça va mal! Not good at all,” answered the buzzard.  "I am so hungry. But nothing, nothing has died. And so there is no supper for me.”
“What are you talking about,” said that know-it-all Mangeur de Poulet.  “You’re a bird, aren’t you?  Got a beak, got you some wings, got big ol’ talons on your big ol’ feet?  You gotta get out and get you some supper, my friend.”
Non, non,” said Buzzard.  “I’m supposed to wait until something drops dead.  That’s the way le Bon Dieu, the Good God, made m…

In which the holiday tradition continues: a Danish story

This story is told by many people, with lots of variations.  I have always loved Jack Kent's version best -- the book is  out of print, but your local library can find it for you.

The Fat Cat (Denmark) One morning an old woman was stirring a big pot of gruel.  She had some business with the woman across the way, so she asked her cat, “Cat, will you stir this gruel for me?”
And the cat said, “Yes.”
But as soon as she was gone…well, it smelled so good!  The cat ate all the gruel.  And then ate the pot, too.
The woman came back.  “What have you been eating my little cat?  You are so fat!”
And the cat answered, “I ate all the gruel, and the pot too.  And now, I am also going to eat you!”
And he ate the old woman.
The cat went outside and he went for a walk.  On his walk he met Skalinkenlott and Skahottentott.   They asked him, “What have you been eating my little cat?  You are so fat!”
And the cat answered, “I ate all the gruel, and the pot and the old woman too.  And now, I am also goin…

In which we continue a Haiku Farm tradition: stories to share

Every year I do this:  collect a small bundle of stories to share  with family and friends (and total strangers) during the holidays.

I never know what the "theme" will be.  I rarely choose stories in advance.  Rather, I usually settle down with the laptop and a bunch of books and start selecting stories that appeal to me.  Inevitably, I choose a story that reminds me of another story, which reminds me of another story (I know a lot of stories).
When I've got some I like, I write them down, print them into a booklet, and start handing them out.  When the Haiku Farm blog was a mere 1 year old (It started at Xmas time in 2008, when we started the process of buying the farm!) I started sharing stories here.
So, now we have a history. 

2009 stories begin HERE 2010 stories begin HERE 2011 stories begin HERE 2012 stories begin HERE 2013 stories begin HERE 2014 stories begin HERE 2015 stories begin HERE 2016 stories begin HERE
This year I'm also compiling a family cookbook, so I will in…

In which it's still December and it's still dark and we are still riding

Fiddle let me know, at my last lesson, that we needed some trail time.

Lessons this season are concentrating on me, on improving my form and on teaching me to canter properly.   For the "canter" lessons I borrow a horse:  Fiddle and I have too much shared bad baggage for either of us to make progress together.  That, combined with her 2016 stifle injury, has led me to say "enough"--Fee and I do not need to canter together in the arena.  It's just not worth the possibility (probability) of injury for either (or both) of us.

Lately, I've been working on basic equitation issues in lessons, and the weather has been so hideous (frozen cold, mostly, but at least no sn*w so far) that the covered arena has been the only place to be.

Until today.

"OUTSIDE!" demanded the Dragon today, and despite the very short day (8 hours, 27 minutes of actual daylight, assuming that because the sun is above the horizon you can call it "light") and the dumping rai…