Mom life of a former horse girl…

When both sides of your family are made up of horse people, it’s really hard to escape it. Luckily for my family, I never tried. Horses were just part of life.

(That’s my great grandmother, Nanny Myrtle, on my mom’s 16th birthday – Ginger was the first horse I sat on many years later.)

As I got older I started to appreciate the things I never had to beg for. I never had to fight for lessons, fight to get a horse, or another, or another. I never had to fight to go to an event. Hell, half the time my mom drove me to a track meet and we would meet Daddy with the truck and trailer at a horse thing later. My parents raised the bar on “supportive”.

Now, I don’t want you to think my ‘rents were rolling in extra cash – they weren’t. I didn’t come out the womb with a silver spoon, but that’s totally cool if you did. My parents just made our “horse life” a priority. It was something we did as a family. It taught me skills, kept me busy, and gave me an identity. We had nice horses, not fancy ones. And they usually came about in some strange way that ended with Daddy getting a good deal – problem horses with potential.

But eventually college happened.

And while I rode for Virginia Tech, the Daddy/Daughter late nights in the arena ended.

Then I went to work.

Then I moved away and got married.

Then I had a kid.

Even though I’ve continued to ride, judge some shows here and there, and root on the hubby at events – Mommin’ and horsin’ is tough.

But today was a good day. Sorta…

Munchkin and Momma went horse showin’!

And it didn’t come without its trials. Get ready…

First, I had to get ready by myself with a recently-turned three year old. Are you kidding me?!?! I’m trying to wash the horse while Munchkin’s taking a bath in a mud puddle. Thank God I packed extra clothes.

Back in the day I had a mommy AND a daddy getting me ready. Where the heck were they today?!?! Do they think their adult daughter has it together? She doesn’t. Pageant Moms – try being a Horse Show Mom. Got that covered? Try on Horse Show Mom that’s showing too…. Then we can talk. (PS my mom was once a pageant mom…she failed BIG TIME hahahahaha – but that’s for another time.)

So we’re ready. Horse is braided. We leave. We get to the grounds. I go to tack up….I left the freaking girth at home. Ya know, the thing that holds the saddle on… Kinda important. Had to load the horse BACK on the trailer and go back home to get it. I swear the horse looked at me and said, “You’ve gotta be kidding me…”

Get home. Grab girth. Drive back out the driveway with dust blowing in the wind and my mother-in-law trying to figure out what the heck is going on…

Return to show grounds. This time I didn’t have to pay money to enter, just pay with my pride as I sheepishly admit I’m a flipping idiot. Who goes to a horse show without their girth for Pete’s sake? (Side note: this may or may not be the only time this has happened to me…)

We unload. Journey’s braids have come out.

Good Lord in Heaven, are you trying to kill me?!?!?! I’m starting to regret this whole idea. I mean, here I am BY MYSELF trying to horse show. What an idiot.

I’m also thinking…At what point did my parents think it was acceptable to retire from show-parenting?!?!?! I mean COME ON. Who gave them permission? Can we revoke it?!

Anyway. I did have some help. Mommy-in-law showed up. My sis, with my precious niece on her FIRST BIRTHDAY! Hubs showed up too.

And Journ (the horse), oh how blessed I am to steal him from my father-in-law. And suddenly I’m no longer regretting my decision to be a Show Mom and a Horse Girl.

You see Journ is 21 now, but in his glory days he won a Reserve World in cutting. He has points in Hunter Under Saddle, can hop a fence, and is probably the most show-broke horse I’ve ever backed…and I’ve ridden some cool ones. Too cool for me to own, but crazy nice nonetheless. Journ still takes the cake. If you don’t win on him, it’s your own fault. (Aka, we didn’t win our first class and it was definitely my fault.) This horse is a machine. Even now.

He’s a little older, a little rounder, a little shaggier, but he’s out there showing you he’s still got it. And so do I. My horse girl is still in there, just buried a little deeper than I’d like.

Maybe we wouldn’t be successful at a big show now, and that’s ok. But when the judge comes up to you to tell you how fancy your guy is – you take the compliment and run. Somebody recognizes the old you.

Maybe it’ll be different when Munchkin is older. I hope so.

But for now, I’m good.

I’m good with going to a little show and coming home feeling like I must have just returned from World’s. I’m good seeing Munchkin refuse to be led in the leadline class – because he doesn’t need help. I’m good with ribbons. And fun. And having family there to watch.

One day, it’ll be different. And one day I’ll miss this chaos.

– Stilletos/Helmet Hair Don’t Care

PS, I backed the trailer into its tiny freaking home in my father-in-law’s barn on the FIRST TRY. I deserve a medal.

Momma’s Crab Cakes

In my family there were no birthday parties. On your birthday, you got to pick your birthday dinner and what kind of cake you wanted. We ate with family, usually at Aunt Jane’s house, opened presents and enjoyed good food and company.

In a world where parents drop hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars on birthday celebrations – I’m ok with sticking to family tradition on this one.

So, what’s my pick?

CRAB CAKES. Every freaking year.

It’s my favorite. And in honor of posting my first recipe on here, there was no other choice.

My mom makes great crab cakes. Over the years I’ve made some changes, but I’ll be sure to give you the original recipe too.

Back to the story-

My pseudo great grandmother, Bernice, lived next door to my family forever. She passed less than two years ago and was 102. It was Bern who first taught me to cook, just as she had my momma. Bernice’s dad, Brooks, was my own momma’s pseudo great grandfather – so I guess that’s a bit of a family tradition too.

