About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I've been craving bread so much lately but most of the bought bread has some soy by-product which I'm not supposed to have because of the nasty C.  I decided to try an old sweet bread recipe that I've made many time before and it was always good.

I dug out all the ingredients and measured carefully everything and started to scald the milk on the stove. I put my yeast to proof in a big measuring cup by the sink. At the right time I started to mix the dough.

Because kneading bread is a no brainer, I decided to turned the TV on for an update on the relief situation for the hurricane victims and continued mixing and kneading the dough but it was supposed to make a soft dough and this was getting as hard as a rock.  I was wondering what did I do wrong.

Ah, I know, I must have made a mistake when I measured the flour because there was still lots of flour in the bowl.
No problemo, I'll just add a wee bit more warm water and work it in and that will do the trick.... It wasn't working.  My bread still felt like a rock and had no elasticity and I'm contemplating throwing it away but I'm craving.....

 I once was poor when I was growing up and we never threw food away because there were starving children in the world who would gladly eat it the way it was... and I've been reading Frank McCourt's memoir entitled Angela's Ashes and the misery and squalor he lived in  and how hungry and starving they always were as he grew up, and this was still fresh in my mind.

 I oiled the bowl and put the rock in it to rise and I walked to the sink to wash my hands. I know the great cooks out there are laughing their heads off......

Maybe I'm getting old and senile and I know that I'm out of practice..... Then a lightbulb moment ... the friggin yeast is still on the counter and there's enough liquid in the cup to make a difference.

I cut the rock in pieces and added the yeast liquid and after much cutting and squishing some more I poured half of the lumpy goo into my food processor with a dough hook and give it a whirl and it is beginning to look like a mushy dough. I repeated the other portion and dumped it all back on top of the left over flour in the big bowl.

It's starting to feel more like the bread dough I used to make. I kneaded it all nice and  I placed the bowl it in a warm oven to rise.

By now my kitchen is a mess and I have more  doughy bowls and spatulas than an army cook. It took me about twice the time to make this bread than usual and I knew that I would not have time to shape it into  sweet bread roll.

It's time to go to the barn so I punched the risen dough and made two loaves and put the pans in the fridge so it will not rise and I cover the tops with oiled parchment paper to bake the next day.

When I got back from the barn, I opened the fridge and to my surprise the two bread have risen enough to bake. The rest is history

So we had some fresh sweet home made bread for our desert. It has some lemon zest in it for a nice taste.

This has been a particular hard week with more calves being born and more calves getting sick and not enough place for them so we had to tether some down, we had herd health and deworming and vaccination for the big calves and hoof trimming for the cows.

  One morning this week,  a cow was ready to calf and she needed help but every time I got in the pen, she would turn her rear to the wall and she would  lay down.  Not a good place to give birth. I called my son but  by the time he arrived  I had already pulled a big bull calf out by myself and was washing my hands.  She was an older cow so it wasn't too difficult but it felt awful heavy and I dragged the calf away to safety to clear the mucus from his mouth and  and by the time my son arrived the calf was breathing. I was more concerned with clearing the liquid from the mouth since his head was still covered with the membrane when he came out. At the time I didn't even realized that he was a big calf.

On Wednesday I had two more big bull calves born. My son had to pull one out and I assisted. I vaccinated all the calves soon after they were born.

The last one one that my son  pulled ate well the first time but  refused to eat on the second day and had a high fever and at this point I suspect a bad batch of vaccine. He won't drink his electrolyte from the bottle and we can't force feed it  because he can't stand up. He was found dead this morning and we had an autopsy done and he died of a congenital defect. Part of his colon was missing. The vet ruled out a bad batch of vaccine and he reassures me that everyone else are plagued with sick calves because of prolonged  damp and warm weather we've been having and things should get better as soon as the weather is cold. He said that even the horses are getting sick.

I've had 18 new  baby calves born in just a little over a month and I have a couple of more cows to calve on my old list and then I get a new list of the next batch of cows to calf. It's no wonder I can't make bread anymore, hahaha.

I hope that you all have a great weekend and that you realize that next month is Christmas.



  1. oh my gosh julia, you have been and are so busy! and it sounds like its hard work too. your bread looks delish and i can almost smell it. we got some snow today so maybe itll be a soup and bread day soon! try to relax and enjoy your evening!

  2. Julia, is this normal for you to have so many new calves in such a short time? You work so hard. The bread looks good. Warm with PB & J? I think our weather is suppose to turn cold this weekend so I hope it helps your herd.

  3. Lets see Julia,You help cows give birth. Vaccinate cows, rughook help everybody, garden, rughook and have time to make bread. I am doing something wrong! You are remarkable.I have heard of women like you and yes they're in the bible. Hugs Cheri

    1. I vaccinate calves but not cows. Yes, the woman of the bible are all dead, hahaha. And No, Cheri, you are not doing anything wrong. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to do just like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to do. I learn a little at a time about caring for calves.

