Ok, friends. I love the holidays. And I really love time off of work. But I am so ready to be back on a normal schedule. Christmas and New Year’s should not be allowed to fall in the middle of the week. Who else’s last two weeks went something like “work a half day, get a day off, work three days, weekend, work a half day, get a day off, work three days, weekend?” I’ve eaten more food, watched more TV, and slept more in the last two weeks than I have in a long time, and I’m ready to get back on track!
This weekend I took some time to reset. I got my house back in order, enjoyed a simple date night, and just readied myself to kick off a new full week. We had some gorgeous weather (like 50 degrees instead of our Illinois January usual of -30) so I grabbed my camera and did a little walk around the farm.
I was hoping to have lots of baby pig pictures by now, but we are farrowing a little later this winter, so those cute little snouts will have to wait. Instead I snapped a few pictures of the sows in the lot, Daisy the Goat, Jeffrey and Pepper, and some delicious beer bread muffins that I made this morning. Talk about a day filled with my favorite things! Check out this week’s Sunday Snaps below!
Our girls have all been out in the field for a few weeks now. William moves the sows and gilts out to the back field during the winter, and the barn gets reserved for piglets and show pigs. Things are a little more streamlined this year. There are two fenced in lots out back, and both lead up to the yard where we feed the pigs and keep a heated water tank.
While this weekend wasn’t any indication, typical Illinois winters can get extremely cold. The sows have small A-frame houses to block the wind, and we fill them with dry straw to keep the pigs warm.
Fun fact about goats: they will get out of any pen you put them in. Seriously. It was a long summer filled with calls of “Hey do you know your goats are out?” Yes, yes I do. I finally convinced William that it was time to let go of the goats, but we still have Daisy. She’s pretty easy going and doesn’t really cause any trouble, so we just let her wander around and do her thing. She is supposed to be going to another farm for the winter, but another fun fact about goats is that they are super hard to catch. Oh well, she makes a good model when I’m walking around with the camera.
Speaking of goats getting out of their pens… Alpacas don’t like to be alone, so when I bought Jeffrey the plan was to keep him and Daisy together. But of course, Daisy jumped out of the pen on day 1. So we moved on to Plan B. A former student of William’s had previously asked us if we wanted her sheep, Pepper, when she went off to college. She was downsizing her herd and didn’t want to part with her favorite girl. We went ahead and took her in, and now Jeffrey and Pepper are the best of friends. Things always have a way of working out, huh?
And finally, WHY HAS IT TAKEN ME SO LONG TO REALIZE YOU CAN MAKE BEER BREAD INTO MUFFINS!?!?! Guys, this is a major game changer. I got a random craving for beer bread this morning, and when I realized I didn’t have a loaf pan, it hit me! Why not make it in a muffin tin? So I took to the internet to see if it had been done before, and long story short, apparently I’ve been living under a rock. There are tons of recipes for beer bread muffins, and they couldn’t be easier. I mixed together 3 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar. I added a can of beer, dropped the dough into a greased muffin tin, and that was it! I baked them at 350 degrees for 23ish minutes. (The recipe called for 25 minutes, but our oven runs pretty hot, so I backed it off a little.) Beer bread in under a half hour? This may be my new go-to recipe. And to top it all off, I discovered my dining room has the best natural light for food photography. Forget animals, y’all, I’m moving onto food! Ok, just kidding, but I foresee a lot more food coming to the blog soon.
I hope you all have the best post-holiday full week! If you have time, whip up a batch of beer bread muffins. You won’t regret it. In the meantime, leave me a comment telling me your favorite Sunday Snap, or what you love to pair beer bread with!