Bern was an only child, and as wonderful as her daddy was…her momma was rumored to be mean as a snake. The story goes that Brooks once wanted an ice cream cone from my real great-grandparents store. He dropped the nickel it would’ve cost on the way there, and Bern’s mom wouldn’t give him another. Bless her penny-pinchin’ heart 😉

Bern was a child of the depression, with a mom who took “fiscal conservative” to a totally new level. There was no fresh seafood for Bern growing up, or at any other point in her life. The woman would eat salmon cakes (from a can) any day of the week, but ask her to eat a crab cake and she’d turn her nose up.

So, when we sat down to my Pa’s birthday dinner many moons ago – Bern was in for a surprise herself…seafood and a lot of it. When the crab cakes got passed, sure enough Bern turned her nose up. Momma put one on her plate anyway.

She ate a bite to be polite.

And then she polished off two more cakes. Bern was a believer in the power of a crab cake from then on!

How to:

Empty 1lb of crab into a bowl. Carefully separate the crab, and pick out any remaining shell. (I actually prefer claw meat, but I’ll use lump for special occasions!)

Add the Dukes, yogurt, egg, seasoning/herbs, and bread on top of the crab. Gently mix it together on top, then fold it GENTLY into the crab. Don’t mix, you’ll break up the fragile crab.

Mom’s original recipe calls for only Dukes, no yogurt – but the yogurt will save you some calories and it turns out great. Aka Hubby couldn’t tell the difference.

Mom also uses 1 Cup Italian bread crumbs from a can instead of actual bread – I like the stale bread better, but either works.

If your mixture is still too liquidy, add more bread.

Feel free to play around with the seasoning, but do not skip the Old Bay. That’d be like trying to sell a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly. No joke. Not the same. When my herbs come in better, I’ll be using those – for now I’m stuck with dry. Increase to a tablespoon with fresh herbs.

Use a spoon to heap out a handful, and form it into a cake placing it onto a cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve made all the cakes. One batch should make 8 medium cakes, but feel free to adjust size.

So, Momma has always fried them in a skillet with a vegetable oil/butter mix over medium heat… and they’re good, like really good.

But about a year ago I decided to try baking them. It’s a little healthier, and it was soooo much easier than standing over the frying pan. Both are great options, but for now I’m going with the baked version. So…put the cakes in a preheated oven at 425, for about 10-12 minutes or until they’re pretty and golden brown. They will change your life.

(I love them just as they are, but Hubby loves it with some creole sauce.)

Enjoy, y’all!!

– Stilletos

Ingredients

1lb Crab

1/2 Cup Dukes Mayo

1/2 Cup Plain Greek yogurt

1 egg (beat)

1 tsp each – Old Bay, dried chives, parsley, and onion

2 cups stale bread pieces (I used hotdog buns this time hah)

Directions:

Put crab meat in a mixing bowl, gently separating it apart. Add all other ingredients on top of crab. Mix the ingredients above the crab, then gently fold the combined ingredients into the crab. Once adequately combined, spoon a heaping amount into your hand and form a cake. Put cakes on a baking sheet. (I cheat and use some non stick foil.) Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Welcome!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for dropping in!

What should you expect? Hilarious stories from the farm (hopefully…otherwise I have failed miserably). Let’s face it, our life yields some unique situations, and you are the beneficiary of our struggles. Recipes. Lots of them. Did I mention I like to cook? No? I do. A lot. And an occasional tribute to trying to raise the next generation of farmers.

Growing up in a farming family, the only granddaughter of a man who only had daughters, it was impossible for sexism to exist in our family. You want to grow up believing women can do anything – my Pa knew how to make that happen:) #girlpower

All jokes aside, I just couldn’t ignore a few key factors when searching for a mate –

Farmer’s tans are hot. I like tractors. And cows.

Is it any wonder I married into another farming family? I think not.

Our wedding day got picked based on hay season and I had to relearn how to rake hay (evidently I didn’t do it right…), but I have managed to improve my husband’s palate beyond beef, potatoes, and bread!

Lets meet the cast;)

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Hubs: I often want to cause him bodily harm. He drives me nuts. But he loves me. He’s my partner. He puts up with my messiness, the fact that the kitchen EXPLODES every gosh darn time I cook, he lets me rake hay (and compliments me on my spectacular abilities on a tractor), and he asks my opinion on cows (a really big deal).

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Munchkin: Oh, how our world turned upside down the moment we found out he was on the way. As did my moonshine drink…

I worried he wouldn’t like the farm. That he’d be scared of cows. He’d hate horses.

Ummm. We’re good. A little too good. He came out the womb loving all things with four legs or wheels. He has no fear…and I’m unhappy to report very limited self-preservation. He’s attempted to drive his battery-powered four wheeler through the fence to check cows, will ride a horse until he literally falls asleep while moving, and is known to give his mother heart palpitations. But man do I love being his momma.

The girls. Aka Molly and Sadie. Molly, Hub’s #1 girl (I’m #2 and ok with it), our border collie, security head, baby wrangler, and the reason our vets know us WAY too well. Sades – the sweetheart, car-riding, terrified-of-cows-despite-being-a-herding-dog, angel of a girl.

And me? I’m just a girl who loves food a little too much, likes working cattle, but loves my pedicures. Will rake hay, shower, curl my hair, throw on a dress, and cook for all our friends. I love boots and tractors, heels and a great black dress.

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I cant wait to share our little life with y’all! Happy reading:)