top of page

Welcome to the last Foodie Friday of March, dear reader. March is supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb. I believe March has maintained its ferocious bite. However, I hope the high winds, cold rains, and unsettled weather patterns will settle down into a much more pleasant routine once we make it through the weekend. I am excited to see a forecast of seventy degrees next week.

With the longer days, my chickens are once again laying eggs. I am getting an average of eight to eleven eggs per day. Currently, we have four dozen eggs in our refrigerator. With an overabundance of eggs, I find myself looking for ways to use and enjoy them. I have made some new dietary changes, and baking is no longer an option. The Bibbed Wonder and I eat a regular diet of scrambled eggs and kimchi for our lunch—however, one tires of scrambled eggs with spicy fermented cabbage rather quickly.

Yesterday, I tried my hand at making French-baked eggs. Making French-baked eggs is more simplified than making a poached egg. Baking eggs takes less attention, several servings can be made at once, and the outcome is delicious. I served French-baked eggs with bacon and a spinach salad. It was a quick and delightful meal to be put into my regular meal rotation.

French Baked Eggs



-Heavy Cream



-Parmesan Cheese


-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

-Spray a muffin pan with olive oil

-Crack one egg into each muffin cup, being careful not to break the yolk

-Top each egg with 1-2 Tbls. of heavy cream

-Sprinkle each egg with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese

-Bake in a hot oven until the desired doneness

-For a runny yolk, bake for 6-7 minutes

-For a firm yolk, bake 8-9 minutes

-For a solid yolk, bake 10 minutes

Serve immediately. I pared our eggs with The Bibbed Wonder’s pasture-raised bacon and a spinach salad to round out the meal. French-baked eggs would also be delicious, served traditionally with toast or an English muffin.

I prefer this method to poached eggs because it requires less attention. Inevitably, I overcook poached eggs. Every. Single. Time. Anything that requires my undivided attention while multitasking is doomed to fail. However, baked eggs were refreshingly simple and delicious. If one does not eat the yolks, like my favorite human bean, it is easy to bake just egg whites.

I hope you enjoy this simplistic and delicious meal. On the last Foodie Friday of March, stay safe, be smart, eat simple and delightful food, and keep washing your hands.

64 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureTina

We have a bit of a mystery going on here at the farm. My bib overall-wearing buddies pigs, all his pigs, have not produced babies for over a year. We thought perhaps it was due to Sir Boris’ age, and if you read my blog regularly, you know how very difficult the decision to send Boris away was for us. We introduced a new boar, Cleetus, with his crooked-toothed smile and happy disposition. Changing boars did not result in new babies. We have had multiple vet visits. We have had blood work done on all the girls. We have sent bloodwork to Penn State to have it analyzed. We have had everyone tested for STDs. Yes, pigs can get STDs, and it affects their fertility. The bloodwork has all come back with all counts in the normal range. We have given medications to bring the ladies back into sync. We thought the girls were pregnant. Some of the girls have even made milk after doing what boy and girl pigs do to make new babies. But alas, there have not been any new babies.

My pig-loving bibbed wonder is becoming discouraged and frustrated. You see, dear reader, pigs are expensive animals to keep. It takes a lot of sow chow to keep our girls happy, healthy, and in good condition. As with everything, the price of feed has gone up. The Bibbed Wonder could rationalize his love of his pigs and their expensive upkeep by producing ethically raised pasture pork. He also thought that adding the at-risk heritage breed, large black hogs, would benefit his breeding program and sustain an endangered old-world species. He and The Bean bought three registered large black girls in hopes of selling piglets to encourage the growth of a lovely, docile, self-sufficient breed of pig and supplement the pig’s upkeep. To date, Rose is the only large black girl to have a litter of piglets, and she killed them all. Sigh.

Dorothy, one of the large black hogs, is currently making milk. She has been making milk for over a week. In Eric’s lifetime of experience with raising pigs, he has never had a pig make milk for a week without producing little ones. Dorothy makes so much milk that it squirts when you rub her tummy. One can see that she is heavy with milk from across the pasture field. My pig-loving bibbed wonder readied a private stall for Dorothy over a week ago. However, much to his disappointment, he has yet to see the birth of any little piglets.