  4. Kim, more cow got pregnant in cold weather because it's easier to detect when they are in heat. On the hot summer days it's more difficult to catch them in heat to breed them and our herd was dwindling and my husband was feverishly trying to catch every cow he could.

    Also Big Boy, the bull that I raised from calf has already sired many of my calves and has made a big difference to increase our herd. The breeder has to be called before 10:00Am and sometimes it's late by the time he come around as he has a large territory to cover. Sometimes the cow has passed her heat by the time he shoes up. The bull is the perfect heat detector. He is huge now and I would never go in his pen.

  5. How do you do all of this. I can't imagine that little ole you had that much strenght to pull out a bull calf. Goodness girl, you make me feel so lazy. The bread looks yummy. You can't have the soy because of C ? I don't understand. I can't have gluten because of Celiac. I cheated and had a roll a couple nights ago.....not smart at all. I paid the price. Rest my friend.

    1. Debby, the nasty C is Cancer. I had breast cancer that was estrogen receptive, meaning that estrogen fed my cancer and made it grow. My estrogen blocker pills will soon become ineffective so I have to make sure that I don't eat anything with soy or soy by-products in it or flax for the rest of my life.

      There is soy or soy by-product in about everything we eat that is manufactured.

      For example, chocolate chips, chocolate bars, some ice cream and even the cones, bread, crackers, soup, peanut butter, some brands of spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, Stove top, salad dressings , french Fries , processed meats , sausages and the list goes on and on. I have to read all the labels. I even found some brands of beans with soy by-products in it.
      I'm loosing weight because I have to pass on a lot of food that I used to eat and never knew that it was enhanced with soy. I'm working slowly on increasing the number of products that are soy free that I can eat but it's very time consuming.

      I hope that this answers your question
      Hugs., JB

  6. well first you made me laugh from the word friggin it was said in my family all the time. You are always so busy the calfs and their health is amazing to me.
    Your bread looks wonderful.
    I hope you get some down time to enjoy the holiday.

  7. y'kill me... lemon zest in the bread? oh, man. Well? as someone who doesn't do calving or baking or much of anything but eat ... your bread looked wonderful.

    lemon zest. lemon is favorite for anything. Remember my lemon zinger cookie addiction in Sequim?

    I don't think I've ever had bread with lemon zest baked into it. As a desert ... I have warmed a slice of sourdough or ciabatta and poured a bit of melted butter and squeezed lemon ... goood

    thats about it for my skill as a cook.

    Well? then your estrogen blockers will soon no longer work? With all the technnology isn't there a replacement? of course blocking it naturally ... would be desirable ... interesting ... soy produces estrogen? or ... scary stuff, Julia. not to you obviously because you've got everything well at hand but ... soy? jeeeez I... I never knew gluten was bad ...

    EVERYTHING's bad for us ... it's a wonder we're not all teenage mutant turtles! with all athe additives and chemicals in our food... GMO's ...

    I can't read the parts about your calves being born and dying. I just sorta scan those ... takes special people to run a farm... ;)

  8. Ah Julia, you had me laughing at your bread misfortune. I'm glad it turned out.

    Your calving stories take me back to our dairy cows days. The exhausting work was never ending
    You are my hero.

  9. All those calves, Julia...now that's a lot of work! Sorry you lost the bull calf, but glad to know it wasn't the vaccine. That would be a huge frustration. Hope you get some much needed rest!

  10. Oh ulia, I think you've invented a new bread-making process! All you need now is a staff of sous chefs to clean up afterward.
    Seriously, the bread looks really good!

    I hope the calving season soon slows up for you. Nursing the sick ones seems like a full-time job. I know we dread the cold weather, but I didn't know that it was better for the health of the calves.

    It's good of you to post with all the other work you have to do. Bless you!!!

  11. Julia...you are a wonder! Your bread looks so yummy...I bet it smelled good too. We read labels here all the time and try to stay away from processed food ...lots of fruits and vegetables! Hope you can get some rest soon and can get a little hooking done on your wonderful memories rug.
    Have a good weekend,

  12. My gosh Julia! I was impressed with your bread making alone, but then the bull calf deliveries, vaccinations, and all the rest.... Wow! If I ever get back to New Brunswick, I would love to visit your place, see your calves and kitties, and eat some of your delicious bread. You are amazing!

  13. I loved this post! The bread fiasco made me laugh...and want some of your bread!
    I loved reading about the cows and calves. You should write a book. You have such interesting experiences and stories. I love your blog & posts! Hugs!

  14. Julia,
    I always loving reading about your calves...so sad that the one died. I have never had much luck making anything with yeast....I've either got my water too hot or too cold....I haven't tried in several years and I have more patience than I used to, so perhaps I'll give it a try once again this winter.
    Thanks for reminding me about taking off the anonymous button....I did that this morning.