We are at a loss, dear reader. Eric is diligent about record keeping and breeding. He has dates written down of when he saw his pigs “do the deed.” All but two pigs have bypassed their potential due date. At this point, my bib overall wearing wonder buns is considering sending his beloved girls to the market. We simply cannot afford to feed eight full-grown pigs without some sort of production. Making these difficult decisions is the most challenging aspect of being a farmer. These decisions are not made lightly, and they are torturous.

My bibbed wonder buns has been in a disgruntled, cantankerous funk for over a week. He will go off on random tangents about the “shit luck” of everything. He wracks his brain, trying to figure out if it is something he is doing or has missed. He spends hours researching on the computer, talking to experienced farmers, and consulting our veterinarian. I have suggested we have the environment tested to see if a pathogen in the soil or barn is affecting them. He is going to send a feed sample to Penn State to have it tested for proper nutrients. We are at a loss, dear reader.

However, despite all our frustration, angst, and confusion, Dorothy continues to make milk. Where are the babies? Are her babies being absorbed back into her body? I did not know that this was a thing. Regardless of the situation, Dorothy has a lot of milk. One cannot milk a pig like one milks a goat. Against my better judgment, my bib overall wearing wonder buns created an unorthodox solution.

Eric now takes Little Lester, our abandoned baby goat, to nurse on Dorothy, the large black hog. Yes, dear reader, our little outcast now nurses on a large black hog. Eric reasons that Lester needs milk, and Dorothy has milk and is uncomfortable with said excess of milk. There appears to be no relief in sight for Dorothy with her own little ones. In Eric’s eyes, it makes perfect sense and benefits everyone.

I fear that A) Lester is squished by Dorothy and her hulking mass. B) What if Dorothy is pregnant and a baby goat is depleting her milk? C) If Dorothy is not pregnant, how will she dry up if her body continues to get the signal to produce milk? The Bibbed Wonder has all the answers. He doesn’t allow Lester in the stall with Dorothy unattended, and he holds Lester while he nurses. He believes Dorothy needs relief, which is why she allows Lester to nurse. Eric also rationalizes that perhaps Lester’s nursing will send some sort of signal to Dorothy’s body, and she will miraculously produce little ones. It’s a long shot for sure, but I will trust my pig-loving farmer and his judgment.

How many farmers do you know that can say they have a baby goat raised on pig milk? There is never a dull moment here, dear reader. No, never dull at all. For updates and sheer entertainment, check out our farm videos on the website or follow us on social media. We will keep you up-to-date on all new developments. In the meantime, Lester, my little rejected goat, will be nursing on his adoptive mama pig several times a day. Sigh, only in our world.

On this beautiful spring morning, stay safe, be smart, be innovative, care for those who need it, and keep washing your hands.

80 views1 comment
  • Writer's pictureTina

An image of Lester turned into a painting.

Yesterday, dear reader, I followed through when inspiration struck me. On Monday, I was walking my Heavy-B around the fields. My morning walk is usually the time I converse with my maker. I finished my conversation earlier than usual and found my mind wandering. I enjoyed the birdsong, marveled at the agility of squirrels, and thought about our little bottle babies, Midge and Lester.

Little Lester is our only genuine bottle baby at this point…thank goodness. Big Red is doing much better, she is still a bit delicate, but she is making enough milk to overfeed Miss Midge. As a precaution, we give her a bottle every few hours, but she plays with the bottle more than she eats. On the other hand, Little Lester relies upon us to sustain him. Lester eats two nine-ounce bottles every three to four hours. He’s a bit of a chunk, but I like my baby goats fat and happy.

For whatever reason, I started thinking about Lester’s situation and how it is relatable to many children. When I was a teacher, I knew many of “my kids” were going through difficulties beyond their control. My students faced challenges that weren’t their doing and had no choice or say in the matter. What impressed me about these kids was their ability to adapt and maintain a positive outlook on life even though their worlds were complex, dark, or uncertain. Much like my former students, Lester has adapted to his world and doesn’t allow anything to hold him back. He faces each day with a bounce and smile. Yes, it’s true, goats smile.

As I thought about Little Lester, it struck me that this could make a charming children’s book. Lester is an adorable character, after all. Not only is he cute, but he is going through many things human children must face. He’s been abandoned by his mom; he’s being raised by a community that doesn’t necessarily look like him; he’s faced hunger; he’s been adopted; he’s bullied; he feels rejected; his mom is sick and can’t take care of him, etc. Inspiration struck, and it didn’t fade. If I’m honest, I feel like inspiration strikes me frequently. Ask The Bibbed Wonder; I have all kinds of amazing ideas. I think they are amazing; he, on the other hand, does not feel so inspired. He looks at my grand ideas like a whole lot of work. Sigh. Being a creative genius married to a bib overall-wearing nay-sayer is so hard. Inject a woeful hand over my forehead, a long-suffering sigh, and perhaps an eye roll here.

Anyhow, I came home from my walk, sat down, and jotted down my list of ideas for Lester’s story, and then I did tedious, menial tasks like laundry, cleaning, and making lunch. Thinking that perhaps my thoughts were not so inspired, I let them brew for a bit. However, the ideas for a story kept finding their way to the front of my brain. I spent the day doing what had to be done, and then in the late afternoon, I focused on my bean. I got up Tuesday morning, got The Bean off to school, and walked The Bus, and again, story ideas kept coming to me.

When I returned from my walk, I tried to finish the tasks that needed to be done, but I had a nagging thought that wouldn’t go away. It was like an itch I couldn’t scratch. Rather than ignore it, I sat down at my laptop and began writing a rough draft. Hours later, I had a roughed-out rhyming story written. When I say rough draft, I mean ragged. However, the borders were created, and I had a framework to build upon. I didn’t tell The Bibbed Wonder I was writing a story. When he came to the house inquiring about lunch, I felt rather shy and embarrassed and informed him I had written a rough draft.

Have you ever felt so excited about an idea that you almost felt feverish? My face was flushed, I felt hot, and I believe my eyes were alight with creativity. I was excited to share my idea with Eric but also felt self-conscious. As we stood at the stove making scrambled eggs together, he asked if I would share my story with him. I went and got my computer, waited until he sat down to eat his eggs, and then I read it out loud, emphasizing that it was indeed a rough draft and not to get overly zealous about it.

When I finished reading my rough draft, The Bibbed Wonder put down his fork, smiled the smile that went all the way to his eyes, and said, “Wow, you are really talented. That’s amazing, buddy. I’m not being kind; I think you have something there.” I felt my face flush with pleasure and asked if he really thought so. My husband is my staunchest supporter. However, he’s also my strongest critic. He’s not critical in an unkind, cut my knees out from under me, make me feel bad kind of way. He’s realistic. The Bibbed Wonder takes my ideas and puts them into a realistic realm. He makes my big dreams doable. He makes them happen.

I knew he really meant what he said when I saw the spark in his eye, and he jumped on board and began discussing illustration ideas. Of course, I know exactly how I want my storybook to look. Of course, my vision is also very complex and challenging to achieve. However, I feel like I am putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. I need to finish, polish, and perfect my story, and then we can discuss the book-making process.

When my dear friend Jenna came last night, Eric sent her to the house with instructions to have me read my story aloud. I don’t know why I feel so self-conscious about reading my little story. I taught for ten years and read aloud to a classroom full of students regularly. I loved reading aloud. I thoroughly enjoy reading aloud to my bean. We sometimes continue to read to each other even though she is now fourteen. When she was small, I loved reading aloud storybooks using different voices, inflection, and tones. For some reason, I feel uncomfortable reading my own story aloud. However, after a bit of procrastination and subject dodging, I read my story to Jenna.

Jenna was just as kind and supportive as The Bibbed Wonder. My bean was the next person I shared my story with; she was also impressed and supportive. I know I write to you, dear reader, almost every day. At this point, I feel as if I am having a one-sided conversation with an old friend. However, sharing this little story feels different. I can’t explain it. I will, however, share the first verse with you.

On a farm on a hill where the wind always blows,

Lives a little white goat with brown spots and a tiny pink nose.

His name is Lester, and he’s in the know.

He’s grateful and hopeful and not full of woe.

I will continue to work on my story. I know I have a lot of editing and rewriting to do. I also know several trusted former colleagues I want to share my story with and ask for feedback before making any big moves. However, I am genuinely stoked to write a story about a dear little abandoned goat and his adventures.

So, dear reader, with the little I have shared, what do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Meh idea? I would appreciate the feedback. On this beautiful spring day, stay safe, be smart, be inspired, and keep washing your hands.

97 views6 comments
bottom of page